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Linen postcards from the 1930s and 1940s was something I had largely overlooked in collecting and researching Clare County. So many are available and at an expensive price they didn't seem that important. Most are not actual local scenes but generic lake and landscape tourist scenes. Since they weren't actual local images I hadn't collected or researched them.
Many linen cards were made by Curt Teich & Co, Inc. . Since these cards were mass produced and there are so many of them a high percentage are mailed and contain a lot of genealogical and first-person information of the subject. If the card is mailed the postmark date can provide information and luckyily with a large company like Curt Teich & Co, Inc. they had their own system of coding and dating postcards. (https://www.newberry.org/sites/default/files/researchguide-attachments/Teich_Postcard_Dating_Guide_2016.pdf )
I was particulary gratefull to be able to date the linen Teich card that is stamped on the back SPIKE HORN CREEK CAMP BEAR DEN. The card is from the 1930s so we can see what ol' Spikehorn was up to and how he represented his busienss during this time. The scene with this stamp on the back is an inland water scene and probably a set of cards he bought for resale were that were not personalized. This particular card was produced in 1934 and of course it could have been for sale for many years at Spikehorn's tourist camp.
Purchasing and studying some of these inexpensive pieces of local history, while not direct images of Clare county, are still important pieces of our history.
The Editor of the Cleaver, Angela Kellogg, was featured in the March 2019 issue of the Michigan Press Association newsletter, the Guardian.
Clare County’s first township was not Grant, Sheridan, nor Surrey Township, it was Three Lakes Township. According to Forrest Meek in Michigan’s Timber Battleground (1976) in “January of 1869, unknown to the [Michigan] Legislature . . . Joseph Bucher, William Crawford and James Green met and organized a township called ‘Three Lakes’ in Clare County.” The Isabella County Board of Supervisors approved the detachment and thereafter, Joseph Bucher was appointed Supervisor. The new township continued for about one year. Unfortunately the Michigan Legislature had detached eastern Clare County from Isabella County in March of 1869, thereby nullifying the detachment of the Isabella County Board of Supervisors. The real Grant Township was established by a detachment by the Midland County Board of Supervisors and that detachment allowed for the organization of Grant and Sheridan Townships in March of 1870. One year later Surrey Township was organized. The entity known as Three Lakes Township included what is today Grant Township (except 40 acres), Hatton Township, Hayes Township, and Frost Township (except 6 Sections). Clare County historian Tom Sellers located the Justice Docket of the Township of Three Lakes and it is presently preserved at the Clare County Historical Museum. It does not contain the ‘official minutes’ of Three Lakes Township, but it does contain the Justice of the Peace docket reports of Grant Township beginning with the case of T.H. Hinchman & Sons v Wright E. Fierst and Henry Travidick, July 19, 1871, E.D. Wheaton, Justice of the Peace. This writer suspects that the Justice Docket was ordered by the officials of Three Lakes Township and by the time it arrived, Three Lakes Township did not exist and so the Justice Docket was utilized for another purpose. In any event, the Three Lakes Township Justice Docket is not a lost piece of Clare County history, it just isn’t what one would …
Ernest Merrill may be the most photographed man in early Harrison history. Viewing so many photos of Harrison it became easy to spot Ernest Merrill in each photograph. The same jaunty hat, side posture and every so slight smirk was instantly recognizable. He appears in some photographs so removed from the scene that if there was Photoshop in the early 1900’s it may have been used to plop him in the back ground. This became a fun hide and seek as Cody Beemer and myself began to write and edit the book Harrison, published in 2014. Imagine my surprise one day running across a wedding announcement of Ernest’s daughter Beverly. I see Bev on a regular basis at the library and the Trowbridge family has donated many historical items to the Library. Ernest was born in Meredith, Michigan to John and Emma Merrill. John was a rail road man and his sons Charlie and Ernest followed in his footsteps. Ernest attended Harrison schools and went to work at a young age. He may have worked at the Heading mill in Harrison as he is featured in several photographs and we know he went on to work for the Flint and Pere Marquette R.R. In 1923 Ernest’s brother Charles Merrill was killed in a railroad accident. A Pere Marquette R.R. passenger train derailed and overturned near Midland and killed Charlie and the engineer of the train Thomas Kelley of Saginaw. Kelley died at the scene and Charlie Merrill died on the train taking him to the Saginaw hospital after he had received treatment at the Dow hospital in Midland. The official cause of death on his death certificate is “nervous shock due to scalding in R.R. accident.” Charles was already a widower having lost his young wife just three years before in 1920. Charles was buried with his wife in Saint Henry’s Catholic Church Cemetery in Isabella County.