Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook Mar. 9, 2012
(Editor's Note: Totem Pole Tales returns this week with a primary focus on the history of the area.
Newton "Nute" Chapman, Jr. will share historical photos and knowledge he's collected from "old timers",
his father Newton Chapman Sr., as well as other family members.)
Zeboway, a settlement south of Onaway, was lost in a fire 100 years ago. It is one of many that have gone by the wayside without any recognition.
You would go out south on M-33 on the gravel road and the first thing you would pass would be the First Advent School in Allis Township, which was on the west side of the road, just past Don Baker's driveway.
Before the new M-33 went in, one could see the outlines of the banks of where the school was; the old log cabin school that was built there. There were still mounds of dirt where they had banked that building up.
When I was a young boy, there was a pump there, and I don't know what happened to that pump. It's like a lot of other ones that went to the wayside when the antique dealers started to collect them, I guess. The 1902 plat book lists the location of the school.
From there, you would walk on down and go through what many referred to, and even some today, as the "dry gulley."
It was a big dip in the road, and at the bottom of that dip, there was a concrete bridge or tunnel that you crossed over and underneath it there was enough room for a team of horses and a load of logs. That was the route they took from the hardwoods in that area to get to the river where the sawmills were.
There was a lumber camp located along Black River called Huntsville. The late Cassie (McManemy) Minser told me that most of the lumbermen there were men by the last name of Hunt, thus perhaps, the name Huntsville.
Cassie, who passed away last fall, spent time at the camp as a young girl when her mother worked as a cook there. Cassie recalled that some of the people were from the Afton area.
Back to the dry gulley. The Les Nixon family lived on top of the hill, just past the dry gulley, and the late Iva Rogers had the last house on the northwest side of the gulley, before going into it.
The gulley was filled when the new M-33 was constructed. When you got out to the Four Mile Road, you were at what we called Zeboway.
The Hugh Schultz farm was on the left and there also was a Gifford family that lived there. There was a large sawmill on the right side of the road.
James O'Reilly, who has passed on, talked to me about Zeboway in 1988. He said there was a large sawmill there and everything in that area was destroyed in a "dreadful fire" in 1912.
The only sign of a lumber mill was the well pipe that was there for many years.
I recall in the 1970s my daughter was boarding a horse at the Brewbaker's farm, which would be part of that settlement.
When I was growing up, the Grover Cleveland family lived there. I spent time with the oldest boys Everett and Arlene. They moved away before I finished school. They were actually fourth or fifth cousins of Grover Cleveland the president.
I think when the state made the clear vision corners, when they put the new road in, is when the well was cut off and removed. The well was there for a long time.
I found little in the records about Zeboway, but O'Reilly laid claim of knowing every foot of Allis Township because he chased the local cattle, which were free-ranging, with a bike or on foot. He confirmed the existence, as did Iva Rogers.
There are so many settlements that have gone by the wayside without recognition.--Onaway Outlook, March 9, 2012, p. 3 Retyped by J. Anderson.