My great grandparents migrated from the Keweenaw Peninsula in the U.P. to Detroit at the in the early 1900's, following the decline of the copper mining industry. Hosina lived from 1876 until 1958, just a few weeks before my seventh birthday. Her husband, my great grandfather, William Morisette lived from 1878 until 1935, so I never knew him. In the year of her birth, General George Custer was continuing to wage war against Native Americans, Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone, and the Civil War had only been over for 13 years. The trip downstate would have been by train and required a ferry crossing at the Straits of Mackinaw, as it was long before the building of the Mackinaw Bridge. The auto industry was burgeoning in Detroit and the opportunity for immediate work must have been a big attractant. Hosina and William were French Canadians originally from Montreal Quebec. She spoke minimal English and by the time this picture was taken, she had taught me many French songs and nursery rhymes in her native tongue (and the occasional sneak sip of her Mogan David wine from the closet).
"They say it's never too late, but sometimes it is, and you have to wait a day or two before it isn't again."