Some notes to self for next year:
Bring more water! Picking in the hot sun is hot, and you get dried out fast. I should have had a gallon with me.
Make sure you have sunglasses and a good hat! I felt pretty sun-bleached afterwards.
Go out as early as you can, so it's not so hot and the sun is not so bright.
We made a field trip to the Otisville Cemetery south of Belleville, where I have some ancestors buried - there's a story to that settlement that I haven't figured out yet, it's a pleasant but nondescript spot in a rural area with graves from the 1840s-1900s. Some bits of family history are in the Carpenter-Hope section of a Belleville city history.
John and Lucy Carpenter, one of Van Buren's pioneering family raised a family of four girls one their farm land on Martinsville Road. Their daughter, Angeline M. married to Richard Hope and moved into a home located at 187 Main Street in Belleville. Daughter, Matilda, married Jenx Pullen and moved into a home located on Martinsville Road. Mary Jane married Woodbury Clark, and lived in one of the Clark residences. Lucy married George Quirk. A descendant of the Hope family , named Margaret later wrote that the property located at 187 Main Street, was the site of the 1886 Soldiers and Sailors Encampment.
Margaret Hope was born April 9, 1876, the daughter of Richard and Angeline (Carpenter) Hope. Her father, Richard was born in Detroit in 1844 and came to Belleville with his parents, John and Joanne (Winkleman) Hope, sometime in the 1850's. John Hope served as Treasurer in 1859 and Justice of the Peace in 1868. By 1875 he had changed his occupation from blacksmith to cobbling boots and shoes.
Richard Hope built his home at 187 Main Street about 1880. He and his wife, Angeline had previously resided in a backhouse behind the home of William Warren. Richard worked as a drover, a livestock buyer, and was the proprietor of a meat market. He later owned a second farm on Sumpter Road and served as Belleville's Drain Commissioner in 1894/95.
Richard Hope died on November 19, 1901 at that age of 57, killed at the Wabash RailRoad crossing on Sumpter Road, as he traveled to his farm. He and his wife had, had 2 children, Louis, who later moved to Texas and married, where he had a son named, Stewart. When Louis passed away, his son, Stewart came back to Belleville and was raised by Margaret Hope.
Margaret, moved with her parents to their home at 374 Main Street when she was 4 years old. She worked in many local community occupations such as teacher and secretary for Henry Van Schoick Harness, Carriage, and Hardware business. She also worked at the Peoples Bank of Belleville. She also had a lifelong committment to the Belleville Grange, a local farmers group, where she worked as its secretary from 1906 to 1955. Margaret passed away in September of 1955.