A Taste of Beekeeping History

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Winter 2012,
Winter 2012

Author: Roger Sutherland

Did you know that Michigan used to be the center of honey bee queen rearing in this country? That more clover honey was produced in the Thumb than anywhere else? That the Michigan Beekeepers’ Association is the oldest continuous bee association in the country? That much of the early honey bee research was done at Michigan State University? That Michigan, which continually ranks in the top ten honey-producing states, has played a major role in beekeeping history?

Beekeeping is perhaps the oldest form of agriculture in the United States and the world. In the mid to late 1700s, the early pioneers and Native Americans in the Ypsilanti area and Southeastern Michigan began to notice the arrival of a new kind of insect, one that was different from other bees and insects. This new arrival made nests in cavities of trees or buildings. It stored quantities of honey and wintered over in large numbers. Each spring the colonies swarmed and filled the air creating a loud noise. Native Americans referred to these new arrivals as the “Lazy white man’s flies.” Conventional wisdom at that time was that these insects signaled the impending arrival of large numbers of white men and their families.

Scientifically the new arrival would be named Apis mellifera or honey bee to differentiate it from the bumble bee or any other native bee. It is thought that Apis mellifera originated in the Middle East or Northern Africa, the only one of the four known honey bee species to make nests in cavities. The other three species make exposed wax comb nests readily exploited by mammals (including man), birds, and insects.

In areas where there were large mature trees, honey bees made nests in hollow tree cavities. Beekeepers would locate these trees, cut openings into the nest, remove the honey and maintain the nest. To establish legal ownership of the nest, their initials were carved into the tree; this was a common practice up through the late 1700s in the Michigan Territory and throughout the United States.

When maintaining these hives in trees away from home became less desirable, beekeepers would cut the trees down and transport the logs containing hives to their homes. These hives became known as a “log gum hives.” In areas where grains such as wheat and rye were raised, beekeepers would make straw rope and weave it into a basket-shaped hives called skeps.

Honey was useful to mankind in many ways. It was the only sweetening used until granulated sugar and maple syrup became available in the early 1600s. It served not only as a food, but also as a medicine and a preservative. Some beekeepers added water to liquid honey and allowed it to ferment to produce a wine called mead, probably the first wine known to mankind. In the middle ages, honey wine was served as a ceremonial wine at weddings. It was common practice to give the new bride and groom enough mead to last until the next full moon to insure a happy marriage and healthy offspring. The name given to this period was the “honeymoon.” Beeswax, the empty cells in which honey is stored, had a number of important uses: candles, sealant for canned goods, cosmetics and other uses too numerous to address here.

After the arrival and establishment of honey bees in Virginia and Massachusetts, bees began to move westward after swarming each year; it is estimated that they moved about 50 miles a year. The first documented honey bee swarm in Southeast Michigan was reported in 1776. When Michigan homesteaders began clearing the forest for cultivation, bee trees could be maintained on location, split open for removal of the honey and bees, or cut apart and transported to a place where other such nests had been established-an apiary.

In the late 1700s and throughout the 1800s, many scientific experiments were conducted to learn more about honey bee biology. Observations made in 1792 by Francois Huber, who was blind, and his servant determined that queen bees were developed from worker bees, that the queen (not king) ruled the hive, and that the cause of swarming was overcrowding. In 1851, Reverend Lorenzo Langstroth developed the 10 frame movable frame hive which essentially did away with the skep and revolutionized the beekeeping industry. The interior dimensions of the hive were based on the principle of “bee space.” Langstroth realized that bees leave open a space of 5/16”, build extra wax comb in spaces over 3/8” and deposit propolis (a gummy substance from plants) in spaces of ¼” or less. Rev. Langstroth became known as the “Father of Modern Beekeeping.”

For the commercial beekeeper, who has hundreds of hives to move, his hives are trucked to Florida in the fall to pollinate the citrus crop. Then in January, these hives are moved to California for pollination of the almonds, a period of about two weeks, before returning to Florida. As spring approaches, there are pollination contracts to fulfill in Georgia, Tennessee, and other southern states before moving northward along the east coast, finally ending up in the blueberry fields in Maine. This practice is very stressful to the bees themselves and often results in unhealthy bees.

Black bears have become a problem to Michigan beekeepers especially in the northern part of the state. While the bear has a bad reputation for destroying many colonies in Michigan as well as in other states, the bear and honey have had a long positive relationship in marketing honey and this is how it came about: It all started in Canada in 1914 when Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian from Winnipeg, was drafted into the Canadian Expeditionary Force in charge of the Calvary horses being sent to France to fight in World War I. When he arrived in White River, a mother black bear had been killed leaving twin cubs. Harry Colebourn purchased one of the cubs and took it with him on the train headed for Val Cartier, Quebec. When they sailed to England, the cub, now named Winnipeg (or Winnie), became a tamed, welcome pet aboard ship. In England, the bear slept in the soldier’s tent and was taught tricks and loved by all.

Soon Captain Colebourn received orders to be shipped to France. Knowing that Winnie could not accompany him, he made arrangements with the London Zoo to look after the bear until he returned from France. Winnie immediately became a favorite attraction for everyone. She would allow children to ride on her back and would eat from their hands.

Two of the zoo visitors, A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin, were especially taken by Winnie. Christopher added the name Pooh to the bear’s name and even had a birthday party at the zoo with friends and Winnie as well. A.A. Milne started to write stories about a lovable honey-loving bear in a book called Winnie-the-Pooh.

Harry Colebourn decided to leave the bear at the zoo when he went back to Canada. Winnie died in May 1934 when she was twenty years old. By now millions of children had read about Winnie-the-Pooh and her adventures with Christopher Robin and the other animals in the story.

Since 1966, my wife and I have been keeping bees in Superior Township. During those 46 years we have witnessed major changes in maintaining viable hives. For the first 20 years our winter colony losses were 10-15%. Colonies were strong early each spring and honey production averaged 100+ pounds per hive. Mated queens could last 3 to 5 years before replacement; now queens last only 1 or 2 months.

Since 1985, there has been one new problem after another affecting our colonies. Winter colony losses now average 30 -50% and colonies that do survive are often very weak in the spring. Honey yields are now in the range of 60-70 pounds per hive and in some years no honey can be removed because 60 to 90 pounds of honey must be left in the hive for the bees to consume over the winter.

The list of causes related to bee health and survival is too long to detail and new threats seem to arise each year without the removal of past problems. Problems since 1985 include: two parasitic mites which have built up immunity to the medications being used for control; the use of new pesticides used in agriculture that affect the health of the honey bee; colony collapse disease; and a fungus disease called Nosema.

Northern states like Michigan often have long cold winters which greatly stress honey bees. After the long and cold winter of 2010-11, colony losses were more than 50% in Southeastern Michigan. While the mild winter of 2011-12 favored winter survival, the early warm Michigan spring caused blossoming in March of apple, peach and pear trees as well as locust and basswood, blossoms that were frozen in April. As a result, there was no supply of nectar for bees when it was needed to produce honey.

Making matters worse has been the drought of this summer which has dramatically reduced nectar secretion in flowers. To make up for the loss of nectar, beekeepers must feed their bees sugar syrup which will make them less likely to consume their winter honey stores. We can only hope that our bees survive the winter of 2012-13.

In spite of all the problems, we still enjoy working with honey bees and continue to learn more about this fascinating insect. One of our greatest joys is sharing honey bee information with others.

[Roger Sutherland, active in the local honey bee program, is a supporter of honey bee restoration efforts.]

Photo Captions:

1. Beekeeping is perhaps the oldest form of agriculture in the United States and the world

2. Beekeepers would locate bee nests in hollow tree cavities, cut openings into the nest and remove the honey

3. In 1851, Reverend Lorenzo Langstroth developed the 10 frame movable frame hive which revolutionized the beekeeping industry

4. Pooh Bear in the “Hunny Pot”

Roberts' Corner

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Fall 2012,
Fall 2012
Original Images:

Author: James Mann

Until recently there stood a house by the intersection of Michigan Avenue and U. S. 23, notable for many perhaps, because it stood alone surrounded by overgrown wild grass. The house had the appearance of neglect and age. The house was old as it was built in 1840. This was the site of Robert’s Corner.

This was the farm of the Roberts family, on the old Chicago Road, now Michigan Avenue. The house was originally a stage coach stop, where the horses were changed, and travelers could relax for a bit. What became the dining room was at first the tavern, where whiskey was two or three cents a shot.

In the traven was a large fireplace, where travelers would circle around and tell stories, or gaze into the flames of the fire as steaks were broiled. This fireplace was also a means for deciding the order in which guests were treated to rounds of drinks. “When time lagged and excitement was wanted, someone suggested that they all lie down in front of the fireplace for the drinks. A circle was drawn from one corner of the hearth to the other out and away from the fire about an arm’s length. All stretched out on the floor with their heads to the mark and extended an arm toward the fire. He who could leave his hand against the heat the longest time would be the winner. The one with the shortest arm usually won. The first to give up was the first to treat, and so on in turn. The last one only would be the real winner,” noted The Ypsilanti Record of Thursday, February 8, 1917.

In May of 1911 a new bride arrived at the farm named Clara Roberts. Charles married the former school teacher in the Episcopal Church. The couple made the journey to the farm in a carriage from the livery of Oliver Westfall. The couple had to wait as the wheels were changed to runners, as there was eight feet of snow on the ground. As they rode to the farm, the couple probably snuggled close for warmth, as it was eight degrees below zero. At the time what is now Michigan Avenue was a single dirt track road.

Years later Clara would see the first improvements in the road, as the farm was the headquarters for the crew. The workers were, for the most part, prison labor. The heavy work was done with teams of horses and the men slept in a huge tent in the field behind the barn.

“Water from the Roberts farm was used exclusively for a distance of ten miles along the roadway and a doctor, imprisoned in a notorious abortion case, was responsible for its purity. Although the men were fed state food and had their own cooks many had money of their own and supplemented the meals with sandwiches and pie made by Mrs. Roberts. The doctor took the orders from the men, made the deliveries and saw that Mrs. Roberts was paid. She remembers that their favorite pie was lemon,” reported The Ypsilanti Press of May 22, 1961. Clara Roberts was still on the farm when modern machines were used to pave and widen the road, by changing the landscape to its present shape.

Roberts Corner had another landmark as well, that of a concession stand. For at least 32 years the Netterfield family parked their concession stand at the intersection of West Michigan and Carpenter Road. Rows of yellow lights flashed on and off to beckon families to stop for a few minutes to purchase popcorn, candy apples and more.

Every year the Netterfield family traveled from Tampa, Florida to work the fair and carnival season. Paul Netterfield had found the spot at the intersection and stayed for a week, and then two weeks, then three. Then, for years after, the family would arrive in April and open the trailer for business until the Fourth of July, when the fair season began. There is only one newspaper clipping from The Ypsilanti Press in the Roberts file in the Archives to tell the story. Whoever clipped the story from the paper forgot to write the date of publication of the story. Then again, there are still those who remember.

(James Mann is a local author and historian, a regular contributor to the Gleanings, and a volunteer in the YHS Archives.)

Photo Caption:

Photo 1: Roberts Corner was located at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and U. S. 23.

A Cow For The Ages

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Summer 2012,
Summer 2012
Original Images:

Author: Laura Bien

(This story first appeared in the Ann Arbor Chronicle.)

Ypsilanti has never lacked for beauties, as any conductor on the one-time Packard Road interurban could have told you. Hordes of U-M boys crowded the streetcars on weekends en route to their belles at Ypsilanti’s teacher training school (EMU). On the way, the young men unknowingly passed the home, at Packard and Golfside, of another belle more famous than any Normal girl. She was quiet and stocky, yet viewed as beautiful. She had numerous relatives at the insane asylum at Pontiac, which in her case was regarded as a prestigious lineage. Thousands statewide knew her name. Many owned her children. Pontiac De Nijlander was the state’s epitome of cow excellence in an era characterized, in the agricultural sphere, by what could be called Michigan’s turn-of-the-century “Holstein fever.”

A typical big-bodied black-and-white- splotched Holstein, Pontiac De Nijlander lived at Ypsiland. The 180-acre farm extended from Packard to Ellsworth, bordered on its east side by Golfside Road and owned by brothers Norris and Herbert Cole. Norris eventually bought his brother’s share and became sole proprietor of the farm, whose principal business was breeding top-quality Holstein bulls and cows.

Of Dutch origin, the breed had established its supremacy at an 1887 “battle of the breeds” in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Four hundred cows from the four top dairy breeds - Guernsey, Jersey, Ayrshire, and Holstein - competed to see which breed was the best producer of milk and butter. The Jersey Cattle Club was confident that their breed would win the butter contest. They commissioned an elegant silver cup for the winner, engraved with the image of a stately Jersey cow. In a surprise upset, the cup was won by Clothilde, a now-legendary Holstein. Today the Jersey cup resides in the Holstein Association USA headquarters in Brattleboro, Vermont.

“Previous to this public test and victory,” wrote Frederick Houghton in a 1911 edition of the Holstein-Freisian Register, “whenever the Holsteins were spoken of as butter cows a sarcastic smile would illuminate the faces of the breeders of what had been termed the butter breeds. Not so now.” The large, high-yielding breed spread to Michigan and breeders’ clubs formed on the county, regional, and state level. Prior to purebred breeds’ arrival in the state, most farms had a few head of “grade,” or ordinary, non-purebred cattle. High yields convinced many to switch to purebred, registered Holsteins.

Michigan breeders sought cows from the most prestigious Holstein family lines, such as the Clothilde line, that began with the silver-cup-winning cow, which had been imported from the Netherlands in 1880. The Aaggie line originated from a Dutch cow imported in 1879. The De Kol line began with another Dutch cow imported in 1885. Other famous lines included the Glista, Johanna, Korndyke, Netherland, Pauline Paul, Pietertje, and Segis lines.

A cow’s or bull’s name generally reflected (and still reflects, with modern breeders) her or his birth-farm and maternal and paternal lineage. One bull named Ypsiland Korndyke DeKol Pietertje born at Ypsiland around 1907 and later sold to a Howell dairyman likely had the blood of the Korndyke, DeKol, and Pietertje lines.

Somewhat arcane, the art of cattle nomenclature occasionally stumped even cattlemen, as illustrated in a vignette from the May 15, 1915 edition of Brownell’s Dairy Farmer magazine, formerly The Michigan Dairy Farmer: “A group of the ‘old guard,’ at the recent Howell sale, were discussing the names of various Holstein sires, among which was that of the sire owned by a prominent Livingston County breeder. The last word of the name of this sire is ‘Mobel.’

All doubt as to the origin of this word was set aside by H. W. Norton, Jr. ‘The word ‘Mobel,”’ he said, ‘is spelled in that manner because it is the masculine of ‘Mabel.’” ‘Well, I never knew that before,’ said a young breeder, as the veterans made frantic efforts to keep their faces straight.”

Michigan had its own prominent Holstein lines developed within the state. One of the best was the Pontiac line, bred at the Pontiac State Hospital, formerly called the Eastern Michigan Asylum for the Insane. At the time, many Michigan state and county institutions owned registered Holstein herds. The milk was welcome and breeding programs were profitable: the Pontiac asylum’s initial purchase of cattle worth $1,500 increased in value to $60,000 eighteen years later (about $1.5 million today). Branch County’s Coldwater State Public School for Needy and Dependent Children had a herd that included the registered bull >em>Commodore Pietertje De Kol Aakrum. The herd provided all the daily milk needed for the staff and 270 or so children. Wayne County’s poorhouse and asylum, Eloise, developed a purebred herd of 107 animals. The Traverse City State Hospital’s cow Traverse Colantha Walker broke milk producing records in her lifetime. The Michigan Farm Colony for Epileptics in Tuscola County, the Michigan Home and Training School in Lapeer County, the state reform school in Ionia County, and the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint all maintained good-quality Holstein herds.

Cows and bulls from the Pontiac line were sold at high prices to breeders around the state. One purchased by the Cole brothers in Ypsilanti, The Pontiacs King, became one of several sires of Ypsiland’s herd. Investing in good-quality animals paid off; by 1915, Ypsiland had bred and sold 36 bulls to cattlemen in Bay City, Lansing, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Howell, and other Michigan locations. Ypsiland owner Norris Cole had stature in the local Holstein community. When the Washtenaw Holstein Association formed in December of 1915, he was elected to an office, as noted in an account of the group’s inaugural meeting in the January 1, 1916 edition of Brownell’s Dairy Farmer: “The election of officers was next to order. Harvey S. Day (Veteran Willis breeder) was urged to become president but firmly refused. William B. Hatch was proposed, (but refused). Norris A. Cole was also nominated. He attempted to decline, but the breeders were becoming tired of this custom and Mr. Cole was forced to take the office . . . Harvey S. Day was nominated and elected vice president before he could rise to his feet to decline.”

Part of Norris’ local eminence at the meeting was due to one of his cows who had recently smashed a state record for butter production. Born on March 10, 1908 at the Pontiac asylum and purchased by the Cole brothers a year later, Pontiac De Nijlander was the daughter of Pontiac Apollo and the granddaughter of the legendary bull Hengerveld De Kol.

A standard test of the day was the “7-day test,” during which week a given cow’s output was measured. Pontiac De Nijlander outstripped all other Michigan cows by producing 35.43 pounds of butter, a number that Norris immediately featured in his ongoing Brownell’s Dairy Farmer advertisements for Ypsiland. Until that point, a 30-pound cow had been considered exceptional.

Other breeders took note and were quick to point out their own cattle’s relationship to Pontiac De Nijlander in their advertisements in 1914 editions of Brownell’s Dairy Farmer. Bay City breeder W. A. Wilder extolled his heifers who were bred to a bull whose aunt was Pontiac De Nijlander. Redford breeder Martin McLaulin pointed out that his cow Pontiac Hazel was an aunt of Pontiac De Nijlander. Flint breeder J. E. Burroughs said that the famed Ypsiland cow was the mother of his herd’s sire. Perry breeder C. R. Wilkinson stated that his bull had Pontiac De Nijlander as a grandmother. Azalia breeder Fred Bachman said that the mother of his prize bull was a “3/4 sister to the great cow, Pontiac De Nijlander.”

Pontiac De Nijlander’s achievements were eclipsed over time as dairy cattle breeding continued to improve. During the Depression, individual cows were producing an annual average of 4,379 pounds of milk, a figure that climbed to 5,512 by 1955, 8,080 by 1965, 10,360 by 1975, and 18,204 by the year 2000. One recent champion, Wisconsin’s Ever Green View My 1326 ET, produced 72,120 pounds of milk in a year, or 23 gallons per day, aided by bovine growth hormone.

Over time the profile of dairy farms changed as well. In 1940, the nation’s 4.6 million dairy farms (farms that just happened to have a cow or two were included) had an average herd size of 5 cows. By 1970, the nation’s 647,860 dairy farms each held roughly 19 cows. By 1990, 192,000 farms each held an average of 55 cows, climbing to 88 in 2000. Today at large dairies, the number is often several hundred head of cow. Holsteins are by far the dominant breed in modern American dairy farming, with Michigan the nation’s eighth largest dairy producer.

A subdivision now occupies the site where Pontiac De Nijlander once nibbled grass alongside Golfside Road. Though she is long gone, her DNA lives on in modern Holsteins, and the “Pontiac” line name still occasionally surfaces in the names of prize-winning Holsteins. From asylum to accolades, one Ypsilanti cow broke the records of her day and won fame for Washtenaw County.

(Laura Bien is the author of “Hidden History of Ypsilanti” and “Tales from the Ypsilanti Archives.”)

Editor's Note:
We were on the train, traveling across the Ontario countryside. My father and I were accompanying my grandmother home after a visit to Michigan. There were cows grazing in the fields. I asked my grandmother what kind of cows my grandfather had raised. Were they black and white ones?

“Oh dear, no!” my normally mild mannered Granny exclaimed. Clearly Grandpa Porter would not have gone within 20 yards of a Holstein. His dairy herds were Guernsey, like Elsie the Cow. My grandfather was a college-trained dairyman (Guelph) who managed herds for large dairy farm owners. The herdsman was responsible for maintaining the purity of the breed among other things. His last dairy farm was Brookwater Farm in Webster Town- ship.

Every year my grandmother faithfully attended the Canadian Exhibition on Toronto’s lakeshore. She headed for the Dairy Pavilion. One year I went with her. We made our way to the major attraction, a very large sculpture made of butter. To Granny, it was a thing of beauty. To me, while interesting, it was also a little strange.

I have my own form of loyalty to the breed. Whenever possible my choice of milk is from Guernsey Farms.

-Peg Porter, Gleanings Assistant Editor

[Photo caption from original print edition]: A photo from the 1914 Holstein-Friesian Register highlights the business end of the famed 35-pound [producing] Ypsilanti cow, Pontiac De Nijlande

[Photo caption from original print edition]: A full-page ad [left] for the Pontiac State Hospital herd shows a barn decorated with the nameplates of past champion cattle. At lower left is Pontiac Nijlander’s father, Pontiac Apollo. (1 August 1914, Michigan Dairy Farmer.)

[Photo caption from original print edition]: Above: Ypsiland Farms proudly declared itself as “home of Pontiac De Nijlander” in this wordy 1914 ad from the Michigan Dairy Farmer.

George Hammond and Simmocolon Stock Farm

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Summer 2011,
Summer 2011
Original Images:

Author: James Mann

South of the city of Ypsilanti, on Whittaker Road, where the Kroger Store is now located, was once the site of one of the noted farms of the area. This was the site of the Simmocolon Stock Farm, owned by George Hammond. It is a sad tale of wealth; misplaced ambition, and perhaps personal reform.

George H. Hammond inherited a fortune from his father, also named George Hammond, who had made his money in the meat packing business in Detroit. Sometime, perhaps in the early 1880’s, the son purchased the Pierce place south of Ypsilanti, a fine farm of some 200 acres.

He was a likely young fellow when he started the farm, noted The Washtenaw Times of Wednesday, October 17, 1900. “He was highstrung and headstrong, and he astonished the local agricultural gentry by his evidences of wealth. He paid a pretty penny for the Pierce place, which was a mighty likely farm with good buildings and a living creek running clear through it, and he proceeded at once to show the neighbors what a real-up-to-date farmer could do. He stocked the farm with sheep at the outset. Anyone who attended the Detroit exposition in the late 1880’s cannot fail to remember the fine round Shropshires that used to occupy the sheep pens under the name of the Hammond farm. He paid as high as $1,000 for Shropshire rams, and they say his ewes of the same breed ran into two or three hundred of money apiece. The wish boys among the Washtenaw farmers wouldn’t give $1,000 for the Shorpshires, with the rams and ewes thrown in, and there consequently wasn’t much sale for the high-priced stock.”

Unable to sell the sheep at a profit, he sold them at a loss, and then turned his attention to horses. Now he dreamed of having the finest horse breeding and training establishment to be found. Hammond spent the money to make his dream real. The Ypsilanti Commercial of Friday, January 3, 1893, reprinted a description of the farm, from Michigan Horse News. “The place consists of 250 rolling acres through which courses a stream of fresh water, so that every field in the low lands has water in it for the grazing stock and the great steam pump furnishes the high lands and stables with the best quality of water. There are three stables which contain 65 stalls 10 x 14 feet in dimension. The first barn is 45 x 240 feet and contains 40 stalls; the second is 24 x 209 feet and contains16 stalls; and the third is 40 x 40 feet and contains nine stalls. Besides the above there are other barns for farm horses, implements, grain and hay. All the barns are heated by steam, and there is an electric light plant on the place which furnishes the modern incandescence to every nook and corner of the Simmocolon farm.”

“A perfect regulation mile track has been constructed by Mr. Blinn, of Chicago, a veteran at the business,” continued the account, “and upon this smooth course the colt trotters in the Lexington of Michigan receive the instruction and training which will make them winners on the great work-day turf.”

“The box stalls,” noted The Washtenaw Times, “were finished in Georgia pine and quartered oak, with wrought iron fittings fine enough for a banking office. The whole outfit was horseman’s dream.” The account noted he had built a house, “half as big as Belle Isle park casino.”
Hammond bred and trained horses, but his opinion of the value of the horses was not shared by those who might have purchased some, and so the horses stayed on the farm. George liked to gamble as well as breed and train horses, and his betting took its toll on his resources. By 1900 he could no longer afford the farm.

“The mile track is weed grown. The electric light plant is eating itself away in rust. The big house is occupied by Mrs. Hammond, who is doing her best to make the balance of the horses pay the pressing debts. The covered track is falling into decay, as any wooden building a quarter of a mile long will fall into decay.”

On the 27th of October, 1900, the last of the horses and farm implements were sold. His wife Bella divorced George in 1902 on the grounds of extreme cruelty. She claimed two years before he had threatened to kill her,” and according to The Ypsilantian of September 25, 1932, “and did attempt to strangle her, being prevented by her mother.”

On November 1, 1902, George Hammond opened a butcher shop at 840 Third Avenue in Detroit. When a caller stopped by his shop he stepped forward to greet the caller, clad in the conventional white apron of the butcher. “This is my business,” said Hammond, to The Detroit Journal in a story republished by The Ypsilanti Sentinel - Commercial of Thursday, December 18, 1902. “No one else has anything to say about it, nor are they concerned in it. I’m getting along very nicely, but if you want to learn anything about me you’ll have to go elsewhere.”

(James Mann is a local historian and author, a volunteer in the YHS Archives, and a regular contributor to the Gleanings.)

The Farmer and the Poet

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, Winter 2010,
Winter 2010
Original Images:

Winter 2010

Author: Laura Bien

Well-remembered are Robert Frost’s three sojourns to the University of Michigan in the 1920s, and his house on Pontiac Trail, now at the Henry Ford Museum. Forgotten are the works of Ypsilanti poet-farmer William Lambie.

Lambie belonged to a generation earlier than Frost, but like Frost, Lambie had Scottish blood and took as his subject the natural world. Unlike Frost, he never left the occupation of farming or made much money. Lambie never won anything more for his verses than friends’ approval, with one exception – a penny postcard that Lambie valued as priceless. The postcard came from another poet whom Lambie admired.

Lambie emigrated to the U.S. in 1839 at age 18 with his parents and eight siblings from the Scottish village of Strathavan just southeast of Glasgow. The family settled in Detroit, then purchased a farm in Superior Township just north of Highland Cemetery.

“We bought the Moon farm, in the town of Superior, in June, 1839, and had a fair, square battle with privations, exile and penury for many a day,” wrote Lambie in an essay – he read aloud from it years later at a Pioneer Society of Michigan meeting. “It was the half-way house between Sheldon’s and Ann Arbor, and had a bar for the sale of whisky. Kilpatrick, the pioneer auctioneer, said we could make more money on the whisky than on the farm, but we preferred the plow to the whisky barrel.” The family purchased 150 sheep.

Lambie’s father soon tired of America and in 1854 emigrated again to Ontario with his wife and younger children. Other siblings settled in Detroit. Only Lambie’s brother Robert stayed in Ypsilanti, where he worked as a tailor and later opened a clothing store and then a dry goods store. Robert also served on the city’s first city council in 1858.

William remained on the old Moon farm. Anna, the first of his six children, was born in 1851 when William was 30. In his diary entry for December 13, 1886, Lambie wrote, “Anna’s Birthday - It was a cold dreary day when she was born when we only had one wee stove and one room 12 by 16 and our few potatoes all froze - poverty within desolation.” William and his wife Mary wallpapered the inside of the house with newspapers in an effort to save the houseplants, but the plants froze.

William eventually built a larger house elsewhere on the farm and planted a grove of oak and apple trees nearby. By 1860 at age 39 he had five children ranging in age from 2 to 9, and a farm whose value adjusted for inflation – in an era of cheap land – was $94,000, a bit better than many of his neighbors.

On his 80 acres he raised oats, beans, wheat, barley, corn, and chickens and sheep. He also produced poems. In a May 15, 1876 diary entry he wrote, “A sick sheep drowned – pulling the dirty wool off a dead sheep is not very conducive to poetry.”

After William’s failed attempts to have a poem published in Harper’s, local newspapers began publishing his works. “My poem Auld Lang-Syne in the Commercial,” he wrote in his diary on May 26, 1877. This was a reworking of the familiar lyrics. William called it “A New Version of Lang-Syne.” His introduction to the poem reads, “It is a great pity that ever the world-renowned song of ‘Auld Lang-Syne’ should become the song of the drunkard, to lead either drunken or sober men farther away from temperance and virtue, and down the shameful road of disgrace and ruin. If this new song of Lang-Syne is not as good poetry as the old one, it at least inculcates better morality.”

The original song, of course, had been partially collected and partially composed by Robert Burns. Burns’ January 25th birthday was one of two annual events Lambie faithfully noted in his diary every year. Yet the “Ploughman Poet,” the “Bard of Ayrshire,” was not Lambie’s favorite poet.

On February 1, 1886, Lambie wrote in his diary, “[daughter Isabelle] and I drove up with old Frank the horse, to her School. Good sleighing – Had a note from my favorite Poet Whittier.” John Greenleaf Whittier’s note was published in the Ypsilantian, in an edition unfortunately not locally available on microfilm. It was one of two artifacts Lambie would receive from Whittier.

The Presbyterian Lambie shared several values with the outspoken abolitionist Quaker poet, such as pacifism. In Lambie’s essay “Out in the Harvest Field,” from his 1883 collection of prose and poetry “Life on the Farm,” he wrote, “We detest all kinds of war and battle and murder, and believe it is far more manly and heroic to fill a man’s sack with corn than it is to kill him in battle.”

Lambie was also sympathetic to the spirit of abolition. The other annual event he always noted in his diary was Emancipation Day on August 1, commemorating Britain’s 1833 Slavery Abolition Act, which a year later ended slavery in most of the British empire. It was an antebellum holiday that was observed locally in Washtenaw County, Detroit, and Ontario – Canada was one of the British possessions affected by the Act.

In 1876 William attended the August 1st Emancipation Day celebration in Ypsilanti. In his diary he wrote, “Ground very dry – hoping for rain – the colored man’s day of Freedom – [Isabelle] and I went to see the Celebration in William Cross Grove at the Fair Grounds [now Recreation Park] – The dark Beauties rigged out in white, red and blue and a feast of good things. Apples 75¢ a bushel.”

In December of 1887, at age 66, Lambie wrote a poem to Whittier in honor of the poet’s 80th birthday. He enclosed a prepaid penny postcard. The return address, “William Lambie/Ypsilanti, Michigan,” is written in Lambie’s plain yet graceful hand. The Quaker poet returned Lambie's penny postcard.

On January 17 of 1888, Lambie wrote in his diary, “Received a kind complimentary postcard from my favorite poet, Dear delightful John Greenleaf Whittier.” Written in a rapid, looping script, the postcard reads, “Dear Friend, I heartily thank thee for thy poetical tribute and am thy sincere friend. John G Whittier.”

Lambie saved this card and passed it down through family members. More than a century after Lambie’s 1900 death and burial in Highland Cemetery, the tiny and delicate card continues to be cared for today. The fragile relic speaks to the heart of a down-to-earth Ypsilantian farmer who never pretended he was otherwise - and yet befriended one of the nation’s leading poets.

. . . When winter days grow dark and dreary
And I am sad, and weak, and weary,
His pure sweet lines oft make me cheery.

Even Milton in his strains sublime.
And Burn’s in my land of Lang-syne
Are not read so well by me and mine . . .

—“Whittier,” William Lambie

(Laura Bien is a local historian, the author of “Tales from the Ypsilanti Archives,” and a regular volunteer in the YHS Archives.)

Photo Captions:

Photo 1: William Lambie with his oldest daughter Anna and wife Mary in the background.

Photo 2: In 1887 Lambie wrote to Whittier and enclosed a prepaid penny postcard with his return address on it.

Photo 3: Whittier returned Lambie’s penny postcard with a note: “Dear Friend, I heartily thank thee for thy poetical tribute and am thy sincere friend. John G Whittier.”

William Lambie Diary, 1893

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, August 1989,
August 1989
Original Images:

1. Driving snow storm all day. About all I could do to get in water and take care of the horse and hens.
2. Not very well in the night. It seems to be healthier shoveling snow and sawing wood than lying in bed.
6. Anna and Mary at Azros for Mrs. Fletchers Birthday. Mrs. Loveridg and Mrs. Camp called and then Brother Robert and daughter called.
9. Frank paid Wife and I Interest and cleaned the old clock.
10. Eight below zero and awful cold blasts. Brave Belle walked thru the drifts to get Frank to help Will with his Milk Wagon. Too cold to saw wood.
13. Frank brot load of broken rails. Robert sold the cow he bot from Martin. Wife and Mary went to Town in the Cutter. I sawed the rails.
16. Frank's horse Dick got away at the Creamery and Frank, Azro and Willie had to walk home. A meeting to see about building a new Presbyterian Church that I don't need.
17. Frank brot a new iron pump that saves me from drawing well water on icy planks. No hens layed.
22. Not very cold but did not go to Church on account of the snow. Wrote about Burns Natal Day.
26. We hear of fifty thousand voted to build a new Church when I think the old one good enough.
31. Hail, rain, ice and snow-rough roads. Went to John Renton and got horse shod. No eggs.
1. Frank brot another load of rails. More snow.
4. Mrs. F, Willie and the wee boy came, Eaves dripped by noon.
7. Wrote Mrs. Young in Scotland and Sister in Canada.
13. Mild morning. A little like Spring. Light at five. Hens are beginning to lay. Robert came with his family and cleaned the Organ and played and sang for us.
15. Roads a sheet of ice. Robert sold his pigs to Spencer. John Ross came with Robert and talked of renting the old farm.
17. Cut down straw off the stack to bed the horse. Let the old farm to Robert for 10 years at $150 yearly.
22. Brother Robert brot papers. Two Miss McDouglas and two Miss Gardeners called and also Robert and his family.
23. Eagle fell on the ice twice in front of the stable when taking him off the Cutter. Wife made me a shirt and I read to her about Blain and Scotchmen Curling.
27. Frank brot a load of coal. Robert left our old farm home and wen with his family and furniture to Town.
28. Frank helped Mr. Read to move on his farm.
March 1 to March 21 is missing.
22. Twenty eggs. Frank went to Mr. Roberts funeral. He was 73.
25. Robert sold hay to Block. Wife and I west to Belles, 5 years since her marriage.
30. Wife went to see Mrs. F and the babe. Dug parsnips. Set a hen. Worked in the garden.
8. Frank took Seed potatoes to his farm. Trees budding.
11. Wheeled out the ashes. Smith split all the wood.
13. A fearful Cyclone struck Ypsilanti last night. Wife and I drove down and saw so many fine buildings wrecked. It was sad to see so much property wasted. One good thing no lives lost.(we have pictures in the Archives of the Cyclone that Mr. Lambie talks aboi
14. Went again to see the ruins and then to the Creamery. Stopped at Roberts home by the river.
16. I am entering my 73 years. Am grateful for a good degree of health, strength, reason and joy from youth till old age.
18. Went with Frank to Mr. Rooks and called on Mrs. Boice and james Hamilton. Got early potatoes.
20. Mary took her Mother to the Motor to go to Uncle Williams. Too wet to work in the garden.
21. Clare Campbell and his sister came. James Hamilton and sister brot plants and we gave them Gooseberry and Currant bushes.
24. Went with Frank to Mr. Hunters and saw his fine barn ruined by the Cyclone. White hen brot out 12 chicks. Planted our early Rose potatoes and two rows of Empire State potaotes and then beach blows north of them.
28. Wife and I called on Mr. Laidlaw in his gardens at the Depot. Got Wet coming home.
29. Went to Ben Voorhees-his wife was cheerful after suffering so mcu Exchanged plants with Mrs. Everts. Bot a quarter of Mutton from son Robert.
1. Frank took away our horse and Mary walked to Azros.
4. Went with Frank to his farm-Called on Mrs. Loveridge, Mrs. Fletche and Mr. Ross at the old home.
8. Took potatoes to J. Ross at the old home, called on Robert's town home and then to the creamery.
9. Wife, Mary, Mrs Fletcher, the babe, Frank, Robert and wife, Will and Belle and a grand happy company went to Mrs. William Campbell Birthday party.
13. Dark, damp morning-planted sun flowers and Holly hocks. Asparagus and Pie Plant to use.
15. Brother Robert and wife came and told us Eunice had gone to the World's Fair in Chicago. Mary and I went and saw the flowers in the Railroad gardens.
16. Wife and I attended the golden wedding josiah Childs. Everyone seemed kind and friendly.
22. Mrs. L, Mary, Mrs. Fletcher, Willie and the babe went to Roberts to celebrate Mary's Birthday.
23. Wife and I went to Mrs. Strangs funeral. More rain.
24. Queens Birthday. Wife and I went to see old Mrs. Crippen, R. Mart and Ira Crippen family.
29. Frank went to Uncle Andrews with the horse.
1. Frank went to frame a barn near Plymouth.
4. Sacrament-about 30 added to the church. Harris Francis Fletcher was baptised. The Fletchers cammed on their way home.
7. I intended to hear J.G. Paton last night but was too weary. Mary, Belle and I went to see the show parade but only saw the tents and wagons.
8. Was up before the sun. Winters got a small load of hay out of our barn. Wife had a sore place on her neck and went to see Dr. Kinne.
8. Got tomato plants from J. Hamilton. Andrew Campbell came and I went with him to the Depot.
12. Frank and I had breakfast and went to Mr. Rooks.
13. Wife, Mary. Mrs. Fletcher and wee Harris wnet to visit Willie and Leah's school.
15. Wife and I went to see Mr. & Mrs. Voorhees and it looks as though Mr. V will never walk again. Went to Thomas Phillips funeral.
19. Took Frank to Mr. Rooks-called at Azros-they came with me and wee Harris rode on my knee. Wife went to Belles to celebrate her Birthday and a picnic with others down by the River at Roberts.
20. Went to Detroit and the Oak-Will Todd and all his relatives were glad to see me. We took flowers to sister Issbelles grave. Will Todd brought me to the train and I called on James and his wife-they were all kind but sister Mary, after I was weary it vexed me.
23. Leah and Minnie helped pick peas. Winters sent up several loads of manure. Went to the depot to get Anna's trunk and saw Laidlaw Very busy contending with weeds and bugs.
26. Green peas and new potatoes for lunch. J. Ross sold the wool. I used to get it all, then half, now none.
29. Boy picking cherries-howed potatoes-Mary went in the Surrey to Belles and then they all went to Azros.
1. Wife and I went to Town. Got milk from Mrs. Ring.
6. Ring family picking cherries on shares. Fearful lightning in the night and it struck and burned Mathews barn.
10. Dug 1/2 bushel of potatoes-took them to the Depot-too small to sell Wife and girls preserving cherries. Mowed round the peach trees and was tired. Turned the grindstone for Frank.
18. Dug more potatoes-The Empire State seem to be the best potatoes of 4 kinds.
20. Robert and Frank rigged up the reaper and Frank came in the after-noon to reap our wheat. Mrs. campbell and daughter came. We went to the old Campbell home as of old and found John very busy drawing in wheat and made a small stack.
29. Got a letter from Mr. Dunlop in Scotland (a relative who later came to the States to visit the Campbell farm and were astonished at how far the farm was from New York City).
31. Azro sick and Robert had to manage the Creamery.
2. Brother Robert and daughter called. Anna, Mary and Belle took tin dishes to Azros for the Ten wedding celebration.
4. Mrs. Fletcher and Harris came. Ross began to reap Oats-Hattie's Mother came and I went with her to Roberts for a horse. Living on flour porridge is not fun.
5. Sad time with Banks breaking and so many idle men.
9. Frank had his wheat and oats thrashed, poor crop.
10. Frank, Mrs. Fletcher, Willie and Harris went to Uncle Andrews.
15. Mr & Mrs Voorhees came. Uncle William and Clare then Brother Robert. A letter from John Lambie.
19. Cut Canada Thistles in Ross corn field but it is too hard for me. Robert and the three girls came at night.
24. Frank and I had a fine swim and bath in the Huron.
29. The engine got to Ross to thrash. I went to see Laidlaw at the Depot and the beautiful gardens.
30. The engine came and thrashed our small stack. Only 36 bushels where we always had 96.
1. Frank took Anna to the Depot on her way to Elkhart. Put part of t Straw stack in the shed.
5. Some good peaches-more papers from Australia. Longing for rain.
8. Went to Azros for Mary-then round by Belles and got a glass of cream and a royal welcome. Picked grapes. Went to Church meeting.
12. A welcome shower. Frank brot 2 bushels of peas. Took 16 chicks to market.
14. Put down eggs for winter. Crowds going to the World's Fair. Some in debt. Dug potatoes. Frank brot a big load of poatoes. I put them in baskets and he took them down in the cellar. Marshes burning.
20. Took some pears to Robert. The river very small. Mrs. Strang met us at the Depot and we went with her to see her fine new home.
23. A shower at night. Franks man has left him and I am very glad. Robert is going to work and live on Frank's farm
26. Frank and Uncle William went to attend the Fair in Chicago. Robert did chores at Franks farm. Hattie and Mary gathered peaches.
27. Went with Mrs. L to Town. She went to Uncle Williams on the MOtor Robert, Mr. Fletcher and Harris came.
28. A little ice, the first this FalWife and I called on Uncle Robert in forenoon. Dug potatoes in afternoon.
29. A fine quiet rain in the afternoon and we did not go down and get no papers.
1. Belle came in the beautiful morning. Mary took care of Harris so Mr. & Mrs Harris could go to Church Rolling day.
2. Grand morning-Robins feasting on the Mountain Ash Berries. Wife, Mary, Mrs. Flatcher and Harris went to Town. Went with Robert to Frank's farm at night. Uncle William sent a card from the World's Fair.
3. Refreshing morning shower, rain nearly all day, sistern full with refreshing showers, a day of rest.
4. Clear shining after rain. Wife and Belle went to Frank's farm and gathered pears. Read in the News that the Supreme Court had decid that Brother James should hold Brother Frank's property he left. I consulted of McMillan.
5. Grand Autumn morning. The trees gleaning through the mist of the morning, like great forest flowers. Frank back from Chicago Fair. Wife went to Frank's farm for peaches.
6. Mrs. Fletcher and Harris came-Wife and I went round by J. Hamiltons Robert brot 10 bushels of Oats.
7. Wife, Mary and I went to Town, the creamery and then to Roberts. Rev. Mr. Morey and Mrs. Kachler, his daughter, called.
8. Grand autumn day, sermon on giving. Belle came, went round with her. Mr. Fletcher and family came.
9. Wife started after breakfast to get Belle to gather apples at Frank's famr.
10. Golden October day. Dug all our potatoes, got no help. Mrs. Fletc and Mary went to Brother Roberts for dinner. Our friend Robert CAmpbell made us a pleasant visit and paid $18.00 interest.
11 Wife took Mary to Azros-I shoved stones of the road. Wife and I went to Town, Met Rev. Mr. Vining and Mrs. Strang.
12. Grand morning-Robert brot his black horse. Wife and I drove to Belleville-Forest trees beautiful, very warm between 86 & 90¢. Were kindly treated-came back by Mrs. Fletchers.
13. Cool and cloudy-Repaired fence-Wife, Mary and I met Mr. & Mrs. John Campbell and A. Campbell in Town. A sad accident on the railroad at Jackson, we heard 20 killed and 20 hurt.
14. Rain in the night-a wet stormy morning. Stormy and dreary all day-surly blasts drove the smoke down the Chimney-the house wet and comfortless.
15. Belle went to Church with us, cold-wore an overcoat.
16. Sunshine pleasant after the storm. Mrs. L, Mary. Mrs. Fletcher and Harris wnet to Town in the Surrey. Robert brot a load of Frank's broken rails.
18. Went with Robert to Frank's farm. Wife, Mary and I gathered a few bushels of Apples in our Orchard-Grank day. Helped Robert to get 45 busels of potatoes in the cellar.
18. Frank came and had breakfast about 6-Wife and Belle gathered apples in the Orchard. Ross getting th 1/2 from brother. Robert call on us
20. Frank had breakfast by lamplight-sawed some of the old rails till a shower came up. Wife went to see Willie with the Mumps and brot Mary back.
21. Grand golden day-Robert and Fox carried in the Kitchen stove-Wife, Mary, Belle and I went to Town.
22. A Sermon on Pauls power for Christianity. Robert and children came, then Azro and family like to border of the beautiful land.
24. Wife and I went in the Motor to our food friend R. Campbell in Ann Arbor enjoyed our visit. Paid 75$ for the Register. Mary and Willie came for us.
25. Robert dug out fence posts and burned some of the Marsh. Wife and wee Harris drove over to Frank's farm. Belle came.
26. Railroad disaster and wrecks on the lakes. Mary went over to help at Azros.
12. Ice and snow, not very cold, Mary, Mrs. Fletcher and Harris went to Franks to dinner. Willie came at night.
13. Frank sold Hay to Uhl. Mary convoyed Willie to School. Got Eagle sharp shod on the fore feet. Wife came home bringing word J. K. Campbell's boy was dead. John came from Lansing at night, by telegraph-Boy is about 4 years old.
15. Wet cold rain-Frank and his Mother went in the Covered Cutter to the funeral at Uncle Johns boy. Robert's Hattie not well. Mary went with Robert-Brother Robert called.
21. Mr. Calhoun came and paid interest in money and onions. Wife went to Azros and Mary came back-2 & 3 eggs a day.
22. Shortest day-Wife, Mary, Mrs. Fletcher and Harris went to Town. Wif went home with Belle-mild and muddy-Received a Christmas present from kind Sister Agnes.
24. Belle hitched her big horse on the Surry and 5 of us went to Churc Mr. Morey able to preach-Mr. Vraman helped him-Little Harris like to speak in meeting-Azros family came a noon and Roberts at night. Ground soft and a beautiful sunset.
25. Twenty-five years since Father died and spoke to me for the last time. Green fields, blue skies and balmy breezes. Three generatio 17 in all of us and wnet to Frank's farm and enjoyed a great joy-ful Christmas dinner. Anna and Mary stayed and we came home.
26. Cold breeze and the ground froze hard, Robert brot us 3 loads of wood and 20 bushels of Oats-Wife went to Azros for Anna and Mary.
28. Wife went with Anna and Mary up to Belles-Wife and I called on Brother Robert and family-Sent the picture of Straven Castle to Sister Agnes.
29. Sawed wood to keep us warm-got a few eggs-Wife went to Azros.
30. Hard rough roads-Robert paid the taxes $22.35. I paid $15. Robert the balance-Wife, Anna, Mary and I went to Town.
31. Last of 1893-Wife, Mary, Belle and I went to Church, A sermon on evil speaking-The last of 1893.

Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, January-June 1894.

View a photo of the the Lambie family in our Gleanings image gallery.

William Lambie Diary, 1892

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, April 1989,
April 1989
Original Images:

An explanation of certain names and sites from the excerpts of the Diary of William Lambie. Mr. Lambie was the grandfather of Foster L. Fletcher, our late City Historian.

Francis L. Lambie was forty five years old when with his wife, Mary Hamilton, he brought his family of nine children to the United States from Strathhaven, Scotland.

The oldest of the nine was William Lambie. William was eighteen years old. Just why the family came to America is uncertain. They brought furniture, dishes and many material possessions with them and seemed to be in more than modest circumstances. No mention has been found of relatives in America in 1839. Many Scotch friends were here but Francis and Mary Hamilton Lambie seem to be the first of the Lambies to arrive in America.

In the Spring of 1839, the ‘Old Moon Farm’ of eighty acres was advertised for sale to settle the Moon estate. This farm was on the South side of Geddes Road and about midway between Prospect and LeForge Road This is the farm that Lambie bought and where they lived for fifteen years in a brick structure that had once been a Tavern.

Francis Lambie did not care for the United States and always said he wanted to “die under the Crown” and in 1854 with his wife and younger children emigrated to Canada, buying a farm three miles below Windsor, Ontario on the Detroit River.

Robert Campbell and wife Anne Muir Campbell came to the United States from Scotland in the late summer of 1842.

2 Mrs. L took Anna to the Depot on her way to Elkhart.
4 Frank started for Uncle Andrews before daylight. Heard of the death of Dr. Van Tyle, Dr. Ashley and Julia Bacon.
5. Received a letter from a stranger-A William Lambie in the State of Washington. Wife, Mary and Mrs. Fletcher and Willie went to Mrs. Bacon's funeral.
12 Mrs L, Mary and I went to old Mrs. Post's funeral.
21 Mild sunshine. Brother Robert brot papers about the lawsuit regarding the property of Brother Frank.
23 Robert sold 100 bushels of wheat to T.C. Owens and also some corn to Owens. LaFurge brot a load of elm wood. Mrs L and I drove to Ever-and brot back Robert's horses.
29 A young man brot a telegram that Sister Isabell (Mrs. Todd) died this morning and then Brother Robert came with the same sad tidings.
30 Frank and Robert went away to attend Sister Isabells's funeral. Brother Robert and I thought the young men were best able to do that

5 Frank and I caught 6 hens and a rooster to take to his farm. Wife, Frank and I had a pleasant meeting and dinner at Brother Roberts.
9 Robert took a load of hay to the Starkweather farm, a ton & 1/2.
13 10 above zero. Robert drew ice for Owen. Belle came and Mary went home with her.
20 Mother's 95th Birthday. Son Frank went to see her with some preserve fruit that grew on his own farm.
25 Frank sold a load of hay to Mr. Swain. Deep mud.
29 Mild, dark and cloudy then driving snow. Frank bot a horse from Harvey James.

2 Mary went to AZros with Miss Draper. Robert, Frank and Azro went to the sale of the late Mr & Mrs McDowels property. Frank and Azro came home with 2 cows and Robert with a wagon rack they bot at the sale.
5 Mrs L and I had dinner with Hattie's celebrating Minnie's Birthday. Robert and John drew 2 loads of hay to the Starkweather farm. Dug parsnips and trimmed bushes.
8 Robert bot a cow from old Mr. Post. Robert has 6 lambs.
9 Mrs L and I visited Mrs. Stephenson. I read some lines for her 81st Birthday. Called on Aunt Eunice. Just as we got home two men with furniture had dinner with us on theur way to Frank's farm.
10 Frank sold a load of hay to Ring. Robert and Hattie bot part of t Crippen farm, Hattie's Mother for $700.
14 Intended to attend Mrs Lay's funeral but the bitter blasts helped keep us away.
17 Brother Robert brot word our good old Mother was dead.
18 Wife and I went to Detroit-Called on Sister Agnes, then called at James home and then went to Mothers and saw her for the last time looking peaceful in her coffin.
21 Called on Brother Robert and talked about Mother's death and burial Helped Frank clean wheat. Went to Robert's and saw his new cows. Robert sold 10 Sheep to Spencer.
28 Brother Robert called. CAtherine had sent a letter regarding the expenses attending Mother's funeral.

2 Mr Smith and family, Robert and his family all came and took dinner with us. Robert sold the colt he bot at VanDynes to Mr Finley.
4 Mr Finley was too weak to buy Robert's colt. Wheeled ashes on the garden and spread manure
7 Went to the funeral of the man who had moved on the Peck farm. Paid Smith two dollars for sawing wood and cleaning out the stable.
11 Went down to Roberts to see the Cannon boys machine sawing wood.
13 Mr Hunter came to take the Assessment. Gave him some money to present to Mr. Green. Fowler dressed 3 pigs for Robert.
15 My 71st Birthday. Ic thick on the water pail-Ground to hard to plow Wife and I went to Azros for dinner. Daughter Elizabeth conveyed me to Nortons and drove past the old Moon fram and mused on the memory of the past years.
16 Mrs L, Mary, Mrs Fletcher and willie rode in the Surry to see Azro' father but did not find him. Then they had dinner with Mr & Mrs John CAmpbell. Went to Mr. Kings, got 3 Wheatland peach trees, 8 early crawfords, 9 late, one Brighton Grape-paid $12.74.
19 Helped Robert draw manure. Robert plowed the garden. Received about 40 small Evergreen trees by mail from Johnason of Antrim County. George Gales(?) funeral passed on the way to the Cemetery.
23 Planted Sunflower seeds. Frank came back from Joe Feathers.
26 Planted early potatoes. Robert burned our marsh. Brother Robert and I drove over to Franks. A letter from the Hamiltons in Glasgo
30. Robert plowing the Marsh. Hard work but a big improvement. Planted 2½ rows of Burpee early potatoes and a row of Maine potato

2 A great rain in the night-Cistern full, Lakes on Wilburs and Rober farms-Burned out chimney. Set two hens with 26 of Ben's Brown Leg horn eggs.
3 Robert took the Wheat to Deubel-We waited long for a dollar and sold it for 85 cents.
4 After Robert drew away Mother's wheat he drew wheat uncleaned to Deubels at 80cents.
7 Azro brot 150 Strawberry plants. Mary and I set them out. Robert and Will took away potatoes that were sprouting in the cellar.
16 Robert sold the wool to Ainsworth-175 lbs at 20¢-received$35.
18 Mary took her Mother to the Motor for Uncle Williams. Robert bot new cultivator. Another fearful thunderstorm at supper time.
23 FRank got 3 bushels of potatoes to plant.
24 Helped Robert take his sheep and 2 colts to Franks farm. Had a sore throat in the night. Robert, John and Will planted about 8 acres of corn by Norton's Corner. Two hens came off with 18 Brown Leghorn chicks, then two came off with 19 of Bells's Plymouth Rock:
28 Robert's colt had its leg cut bad. He had to get a horse Doctor to sew it up and bind it.

2 Wife and I went to John McDougas and bot seed corn and then planted some. Radishes ready to eat.
7 Big Thunder shower. Mary took us to the Depot for the Excursion. Went to Windsor and the sisters gave us a cold reception. They have no one to care for now. Brother James looks sickly and sad. A pleasant time at Sister Agnes.
9 Mrs L and I went to Roberts and saw old Mrs. Crippen. Robert plaste ed around out chimney. Hattie and her Grandmother went out riding and the grand new Surry broke down.
12 Children's Day. Eunice Lambie bid us goodbye to leave for Europe.
14 Sold 7 bushels potatoes to Mr. Martin at 30cents. Wife carried food for a Methodist Feast. Brooks cut the grass in front of the House.
18 Hoed potatoes. Picked some peas, radishes going to seed.
21 Put Paris Green and plaster on the potatoes and then came a great rain and my labor lost. farmers like to be discouraged.
22 Longest day-Closing of the Normal. Plenty of Strawberries and getting 6–8 cents a quart. Paid Mr. Batcheldor $8 for Chruch Seat.
24 Saw Andrew CAmpbells great barns and out houses that Frank built for him. They look like prosperity and progress but there would be too much toil and weariness to bring joy to me. Brushed potaotes bugs off in an old tin pan and put Paris Green on them. Mr F brot a bushels of Strawberries. Robert hitched up the Surry and Anna, Mary and I had a pleasant ride by the river.
26 The Presbyterian Church was shut so we could drive to hear the begging Sermon at the Dedication of the grand new Methodist Church. We did not want to be crushed in the crowd so we went to the Episcopal Church with few Worshipers.
29 Andrew Leach's Burial day.
30 Mrs. L's Birthday. I fought potato bugs and weeds.

1 Girls drove to Bells and Azros. Robert got a hay rack for Frank.
2 Brother Robert brot word the Steamer City of Chicago was wrecked on the Irish Coast and his daughter Euncie sent a cablegram she landed safely.
4 Wife and I walked down to Roberts and had dinner in the old home. The wet weather like to ruin Robert's crops. When he pays men $20 a month and board there seems to be nothing left for him and his family. Dug a few potaotes like Robin's eggs.
6 Frank mowed with the new Mower. Robert with the old one.
8 Robert and 2 men got in aobut 14 laods of hay. Frank got most of his.
11 FRank went away before 4. Ron rigged up the reaper. will mowed Clover by the Marsh. Robert reaped Brother Robert's wheat New Potatoes for dinner-picked some gooseberries. 90 degrees on the North side.
12 Theodore & John Miller, Will and a colored man drew in hay in the forenoon-Robert reaped the wheat by G. Allens.
13 Robert reaped Harris 9 acres of wheat-Helped set up wheat and pitch hay. FRank's men and 2 of Roberts drew in clover hay for Robert in the afternoon. Frank and 2 others had a fine swim in the river near Ben Voorhees.
15 Hollyhocks in beautiful bloom. Plenty of gooseberries. Robert's reaper broke down. Went to Frank's farm and his team to help in Robert's harvest.
18 Robert reaping on Frank's place. His two men drawing in Clover. Fine harvest.
20 Frank and his man helped Robert draw wheat into our barn. The bothersome chain went to the bottom of the well.
26 Wife and I called on Brother Robert and heard Eunice's letter from London. Robert getting in all the wheat and hay.
28 Went with Frank to his farm. He had a call to build a barn in Pittsfield.
30 Wife and I went to John Campbells as of old-one generation gone and another cometh.

1 The colored man's Day-Went with Frank to see about Mr. Morgan's Barn.
3 Dug potatoes and saved winter radish. The girls went in the Surry to celebrate Mrs. F's wedding day.
5 Robert reaped Oats for Martin-mowed weeds and worked in the garden.
8 Frank started early on the Motor and Mr. Morgans barn. Robert reaped the Oats by his house, then those by the out-house-the ground rough, the hillsteep and over 90 degrees and Robert did not fret or complain. Dr. Campbell called on us.
10 Wife and I went to Mrs F for dinner. CAme home by Belles toward night. Robert sold a load of hay to Owen.
12 Wife and I went to the Depot and saw the beautiful flowers and brough Laidlow the Gardner home with us.
16 Robert getting in all the Oats. I raked in the Oat stuble. Called on Brother Robert-Eunice is sailing on Lake Como in the balmy breezes of charming Italy.
18 Robert got the Surry and drove to Whitmore Lake. I sat under the trees alone and mused on younger days and the old home.
20 Robert got a ton of coal for the Thrashers for here and Frank's place.
21 Some vile creature stole a lot of our best hens. Had about 60 and now only counted 30.
22 Harvey thrashed for Frank in forenoon and came here after dinner and then to Roberts.
27 Mr Smith and family called here on their way to Azros.
29 Went with Frank and saw the great barn he framed for Mr. Morgan. Mr Smith and family came to dinner-then I went with them to Brother Roberts and to the Depot.
30 Went to Detroit Exposition-CAlled on Sister Mary-No kind welcome, no dinner, no joy. Called on Brother James home and his wife in their store.

3 Thieves, rats and hawks hard on our chickens.
6 Cool 43 at dawn-Cut corn, dug potatoes about the only things in the garden that paid for the labor.
8 Went to Town and saw the Bands, Soldiers and the Germans procession with Flags and everything.
10 Wrote lines regarding Whittier's death-Went to Roberts and met Kate Todd.
12 A shower in the night-the best rain since the 4th of July. Robert sold a load of Hay to Owen.
15 Robert cleaned 10 bushels of wheat for seed. Cleaned the hen house. Took Anna to the Depot on her way to School in Elkhart.
19 Frank started before dawn to bring his fannin mill from Uncle Andrews.
23 A Hawk took 5 or 6 chickens-A Special sale of lots in Ypsilanti.
28 Frank's Birthday-Went to Ann Arbor FAir-not a large crowd. Mrs Deubel said my poem yas as good as the Fair.
30 Robert and his men harvesting beans on the old Moon farm.

1 CAlled on Brother Robert-was real glad to meet Eunice back from to old world-She had slept in my first home in Straven and was so kind as to bring me a silk hankerchief bot from Mr Crawford who knew our family history so well in young life.
5 FRank brot fine potaotes from his farm-very cold-first ice.
10 Mrs L went to see the John CAmpbells and the wee sick boy.
12 Wife and I went to Brother Roberts for dinner and to be well entertained with Eunice's description of the grandeur of Europe.
13 Wife and I drove to Belleville to see old Mrs. CAmpbell-had dinner and a pleasant visit. Wife bot goods from Robert CAmpbell who is building a new store.
14 Robert Campbell of Pittsfield sent $18.00 interest.
17 Mary and I gathered apples at Roberts. He sold 2 tons of apples for Cider.
20 Robert and I went to B. Voorhees to buy a ram but they were so wild FRed could not catch one.
22 Robert and I went to B. Voorhees and bat two buck lambs for $ 10. Put them with Robert's sheep over on Frank's farm.
23 Mrs L was sent for in the morning and Azro brot word in the afternoon they had another son(Harris Francis Fletcher) born to them.
26 Brother Robert and his wife and sister Agnes and her daughter came and we had a pleasant drive to Roberts and s walk by the brook. Mary went to Azros to see the wee boy.
31 Went with Frank to his farm. Called on daughter Elizabeth and her wee boy. Marked a barrell of apples for daughter Anna and one for Sister Agnes. Andrew Campbell got apples from Robert.

3 Robert took 12 barrells to Wells and Fish. Frank went to Jimmy Moors sale.
8 Election Day-Frank voted in Ypsilanti, Robert in Superior. (Frank was still living mostly in the Home ‘on the hill’ in Ypsilanti).
9 Read in the Free Press-Cleveland was elected President. Mr. Calhoun paid interest. Ground white with snow.
15 43 years since we were married-Mrs Fletcher and her wee boy came to see us. His first visit.
19 Andrew Campbell took his sheep away from Frank's farm. Frank took some furniture to his farm. Split some wood.
24 Thanksgiving-Walked to the Grand new Methodist Church. Drew a sketch of our home.
27 Two or three inches of snow in the night. Frank walked to his farm.

5 Frank went early to his farm. carried wood into the shed. Brother Robert and his daughter called on us.
7 Walked to Roberts farm and saw them all. Got milk and saw the sheep round the straw stack. Frank went to Sobers.
10 FRank and Robert went by with 4 fat hogs. Sent card to Anna. Stayed at home. Robert brot papers-More about the wreck of the Steamer Spree.
13 Anna's Birthday-Robert had 3 lambs. He bot 4 or 5 pigs and sold 6 lambs.
17 Caught two rats. Robert sold all the wheat and paid me $26.00 and his Mother $19.00.
22 Shortest day-Roberts little Mary had the Chicken Pox.
24 Down to zero. Brother Robert brot me two fine pictures and Sister Agnes sent two books. Anna and Mary went to Roberts for a green tree for Christmas.
25 24 years since Father died.

Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, 1893.

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William Lambie Diary, 1891

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, January 1989,
January 1989
Original Images:


1. All went to Roberts for grand dinner. The nights seem so long and I am so weary for the dawn.

2. Mrs. L and Mary went to Town in Robert's buggy. Brought the clothes from Rings. Made Hop Bitters. Read James Hamilton's marriage. (William Lambie's Mother was Mary Hamilton).

5. Mrs. L had Dr. Watling fill a tooth. Rssting a lot and wishing I could feel better still.

7. Frank & William Campbell drove past Belleville to pay taxes on land in Sumpter.

Brother Robert came to see me in my sickness.

12. Mrs. Thomas Clark and daughter came. Dr. Frazier's medicine is pleasant to take and seems to be helping me. Received a letter from James Hamilton, Glasgow, with his wedding card.

16. Robert took 3 big loads of corn to Town. Letter from Anna. Frank working on the Miller's Farm.

21. Drove to Town and got more medicine from Dr. Frazier. Robert was offered only 90 cents for the beans after all his work and expense.

25. A day for Scotchmen to celebrate-Burn's Anniversay. The cow Robert bot from Knapp had a calf.

28. Robert cleaning beans with Roll's Farming Mill. Frank working on his farm. Hens beginning to lay. 18 eggs today.

29. Called on Dr. Kinney and consulted him and got medicine.

30. Mrs. L and I walked to the old home and found old Mrs. Crippen had falled and hurt herself.

31. Got medicine from Dimick-the prescription from Dr. Kinney was something neither Samson nor Frank Smith had, Robert bot a grist.


3. Robert taking beans to Market, Frank cutting tamaracks on his farm.

5. Mrs. Fletcher, Mary and Willie went to Uncle Williams on the Street CAr.

6. Robert came to get his Mother to see Hattie and found she had the Mumps. Robert took about a ton of Hay to Ring.

12. Walked to the old home and cut some bushes. Tired and got a good rest in the sunshine.

17. A good rain in the night. The brook overflowing it's banks. Belle and her Mother went to Uncle Williams on the Street Car and the Conductor failed to let them off so they went to Ann Arbor and back.

18. Wrote to Sister Mary and Catherine that I was too sick to come and see Mother on the 20th, her 94th Birthday.

19. Mrs. L walked to Roberts to help Hattie to take care of Minnie, who is sick with the Mumps. Frank came with McLoud to Dinner.

22. Cold blasts-stayed at home. Azro's Father and his new wife went to Church and came home with Mrs. L, Mary and Azro's family to dinner Brother Robert and Uncle Andrew made us a welcome visit.

25. Walked down to Roberts-his wife and Minnie are better. Now Leah has the Mumps. He lost a good sheep and is thinking of leaving the Farm and working in Town.


2. Cold and dreary-Wearying for sunshine. Walked down to Roberts and came back in a snowstorm.

4. Mr & Mrs Fletcher, Mary and Willie went to visit Mr. Hewens. One of the sad days of life, received two letters informing of Brother Frank's death, the first break in a family of 9 in over 50 years.

5. Brother Robert and I not well enough to go to Brother Frank's funeral so Frank and Robert went in place of us. Sister and her son James, Mr & Mrs John Lambie, William Todd attended and saw brother Francis laid in the cold ground. Mother failing in mind and body.

7. Frank went off with his gun. Wrote W. Naismith regarding Brother Frank's death. received 3 bags of clover seed from John Campbell.

9. The first Robin-5 are in the doorway tree. Robert brot us butter. Frank took clover seed to his farm.

5. Clipped a notice regarding Brother Frank for the Free Press and sent it to Mr. Naismith.

2. Mild and Muddy, Was able to go to Church. Minister talking about enlarging the Church.

4. Bot a bushel of Timothy seed from Ainsworth, Frank and John Miller trimming his Orchard. Drew out straw and manure and put it around the currant bushes.

Hens laying about 2 dozen eggs a day. The Barton House was sold for $30.00.

30. Spread manure in forenoon. Aletter from Mr. Naismith regarding Frank's property. It seems to be a sad death and a sad settlement.


1. Frank bot a gray horse from Mr. Beeck for what he owed his Mother-bot garden seed from J. Thompson-Mary got a fine letter from Anna. Frank went with G. McDougal's son to work on a shed.

3. Robert brot word that another little girl was born at his home this morning. Mrs L walked down to help. Robert, Leah and Minnie staying up here.

6. Cut stumps in the clover field. J. Ross finished sowing clover seed. Set out some goosberry bushes.

8. Went to Mr. Phillips about grapes and trees. Robert sold 30 bushels of corn. Getting 20 to 40 eggs every day.

10. Robert sold 35 bushels wheat for 35 cents and paid me $20. Set out turnips-sold first green tree for 50 cents to A. Graves.

15. Mr. Birthday-three score and ten. I have lived man's appointed time upon earth. My eyes are not very din nor is my strength. Mr. & Mrs Fletcher, Willie, Leah and Minnie came to dinner. Called on Mr. Gray and saw through his fine home. Got 100 strawberry plants from him. Mary, Mrs. F and Belle helped set them out. Read in the News that McMillens could not claim the property Frank Lambie left at his death.

17. Went with Frank up to his farm on North Prospect and back over it through bogs and swamps to land worth improving. Brother Robert came to see about the property Brother Frank left going to his own friends.

18. James Inglis sent saying Mother should be Brother Frank's heir. Brother Robert said he would rather trust James than Detroit lawyers. Sent a letter to Agnes we would not go to Law.

23. Received trees from Ann Arbor but none from Monroe. Mary, Mrs. F, Willie, Leah and Minnie went to Belles to celebrate Willie's Birthday.


2. Robert's black mare had a foal. The trees came from Monroe at last. Mr. Vail hailed us as we passed. They came by Express-free. Mary and I set out about 40 green trees by night.

8. J. Renton, blacksmith-mill-wright repaired the big buggy. Carried the potatoes out of the Cellar and Robert and I worked hard planting them.

13. Took a barrell of seed corn to Robert. Ross planting corn in the field north of the brook.

4. Deposited $100 in the Bank. Azro and I went to see the great sale of City Lots on what used to be the William Watling Farm.

21. Longing for rain. Robert and Ron planting corn in field near Norton's Corners. Thunder showers at last.

22. Wife and I went on the Excursion to Detroit. Walked to Mother's home. One of the grandest days of my life.

25. The Adveriser came all the way from Scotland in nine days. Frank and Robert took away the old family wagon we had for over 30 years and brot back a new one.

27. Fox shore Robert's sheep-24 old sheep and 14 lambs.

29. Mrs. L and I drove to Uncle Andrews-nothome-drove to Uncle Williams not home either. A shower bothered the Street Cars too.


1. Glorious day. Robert and Fox cleaning out the brook.

2. Azro sprayed Robert's orchard and then I drove the horses as he sprayed ours. Worked in the garden-a few strawberries ripe.

5. Bot a carpet from Rexford I thought we did not need.

8. Went with Frank past Kimmels. Mrs Fletcher gave me a fine breakfast on the way back.

9. Called on Mrs. Mann, Mr & Mrs Alban and Mr. Wilbur, Robert and Ross carried the stove to the wood house. Mrs Ring and others cleaning the house.

12. Sold 2 bushels of potatoes to L Davis at 85 cents a bushel. Minister Morey went past thrice to gather ferns and flowers to decorate the Church for Children's Day.

15. Went with Frank to Fifely & Millers Corners-picked peas and some big strawberries in our garden. Sprayed and brushed buggs off the potato plants and then sprouted the potatoes in the Cellar. Showers in late afternoon.

18. Robert sold the wool to Ainsworth aobut 184 lbs-24 fleeces at 22 cents-$40.80. Robert bot a horse from Cornwell. Mr. Hewens paid interest.

22. Longest day in lovely June. Battling agsinst the weeds and bugs this long summer day. About 90 in the shade.

26. Mrs. L drove Mary over to Azros and then took Anna to the dentist. Belle picked 50 quarts of strawberries.

27. Sold two bushels potatoes to L. Davis for two silver dollars. Robert brot papers-the Free Press stating at the Probate Court Ann Lambie (William's Mother) right in Frank's property belonged to the Lambies.

30. Mrs. L's Birthday. Robert got in 3 loads of hay in prime order on Frank's new wagon. Belle picked a fine lot of cherries. Dug potatoes, very small. A paper from Prof. G. Campbell-his son seems to be the best scholar in Dartmouth College. Goodbye to joyful June.


1. Bright beautiful balmy day. Helped the field as long as I was able. Paid $8 in VanTyls store for our Church seat rent for year.

3. Andrew Campbell came with a paper by Mary and Catherine Lambie requesting a guardian be placed over Mary Lambie (Mother in Windsor) at the settlement of the deceased Francis Lambie's Estate. Fine crop of Cherries and Currants.

6. Fed the horse before sunrise and went to Town early and on the Street Railway to Ann Arbor. Had dinner and pleasant meeting with R. Campbell and family. Robert finished harvesting wheat for Theodore and reaped part of Harrises.

8. Cool morning-had to put on a flannel-Robert reaped his 10 acre field on the east high corner. Ross and Fox set up and capped the shocks.

13. Days a little shorter. I mowed the wheat around the trees on both fields. Azro came to get the reaper.

14. Expected to get new potatoes on the 4th of July but did not get them until today. Robert and his men drew in the Hay on the Miller farm.

16. John Ross drew wheat with Robert's team and Theodore with his team and got the wheat all in the barn.

18. Dug good potatoes for ourselves and son and brother Robert. Frank and Near went with Near's horse. Ross and Fox got the wagon to draw in Frank's wheat. Robert racked the stuble. Frank repaired the M_____barn that the lightning hit.

23. Robert and Ross got a new plow to plow the Miller farm. Very hot and dry. The Sunflower leaves wilted. Anna picked some Early Joe Apples. Paid Dr. Frazier for Medicine.

25. Got some papers from Brother Robert and gave him some potatoes. William Campbell came and went with Robert to see Frank's farm.

29. Renton shod Eagle. Thompson wanted to sell us a carriage for $115. A shower went around the North and around the South. We got only a few drops.

31. J. Ross cradling a good crop of Pats. More Early Joe Apples.


3. Robert reaping Oats with a new reaper. Ross and Fox binding Oats. Set up shocks till I was weary.

5. Wife and I went to Detroit and Canada to see great Army of Soldiers the G.A.R. crowd were great.

Mother sat up most of the day and when my wife sang “My Ain Countree” Mother clcapped her hands. The Windsor people had a great Arch to welcome the American Soldiers. Mrs. Smith (Kate Inglis) arrived and Mrs. Fletcher met her and children at the Depot.

6. Cleaned the hen house. No wealth, honor or pleasure doing that. Anna went for Mary and brot Mrs. F and Willie and Mrs. Smith with her two girls.

7. Dan Campbell and his young wife came. Azro borrowed our horse and did not return it as expected. Hattie had to carry Robert's dinner to him in the heat.

8. Azro brought up Mr. Smith. I called on brother Robert. Oppressing heat. 97 in the shade.

10. Went with Frank to Mr. Gills. Called at Azros and found Mr & Mrs Smith and two children. Clare came and took Mrs L to his Fathers.

13. Frank and I went to P. Gills. Azro and Mr. Smith with their families took tea at Brother Roberts.

25. Cool clear morning. Exposition begins. Anna got a telegram from Duluth.

7. Went to see Azro and old Mr. Wilbur. Called on Belle and we cheered one another. Got the harness mended adn called on Robert's empty house.

29. Frank went to the Detroit Exposition. Wife and I went to Ann Arobr with presents for Mr & Mrs Robert Campbell's 30th Wedding Day. A grand party of friends. But we were all sad when we learned Uncle Andrew's barn his hay and 7 horses were all burned last Friday night. He had hard work to save his home. Loss about $3,000. With all his loss he was Master of himself and laughed and sang like the others.


2. Went to the Exposition andCanada. Mother sat up some. Her thoughts wandered. Mary and Catherine anxious to get justice from James. Enjoyed seeing the horses, sheep and cattle at the Exposition.

4. Robert got coal for the Thrashers. Dug potatoes and called on Aunt Eunice. Gathered pears.

7. Old Mrs. Wilbur died. Harvey thrashed 311 bushels Oats and 117 bushels of wheat at Roberts and 101 bushels of Oats and 153 bushels wheat up here.

8. Went with Mary to Azros where they are thrashing. Took Mr. Smith and his trunk to the Depot. Went with Robert to old Mrs. Wilbur's funeral.

10. Bob Martin put 300 sheep on Robert pasture. Robert brot Frank home to settle with Harvey James and John Miller so that Frank could have entire control of what used to be the Miller Farm.

11. Martin took away 401 sheep after they had about spoiled Robert's pasture and paid $15.

Heard of old Mr. King's death.

14. Went with Frank to Mr. Fills about sunrise. Attended Mr.King's funeral Mrs. Hewens paid some money. Robert's cow could not be found.

15. Belle ran all the way to ell us she found one cow. Robert found the other. Mrs Hilt and the two Mrs. Campbell came to visit.

17. Mrs. F, Willie, Mrs. Smith and two girls, Mary and I went to the Fair. Saw the balloon go up.

18. Very warm. Mrs. Fletcher got the first premium on butter. We got the second premium on carrots and parsnips.

24. Uncle Andrew came. Frank went to the Plymouth Fair. Called on the Florist at the Depot and found him to be a poet.

28. Frank's Birthday. Mr & Mrs. Smith and the girls called on their way to Ohio. Longing for rain.

30. Went to Mrs. Hewens for a ram-paid $7.-he jumped out of the buggy and it tired me catching him. Mrs. McConachie came at night.(A Campbell relative)


1. Mr. McConachie, Mrs. L and I went to the City of the dead in Augusta and then to Mrs. Hewens sale and met a number of friends.

2. Rode up on the Motor to Ann Arbor Fair-was very tired and met few friends. Frank put the Hewens ram with Robert's sheep.

5. Robert and John helping Frank to thrash. Robert Campbell came and paid interest.

6. Frank got all his crops thrashed. Brot two loads here. Brother Robert came and got garden potatoes. Mary, Mr & Mrs F, Willie and I went to a Social. A grand supper and ice cream at the Church.

9. Frank brot a load of tamarack for stove wood. Dug rows of big peach blow potatoes.

10. Frank and Robert brot us a new surrey and Frank got a new Top buggy.

17. Still digging potatoes. Robert's marsh now a productive potato field.

23. Robert brot up two loads of potatoes and put them in the Cellar.

28. Went to see Mother in Windsor. She was glad to see me, very weak in body and mind-hope Mary and Catherine will be rewarded for taking care of her night and day for years.

29. Mary and Belle helped gather apples in the one horse wagon-nearly all blown down by the high winds.


3. Ice and ground hard-gathered basket of late peaches. Robert drew gravel for the road.

5. Pulled turnips. Belle and Mrs. W. Campbell came. Mr. Allison sent two Australian papers. Mary, Belle and I went to F. Bennetts burial, the last for another neighbor.

6. Mr & Mrs Fletcher went to Uncle Andrews barn raising in the morning. Mary and I went in the afternoon. A good frame, hard work and dan-gerous. Frank did as much shouting as Les Yost would do for $10.00.

9. Mild morning-Like spring. Got the turnips in the basement. Called on the gardener at the Depot.

11. Went to Detroit. Called on sister Agnes and Mother-Met Uncle Andrew at Mothers. James' store shut up.

14. Mrs. Fletcher, Mary and Willie went to Uncle Williams. Sent a Mich-igan book to the Stravan Library. My letter in the Farmer about sheep. Frank bot 20 acres from Mrs. Loveridge. Saw a grand eclipse of the Moon.

17. Mrs L went with Mary to Azros. Robert took stalks to Town and helped set up the Coal Stove.

18. Belle and I carried apples down Cellar. Mr & Mrs Ross moved on Frank's farm. Cold rain and blasts of wind.

25. Thanksgiving-Robert brot up 3 loads of corn. Mr & Mrs Scotney came to dinner.

27. Martin brot a good cord of wood to keep us warm. Paid him $3.75 and sawed some stove wood.


1. Mr. Calhoun paid interest for a bushel of onions. Mrs L, Mary and Willie went to a Church meeting in the Surrey.

5 Plenty of snow. Robert came for the Bob-Sleigh.

10 Mild and muddy again. Uncle William called on us.

13 Anna's Birthday.

17. Robert brot 2 loads of stalks.Anna sent word she intends to come home Saturday. Robert brot two cows from Knapp, one for heimself and one for his Mother.

19. Paid our Tax on the old farm home $17.29. Frank paid other Taxes. Robert brot up Anna from her School at Elkhart.

24. The girls went to the old home and cut a green tree for Christmas. Sister Agnes sent Christmas presents.

25. Christmas-23 years since father died. Had a royal feast and Turkey for dinner. Robert, Hattie and the 3 girls, Mr & Mrs Fletcher and Willie, Mr & Mrs Scotney. Frank was here to carve the Turkey. A pleasant gathering of friends.

29. Dark and damp and some snow. Bot ink, paper and oil from Samson.

31. Wife got medicine from Dr. Frazier for Ahna. Farewell good year of niney one-May we do better in days to come.

Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, 1892.

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William Lambie Diary, 1890

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, October 1988,
October 1988
Original Images:

1. Frank and I drove to the Depot with Anna in a pouring rain to take the Huckleberry train for Elkhart. Mrs. L, Mary and I called on Mrs. Morey end family and enjoyed our visit.
2. Robert and Leah sick with the prevelent influenza, has to keep a colored boy to help him.
3. Sent a dollar for the Michigan Farmer-mild and muddy. A hungry man helped to saw wood. Mr. Naismith sent a callender from Scotland.
4. Wrote regarding Christmas end Sents Claus in the Banner.
5. Went to Church, rain and mud. Sermon on revivals.
6. Frank and Mary went through the mud to Azros-Robert and his help-er able to set by the stove-Went to see them.
7. Blinks of sunshine, Wentdown to Roberts three times.
8. Frank went to the Insurance Meeting-Robert cams for a load of stalks dreary blasts.
9. Bells called to see us-Mrs. L walked to Roberts-Azro went with Mrs. L, Mary and Willie to G. Stephansons.
10. Called on Mrs. Taylor-Robert buying Turkeys.
11. Drove up wood from Robert's Lane-Got papers from Robert and Frank.
12. Went to Church in the rain-Sermon on prayer and prayer meetings.
13. Rain in the night-Snow showers and dreary blasts. Azro came for Mary to help Mrs. F.
14. Went to Town and Robert sewed some wood.
15. Azro, Mrs. L and Willie came back with Mary. Saw a fire up the river at bedtime, Govenor Luce addressed the Grange here.
16. Robert had Harvey James, his engine and men sawing wood. Walked down to the old home to see them. Mr. & Mrs. Fletcher, Willie, Laeh and Minnie were here too.
18. Mild and hazy. Mary and I went to Town. Mrs. L had a headache.
19. Mrs. L and I went to Church alone, first ice on the river.
20. Heavy rain in the night, wind storm in the morning.
21. Dull Sky and bitter blasts. Mrs. L ahs Influenza.
22. Walked to the old home-Robert brought two loads of wood and got a load of stalks and James Wallace called yesterday-coldest day this winter so far-4 above zero.
23. Heard of Mrs. Rambo's death. Snow showers-ground white. Robert went for medicine for his Mother and him. Hattie and children stayed for dinner.
24. Mrs. L unwell. Mr. LaFurgs brought a load of wood. Clear sunshine an pure snow. Brother Robert brought me some papaers.
25. Burn's Anniversary. Robert and his man sawed and split LaFurge's wood and I helped.
26. Showery-Mrs, L was sick. Mary and I went to Church. Robert and Azro's family came to dinner. Dark and damp.
27. Mild and sunshine, like spring-Mary and I went to Town and got Dr. Kinnie to come and see Mrs. L.
28. Uncle Andrew and his son Dan gave us a friendly call.
29. Robert sold the brown cow we bought of B. Roberts years ago for $15 and paid me most of it. Walked through the mud to Roberts. Robert got more medicine for his Mother.
30. Like Spring-Robert brought a load of wood and an old sheep. Received a letter from Robert Pate at Browncastle.
31. Mrs. L, Mary and I had a pleasant ride in the balmy air for health and pleasure. Some more Grosbeek birds in the dairy yeard.
1. We can hardly think of the winters past and the next month will be Spring. Called on Robert and got papers from him.
2. Dark morning-3 able to go to Church-Sermon on the widows-few old men out.
3. Robert got a load of stalks. Mrs L and I drove to the old home-rain at night.
4. Misty morning-Robert was sick and went to see the Doctor.
5. High winds in the night-LaFurge came to sell trees. Mary and Miss Draper went to Roberts-Azro and Liz and Willie went to hear Mr. Lowell at night.
6. Wife and I went to Town-took apples to Dr. Kinney.
7. Looked over old letters-Frank got Eagle shod. A new snow storm all afternoon about the first of importance.
8. Shoveled anow to get to the Barn. Mary came back-Stormy. Mr. Fletcher brought the papers from Brother Robert.
9. The two Marys and I went to Church-Sermon on Jericho. Some were out with the Cutters and bells.
10. Robert sick-Had to get Dr. Owen. Mary went to help Hattie-BRight sunshine-snow melting.
11. Robert better-We went to see him. Went to Town in afternoon-Like Spring.
12. Robert was able to come and see us-Dan called on him.
13. Mr. L drove Mary to Harries-Mary went to Church at night with Mr. & Mrs. Fletcher-Balmy day.
14. A wet morning-A letter from J. Camman-Mary walked to Roberts in the rain.
15. Two years to the day since Grandfather died-clear sunshine and frost after the rain. P. VanAten came to trim the Orchard. P. Stephens and Mr. Wilcox died this week. Roberta man filing saws and sawing wood.
16. went to Stephens burial. Sermon on the conversion of Paul.
17. Mrs. L and I went to Azro's for dinner. Called on Mr. & Mrs. Webber. Drove to John McDougals to tell them of the death of old Mrs. Gardener.
18. Misty and damp-Mrs. L not well enought to go the Mrs. Gardner's funeral. Robert came up sick-Mother went and stayed with him. Mar and I went to Town. Azro, Elizabeth and Willie came for Mary to go to Theodores late. More rain in the night. A robins singing feebly in the dreary and trees. Robert and family made us a pleasant visit.
19. Bleak blasts, dull skies and Mary and I saw the old Camp House blazing and burning in the dreary blasts. Split wood.
20. Mother's 93rd birthday-the side walks were a sheet of ice-went to Detroit-CAlled on James-Mother as well as could be expected at her time of life. Shw was able to sit up about an hour-talked of the happy days of Auld Lang Syne. May the frequencies of God's mercies not lessen our gratitude all our meeting and parting make us better. Called on Sister and she accompanied me to the Depot.
21. Walked down to see Robert-Bitter blasts-Bell called after dinner-Mary went to visit Mrs. Everts.
22. Washington's Birthday-Mothar's Birthday is of greater importance to me. Had a cold stayed at home. Robert called and brought word that Joe Saunders fell down and died in his store.
23. Snow showers-the two Marys drove to Church-I stayed home-Robert and family came to dinner.
24. Mild and misty and damp. Split some stove wood.
25. Rain in the night, cloudy akies and muddy roads. Mrs. Fletcher and Mary went to Roberts and they were sorry he was away spending money his family needed.
26. Mrs. L went to see daughter BElle. Ring triming and burning brush in the Orchard.
27. Frank went home with Azro to see Willie. Cut off sprouts round the apple trees.
28. More rain-Mrs. J. Campbell came through the mud from Augusta, took down Mrs. Campbell's team at night. Robert got back seemed to be better. Farewell to Winter.
1. Welcome another Spring, cold breezes. Robert got a load of stalks. Belle came, called on Brother Robert-he looked sad and weary.
2. The Young Men's Christian Association conducted the Service at Church. The river about froze over the first time this winter or Spring.
3. Rough roads-Frank took both horses to Town, Crows cawing and forming in long rows in the field before the houss. Wife and I drove down to Roberts-but all was deserted-snow showers.

4. More snow and then sunshine. Frankhas Dick drawing stove wood for his customers. Frank, Robert, Azro and all the third gener-ations came and the younsters had a gleeful time.
5. g above zero-the men who want ice may rejoice. Went to Town called on our old firend John Taylor, found him looking well, A turnout over at Azors-Belle came.
7. Above zero, Uncle William made a short pleasant call.
8. Belle, Leah and I called at Brother Roberts. A great many in Town. Men building an ice house, and filling it.

9. Sunshine-The Church full and Professor helped the Minister.
10. A snow storm in the forenoon. Robert and his man up here cleaning wheat. Robert sold a Icad of wheat to Mr. Dubal.
11. Robert's Birthday. Deep mud and a long race after a stupid cow. Mary and Belle went to Town.

12. More rain in the night. A robin sung seedly in the dreary day.
Robert and family made us a pleasant visit.
13. Dug parsnips in the garden. Mr. & Mrs. Taylor walked up. went home with them after supper.
14. Wife and I had a pleassent visit at Mrs. Stephens. Called on Mrs. Thomas Phillips who is very sick.
15. Cold snow showers-Did not go Downtown in the storm. Brother Robert kindly sent pepers by Frank.
16. Ice on the water paid in the kitchen. Went to Church in the bleak blasts-came gentle Spring eternal mildness came.
17. A little below freezing and a little snow. Mr. Stanley buried yestarday. St. Patrick's Day.
18. Robert and his boy got the stable manure on the garden. Frank paid me the Greenman not $22,00. Spread manure in the garden, sowed Lettuce and Raddish. Tulips and Snow drops peeping up. Raked off the Rhubarb.
19. GRound white with a morning snow shower. Azro making Maple Syrup. Belle came to see us.
20. Went to a prayer meeting in the Baptist Church yesterday.
21. Went through the deep mud to Azros. Willie and I had a grand walk in the pale forest and saw them boiling sap. The two Marys went to a Ladies meeting in the Church.
22. Robert's boy plowed the garden with our help. Got papers from Brother Robert.
23. Mary over at Azros. Mrs L and I went to Church and took old Mrs. Rorisan home; only Frank with us at dinner.
24. Bleak March blasts, laid up rails between the old farm and Wilbers. Mary and Willie walked over and back.

25. The bonnie birds sung in the sunshine at dawn when we left for Uncle Willisme where we had a pleasant visit but the wind blew bleak and dreary coming home.
26. Bleak, bitter blasts-Robart and family called on us, next Azro and his folks, glad to get in the house by the stove.
27. Wife and I called on John Mann and Mr. & Mrs. Lay, some of the few friends we found fifty years ago.
28. A great viariety of weather, thunder and lightning in the night, snow, hail and rain in the forenoon. Robert came through the driving snow to see us.
29. Sunshine after the snow storm-Did not go Downtown.
30. Sacrament over 20 additions to the Church. Mr. Green about the only one of the Sacrament hosts, the others mostly gone to their homes.
1. Paid Mr. C for the Commercial and Mr. Woodry for the Sentinel. Birda singing.
2. Went with Frank over to Mr. Arnold's. Aunt Kate and Jay came-Mrs. L drove them over to Azros. Sowed cabbage, beets, carrots and onions.
3. A morning shower, Snow drops peeping through Rhubard leaves forming a wet day. Balle and Mary went to Town in the rain.
4. Wet morning, birds singing, gladsome day.
5. Met Belle in Town. The farmers met in the Grange Hall. A great sale of City Lots in Windsor.
6. Easter. The pulpit adornad with flowers-Sermon on Easter. Went to the home of Mrs. and Sarah Rorison. Mrs. L went home with Willie.
7. Town meeting-Robert and family came, grand day-Repaired fence. Rasler got 26 dozen eggs-Loud thunder in the night. Warm sunshine that Robert's children enjoyed.
8. Great thunderatorm in the night-too wet for Frank to work. The Ministers forming-the Presbyterian came.
9. Walked down with Robert to see about fence posts in the woods where I wandered when young. Took down chickens for Ministers. Mrs. L attended a Missionary meeting in the Baptist Church. Cold blustry and dreary after the sunshine and thunder. Robert has 4 lambs.
10. Cold dreary blasts-Willie said he wanted to go home awful bad.
11. Mrs. L and Mary went to Town-OUr old friend Mr. Pasons was buried. planted potatoea-birde singing among bursting buds.
12. Mary and I set out 15 Ohio Roses-Thunderstorms last night. Peach treea begining to leak road with blossoms.
13. A full Church-a good Sermon-a beautiful day.
14. Robert and Will begun to plow for Oats south of the house. Repaired fence round the barnyard.
15. Mr. Birthday, having lived 69 years and beginning my seventh year-Mans alotted time upon earth. The joys of young life and mature life are past and solemn thoughts comes over the mind as one thinks of so many old friends gone and that we are now in the front ranks on the march to the unseen world. A beautiful day with a pleasant party to dinner.
16. Wheeled ashes on the garden. Robert and Hattie went to Miss Martin's wedding. Peach trees bursting in the red beautiful bloom Mrs. L and I west to our old friend E. C. Peck's funeral.
17. Called on N. Voorhees and got 3 dozen eggs for sitting. Got straw-berries and Cuthbert plants from Mr. Everts. Azro sowed Dats south of the house. Frank let the Miller farm to Harvy James.
18. Uncle William, Azro and Frank drove past Belleville to look at farms he had a claim on. Planted Cuthbert and 100 strawberries. Mary, Mrs. Fletcher, Belle, Willie and Leah gathered wild flowers in our old woods. Robert harrowing Oats.
19. Fine Spring day-Frank getting the Buggys painted.
20. Mr. Morey preached a good Sermon.
21. Robert sowing clover seed-the boy rolling and plowing-bought one bushel timothy seed and 1/2 bushel clover. Received and planted 7 fine peach trass from the Monroe Nursery.
23. A fine refreshing shower. Mary, Mrs. F and Willie went to Uncle Andrews-planted potatoes, sowed parsnips. Robert has 20 lambs.
24. Dug a seafrass bushes on the old farm and grapes and planted them up here-Wild flowers in the woods.
25. Planted and trimed trees that I dug up-Robert sold potatoes.
26. Walked to Roberts. Came back in the rain. Robert sold his team to Theodore. Fussing with sitting hens.
27. Mr. Marsh preached a tiresome Sermon on Alma College.
28. Mrs. L and I called on Mrs. Renton and Nehall and on J. Mann. When we came to our good old friend Dr. Patterson he told us he? far gone to see us passing away to a glorious immortally. Planted two Peach and a Quince tree, Mrs. L had bought of Mr. LaFurge. Dandelions in bloom. Robert's boy plowing.
29. Showers in the night-sunshine in the day time.
30. Went to Mr. Lay's funeral-One of the best on earth. Willie's Birthday. Mrs. Fletcher, Hattie, Mary and Bells held a picnic in Norton's woods among the wild flowers.
1. Robert and I set Evergreen trees north of the house. Brother Robert called on us and told us Mother's welfare.
2. Robert and I finished setting two rows of green trees. John Taylor came-went to Town with him. Old Mrs. Scotney came and told her tale of woe and abuse. Robert cultivated poatoes. The buggys both painted and dry.
3. Planted corn in the garden. Peaches in beautiful bloom. Wrote verses regarding our old friend Mr. Lay.
4. A Sermon on Sabbath Schools.
5. Wet forenoon-Mr. Morgan came to show us his portrait of Carthle.
6. Went to Mr. Howlets with Frank. Cold rain and some hail. Robert, Leah and I walked by the brook where will was plowing for Corn. Fox triming apple trees.
7. Planted potaotes, a little frost at sunrise-not well.
8. Turned the sprouting potatoes-Robert and his Mother went to the old farm-7 chickens-a little frost again.
9. Wet and stormy-the rats killing the wee chicks.
10. So wet we did not go to the Town. Robert and Will helped Marz to clean the house. Ben Smerick, Mr. Beuland and Bice died this week.
11. Clear and cold after the heavy rain, ice on the pail as thick as a half dollar. A Sermon on Calvin.
18. A Sermon on Presbyterianism and the Declaration of Independence Went to Chruch in the Rain.
19. Cloudy & Showers. Hoed in the garden-Have pie plant, asparagrass and radishes.
20. Received 4 Roses from the Dingle Rose Company in Philadelphia.
21. Wife and I called on Mr. & Mrs. Albian and got seed from them. Made a pleasant call on the Miss Lumas we have known.
22. Mary's Birthday-She went to Ezras-Belle made her a new dress. Robert and family went to Azros for seed corn.
23. Robert had two teams harrowing and one rolling-I cleaned out the drift wood at Harries fence. Mrs. Lauvedge brought Mary home and took our mail to Town. A grand day.
24. Queen's Birthday-A morning shower-a tremendous shower at G. Alllane on both us and Azro's family.
25. Sermon on Joshua. More showers.
26. The rain made the Roberts land to wet for planting corn but the stream in fine order for washing sheep, his man and Ernie Ring made light work of it-Received 1/4 ounce of silk worm eggs from Washington and don't know what to do with them. Robert and his man marked and planted corn north of us.
27. Beauty of a morning, like long ago. Robert had Ring, Ross and Fox planting corn.
29. Mrs. L and I called on Mr. & Mrs. Finley and Son, John, Mr & Mrs A Campbell, Mrs. Elsworth and Mrs. Parsons. Robert went with Mr. Knapp.
30. Decoration Day. The two Marys and I went to Church. Met the Parade of Veterans and the band with marshall music both going and returni Warm 82 degrees at supper time. Robert's man plowing for beans.
31. Let out aobut 50 chickens we kept in the barn. Robert brought home the Calf Bessie he bought from A. Knapp. A friend from near Wayne called on brother Robert.
1. Sacrament-the Church full, some additions but John Geddis and Mr. Lay comes nevermore.
2. Splendid summer morning-Hleped Robert to load manure-Ernie Ring helped Mary to clean the house.
3. Howed potaotes till it came a thuderstorm-paid Robert $5 to help pay for the shearing of the sheep. Mr. & Mrs. Fletcher, Willie and Mary went to Uncle Williams to help spray the trees. Fox and his partner shore Robert's 48 sheep.
5. Put paris geen on the potatoes-Robert replanting corn-his man plowing for beans.
7. Went with the Presbyterian Excursion and found brother Frank in James store looking poorly.
Was glad to see Mother's white Mutch at the window, being able to sit up and talk of days of long ago-Called on Sister Agnes as she returned from Lapeer and intends to live in the country at Clark Villa this summer.
8. A bonnie summer day. Mr. Faifield preached among the flowers it being Children's Day.
Robert finished planting beans and brought up the wool-sowed grass seed and planted corn on the burnt marsh.
10. Fifty-one years today since we came from native Scotland to the Moon farm in Michigan. Mother still living and in her right mind. Father the only one to leave us in our long exile. A wet day.
12. Ernie Ring helped to carry the potaotes to the barn and I mowed the foor yeard and a few strawberries. Belle came.
13. Wife and I went to Ann Arbor and enjoyed a pleasant visit with Mr. & Mrs. R. Campbell-called on Lasher Kimme and Mrs. Strang and took dinner with Azro and family.
15. Mr. Morey preached about giving. A grand summer day. Three generations to dinner.
16. The Robins sung o'er my cottage door to see the rising sun at four-as glad as the days of yore.
17. Cultivated potatoes, cleaned out the brook-Belle came.
18. Mr. Whittelsay looked over the Wool and ofered 26 cents.
19. Looked over the old orchard and the crop of apples seems to be a failure.
20. Wrote regarding Mr. Allison's great flock of sheep in Australia. Refreshing rain in the night.
21. Old Dirk had to get a rest after Robert's cow hurt him and we lent him Eagle and I think of the time I said “My kingdom for a Horse”. Belle came for the Augusta Organ to celebrate her Birthday after the surprise party at her home.
22. The longest day-A good sermon on the Lord's Prayer. Very warm was glad to get out of Church.
23. Went with Frank over to Boatwrights-met with Mr. Sabers. Called on Elizabeth-Robert's man put Green on his potatoes. Went to see him cultivationg his big field of corn by the orchard brook.
24. Glad beautiful morning-very warm about 90 in the shade. Belle came and her and Mary drove over to Roberts.
25. Robert working on the roads. Tolbert cultivated potaotes about 90 in the shade. Howed potaotes, green peas for dinner. Mrs. F brought Mary back and took away Mrs. L.
27. He causes morning and evenings to rejoice.
30. Mrs. L Birthday-Went with Frank to Boatwrights-Another thunder storm.
1. Damp misty morning-Robert has 2 men hoeing potatoes. Mrs. R and Unie Lambie went to visit friends at Vassers.
3. Robert and I took a walk to Ainsworth, a falling market. We got 26 cents for all but 3 fleeces, 18 for them. Small returns for feeding sheep all winter-about $59 to divide between Robert and 1–48 fleeces.
4. Fine cool breezes and great guns booming in the morning. Robert mowed the clover field.
5. Helped to cack up the hay as of old, liked the work-very weary the spirit willing but the flesh weak.
6. Brother Robert called and we rode out to see the wheat waving before the harvest.
7. Drove with Frank to Boatwrights barn, Theodore started to mow the field by G. Allans and broke the saled tongue of the mower the first time round.
8. Robert's man went to Canads-A new man mowed by G. Allans and did not break anything among the stumps. Robert reaped for Theodore and his reaper did not run well. I brushed bugs off Robert's potats field with the broom-electric light at night. Anna walked to Belles.
10. Fine cool morning, green peas drying up-Robert's man came back from Canade-him and W. Cary got in all the hay by G. allans in nice order. Robert reaped for Wanger-Frank returned from Boatwrights-fine breezes-Anna and Mary walked to Azros.
11. Fine harvest morning-Robert reaped Harries wheat-Mrs. L brought Anns and Mary home. Azro and Willie came for FRank and Eagle to help them.
12. Currents and berries ripe-peas dried up-potatoes very small. Robert's reaper bothered him and broke down again. Bound a few sheaves on the harvest field. Brother Robert's wife and daughter returned from Caro.
15. Robert reaped all his wheat and went to reap for Bennet. Mr. Fletcher, Elizabeth adn Willie cams with berries.
22. Howed in Robert's corn-his men got in the Orchard hay while he is with the thrashers.
23. Received the Agriculture report from Rusk at Washington. Cut weeds in Robert's corn-gathered gooseberries. Robert's men got in the wheat rakings.
24. A welcome refreshing shower in teh night-Rain and fruitful seasons to fill our hearts with joy and gladness.
26. Caught and tared a rat-cut weeds in the corn till I was weary.
Brother Robert and family made us a pleasent call. Frank repaired Harvie's thrashing machine.
29. Mrs. L, Anna and Mary went to Uncle Williams-90 in the shade.
30. Went with the Sabbath School Excursion to Detroit and spent the day with my good old Mother and Sisters in Windsor. A soul re-freshing visit-very warm.
31. Wrote a letter Cousins in Glasgow-92 in the shade. Robert reaped the Dets.
1. Want to see John Mann yesterday and may never see him again. The colored mens day. Received a letter from the Editor or the Evangelist.
2. Warm, sultry and oppresive today-94 in the shade-Helped Robert to mow sway two loads of Dats-A thunderstorm in the north.
3. A good sermon on “Who is my neighbor”. 94 again-hot.
4. A welcome rain and thunder in the night to refresh the dry ground. went to F. Smiths with Frank-gathered apples on the old farm.
6. Robert brought back his reaper. Eagle bit the nail off wee Minnie's thumb, it's getting better now.
7. Glorious morning-Bought a gallon of Owens mineral water and he showed me his horses, cattle, hogs, dogs and buildings.
8. Got a card about Anne Campbell's wedding. Moved weeds and nettles from the old farm. Robert and his men got in the Oats by the stream.
9. A fine breezy morning. A morning drive with Frank. apples ripe but apples and peaches a failure this year.
10. Cool like autumn-Mr. sell presched-Mrs. L. Anna, Mary and I went to Church.
11. Went to Roberts and walked in his big cornfield that was a marsh in the long ago. Belle came and we went to Town.
12. The day we walked among the blooming heather in bonnie Scotland when life was young and hope was high.
Robert and the two children had a nice ride round the clover field. Frank finished Frank Smith's barn. Anna and Mary went to Belles for supper.
13. Anna went to Azros with Belle. Robert going to plow and sow the corn field for me.
14. Harvey thrashed our Oats and 68 bushel and then Robert and Mrs. L and I drove to the old home in Augusta. The home looks as of old but the old friends were away to the spiritland.
16. Robert went to Whitemore Lake-called on our old sick friend John Mann who could hardly lift his head so weak and weary.
17. Nine head of cattle got in the potatoes at midnight therwe had a weary chase after them. We enjoyed a welcome refreshing shower after the dry dusty weather to fill our heart with joy and grat-itude-the first time we failed to go to Church this summer.
18. Went to Town with Frank-dug potatoes among the wild geese.
20. Robert's Oats damp, he spread them on the barn floor. Waled with Robert over the farm. mrs. A Campbell and daughter came to supper. Robert's man plowing for wheat.
21. A wet morning Abundance of water to molify the dry grass. Robert sold 25 sheep to G. Wilbur for $150. Robert got $15, for his share. Was unwell in the night-
22. Went to Town with Frank-had a pleasnt walk with Robert through the rows of his big corn crop.
24. No preaching in our Church-went to the Methodist. Mr. Kining unwel Another Minister preached. Robert and family cmae.
25. Went to Bostwrights with Frank-called at Ezras coming back-Anna drove to Azros.
26. Mrs. L and I went to Town in the rain-The Detroit Exposition began today.
27. Went to the Detroit Exposition-a vision of delight was the balloon going up and the man coming down in a parachute. Got to Mothers after dark.
28. A pleasant visit with Mother and Sisters-could not get out on the Noon train-had to wait till five. Brother James vexed me but no one but him. A full company at supper before Anna goes away.
29. Went with Anna and her trunk to the Depot. Belle coming too. Went to John Mann's funeral in afternoon. William Campbell, Wife and daughters came too.
30. Wrote lines in memory of my old friend John Mann.
31. Mr. Pitman preached well as usual-the last summer day of 1890.
1. Intended to go to J. Campbells for seed wheat but Robert was gone to thrash-Frank paid $15 for interest.
2. Mrs. L and I went to J. CAmpbell bought 16 bushels Pool Seed wheat and returned shortly after noon-got the reins renewed for a $1. Azro pulling beans with his machine, Robert digging stumps.
3. Mrs. L and I went to Ann ARbor and Dexter to the Pioneers Meeting. I read lines to our old friend E.D.Lay. We would have preferred Ann Arbor other than Normands Grove.
4. Showers-Robert cuts beans with Ezras mschine-the weeds bothered him-Smith mowed bushes in the marsh.
6. Robert begun to drill wheat-Robert's man drilled 16 bushels of wheat in the corner field near us. Helped Robert and 3 men to turn wet dirty beans-discouraging work-sultry. Mrs. L and Mary went to Town.
8. Mr. Morey came back and gave us a very good sermon-very warm day. Wet morning-Eagle went down to Roberts in the night and we looked for him in the wet grass.
9. Robert's man got hurt in Town. Helped Robert and his men to turn beans and weeds. The two Marys went to Uncle Williams. Lydia Hewens paid $22 interest money. A sunflower in the garden over eleven feet high with 18 flowers.
11. Mrs. L and I went to Town to get men to fork up Azro's beans.
12. Old Mrs. Yakley died. Robert drew in some beans-forked weeds in the furrows while Fox and Augusta were plowing. Mrs. L and Mary went to Church.
14. Sacrament-John Taylor back all right-went with Mrs. Rorison to her home-the first white frost-saw no ice but some said they did.
15. Went with Frank to McKims corners-Robet's sick man better. Called on Mrs. F and got melons.
17. Mrs. L and Mary, Mrs. F and Willie went to the Fair. I stayed and gathered grapes. Robert rolled the bean land. Mary went with Uncle William.
18. The morning mist fading in the sunshine with the prospect of a grand day for the Fair. Went to the Fair.
19. Went and called on Belle, she went with me and we bought 10 pulletts for $4. Was on the Fair grounds most all day yesterday-fine weather and a good turnout-met a few old friends. Was about as well enter-tained seeing Fox cutting Robert's field of good corn as I saw at the Fair.
20. Robert's man working on the bean field-B. Voorhees brought me some peaches.
21. Mrs. L, Mr and Mrs F, Willie and I went to Church. Mary at Uncle Williams.
22. Robert and his man drilled wheat in the bean field. Got a letter from Editor Naismith, told Brother Robert regarding it but he did not like it.
23. Mrs. L and I drove to Ann Arbor-Saw the procession from the Sermon. Anither pleasant visit with Mr. & Mrs R Campbell. Sent an answer to Mr. Naismith's letter.
24. Days growing shorter, the forest trees getting on their robes of Autumn splendor. Picked all the grapes. Mary and I went to the old home.
27. Mrs. L, Mary and I had a pleasant meeting and a bountiful dinner along with Brother Robert and family at Azros. Robert thrashing at Bens, his man culling corn.
28. Frank's Birthday, mary and I want to Church by Moonlight.
29. Went with Frank to work on Newton a barn-Called on Mr. F, got a certificate at the Bank for Frank. Want to the old farm to see Azro gathering Apples he bought of Robert.
30. Sent another letter to Wm, Naismith. Went to the sale at Raslers-the hens were sold before I arrived. Mary and I went to a pleasant Church Social at night-Skies and forest a vision of delight.
2. Went to Mrs. F's with Mary-Dug some potatoes. Have hardly enough to pay $15 for insurance.
3. Robert, Hattie, Babe and I went to Ann Arbor to the Fair.
Glorious day, a good Fair. The forests on the hills in Autumn are a splendor and vision of delight.
7. Mrs. F and Mary went to Town. Robert and I walked over the old farm, Azro picking and packing Robert's apples.
8. Frank and I had a delightful ride to Ann Arbor but the Street Cars frightened the horse. Robert and his men picked our apples.
9. Robert headed up two barrels of apples for Anna and I marked them and took them to the Hillsdale Railroad at night.
10. Frank got back from the Jury and I went with him to his work on Newton's farm.
11. Mowed weeds and Canada Thistels-Robert and his men digging potatoes. Had a Pleasant visit at Brother Roberts, was real glad he had such a fine interview with our good Mother and Sisters. Robert exchanged his colt for the big horse Jim.
12. Great rain last night. Went to Church in dampness. Mrs. Dickensen rode home with us, Robert and family came with Milk and the big horse Jim.
13. More rain-too dark and wet for Frank to work but it cleared up at noon ws drove over to Newtons. A heavy shower at night.
15. Got the lines mended-husked sweet corn-fed Robert's lambs.
16. Wet day-Azro and Willie came for Mary to help-Mrs. F being away at the death of Mrs. George Voorhees.
17. Went to Mrs. Voorhees funeral-husked corn in the Garden-Sent a letter to Mr. Rait, Sandford, Scotland. Robert begun to plow the Marsh for corn next year and put Jim the ram with the awey.
Men from Glasgow want to come and sing in Ypsilanti but it is not in my line.
18. Robert had to leave the plow and help Augusta to get in his beans. Dug two rows of potsotes with the fork while Robert's men dug one with the hook, besides going after the boy gathering nuts he promise to give us half, he brought a pan full.
20. Drove with Frank to Newton's barn they intend to raise today. Fed Robert's Lambs, walked over his field and saw them plowing the Marsh.
21. Went to see Robert plowing the Marsh, got most of our Apples gather-ad and put on the barn floor. Azro drawing apples out of Robert's orchard to Town. Thought we could not spend the money to go to J. Cammons.
22. Tried to help Robert to plow the land that has lain unplowed since Adams time. Went to Azros for dinner-saw his fine crop of apples. Belle got the last of the apples. Received a letter from Brooklyn addressed to Rev. William Lambie.
24. Got the harness mended. Had a pleasant meeting with A. Campbell.
25. Sent a letter to Rev. R. Lawson. Cold and blustry.
27. Went with Frank and saw the fine new barn. Robert sold potatoes to Mr. Post. His man plowed the Marsh and the plow broke again.
28. Clouds and rain. Frank came home unwell. Carried potatoes down callar. Dr. Kinney came to see Frank.
31. Last of Golden October-Robert's man drawing corn up here. Read of Mrs. Rosison's death and burial. Frank not able to work.
1. Chilly surly blasts-Mrs. L walked down to Roberts.
2. Went to Church, some rain-Church was full.
3. John Ross shingling the Corn Crib. Received a group of papers from Australia. Drew up poles from the woods to keep the fire burning.
4. Election Day-Democrats like to seep all. Was surprised that CAptain Alls was defeated.
5. Frank able to work. Went with him to Cherry Hill. Rough roads. Went to Azros with Mary and Belle and I took Belle home-hard frost in the morning and then mud.
6. Went with Robert to Tefieys raising and then to Harvey's sale. Indian summer day-Robert's man got in all the Potatoes.
7. Carried the Cabbage and Carrots down cellar. Mrs. L went to Azros and then Mrs. F, Mary and Willie drove to Town.
8. Wet night–Heard of the death of old Mrs. Morton.
9. A sermon on the Young Men's Christian Assaication. Went to old Mrs. Morton's funeral. gone at four score and eight, like a shock of corn fully ripe.
10. Went with Frank to Newton's barn-muddy road. Boarding up the hen house. Robert plowing the Marsh.
11. Called on Brother Robert, Eunice talked regarding her Mother's death. Grand day laid straw round rose bushes. The two Marys went to the Church Meeting.
12. Went on an excursion to Detroit. Called on my good old Mother, her mind that was so long and clear wanders now. Grand day. Mother said the sun in the Heavens and th Leas (?) of righteous were both shinning on me.
13. Another beautiful day-Went and saw old Mrs. Crippen and Robert is getting in stalks-he sold 9 lambs and 2 wedders to Gorton, 26 in flock left. Mrs. L and I went to Church and heard the Evangelists from Chicago. One of them sang well but the speaker was not adapted for me.
Had Robert's family and Mrs. Crippsn to supper.
15. Mild and cloudy-dug carrots-wet afternoon. Robert plowed in the rain. Mary went to Town with Mrs. F and Willie.
16. Forty one years since our marriage in a full Church. Mr. Morrey earnest for a great revival. Went round with old Mrs. Rosison.
18. Went to Roberts and down town, pleasant sunshine after the rain. Robert bought a grist for him and us.
19. Pure sunshine and clear skies. Robert man drawing gravel on the road. Mary walked to Azros. Mrs. L has a sick headache.
20. Fine day-Bella came and Mrs. A. CAmpbell. some villins stole two of Robert's turkies and he sold 7 violets in bloom yet.
21. Made a fence by the corn crib-Robert and his man helped Azro to thrash beans. 90 bushels-Another grand day.
22. Robert got in all the corn and stalks-carried the apples from the barn down cellar-was unwell in afternoon. Mrs. L and Willie walked up home and Mrs L came back alone.
25. Brought up some wood from Roberts. Smith sawed wood and old boards. Robert's plow broke again.
26. Mrs. L and I went to the Church to meet the Chicago Minister and singer. Went with Mary to Azros. Belle came.
27. Thanksgiving-The first snow that stopped plowing. Mrs. Fletcher could not leave home so we went and took dinner with her-a grand gathering.
28. Some frost-Robert plowed in the afternoon, Frank and Mr. Newton drove up to Ann Arbor with Eagle. Mr. Calhoun paid interest.
1. First day of Winter, got the coal stove started. Mrs. L carried in wood in the snow shower.
2. Cold 10 above zero. Mrs. L went to Belle's winter family. Settled with Robert for the summers work.
3. Snow about 4 inches deep, Frank hitched Eagle on the cutter the first time for one or two years. Frank, Mary, Robert and Robert's girls came in the cutter then the boys went to hunt rabbits.
4. Got chilled, sad, sick and weary.
5. More snow, not well. Mrs. Fletcher, Mrs L and Willie came.
7. Mr & Mrs Fletcher and Willie, Mrs. L, Mary and Frank drove to Church in the cutter. I was glad to stay home. Robert and family came to see us at night.
8. Was thirsty all night. Frank started in the cold gray morning for Mr. Rooks.
9. Cold snow, a blue haze in the woods. Able to feed the Horse and hens and carry in coal and wood.
10. Thaw at noon-drove down to Roberts and saw his round Oak stove and his farm stock. Got chilled and am not well.
11. Azro, Frank and Willie drove down Azro's hogs. Mary had her teeth pulled. Could split a little wood. Robert and family came.
12. Cold north blasts-glad to stay in the house. Mrs. L, AZro, Mr. and Mrs. F and Willie went to Church. Frank brought over shoes.
13. Anna's Birthday-enjoyed a good rest last night-cold and dreary. Frank paid the taxes on the old farm $15. Mary got medicine from Dr. Kinney.
15. Did not sleep very well-it's like a Spring morning, pure sunshine and pure snow. Dr. Fields of the Evangelist was pleased with the mummey peas I sent and published the Thanksgiving Lines. Frank went to Azros and the Free Church. Robert sold corn to L. Yost.
16. Robert sold a load of hay to Ring. Mr. LaFurge brought 2 loads of dry rough elm wood. Mr. & Mrs. Fletcher came. Mary went with them.
17. A little snow, dark and damp. Mr. Crittenden left $13 for Frank.
19. Frost and Sunshine. Frank came from Mr. Rooks and went to Town with Mary, Mrs. F and Willie. Not well-long night.
20. Brother Robert came to see us, Anna arrived after dark unexpected and we were all glad to see her.
21. The two Marys and Frank went to Church. Mild and springlike.
22. Shortest day-sunshine and soft breezes-6 hens only lay 2 or 3 eggs per day. The two Franks pumped the well out.
23. Another good bright winter day. Anna and Mary went to Azros. Cold driving blasts in the afternoon.
24. Calm quiet frosty morning. Sent papers to Scotland.
25. Christmas 22 years since Father left all that is of the earth earthy. Robert and family and Azro and his came-had a grand turkey dinner, a pleasant gathering and fine presents to one another. Robert went past with the jumping cow, some swine and the bunting sheap.
26. Sharp morning, Mrs. L went with Anna and Mary to Azros. Along with the other presents I got this fountain pen from Belle. drove down to Roberts.
27. Snow in the night and still storming.
28. Frank, Mrs. L and Mary went to Church-10 above. Robert and family came. Belle came. Got a Callander from William Naismith in Scotland.
31. The last day of 1890, dark, damp. Went and helped Robert to load up a big load of corn-was sick and sad. Anna, Mary, Mrs. F and Willie want to Belles and stayed overnight with Mrs. Fletcher.

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William Lambie Diary, 1889

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Ypsilanti Gleanings, July 1988,
July 1988
Original Images:

From the Diary of William lambie. Mr. Lambie was the Grandfather of Foster L. Fletcher.

1. A grand winter morning-Mr. & Mrs. Fletcher and Willie, Frank, Belle, Mrs. L and I went to the Depot to bid Anna goodbye as she left for Elkhart.
Frank, Leah, Robert, Hattie, the two Marys and I went to Azros for dinner-a fine party of friends to rejoice in the good things of this present life.
2. Belle came home faint and weary, with cruelty and oppression to a good home to receive kindness for cruelty.
4. Mrs. L, Belle and I went up and told the Scotney Family Belle would not be a slave to them anymore the way they used her seemed to me to be slow murder. Robert went with two wagons and brought home her furniture. I think it will do more good to Belle than all the medicine in Ypsilanti.
5. Mild day, damp and misty. Mrs. L over at Azros. Went to Town in the rain. Robert gave me paper to read and was glad we got Belle out of the house of bondage.
6. Elizabeth's Birthday. Damp and misty today again. A Sermon on prayer, Short dark day.
7. Dark morning. Belle got her ten sheep and the Wagon back to Roberts. Mrs. L went Azro. Robert told us of Stephen Voorhee's death.
8. William Campbell came, Mary and I went to Town, roads very muddy. Talked with William and A Campbell regarding family affairs.
9. Dark wet morning. Frank went to the Insurance meeting. Robert and I went to Stephen Voorhees funeral, rain, snow, mud and roaring blasts.
10 High Winds in the night-Houses and the bridge over Niagara blown down.
11 Paid May Dashner $28 for teaching-mild day-eggs down to 16¢.
12 Bohn Campbell and Anna came. John Miller's farm advertised to be sold under mortage in the Sentinel.
14 Dark morning, Wife and I called on Mrs. Casey and then drove down to Roberts. Mary took Belle over to Azros.
15 Twenty above zero. Willie came walking past the window. Mrs. F and Belle met wife and went to Town.
A dark man taking too much of Robert's wood.
16. Wet in forenoon, dark and damp and a stormy night.
17. Some blue sky and cool breezes-went with Robert to the old home. Mrs. L, Mary and Willie went to Mrs. Stephensens.
18. Went to the old home with Robert and sayy him chopping the Willows I planted many years ago.
19. Sent three dollars to pay for the Scottish American. Chilly day.
20. Th two Marys and I went to Church and back in a snowstorm.
21. More snow. Dipped this pen in water. Mrs. L went with Azro, Elizabe and Willis. The coldest morning this winter 4 above zero.
Beautiful sunshine on a pure white world.
23. Fine morning-Mrs. L and Willie arrived before breakfast. Read of the death of Lieutenent Gov. McDaniles and others on the railroa Mrs. L went to Uncle Williams. Received a good letter from Mrs. Brown in Glasgow. Brother Robert called-was very kindly.
25. Robert and I walked in the old woods. Burn's Birthday. Light frost and sunshine. Paid Mr. Woodruff one dollar for the Sentinel. Belle went to Ann Arbor.
27. Went to Church in a snowstorm, The two Marys, Mrs. F and Willie and I came home in a kind of blizzard. A Chicago Minister preached
28. Tramping among the pure snow, feeding the horse and hens. 14 above zero, cloudy and damp. Mary went with Uncle William.
30. The white cow gives no milk. Azro and Robert getting ice.
31. Mild above freezing-Went with Frank to Fletchers after breakfast. Mrs. L and I went to the old home. Hattie was alone and we brought up Leah till her mother came home.

1. Up early to feed Azro's horses-Mild, dull and cloudy. Frank working for E. Fletcher.
2. Up early again to feed Azro's horses. Robert helping Azro to get ice, we went to Town.
3. At Church-The steeple is off the Church.
4. Mrs. L and I went to Luises Childs funeral.
Paid William Scotney $22.75 for wood for the School.
5. Rain in the night and bitter blasts in the morning-8 above zero.
Mary went down to Roberts. Carried the clothes to Rings. Azro Came
6. Coldest yet-10 below zero at sunrise. Robert helping Azro cut ice on his pond.
Brother Robert brought me some newspapers.
15. Wife and I went to Town and the Chicken Show in the Moormen Block— Plenty of crowing and big fowls in variety.
20. The most snow this winter-Mothers 92nd birthday. Went to see her. The Detroit River full of floating ice. The Boat went through it. CAlled on Brother James. He seems to prosper. Found Mother confine to her bed with her mind unclouded, A grand pleasant time with her and sisters Mary and Catherine.
22. Mr & Mrs, William Campbell and Sarah came. Went to William Watling funeral.
26. Got a letter from Mc. McConachie. Jones, the old colored man who worked for us so long was buried yesterday.
Elder Thompson who came to see us in 1839 with Elder Post was buriet today.
Got 12 photos of Wife and I for $2. from Cooper.
27. Willie prevailed on Mrs. L to go home with him. Robert sold a load of wheat to Deuble from the old farm for 97 cents per bushel. He only got 93 cents on account of so much Rye in it.

1. The Catholics built a Cross on the Vault across the way. Reed brought a load of coal.
2. Robert paid $35 for the wheat that grew on the old farm and for what grew here.
Had a pleasant visit with Brother Robert and talked about buying a home for Mother and Sisters. Wrote to Brother Frank about the plan.
4. Went to the old home and found Robert had gone. Went to see Knapp.
5. Mrs. L stayed over night with Hattie and sent for Dr. Pattison in the morning and there was a babe born when Robert was away.
6. Robert came back in the morning. Mrs. L and I went to see the Babe.
7. Did not sleep well on account of Robert being so discontented and so easily deceived by worthless advertisements.
Counted the hens and there are about 96.
8. Wife and I went to Detroit with a note of over $1,000.00. Brother Frank in Detroit owed Brother Robert hoping he would pay it and grant us the pleasure of buying a home for Sisters Mary and Catherine for taking care of Mother in her old age. We did not succeed but had a pleasant friendly meeting and a good promise. Next we had a mutual admiration meeting with Sister Agnes and daughters.
13. Wife and I went to Roberts and had a grand walk in the woods that have waved over us so long ago. Gane's(?) house burned while he was working for Robert.
Bought a bushel of Timothy seed from Ainsworth.
25. Mrs. L went with Azro. Got 49 aggs. Robert and I drew manure fromhhis barn and put it on the garden.
Brother Robert urged me to write Brother Frank to pay the $1,000. note. Got seed from Moule.
28. Bleak blasts and clouds of dust as three teams scraped the Catholi gounds. Went to the old home and was sorry some cows broke the seeder.
29. A driving snow storm-Glad of any moisture after so much dust. John Bright is dead.
31. Snow on the ground, cold wet splashing mud when we went to Church. The Minister at the closing of the Service thought it his duty to resign.

1. More snow, Wild Geese flying toward Caseys. Frank and Robert want to vote in Town. 51 eggs.
4. Went to Detroit and Windsor. Mother failng but her and our sist rejoiced to learn of Robert kindness in providing money to buy the house they like in ‘for a home.
5. John Millar farm sold under Mortgage. William Scotney took away Belle and her furniture and I am sad and weary. Silence is the language of sorrow.
Sowed Peas, Cabbage and radish.
10. Went with Frank where he frames a barn for Seamor.
11. Sowed beets and onion seed-Helped Robert to burn Willows. Azro brought 2 bushels of Burbank Potatoes and 1 of Maine.
15. My Birthday. 18 years in Scotland and 50 in America. The 18 in Scotland seems like the greater part of my life. We learn what life is the first 20 years and then one year year is like a repetition of the ones that are past.
16. Got a letter from Cousins in Scotland. Walked with Robert over the old farm.
17. Helped Robert get 3 loads of stove wood. Planted potatoes-Like a summer day.
24. Will Evans sowing plaster. Thompson charged me $6.00 for plaster Ressler got 24 dozen eggs fro $2.90. Robert took away the white cow that broke the fences and bothered me so much. Robert rolled the field by the road with LEah beside him.
26. Brother Robert siad he had been in Detroit and bought Mother's home for her and sisters. Said he paid $9,250.00 to Mrs. Fergus for the home.
30. Great meetings in all the States to celebrate Washington's Inauguration 100 years ago. Willie Fletcher's Birthday.

6. Hens break the eggs and leave the nest. Chicken lice very bad. Sold 28 dozen eggs to Wreshler(?) $3.08.
9. Frank gave checks for $150.00. The boys carried out the coal stove. Drove with Frank to Warners and then to Albans for 4 bushels of seed corn.
11. The City of Paris sailed the Atlantic in less than 6 days. At last a welcome shower.
19. Mr. Sill preached at Church.
Azro's horse ran away, Elizabeth fell out of the Buggy but escapee being hurt. Mrs. L and I took dinner with H. Taylor-he was quiet and dejected.
22. Mary's Birthday. Mary, Hattie, Leah and the Babe went to Town but it was too cold for me even with two coats.
25. Robert and Azro built a pen to wash the sheep at Martins corner. Cold-4 above freezing. Too cold to wash sheep.

1. The two Marys and I went to a Church meeting. Heard sad news about a great flood in Pennsylvania.
5. Mrs. L and I drove to Pittsfield and spent a happy day with the Andrew Campbells to make life a little better.
10. Fifty years since we came to Ypsilanti. James and I went to Royal Oak to celebrate the event-was with Mother an hour after. A fine visit with Mr. & Mrs. Todd. Called on Mr. & Mrs. John Lambie. Robert washed his sheep.
22. VanNotten and Fox shore the sheep-the wool looked well.
24. The two Marys went to the Children's Day at the Normal. Mrs. L called on old Mrs. Casey in what seemed like the last illness.
25. Got lime insect powder and sulphur to fight the vile hen lice. Some peas ready to eat.
27. Robert and Will repaired the chain pump-Norton told us of old Mrs. Caseys death.
Frank and Fox brought up Anna's trunk-Whittetsay would only pay 27 for the wool.
29. Robert and family, Wife and I went to old Mrs. Casey's funeral. The old neighbors passing away bringing us near to the silent land

1. Robert, Will and I put Paris Green on the potatoes. Went to Town to get Anna but she did not come. Green Peas for dinner. The Robins picking our cherries.
5. Helped Robert make hay where I raked in the Hayday of my life. Murry and Chidester looked at the wool but would not give quite 30 cents.
7. Heard of the good Mrs. Green's death and next day Mrs. L and I went to the funeral.
Anna arrived at the Depot last night after waiting all week for her.
10. Robert and Will got the reaper in order. Went with Robert to Mr. Conklins to see about reaping, found the old farmer over three score pitching hay.
11. Robert reaped about 14 acres of wheat for Wenzer.
13. Robert reaped the 8 acre field by Nortons corner in 4 or 5 hours where it took me 3 or 4 days to cradle and bind in my younger days
15. Robert reaping for Mr. Conklin-Will Cradling around the stumps. Girls and Willie picking cherries.
17. Frank and I went to see the new Water Works yesterday.
Robert reaped the field by George Allens and part of the field west of the barn.
20. Helped mow away wheat in the old barn and was so faint and weary I could hardly walk home.
22. A great Catholic funeral across the way.
Set up some Wheat. Robert harvesting for G. Voorhees. Hattie picked up cherries and the Babe laughed and rolled on the floor.
25. The boys sold the wool to Chister 278 lbs-46 fleeces at 28¢ per lb-$77.84-Paid Robert $28.00 on the Wool. Got in 3 small loads of hay from the Orchard. Paid VanAtten $2.50 for Mowing. Mrs. Fletcher, Willie and Mary visiting at Roberts.
27. Wife had to get dinner for Anna and Hattie's Mother. Robert brought back one of his black horses. Wrote lines about Harvest.

1. Celebrated the colored man's day by mowing thistles and nettles on the road side. Robert reaped at B. Voorhees.
2. MR. & Mrs. Fletcher, Azro's father, Anna and I went to Detroit and had a fine sail on Lake St. Clair and spent pleasant afternoor with Mother and sisters.
7. Robert reaped for Mr. Conklin and got back at night and began his own.
12. Cleaned out the hen house. Will drew out manure.
Had boiled corn for dinner.
14. Mrs. L and I went with an Excursion to Detroit and on the boat to the Ship Canal at Lake St. Clair. Called on Mother and wife sang the grand Hynm ‘Jesus is Mine’ to Mother and it seemed to thrill her with pleasure.
19. Mrs. L and I went to Uncle Williams and then had dinner at Robert CAmpbells, Ann Arbor. A pleasant evening and just in time to bid goodbye to Walter and Lizzie as they were leaving for New England.
22. Will plowed for Wheat-spread some manure. Mr. & Mrs. Cowell called, telling of seeing London, Paris and calling on the Hamiltons of Glasgow.
23. Mrs. Loveridge gave Mrs. L and I a ride in her carriage to Brother Roberts and round by the Normal. The girls went to Azros for supper and got ice cream–said to be “awful good”.
29. Bought two plow points for Robert. Anna packing up her goods.
30. Belle and I went to the Depot with Anna. Got her trunk checked and saw her off. Brother Robert and I drove to the old farm to see about the horse pasture.

2. Went to the School meeting and resigned keeping the School money after being in office since 1870. Mr. LaFurge takes my place.
4. Mrs. L and I went to Pioneer meeting in Ann Arbor. Mr. Lay read of the death of 85 Pioneers during the last year-The election of Officers was over before noon but no dinner until 2 o'clock.
Mr. Finley, Mrs. Pearce and Captain Allen spoke well about early times. CAlled on Uncle William and Robert Campbell on our way home.
7. Robert sold all his beans to Ainsworth. Mary went to Azros to keep feeding the Thrashers.
9. State Fair at Lansing, Brought Brother Robert's horse and put him in son Robert's pasture.
16. Dug potatoes and put them in the cellar. Went to Church Meeting where they decided to give a call to Mr. Morey of Marshall.
Harvie brought his Engine before night. He finished thrashing next day before noon and went to Roberts.
About 90 bushels of wheat and over 200 bushels of Oats at Roberts The wheat light and too much chaff for seed.
21. Frank the carpenter and the scholars went to the Exposition and brought a good report.
23. Went with a great crood to the DEtroit Exposition-A grand affair, The best I ever saw wither in Europe or America. Pleasant time with Mother and sisters and stayed over night there.
25. Paid Insley LaFurge all the school money $265.00. Borrowed $100.00 from Frank.
26. Mrs. L and I went to the Ypsilanti Fair-A good affair after the Exposition. Capt Allen and G. McDougal had a tussle about Free Trade.
28. Robert and family wnet to Mrs. Crippens funeral in Dixboro.

1. Paid Mr. Sherwood $7.38 Insurance. Wrote lines about the Exposit: and went to the old home and took dinner with Jaon CAmpbell and wife. Mused over gRandfather's grave and then called on Mrs. Gardener.
4. Azro's Arthur Union(former slave) brought a ladder and picked apples. A good crop and good market. Some of the spies were bountifully.
8. L. CAsey got the sotve put up in the kitchen. Azro's men picking apples with me.
10. Thomas Casey and family and a drove of sheep started for Knapps. Robert and Azro helped so no apples picked. Mr. Arnold wanted Frank to rebuild his barn.
11. Helped Azro and men fill about 40 barrells of apples. Robert could get no barrells and took a load of apples in the wagon box.
14. Robert drew two big loads of cider apples to the Hillsdale Depot Mary and I gathered for home use and Anna and Sister Agnes. O my back!!!
19. Wrote a note to R. Campbell, Ann Arbor and Day Campbell at Fort Scott.
22. Azro heading more barrells-Wfie and Mrs. Campbell arranging about a dinner at A. Campbell's. More cider apples to Town.
24. Robert took apples to Ainsworth. Robert brought two loads of wood and helped set up the coal stove. Azro took 2 barrells for Agnes and 2 for Anna.
26. The two Marys and I, Azro and family drove up and had dinner at Uncle Andrews-A surprise party for the thirtieth anniversary of their wedding. A very pleasant time. R. CAmpbell paid $22.00 interest.
28. Dug beets and hacked corn-not well-a humming in my head.
31. Was surprised to hear of the death of our brave industrious farmer friend Mr. C. Conklin. Brought beef from Azro for 5¢ and better than from the butcher at 8¢. Lawyer Joslin and Henry Backus gone over the Mystic River.

2. Buried old friend C.N. Conklin. Met him 30 years ago at Church and now we meet no more.
6. Robert and I bought a buck from G. Voorhees and put him with the sheep. Paid $2.00.
Mrs. L and I went to our good friends funeral, the last of John Geddes.
7. The Moon set beautiful in the silvery light of the morning and the sun rose still more beautiful in the golden glory of the dawn. Helped Robert's boys to load corn.
13. Robert, Hattie, Leah, Minny and Mrs. R and I drove to the Depot and saw and heard the bands at the opening at Cleary College.
Heard E.P. Allen's address.
15. Received a note of thanks from Oliver Wendell Homes for lines on his Birthday at four score.
Got all the apples in the cellar.
16. Forty years since werwere married, a great party, friends brought dinner with them and we all enjoyed a festive day. There were two tables of royal dainties for old and young, Presents of silver and a wardrobe. Songs and speeches. About all that earth can give.
18. Wet morning. Mr. & Mrs Fletcher went to Uncle William's and Ann Arbor. Frank brought his took chest home. Mrs. L and I went to the old home and took dinner with Robert.
21. went to Town and got a grist. Azro bought a buggy.
23. Got 7 lbs of Oatmeal and four lbs of crackers in Miller's new Grocery for 50 cents. Oiled the horse harness in the sunshine.
26. Read of the sad death of William G. Brownlee. Frank hunting rabbits.
28. Thanksgiving, went to Azro's for dinner. Need ice and snow… Frank and his carpenter friends got 12 rabbits.

1. Robert, Azro and their younes at dinner. Belle and Anna only ones absent.
2. Great storm and some electric lights blown down. Storm on the Great Lakes.
3. Went to Mr. & Mrs. Foots Golden Wedding. There seemed to be more interest in eating rich cake than in Social friendship.
4. Went with a fine lot of friends to celebrate old Mrs. Gardener's 94th Birthday. A grand dinner, warm hearted friendship.
9. Dark day, Pleasant visit with B. Voorhees, Mrs. L and Mrs. F quilted.
11. BRight sunshine-muddy roads-Drew up some wood in the buggy. Robert and August went to buy turkeys.
18. Mrs. L. Mrs. F, Mary and Willie went to the Church Fair. Mrs. Smith Inglis' boy died same day her father died years ago.
20. Went to Roberts and saw his 50 turkeys for Detroit market.
Paid our Taxes $20.00. Robert's $2.12.
23. Robert plunging in the mud with Turkeys for Detroit.
24. Received Christmas present from Sister Agnes. Anne arrived from Elkhart.
25. Christmas. Stephen, Robert, Azro and all the little ones came a grand day.
28. Mild weather. Sawed some wood. Hens beginning to lay.

Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, 1890.

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