the making of modern michigan

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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 78-79
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Bloomfield Township (Mich.) -- History

Gilbert Lake House (Bloomfield Township, Mich.) -- History

Dwellings -- Michigan -- Bloomfield Township -- History

Item Number

part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

text, image


CANDIDATE #1 THE WINNER! THE GILBERT LAKE HOUSE Joseph Gilbert bought his 160 acres on Gilbert Lake on June 24th, 1823. While he's not mentioned in any of our early county histories, his name does appear in 1829 in the Bloomfield Township annual meeting records as an overseer of highways. He held this position for four years until 1833 when his name disappears from the records. Later the farm changed hands many times, eventually becoming part of the Peabody Farms, but in 1898 it was still known as "Gilbert Lake Farm." Three rooms remain from the original farmhouse, which has been added to many times. In the room pictured here we can see the hand-carved beams. The original fireplace was made smaller in succeeding renovations, but still retained for a long time its wooden ancestry. In the early days, fireplaces were of wood with a heavy clay cover, but had to be watched carefully so they would not catch fire and burn down the log house. The family fire had to be tended carefully, as if it went out, there was no way to start it again except to go to the nearest neighbor's house and beg a few hot coals. The children were often dispatched on this errand and brought back the coals in a brass pan to rekindle the fire. An interesting point about the Gilbert Lake Farm is the existence of two large stones, one with the inscription 1864 and one 1867. The 1877 County History notes the existence of a private cemetery on the southwestern side of Gilbert Lake. It notes that the first interment was that of Joseph Gilbert's wife, Nancy. "From being a cluster of family graves it came to be used as a place of interment by the inhabitants of the vicinity, until in this, as in the other old graveyards of Bloomfield, the number of silent occupants has become very large."

Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 78-79 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 78-79 part 2

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