Part of my ongoing project to reshoot gravesite photos of men who served in the 3rd Michigan Infantry and occasionally I come across a man who served in the reorganized 3rd Michigan, a completely different regiment. Like Chester McClain of Company A.
Rufus Skeels of the 3rd Michigan Infantry
This past Tuesday Susan and I took a drive north from Grand Rapids up into Newaygo County. She grew up in the Fremont area and wanted to check out all of her old haunts. Naturally i had Third Michigan soldiers I was looking for and since it was another gorgeous day in western Michigan off we went.
We drove to the farthest northern limit of the County, to typically rural cemeteries in Barton and Home townships, where I found Dwight Merrill but couldn't find William Bliss. anyway, they were quite a change from my cemetery work in Paris that's for sure! No fancy sculptures or tombstones here. These were all men (and women of course) who began their lives as poor farmers and pretty much ended them the same way. Quiet, remote, with just a hint of melancoly surrounding each small square or rectangle of land which hered together people who had long ago stopped living, laughing, feuding, fighting the land and turned their souls over to whatever god they had chosen for themselves.
From the northeastern part of the County we headed back south, stopping in Denver (Bull cemetery to find Judah Dake, see photo above) and Dayton townships (Jewell cemetery) and finally cruised through Fremont so Susie could see how much had changed. (Everything was so much closer together than she remembered.)
Some flags were already out for the upcoming Memorial holiday and so it made our job of tracking the vets that much easier but still so many stones in such bad condition. . .
Still, it was a grand day to be out and we made the most of it. I hope you did as well.
All in all a great day to be alive!