THE writer came to
Michigan, a youth, in the spring of 1835, and settled in the town of
Springwells, two miles from the western limits of Detroit, then a city
of less than 5000 inhabitants. On or near the spot of his first abode,
upon the banks of our noble river, he has dwelt for half a century, and
until the spreading city has absorbed the intervening farms.
Even a few years ago his present residence was so completely in the
country, that the familiar rural sights and sounds were but little
banished. The influences thus surrounding him are visible in many of the
essays which make up this book, and which are in part compiled from his
Such are the chapters upon the seasons and upon the inhabitants, human
and brute, of the neighborhood. Of the other papers, some will be
recognized as having been read before the Detroit Scientific
Association, and State and County Pioneer societies, and some have
already received publication in newspapers and pioneer collections.
In the essays upon climate, the author ventures to believe, will be
found something of merit, in the way of original observation and
research. The character of our seasons he has endeavored to portray,
less by attempt at vivid description, than by the plain statement of
facts. Anything really new, on subjects of such universal interest, may
prove of more than local value.
The reflection that many of these memorials may possess a value, at
least in the eyes of partial friends—alas ! how few now — and may serve
a purpose in the preservation of facts and phenomena which are fast
being lost with the rapidly passing years, has been the inducement to
their compilation into a volume.
Vinewood, December, 1886.
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