4 Men In Hats On Ice


Who are they? Probably include Hugh Cleage, Paul Payne, Louis Cleage and ? The original is not clear enough for me to really make them out.

Entry from Henry Cleage's diary, 1936.

Entry from Henry Cleage’s diary, 1936.

January 13
Haliver Greene died this morning -spinal meningitis. Didn’t get up early to study History, however there was no class – lecture tomorrow so I won’t slide, tonight. Toddy bought back two books about lives of Dictators (putrid!!) only 25 cents a piece though – awfully windy out today-not so cold thought – like March. I would like to have been in the country, wrapped up good, walking into the wind at the Meadows, down the road towards the sand pile or over the hill to the creek – zest, spice, life, health, clear eye, firm step and all that sort of thing.

Route from Capac to Detroit.

Route from Capac to Detroit.

The photograph was taken at “The Meadows” near Capac, St Clair County, Michigan around 1939, several months after the journal entry was written.

My Aunt Gladys remembers that her father Dr. Albert B. Cleage Sr  and a bunch of fellow doctors bought it. It was to be a place where everyone could get away and the kids could meet and play… big house on the property with a porch that wrapped around 2/3 of the house…  dances on the porches… near Capac Michigan… they sold it later. She kind of remembers parties on the porch… a getaway other than the Boule or Idlewild … her brothers and their friends spending a couple weeks at the meadows during the summer and brother Louis packing the provisions.

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29 Responses to 4 Men In Hats On Ice

  1. Tarkabarka says:

    Fascinating blog you have here! Such a rich collection of things. Welcome to A to Z!
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    #TeamDamyanti minion

    • Kristin says:

      I remember your theme of princesses last year and enjoyed it very much. I am still figuring out my theme and will sign up for the hop next month. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. postcardy says:

    It looks like a cold and blustery day, though probably not as bad as it is here today.

  3. Delores says:

    This time of year when I think of Michigan, all I can think about is COLD! Thanks for the story.

  4. jo in Melbourne Aus says:

    You can tell it’s pretty cold from the way a couple of the men are standing, hands in pockets and hugging themselves – brrr! Great photo.

  5. Little Nell says:

    And the one on the right is about to lob a snowball I think; I hope he had gloves on.

  6. Wendy says:

    Love Henry’s description of what he’d rather be doing – rather poetic.

  7. Karen S. says:

    I like these bits and pieces from their lives. Especially reading jotted down notes. It’s always been fascinating to me. Pretty much the reason why I picked up the album that is in my post today as well!

  8. Bob Scotney says:

    My daughter and her husband have abandoned this area of Michigan this weekend for four days away from the snow and cold they have been having – they fancied time in the sun in Mexico.
    I can feel for the guys in your photo if it was as cold then as my daughter claims it is this year. I recognise all the place names on the map on the way up to Capac.

    • Kristin says:

      Strangely, later in life, several of these men spent lots of time in Mexico. They became fluent in Spanish and taveled mainly off the beaten path. Retirement there was considered but they ended up in Lake County Michigan instead.

  9. Pat says:

    I bet that with the nasty arctic winter we have had this year the place is even more frozen over today…

    • Kristin says:

      I don’t know, I’m not in Michigan anymore but the descriptions sound like every winter used to be until about 15 years ago. Snow never all melted until the end of the season, snowing all the time, ice everywhere etc. etc.

  10. Brett Payne says:

    Mmhh … I immediately wonder whether Paul Payne mught have been a distant relative, but considering how common the surname appears to be in North America, it’s probably unlikely. It looks cold, and I doubt there’d be many parties on the porch at that time of year.

    • Kristin says:

      I don’t know. Did you have any Paynes who owned slaves in the South back in the day? I pretty sure the only party at that time of year up there would be the men driving up there to throw ice and rocks at the frozen river.

      • Brett Payne says:

        Y-DNA testing shows that I am related to several North America PAYNE Lines, but only very distantly, i.e. our mutual common ancestor is likely to have been back in the 1400s-1500s or thereabouts. I’m not sure about which lines might have been in the South.

  11. Alex Daw says:

    That’s a real sepia photo! How lovely to have a place to get away from it all.

  12. boundforoz says:

    A most interesting and unusual photo and diary entry.

  13. Lorraine says:

    It’s a lovely old sepia photo.
    PS I wonder if the first diary entry should read ‘Dictators’ rather than ‘Educators’.

  14. Emily says:

    What a great picture and journal entry. Those men are making me a bit nervous though- I hope they don’t catch a cold!

  15. anyjazz says:

    What a telling diary entry. Marvelous peek into the past. The photograph has aged and yellowed, telling us of its journey to our time. Fine post.

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