The Church on the Hill
After a couple of days of rain Sunday dawned with abundant sunshine and blue skies – a perfect day. After opening the doors and admiring the clean church and sparkling windows the Museum crew set to work putting out unique pictures, binders, newspaper clippings, obituary books, and so much more. Our first visitor was from Taymouth Township and was about an hour early and it just kept on with a happy buzz all afternoon long.
Museum members in attendance to help were; Janice Westwood, Bonnie Sly, Joe and Anne Follett, Arline Whitmire, Fern Russell and Angie Brandt. It took everyone to make sure our guests were helped with questions of the history of the church/cemetery, signing the guest book, looking up where relatives were buried, to see if a relative was in a gazette and finding a lost love in an old yearbook.
Left to right – Kathleen Hewitt, Joan Luppino and Tammy Woelzein, outside shot, 1 Unknown, 2 Unknown, Fern Russell, Kathleen Hewitt and Karen Galindo, Harvey Case and Liz Lea, Millie Russell in the cemetery, Jim Stewart and Unknown, Closing up.
We had people at the Open House from near and far. Dan Lea came from the farthest spot to escorted his mother, Elizabeth. Dan came from Boise, Idaho!! Most people were from Montrose but we had many others who drove from distant locales including Ohio, Bay City, Flint, Holly, Flushing, Davison, Vassar, Chesaning, Clio, Mt. Pleasant, Richmond and Ray Township.
Bottom left – Dee Hammond & Unknow, Dr. Jim Stewart, book signing, Anne Follett, and Scottish Lady.
Many came to see a bit of Montrose history but there were some there to do a little family research too. The descendants of C.P. Miller (1843 – 1894) came out to see the church where their ancestor’s funeral service was held.
While there, Ernie and Yvonne Beers commented that they had lived in one of C.P.
Miller’s houses in town and while renovating the house they came across boards with Mr. Miller’s name on the back sides. During the conversation they started to wonder if they all might be related as their families have such long ties to Montrose. Time and a little research will tell.
Along with a little light research with the materials at the Open House many spent time in the cemetery locating and photographing grave lots and photographing headstones.
A tender family moment that brought tears to my eyes was of Jeananne Lyman Montney being able to locate the grave of a baby brother who lived but a day and was buried in a grandfather’s lot.
We had no idea that family connections would be made and lost family members would be found when we first discussed the idea of having this Open House at the Church on the Hill but the blessings we received on the 8th watching and listening to it all take place made it abundantly clear that we were all it the right place at the right time. A very big thank you goes out to the Montrose Townships Cemetery Sexton, Maynard Reed for approaching Anne and myself about having an open house, to the Montrose Township offices for letting us host the event and to the community for making the open house such a wonderful success!!
The corner stone from the Church on the Hill.