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The Chelsea Sesquicentennial

The Way I See It

January 5, 2014
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Ya know, when you think about it, the "good ol' days" really were the good old days. We didn't have color TV, remote controls, microwaves, air conditioning, cell phones, Internet, riding lawn mowers, snow blowers, cable TV, Super Walmarts or any of that stuff, but I still think it was the good old days. Life was simpler, don't your think? We knew all our neighbors and each little town had a personality all its' own. Just in Tama County, we had all kinds of small Haven, Chelsea, Montour, Vining, Clutier, Elberon and others. Heck, do you remember Irving? Yep, it really was the good old days.

I remember the summer of 1964 so well. Chelsea was celebrating its' 100 birthday. We lived right on Main Street and all the action took place right in front of our house and store. Our grocery store was no longer in operation but I think Mom and Dad were operating Sheda's Flea Market by this time. It was a great time to be living in Chelsea and now I find out that this summer, Chelsea will be celebrating it's 150 birthday-which is called a "sesquicentennial."

The Shedas, those of us who are still kicking and alive, try to get together annually for a reunion and this year, we're gathering together at brother Larry's place in Traer. But then, look out Chelsea-'cuz on Saturday, July 26, 2014, we're gonna invade Chelsea. Cousins from Uncle Frannys, Bills, Ludys, Chucks and of course my siblings, Tone, Lar, and Mary Sue will all be here, along with all the extended Shedas. It will be quite a sight. Hopin' to get some out on parole, some to escape, some to arrive incognito and maybe even some to get out on a supervised weekend pass. Heck, we're even thinking of putting together a "Sheda Float," although when I mentioned this, someone thought we might get shot at. Do you think? Nah!!

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The Chelsea Sesquicentennial will be on July 25 and 26 this coming year and a group of hard-working "Chelseainians" have been getting together for a couple of years now putting this celebration together. Activities include a parade, car show, hog roast, dance, antique tractor display, display of the history of Chelsea, a tractor pull, a rolle-bolle tournament, all town picnic, beard contest, (men & women), kolache contest, old timer's costume contest, the crowning of the King & Queen of Chelsea as well as Little Miss and Mr Chelsea. Sounds like a great time. Hmmmm, wonder if there is a beer-drinking contest anywhere in the works?????

The committee is putting together a Chelsea History Book, (similar to the one in 1964), and if you are interested in sending in some pictures or history of your family, please get it together QUICK! The deadline is Wednesday, January 15, I think. Email your family history, interesting facts and pictures to or check out the Facebook page, "Chelsea's 150 Birthday." All your information is available there or simply call 641-489-2048 for more information.

Personally, I'm calling for the entire "Chelsea Gang" of the late 60's early 70s to plan on getting together for a time of sharing and reminiscing. So here's to you....Joe, Kenny, Chuckie, Joe, Tom, Lois, Monk, Joel, Susie, Bill, Delbert, Elaine, Larry, Gary, Ellen, Mahlon, Debbie, Shirley, Delma, Marla, Mick, and all the rest. Let's do it!!! Bring pictures! And stories. And memories.

Let me know what you think at or call me at 319-327-4640. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!



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