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EARLY SETTLEMENT OF SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN

BY A. B. COPLEY.
June 7, 1882.

Fruits consisted of cranberries and crab apples, sweetened with dried pumpkin, wild plums, grapes, strawberries, huckleberries, and blackberries. Drinks at meals were wheat, corn, evans root, and sassafrass tea and coffee; otherwise, whisky generally for callers, and nearly always at raisings, log rollings, harvest and hog killing times. As a general thing their chief business was to live, having but little propensity for speculation. Markets were not of much importance, as they had few products to sell; necessarily few to buy. This, of course, refers to the early comers. It. is reported that Jenkins made butter and cheese, which were sold at Fort Wayne, but the main reliance for marketing produce was to new settlers. A farmer's outfit of implements was an ax, iron wedge, bull plow, which was a bar shire and landside combined, with wooden stock and moldboard; shovel plow, harrow, which often was a tree top, or crotch with wooden teeth; and sickle. Most of small grain was harvested by sickle as late as 1830 to 1833, and that instrument was in use up to 1835. Wheat and oats were stacked around a circle, in the center of which was the threshing floor of dirt, raised a little toward the center, upon which the sheaves were placed and trodden out by horses, the winnowing at first being done by two men wavinig a sheet while a third threw up the grain. Threshing machines began to mala their appearance about 1842, at first having no separators.

MICHIGAN


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