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Michigan

STARTING LIFE ANEW IN THE WOODS

The great marsh west of Sandstone—the terror and dread of all travelers, was over half a mile across. Each emigrant sought a new place in crossing it, mowing marsh hay and laying it down in swaths for the wheels to run on; and many other devices were used to assist in crossing it. At Marshall this party found Sidney Ketchum and Rev. J. D. Pierce established in their log cabins; no fences, no betterments, nothing but their log houses in the woods. At Battle Creek they found no improvements—nothing but the body of a log cabin—the Foster house. On Goguac Prairie they saw but one house, that of the Thomases, which we had mentioned before. From Goguac to Asa Gunn's in Charleston, was a wild region. The party took dinner at this old pioneer's hut. He had gone with an ox team to Detroit, a four-weeks trip, and it was made to purchase ten dollars worth of provisions. A man now could go to Europe and back in less time than that. Nothing better illustrates the improvements we have made since those pioneer days, than the difference in traveling of that day and this. But Asa Gunn's hut, or tavern, as all the pioneer cabins were at that day, deserves a description. Mr. Little describes it as a pen, twelve by sixteen feet, three sides inclosed with small logs, the front being entirely open, except three rails for bars to keep the cattle out. The top was covered with rails, and shingled with hay. The lowest side was six feet high. The inmates, Mr. Gunn and a daughter twelve years of age, they found reposing on bunches of hay that laid on the ground, for there was no floor. Mr. Gunn had but one neighbor, Wm. Harrison, a few miles south of him and the only settler in Climax.

Early Michigan


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