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The Jackson Chess Club was started by Andrew H Palmi in 1920. They met at Jackson City Hall building. Palmi’s business was only about 1 block away. The “Palmi Art Studio” and the sign said: “Artistic Photography in all its branches. Home portraiture a specialty. -Andrew Palmi, Proprietor”. It was located at 117 S. Mechanic Street on the 1st floor of the “American Bluilding and Loan Association” building. Andrew Palmi was born on Blondous Island in southwest Iceland 1888 and emmigrated to the USA. He also published a book of Poems. Palmi started the Michigan Chess Association which is the State Organization of the United States Chess Federation. He also started the first Michigan Open to determine the Chess Champion of Michigan. Around 1950 the new YMCA was built and the Jackson Chess Club moved there. In 1962 Andrew Palmi died and Arthur Derouin took the reins and became President. Heart problems led Art to turn over the Presidency to Semen Sam Doroshko. Sam still attends the Club and is quite healthy at age 90. Around about 1985 Sam turned over the Club to Looie Baze then after some turmoil in which the President became Douglas Forsythe and then me, Jimio, the Club started meeting at the Jackson Library. The hours were too short for our taste so we settled on Hardees on West Ave. Around 1996 or 1997 Hardees closed so the club moved to West Side Deli on Argyle Street. After that closed the Jackson Chess Club now enjoys its present location at Cottage Inn Pizza 1208 West Michigan Ave.


6 Comment(s)

  1. Dan Landman

    May 29, 2014 at 3:26 am

    My brother, Larry, and I were members of the Jackson Chess Club in the early 1970s, when it met on Monday evenings (and eventually also Thursday evenings) at the YMCA. We were roughly junior high school age, as were our classmates Lee Weatherwax and Tim Sears. Other members during that time period (in addition to Mr. Doroshko and Mr. Derouin) were Looie Baze, Kip Dunn, E.A. Calvelo, Dan Payne, Mark Rett, Mark Craft, Phil Anderson, Raymond Key, and Dick Taylor. Here are the last names of some other members (I can’t remember their first names, perhaps other members can help?): Udvadia, Herendeen, Thelen, and Cain. I remember purchasing marshmallow pies from the vending machine at the “Y”!

    • Jimio

      May 31, 2014 at 12:47 am

      Thanks for your comment Dan. I think it was Andy Thelen. I remember playing him a lot and Edgar Calvelo, Mark Craft, Looie Baze, Art Derouin and I thought was Frank Anderson who was prob in his mid 60s in 1977. Did you ever play a Clyde Finney? Jim Johnston? William Bayliss? Frank Ryder? Dan Arnold? Joe Spinde? John Smalec? Larry Oversmith? Jay Galvin? Tom Sussex? Thanks for these names I never knew. Must look them up. -Jimio

      • Dan Landman

        June 6, 2014 at 4:41 am

        Jimio —

        Phil Anderson was probably in his late 20s or early 30s. I remember Dan Arnold and John Smalec, but not the others. Another name that did come to mind, however, was Pete Bormuth – he was usually there on Monday nights. There was also a guy whose last name was Campbell – once again, the first name escapes me.
        My recollection was that the Monday “regulars” were Doroshko, Derouin, Baze, Dunn, Calvelo, Udvadia, Rett, Craft, Taylor, and Phil Anderson. My brother and I did not attend anywhere near as often – after all, we were under 16 and had to rely on our parents for a ride to and from the Y!
        Would be interested to know if you can track down the missing first names! DL

      • Jimio

        June 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm

        I could gave those first names a try, Dan. Though I don’t recall a Pete Bormuth. Do you recall a Ralph Carrier? He was in his 50s in 1976.

  2. Bruce Monson

    August 3, 2014 at 5:10 pm


    I would like to talk with you about Palmi and the early history going back to the late 1920s and early 30s. I’m writing a biography on Herman Steiner who evidently worked at Palmi’s studio for a short time. I’m hoping to find more information about that and more about Herman’s time in Jackson, Michigan. I’d be interested in seeing one or two photos of Palmi, and his studio, if any exist.

    Bruce Monson

  3. Bruce Monson

    August 3, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    “Semen Sam Doroshko. Sam still attends the Club and is quite healthy at age 90.”

    Wow! I’d also very much like to talk with this gentleman. He must have some memories of Herman Steiner.


    Bruce Monson

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