— PART THREE —
As settlers began to move into the township, the side roads began to be cut. Settlers were instructed when they bought their homesteads to cut the paths to their lands along the section’s boundaries. On March 7, 1834, the township was organized. One of the elected positions was Highway Commissioner. The first Highway Commissioner was James Deneen (his family was Almont’s first settlers). It was his responsibility to see that roads were established in the correct locations.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: For ease of access at a later date, I will do these in alphabetical order. I tried writing this as a history as to when the early pioneers came but it became too confusing.
Bishop Road is a north-south road running northward from Bordman Road to Sutton Road. Bishop Road was named for Truman Bishop (1806-1859) and Mary Sherman Bishop (1811-1859). Truman came to the Almont area in 1836 and built a log cabin on the south side of Bordman Road to the west of Weyer Road. He went back to New York and returned with his bride the following year. They built a frame house on the farm in 1855, which is still standing and has recently been remodeled. Some writings indicate that the log cabin was relocated from its position about a quarter mile off the road and was built into the wood frame structure. This has not been completely confirmed. The homestead was not on the Bishop Road we know today but was named after Truman and Mary. They may have owned property along the road or help in the roads original construction or the road was renamed when the County was constructing the road system we have today.
Their great grandson, Leon T. Bishop, was president of the Almont Board of Education for 33 years. Great grandson, Dr. Gilbert Clare Bishop, was a well-known doctor and the driving force behind the construction of the Community Hospital (now Henry Ford Hospital Urgent Care). Truman and Mary are buried in the Goodrich Cemetery on Kidder Road.
Bordman Road is an east-west road that is split–it runs from Rochester Road eastward to Holmes Road and then begins again running from Coon Creek Road to Stoddard Road, east of Memphis. The origin for the name Bordman is currently unknown. I have not been able to find any family with the name of Bordman anywhere in the vicinity of Almont. The Goodrich family which settled in Bruce Township along Kidder Road about a half-mile south of Bordman does have Bordman relatives but there is a three or four generation separation between those Bordman relatives and the Goodrich’s who came to Bruce Township.
Cameron Road is a north-south road running southward from Dryden Road to Tubspring Road. Cameron Road was named for William Cameron (1816-1898) and Isabel Reid Cameron (1837-1904) who settled on a farm in Berlin Township, St. Clair County in the 1850s. William and Isabel came from Scotland. Their farm was at the intersection of Tubspring and Cameron Roads. They are buried in Ferguson Cemetery at the corner of Tubspring and Kidder Roads. It is likely that Isabel Reid Cameron is related to Hugh Reid who came to the Scotch Settlement in the mid-1850s. The Glover brothers, who came to Almont from Scotland between 1857 and 1867, are related to the Cameron’s–their mother was a Cameron.
Cochrane Road (pronounced “Coke-ran” not “Cock-ran”) is a north-south road that “jogs” at Almont Road–the eastern segment runs north from Almont Road to Terry Road and the western segment runs south from Almont Road to Hough Road. Cochrane Road was named for John (David) Cochrane Sr. (1787-1841) and Christena Rattray Cochrane (1802-1891) and their three son’s families, John (1817-1906) and Mary Jane Reynolds Cochrane (1832-1911), William S. Sr. (1819-1912) and Isabelle A. Gairnes Cochrane (1819-1897) and David (1821-1866) and Agnes Cowan Cochrane (1825-1890).
They were born in Scotland and came with eight children (John, William, Ann, David, Christina, Elizabeth, James, and Janett) to America in 1839 and went to work on farms located on the south side of Bordman Road. Unlike most early pioneers they could not afford to immediately buy their homesteads, so they went to work as farm laborers to earn the money for their homesteads. They purchased their homesteads in 1841. Their two oldest sons, John and William, were in their early twenties when they came to Almont and the youngest, Janett was only five. The family spread out and settled several farms about three miles east of Almont. John and Christena’s farm was located on the southeast corner of Almont and Cochrane Roads, son William’s (1819-1912) farm was located on the south side of Almont Road between Scotch Settlement and Cochrane Roads, son David’s (1821-1866) farm was on the north side of Almont Road at Cochrane Road, and son John’s farm was on Marr Road. John and Christena are buried in the Goodrich Cemetery on Kidder Road but only Christena’s grave has a headstone–there is an empty space between Christena and son James’ headstones.
Farley Road is a north-south road running from Ross Road southward and dead ends south of Hollow Corners Road. Farley Road was named for Mark Farley (1811-1872) and his wife Mary Crosby Farley (1818-1885) who came to Almont from New Hampshire by way of Ohio about 1840 and settled in what was known as the Belle Arbor area northeast of Almont. He established a farm and built his home at the corner of Ross and Farley Roads. Descendents lived in the family home until 1980. Mark and Mary are buried in the Webster Cemetery on Webster Road.
Fisher Road is a north-south road running from Bordman Road southward to 36-Mile Road. Fisher Road was named for Luke Fisher (1793-1881) and Sarah S. Hall Fisher (1799-1887). They were born in New York and came to a farm southwest of Almont in the 1830’s. They are buried in the Goodrich Cemetery on Kidder Road in Bruce Township.
Copies of the Almont Historical Society’s various books can be purchased by contacting Jim Wade at 810-796-3355 or jrwade49@ gmail.com or stopping by the museum on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m.