I began reading the book 1929 Jonathan's Cross by M. L. Gardner a couple of weeks ago. It was a story about a set of three friend that ran a brokerage firm in New York City , and the way their lives, family and others around them changed right after the stock market crash. The drastic changes in their lives from living in splendor and moving to squalor. I will admit that I was sucked into the time, and their lives, their highs, and lows and that true friendship means carrying the load for your friends during hard times as well as the good times. I discovered that it was a series, and look forward to reading the next.
I continue to be lost in the past trying to discover why the nearby city of Monroe was called Floral City. I have been pouring through old documents online through general archive.org. I have been to the local library. I am now a card carrying library patron. I also visited the Monroe County Historical Society Museum, even visiting the document archives there and inquiring. There is no definitive answer to the question. I have discovered 3 answers which were the three that the historical museum provided me too.
1. The Native American Lotus blossom is abundant in the local rivers and marshes.
2. In 1852 a steam locomotive entered Monroe after passing through 2 1/2 miles of marshland . This train was the inaugural run of the new Michigan Southern Railroad's Chicago to Buffalo- train/steamship line. Upon entering the city of Monroe there was a large banner which stated "Welcome to Floral City" and 50 little girls in white dresses and sashes had covered the tracks in flowers.
3. Many of the settlers brought their native plants. It is rumored that one of the first white settlers in the area Francis Navarre brought the first cuttings of pear trees and planted them along the River Raisin in the 1750's. During the 1850's the Monroe area had many large nurseries and provided many of the fruit trees for vast orchards of western Michigan. There were several nurseries in the area that provided all of the fruit and vegetable seedlings for much of Eastern Michigan and Northwestern Ohio.
Why all this research? I was given a fat quarter of this batik for a challenge quilt for the Monroe County Quilt Guild Quilt Show in October.