Soaring over Washtenaw County’s Superior Township on Google Maps gives the illusion of eagle-eyed omniscience. The plat map book lying open next to the computer shows that the meticulously-drawn maps of 19th-century farms correspond in good measure to the present-day brown and green patches on the screen.
Look – there are the outlines of the old Philip Vought farm on Ridge Road in eastern Superior Township. A fleeting sense of connection dissolves with the realization that the outline is only that – the chance to understand the lives of onetime residents is gone.
Would I have enjoyed growing up on the Vought farm?
What did a typical day involve?
How foreign and slow would a childhood be – measured not in miles per gallon but in wagon rides and footsteps?
Thirteen-year-old Mamie Vought left us her 1886 diary to let us know.