I remember a trip taken when I was young, 1988 based on the photos, with my parents and grandparents (Alexander and Edna McKenzie) . We often took long drives, sometimes to find that "perfect garage sale", sometimes just to drive. On this trip we visited several places in and near Montmorency County, Michigan.
I recently came across several photos that help to document this trip. The photos were taken by my mother and notes were written on the back by her as she was told by Edna Jean (Burt) McKenzie.
Because there are so many amazing stories that go along with these locations and photos, this blog post will be somewhat of a tease. My intention is to write a separate blog post, containing the story behind each of these locations and their relevance to my family history. I will not, however, leave you hanging completely. In this blog post, I will provide a summary of each location.
Lilac Bush where Lenora Burt is Buried
Lenora Burt was born and died on February 15, 1908 in Albert, Montmorency, Michigan to Ernest N. Burt and Lavina (Hawley) Burt. Lenora's death certificate lists the undertaker as "The Father Ernest N. Burt" and Burial Location as Albert Township. Lenora was buried under a Lilac Bush. Pieces of this lilac bush have been transplanted and place near the homes of several McKenzie family Members.
Witness Tree (William Austin Burt)
There is a tree in the Pigeon River Forest State Park in Ostego County, Michigan called "The Witness Tree". A witness tree was commonly used by surveyors to serve as a reference point to establish the corner line in a survey. A mark was sometimes cut into the trunk and the location of the witness tree was noted in the surveyor’s field report. A red pine in the Pigeon River Country State Forest was marked as such in 1850 during the original land survey of Michigan by William Austin Burt. Family lore has always been there is some relation between my Burt Family and William Austin Burt. I have not yet found this connection, but I will explore this possibility in a future post.
William Hawley Homestead
Photos of Wlliam Hawley's homestead in Hillman, Montmorency, Michigan
Faught Lake (Named after Mary Anna Faught??)
On the back of the photo is written "Faught Lake in Montmorency County, named after Great Grandma McKenzie (Ann Faught) Road 622". There are several lakes near County Road 622 in Montmorency County. None that I have found are called Faught Lake. I will provide more information about my investigation in a future post.
Original Location of McKenzie School House
On the back of the photo is written "Water Pump at old Mckenzie school site at Atlanta Baker Rd". The McKenzie school house took it's name from Jeremiah McKenzie, my 2nd great grand uncle, the half brother of Alexander Orlando McKenzie. Jeremiah and Alexander build the schoolhouse so that their children could attend school. The schoolhouse has was moved from it's original location on Baker Rd in Atlanta to the Montmorency Fair Grounds to be used as a Museum and a testament to the early settlers of Montmorency County.
Nigrath School in Hillman
On the back of the photo is written "Nigrarth School of Hillman where Grandma Burt went to school. They tied rags around there feet in the winter time because they didn't have shoes". Grandma Burt would have been Lavina May (Hawley) Burt.
I hope you are looking forward to learning more about each of these locations. I know I am looking forward to sharing the stories.
Lesson Learned: I will always remember the road trips we took with my grandparents. As a typical child, I probably wasn't thrilled about them at the time, but now, as I look back, I am so thankful for the memories we made on those trips. I am also thankful for my Grandmother's appreciation for family history and the wonderful photos that I will be able to cherish as a result.
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My name is Rebecca Walbecq. My maiden name is McKenzie. My Genealogy journey began about 15 years ago after talking to my grandma about her family. The spark was lit and since then genealogy has become my passion!
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