when she and her husband, Aaron, make a hasty decision to join Betsey’s family on
a move from Pennsylvania to Michigan Territory.
Along the way, rainstorms, freezing temperatures, seasickness, and lack of
privacy pale in comparison to what the family will encounter once arriving at their
destination. Soon, daily trials will include ear-piercing howls of wild wolves, bad
weather, clouds of mosquitoes, and disturbing situations with the natives. Even
then, Betsey wonders if this trip will finally quench her father’s adventurous spirit.
Over the next year, the Baker family will gain incredible strength, divine
trust, and unexplainable courage, but will it be enough to keep them at the tiny
cabin by the twisting Shiawassee River? Will uncertainty overtake their
determination or will God’s intervention sustain them enough to become a part of
the history of a new land?
My “Stars” book began to emerge after doing research about the county where I live, here in Michigan. On an information discovery about another book, I came across the story of the Baker family. They were highlighted as the one of the first farming families to enter Michigan Territory in 1833. Hosea Baker brought his entire family from Pennsylvania to settle on 600 acres in an area beside the Shiawassee River.
Joining him there were his wife, Sally, his grown son Ambrose, his daughter and her husband, Betsey and Aaron Swain, and some younger daughters. While there they hooked up with a boy named Alexander Stevens. Their first year included: building a home and barn, clearing and planting the first crops in the county, setting up a household, and Betsey giving birth to the first recorded child in the county. Betsey and Aaron named her Julia.
So much intrigued me about their story. I was excited to flesh it out with the help of short excerpts written in a Shiawassee County history book in 1888. From these short tidbits about the family, I soon embellished a story which is a mere glimpse into what their story could have included during their first year as settlers in a vast wilderness.
Much of the story is from my own imagination, but many of the highlights include the excerpts written about the family in 1888. After writing their story, I now feel a specific kinship to them.
This is my first complete historical fiction work. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.