Monday, July 28, 2014

Lost in 1929

It is October 29, 1929.  Herbert Hoover is the President of the United States, and the stock market has just crashed.  DH grandmother is a mere girl of seven years.  This house is almost 70 years old, and  is a truck farm.  Most of the people that live on this one horse track road are relatives.  We are Midway farms we are partway between Carleton, Flat Rock and Rockwood, Michigan.

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  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.

 I am sure you probably would be more aware of it in the seed pod form, which is used for floral arrangements.    Interestingly enough these lotus blossoms were almost totally eradicated from  rivers by the locals because they "clogged up" the waterways for boating and recreation, but a move in 1990 began to re-established the natural flora and fauna to the area reintroduced the lotus.

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.
Use this fabric to depict why Monroe was called Floral City.  Yep if you look at the calendar it is July 28, 2014 and I have not even started yet, and all entries for the show must be submitted by September 1.  Hmmm I don't think I even have a quilt ready.  I better get a move on!


  1. You should go to the local senior citizen center, retirement home or nursing home and ask there!
    You could always use all three explanations in your quilt!

  2. Sounds like me - putting it off until almost too late!!! History sure does have a lot to tell us if we'll just listen, doesn't it? It's also fun to learn!

  3. Interesting about the name of the city. Was it actually named Floral City and they changed the name to Monroe or was it more of a 'nickname' for Monroe? I am sure you will come up with a fantastic idea for your quilt! How big does it have to be? The book you are reading sounds very interesting too.

  4. Great post! I`m going to read this book. My grandmother told us about her mother in law keeping them out of the bread lines. As for your quilt block. You are a smart, clever cookie. You`ll get it done!

  5. you will make it , i have faith in you

  6. what a fun challenge! love those where you are creative but forced to really think inside a few guidelines too. good luck! I know you can do it!

  7. The book sounds so good! I will have to check it out!


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