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Ann Arbor In 1828

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The Stockbridge Sun contains the following interesting pioneer article of interest to readers in this city and county: I thought perhaps you would like th reminiscences of another Michigai pioneer wonian and so venture to send you the following: Sept. 23, 1828, we were mairied in East Bethauy, Gene see Co., N . Y. Mr. Lathrop, like manj others at that time, had a great long ing for the "wilds" of Michigan. He had some three years previons, visitec Michigan and located a farm of 80 acres, 2h miles east of Ann Arbor, on what was called the stage road, be tween there and Dixboro road. In one short week after our marriage we must bid adieu to parents and friends. It required a great deal of courage and self denial to take upon ourselves the hardiships and privations peculiar to a pioneer's life. I thought so then, but knew it better afterwards. There was no railroad from Batavia to Buffalo, and it required two days to gó with wagons. We were in company with a Mr. Tary and f amily whieh consisted of a wii'e and two children. We were detained at Buffalo two days on account of high wind. As the old adage goes, "It's a poor wind that blows no one good."' While waiting, my husband thought it a good plan to get some of bis paper money into specie, accordingly he did so, some two hunclred dollars, and placed it in the tronk. The balance, fivehuudred, he had in bis pocket-book, which he carried in bis coat pocket. On the evening of the second day. the captain thought as the wind had somewhat abated, he could go; after being out awhile, passengers began to be sea sick on all sides. We escaped, so Mr. L. tried to do what he could for the sick. There were a good niany Irish emigrante, and quite a good many iMi with cluldien, their husbands having .gone hefore to secure thejr homes. They would exclaim, "We came acrost the dape say, and wasnary a bit sick, but its on this little pond we'll die, yes, surely die.'' Mr.L. found he had been robbed. Xothing could be found of book or money. It was a great loss in those days. The voyage was very tedious, the boat stopping at every port, and at last, on account of the fog, it ran ashore at the mouth of the Detroit river. After trying for ■ sonie time to get afloat they were obliged to get a tug to take us off. We were finally landecWn Detroit, then a muddy little town, inhabited mostly by Frencli. The buildings poor, though it was the capital then, and the legislature was in session. My husband met an old acquaintance here - Judge Kumsey. It seemed good even then to see one weknew. how niuch more soafterwards. Mr. Lathrop engaged a man to take óurgoods to their destination,for which he paid forty dollars. We started for onr ''woods home."' The roads being pooi- what little tbere was- we made slow progress, stopping for the night near the river Rouge, at a tavern, as they were then called, kept by a man by the name of Ruff. Things were in accordance with the name, rough. The landlady tried to be very accommodating, for she said to me ''When the baby wakes up, your husband can have the pillow." Wliere Tpsilanti now stands there were but fourdwellings. An old trading house had been converted hito a tavern. There was quite a show of ílowers in the woods although late in the f all. We reached Ann Arbor the evening of the second day. That city derived its name on account of the noble aspects of the original site of the village which was a burí oak opening resembling an arbor laid out and cultivated by the hand of nature. For the prefix "Ann" it was indebted accordingto undeniable tradition to the first white woman that cooked the first meal there, "Ann Sprague,'1 then Mrs. Rumsey of our town, East Bethany. She took me down to a little brook or run, as they called it, where some stones were piled together, here, she did her cooking. Though it has I been some sixty-four years it seems as ' though I could lócate it now, were I ' there. It was a delightful place, and here we staid the second night. There being no bridge across the river, we had to ford. Of course this seemed i'rightful to me, but I soon learned not to uiind it. I was highly delighted with my forest home, which, though wild in its nature looked nice to me. Mr. Lathrop was very ambitious, and built us a nice house so that we moved in in April. School privileges being poor, and I having plenty of time, concluded to have a select school at our house; accordingly in May tlie school began, whiob served to while away many lonesouie hours. Occasionally we liad local preaching there. I recall two young ministers that carne frorn Ohio, Pilchard and Colclasier, who becanie very eminent preachers. The flrst celebratiou ever held in Ann Arbor was so different, in tuany respects. The seasons being earlier, they had uew wheat, corn, and in fact al] garden produce. A Virginia man by the name of Allen, an experimental gardener,f urnished them. His garden was upon the ground where the University now stands. I forgot to say that previous to the whites coming there, it was tlie Indians' dancing grctuud. So you see it was in fine condition, it being well cleared. John Allen was one of those free-soul men, who wanted his friends to share with him. They were as one said, ''all brothers and sisters."' Though neighbors lived far apart, they were very friendly, and tried to mak e each other happy. The Iudians were not very troublesome at this time, yet ocoasionally when they found women alone, and they had been lising ñre water (whiskey) too freely, they would trouble them. I remember one instance. They had been to Detroit for their presents and were on their way home. ïiear riymouth, the chief's son went into a settler"s house and demanded bread. The womau told him she had none, he still insisted, they had none, and he killed her. The news spread, they raised a compauy at Detroit, having Dr. Nlchols for captain. They overtook them on the plains below Plymouth. They gave the chief to understand if he would "deliver vip his sou, they would not molest them, luit ït not tney would snoot min. Me made motion tor them to do so, and they did so. It was called Togas Plains after the chief and there was no more trouble at that time. Dr. Nichols afterwards iocated at Dexter, and was tlieir leading physician for many years.


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