Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores

George Hirst

He owns Puckerbrush
May 5, 2005

The 1907 Plat book locates Puckerbrush as a strip of land in Section 7. Penn township. It lies to the east of the road to Modena. Jack Phillips owns a house at the corner of the Snareville blacktop and the road that takes you to where the Marsh McCurdy farm is. Dean McCurdy’s Grandfather, Charles M. McCurdy owned the land across the road and according to that plat map his farm house was directly across the road from Puckerbrush

If you look at today’s plat map, Dean McCurdy owns all of that land in and around Puckebrush. Dean told me that his grandfather deeded all of the 3.3 acres that were the site of the village to him .

The site is still recorded separately from the rest of the land. So Dean can say that his grandfather gave him the site in his will. No one seems to know who platted the site, no one seems to know how many houses were built on the site. However 3.3 acres would not accommodate very many homes. Dean said he took lumber from the last house standing in Puckerbrush and built a toy wagon.. He said that the only thing that marks the site is some orange “flags” in the fence line along the road.

Charles M McCurdy came from Cass County, Michigan in the 1890's and set up farming in Penn Township. His son Will was the father of Dean and Marshall McCurdy. The McCurdy land is on both sides of the road today. Dana McCurdy is the fourth generation McCurdy farmer.

The 1907 plat map shows A G Hammond as owned the land around Puckerbrush. There are several other family names recorded as owning land in Penn Township. There were three schools in the neighborhood. Modena school in Modena, Franklin school which is a mile east of where Puckerbrush once was and Emerson school

Dean remembers the grocery store in Modena which was just west of where Ray Staelens lived. Ruth McCullough McCurdy lived in in Modena for a short time.. They remembered the store as being operated by Bill and Betsy Newton. There was a one pump gas station there. At this time, there were two grocery stores, a barbershop, a hardware store and a post office in Castleton. Castleton was platted April 7, 1807..

A.G Hammond, who ran the Corner Store grocery and clothing in Wyoming, owned the land around Puckerbrush in 1907. He might have laid out the little village.

This hodgepodge of information raises wonder in my mind and, I hope, in yours as to what life must have been like in that part of our county that is quiet and not very well populated these days. There is a whole block of time from 1887 to the early 1900's when there was a sizeable population and considerable business in Penn township. The main industries were farming and coal mining. I wonder about what it was like when strip mining started.

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Created by KKris. Last Modification: Tuesday 12 of August, 2008 08:17:25 EDT by KKris.