Firenation Revisited

In the dead of night the Fringe team searches for answers in the darkened glass studio. The heat still radiates from the ovens. But perhaps that’s not all that lingers. Is that a voice issuing from beyond the veil? Do denizens from the past linger in this venerable building? Fringe Paranormal continues its quest for the truth…

Investigation Date: July 27, 2013

Investigation duration: 8pm-2am

Agents

  • Don
  • Kelly
  • Al
  • Fred
  • Ray
  • Val

Equipment Placement

  • Rempods – one in the main gallery and one in the glass heating hallway
  • Motion detector – directly across from the rempod in the glass heating hallway
  • Audio recorders – one stationary recorder in the main gallery and one in the shipping and receiving room as well as several roaming recorders

Camera Placement

  • Cam 1 – viewing out the office into the main hallway
  • Cam 2 – viewing the glass heating room
  • Cam 3 – viewing the cold/work room area
  • Cam 4 – viewing the gallery and the main hallway
  • Cam 5 – viewing the gallery from the opposite direction with a focus on glass orbs hanging from the ceiling
Investigation Conditions
Temperature °F Mean 67  Max 77  Min 56
Humidity Avg. 74%  Max 87%  Min 61%
Barometric Pressure 29.83 in.
Wind 7 mph SSW
Precipitation .75 in.
Dew Point ºF 61
Geomagnetic Field Quiet
Solar X-Rays Active
Moon Waning gibbous  68% of full

History of the Building and Area by John Hartsock

The following information represents what is presently (2009) known about the history of Front and Clark Streets. As new accounts are discovered they will need to be added to update or change what is written below.

We know that in 1887 there were 5 businesses and a post office in Holland. Thomas Sage had opened an implement store selling farm equipment and hardware. It was possibly located on the northeast corner of what is now Front and Clark streets or somewhere in that vicinity (it has been proposed that it was where the Antique Store use to be and where the present novelty store is located). A blacksmith shop was operated by Charles Naitzka and was probably located in the Hall addition south of the railroad tracks. The “Temperance Inn” was located on the corner of what is now Railroad and Holloway where the Lee Irons family lives.

The Milan Perkins Grocery was possibly located at the corner of Second and Erie Streets where that family had operated a grist mill in 1885. This business was discontinued because of a boiler explosion that caused the death of their child, Floyd Perkins. The post office was probably located in the John Walker house on Railroad Street since he was the village constable and postmaster during this period.

Mail arriving at the railroad station.

Mail arriving at the railroad station.

At this time Harrison Wood, a Civil War veteran and the son of Springfield pioneer, Thomas Wood, operated a grocery on the corner of Front and Clark Streets. This may have been the same location where Robert Clark opened a merchandise business with his two sons, Nathan and Cyrenius, in 1862, but it is not known for sure when that building was erected. Robert Clark owned much of the property in this area of Holland where he built houses in what has since been named the Clark addition. So it is not unreasonable that he would have wanted his son’s business to be located near the railroad depot and other areas of business.

The Harrison Wood grocery was operated by him until he died in 1899. In 1900, his son, Arthur Harrison Wood, began operating a grocery, meat market and school book sales in the same building previously used by his father. Sometime before 1928, A.H. Wood sold the property to Perry Hall who had also been the town marshal during this same time.

The building was not used by Mr. Hall and in 1928 Albert E. Lormer opened a hardware store and office for his coal company in the building. Around 1932, O.J Simpson (Orlin), opened a barber shop directly to the west of Mr. Lormer’s hardware store.  In 1940, the pine tree that had stood for years by the building was cut down and a sandwich shop was built next to the Simpson barber shop that was called The Lone Pine, by Mr. and Mrs. Mahlon Tibbets. A year later that business was taken over by Mrs. Harunah McDarr and her daughter, Mary Jane. This business was sold in 1951 to Charles Dorcas and had ceased operation by 1960.

The Lormer Hardware was later owned and operated by Edward Holman and Carroll Leonard. Edward Holman had been an employee of the Lormer Hardware since its beginning and kept using the name after purchasing the business. When he sold the business in the 1980s he had worked there for more than 40 years.

Springfield Hardware

Springfield Hardware

Elmer and Carol Fink purchased the hardware store in the 1980s and changed the name to Springfield Hardware. Their new sign on the store showing a train running on its tracks became a focal point in the village. After operating the business for a few years it was sold to Dave Miller, who ran it until the early 2000s when it was sold to Firenation, a glass art store.

Claims

In the past, employees of the studio have reported a hinge resting atop a file cabinet shooting across the room of the office and almost hitting a person. The current owner reports that while working in the building one recent morning that he heard someone whistling. Thinking it may be his protégé he asked the man if indeed he had been whistling. The man stated that it was not he who had been whistling. This left both men perplexed as they were the only two people in the studio. Past personal investigations by current Fringe agents produced several interesting EVPs which have led those investigators to believe that some type of activity may be occurring at the location.

Investigation

The Fringe team arrived at Firenation Glass Studio in the early evening. We spent one hour setting up all of the equipment for the evening. At the start of our investigation we split into two teams; one team began in the front of the building in the main gallery and the other team began their exploration in the rear of the building in the cold room and shipping and receiving area. In addition to EVP sessions we experimented with something new. One of our agents acquired some dowsing rods. Dowsing rods are basically “L” shaped wires held in ones hands by the short end. The long end is free to swing to and fro. In the past, dowsing rods were typically used to find water. The dowser would walk a plot of land, waiting for the rods to cross. At that point the dowser would dig in the hopes of finding water. In paranormal investigations, dowsing rods are used in an attempt to communicate with any unseen entities. Said entities are asked to make the rods cross or swing in a certain manner or in response to questions. During our experiment the dowsing rods did cross and move as we asked questions. Later in the evening Agent Fred thought he may have felt something touch or brush against his leg. The remainder of the evening was quiet. The team did get several isolated KII hits in the cold storage and shipping & receiving areas. Towards the end of the evening both teams banded together to investigate in the basement. As we performed our EVP session our KII meter went off several times in succession. At 2 am the team wrapped up the investigation.

Analysis

While we did notice activity with the dowsing rods we can not say that the activity was significant. The movement of dowsing rods can be caused by involuntary movements of ones hands. This same principle has been used as a possible explanation for the movement of the planchette on a Ouija board. We also have no synchronous evidence to go along with any movement of the dowsing rods such as audio or video. We also can not attribute paranormal influence to the isolated KII hits. The KII hits that occurred in the basement are a bit more interesting. We can not explain why the KII went off the way it did. The meter did not seem to go off in an intelligent manner in response to our questions. We asked several opposing questions and got hits. ( “Do you want us to leave?” KII hit; “Do you want us to stay?” KII hit) Analysis of our digital voice recorders did find some interesting audio.

Conclusion

Interesting though they may be, dowsing rods do not seem to be a reliable tool in and of themselves. In order to be considered credible the rods must be paired with some sort of corroborating evidence. This location was somewhat quiet during most of our investigation with a bit of unexplained activity towards the end of the night. This underscores one of the few accepted-as-true facts regarding the paranormal: you can never predict when or if there will be activity at a location. Unexplained phenomena at the glass studio does not seem to be associated with any one area. The Fringe team has noted activity in many different areas. The unexplained audio we collected during our investigation bolsters our interest in this particular location. We hope to return to the Firenation Glass Studio at some point in the future.




Special thanks to John Hartsock of the Holland-Springfield Historical society for their assistance in our research.

Report prepared for Fringe Paranormal Investigations by Don Collins

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I am the Director of Fringe Paranormal based in Toledo, Ohio.

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