Tag Archives: Sophie Schreiter

“In their own words”: Nan visits her Schreiter aunts (1914)

This is the first in a series of posts based on family cards, letters, and reminiscences. This one, written by Nan herself, is about a 1914 steamer trip up Lake Huron to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The travel companions were Nan (known as “Nettie” by most members of her family; her mother, Anna; her younger brother, Paul; her mother’s sister Martha; and Martha’s daughter (and Nan and Paul’s first cousin), Frances. The original document, text from which is shown above, was written in 1994, six years after Nan had a major stroke.

When Paul and I were small, my mother, her sister (our Aunt Martha), along with our cousin Frances, took a steamer at Forestville [which was the closest Lake Huron port from their home in Minden City] and went north to Rogers City. There we visited Aunt Louise before going into the North Woods where Aunt Sophie lived, at Lake Brevoort.

Places the Schreiter Sisters visited in 1914
Places the Schreiter Sisters visited in 1914

[There were seven Schreiter sisters. Four of them are in the photo below. (Anna is standing. Unfortunately, I don’t know which sisters the other three are.)]

Anna Schreiter and three of her sisters. (Unfortunately, I don't know which is which!)
Anna Schreiter and three of her sisters.

Of the boat I remember best the polished pistons in the engine room, because Paul loved machinery and couldn’t get enough of watching it through the window. Big sister had to take him there so he could see through the window into the engine room. I can still see the pistons going up and down.

Aunt Sophie lived in the woods at Lake Brevoort, much too quiet a setting for Paul. When he heard sounds of a machine in the distance, we had to go and find it, and find it we did, in spite of battalions of mosquitoes that all but ate us alive.

Frances and I are first cousins, the younger daughters of two of the seven Schreiter sisters. I was born in Minden City December 5, 1906, and Frances in Filion, February 9, 1908.

Nettie, Frances, and Paul
Nettie, Frances, and Paul

I don’t think the Goetzes [Frances’s birth surname] ever lived anywhere else, and the Riedels lived in Minden City from around 1900, so we were near enough to visit frequently — for Sunday dinner after cars came. In earlier years, Mother went with the older ones [Nan’s four older siblings] by horse and buggy.

“Going to Aunt Martha’s” was always a happy excitement for me, and having her wheel into our driveway equally so.

Rogers City, Michigan, in 1910
Rogers City, Michigan, in 1910