On December 6, 1838 a group of nine individuals gathered at the log schoolhouse near the corner of General Squier (then West Road) and Shoemaker Roads to form the Almont Congregational Church Society.
At that meeting were–
Mary Sherman Bishop, the wife of Truman Bishop. They had come from Macomb County in 1833 and settled on property on the south side of Bordman Road, west of what is now Weyer Road.
Miss Loretta Black, who was the daughter of Daniel Black and Sally Humphrey Black, came to Almont in 1833 with her parents. Her father, Daniel, was the founder of the Village of Newburg (now Almont). Daniel’s homestead was at the northwest corner downtown. She would marry Hiram Smith in 1847 in Almont.
Ebenezer Hough, who bought property in Almont in 1831, came to Almont in 1833 to prepare his homestead for his family and brought his family here in 1834. Also coming in 1834 were brothers, Jedediah and Witherell, and cousins, Walter King Hough, Edward Hough, and John Bailey Hough. His homestead was on Hough Road west of Van Dyke.
John Bailey Hough and wife, Sarah Palmer Hough, came to Almont in 1834. They settled on property on the north side of General Squier Road between Sandhill and Shoemaker.
Mary Bishop Howland came to Almont in 1836 with her husband Hiram. They settled on property on Howland Road north of Almont. How or if Mary is related to the Bishops is not currently known.
Evert W. Lawrence and wife, Eliza Van Wagoner Lawrence came to Almont with their six children from New York in 1836 and settled on a farm located on Hough Road about a quarter mile east of Bishop Road.
Lastly, Mr. James R. Taylor, of whom little is known.
At a later date, the Congregational Church of Christ of Bristol was formed as a legal entity. The Society and the Church were formed as separate units. They remained separate units until 1920 when the Church was incorporated.
Initially, the Society members met at the schoolhouse at General Squier and Shoemaker Roads. Later, the Society decided to split their meeting locations evenly between the General Squier/Shoemaker schoolhouse and the Townsend schoolhouse. The Townsend schoolhouse was located on the south side of Bordman Road at the top of the hill about a quarter mile east of Fisher Road. In the 1950s and 1960s, the school’s hand pump for the well could still be seen near the road.
The Society’s membership grew with the community. By 1846, the membership had reached 90 members and was outgrowing the schoolhouses. In 1847, the church at the Belle Arbor settlement (located northeast of Almont along Ross Road near Farley Road) disbanded. Twenty of the Belle Arbor church members joined the church and it was decided it was time to construct a church for the Society.
In the fall of 1847, the church was constructed at the southeast corner of Washington Street and Main Street in Almont. It was a forty by fifty foot building, which cost $1,800 to build. The church was dedicated on January 27, 1848.
Copies of the Almont Historical Society’s Homecoming book, “Remembrances of Almont 2020”can be purchased by contacting Jim Wade at 810-796-3355 or firstname.lastname@example.org or stopping by the museum on Saturday’s from 1-4 p.m.