Articles in the March 2015 Issue:

Sunken History and Maritime Treasures:
Marine Artist Robert McGreevy Receives Honor
A Great Lakes Sailor:
Sailor Mike Quinn Part 1
Garden Guidance:
Gardening Conference and Yard and Garden Expo
March Events
Smile Awhile:
Advice From an Old Farmer
Lake Huron Update:
Lake Level Above Long-Term Average
Where In America Are You?:
Where in America Are You?
Schools of Yesteryear:
Bloomfield No. 5 - Swayze School - Part 4
The Doctor's Corner:
91 Things
Healing From the Roots Up:
Cancer - Part Five: Faith in Your Healing
Legally Speaking:
Protecting Children
A Peek at the Past:
Dionne Quintuplets
Thumb Rails:
Thumb Depots: History of the Capac Depot - Part 4
The Way it Was:
...Remembering the Doctors Who Made House Calls
Guardians of Freedom:
Robert L. Tschirhart in World War II - Part 4
Capitol Reef National Park - Where Rocks and Fruit are the Stars
Travel Trivia:
TravelTrivia Question Of The Month
Countryside Yarns - Tall Tale or Truth? You Decide!:
The Great Starvation From the diary of Katie O’Connell... - Part 12
Helping to Secure Your Future:
Seniors: Helping Prevent Investment Fraud

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March 2015 > Countryside Yarns - Tall Tale or Truth? You Decide!

The Great Starvation From the diary of Katie O’Connell... - Part 12

Author Info:

Janis Stein
Janis Stein is a freelance writer, author and editor. Janis joined the Guardian in 2001 as a contributing writer, which grew to authoring four monthly columns.

Articles by Janis Stein

Join in the continuation as Samuel, Katie and the children make their way to Detroit aboard the Griffith and to learn if Samuel discovers any answers in White Rock about James and Janie's family ...

After sailing from Ireland to Canada aboard our coffin ship – I still can’t get the sight of those patched sails out of my head – I, too, was excited about sailing on the Griffith, a newly built sidewheel steamer, which was mainly used to transport immigrants from Buffalo, New York, to Detroit, Michigan. While we waited to board the Griffith, I could scarcely take my eyes off its twin smokestacks and the American flag that flew from its mount on the ship’s stern. When I questioned Samuel what mechanism actually propelled the ship, he laughed and said I was as bad as James!

With the warm summer weather so favorable, the children were delighted to learn that we would sleep right on the Griffith’s deck under the stars. The blend of a variety of languages, mostly German, Gaelic and English, made the most intriguing sounds as these passengers aboard spoke animatedly, both from excitement and anxiety at what challenges might lie ahead. 

Immediately after arriving in Detroit and getting us settled with Joseph and John, Samuel traveled to White Rock alone in search of any Murphys who might know our James and Janie. My heart was torn. I knew we had to try to find their kinfolk, but I didn’t want to lose these two dear children. As it turned out, my worries were for naught. Samuel returned within a week’s time, and while he didn't find Murphys in White Rock, there were Murphys further north, but in traveling there, no one knew of a little boy and girl who had lost their parents two years prior when they had crossed the Atlantic.

Though a bit ashamed of myself, I quietly rejoiced.

James and Janie had become our own, and I encouraged James, especially, to tell me everything he knew about his parents, so I could write it down for him. I loved these children as my own, but I knew how important it was to keep the memory of their real parents alive in their hearts.

When Samuel returned, he told his brothers he wanted to move to White Rock, where the beaches looked like white sand and the trees towered above like giants. There were plenty of jobs at the lumber mills, he said, and there were docks all along Lake Huron where a man could earn a fair wage for a hard day’s work. Joseph and John quickly agreed, and William followed suit. The housing in Detroit was ramshackle at best, and Detroit was struggling to accommodate the ever-increasing number of immigrants. We barely set foot in Michigan, and we were on the move again.

Join  the conclusion to see if Samuel and Katie get their happy ending...

Have a yarn you’d like to share? We’d be happy to spin it. You may write to Janis in care of The Lakeshore Guardian, P.O. Box 6, Harbor Beach, MI  48441, or give us a call at 989-479-3448 to share your story.

©2015 Stein Expressions, LLC

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