It was a spectacular day. The weather was gorgeous and the genealogy fabulous.
I drove to Hastings, MI and its library where I found lists of Richardsons and Coats (Davenport side) in the Fuller Cemetery books. No plot map but I figured I'd wing it. (Note to self - next time stop at the county clerk's and figure out where the relatives are buried rather than combing each row on foot!). With the help of the Blackberry internet access and the GPS I located the Fuller Cemetery - back roads R Us. The Coats' were in the next to last section I chose but I was thrilled to find gg grandparents, assorted cousins, uncles, aunts and more.
I then made my way to Coats Grove. I am not sure I was ever there as a child but then 4 houses and a crossroads may not have stuck in my memory. This small burg was named for George Washington Coats, an early settler having arrived from Springwater, NY in the 1850's. He married Abby Jane Richardson (see photos).
He built a lovely yellow brick home which is still standing. Now I had no idea what this house looked like but on the barn is a large sign that says GW Coats and a Michigan "100 years farm owned by the same family sign" was out in front. I swung into the driveway and a man was working out front. I asked to take some photos and came to find out he is Ron Coats - son of Max, grandson of George Edwin, gg of GW Coats - we are 3rd cousins! He remembered my father and visiting the Maples. He then called a relative who had been working on genealogy for Coats' and Chase's. She came over, we adjourned to the local (Woodland) pizza parlor and investigated her two 5" binders of material. Way to much information to take in - Becky has done a fabulous job. Upshot is that she will scan/copy the material and send it to me - Whooppee! Just a note - Ron has an old aluminum record that must be played with a wooden needle. The recording is of Eugene Davenport giving a speech. Ron will try to have it copied and send that along as well.
I then went east one mile and north one mile to Davenport Road and the Maples. It looks lovely as always and a nice reminder of our childhood. Across the road is gg George Martin Davenport's home (see left). In need of some paint but basically looks very good. The big barn (which is what I really remember about that farm) still stands.
I then made my way to the Woodland Cemetery. More graves than I remembered (not too surprising) but found dad's grave, the rest of the Tukeys, the Davenports and a slew of Chases. Ann had planted geraniums on front of each of the Tukey graves and their lovely red flowers made a nice contrast with the gray stones. A very sentimental moment for me especially because dad, Uncle Loren and Grandpa T all had flags in memory of their military service and to honor the 4th of July.
Finally, Fiona (after much arguing with me) directed me safely back to E Lansing and another wonderful supper with Ann and Michael. Off to Ohio in the morning!