The Zilwaukee Lions Club was chartered April 9, 1956, sponsored by the Saginaw Lions Club. There were 34 charter members and the first president was Claude Meehleder.
The motto of Lions Club International is “We Serve.” Since the beginning, the Zilwaukee Lions Club has succeeded in living up to that motto, not only in support of the community, but in support of the State and International Programs to help the blind and prevent blindness throughout the world.
In the last 57 years, the Club has done much to help the community. It has provided eye glasses for those in need, took blind men fishing, donated picnic tables for the community parks, purchased raincoats and helmets for the Zilwaukee Safety Patrol. In addition they purchased a CB base station and radio for a paraplegic, donated to St. Mary’s Burn Unit, built a pavilion at Johnson Park, purchased a flag for the City Administration Building, paid for landscaping next to the City Administration Building, moved the Veterans Monument, restored the old Zilwaukee School bell and constructed its bell tower, maintained and improved for many years the Riverfront park and the Boat Launch facilities and did many other actions for the benefit of the community.
Currently, the club has 18 active members, Lion Richard DeLong is President, Bert Rivette is Secretary, and Tom Jarzabkowski is Treasurer.
The club meets the 2nd & 4th Monday of each month at the City Administration Bldg. from September to June.
Contact Zilwaukee Lions: Eugene Jolin
Zilwaukee Boy Scout Troop 1, sponsored by Community Welfare Club, made its debut November 25, 1924. Harry McIntyre was the Scoutmaster. On February 11, 1927, they became Troop 103, and on January 12, 1930, they were Troop 10.
The charter was drooped in February of 1934, but just two years later, Troop 10 was back in action under the direction of Scoutmaster A.W. Crimmins. The Troop sponsor was the Zilwaukee Citizens.
Since 1982, Zilwaukee Troop 377 has had many Scouts achieve Eagle Scout rank. The current Scoutmaster is William Menzl.
St. John’s Lutheran Church
318 S. Franklin St.
Zilwaukee, MI 48604
In 1865, a small church is built. On June 18th of that year, a constitution is adopted and St. John, Zilwaukee, officially comes into being, a member of the Second Michigan Synod. The first parsonage is then built.
The present church building is built during the summer of 1881, and St. John’s Lutheran Church was dedicated October 5, 1881. The former church is moved behind it, and used as a school and parish hall until 1963.
In 1904 the parsonage is severely damaged by the great flood. A new parsonage was built in 1905. In 1909, the church is renovated and a pipe organ is installed at this time.
Between 1934 to 1950 the church is completely redecorated and stained glass windows are installed. The parsonage and the old school building are also improved. Ground is broken in 1962, and the present parish hall is dedicated January 6, 1963.
The congregation is privileged to celebrate its 100th anniversary on June 18 and June 20, 1965.
The church is again redecorated in 1975. A new parsonage is dedicated on February 28, 1971, and the old parsonage is removed. In 1981 the church is covered with aluminum siding.
On October 4, 1981, the congregation of St. John’s Lutheran Church celebrates it 100th anniversary of the present church building. The St. John’s Lutheran Church celebrated its 125-year anniversary on May 20, 1990. On December 6, 2015 St. John’s Lutheran Church celebrated its 150th anniversary.
In 2011 Pastor Marcus P. Manthey came to worship with St. John’s congregation. The congregation currently has one 10 a.m. Sunday service. St. John’s Lutheran Church has approximately 100 members.
St. Matthew’s Catholic Church
On January 9, 1867, Father Van Der Heyden purchased a plot of land from Patrick and Bridget Clark at the Northwest corner of Westervelt and Green Streets in Zilwaukie. Once Spring arrived, the residents started to build their first church.
In 1876, the French and Irish Missions of Zilwaukie was attached to Sacred Heart, Saginaw. It was there Father Reis ministered to the people of Zilwaukie as well as the Missions of Carrollton, Hermansau, Bridgeport, Bloomfield and Birch Run. Seven years later a class of 30 Zilwaukie residents were confirmed by Bishop Richter.
On February 6, 1898, fire destroyed St. John the Baptist in Carrollton. The congregation, since they were without a church, attended mass at St. Matthew, which for the first time had two Masses on Sundays and Holy Days. Father Prudhomme, Pastor of Holy Family Parish in Saginaw, finally succeeded in finishing the new St. John the Baptist Church in 1913.
St. Matthew again knew a regular Sunday Mass. During these and succeeding years, many improvements were made to the old church. The inside was finished with sheeting and later was tinned. The old wood post foundations were replaced with cement blocks and a cement porch was added. A basement furnace was dug and the Sacristy made larger. The interior was decorated and statues added until gradually St. Matthew Church was changed from its original rough appearance to a fine House of Worship.
In 1931, the country was in the midst of the Great Depression. The financial situation became so dire that Bishop Pinten ordered the closing of St. Matthew in July, 1932. The parishioners were so upset with the closing of their church, they formed a delegation and went to the Bishop to urge him to reconsider and reopen the church. The Bishop agreed to their request and the church was reopened after being closed six weeks. On July 7, 1944, Father Emmet Fitzpatrick was appointed Pastor of Zilwaukie and Carrollton. Five months later, on the night of December 3, 1944, fire broke out in the furnace room of the church. The fire quickly destroyed the building made out of rough-hewn logs that had been erected in 1868. Within five hours the church was nothing but a pile of ashes. The Blessed Sacrament was saved by some of the parishioners who gathered at first alarm.
Seven acres of land were purchased on January 25, 1945, at the west end of Cornell Street. The church was finished and blessed by Bishop Murphy on June 16, 1946. Much of the work that went into the church was donated by parishoners. A rectory was begun by Father Fitzpatrick on May 22, 1948. No contractor was engaged to build it. Rather, the parishioners did most of the work with Father Fitzpatrick purchasing materials from wherever he could obtain the best price.
Currently St. Matthew’s Church is used for special masses. It can be used for Weddings and Funeral’s.