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Forestville Bicentennial History Page 1


This year, 1976, we celebrate the 220th birthday of our nation. As we pause to reflect the happenings of the past two centuries it is proper for us to review the history of our own community, Forestville and Delaware Township. Our main intent is to honor the first settlers, the pioneers of our area, as well as those senior citizens living today who have been a part of this community. Our present inhabitants have emerged from many nationalities; Scotch, Irish, English, Polish, Austrian, French ,German and undoubtedly many others. No matter what the nationality our pioneer father left us a heritage of which we are very proud. These early settlers started with a "wilderness" from which they formed a community and nation that is greatest in the world. Their "their love for freedom", dedication to purpose", "plain hard work", and love of God inspired their spirit to meet and conquer any hardship that passed their way. We cannot discuss our early history without mentioning two institutions which must be singled out for special attention. They are the Christian churches with their pastors or priest and the pioneer mother and homemaker. In a very real sense these are perhaps not separate institution for they very close related. It is difficult to find words to properly honor or describe the influence of a loving God on our community or a loving mother for her family. Pastors and priests from several denominations served our area in early times. Their travels were long and hard but they gave direction and meaning to the daily lives of our forefathers. The pioneer mother certainly had to be some kind person. She brought children into the world under conditions which can hardly be imagined today. She raised her family without the modern convinces we all believe are necessities today. To these above mentioned people we should be forever grateful. In this " Forestville-Delaware Bi-Centennial Souvenir" we shall try to bring into focus some of the interesting past history of our community. Some of the pages in the booklet contains pictures taken more then one hundred years ago and other pages list names of pioneer families but undoubtedly many will also be missed. If your family name has not been included please do not feel badly; if they were pioneers they are included. We are deeply indebted to the businessmen from the area whose gracious donations have made this "booklet" possible. Please notice the names of the contributors in this "booklet" and personally thank them when it is convenient for you. The committee wishes to thank following people for helping compile information used in this "Forestville- Delaware Souvenir": Mr. and Mrs. E. Wahla –excerpts from "Old Forestville and the Saxon Colony", Esther Teeple-- Dalaware History from "Minden c. Centennial Historical Souvenir," Mr. and Mrs. Ted Schubel—pictures; Paul Geyer –Pictures Mrs. Frank Potts—Pictures; Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Kappel – Picturs; Miss Clarrie Klaus – pictures; Mr. and Mrs Jerome Toole –pictures;Mr. and Mrs. Harold Klaus – pictures and pioneer names, Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Klaus, pictures. 


Jerome Toole Art Nye Grace Willey Harold Schock John Meissner Frank Wismer Harold Klaus Eugene Deike Dale Kappel A Captain of Industry The wards were busy people, and an count of all their activities would fill volumes. However a listing of a few of them will prove the point. They operated the great Ward Lake Huron Line of steamers and schooners., some captained at times by Eber B. Ward himself. (He was commonly called "captain"). There was also a smaller shipping line on Lake Michigan. and Ward was one of the promoters of the "Soo Locks" designed to enable shipping to sail from the lower lakes into Lake Superior. The Wards built than thirty steamers and schoolners in their Newport drydock., but always had many other irions in the fire. For example, at the very time Forestville was being hatched Sam Ward was building the Eureka Steel and irion mill at Wyandotte, and another at Chicago. When Sam Ward died he left his nephew. Eber B., a large fortune, and he immediately went into railroading and mining; and in 1870 built Ludington finest sawmill to process the pines on his vast Lake Michigan timber holdings. A contemporary account describes Eber B. as, "having steel blue eyes, a ruddy complexion and an iron jaw." He was clean-shaven in an era of whiskers. It was said that he "did the work of two men". The Wards became a tradition on the on the lakes, and poems were have been written abut them. Here is a Stanza of one published almost a hundred years ago . His nephew manned his boats for him. His niece fit them out neatly The Ward Line was the pride of their hearts. And the dollars rolled in sweetly". Eber B. Ward ----- Founder of Forestville Forestville When Eber B. Ward bought 20,000 acres of pineland in Sanilac County Michigan in 1852.

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