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Scene In TimeBY ELIZABETH NEUMEYERmight be a Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) encampment. While looking for them, I found the answer. Whileit can be frustrating, I love finding answers by accident. It turns out the Michigan Guard held two encampments on Goguac Lake on the Foster and Willard farms in 1889 and 1890. See the accompanying maps.Before there was Camp Grayling, the Guard held training exercises in various places in Michigan. Cities would bid for the honor. Battle Creek leaders put in a successful request. Camp Smith training was held from August 8 -13, 1889. It was named after I. C. Smith, retired brigadier general who led Michigan Guard troops. The second camp was Camp Black and was held from July 23-28, 1890 and named in honor of Colonel H. M. Black, U.S. Army, 23rd Infantry. There were four state Guard Regiments, about 2,100 men each year, and some regular troops (19th and 23rd) from Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.There were festivities for the public who turned out in great numbers, 25,000, according to the Daily Moon, to watch marches, listen to concerts and see the troops train. Michigan Governor Luce, as commander in chief for the state, came both years. In 1890 camp, the Signal Service Corps set up an elaborate alert to announce Luce’s arrival. Two men were stationed on the Hamblin Opera House, then two on a hill midway (probably Prospect Park) and a third on top of the water tower to signal his arrival to the camp. He was also entertained by Dr. Kellogg at the Sanitarium and by E.C. Nichols at his home.SometimesI get a local his- tory question that completely stumps me. I was askedif I knew of a fort on Goguac Lake.I did not but my first thought was itWHAT’S IN A NAME: Camps Smith And BlackStand Pipe Illustrated in Diagram below.Panoramic view of soldiers and spectators at the militia encampment.The businessmen who were on the Battle Creek committee bidding forthe encampment said that all grocer- ies, meats, water, ice, and fuel for the camp must be purchased from Battle Creek merchants. Some of the names on the committee are well known to the city: James Green, mayor, F. H. Latta, George Willard, and E.C. Nichols.While it was not a G.A.R. event, there were people there who served in the Civil War and indeed, many of the still active commanding officers were veterans of the war. Two field pieces from the famous Civil War Loomis bat- tery of Coldwater were there for firing salutes.Tents were set up by local business- es, organizations, and churches. The YMCA set up a tent with daily papers as well as board games and athletic ac- tivities. A prayer and song service was held each evening. There were some problems with scams but the police took care of those.14 SCENE 4411 I CHARITABLE ISSUE1873 TOWNSHIP MAP


































































































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