A couple months back, I received an e-mail from a woman in California. Her husband had been at a garage sale and happened upon an 1880 Chautauqua Edition of the History of the United States Prepared Especially for Schools on a New and Comprehensive Plan, Embracing the Features of Lyman's Historical Chart by John Clark Ridpath. He brought it home and started leafing through it, and lo and behold, the lettering and notes of F.D. Seward of Fowlerville was found inside.
Ultimately, the couple searched online for anything about Fowlerville and came upon my website. We e-mailed back and forth and a couple weeks later, I received a package in the mail copies of the book's cover and information as well as some of Seward's notes.
So much has faded with time but I am going to be on the look-out for an F.D. Seward while I continue to catalog my research materials. If I come across anything, or if anyone has information on this person, I will gladly post it here.
This is the part that I find incredible -- I can have "penpals" from all over the world -- just because of this wonderful (if I do say so myself) website on our village in our little corner of the world. Thank you to the couple in California for taking time to do a little research and find me.
As a side note, as I've been working on looking through microfilm, I came across the following article in the local newspaper, in 1894:
A Chautauqua reading circle was organized at the residence of Prof. S. Durfee, on Friday evening, with ten members. Prof. S. Durfee was elected president and Prof. Knooihuizen secretary and treasurer. The circle will meet again this evening at the residence of G.L. Adams.
In later years, the Chautauqua came to Fowlerville. A large tent was set up and there were performances from oratories to plays to various performances.