Photos donated to Barry Museum
CONSTANTINE — Mrs. Charles Zimont donated several items to the Gov. John S. Barry Museum in Constantine, including copies of 1939 photos of members of a Swing Club which was held in the old grange hall on the corner of Fourth and Cass Streets in Constantine, and an article on a poultry farm owned by Claude Brewer which began operation in the 1920’s.
Zimont’s father Joe Cox published the Constantine Advertiser Record for many years. An article written on the farm on April 12, 1933 describes the hatchery, which had 21 chicken houses that held approximately 500 chicks. In next week’s edition, the newspaper said 2,000 colored eggs were hidden and 75 children in costume scattered to find the eggs. In 1934 the Advertiser Record reported, “For the past 10 years the annual Easter egg hunt at the Brewer Hatchery has grown with over 3,000 people present last Sunday for the big party. Three Hundred eighty-four children under the age of 12 were in the parade, which was led by a duck and a rooster, and 2,000 colored eggs were hidden.” In 1936 the amount climbed to an estimated attendance of 5,000 people.
Retired Constantine police chief Robert Brewer, a grandson of Claude Brewer, said the celebration stopped when World War II began, because his grandfather “didn’t think it was a good idea with the war going on.”