Remember When …

Photo provided

Photo provided

La Rue Schram and his family left New York and came to help establish the Atherton Settlement in 1836.

The Schram’s had five family farms by 1907; one house still stands on Center Road not too far from Bristol Road. Thread River was the water source most used when starting the settlement, (Gilkey Creek too).

William Schram was first to build a log cabin home the in town of Flushing in 1836 (see photo). As I go through the history of our whole county, I find so many families related to each other and it’s great.

As the children grew up they got married to the neighbors and started their own families and so on. I found eight family names that had farms that were related to the Schram family in the History of Genesee County, Michigan book by F. Ellis.

They came in the 1800s and married into the family and started their own farm. There are four different farms in Burton Township that are on the 1907 map for the Charles Morrish family, all different family members involved in farming. They even owned the land behind Meijer on Center Road and the Blue-Ribbon dairy farm on Lippincott by Munson Street. They are related by marriage to the Richards family, (that I shared earlier about where Scottie’s and the Fire station is now in Burton) and had the Burton Dairy and Cheese Factory on Belsay Road.



Another large farm was the W.W. Merrill family farm, where the house still stands on Atherton by Genesee Road and is one reason why roads in our county end and started on the other side of a farm, like Howe Road is in four sections.

The Merrill family were farmers by the Schram farm, they had relatives in Detroit that help start the Humane Society and other things. Living 200 years ago would have been fun, not having to worry about the Internet or people following on social media.

After a long day of work running the family business they would relax and watch a sunset or just go fishing. Well that is until a new neighbor moved into town. The ladies would get cooking (on an old wood stove, how fun) and the men would sharpen their tools to raise a new home or barn.

Sunday was the day they would all go to church and enjoy time together with an outside picnic. The whole community worked together for harvest time. What is your favorite memory from your family history? While we are stuck at home give your grandparents a call or video chat and write down their story, you will never regret it.

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