A Family Connection to Monroe Found

When I started looking for Monroe’s Lost & Forgotten History, I have always wanted to know and hopefully find out if I had any kind of history connected to anything in Monroe County. During some research, I found out that inside the First Presbyterian Church there is a room called the Cairl room. the Cairl name I thought would be easy to find out but most I could find was in the Toledo Ohio and surrounding communities. Also found in Connecticut and New York. Not too much help for anything in Monroe.

This past Thursday, I went to a local resale store and found a book titled “Faith of our Founders 1820-1993” by the First Presbyterian Church here in Monroe. as I was reading it, I found the name of Catherine Cairl married a Julius Meier. I also found a Mrs. Frank Cairl who was VP of the Ladies and Society.

Using my mother’s genealogy information that I now have in my possession, I was able to make the connection with Catherine Cairl and her husband Julius Meier. As far as Mrs. Frank Cairl, I have not yet make a connection of what Frank it is in my mother’s genealogy information.

There is probably more connections that I have in the Monroe County area since some of the surnames are still in the area as well as names of local roads. Which may more connections with Monroe’s history.

My mother passed before the Covid epidemic began and I know she would be thrilled to know I was able to find out at least about the church and her side of the family connection. That always give me a smile. I still have some more reading to do so hopefully I can find out a little more.

So if anyone can connect Cairl or anything associated with the name, please comment with the information or contact me direct.

Thank You.

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A story told to me by my dad a long time ago. There used to be an Island in Monroe on the Raisin River called “Snake Island”. The story is that the local residents and city officials wanted to develop this strip of land but had a problem. A reason was because of how the Island got its name. According to my dad’s story… The island was overrun with all kinds of snakes that most were identified as poisonous. How to get rid of all the snakes, or most as possible.

It isn’t known what person or city official had the idea of using hogs. The idea was to transport the hogs to the island and let the hogs kill what snakes they could. Hog skin is very thick and if bitten, there would be no effect to the hog and the hog would stomp or devour the snake. It is also unknown how long the hogs were left on the island to clean out the snakes. After it was over, the hogs were rounded up from the island and taken someplace and were killed. Even though no effect for the hogs but the meat could not be eaten.

I was also told there was a mass grave pit of hogs in Monroe. So far in what I could or couldn’t find out about the location. Some local historians I told this to have never heard this story.

I do believe is still around. Even though you can’t tell today. It is located on E. Elm Street where a Marina and a local bar is located. There used to be two bars but at this writing, one is closed.

The top picture is what I believe to be Snake Island. It looks like a snake with a head. The channel between was filled in as shown in bottom picture.
NOTE: The top picture, If I remember correctly is from a screenshot from Google Earth. The Bottom picture is from a site that I was able to get off the Internet years ago but it is unavailable now. (at least I haven’t been able to find it again.

Snake Island
I can think of only 4 possibilities of the Swine Mass Grave Pit;
1. It was found but during development of the area, it was just ignored as nothing. (Which some historians know, this is the case for a lot of Lost history.
2. The pit was built upon but the foundation was not dug deep enough to find the remains.
3. The site has never been discovered yet. There are still areas in Monroe County that is still untouched by development.
4. This could be just a hearsay story my dad heard and later passed it on to me. It happens in all historical investigations. Something is told, some believe it right away, some doubt it right away and some wait until something is proven or sets out to find out if something is Fact or Fiction.

I welcome your thoughts or comments on this. Have you heard about Snake Island and its story? Maybe you are someone in your family knows the location of the grave? (If it exists)

Posted in Forgotten History, History, Lost History, Monroe Michigan | 7 Comments

Still Researching: Just a Little Less

Well it’s been a while and thought it was time for me to post something. I’m still working on thing’s but I’ve been kind of limited due to some medical reasons so I’m mostly home and try to do the best I can. Contrary to popular belief, NOT everything is available on the Internet. But I’m always willing to hear stories about the area. Boot Legging, The Purple Gang, Business, People, Legends, The Battlefield, Custer, Indians (Native Americans to those who are PC) By the way, When I was growing up. I played Cowboys and Indians. NOT Bovine Relocation Engineers and Native Americans. That said… Moving on. I also like to hear about family stories of Monroe’s early residents. I have also heard some really good ghost stories over the years. 😉 🙂

So what do you got? Anything worth sharing? Don’t worry. Your email, names and identity is safe with me. Who knows? If I find the story interesting, I’ll share it on here and see if any readers might know something or add or maybe correct. Names will not be used unless it is an earlier name. i.e. Navarre, Custer, Bacon, etc. Maybe I might be able to help you make a connection or find something that was not known? 

Thank you and Thank you to all who not only visit this Blog only once or keep looking for update post. I’m just happy that their are other’s, who like me, enjoy local history. 

While I’m at it. I would like to ask if someone has a property that they would let me explore sometime? Please contact me. Might find some lost and forgotten history or some unknown treasure.

Thank you again.

Posted in Bones, Bootlegging, Business, Cemetery, Forgotten History, Ghost Stories, History, Human Remains, Lost History, Memorials, Monroe Michigan, Monuments, Native Americans, Paranormal, Railroads, Roads, Shipping, Veterans, War | Leave a comment

Working on the Poor-Farm Cemetery

I have just started working on research of the knoll at the Monroe County Community College. Known The Potter’s Cemetery, The Poor-Farm Cemetery and The County Cemetery just to name a few names it is know by.

I have a list of names with dates of the nearly 200 graves in the cemetery. What I am working on is locating the graves and if possible, put the name with the right grave. 

I realize that this is going take quite a while to do, if possible, But I don’t have or had any research going on for quite a while so at least I got something else to keep me a little more busy. 

I would like to ask if any decedent’s that read this, please submit any information that you have of where your ancestor is buried in the cemetery. Location, pictures, obituaries and any other information that you might think would be helpful. Thank you in advance. 

Posted in Cemetery, Forgotten History, History, Human Remains, Lost History, Memorials, Monroe Michigan, Monuments, Veterans | Leave a comment

Looking for Local Ghost Stories

Hello Everybody.

I’m back. Well at least in some sort. I was asked not too long ago if I would be interested in telling local ghost stories from Monroe County. This was after I told stories at the River Raisin Battlefield this past year.

I have quite a few stories to share and I’m always looking for more. I’m looking for stories of experiences in homes and local businesses and places around Monroe County. If by chance you have a name that is haunting the location, I would like to use that name. Who knows? Maybe someone listening can add more to the story.

You are also welcome to tell me your story/experiences with me and others who are nearby. Perhaps you may find a connection?

I will be at the Founders Day on May 7th at the Sawyer Homestead. You can submit your stories either in the comments or send to me at jjmj63@hotmail.com

Thank you and hope to see you there. Not just for the ghost stories but for the other activities and presenters.


Posted in Forgotten History, Ghost Stories, History, Paranormal | 1 Comment

It Was Fun While It Lasted

After I’ve been going through a long dry spell and nothing has been brought to my attention. I have decided that I would no longer look for local lost and forgotten history.

Now just because I won’t be posting any more, at least I don’t think so. That doesn’t mean I’m not stopping in helping other historical research or paranormal groups in their investigations. I will also answer any comments and emails I receive in regards to readers research or questions about the Posts and Pages that I have.

I am also leaving the site up and running. I found over the years, quite a bit of visitors actually like this blog and what I was looking for.

Monroe County still has a lot of lost and forgotten history waiting to be uncovered. It is my hope that some readers still look or may take an interest.

I would like to thank you the readers and those of you who sent emails, commented, contributed information in the comments.

I wish I could had done more but in quite a few instances, I was blocked in information and research in some areas that I was interested in however; due to access to property and other more established local historians, and some I wasn’t in “Their Group”, I was told no. Also, in some areas, I had my research that I shared with some people I thought would like the information… shared the information with some established local historians or more and next thing I find out, other people and writings in the local newspaper are taking credit for my findings.

I’m just waiting for the day I get called about doing some research for one of these people.

But until then, it was fun while it lasted.

Thank you all again.


Jesse Mayo

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Looking for 1920’s Period Suit

It’s no secret that I like looking for local lost and forgotten history. Sometimes though history throws an unexpected turn or two that gets people thinking another way.

For example; I found out some years ago that I am a descendent of Ezra Meeker. Founder of Pullyaup, WA. Mostly remembered for his work in preserving the “Old Oregon Trail” because it was starting to get buried when cities and towns started growing.

As much as I thought it would be kind of interesting in portraying an ancestor, he really don’t have anything to do that is connected to Monroe County. As mentioned in previous posts and pages, I’ve done research on Custer’s horse Dandy that is buried at the old Custer farm on N.

Custer. As much as I read about the horse, I found him kind of interesting of what he did. Well, as told in books by Elizabeth Custer and other authors.

I found one book that spoke about the Custer’s; they’re horses and the life up to the Little Bighorn. The book is titled “Old Neutriment: Memories of the Custer” by Glendolin Damon Wagner. It is an account as taken by I.D. O’Donnell from the Custer’s Striker John Burkman.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the book and saw the first picture of John Burkman. So I took a picture of the same expression and made it black and white for a side-by-side comparison.

Freaky huh?

Burkman & Me

Right down to the crease/scar between the eyes. I spoke to several local historians as well as the local Custer historian and re-enactor and I’ve been trying to find period clothing that Burkman would have worn.

Since he died in 1925, I’m looking for a suit of that time but no later. Since he’s mostly was photographed in suits. I’ve been going to the local resale shops around looking for something in my size or at least larger and I can have it altered to fit me. I started looking in the later part of 2014 and all this year. I went to a presentation at the local library and spoke with people from Montana, the Little Bighorn Association and Custer enthusiasts and put the word out of what I’m trying to do.

This is my final chance and I’m hoping to be a part of the 2016 Anniversary of the Little Bighorn this it will be its 140th.

So if anyone knows of a place or person that can make a suit. Please email me at jjmj63@gmail.com and please share this post.

I’m looking at least a 54 or larger jacket.

46 to 50 inch waist pants and a minimum of 30 inches in length.

54 or larger matching vest. Color doesn’t matter. Most I’ve seen is Black, Brown or Grey.

I have black button suspenders.

Thank you.





Posted in History, Monroe Michigan, Native Americans, Veterans, War | Leave a comment

Still Around


I just thought I would stop by and let you know that I’m still around. I’m not out active as much anymore but I still enjoy looking for thing’s on my own.

I do on occasion get asked to do some research for a paranormal group in the area at times. Quite a few established local historians have they’re own projects and agendas and don’t want no help from anybody. Which I can understand… On several occasions I have found something just to have another more “Established” local historian take the credit for the research findings.

I’m still hoping someone will take interest in excavating the site of Custer’s horse Dandy. I sent out some inquiries but no one really has taken an interest. I still have all my evidence, I should say, documented evidence to support the burial location.

I’ve also been working on portraying John Burkman in his later years. He was Custer’s striker up until the Little Big Horn. It seems me and Burkman share a strong resemblance and I’ve been looking for some period clothing from the 1925. – If anyone can help me on that, please let me know.

But I’m still around if anyone needs any help in researching. Historical or paranormal. I just ask for to give credit where credit is due.

Thank you all that stops in and reads what I have and likes the other forgotten and lost history of Monroe County Michigan.

Posted in Bones, Bootlegging, Business, Cemetery, Forgotten History, History, Human Remains, Lost History, Memorials, Monroe Michigan, Monuments, Native Americans, Railroads, Roads, Shipping, Veterans, War | 3 Comments

Karl Zeisler Manuscript New Home

The pages of Karl Zeisler typed manuscript of “The Child’s Story of Monroe” that I found and purchased at an estate sale this past December is now in possession of Chris Kull, the archivist at the Monroe County Historical Museum.

By looking at the paper, it was determined that it was an original from Karl Zeisler. Since it appears that the paper used was paper made into letter size from news print paper.

Also, from where I got it from and the name attached, it was likely given to the family from Mr. Zeisler. That is just a theory since it is not known, and probably won’t be known.

Some research stated that Mr. Zeisler worked for the now Monroe News and was one of the founding members of the Monroe County Historical Society.

I don’t know if it will be put into storage or put on display any time soon.

Posted in Forgotten History, History, Lost History, Monroe Michigan | Leave a comment

It Was a Good Run

Well reader’s, it seems that my field days of looking for Monroe County’s Lost & Forgotten History may have became no more or very very limited.

Long story short… My mobility isn’t what it used to be so I some of the places I had planned… Well it looks like someone else will have to get the idea and do it.

I still plan to do inside research like reading through Monroe history books, pictures and other documents. Who knows? Maybe I can get job at the River Raisin Battlefield National Park as a Researcher or maybe as a Researcher with some local historical group. I’m keeping a positive attitude and an open mind about it.

So my posts may be far and few between but when I do get something, I plan on posting what is going on.

I do have some unfinished business to attend to. The Karl Zeizler manuscript I mentioned in a previous post. I’m still working on finding a home for them. So as soon as I get them to where they’ll be… I’ll post an update.

Thank you all who have kept reading this blog and those who just stop by on occasion just to see what this blog is about.

Especially to those who expressed and shared interest in the local Lost & Forgotten History.

Posted in Forgotten History, History, Lost History, Monroe Michigan | Leave a comment