RSS

In Search of Fogo (part IV)

In Search of Fogo (part IV)

IN SEARCH OF FOGO (part IV)

In the last installment in our search for Fogo, our time machine brought us to the Village of Hooper in the year 1913. We were still unable to find out who or what Fogo is, but we got a very important clue from William Hooper the founder of Hooper which was located in Section 36 of the township. We learned that Fogo existed in the 1850’s and the name James Redpath was associated with it. We decided to continue our search in 1855 and set our time machines destination for Martin Corners at that time. As I have said in the previous installments, Fogo is actually a part of our township’s history that was found in a very obscure document while conducting research on our county.

The J.C. Wheeler Public Library in Martin and the Allegan County Historical Society have joined together to answer the question “What or who is Fogo?” Over the past few months, we have been making a journey around the Township of Martin searching for Fogo, and along the way, we have discovered and explored the history of Martin Township since its inception in 1836.

If you already know the answer, PLEASE DO NOT POST IT! Let us not ruin the suspense of this historic journey for the rest of the history travelers. So, let us jump in our time machine and hop through time and across our township to learn about the people, places and interesting facts that make our community such a fantastic place to live today.

As we arrive in Martin Corners in the year 1855, we step out of the time machine to the din of construction. We see wagons with horse teams stirring up dust along the dirt roads (what is now Allegan Street) and the wooden plank road that was known as Road No. 12 (what is now 10th Street.) We are right at the four corners in Martin and the plank road is brand new. This plank road has brought business into this area and it is evident as we look around. On the corner, we see a wooden two story building located where the old Carman Pharmacy building is today. A sign on the front of the building says “Hotel and Boarding, Messrs. Bradley and Pratt Proprietors.” This is the building that will burn down in 1856, be rebuilt and burn down again in 1892. It was rebuilt in 1892 with the block structure that is there today. It was also on the roof of this building that the famous Martin Armistice Day photograph was taken on November 11, 1918.

The hotel has a lot of foot traffic going in and out, so we decide to ask someone for help finding Fogo. Just then a young man walks out of the front door of the hotel. He stops on the wooden sidewalk in front of the hotel and takes off his dirty, brown, ragged hat in order to wipe his face. His shirt is dirty and his soiled pants are tucked into his boots. “Excuse me, sir” I say. “You folks sure do have a lot going on around here. Why so much activity?” “The plank road.” He replies. “Ever since it was finished last year, our little town has grown a lot. This little hotel is always full from the folks on the stage coach and the people coming to town to conduct business.” The man points across the plank road and says “Just across from us here (where the Dollar General is located today), the first dry goods store opened last year. A guy by the name of Phittleplace owns it. People have been coming from all over the area to shop there.” (Writer’s note: That location has had a store on it since 1854. Franklin Pierce was President and the Kansas- Nebraska Act was passed that year.) “Right next to the store is our new post office. They just built a new one here because we have so many people coming here now.”

He turns to his left a little and looks toward the west and says “Right behind the hotel here is the first church that was built in Martin Corners. It was built in 1846. It’s the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. It cost us $800 to build. It can also hold 200 people. We need a big place like that because just about everyone that lives in this area is Presbyterian. There are a few Methodist, but they don’t have a church yet. Our pastor’s name is James Frazier. He is a real nice man. You should join us this Sunday for service. We would love to have you.” “Thanks” I say. “But I don’t think we will still be here. We have travel plans.” “Suit yourself.” He says.

The man wipes his forehead and points toward a wooden building which is located where the bank building is today. “That building over there is the Harness Shop. They also do a little blacksmith work and they will take care of your horse for you too if you are from out of town. You know, we even have a new doctor now. Dr. Bradley’s office is just right over there next to the harness shop (roughly the location of the Little Clipper Day Care). He came here last year from Wayland.”

I look at the young man and think that he can’t be any older than 20. I think to myself that he must have lived here his whole life, but at this time, Martin is only about 20 years old. I say to the man “By the way, what’s your name?” He replies “Oh, sorry friend, my name is Samuel Eldred. I was the first white settler born here in Martin Township. My parents were the first settlers here. My mother was the person who named the township.” “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” I say. “Maybe you could help us out with one more thing. We are looking for someone or something named Fogo.” He chuckles. “You are looking for a ‘thing’ my friend.” “Will you tell us where it is?” I say. “Sure. Head west on this dirt road (West Allegan Street) and go about a mile to the township line with Watson. Once you get to George Redpath’s land on the township line, you can’t miss it.” “ Thank you very much, Samuel!”

So we start heading west on what is now West Allegan Street. We pass by the church Samuel told us about on the left. There are nothing but trees and farm land on both sides of us. It is going to be another 40 years before we start seeing houses along this section of Allegan Street. The land we are passing on the left is owned by Samuel Eldred and the land on the right is owned by John Matthews and Thomas Hall. We eventually get down to where we can see a house on the right (It was in the area that Martin Tire is today). That must be George Redpath’s house and all of this land on the right must be his. Now, we know we are getting close. Now that we know this is George Redpath’s land, we start walking through the trees and the farm field and we see a small building in the distance right on the Watson/Martin Township line (this is the area of the 131 corridor). As we get closer to the building we can see a small sign on the front of the building. When we get close enough to read the sign it says “Fogo Post Office. James Redpath Postmaster” “FOGO WAS A VILLAGE!” I yell. A man comes out of the post office after hearing the loud yelling and in a thick Scottish accent he says “What are you yelling about?” “Are you James Redpath?” I ask. “Yes, I am the postmaster here.” I ask him “Where is the rest of the village.” “There isn’t one. Fogo was only established so a post office could be here to serve the workers who were building the plank road. Now that the road is done, they are closing the post office. We were only open for two years.” ” So you were open only from 1853 to 1855?” I ask. “Aye, Just long enough to build the plank road in this area.” He replies. “So what are you going to do when they close the post office?” I ask. “I guess I will go back and work on my brother George’s farm helping him since his son James just left to work in journalism. You know, young James was named after me. That boy sure does love to read and write stories. Who knows, maybe he will do something like that for a living.”

We thank Mr. Redpath for his time and we travel back to our time machine and set the date for May 2017, Village of Martin into our computer. As we arrive at that time and place, we look around the village and think of all the history this village and township have seen. One hundred and eighty years ago men and women traveled here from the New England states, New York and as far away as Scotland and Sweden to start their new life. They thought it was a great place to live and raise a family back then and we think it is still a great place today.

I hope you enjoyed this little history snapshot of our township and learned a little something along the way. If you have any history questions about Martin Township, please contact us at the Allegan County Historical Society’s Old Jail Museum and we may be able to answer them for you.

redpath

History of the young James Redpath; the son of George Redpath; nephew of James Redpath the postmaster:

In 1848 or 1849, Redpath and his family emigrated from Scotland to a farm in Martin, Michigan. He worked as a printer in Kalamazoo and Detroit, where he wrote antislavery articles under the pseudonym “Berwick.” Then he worked as a reporter for Horace Greeley’s New-York Tribune. An early assignment at the Tribune involved compiling “Facts of Slavery,” a regular series of articles gathered from Southern newspaper exchanges. He was a war correspondent during the Civil War and after the war he was appointed the first superintendent of public schools in the Charleston, South Carolina region. He soon had more than 100 instructors at work teaching 3,500 African-American and white students. He also founded an orphan asylum. In May 1865 in Charleston, Redpath organized the first-ever Decoration day which became Memorial Day to honor buried Union Army dead there.

Thank you to Scott Kuykendall for sending us these fascinating installments of our Martin History.

To catch up and read the other installments of Finding Fogo, click the links below…

Part 1

templeton

Part 2

thumbnail_monteith-junction

Part 3

First Steam Tractor

Scott did the fastest hour of Martin history for us this fall (you can listen to it HERE on youtube ) and he plans to come back in November and do another talk with us for Veteran’s Day.  It’s a talk you don’t want to miss!

Scott is a treasure to us here in Martin and we are so grateful for the time he has put into this Fogo segment as well as his time in general teaching us about Martin and Allegan county history.

scott-k

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Fogo, history

 

Tags: , , , , ,

New Books For May!

New Books For May!

We collected all the books that have come in lately and are just saying “Hey!  Read these in May!”  All the books are here, and yes I know it is April but we are pretty close to May.  And all these books WILL be great to read in May!

Don’t forget to follow us on Goodreads.  We “want to read” all the books we get in!

What are YOU looking forward to reading?

 

Adults:

The Burial Hour (Lincoln Rhyme #13) Fast and Loose (Stone Barrington, #41) The Fix (Amos Decker #3) The Night the Lights Went Out One Perfect Lie All By Myself, Alone A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression The Black Book Dangerous Games If I'm Found (If I Run #2) If Not for You (New Beginnings, #3) Man Overboard (Ali Reynolds, #12) The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane Vicious Circle (Joe Pickett, #17) A Bridge Across the Ocean The Cutthroat (Isaac Bell #10) The Devil's Triangle (A Brit in the FBI, #4) Never Let You Go Sweet Caroline Without Warning (J. B. Collins, #3)

Young Adult:
The End of Oz (Dorothy Must Die, #4)

Middle School:
In Over Their Heads (Under Their Skin #2) Attack of the Bayport Beast (Hardy Boys Adventures #14) I Funny: School of Laughs

Kids:
Escargot Fancy Nancy: JoJo and the Big Mess (My First I Can Read) We're All Wonders Groundhog's Runaway Shadow

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 26, 2017 in New Books

 

Finding Fogo, Part 3

Finding Fogo, Part 3

IN SEARCH OF FOGO  (part III)

 

First Steam Tractor

 

In the second part of our search for Fogo, our time machine brought us to Monteith Station in the year 1895.  We were still unable to find out who or what Fogo is so we decided to continue our search in another part of the township.  As I have said in the previous installments, Fogo is actually a part of our township’s history that was found in a very obscure document while conducting  research  on our county.

The J.C. Wheeler Public Library in Martin and the Allegan County Historical Society have joined together to answer the question “What or who is Fogo?”  Over the past few months, we have been making a journey around the Township of Martin searching for Fogo, and along the way, we have discovered and explored the history of Martin Township since its inception in 1836.

If you already know the answer, PLEASE DO NOT POST IT!  Let us not ruin the suspense of this historic journey for the rest of the history travelers. So, let us jump in our time machine and hop through time and across our township to learn about the people, places and interesting facts that make our community such a fantastic place to live today.

In our previous installment, we programed our time machine to bring us to Section 36 of our township in the year 1913. As we get out of the time machine, we look around and see a lot of black smoke filling the air. We have arrived at a place that appears to have just had a very large fire.  The Sun and the blue sky are masked by the layer of smoke that fills the air.  The fire has burned itself out, but the remains of what used to be a small village still smolders. Men stand on what used to be dirt road streets and stare at what appears to be several buildings that were overcome by fire.

Village of Hooper c1895

This was a sight seen too often in towns throughout the United States. None of the men are speaking.  They are just staring and wondering what has happened.  As we look around, we realize that we need  to make sure we are in the right place and the right time.  We see train tracks leading to one of the few buildings left standing in the distance.  Let’s walk to the building and see if it can get an answer our question.  As we walk toward the building we see a sign posted on the train track side of the building.  The sign reads “Hooper.”  This is the train station for the Village of Hooper that was located in Section 36 of the township.  That means this is the Michigan Central rail line, and we have made it to our destination.  Now we need to try and find Fogo.  If it was here in Hooper, has it survived the fire?  We will need to walk around and try and find some clues.

As we walk around to the other side of the train depot we see a man sitting on the steps by himself staring at the remains of the village.  His clothes are dirty with the soil of the fields.  His face has been browned by the Sun.  It is a look only a person who works in the fields all day could get.  As we approach him, he wipes the sweat off of his brow.  “Excuse me, sir.  We are not from this area and we were wondering if you have heard of or seen something called Fogo?” “Fogo?” The man says.  “No, don’t think I have.” “So, how much damage did the fire cause?” I ask.  “Almost the whole village is gone. About the only thing left is this depot.  The saw mill, dry goods store, warehouse, post office and most of the homes are gone now.  I think this is the end of my little town.” “Have you lived here long?” I ask. “Yes, I founded the town in 1890. My name is William H. Hooper. ”  He looks down at the ground and says “I thought this village would last longer than 23 years.”  With that clue, we all look at each other knowing that we have made it to 1913.  He looks up at us and says “ You know, even with my Village of Hooper burning down, I have had a very successful life. When I moved to Gun Plain Township with my father at the age of 12 from New York, I worked hard and took advantage of all my opportunities.  I started this village here in Martin Township. I am a successful farmer and I have a successful business selling threshers and farm machinery.  Heck, I even brought the very first steam engine that was used for farming into the county.” He stares off into the distance and then says “ I really do love this community here in Martin.  I think serving your community is important, too.  I have served as the highway commissioner, drain assessor and ran as a Democrat for County Sheriff twice.”  He chuckles a little and says “With all of these Republicans in this area, a guy like me doesn’t stand a chance in politics.  I think that whole Village of Monteith is nothing but Republicans!”  He laughs for a second and then says “Fogo, you know, now that I think about it, I think I heard someone say something about Fogo at one of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows meetings in Martin Corners a few months back.  I think I heard someone say something about Fogo and James Redpath and that it had been over 50 years.  I wasn’t really listening to the conversation, so that is all I can remember.”

Well, this is the best clue we have gotten so far!  Let us get in our time machine and program  Martin Corners, 1855 into the computer and see if we are able to finally solve the mystery of Who or What is Fogo?

 

(Writer’s Comment)  After the September, 1913 fire, The Village of Hooper never rebuilt and by 1916, the railroad was sold and the depot closed.  That same year, the post office moved to Gun Plain Township marking the official end of the village.


 

Thanks SO MUCH to Scott Kuykendall for his time on these posts.  To find out more Allegan History, visit the Old Jail Museum in Allegan and be sure to thank Scott for these great posts!

scott-k

Miss some Finding Fogo posts?

Finding Fogo Part One

templeton

Finding Fogo Part Two

thumbnail_monteith-junction

 

 
 

Tags: , , ,

New Books for March

In full disclosure, I am about to tell you about the new books that have been put on the shelves BUT…..there is a box of new books sitting behind me that has some delicious titles and there is a box on its way that Alicia is so excited to have arrive and yet dreading it because there are going to be some must read books in there.

March is reading month!  And apparently it is new books month too.

But here are the books that we have recently put up in the library:

Bone Box (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #24) Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West Long Time Gone (The Cimarron Legacy, #2) Springtime of the Spirit (The Great War, #3) Treasured Grace (Heart of the Frontier #1)

This Baldacci book is another in his teen series.

The Width of the World (Vega Jane, #3)

The I Survived series that your kids love?  These are more from that author but true stories!

Tornado Terror: True Tornado Survival Stories and Amazing Facts from History and Today (I Survived True Stories, #3)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 10, 2017 in New Books

 

All You Need For a Snowman

All You Need For a Snowman
What an adorably small group for Toddler Time today.
 
It was fun to see the three Toddlers we had at toddler time really show off their personalities today.
 
For singing, there were lots of shouts of joy and peals of giggles as all their favorite songs were requested and immediately sang.
 
When it was time to sing about dear Old MacDonald, he had a kitty, a horse and an alpaca on his farm.
 
Yes, an alpaca.
 
We learned the sound that an alpaca makes thanks to the little girl who requested an Alpaca and added it to our song. You can learn something new every day!
 
And while the weather is a balmy 50 degrees with a little rain this morning and sunshine now so it feels all springy out, we had a snowman story and craft.
 
Our story was All You Need for a Snowman.

All You Need for a Snowman

 
And when the story was done, we had all we needed for a snowman face at our tables!
dscn4732We didn’t actually use the glue sticks. Miss Denise was sure they must be needed because we need glue every Toddler Time but Miss Alicia had not set them out and Miss Alicia knew we did not need them. That glue all over the paper plate pretty much takes care of the need for a glue stick.

 

After painting a special glue all over the paper plate, the snowman face parts were pressed on and then it was covered in glitter. Easy and sparkly!
dscn4738
 
We attempted many photos of the group but Miss Denise couldn’t get the camera to take them fast enough to get the awesome shots we knew we could have had.
dscn4748
 
Join us next week for a another snowman craft. It will be cold next week – different people have very different feelings about hearing that news – but snow man day next Tuesday as well!
 
Join us on Tuesdays at 10:30 am for Toddler Time at the library. We have coloring pages set out until 10:45 and then it is singing, reading a story, craft time, a quick snack of some kind of crackers usually and then time to play with toys while parents chat. Come on out to the library and join us!
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 22, 2017 in Craft, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Newer Books at the Library

Newer Books at the Library

If I say Newer Books does that make them sound even more interesting????  I don’t know.  But I thought it was worth a try.  These are NEWER books then say, oh, a week or so ago.

Today the sun is shining and you just went to get out and soak up that Vitamin D.  That’s what Michiganders are like.  First hint of spring and we are all outdoors.  Why not bring a book along with you?  Maybe set up that hammock and snuggle with a blanket if you get chilled.  Sounds wonderful to me!

Here are brand new books in at the library:

Adults –

Heartbreak Hotel (Alex Delaware, #32) Humans, Bow Down Most Dangerous Place (Jack Swyteck, #13) A Piece of the World Racing the Devil (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #19) Moving Target (Elite Guardians #3) A Note Yet Unsung (Belmont Mansion, #3) Rescue Me (Montana Rescue, #2) Right Behind You (Quincy & Rainie, #7) Still Life (Chesapeake Valor #2) Dining with Joy (Lowcountry Romance, #3) A Heart Once Broken (The St. Lawrence County Amish #1) More Than a Dream The Postcard (Amish Country Crossroads, #1) Rebecca's Promise (Adams County #1) Rebecca's Return (Adams County, #2) Until I Love Again

Young Adult –

Silver Stars (Front Lines, #2)

Picture Books –

Mighty, Mighty Construction Site

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 20, 2017 in New Books

 

Tags: ,

Finding Fogo Part 2

Finding Fogo Part 2

We have another installment of Finding Fogo by Scott Kuykendall. Have you figured out the mystery yet?

If you missed Part One, click HERE to go back and read it!

 

IN SEARCH OF FOGO (part II)

In the last installment, we started our journey traveling North on the Plank Road searching for Fogo. We still do not know who or what Fogo is but we will know who or what it is when we find it. As I said in the first installment, Fogo is actually a part of our township’s history that was found in a very obscure document while conducting research on our county.

The Martin Public Library and the Allegan County Historical Society have joined together to answer the question “What or who is Fogo?” Over the next few months, we will be making a journey around the Township of Martin searching for Fogo, and along the way, we will discover and explore the history of Martin Township since its inception in 1836.

If you already know the answer, PLEASE DO NOT POST IT! Let us not ruin the suspense of this historic journey for the rest of the history travelers. So, let us jump in our time machine and hop through time and across our township to learn about the people, places and interesting facts that make our community such a fantastic place to live today.

In our last installment, our time machine brought us to Section 32, Monteith Station, 1895. As we get out of the time machine we look around at a populated and bustling little village. We can see a building just off to our left. Maybe that will tell us if we are in the right spot. We walk over to the building and we see a sign on the front of the building: MONTEITH POST OFFICE. We made it. Right beside the door there is another sign: POSTMASTER: JOHN JAMES NEELEY. Neely was the first postmaster when the post office opened in 1871. We now know we are at the right location.

thumbnail_monteith-junction

About a hundred yards in the distance, we can see the train depot. Let us walk over to the depot and maybe we will find Fogo. As we walk up to the train depot, we see the sign on the front of the building. MONTEITH STATION. This was a very important little town in Allegan County during this time. This was the crossing point for the East/West and North/South rail lines. The Grand Rapids and Indiana line went North/South and the Allegan and Southeastern line (also known as the Michigan Lake Shore line) went East/West. In about 20 years, this town is going to be even more important when the electric interurban starts running through here. We look around the depot, but there are no signs of Fogo.

As we walk out of the depot, we see a man standing next to us with his horse. He is dressed very nicely and does not appear to be a common worker. Could he be Fogo? We walk over to the man and I say “Excuse me, sir. We are not from this area and we were wondering how Monteith got its name.” The man smiles at us and says “Let me introduce myself. I am William T. Monteith. My father, Thomas Monteith, bought the land in section 32 of this township in 1836 when the U.S. Government was selling the land in Western Michigan. It’s named after my family” He then smiles at us and says “Do you want to hear about my family?” We all sit on the depot bench and await his first words. “My Grandfather came from Scotland in 1743 and settled in New York. That’s where the rest of our family was born. My Grandfather also fought in the Revolutionary War. My older brother, Walter, and I came here in 1837.

thumbnail_walter-monteith

We brought a team from Livingston County, New York all the way to Plainwell. From that point, there were no roads cut yet and we had to take an Indian path up to our land. There were only two families in the township at that time. The Eldreds and the Whites. When we first got to the land my brother’s farm is on now, we built a small log cabin and cleared and sowed ten acres of wheat. That is how we got our start. My father, Thomas, eventually came out here from New York in 1841 giving me and my brother, Walter, a quarter of Section 32 each. The farms you see on our land are the result of hard work and today, the Monteith family owns over a 1,000 acres in this township. There are several people who have told me that our family has done more to advance growth and prosperity of the county than any other family. My father paid to have the first church built in the township. The building is a mile south of Martin Corners and it is being used as a school today. They call it school number one. My family has also been involved in politics in the county and the township. ” He hops up onto his horse and says “I need to head home now. My wife, Margery, is holding dinner for me.” Mr. Monteith had a great story, but he is not Fogo.

monteith-farm-scene

So far, we have not had any luck with finding Fogo, so we decide to travel a little east on what is now 114th Avenue. We travel for about a mile on this dirt road. The Monteith family owns all of the farm land and trees in sight. Then we get to section 28 on our left. There, the land is owned by R.H. Wylie. And then we see it. A small building on the road just to the left of us! Is this Fogo? We race over to the building and see a sign on the front. OAKSHADE School No.4. This is the school for Monteith. It was located east of 8th Street on 114th Avenue. Well, it is not Fogo, but it is the second school we have found so far. We do not feel that Fogo is in this area so we head back to our time machine

Now that we are back in the time machine, we enter Section 36, 1913 into our computer. Let us hope we can find Fogo there.

Thank you for your time involved in this, Scott Kuykendall.  We are REALLY enjoying these!

scott-k

Check out more information (and maybe some clues!) at the Old Jail Museum.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 19, 2017 in Fogo, history

 

Tags: , , ,