"I have always lived where there was a dial telephone. Fennville had dial service installed in November of 1939 and the old magneto telephone system above the Old State Bank was removed. It was part of the first rural telephone cooperative in the state of Michigan.

Fennville exchange phone numbers contained 7 digits like 561-8XXX but only the 1-8XXX had to be dialed to call anywhere with-in the Fennville exchange area.

Places like Pullman, a different exchange, had the common battery system until 1958. To call Pullman you had to dial “0” for the operator in Holland; who connected your call to Pullman or any other town for a few years.

The area code (616) was implemented in the mid-1960’s and it was then possible to call another exchange/town by dialing 7 digits in the 616 area. You still had to dial “0” to call another area/state.

In the early 80’s you needed to use all 7 digits with the Fennville area because first dialing a “1” put the switching system into the mode connecting to a different area/state, 1-313-XXX-XXXX put you in the eastern part of Michigan. Yup!, before that you still needed to go through an operator to call any other area."  Vern Bouwman / Webmaster

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