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Home > Books > Michigan Lowing Family History > Ch. 04: Michigan - Early Villages On Grand River

Ch. 04: Michigan - Early Villages On Grand River

Early Villages On Grand River

So few people lived along the river in 1836 to 1841, when Stephen arrived for the second time that we will describe these villages, for Stephen became friends with most all these settlers.

Up the river, at Spoonville, was a tribe of 50 or 60 Indians and one or two cabins of white people.

Further up the river was Steele's Landing or what is now known as Lamont. A.D. Yeomans, and Allen Stoddard settled there in 1835, and Ira Maxfield, Lemuel Peaks, T.B. Woodbury and Daniel Angell were all there in 1836 when Stephen Lowing arrived. The first settler was Mr. Burton, who moved down 2 miles from what is now Jenison. (---------

The winter of 1843/4 was one of the hardest that the pioneers ever had to face, in Michigan. It was known as the winter of storms. Snow was so deep that most of the settlers lacked feed for their animals. The hogs that were not killed for food, were turned out to fend for themselves and most of them starved or froze. The men, to save their cattle, cut down cedar trees and dug paths so the animals cold get to them. The cold was so severe that most of the people suffered in their poor shelters, and were sick with the Ague. This cold lasted into April. That spring Isaac and his neighbor, Franklin Bosworth, walked to Ada and bought 2 pigs which were mere skeletons, but the best they could buy. When Isaac arrived home with his, it fell dead from exhaustion.

In 1847 the state road became an actuality. In 1845, a school had been built at Canada Hill, and was called School District No I in Georgetown Township -- Miss Ada Evarts was the first teacher. It was a frame building, costing $112.00 and was built on Section 5. At this time there were only 133 people living in the large territory of Georgetown.

In 1845 the State Road was completed between Grandville and Grand Haven. This road went straight west from Jenison by a corduroy road over the swamp, up what later called Ames Hill, where it angled straight past his father's (Isaac's) and Franklin Bosworth's land, through Bauer and again north and west to Allendale and from there north and west to Robinson and on to Grand Haven.

There was little difference between this State Road and the logging roads that ran into it, for both were poorly constructed and each spring this road was a regular quagmire. The whole country was now interlaced with logging roads, and the State Road was called "Mud Highway" or "Mud Street".

Isaac never gained any wealth - he had been a drinking man all through his New York days and although it was more difficult to acquire it in Georgetown, he still spent money for it when he had a chance to get it. -------

A story is told about Isaac and his younger brother, Stephen, who lived at Center Road Pennsylvania. Stephen visited his brother Isaac, in Georgetown in 1868 and although most of the Lowing were Teetotalers, both Isaac and Stephen liked Liquor. Isaac knew one of his sons had a well stocked cellar, so they decided to visit him. Refusing a horse and buggy, they walked the six miles to the son's house and there they remained until 3 P.M., imbibing freely. They started home- they could only walk by linking arms. As they neared home, they were feeling pretty good and could be heard a half mile down the road, singing and walking rail fence fashion. One of the sons set out to meet them, but they refused help. Most of the relatives thought it funny, and the two old men giggled and chuckled over the fun they had had, all the rest of time they were together.

As Isaac's circumstances improved, he added a few rooms to his 2 room cabin. In this house he lived until his wife died in 1868. He was 74 years old the n and as the children worried about him, living alone, he moved to Holden's where he had a room and good care. Here he died in 1876, having outlived his wife 8 years. His property had been deeded to Holden, and was later given to Holden's son, Daniel.

Isaac left more descendants than any other of William and Anna's children and he was the progenitor of all the Michigan Lowings. He and Lavinia are buried in the cemetery adjoining the Holden Lowing farm, and at the north end of the Georgetown Hill Road. The wooden markers have disappeared so the exact location of the graves is unknown

posted by Trevor Lowing

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