Day 62 – history lesson



This is a picture of our farmhouse, taken last year by our friend Adam.  As you can see, we hadn’t quite gotten the goat fence and posts put away.  But that’s not the point.

In an effort to get my creaky brain back into the writing groove, I’m doing some research into our little section of Miami County (section 19 of Newton Township, to be more precise).  Wow.  This place has some serious history.

Here’s a sample:

“To give the history of Newton Township and not speak of her first white settlers, would be as impossible as to demonstrate a mathematical proposition by means of ciphers alone, not taking into consideration the more important digits. We shall, therefore, speak briefly of the sturdy pioneers who left the more hospitable East and came to brave the perils of the wilderness in search of homes for themselves and their descendants. Some time between the years 1797 and 1800, Michael Williams, who had removed with his family from North Carolina to Ohio, learned, from Gen. Harrison, with whom he met in Cincinnati, and who had, some time previously, made an expedition through this section of the country, of the existence of the prairie of which mention has already been made. He immediately resolved to remove thither, and, like Jacob of old, he collected together his sons, with their wives and all their earthly goods, and started immediately for the land which was to be the heritage of his children for many generations, and which he reached in safety, and located on Section 19, which embraced the prairie, the only oasis in the wilderness of trees that surrounded him. He was the head of a family of four sons, the youngest of whom, John, was the first minister produced by the township. The remaining five children were daughters.”

This whole area used to be forest, with some prairies interspersed.  I’m guessing from what I read that where our fields are now, by the river, used to be what they would later call “Willams’ Prairie”.  Some articles suggest that the Indians had cleared the good land here for their crops.

That is so cool.

Day 46 – survey point

046We had to check with the county engineer to make sure the land survey on file was accurate enough to be accepted, and I learned a lot about surveying, at the same time.  Theoretically, the surveyor is to put a marker at each corner surveyed, to give an accurate measure of the land.  These markers can be metal spikes in the ground, or in the case of this picture, a really long nail driven into a wood corner post.  The top of the nail has a survey stamp on it, and this one marks a turn from the east/west line to the north/south line.

Living next to a river can make surveying interesting.  The engineer said there should be markers at the indicated points, but the river has moved since the survey, so who really knows if the markers are still there or have been washed away or covered up in the past 40 years.

Once it gets warmer, I’m going to search for the northeast marker – our property extends onto what is now a road, so the marker in the road may not be there, but there is supposed to be a concrete pillar south of the road.  I’m going to find that pillar…I hope!