Presented by Eugene Beach of the Highland Township Historical Society.
THE PIONEER EXPERIENCE: Everyday Life in Early Highland Township
PART 1 – HOME AND HEARTH
* Buying land, deciding what parcel to choose, its cost, etc. Use of “land lookers” to scout prospective parcels.
* Concept of “chain migration,” i.e., extended families and neighbors settling together for mutual aid and support.
* Best season to settle.
* Building shelter – differences between shanty, bough house, cabin, etc.
* Planting the first crop (even before land was cleared); type of crops planted; Highland’s reputation as fertile
* Clearing land – the need for massive “break up” plows, etc.
* Livestock – why the ox was more important (and more popular) than the horse.
* Transport – multi-mile walking common, use of “pungs” and other primitive “vehicles.”
* Markets – need to travel to Detroit, Pontiac, Dexter, Fenton, etc. for sawn lumber, milling services, and supplies.
* Family size and composition, courtship and marriage, etc.