Strong Family Artifacts
Two gifts, nearly 10 years apart, help preserve the history of one local pioneer family.
In 2001, William Strong, donated a trunk, tools, kitchen utensils and books belonging to Kalamazoo pioneer Tertius Strong. Then, in 2010, Margaret Strong offered the Museum four daguerreotypes, a notebook, and surveying equipment and records.
Tertius Strong arrived in Kalamazoo County around 1839 and settled in the area between Nichols and Drake Road. In his handwritten notebook dated Jan. 1, 1840, he writes, “Commenced loging[sic] intending to build me a house 30 by 18.” He went on to list what he bought in Kalamazoo to build the house – 6,000 shingles, nails, lumber, and a box of glass. The notebook spans 20 years and often notes work he did for his neighbors--neighbors like Henry Montague, who provided his house to escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad, and Frederick Curtenius, a local hero of the Mexican-American War in 1848.
One of Tertius’s sons, Edward, was a surveyor for Kalamazoo County. His survey of property lines as early as 1879, provides records of waterways, groves of trees, roads and buildings more than 130 years ago.
Featured here are a few of the items given by Miss Strong in 2010.