William Lambie Diary, 1892
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.
View a photo of the the Lambie family in our Gleanings image gallery.