My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Follow Friday -- Riverdale, Michigan

Why write about Riverdale, Michigan you might ask.  My 6th cousin recently sent me a 75 page Centennial booklet for her town with a "population of 300-400 if everyone is home."  She lives in this town.  We began sharing our family information a good four years ago and we stopped, some time passed and we started up, this has happened several times.  Nice to have relatives like that, somebody you are comfortable with and who will share.

Because I knew nothing about Riverdale in Seville Township, I checked with google and found a site about
Gratiot County, Michigan, it appears to be in the center of the state, and the Pine River runs through it.  From the booklet, I learned that lumbering was abundant, and the finest pines could be found there in the early days. "In 1854, lured here by the forest of pines, white people started to settle in the area.  Large log drives used to take place where millions of feet of logs were floated downstream to the mills which soon started along the banks."

My ancestors on our shared Schrambling / Scramlin line settled in Michigan, but not this town.  However, cousin Linda had several generations who live there, and currently her parents have a life-lease on a farm, and Linda also resides there.

The town celebrated their Centennial in 1974, and then in 1999 this book was published, which contains some of the original material as well as updates from the past 25 years.  Throughout the book are old and new photos of schools, houses, churches, banks, old sawmills and other buildings. And, many old family photos.  Linda kindly went through each page and wrote on stickies additional bits of information.  There is even a photo of her 130+ year old house, one of oldest in the town!

I particularly enjoyed the piece about the Riverdale Library. "It was started in June of 1941 by Mrs. Josephine Scramlin Bradley.  She collected a few books from the townspeople and borrowed a number of books from the State Library in Lansing." This wonderful lady was Linda's great-aunt!

While trying to locate additional information about the town, I found a listing of some burials at Riverdale Cemetery from Google images.

I no longer have the need to keep her book, and Linda has allowed me to donate it to the New England Historic and Genealogical Soceity's Library (NEHGS).  It will have a safe home, and perhaps others will use it.