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The Old Settlers: A Nation Within Itself

White Cover - OSRA


Available in Soft Cover - Perfect Bound ($30 + $5 Shipping)

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The Old Settlers Journey to Michigan Volume I ($10.98 +$3 Shipping)


The first documentation of an African-American settler in Wheatland Township, Mecosta County, Michigan was James Guy. His deed was signed by Abraham Lincoln. He obtained 160 acres in Wheatland Township on May 30, 1861. This book is about James Guy's journey from Ohio to Michigan with his wife Frances Norman, daughter of Grandison and Susan (Cook) Norman and their children. In 1861 Remus did not exist.


The Old Settlers Journey to Michigan Volume II ($10.98 + $3 Shipping)


Volume 2 gives a descriptive view of the original Old Settlers in Isabella, Mecosta, and Montcalm Counties. These initial settlers were noble and courageous people. The first African American settler in Isabella County was Doraville Whitney. He came in the fall of 1860. Grandison Norman came in 1862 and was the first homesteader in Isabella County.


Narratives from Dye Cemetery ($10.98 + $3 Shipping)


Dye Cemetery is located in Remus on Arthur Road in Mecosta County. If you have ever driven down Arthur Road, you know the road winds around and around through pine trees and swamps. Before television was invented our ancestors would sit around and tell scary ghost stories. None of these stories were based on blood and gore but on the supernatural. The stories play with the mind. We believe in haunting, animal spirits, predictions, and visits from the dead. The deterioration of one's mental state has proven to be more devastating to a person than the physical realm. See for yourself. Enter at your own risk!!! We can't be responsible for the "aftermath." Your ancestors had to endure much. Everything written here was done for self-protection.

making a home 001


"Home is where one finds it." This ancient proverb has more "Where" in the mid-nineteenth century for migrating families than it does today, especially for NEGROES moving into what might be called frontier territory. Today, all frontier territory in Michigan is resort property, sold to urban White people. "Where" could mean any of the unclear or cut-over land left by the lumbering companies.



The history and information in the counties and the townships that surround Millbrook, Mecosta, Isabella, and Montcalm have continued to leave out names of the African Americans who settled in the area between the early 1860’s and 1880’s when local state history books started appearing in-print. That way it appears that Black settlements never existed. Oral history has been shared with the Black community but never recorded within those townships or counties until 1988 when a compilation of deeds, properties, and genealogical history was recorded in the archives. In The Old Settlers: A Nation Within Itself.

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Profits go to Old Settlers Reunion Website maintenance.



This book has been mentioned by The New York Times Magazine recently. The book is a combination of oral and historical references and creative writing. While growing up, we were never allowed to talk about the relationship to a US President outside of family gatherings because we were "Colored" and Warren was "passing." It was like harboring a fugitive—once found out meant certain accusation. The government would "silence us the way they silenced Harding." Warren Harding is a direct descendant of the Norman Family.



 Original Old Settler Flag - OSR Original Banner & Logo 1934


Reunion 1953 - Old Settlers - Over 70 Years of Age


Wheatland Church of Christ


Skinner Lumber Camp (Circa 1900)


Arthur Cross Battalion & Bus (Circa 1919)


 Jim Guy - first Black Mecosta County Settler


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