News from the Historian's Office

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, July 1987,
July 1987
Original Images:

Author: Doris Milliman

The collection of reference books in the Historian's Office has recently added the book Great pages of Michigan History from the Detroit Free Press, published by Wayne State University, 1987.

As the preface states: “It is not a textbook history. It is meant to be a scrapbook that pulls together reports of important events, such as Elections and Wars and more subtle events such as Furniture Sales and Movie Openings”. It is really glimpses into the past that show what life was like for our Ancestors. The first page is dated September 27, 1832 and the last page bears the date April 15, 1986.

It is a fascinating collection of News stories and you are welcome to come and read it.

Another newly acquired piece is a copy of the notes of the Survey of the Territorial Road, commencing at Timothy Sheloons in Wayne County at the 22 1/2 Mile Road Post of the Chicago Road.

Territorial Road traverses the State from Sheldon on the East to the mouth of the St. Joseph River in Berrian County of the West.

We are always interested in Family Histories to add to our collection and welcome records from family Bibles.

Speaking of Bibles, does anyone know the whereabout of a Clark Family Bible? The Clark Family lived in Superior Township.

Please let us know if you have any information about it.

Vice President's Message

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, July 1987,
July 1987
Original Images:

Author: David R. Gauntlett

Museum Renovation

A contractor is currently re-working the backstairs and basement stairs as part of the on-going renovation/restoration work being done at the Museum. Sometime ago it was determined that the two stairways were out of location as far as the original installation was concerned. The stairway to the second floor has been straightened out and work is nearly complete. The basement stairway is properly torn apart and being worked upon.

When the contractor, Mr. Glen Reynolds, finally disassembled the basement stairway, it was discovered that the entrance from the first floor has, over the years, been in two different locations! However, we are continuing with our first consideration as the original location., this will be from the hallway at the door of This will be from the hallway at the door of the Archives. This, of course, means re-locating the door to the Archives-office area, which is being done.

Once the work is completed, access to the second floor and to the basement will be very much improved. We are certain everyone will be pleased with the restoration.


The Gleanings come out on time in order to bring you the latest information relative to the Museum and the Society. And this comes about in great part due to the efforts put forth by a few people back of the scenes. Billie Zolkosky makes certain that articles are written for each edition, and then types it and has it reproduced. Putting it all together in its final form is the work of several volunteers, but special thanks go to Frank and Rene'e Burgess who show up each edition. Many, many thanks go to all those that contribute to the Gleanings, of which we publish and send out approximately 400.

A Message from the President

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, July 1987,
July 1987
Original Images:

Author: LaVerne G. Howard

Time rolls quite fast when there is so much to do and too few to do it. As you know, time and money have to be considered when working on a budget deadline for the museum.

Since my last oral report at the April 12th meeting, our electrical work has been completed in the basement thanks to Bill Zolkosky and his generosity. Work on the back stairways of the museum are progressing nicely and appear at this time to be what was needed. The outside of the building will have the trim painted which is necessary to preserve the wood from the weather and what money that is left will be used to redecorate the inside rooms downstairs.

Because of a bad financial situation for the city this year, our budget was reduced considerably.

The Board bought two evergreen shrubs and these were planted by the back porch. A marked improvement. The Board purchased flowers to be planted around the front of the house and for a strip of the margin to coincide with the houses on each side of us. Owners of the other houses Gerry Woodside and Chuck Soule. Gerry planted all inside the walk, water and keep the weeds out. Assisting Chuck on the margin was, Ron Miller, Ann McCarthy, Val Franklin and Carolyn McKeever. A truly beautiful sight.

We have had many wonderful acquisitions this past several months with the largest being an 1868 Steinway Grand Piano for our parlor. Given by Mr. Elliot Goldberg of Troy, Michigan.

Mr. Goldberg is President of Associates Creative of Troy, It is valued at $22,000.00.

We have hosted the Mayors Day reception this year with a reception at the Literary Club and then a tour of the museum. A large crowd attended. We also hosted the retirement reception for Joan Helkaa with another large attendance.

Many group tours have been conducted through the museum, not only adults but also children's tours from local schools.

Coming up is the Heritage Festival August 21, 22 and 23, '87.

This is a time for fun and hard work for the whole membership. The museum is in the center of all the activity and things come alive in this area.

This year we expect to have a Tucker Automobile on exhibit for three days in the yard. Possibly we may have three other Classic cars also for Saturday only. The Tucker will be used in the parade to represent the museum cars by courtesy of Domino's Pizza.

There is something that a lot of us may have forgotten.-The Lewis House. A little hint. This house belongs to each and every member of our Historical Society. Get involved, its yours and mine.

The Lewis House will be open for free tours during the Festival. Saturday and Sunday 1–5 P.M.

Annual Meeting set for Sept. 20, 1987.

Annual dinner will be November 1, 1987.

Place to be announced.

Grandma's Trunk

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, May 1999,
May 1999
Original Images:

Author: Joan Carpenter

“Look what we found in Grandma's Trunk”, is the theme of two of the showcases in the Ypsilanti Room.

The title was taken from a project, undertaken by the Ypsilanti Public Schools in the ‘70's, to help the students in the district understand what life was like in the 1800's.

A trunk was sent from school to school containing a variety of objects from the past. It was “hands on” and the students had the opportunity to see, first hand, why an iron was referred to as a “sad iron”, why men's heads always looked as though rigor mortis had set in from their necks up, why it took so long for a lady to get dressed and put on her shoes and what a “snuff box” looked like.

The toys that children found amusing in those by-gone years occupy the second case. When the trunk was circulating the students had the opportunity to try them out. They were, indeed, a far cry from the computer games of today!

A third showcase follows the theme of,” Life in the 1800s”. Pictures of buildings, events, and the way of life back then are on display.

These showcases should be of interest to young and old alike. How many of you remember the trunk, that building, that toy or game?

Stop in and take a short visit back in time to early Ypsilanti!

Joan Carpenter

School Tours

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, April 1987,
April 1987
Original Images:

The Museum offers tours for school and youth groups from October through May. May is our busiest time because the weather cooperates and the school groups can often combine their visit with a walking tour of parts of the historic district of Ypsilanti.

Reservations for these tours must be made two weeks in advance. Contact 483-1876 or 487-5595. We have found that children profit most when a visit to the Museum coincides with their study of Michigan History, early crafts, clothing, furniture, schools, etc. Last year (1986) over 400 Children of school age toured the Museum. We have found that third grade children and beyond seem to be the most ready for our Museum experience. We are happy to make the Museum available as a source of enrichment for the school curriculum.

News from the Historian's Office

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, April 1987,
April 1987
Original Images:

Author: Doris Milliman

It is always good to hear from Historical Society Members, especially those from out of town. We recently heard from Mrs. Helen Kirk Wright, who had noted her father's name (J.P. Kirk) in the article about “The Hiker” monument in the last issue of the “Gleanings”. Mr. Kirk was a prominent lawyer and a member of the 31st Regiment that is commemorated on the statue.

Genealogy queries have recently been received from several States: Minnesota, Idaho, New Jersey and Washington asking for material on ancestors who once lived in the area. Due to the resources here, we are able to furnish information.

Two graduate classes from Eastern Michigan University Department of Preservation and History have been utilizing our material the past few weeks. The local history topics that have been chosen by some of the students include Hotels and Taverns; The Opera House, Depot Town, Early Mayors and the Railroads.

Does anyone have a picture of the Horse drawn car that once took passengers from N. Washington Street at Cross Street to the Michigan Central Railroad Depot? We would like to have one.

A book entitled Buildings of Ypsilanti written by and given by Denis Schmiedeke, a local Architect, is an account of the many types of Architecture in the City including homes, churches and business places. The book will become a part of a 70 volume series entitled Buildings of The United States.

This enormous undertaking is co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Society of Architectural Historians and The Oxford Press.

William Lambie Diary, 1885

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, April 1987,
April 1987
Original Images:

1. Went to Detroit and over the icy river. Called on James and family. Mother is her 87th year, found her well and intelligent. Pleasant meeting with Sister Agnes.
3. Robert and Belle took Anna to the Depot to return to her teaching at Elkhart.
5. Robert and I brought up 20 lambs and 10 wedders. Robert brought up a ton of coal. John Quirk gave me a note for $40.00. Received a letter from the Duke of Argyle-Hurray
12. Sold the wool to Chidester 531 pounds $135.40. Paid Mr. C $27.28 for his share. Azro got 10 sheep.
16. Robert took BElle to the Normal in a snow storm. Sent a letter to the Duke of Argyle.
19. Pure white snow, Belle walked to the Normal when it was 21 degrees below zero.
26. Coal stove went out, clock stopped, 2 above zero. Read of Irish demonstrations trying to blow up Westminster and the Tower of London.
1. Took a horned sheep for Mutton. John Campbell and Mrs. Hewens came to visit.
10. 8 below zero-cold bitter blasts like a Dakota blizzard. A severe time for old people.
Read of the death of Gordon on the upper Nile and the Fall of Kartoon.
18. Paid for cutting and chopping 30 cords of woord. Exchanged 4 bushels of wheat for flour.
20. Mother's Birthday. She is 88.
21. Went to Azro's for dinner along with Mr. & Mrs. Frank Fletcher, it being the 25th Anniversary of their wedding.
28. Paid Fox for chopping 52½ cords of wood. Frank and Mr. C went off in the Cutter, the first time Mr. C has been out riding this winter.
3 Went to Town with Azro and a group meeting at Archie McNichols. Went to Young Mr. Swift's (Newton) funeral.
6. Mrs. L went to Church Social. Mrs. John Ratfon, Mrs. I. N. Conklin and C. Collins died this week.
Fox wants work when I have none to give him. Dora and Charle Fletcher met with a sad accident on the Railroad killing the horse, breaking the buggy and hurting them.
9. Robert took John Campbell and Frank to the Station on their way to New Orleans.
17. Wife and I went to Alfred Allen's funeral. Got a paper from John and Frank in New Orleans.
28. Drew $80.00 out of the Bank, loaned Robert $40.00. Settled with Fox.
31. Fox moved away from the old farm house.
1. Robert had a party and danced in our old farm house against my will.
12. Too cold to plant trees.
15. My birthday-three score and four.
Brother Robert has had his corner house moved. D. Gardener came. Robert began to plow in the old orchard.
18. Sheep and lambs not doing well. Carried 14 pails of water to the cows and sheep.
21. Set out strawberries. Sowed clover seed in the orchard, south of the new home.
24. Turned the sheep and cows out to pasture.
Mr. Jenness was buried. Mr. Brinkerhof died, old friends passing away. Brother Robert gave me $50.00 for mother.
27. Three more sheep died after all our care.
Planted gooseberries, grapes and flowers.
Went to Detroit and gave Mother $50 in gold from Robert. My sisters told me my faults but I would think more of them if they would knit me a pair of stockings.
30. Azro came at night to tell us Elizabeth had a son. Making me a Grandfather-Heaven bless the little stranger.
1. Mary and I sold eggs and bought bonnie flowers from Mr. Childs. Weary walking and working two farms. J. Campbell came telling of another girl. Mary and I went to see Elizabeth and the baby boy. William and Andrew Campbell came.
5. Frank took about 100 bushels of Mr. C's wheat to Deubel Mill at $1.00. A fire at the Depot, Haskell Bakery and Several other buildings.
Belle and I went to the Normal and I was introduced to Willets and others. Heard Belle on the platform in Willets class.
11. Paid Eva Dancingberg $20.00 for teaching. Hens and wicked roosters scratching up the peas. Marked and planted potatoes. Frank and the tinsmith put up eavestroughs.
13. Frank bought a special Oliver chilled plow.
16. Made a yard to keep the hens in. Fire in Pattison's office. Mary and I took the clothes to Rings. Belle and I had a weary time driving the sheep out of the oats. Aunt Emma, the babe and her father came.
23. Borrowed $40.00 from brother Robert. Paid Mr. Vantage for pew rent and Azro $7.00 for the pig.
26. Brother Robert and Aunt Eunice, Mrs. Finley and Professor Abbott of the Agricultural College made us a pleasant visit. Brother James wrote he ahd settled difficulty between Mother and Frank.
27. The boys and Azro drove the sheep to the river at Mr. Fletchers (old Addison, end of South Grove Street) and washed them getting back by noon. Robert and I cut the lambs tails-11 rams.
30. Mr. C and I went to the Decoration of the Soldier's graves and heard part of Mr. Whitman's address.
Azro and Elizabeth came and the wee boy slept with his arms above his head.
1. Mrs. L and her father drove to the old farm in Augusta. Thompson's men finished painting the new home.
6. Belle up before 4 A.M. getting breakfast for Robert and some young folks going to Whitmore Lake.
12. Robert cultivating the corn. Like to curse the cut worms which are in our corn.
18. 70 years since Waterloo. Wife and I went to Detroit and Canada. Young Inglis and I to the Scotch games at Recreation Park, like the running and jumping but did not think much of Highland men and the Bagpipes.
19. Frank, Peter Van Ellen and Stockdale shore the sheep.
22. Belle came home with a sore heart because Bellows would not sign her paper when she was so factful and 19 others signed it.
Frank thinks there was 85 sheep shorn, two died after the shearing, 20 lambs, 103 total. Long winters, maggots and cheap wool make sheep farming discouraging.
24. Wife and I went to hear young orators at the Normal and Belle got her Diploma from her true friend Willets in spite of Bellows. Sold a sheep to Otto for $2.00.
30. Mrs. L's birthday and she had a sore shoulder. Dr. Kinne came to see her. Mr. C and I went to the Sanitary meeting at the Baptist Church.
1. Dr. Kinne came again, Mrs. L no better. I worked in the Hay all day, got in a few loads. Belle milked the cows.
2. Mr. C, Ann, Mary and I went to see the Four Paws Show and his 17 or 20 elephants, a grand array of carriages, men and horses.
4. Mary, Anna, Elizabeth, Azro and the wee boy wnet to Azro's fathers. Robert and a girl went next. Went to Town at night, lots of guns and firecrackers.
7. Mr. C and Mrs. L went to Andrew and William Campbells.
Andrew arrogant to me last time.
Good crop of timothy hay, got in several loads.
9. Frank, Robert, T. Casey, two boys and I worked getting in a good crop of hay on the old farm. The pig that cost $7.00 died.
10. Cousin Robert Hamilton from the celebrated Ryelanside along along with his friend Mr. Martin from the Dykes came to see us and go back to Native Scotland. Took them to brother Roberts and our cherished old home and it kind of revived my long cherished plan to seeing Scotland again.
16. Young Mr. Bagot was killed playing ball. Mary, Belle and I rode up to Geddesburg.
Jerome came with his reaper, he reaped and Robert and I set up shocks. Very warm.
23. Mrs. Andrew Campbell came. Got in all the wheat and a good crop. So overcome with the heat I am unable to rejoice.
Just weak and weary and oppressed.
24. The boys sold the Wool to Chidester but he did not say what it came to yet.
28. Helped Robert load manure. T. Casey helped too. Frank and Mr. C to Augusta. I howed in the garden. A noisey group of young people came at night.
30. Stepped on a nail, very painful. 97 in the shade.
1. Settled with Frank. He gave me a check $100 for the wool.
6. Anna and Mary went to Augusta. It rained so heavy they did not return. Great change in the weather-56 in the morning.
8. President Grants burial day. Mary and I went to the Opera House and heard Mr. Springer give a fine address on life and death of Grant.
11. Robert and I bound oats. Frank went to the races.
13. Mrs. L, Anna, Mary and I went on a Sunday School Excursion to Detroit and Grosse Pointe.
17. Robert and I bound more oats. H. Reed cradled.
25. Belle and I went to Farmers picnic at Whitmore Lake and enjoyed one of the sweetest of summer days.
Went to old Mr. Platts burial with William Campbell.
26. Ann left for her School in Elkhart. Mr. C and I went to Ann Arbor and heard Judge Cooley, Governor Alger and President Angel give a welcome to the American Association of Science.
29. Robert plowed and I spread manure. Went to Town. Brother Robert and family returned from sight seeing and pleasure trip. I saw the green earth and blue sky at home.
2. Mr. C, Mrs. L and I went to a pleasant Pioneer meeting at Mr. Platts. Read some of my verses.
5. Mr. C, Mrs. L and I went to the hold home in Augusta.
Walked to Town and got the last $50 out of the Bank.
7. Rode with Frank to his work at Gills near Cherry Hill. Belle and I cleaned wheat for seed.
9. Wet day-Went to Mrs. Wilsons funeral. Eunice and Aggie Inglis came to visit.
12. Took Mrs. L to the Depot and her and Aggie Inglis left for Detroit. Drove up the cows from the old farm and milked them as usual. My son that finds so much fault with me came to supper (Frank).
21. Helped to dig and pick up Potatoes. Got a wagon box and a half.
23. Frank, Mrs. C, Mrs. L went to the Sate Fair. Robert, Belle and I dug all the potatoes.
24. Mary, Elizabeth and I went to the Fair and left the wee boy with Mrs. L.
28. Robert and I cut corn. Mrs. C and Mrs. L went to John McDougals. Frank's birthday.
29. Uncle William, Mrs. C, Wife and I went to burial of Mr. McCarthy. Another old farmer fades away. Friendly meeting at John Campbells. A good turn our of Augusta friends.
2. Cutting corn. Mr. Quirk paid his note $42.36. Paid insurance of old and new homes $5.96.
6. Went with Frank to Uncle Williams where he is working on the House of Stones. Heard of old Mr. Thompsons death.
8. Mr. McConachie, Mr. C and Mrs. L wnet to Andrew CAmpbells. Mary, Belle and I picked apples. The crop is poor in quality-low in price.
12. Gathered apples alone in the fornoon. Mary, Belle and Robert helped in the afternoon.
16. Drove Frank to Mr. Cadeys. Took 6 barrels of apples to the Depot to ship to Sister Agnes. Got 6 barrels from Ainsworth.
19. Robert went with Frank to Cadeys. Went to the old home and picked a few grapes. Ainsworth offered $1 a barrel for Russets. Took 8 barrels of Russets in Mr. C's barrels and got 10 more barrels.
27. Jerome brought his engine and we had good help thrashing. 116 bushels of wheat and 247 of oats on the hill farm and 200 at the old farm.
29. Robert Campbell of Ann ARbor paid $33.00 interest and gave note for $300. Mr. C, Senior gave his note for $250.
Robert went to Reeds sale. Ainsworth loaned me a packer.
31. Mr. C, Robert Ring and I repacked the apples. Drew up pumpkins.
1. Robert took Belle to her School at Mr. Rooks. Potatoes rotting. Frank raised a house for Everetts. T. Casey worked on the Hill farm.
4. Robert Ring and his boy picked up cider apples.
6. Robert drew 36 barrels apples to Ainsworth.
12. Robert and T. Casey drawing wood to Reynolds. Too wet to sow clover seed.
15. Robert took care of the wee boy while Elizabeth was gone. William Campbell brought fine quarter of beef.
18. Saved beef bones and salted beef. Drew pumpkins. Lots of showers.
21. Paid the Ferman for husking $7.00, Ring $4.50, the boy 75¢. Nearly 500 bushels of corn.
24. Drew cornstalks to the old barn and put the sheep in the field. James Woosley and the German husked. Put 15 bushels of apples in the cellar.
26. The two Marys, Mr. C and I went to pleasant Thanksgiving at William Campbells.
28. 492 bushels of yellow corn on the side hill field. 224 on the field below the bridge.
30. Went with Mr. C to Stoney Creek burying ground and then to John Campbells.
1. Two Marys went to old Mrs. Ridenours funeral. Wife and I went to Harvey James with honey and $2.00 for helping th thrash. The road past the old Moon Farm where we first farmed in America “like the slougn of despond”.
3. Exchanged 4¼ bushels of wheat for 140 pounds of flour and got wool twine.
Mr. C, Wife and I went to Mrs. Gardeners to commiserate her 90th birthday. Good Dinner and party of friends. Read a few lines and A. Campbell and friends gave her a present.
5. Big change in the weather, heavy snow. Robert and I waded through the drifts and fed the sheep under the old barn and housed the young cattle.
9. Robert drew up a load of coal. The boys set up the coal stove. Heard of the great Vanderbilts death and old Mr. Fletchers sickness. Mrs. L had headache from coal stove.
12. Frank paid $100 for wood sold to Reynolds. Went to Town to see about School Money and Taxes.
14. Frank and I went to old Mr. Fletchers funeral. Another brave strong pioneer laid under the cold snow.
15. Robert and Hones at the old farm. Paid J. Miller $20.00 for an outhouse at the School.
19. Mary and I went to Town and paid $19.22 for taxes.
23. Went to Town and found Anna and A Christmas box from Sister Agnes.
25. Wife and I went to the Episcopal Church. Very few worshippers The minister read the sermon very fast. My old friend William Post getting very feeble. Oyster dinner for some.
28. Sold eggs at 20 cents. Received an invitation to our Roberts wedding on Saturday. Paid Robert $40 all I owed him for working.
29. Robert got some furniture from Brother Robert who is able to help the needy. Loaned Mrs. L $100 to pay $90.00 interest to Robert on note she kept for him several years ago.
31. Mrs. L, Anna, Mary, Elizabeth, Belle, Frank and I went to our Roberts wedding. Great party, grand dinner and it was almost too much for me. What ails this head of mine?

Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, 1886.

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

Clocks and Inkwells

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, August 1998,
August 1998
Original Images:

Author: Doris Milliman


An exhibit of the collection of Ink Wells owned by James and Mary Baker, and Clocks from the collection of Herbert Cornish are all on display in the Ypsilanti Room of the Museum, 220 North Huron Street Ypsilanti.

Generally, ink wells predate World War II, when the Ball Point Pen came into use, making liquid ink obsolete. Although ink wells are no longer needed, some fancy ones are still made today, mainly for decoration.

There are a number of Animal Figures made of Lead Alloy in the Museum Exhibit. One is a bird sitting on a branch beside its nest filled with eggs. The nest opens, revealing the ink well underneath. Other ink well figures are carved of wood, or made of cast iron, brass and pottery. The oldest ink well in the collection is a dark olive green glass that was blown into a three part mold. It was made between 1814 and 1840.

A Porcelain Chinese Man and Lady inkwell dates to 1913 when the Carter Ink Company offered it as a premium in exchange for a coupon and 25 cents. These inkwells were first made in Germany until World War 1 when production was done in this country.


Among the many clocks that are on display from the Herbert Cornish Collection are Shelf Clocks for the kitchen, and old alarm clocks, these date from the 1830's and include “Big Bens” and “Little Bens”. One early alarm clock worked with a battery and had a long cord with a switch at the end that made it easy for a sleeper to shut it off. A small light at the top of the clock, made it easy to tell the time. There is a clock in a china ware case that is very attractive. Reportedly the cases were imported from Europe. A gas light clock is another interesting part of the exhibit, as is the Pillar and Scroll type and a Half Pillar and scroll.

Some Early clocks were weight driven, thus were quite tall, allowing the weight to drop.

There are many more unusual clocks in this remarkable collection which has been attractively arranged by Joan Carpenter, who is a member of the Administration Committee of the Ypsilanti Historical Museum.

These displays of Historical artifacts are well worth a visit to see them.

Doris Milliman
City Historian

William Lambie Diary, 1884

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, January 1987,
January 1987
Original Images:

January 1-Elizabeth gave me this Book to write down about farm life and passing events. Chidester came through the storm to look at the Wool.
January 3-Dismal day and a Dakota blizzard-6 below zero. Part of the land drifted deep.
Librarian Davis and Professor Angell acknowledged ‘Life on the Farm’ for Ann Arbor Library.
The boys loaded two clips of wool to Mr. Chidester. I met Brother Robert and again was treated far better than I expected-There is a strange difference between those who have read the same Bible and been brought up in the same family.
January 8-Not so cold-paid Robert $70 and Mary $25 all I owe them-was docked on the heavy fleece from.30cents to 27½ and all we got was $269 for two years wool and all our labor.
January 10-The boys took a grist to town and we went to the gathering at the Opening of the Sanatorium where there was speeches and dancing.
January 15-Cold and dreary-takes most of the day to feed the stock, break the ice and get wood and water.
Saw an alarming fire east of us at bed time.
January 18-John Campbell brought up Mrs. L and went to Ann Arbor to hear Mathew Arnold.
January 22-Frank took me to the Depot and went to the Farmers Institute at Chelsea and read a poem-was kindly treated and stayed overnight with Mr. and Mrs. Sears and enhoyed the warmth of their fine home.
Next day saw Mr. Sears large stock and barn.
January 26-Frank and Charles Fletcher went to Augusta and Mr. Campbell bought Mr. Fletcher's farm.
January 29-Mary and Iwent to town, met John Campbell and he told us his infant son was dead-
Mr. Campbell came and had the Fletcher farm deeded to Mrs. L.
January 30-New Baptist Church dedicated.
January 31-Went to Detroit, called on James and helped Mother-left them rejoicing on Bruce Avenue.
February 1-Robert adn Jones cut wood, thrashed beans and then Robert went skating. Frank made his appearance after supper as usual.
February 3-More icy rain-great floods on the Ohio River.
February 19-Mr. Campbell came and reviewed his new farm beside us. Wrote Mother a letter for her 87th Birthday.
Lambie Diary-1884
March 1–10 below zero.
March 5-Mary and I went to Pioneer Meeting-A large social friendly party. Ex Governor Felch gave personal reminiscence of Webster-grand feast under the Church.
March 11-Robert now 21-hardly seems possible.
March 17-The boys went to Augusta and brought up furniture to Mrs. L's new home and two more big loads.
March 19-Mr. Fletcher left his farm and the Boys and Belle went to take possession of Mrs. L's new home.
March 20-Rain, snow and mud-too wet for the boys to go to their Grandfather's.
March 22-Old Mr. & Mrs. Campbell came to their new home. William, Andrew, John, Dan Campbell and our boys and Belle and Mrs. L all helping to put house in order.
Old Mr. Campbell is in sad condition.
March 25-Mary and I went to Town with butter and eggs-butter 30 cents-eggs 20 cents-Walked up to the new farm-climbing the hill reminded me of Kirkle Hill of younger days.
March 30-Went to Church in the morning. Mrs. L came at night saying Grandmother was failing-Frank and Belle got there in time to see her die. The Mother who did so much for her family and humanity has gone from this earth to a glorious Immortality. The boys went to tell our friends of the death.
April 1-All of us went to Grandmother's funeral-Friends met at the farm home on the hill where Grandmother lived a week-burial in Stoney Creek. Uncle Gabriel and Professor Estabrook failed to come.
April 4-Robert drew rails on the hill farm.
April 6-Robert sowed Clover seed with Uncle Andrews machine. Sold about 3 bushels of beans-a profitless crop, bought 8 bushels of shelled corn-we have not need to buy corn of over 20 years-sent an advertisement to the ‘Country Gentleman’.
April 10-Went to Town and bought new harness-7 wild geese on the meadow-Lambs no doing well.
April 15-My Birthday-beginning 64-Took dinner at my daughter's (Elizabeth) Farm and supper on my wife's Farm.
April 18-Robert plowing for Mr. Campbell-Mr. C came for the yearling sheep-24 of them-we drove them to his farm.
Lambie Diary-1884
April 22-Mr. Campbell and I went to see B. Voorhees' watering places for sheep.
April 28-Grandfather and I went to Augusta-first time no Grandmother to welcome us at the home-went and saw her grave-Old Mr. Hardy was buried.
May 1-Grand Morning-Robert still working on the hill farm-Turned sheep and cows out to pasture adn the cow went through the fence vexing me again.
May 2-Robert got 500 feet fence boards-Joe and I made a fence to keep the bothersome cows in the pasture.
May 8-Mr. C and I went to Uncle Williams and Uncle Roberts and was well treated. Robert got Fox and Hones to help him and took 5 loads of wheat to Deubel at a dollara bushel and got a Bank check for $303-very seldon has any crop I ever raised by hard work so far exceeded my hope.
Grandfather and I went to Augusta to hear a debate on Free Trade in the Grange Hall and went the wrong day, but called on old friend Mrs. Gardner and daughters.
May 14-Robert and Fox plowed with two horses round and round the field.
Heard Mr. Conklin is dead-about the richest man in Ypsilanti and now left his wealth.
May 16-Cut the lambs tails-13 ewes and 7 rams. Lifted a check from the Bank for $200; one for $50; and $53 in money.
May 22-Went to Detroit with wife and had a pleasant time with Mother and sister-Went to Dak and spent a day with Isabelle-Wm. Todd drove us around to see the glories of Nature-the fruit trees in bloom. Had dinner with Sister Agnes and Mr. Smith (Frank ?) went with us to the grand new Depot.
May 27-G. Voorhees is not as friendly as Ben-he took away the pen and we washed our sheep with Azro taking them way down to Old Addison Fletchers.
May 30-A great turnout decorating the soldiers graves-Mrs. C and Frank went to see Forepaws wonders(?).
June 4-Robert to Mr. C and I to the Salem station and we took the train to Lansing-The Capitol is a splendid building but Pioneer Paper too long and I was weary-stayed over night and then to South Lyon and train to Ann Arbor where we went to R. Campbells where I met an old old friend John Bradford and we visited so long that we missed the train and had to get his horse and buggy to drive home.
JUne 7-Letter from W.E. Gladstone's secretary-Prime Minister of England-thanking me for ‘Life on the Farm’.
Lambie Diary-1884
June 12-Sheep shearers scarce-Robert and T. Casey shore sheep slowly. I tied up the Wool-75 sheep. Set a trap to catch the coon the kills the hens and caught a crow-Went and found the big coon sitting by the stream with his foot in the trap.
June 18-Elizabeth very sick for a week-Mr. McConachie came to see Mr. Campbell-Mary sold butter and eggs-bought strawberries-thunder show.

June 21-Went with St. Luke's Excursion to Detroit and a sail on the river-had dinner with Mother and sister in Windsor. Went to Scotch Church but saw no one I knew-dinner with sister Agnes-slept that night at Mothers on a lounge.
June 23-Home again weak and weary-Robert got the supper and took care of the MIlk.
June 26-Anna came from her School and also Belle.
June 27-Went to Town with Butter and Eggs and a grist for Mr. C. The boys drew in hay for Mr. C. Two old farmers, one 63 and one 83 bunched up the swaths and rode the horse rake.
July 2-Another grand Hay day-the boys got in all the hay-The mower and sulky rake a fine improvement on the sythe and hand rake.
July 4-The boys and girls went away for the Fourth-I took dinner on the Hill Farm and heard the cannon and fire crackers.
July 7-Wheat turning yellow-bought 10 bushels of corn from Harry-Jerome reaped nearly all of Mr. C's wheat.
July 8-Jerome reaped our wheat and did good work-we set it up-Robert and Dan went to Whitmore Lake.
July 11-Paid Wm. Scotney $25 for Miss Armstrong's teaching. A colored man began to cradle the orchard wheat-the sheep bothered us.
July 15-Brother off to the Sea for his health and I toil in the fields for mine.
July 19-Frank paid $40 he got from Rolland Fletcher for the white cow-she milked well but vexed us breaking the fence.
July 21-Went for lime-boys mixing mortar and fixing franing for the Cellar they dug on the Hill farm.
July 29-The Mason finished Mr. C's cellar-Robert helped Azro thrash.
August 1-The Colored Peoples Day-Robert came back and said there was 803 bushels of wheat at Azros.
Lambie Diary-1884
August 2-Our learned friend Gabriel Campbell called on us. He and Mr. C. went to see Andrew-Frank got the rafters on the new addition to the house on the Hill.
August 6-Mr. C, Wife and I went to Walker's Grove with the Methodist
August 9-John Miller reaped the Pats on bothe places-helped to set up sheavees.
August 10-Mr. C, Mrs. L, Belle, Frank, Robert and I went to the Congregational Church and heard our friend G. Campbell preach a good sermon.
August 13-Mrs. L and I went to Frederick Graves Daughter's funeral.
August 15-G. Campbell left for her home in New Hampshire after a big picnic gathering at Elizabeths.
August 18-Got a picture of our family that Father painted 50 years ago.
August 26-Mr. C, Wife and I went with Azro and Elizabeth to Azro's Father's farm for a picnic-very dusty and got my hands pressed by shaking hands.
August 28-Mr. C having chimney built at the Hill house.
August 31-We went to Stoney Creek Church and put flowers on Grandmother's grave. Had dinner with J. Campbell.
September 1-Jones dug and I gathered potatoes-Robert harrowed. Borrowed $100 from Brother Robert for Mrs. L. Harry came and paid for two sheep he sold.
September 4-Robert and I went to Mr. Lumises and got 30 bushels of seed wheat $25.57 and started drilling it.
SEptember 10-Got coal and looked for the thrashers adn they finished the Oats and Wheat on the Hill farm before noon. 3 colored men worked on the stack-Our barley adn wheat out by sun down-27 of Barley and 255 of Wheat-plenty of good help-not a heavy yield.
September 13-Fox began to cut corn at $1 an acre-Belle went to the Normal-Sent James' letter to Frank about paying his Mother-Son Frank sold the steer to Roll and for $45-Went to the Depot to hear Logan-William Campbell's carriage turned over and hurt him and his father.
September 18-Frank finished lathing the addition to the House on the Hill and plasters completed it.
Walked over to Elizabeth's School. HerSchoolshook and she thought it like an earthquake and it proved so-some of the scholars ran out of the School in fear.
September 22-Heard of old Mr. Jarvis' death-A welcome shower in the morning-Belle got Mr. Campbell a big dictionary.
Lambie Diary-1884
September 25-We all went to the Fair-grand day-good crowd-met some old friends-was introduced to General Alger.
October 1-Mr. Breed and Joshia Childs came. Mr. C and I went to Whittaker and Augusta Farm. Robert drew a load of corn and painted in the new home.
October 2-Fine crop of corn, Fox husking for 3½ cents a bushel and Robert hauling it to the Hill farm.
October 5-Mr. C wnet to Church with us. Harvest Service in the Congregational and Episcopal Churches but no feast of ingathering in ours.
October 10-Mrs. Todd and daughter and Mrs. Inglis and daughter made us a pleasant visit-Called on Elizabeth adn Azro and drove round by the old Moon Famr and had strange memories of early life in America. Went for dinner in Brother Robert's grand home.
October 19-Took up furniture and put down carpets in the new home. We all had dinner there.
The old home where we lived for 30 years stripped of furniture and carpets looks desolate and forlorn.
October 22-Left the old Home where all the family were born and moved to the new home on the Hill-set up the coal stove and find the new home cheerful, beautiful and comfortable and yet felt sad.
October 31-William Campbell, Mr. & Mrs. A. Campbell, Mr. & Mrs. R. Campbell and young Robert were here to dinner to celevrate Mr. C's birthday.
Borrowed $25 from Azro.
November 5-Robert took 11 barrels of apples to Ainsworth. Great excitement in town about the election of the President. Got the cows up to the Hill farm-need stantions for them-Was entertained seeing the Rockets sent up by the Democrats for Cleveland's election.
November 10-Mr. C, Mrs. L and I went to Belleville to visit Mr. S. CAmpbell and son Robert.
November 14-The two Marys and I went to our old home and brought clothes and preserves.
November 21-Got some money for ‘Life on the Farm’ but my literary venture not very profitable.
Heard of death of Mrs. Covert.
November 26-Robert and I took Mr. C 20 yearling sheep down to our flock-116 and put them and the calves under the barn-took a sheep for mutton.
Lambie Diary 1884
December 1-Old Mr. Pont came-heard of death of Dr. Webb.
December 11-Went down and feed the sheep-downhearted about the old home where I spent 34 years and wrote sometimes regarding it.
December 15-Robert drew 3 loads of Furniture for Fox who moved into our old home.
December 16-Fed the sheep and found Fox in the room “Where the bairns were born”.
Robert brought up a sheep and I dressed it for Mutton.
December 24-Belle and Robert went to the old home and brought up the parlor stove-Anna, Mary and Elizabeth gave me nice presents.
No stockings hung up now.
December 25-Mrs. L, Frank, Anna, Mary, Bell and Robert all went in the Bobsleigh to Augusta-16 years since Father passed away from earth undergoing that great change that is mysterious, no sound, whisper or shadow ever comes back from our most intimate and best friends to comfort us.
Christmas Box from Sister Agnes.
December 31-Anna not well enough to return to Elkhart.

Continue reading in the William Lambie Diary, 1885.

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

Explanation of Names and Dates in Lambie Diary

Published In:
Ypsilanti Gleanings, January 1987,
January 1987
Original Images:

Author: Billie Zolkosky

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 is on the south side of Geddes Road and about midway between Prospect and Leforge Rds. This is the farm the Lambies 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 his wife Anne Muir were already in America. Robert's brother, Samuel Campbell came to the States in 1841 and settled at Otisville, 2 miles southest of Belleville, the settlement is gone but there is an Otisville Cemetery in use today near the location of Otisville. Andrew Muir, Anne Campbell's father was a land buyer and farmer in Augusta Township as early as 1827.

The Robert Campbells lived with friends and relatives in Ypsilanti during the first winter and moved to their farm in Augusta Township in the Spring of 1843. Robert Campbell's mother, Elizabeth McConachie Campbell, had left Scotland early in March 1842, being “forced to flee from the Authorities” for reason unknown. She is said to have brought $600 in Gold with her and that was the money that paid for the farm. Elizabeth McConachie Campbell died July 31, 1847 at the farm in Augusta.

Mary Campbell and William Lambie were marrie in Detroit November 11, 1849. William had bought the south half of the Francis Lambie farm in 1844 and in 1850 the young married couple moved from Detroit to that forty acres in Superior Township later buying another forty acres giving acess to Clark Road. Their six children (Anne, Mary, Francis, Elizabeth, Isabell and Robert), were all born in the house on that farm-the youngest Robert, married Hattie Younglove and their seven children were also born in that house.

The above is a brief explanation of the Diary we have been including in the “Gleanings”. The Diary was started May 1, 1864, by William Lambie-Mr. Lambie was the Grandfather of the lates Foster Lambie Fletcher, former Ypsilanti City Historian. Anyone wanting past copies, pelase let me know and I shall be happy to see that you get a copy.

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