Legitimate Tools

I am sitting on my hands tonight. You are happy about that. Y’all prob’ly know I have opinions about tools and I bet most of y’all even know what they are. I’ll spare you.

Instead, here are a couple of grainy old newspaper photoooos of the farmhouse The Commander grew up in. These are from back in 1969, right before it got torn down so Garden City could build a Burger King. My granddaddy owned the place at the time but he and Bolette had lived in Detroit for many years, so there were renters and I only [vaguely] remember touring the house once, shortly before it was sold and bulldozed. I lived within blocks of my Fin grandparents’ house and often stayed overnight there so I know the landscape of that house like the back of my hand. The Mac house I can only imagine…

My granddaddy and his brother-in-law wrote a little history of the house that this newspaper printed. I’ll just hit the highlights.

John Lathers, from County Cavan, Ireland originally obtained the land sometime back in the 1800s. He would be my great-great grandfather.

Part of the land went to his son Robert Lathers (my great-grandfather if you’re keeping score) and Robert “R. J.” built the house in 1889 with the help of a nephew and a hired hand. His purpose? To entice a “city girl” Julia Everett (my great-grandmother!) to marry him. Area “farm wives” deemed it “a love of a house”.

Robert was successful in his enticement and he and Julia begat Emily, Cyrus, and Lillian. Emily being the grandmother I never met because she was killed in a car accident when The Comm was 15. I heard a lot about Lillian as a kid but never met her. I met Uncle Cy once, at my grandfather’s funeral. He was ancient then and I doubt that he knew or cared who the heck I was. (I met his son and family once when they “looked The Comm up” at the moominbeach and they were weird. I was only 10 then but I got the idea that The Comm thought they were weird too.)

In 1914, Emily (my grandmother) married Ralph MacMullan (my grandfather). He was from Chicago but he often visited his grandparents in the Garden City area. Their families were friendly and Emily and Ralph were childhood playmates.

Around 1924, some of the land was divided and my grandparents took over the house and raised their five children there, including The Comm.

In 1927, the Village of Garden City was incorporated and Ralph MacMullan (my grandfather) became its first village clerk at a salary of $400/year (don’t worry, he had a decent day job…).

I don’t even know if there is a Burger King on this piece of property any more. I have the address. I suppose will have to do Google Streetview and look…

One Response to “Legitimate Tools”

  1. Pooh Says:

    It’s good to hear about your MacMullan relatives. You are clearly a “kin-keeper”, a term that was used in the sibling book, that Bubs had brought to the cabin library this year. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the complete title or the author’s name. Hey, I’ve been having a hard time typing this morning — had to go back and correct here/hear, your/you.