People | Places | Things

The Whitneys of Michigan

I just sold this boxed compass by Wilcox Crittendon.

What is a boxed compass or box compass?

It’s a small nautical craft antique compass fastened to the inside of a box via gimbal.

While handheld compasses are usually used for orienteering, boats needed a steady surface for the compass to offer accurate direction during navigation. The gimbal allows the compass to sit steadily though suspended inside the box. Such compasses come in all different sizes and styles. It is the full size binnacle or box compass that is a true nautical instrument.  The Wilcox Crittendon compass I am speaking of, however, had the name “David Whitney, 499 University Place, Grosse Pointe, Michigan” scrawled on the front.  How cool!

The most common question that gets asked in our antique store is “What’s the story behind this?” or “To whom did this belong?”.  The truth is, such items are not so often accompanied by a tale. I  mean, think about it; when they refit ships like the USS Constitution, back in the day, no one said “Someone is going to want this one day. Make sure you document it”. It does happen, just not as much as people might think. Seeking the most updated technology for our needs is how we live today and during previous centuries the behavior was the same. And while a story to accompany an object will often increase the value of a piece (if you intend to sell it, that is) a piece should not be viewed as devalued due to a lack of one. This compass, however, came with a story and we are so glad!!!

The Whitneys You Know

 

Because of the history of the elite yachting culture, I have been immersed in the Whitney lineage for nearly two decades, mainly because the Whitney family lineage crosses the Vanderbilt line and because the Vanderbilt line crosses nearly every other important family line in and around Boston, Rhode Island and New York. You have to know the Vanderbilts if you expect to learn anything about yachting and if you expect to know anything about yachting, you better get used to seeing the name Vanderbilt.

The New York Yacht Club is the most prestigious yacht club in the country. The Club started the America’s Cup event in 1851. It is the birth of modern competitive yachting.

Since Newport, Rhode Island is the satellite station of the New York Yacht Club and since the New York Yacht Club is the history of yachting, voila!; the Vanderbilts “bilt” Newport.  So when I see the compass with the name “Whitney” scrawled on it and because of my experience in genealogy, I can’t imagine that this Whitney is of no relation to the Whitneys of high society.

Those Newport mansions you’ve seen or heard about? Many of them were purchased or built by Vanderbilt’s. The Breakers mansion was the summer home of Gertrude Vanderbilt, who, by marriage, became a Whitney after marrying Harry Payne Whitney of New York in 1896. Although indisputably one of the more privileged socialites in the country at the time, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney walked an unconventional path among the elite. Showing artistic promise as a young child, Gertrude, though not supported in her artistic interests, was also not so discouraged that criticism kept her from seeking further study and practice. At a time when a young girl’s interests lead to their one option as the purpose of the proper marrying woman to the proper marrying man. It must have been strange for her drinking tea and doing needlepoint with the other woman of her status. Imagine the conversations.

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney

Her wealth provided ample means of travel and after visiting France in the early 1900s, Mrs. Whitney was inspired to take up sculpting. She worked under her own name, kept a studio in Greenwich Village and participated in many art exhibitions. After World War I, she donated money and time to establish a hospital for wounded veterans in France. While there, she made drawings of hospitalized soldiers. These drawings became the blueprint for many of her sculptures seen today in New York City. Aside from art, she is also notably marked as the sister of Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt who passed in 1925 leaving his fortune to his young wife, Gloria Morgan and their daughter of the same name. Gloria Morgan’s reputation as a mother was anything but responsible and Gertrude Whitney fought to gain custody of her niece. She eventually won and raised Gloria Morgan as her own child; the child we know today as artist and designer Gloria Vanderbilt and the mother of Anderson Cooper.

And I’ve mentioned little about yachting (wipes forehead)! And this is about the Whitneys, anyway.

The Whitneys you might not know (unless you’re Michigander)

 

Seems that all the US Whitneys descended from John Whitney (1592-1673) and wife Elinor Bray of (likely) Isleworth, England, UK. After coming to the US during the Great Migration, the Whitneys established farm life in Watertown, Massachusetts and as with the times had several children who had several children who had several children, a lot who share the same name. Most of the generations remained in the area though some took to the middle part of the state and onto the western part of Massachusetts and eventually New York.
8th generation Whitney, David Charles, jr. (1830-1900), somewhere between 1860 & 1870 was the first to settle in Detroit Michigan where, as the Detroit Free Press put it “he saw opportunity in the virgin timber of the new state”.

He owned an incredibly successful lumberyard, operating mills in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Canada. The proximity of Lake Superior allowed Jr. to transport iron ore from Canada to the states and the demand for both lumber and iron offered rich opportunity in the lake transport vessels and invested in steam powered barges. Having a reputation for being an honest and progressive businessman, David Charles Whitney, Jr. was well respected in and out of business by those who knew him and those who had only heard of him. During his lifetime, David Whitney Jr. kept the use of “jr.” even after his father passed. The suffix is always seen next to his name.
He married Flora McLaughlin of Ontario and after the birth of their first child, he built a stone mansion at 4421 Woodward Ave. on the corner of West

Whitney Mansion | 4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit, Michigan

Canfield St. in Detroit; today referred to as the David Whitney House. At the time the home was built, he was considered the largest lumber dealers in the country and therefore, the wealthiest man in Detroit.
The marriage produced 5 children, the only boy being David Charles Whitney III.  Before his passing, Jr. moved within the circles of real estate, buying up properties in Detroit and built upon it the first notable mercantile building. His wealth also spawned an interest in philanthropy and his family retained the charitable tradition after his passing. His epitaph read: “He coveted success but scorned to attain it except through industry and honest means. He acquired wealth without fraud or deceit and the results of his life are full of inspiration to the rising generation”.
David, III also worked in real estate and built the still-standing skyscraper David Whitney Building on Park Avenue in Detroit in 1914 in honor of his late father on the land where the first David Whitney building stood, built 24 years prior. He was an avid yachtsman and sailor belonging to several elite yacht clubs (what yacht clubs are not elite?). In 1905 he had the steam yacht

Whitney Yacht “Sumar”

Ridgemount and in 1912 he had a motor cruiser called the Voyager and sailed the Old Club of Detroit burgee. In 1926, naval architect Henry J. Gielow designed the “Sumar” for Whitney, a 160 foot steam powered yacht that all the big wigs had built during the day.

There is always a connection to find when researching families and artifacts. I wonder if the Whitneys of Michigan knew about their connection to the Whitneys of high society New York? Probably not, that’s why they need me!

Davis Collamore | 1820-1887

Passed through the colonial home where the we have opened the new Lannan Gallery were two prominent families of original Massachusetts settlers and builders of the towns surrounding the south shore of Boston. The Jacobs, sailing from England, settled the town of Hingham and after two generations migrated to another waterfront enclave, Scituate. Dr. Joseph Jacob built his ancestral homestead on the land, that is the present day Lannan Gallery, in the 1700s. Upon his passing, the house was purchased in 1794 by Col Enoch Collamore (1745-1824), a Minuteman during the relief of Boston at the Lexington alarm. It was here that a stagecoach was operated on the Boston-Plymouth lines. The home remained in the Collamore family for two generations, during which time Scituate became incorporated as the town of Norwell, when it passed to son John Collamore and he raised his family on these grounds.

Among the children produced by John Collamore and wife Michal Curtis was Davis Collamore (1820-1887). After a typical elite education in Massachusetts, Davis moved to New York City to assist his brother in the pottery importing business. After two short years, Collamore branched out on his own and grew to be not only one of the most successful retailers of porcelain and cut glass, competing with giants such as Tiffany & Co. and Black, Starr & Frost, he became one of the most sought after marketing minds in the business revered by employees and contemporaries alike.

 

 

Jacobs | Collamore Homstead | Norwell, Massachusetts pt. 2

Continued from the Dr. Joseph Jacobs & J. Collamore Homstead

Following the death of Revolutionary Capt. Enoch Collamore and his wife Hannah Cushing, the homestead at Gilman Plain in Scituate was willed to the surviving sons John, Enoch and Horace Collamore. The property remains in the Collamore family for the next two generations. 

Col. John Collamore (1775-1859), eldest son of Capt. Enoch, once labeled “a stern old Puritan type”, inherited the military instinct receiving his first commission of ensign by the Hon Samuel Adams. He also served as selectman, justice of the peace, assessor, county commissioner and served as a committee member of the State Constitutional Convention of 1820.  One of Col. Collamore’s 16 children settled in New York City and embarked on a successful trade in porcelain and china resale.

Located at 403 Broadway in New York, Ebenezer Collamore (1809-1884) imported china from France, India and England and supplied stoneware, Brooklyn Flint Glass, and Wedgewood for wholesale and retail. In 1836, at the age of 16, younger brother Davis (1820-1887) left the Collamore homestead for his brother’s Broadway shop. Apprenticing for six years with his brother, Davis mastered the details of the business and the study of ceramics. On his own, he incorporated Davis Collamore at 595 Broadway in 1842 specializing in china, cut glass and Rockwood pottery. 

During the 1850s, younger brother Gilman Collamore (1834-1888) came to join the company and the name changed to Davis Collamore & Co. 

Gilman also branched out on his own occupying spaces in Union Square and a large several story building on 5th Avenue under the name Gilman Collamore & Co.

Davis Collamore commissioned designs from Copeland Spode and Thomas Minton that featured hand-painted details over transfer-printed outlines and often rich gilding. The company was known to rival the high end institutions in Tiffany & Co. and Black, Starr & Frost.

Davis was a brilliant tradesman in that he stayed steadfastly invested in the manufacture and cultivation of porcelain esthetics. He was considered one of the finest purveyors by the European markets and whose marketing opinions were sought after by his contemporaries. Davis was regarded as the epitome of integrity and his sharp business acumen enabled him to withstand all the financial crises. 

During the 1860s Davis Collamore summered in West Orange, NJ eventually purchasing 70 acres on the eastern slope of Orange Mountain. Collamore named the estate Bellhurst and the acreage was comprised of apple orchards and a pasture for breeding Jersey cattle. A seventh generation first settler of New England became an original member of the New England Society of Orange and is credited as one of the original builders of the Oranges of New Jersey. 

Jacobs | Collamore Homestead | Norwell, Massachusetts pt. 1

The south shore of Boston, an assemblage of colonial waterfront communities sharing a robust seafaring history, to this day hosts a lasting representation of the first settlers. This house, known as the Jacobs Collamore Estate, stands in the semirural town of Norwell, until 1888 known as Scituate (Satuit a Wampanoag word meaning “cold brook”), approx 18 miles south of Boston. Massachusetts Bay, Cape Cod Bay and a hardy river system provided a reliable means for shipbuilding, advancing the economies of Quincy, Weymouth (birthplace of Abigail Adams), Hingham (settled by notable families including Samuel Lincoln, 4th great-grandfather to 16th United States President and abolitionist Abraham Lincoln), Scituate and Marshfield that lasted for centuries. 

While meandering the towns surrounding Massachusetts Bay one will notice each community bearing streets named Cushing, Whiting, Lincoln, Hobart, Hersey, Loring, Turner, Otis, Thaxter, Jacobs & Hancock; all descendant surnames of the early settlers and all directly link to the Jacobs.

Along with Samuel Lincoln, Nicholas Jacobs (1597?1604-1657) sailed from Hingham, Norfolk England during the Great Puritan Migration in 1633. One of the early colonists to incorporate Bare Cove as the town of Hingham in 1635 Jacobs, a man of influence and authority in the town as innkeeper and deputy to the Hingham General Court, is the direct ancestor to all the families bearing his name on the south shore.  The Jacob bloodline produced several heirs of significance to the vitality of Colonial Massachusetts and inspiring the establishment of important American institutions.

John Jacobs (1630-1693), eldest son of Nicholas, was militia captain during King Philip’s War during which his eldest son John was killed in 1676 at their homestead by natives.  He was an elected official and contributor to the construction of the Old Ship Church of Hingham the oldest church in the United States to be used continuously for worship. 

Old Ship Church, Hingham | built c. 1681

Dr. Joseph Jacobs (1707-1780), great-grandson of Nicholas Jacobs, and first cousin to John Hancock, is a first generation Jacob from Scituate. Schooled at Harvard, Jacobs was a substantial landowner, deacon of the 2nd Church and proprietor of Jacob’s Mill, both a saw and grist mill on Jacob’s Pond. He built the ancestral homestead in Assinippi on the Kings Highway, listed in the “History of the Town of Hanover” as “partly in Norwell, partly in Hanover”,  in the mid 1700s. Jacob “was a skillful physician, a man of good talents, successful in his practice, and of respectable standing”. What structure remains of this Jacobs’ estate is now a colonial housing the nautical antiques and ship models of the Lannan Gallery on 483 Washington St. in Norwell. 

Gravesite of Dr. Joseph Jacobs (1707-1780)


Dr. Joseph Jacobs resides in the main home with his wife and children until his death in 1780. The estate is divided between his wife Mary, the heirs of his late and eldest son Elisha, and sons Nathaniel and Joseph. Dr. Jacobs, his wife, son Elisha, daughter in law and granddaughter are buried nearby the main home in the Jacobs Collamore Cemetery on Jacob’s Trial just a few steps from the door of our Gallery. 

The house passed through the Jacobs family until Jacob’s wife Mary died in 1794. The purchase of the 1/8th portions of property willed to the heirs of Elisha Jacob were purchased by Revolutionary Capt. Enoch Collamore. Collamore served as sergeant in Capt. John Clapp’s company of Minutemen “for the relief of Boston” at the Lexington Alarm. He was a member of the Committee of Correspondence, and also member of the General Court. Collamore was married to Hannah Cushing, a direct descendant of two prominent and important first settler families of Hingham. On her paternal side were the Cushings, a long line of high court justices including the Hon. William (1732-1810), one of the original six associate Supreme Court justices appointed by General Washington in 1789. Hannah Cushing’s maternal side are the Lincolns where she shares 5th generation great-grandfather with Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), 16th President of the United States.

Historical accounts pertaining to Enoch Collamore suggests he was a proprietor of a tavern on the property of his home. “The History of Ridge Hill, Norwell, Massachusetts” contains the most substantial evidence of the Tavern: “With the beginning of the Old Colony Stage Coach Lines in 1800, we find the Collamore Tavern listed as one of the regular stops on route which ran from Roxbury to the Cape and the Islands” on the Boston-Plymouth Stage Road.
Also in the “History of Scituate, Massachusetts: From Its First Settlement to 1831” it is noted that “Capt. Enoch kept a well known tavern there for many years” on the Boston-Plymouth Stage Road.

Enoch and Hannah reside at the estate until their deaths in 1824, upon which the estate is divided between their three living sons John, Horace and Enoch. The homestead remains in the Collamore family for the next two generations where they referred to the property as Gilman Plain. 

483 Washington St. | Norwell | Formerly Jacobs Collamore Homstead | Currently Lannan Gallery, antiques & ship models

Our Hidden Shoes

It was some weekend evening in May, 2013 and there was a terrible rainstorm, nor’easter something something. Just above my front door, the ceiling began to stain quickly. I didn’t want to deal with it. “Really? I gotta deal with a leak?”. I protested and ignored, protested and ignored. At the time it just seemed like the worst thing. As the night wore on and the rain intensified, the ceiling stain grew, like an octopus. And then the ceiling began to bow and the wall next to the spot was dripping. I was going to have to do some repair work, for sure.

When the rain stopped, the ceiling looked like a steel drum, a pregnant belly, the meniscus. So I poked the center. It took nothing for the ceiling to open up and the water came down. The ceiling felt thin and there was horsehair insulation stuck to it. I’ve never seen that before. Emotional, feeling burdened and angry, I peeled off parts of the sopping ceiling in sheets. It felt like wall paper or like wet clothing – not like a ceiling. Inside I was surprised to find strong tongue and grove bracing with very little rot or water damage. Bonus! There were wires I needed to be careful of and so I grabbed step stool to complete the job.

My house was built in 1919. The land was purchased in 1909 from Elizabeth Hersey Corthell widow of Wilmot Cleverly a Norfolk County representative in the state legislature of the 5th district, and her living children. These families come from a long line of first settlers; Hersey & Fearing who include Cushing and Lincoln of Hingham. Also Pratt, Bicknell, Humphrey and Bayley who I JUST wrote about the other day. Back in this day, you had to be someone to own land and these people were the people.

“Bungalow Day” in Lake Shore Park, Whitman’s Pond, Weymouth, Massachusetts. From the Boston Sunday Post; April 15 1917

6 days before she passed away and suffering from senility, Elizabeth Cleverly signed 7 acres of land away to D. Arthur Brown, a developer from Winthrop, Massachusetts for “one dollar and other valuable considerations”.  She was 86 and her cause of death was a stroke. Brown bought the land around Whitman’s pond and it took him 10 years to organize a development plan and have have it registered with the county. Year 1919, plan 4475 shows the area of “Lakewood Grove” also referred to as the Birches or Lake Shore Park; a multi acre village surrounding Whitman’s Pond in East Weymouth. In the subsequent years, Brown would advertise his new bungalows for sale in local newspapers. He offered mortgages as low as $865 and as high as $1500 with 6% interest.

The first family to live in the house were the Wilkie’s of Portland, Maine. Fred Leslie Wilkie was born in 1895 in Nova Scotia, Canada and wife Ruth G. Mason born in 1897 of East Boston mortgaged the bungalow on a 6000 square foot lot in Lakewood Grove from D. Arthur Brown for $1324.00 in 1924.

It is likely that prior to this purchase, the bungalow was rented as a lake cottage. When the Wilkie’s mortgaged it, they still had an address in Portland, Maine which indicates they may have used the home as a vacation home until they were ready to move in permanently.

As I inspected the inside of the ceiling I saw something sitting inside the framing. It was dark brown and full of dust. I reached up and pulled it down. It was a cobbler-made leather shoe. A boy’s shoe. The pins in the soles were visible and the laces well intact. It was amazing! What is this shoe doing up here? I looked back up and saw another one sitting next to the place where the first shoe was. Full of dust, I pulled it down. This one was a girl’s shoe. A black, leather Mary Jane with a buckle. This shoe had more wear to it than the boy’s. When it was clear these were the only two shoes up there, I sat them on the towels I placed on the floor.

How. Totally. Cool! These shoes made the ceiling leak and threatening storm well worth it. What a surprise for a history lover. But why were they there? And whose shoes were they?

 

Major John Bradford Homstead

If you’ve never taking a drive through Kingston, Massachusetts, put it on your list. It’s just plain gorgeous and so much of the original or antique infrastructure remains. There are so many well-kept houses from the original settlers it’s a wonder the town is not as popular a tourist destination as Plymouth (oops! sorry Kingstonites and Kingstonians).

Somewhere down Landing Road near the corner of Maple St. up a steep and windy driveway is the Major John Bradford Homestead. The colonial structure with shaker shingles standing on the edge of a manicured lawn and fenced-in perennial garden, is owned by the Jones River Village Historical Society. Built around 1714, the house was intended for Mercy Warren, the wife of Major John Bradford (1653-1786), second generation Mayflower descendant and grandson of William Bradford, second governor of Plymouth Colony.

 

Quaker Friends Meetinghouse | Pembroke, Massachusetts c.1706

You may have noticed on the front page of this site, a very cool photo of two blue doors. The photo is taken of the front of the Quaker Friends Meetinghouse in Pembroke, Massachusetts. This house of worship is one of the oldest Quaker Meetinghouses in the United States.

The Meetinghouse was built by Robert Barker, Jr. son of an original settler of Duxbury in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts.  Duxbury Quakers were traveling a distance to Scituate to gather and pressed for a Meetinghouse closer to their home.  Lore has it that the house was built in Scituate and moved “over the ice” to it’s present day location.

The structure sits on a triangular piece of land where routes 139 and 53 intersect in Pembroke. Ensconced in brush atop a stone wall, there appears not formal (or informal) entrance for even a pedestrian to walk through. The house is in beautifully restored condition. The muted seafoam blue/green paint imbues the front and east facing sides while an opposite side is naturally shingled. The first floor has undergone updated and it is said that the second floor remains nearly untouched. Originally, the first floor was divided into two sections; the rights side for the men, the left for the women and they also had separate entrances, note the two front doors. There is no plumbing and therefore no bathroom inside. A second small storage shack is positioned next to the house.

Most intriguing is the burial ground in back. Many proper graves and some makeshift still remain. It is difficult to discern whether there was an original pattern or intention to the burials. Some families appear at rest together and others are strewn randomly along the property. The name of the humble resting place is “Friends Burying Ground”.

Interred in Friends Burying Ground

John Bailey (1751-1823) , Quaker preacher, inventor, clockmaker

According to the Bayley Family Genealogy published by descendants in 1899, three Bayley’s came from England to Massachusetts: James settled in Rowley, John settled in Salisbury and Thomas in Weymouth. The John Bailey of 1751 buried in Friends Burying Ground is a 7th generation descendent of Thomas of Weymouth.

John Bailey (1751-1823) son of Revolutionary War Colonel John and wife Ruth Randall.  Bailey’s father was second in command at Dorchester Heights and was a reliable favorite of General Washington and was known to be a “brave and attentive officer”. Col. Bailey, along with his brother, served as selectman of Hanover for several years. His father’s will bequeathed him 1700 dollars, part of his land and required him to comfortably support “my old negro’s for the rest of their natural lives”.

In the year 1770 John Bailey’s residence is listed as Hanover and Lynn, Massachusetts. According to The Book of American Clocks, Bailey was a mechanic, crafts person and clockmaker, making his first clock at age 12.

Face inscribed “John Bailey, Hanover”

John Bailey was a Quaker preacher. He is said to have been a conscientious man yet would have “spiritualized a broomstick”.  He repaired guns, muskets, compasses and clocks. Bailey was an accomplished inventor and engineer as well. In use at his old home in Hanover was an iron sink of which Bailey designed the first pattern for. He also created the first pattern for a crooked nose tea-kettle cast at the foundry in nearby Middleboro. Bailey was said to be “steam mad” and predicted that within 50 years the most common method of travel would be via steam and had the forethought that a “different kind of road would be required”. At the time of his steam tinkering, Bailey developed a roasting jack for cooking meats over an open fire. In 1895 on of these jacks was still in existence, the patent for which was signed by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Edmund Rudolph, attorney general.

Bailey was married three times. Mary Hill, who is said to be his second wife, is buried in Friends. His third wife, Tabitha Olney, was a descendant of Thomas Olney, one of the original settlers of Rhode Island. Thomas Olney landed in Salem, Massachusetts on the ship Planter in 1635 and was asked to leave the colony due to religious differences. Thomas Olney followed Roger Williams into Providence and was integral to the formation of government in 1640 serving as Treasurer, tax collector and a member of the court. He was one of the original 12 persons to be deeded land by Williams.

Bailey’s three marriages produced five children. Most notably is son John Bailey, Jr. (1787-1883), also known as Bailey, III, who inherited the watch and clock making mind and grew his talents into a thriving and profitable business. The eight-day, tall clocks made by Bailey and Bailey, III were well-known and sought after fixtures in Plymouth Colony. Only families of affluent economic superiority were wealthy enough to afford tall clocks and it is very rare to find one today. Bailey III relocated to New Bedford, Massachusetts, one of the most active whaling communities in the country, where he imported astronomical instruments. Bailey’s business was making over $5,000.00 per year when in 1824 things began to turn. Bailey, III was an abolitionist and vice president of both the Bristol County Anti-Salvery Society and the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. In the 1850s Bailey launched two anti-slavery newspapers; Pathfinder and the People’s Press, Lib. Known to be a man committed to the rights of and welfare of others, Bailey would not commit to a political party. He was a trusted confidante amongst the black community of New Bedford. An active lecturer and organizer, Bailey at his home, a stop on the Underground Railroad, held anti-slavery meetings. Always seeking his advice on whom to vote for, the black community were encouraged by Bailey to

Portrait of John Bailey, III

“vote for the man who would do justice to their race”. These principles, however, cost him his business. The Whig party encouraged Bailey, Jr. to influence the black community to vote their ticket. They threatened his business if he refused. George Howland, local and successful shipbuilder and Quaker preacher of New Bedford expressed to Bailey, III. that he had better yield or he would be ruined. The Bayley Family Genealogy, documents Bailey, III response as: “George, as long as fish live in the sea and clams live in the sand, I’ll not sell my principles”. Surreptitiously, the Whig party hired a man to take over Bailey’s work and the next week every chronometer was taken from Bailey’s store. He indeed was ruined. Politics… they haven’t changed. Bailey passed in 1883.

Father John Bailey died in 1823 in Hanover. Tabitha in 1827 also buried in Friends.

Ann Barker (1750-1789)

Ann was born in Tiverton, Rhode Island, daughter of Abraham and Susanna Anthony. On 27 January 1785 she married Benjamin Barker (1757) son of Prince Barker and Abigail Keen, grandson of Isaac Barker & Elizabeth Slocum, great-grandson of Isaac and Judith Prence, great-great grandson of Robert Barker, Sr. original settler of Duxbury. He is the great nephew of Robert Barker, Jr. builder of the Friends Meetinghouse. Ann and Benjamin produced two children together; Abraham (1786-1855) married Margaret Buffum and Susan (Sarah) Ann (1788 – 1861) who married David Buffum of Newport.

After Ann’s untimely death at the age of 38, Benjamin Barker married Rebecca Partridge of Boston in 1791. They had one child, Samuel born in 1792 who married Catherine Gooch of Boston. Both his Barker family name and his marriage to Ann left Benjamin a wealthy man.

Nathan Thomas Shepherd, Jr. (1843-1912)

Nathan Shepherd came from a family of box manufacturers. His grandfather,

Calvin Shepherd 1786-1876

Calvin Cleveland Shepherd (1786-1876), a farmer, came to Bridgewater, Mass from Canterbury, Connecticut.  Calvin operated a cotton factory at Pudding Brook in Pembroke before converting it to a sawmill where he produced boxes. The box operation remained in the family for generations. He married Mary Byram of Bridgewater, daughter of Joseph and Sarah Hall. Their marriage produced 9 children. Nathan Thomas Shepard, Sr. (1811-1885) was the third born. Nathan is listed as a box manufacturer and printer on the 1810 census. He died from complications due to an accidental fall leading to the amputation of his arm.

Following the shoe worker’s strike of 1860, Nathan relocated to Lynn, Massachusetts with brother George and entered the shoe cutting trade.  In 1871, Nathan T., Jr. married Susan Ann Burleigh of Lynn, Massachusetts. Susan came from a family of twelve children born to William of Ossipee, NH and Nancy Hodsdon of Tuftonboro, NH.  Both her parents having been dead by the time of her marriage to Shepherd and sometime before 1871, Burleigh relocated to Lynn, Massachusetts. In 1874, their son William Burleigh Shepherd was born in Lynn. By 1880, the lumber industry was booming in Minnesota and the Shepherds relocated where Nathan was a “door sash manufacturer”. By 1900 Susan was still married to Nathan and owned the home where she lived on 1103 1st Avenue, North in Minneapolis. There she boarded two women. Somewhere thereafter, Susan moved in with son William and family at 2640 Dupont Avenue, S in Minneapolis and Nathan relocated to Spencer, Massachusetts where perhaps had an opportunity to return to shoe cutting as that area was fast developing mills to produce such items. In 1912, Nathan died from cancer of the intestines. In 1915, Susan is still noted as living with William on Dupont Ave., however she is not listed on the 1920 census. I have yet to discover her death record.

Susan LeFurgey (1831-1931)

Susan Shepherd Le Furgey (1831-1931)

Searching for Susan proposed some challenges at first. Le Furgey is not a local name and therefore results of other relatives that might lead to information about Susan were few. She was found however, with a name spelled differently.  The headstone originally had me thinking that her name was Le Furcey; the “C” was in fact a “G” with an inferior mark. She was born in 1831 to Mary Byram and Calvin Shepherd. In 1920, Susan Le Furgue is present on the US Census as an 88 year old woman living with her son John Calvin and daughter in law, Nellie Howland.  Susan’s husband, Lemuel Le Furgy (1837-1909) came from a well-to-do shipbuiding family of Loyalists in Tyrone, Prince Edward Island, Canada and operated the Le Furgy Mill and became a prominent business man in Pembroke. Likely because of his shipbuilding past and mill operation, his ties to the foresting industry allowed the extended family to capitalize on wood products and manufacturing. He eventually became a figure in the box and packing industry founded by his father in law.

Sarah L. West (1858-1912)

The L. is for Lucinda! She was born in Watashaw, Minnesota in 1858 as Sarah Calkins, (or Corkins) born to Daniel P. (1811-1869) , a farmer from Connecticut family origin, and Hannah Chandler Ford of Pembroke, Mass, daughter of James and Mercy Lewis. When she was just 16, Sarah married Calvin Shepherd West (1853-1928), son of James and Mary Green Shepherd, in 1874. Mary Green Shepherd is the sister of Susan Shepherd Le Furgey. On the 1880 census, Calvin is noted as being a box manufacturer. The box business, that his grandfather Calvin Shepherd began, was inherited by his father James.  Sarah and Calvin had one child, Lester D. born in 1880. Lester married Ethel Loring Jacobs of Hingham in 1902.  In her will, dated 1905, Sarah leaves her estate to her husband and the remainder to pass onto her son upon his decease. Her inventory includes a deposit to Scituate Savings Bank for 1349.02 and another to Rockland Savings Bank for 770.93 which is today’s equivalent of about 50,000.00 USD. Sarah died of breast cancer in 1912. Calvin, two years later, remarried Abbie Curtis in Brockton. They resided in Norwell until Calvin’s death in 1928 where he was a proprietor of a grocery store.