Flint Township View

Remember When …

A look at the original Old Farmer’s Alamanck. Photos courtesy of the Burton Area Historical Society

A look at the original Old Farmer’s Alamanck. Photos courtesy of the Burton Area Historical Society

Michigan is the land of the Great Lakes, many trees, fur traders and farmers, started as mostly Native Americans, before the War of 1812. Since Michigan started out as native villages and they taught the British and the settlers how to trap and live off the land than to get all the things the family needed they had a trading post, where people would trade what they have for what they need with others.

As American pioneers settled here for the wonderful land, Michigan is different than most states, thanks to the Great Lakes and waterways, we grew fast. Colonists that moved here were very smart and their families liked to read the “Poor Richard’s Almanack” by Benjamin Franklin full of his witty ideas for weather and other things in from 1732-1758 to the 13 colonies.

This was a valued book to farmers for, so two years after Franklin passed, Robert Thomas, started as the first editor of the (Old) Farmer’s Almanac. Aren’t you glad there’s been an Old Farmer’s Almanac since 1792?



“Useful with a pleasant degree of humor” is on the cover of each reference pamphlet. The Almanac has been scientifically done with 80 percent accuracy. This handy guide is the longest continuously published (yearly) periodical and started when President George Washington was in office and still available today at www.almanac.com.

Do you have farmers in your family who used to read the Farmer’s Almanac? My family would read it for the weather forecast and predictions and other things. They had farmed in Genesee County since the 1850s. My mother’s family sold cherries from their little farm at the produce stand on Pasadena Avenue in Flint, while my dad’s family had large farms and sold their produce in the Swartz Creek area.

Back in 1905 Flint started a large open air (City) Market downtown on Beach and Kearsley. This was much better than a trading post, many farmers could come together and sell their produce. The Flint Farmers Market has moved many times, because of traffic congestion downtown.

Early Burton area farmers from the Carpenter Family.

Early Burton area farmers from the Carpenter Family.

In 1940 the market moved next to the Flint River and stayed until 2014, now the market is downtown again and bigger and better than ever. Come and check it out the businesses, organic and fresh foods, and even picnic area three days a week.

Remember When is a weekly column in the Burton View featuring historical stories about the community from the Burton Area Historical Society. If you have some Burton history to share, email History.Mona@yahoo.com.