Hugh Fishing At the Meadows

Route from Capac to Detroit.
Route from Capac to Detroit.

I have used some of this information before but the photographs are all first timers.

These photographs were taken at “The Meadows” near Capac, St Clair County, Michigan around 1939.

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.

Hugh at meadows
“Hugh at Meadows” fishing with a homemade stick pole.  I wonder if he caught the fish on the string below with that pole.
Hugh fish meadows 7:1939
This photograph of Hugh was also taken at the Meadows in July 1939.

Some entries about the Meadows from Hugh’s brother Henry’s diary, several years earlier in 1936.

August 29         Meadows
Arrived at meadows at about 7:30 (getting dark) Had seen Velma before I left – I have her ring now – after had gotten our trunk in – we went down to creek – other’s brought some wood up and started a fire – I stayed down watching the creek and the farm – as it was dark they worried and came and got me.

August 30        Meadows
Sunday Richard’s club gave a picnic – we played ball off and on all day.  Daddy came out and brought Bobby – wrote two letters – Velma and Carolyn.  Bobby deliver them.

Last night when the others were in bed Morrow, George, Paul, Hugh and I sat around camp fire and sang – Nice but a little chilly  (Benard’s parents came out)

Henry Cleage at the Meadows in July 1939.
Henry Cleage at the Meadows in July 1939.

August 31       Meadows
After breakfast some of us went swimming – after that we all worked on a raft till dinner – chopped heavy logs from a fallen tree – tied together with grape vines and barrel wire – after dinner went & christened it “Frogy Bottom” & launched it – it immediately sank – logs were too heavy – were we mortified – the same group sat around the campfire again sang after dark.

September 1     Meadows
“Gee! but I’m blue, and so lonely, I don’t know what to do, but dream of you!” (a song I like to sing out here)

Boys are playing horse shoes just after dinner – we fished and swam today – George caught a pretty large bass and I, trying to throw him across river to Morocco – threw him in.

I like to get on the hill and look down towards the creek in the evening and watch –  The other nite I was there, Morocco, George, Hugh and Benard were chopping wood.  Louis and Paul were sitting further down the hill with their arms full of wood – It was almost nite – The faint light from the west gave the scene a surreal quality – The grass uneven, the rolling land, the giant trees, the creek, all outlined in this light and the boys too reminded me of an illustration in the book “Tom Browns School Days.”


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22 thoughts on “Hugh Fishing At the Meadows

  1. It sounds like a good time at the Meadows. If Hugh caught those fish with that stick and string, then he certainly had no need for an expensive rod and reel.

  2. I gather there’s no ship building tradition in the Cleage clan! At least the raft got an appropriate name for a sinker. Henry’s descriptions are wonderful.

  3. Nice pix, and the diary entries were fun reading. I especially enjoyed the part about the “Froggie Bottom” raft that sank. Awwww. Hard work all day, gone in a moment. But I’ll bet they had a good laugh about it for many years thereafter. :))

  4. Perfect photos for the prompt, and the diary entries are very appropriate too. Lovely to have them!

  5. Sounds like they had an idyllic time there…what a great idea and how it must have bound the family together. I’m always amazed people can catch fish with a rod like that..perhaps it’s the different fishing conditions. I used to like fishing with my dad but I don’t think either of us liked having to kill the fish.

    1. I used to like to fish. Didn’t mind putting the worms on the hook or taking the fish off but there was a gap of decades and then I was middle aged and had no desire to thread a worm on a hook or deal with the fish, aside from cooking and eating them.

  6. Such detailed diary entries certainly help to paint an idyllic picture, but the real picture of fishing with a homemade rod is worth a thousand words.

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