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 Living and Collecting Plants along Thomas Road

by Ruth B. MacFarlane

From 1923 to 1934, I lived in a house on the east side of what is now Thomas Road, about halfway between Morgan and Textile Roads. My parents were Anna and C. Bernard Burgar. There were six children: Dora, John, Gordon, me, Janet and Catherine. We attended the Town Hall School.

My father farmed the Thomas farm, raising cows, pigs, wheat, oats, corn and hay. My mother had chickens and a vegetable garden. During the Depression, my father worked at anything he could get, including building fence for others at $1/day.

There was a huckleberry marsh, part of the farm, along Textile Road. During the time of ripe huckleberries, my brother, Gordon, sat at the "landing" in the woods east of the wet bog, awaiting customers, people who came to pick huckleberries for a dollar a day -- all they could pick in that time.

That was a time when a child could safely roam in the fields and woods, and I did, gathering wildflowers in spring, red and black raspberries in summer, and hickory nuts in fall. In our yard -- and still there, I think -- was a big black walnut tree, from which we also gathered walnuts for winter.

I grew up, went away, lived in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and Plymouth, and had five children. When the children were older, I went to college in Ypsilanti, and was graduated from EMU in 1968 with a B.S. in biology and a minor in English.

I was hired as curator of the herbarium at EMU, chiefly because I loved the branch of science that dealt with collecting and preserving plants. During my time there, I went back to the woods and roadsides that I had known as a child, to collect plants for the herbarium.

Now this area, where I grew up and subsequently collected plant specimens, is to be preserved for future generations. I hope that this list of plants will provide one small piece of useful evidence in making the preserve a reality for future generations.

3 diamonds used to separate entries

Plants Collected in the Pittsfield Township Central Area Rural Preserve (CARP) in the Years 1962 to 1975

By Ruth Burgar (Alford) MacFarlane

The area termed Thomas Bog and Woods is located north of Textile Road between Thomas and Platt roads (SE 1/4 Sec. 22, T3S, R6E). On the west end, an old kettle hole is surrounded by shrubs and trees, in wet soil. The land slopes up toward the east and the drier woods. In this list, I have chosen to separate plants from the bog and those from the woods, despite the intergrading. This area is not yet incorporated into the park, but would be a most desirable addition.

Accounts of older residents such as Gordon Burgar, who lived in a house on Thomas Road from 1923 to 1934, tell that attempts were made before the 1920's to build Thomas Road straight south through the bog area, but that the bottom kept falling out of the road in the kettle hole area. A team and wagon were lost in what was then termed "quicksand," and the road was built to the west around the wet area.

Although I did not take a voucher specimen of tamarack, there were certainly tamarack trees in the bog area during the 1930's, because my father, Bernard Burgar, cut and sold some that were used in the building of a restaurant near the southeast corner of Washtenaw and Packard roads in Ann Arbor.

Plant Collections from Thomas Bog

  • Acer rubrum L. 9 August 1970 (2017)
  • Amphicarpaea bracteata (L.) Fern. 15 Aug 1974 (3563)
  • Aronia arbutifolia (L.) Ell. 13 Aug 1967 (888)
  • Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Ell. 15 Aug 1974 (3557)
  • Aronia prunifolia (Marsh.) Rehder 20 May 1973 (2957)
  • Asclepias incarnata L. 9 Aug 1970 (2020); 18 July 1972 (2741)
  • Bidens cernua L. 22 Sept 1971 (2296-A)
  • Boehmeria cylindrica (L.) Sw. 9 Aug 1970 (2023)
  • Carex sp. 30 May 1974 (3358)
  • Carex crinita Lam. 15 Aug 1974 (3554)
  • Cephalanthus occidentalis L. 9 Aug 1970 (2019); 18 July 1972 (2743)
  • Chamaedaphne calyculata 15 Mar 1969 (1234); 22 Sept 1971 (2299A); 3 May 1973 (2907)
  • Dryopteris austriaca (Jacq.) Woyner var. spinulosa (Muell.) Fiori 14 May 1965 (568); 22 Sept 1971 (2480-A; 2482A); 18 July 1972 (2737-C); 26 June 1973 (3064)
  • Dryopteris thelypteris (L.) Gray var. pubescens (Lawson) Nakai 13 Aug 1967 (884) [at MICH]; 9 Aug 1970 (2016)
  • Eleocharis acicularis (L.) R. & S. 22 Sept 1971 (2296-B)
  • Epilobium coloratum Biehler 15 Aug 1974 (3561)
  • Ilex verticillata (L.) Gray 22 Oct 1970 (2068); 22 Sept 1971 (2477); 22 Sept 1975 (3881)
  • Lemna minor L. 28 March 1971 (2138)
  • Lycopus virginicus L. 13 Aug 1967 (885); 22 Sept 1971 (2481-A)
  • Maianthemum canadense Desf. 22 Sept 1971 (2482-B)
  • Onoclea sensibilis L. 26 May 1963 (260); 18 May 1971 (2218); 18 July 1972 (2736)
  • Pallavicinia lyellii (Hook.) S.F. Gray 26 June 1973 (3066)
  • Penthorum sedoides L. 15 Aug 1974 (3553)
  • Ribes americanum Mill 16 May 1973 (2936)
  • Ricciocarpus natans (L.) Corda 22 Sept 1971 (2478)
  • Rosa palustris Marsh. 15 Mar 1969 (1235)
  • Rubus pubescens Raf. 18 May 1971 (2220)
  • Scutellaria lateriflora L. 13 Aug 1967 (886);15 Aug 1974 (3552)
  • Solanum dulcamara L. forma albiflorum House 18 July 1972 (2742)
  • Sphagnum sp. 26 June 1973 (3065)
  • Triadenum fraseri (Spach) Gl. 13 Aug 1967 (889); 22 Sept 1971 (2297)
  • Ulmus americana L. 9 Aug 1970 (2022)
  • Vaccinium corymbosum L. 10 May 1964 (450); 18 May 1971 (2217); 22 Sept 1971 (2483); 18 July 1972 (2739)
  • Verbena urticifolia L. var. urticifolia 13 Aug 1967 (890)
  • Wolffia columbiana Karst 22 Sept 1971 (2295)

Indet Specimens

  • ? 15 Aug 1974 (3562-b) [at MICH]
  • Gramineae 15 Aug 1974 (3551-B) [at MICH]

Note: In 1968, I did an undergraduate study for Ecology, "The population of Rotaria in an Acid Bog Pond, March to May, 1968," on Thomas Bog.

Plant Collections from Thomas Woods

  • Agrimonia gryposepala Wallr. 18 July 1972 (2740); 15 Aug 1974 (3548)
  • Amelanchier laevis Wieg. 9 May 1974 (3292)
  • Anemone quinquefolia L. 4 May 1964 (434); 14 May 1974 (3308)
  • Aralia nudicaulis L. 26 May 1963 (262); 26 June 1973 (3068)
  • Aster laevis L. 22 Sept 1971 (2486)
  • Boehmeria cylindrica (L.) Sw. 18 July 1972 (2737-A) [at MICH]
  • Carex sp. 17 April 1963 (202; 205); 11 May 1963 (236); 26 May 1968 (266); 30 May 1974 (3358) [all at MICH]
  • Carex festucacea Schk. 2 Aug 1970 (2000)
  • ?Carex intumescens Rudge 13 July 1972 (2724) [at MICH]
  • Circaea canadensis Hill 18 July 1972 (2735)
  • Collinsonia canadensis L. 15 Aug 1974 (3556)
  • Comandra richardsiana Fern. 26 May 1963 (257)
  • Comandra umbellata (L.) Nutt. 10 May 1964 (448) [at MICH]; 18 May 1971 (2214)
  • Coreopsis tripteris L. 15 Aug 1974 (3547)
  • Desmodium glutinosum (Muhl.) Wood. 2 Aug 1970 (2006); 18 July 1972 (2734)
  • Elymus virginicus L. 2 Aug 1970 (1999)
  • Galium aparine L. 10 May 1970 (1877)
  • Geranium maculatum L. 26 May 1963 (263)
  • Geum vernum (Raf.) T. & G. 10 May 1964 (451) [at MICH]
  • Glyceria striata (Lam.) Hitchc. 18 July 1972 (2737-D)
  • Hamamelis virginiana L. 26 May 1963 (272); 18 Apr 1972 (2544) [at MICH]; 17 May 1972 (2595); 14 May 1974 (3298); 15 Aug 1974 (3549)
  • Hypericum prolificum L. 15 Aug 1974 (3559)
  • Hypoxis hirsuta (L.) Coville 26 May 1963 (-- tchg. spec.)
  • Hystrix patula Moench 13 July 1972 (2723)
  • Lathyrus ochroleucus Hook. 11 May 1962 (56)
  • Lemna minor L. 18 May 1971 (2219)
  • Lonicera dioica L. 30 May 1974 (3355)
  • Luzula campestris (L.) DC. 14 May 1974 (3294)
  • Lycopodium obscurum L. 22 Sept 1971 (2484)
  • Lycopus americanus Muhl. 2 Aug 1970 (2002)
  • Lycopus virginicus L. 15 Aug 1974 (3555)
  • Maianthemum canadense Desv. 30 May 1974 (3353)
  • Onoclea sensibilis L. 2 Aug 1970 (2009)
  • Osmunda cinnamomea L. 26 June 1973 (3069)
  • Penthorum sedoides L. 2 Aug 1970 (2003)
  • Polygonatum pubescens (Willd.) Pursh 18 May 1971 (2216)
  • Potentilla canadensis L. 26 May 1963 (271)
  • Prenanthes alba L. 15 Aug 1974 (3558)
  • Prunus avium L. 17 May 1972 (2548)
  • Quercus alba L. 17 May 1972 (2594)
  • Rubus pubescens Raf. 26 May 1963 (261)
  • Rumex orbiculatus Gray 22 Sept 1971 (2485)
  • Sanicula marilandica L. 30 May 1974 (3351)
  • Scutellaria lateriflora L. 2 Aug 1970 (2004)
  • Smilacina racemosa (L.) Desv. 21 May 1962 (83); 15 Aug 1974 (3550)
  • Solidago uliginosa Nutt. 2 Aug 1970 (2012)
  • Tovara virginiana (L.) Raf. 2 Aug 1970 (2001)
  • Trillium grandiflorum (Michx.) Salisb. 26 May 1963 (270)
  • Uvularia sessilifolia L. 4 May 1964 (435); 14 May 1974 (3297)
  • Viburnum lentago L. 30 May 1974 (3357)
  • Vicia cracca L. 11 May 1962 (55)
  • Viola conspersa Reichb. 14 May 1965 (567); 14 May 1974 (3295)
  • Viola pubescens Ait. 14 May 1965 (571)
  • Viola sororia Willd. 26 May 1963 (268); 14 May 1974 (3293-B)
  • Woodwardia virginica (L.) Smith 26 June 1973 (3070)

Indet. Specimens

  • Bryophyta 2 Aug 1970 (2010-B)
  • Rust on Podophyllum peltatum 18 May 1971 (2215) [at MICH]

Plant Collections from Webb's Woods

(Pittsfield Township CARP Area 2)

The Webb homestead lay on the west side of Thomas Road, halfway between Morgan and Textile roads (NW 1/4 Sec. 22, T3S, R6E). A lane led back from the house to the woods, which graded down at the south end to a highbush huckleberry (we called it in 1930) marsh.

  • Atrichium undulatum (Hedw.) P.-Beauv. 28 March 1971 (2139)
  • Berberis thunbergii DC. 18 Oct 1971 (2511) [at MICH]
  • Cardamine douglassii (Torr.) Britt 11 May 1962 (57); 17 April 1963 (209)
  • Cornus foemina Miller 18 Oct 1971 (2508) [at MICH]
  • Erythronium americanum Ker. 11 May 1962 (--)
  • Galium aparine L. 11 May 1962 (52)
  • Geranium maculatum L. 11 May 1962 (54)
  • Ostrya virginiana (Mill.) K. Koch. 11 May 1962 (49)
  • Quercus rubra L. 14 May 1965 (564)
  • Rhus radicans L. var. vulgaris (Michx.) DC. 18 Oct 1971 (2509)
  • Smilax ecirrhata (Engelm.) Wats. 11 May 1962 (53)
  • Viola pubescens Aiton 14 May 1965 (560)
  • Viola latiuscula Greene 14 May 1965 (558; 561)
  • Viola pensylvanica var. leiocarpa (Fern. & Weig.) 14 May 1965 (559)
  • Viola rostrata Pursh 11 May 1962 (51)
  • Xanthoxylum americanum Mill. 14 May 1965 (557)

Plant Collections along Thomas Road

both sides, from Morgan Road to Textile Road, incorporating part of Area 2 of CARP (NW 1/4 to NE 1/4 to SE 1/4 of Sec. 22, T3S, R6E)

Note: Specimens marked with an asterisk are from the Town Hall School site on the SE corner of Morgan and Thomas roads.

  • *Acer saccharum Marsh 9 May 1971 (2199)
  • Ambrosia trifida L. 13 Aug 1967 (882)
  • Antennaria parlinii Fernald 20 May 1973 (2953) [at MICH]
  • *Aster laevis L. 18 Oct 1971 (2506)
  • Aster novae-angliae L. 18 Oct 19871 (2507)
  • Bromus inermis Leyss. 11 July 1972 (2716-D)
  • Bromus japonicus Thunb. 11 July 1972 (2716-C)
  • *Carya glabra (Miller) Sweet 20 May 1973 (2950)
  • *Carya ovata (Mill.) K. Koch 20 May 1973 (2947)
  • *Cerastium fontanum Baumg. 20 May 1973 (2948)
  • Cichorium intybus L. 11 July 1972 (2716-A)
  • Corylus americana Walter 11 July 1972 (2714) [at MICH]
  • Dioscorea villosa L. 11 July 1972 (2717)
  • Fragaria virginiana Duchesne 9 May 1971 (*2198); 17 May 1972 (2590-A; 2591)
  • Geum canadense Jacq. 11 July 1972 (2718-C)
  • Glycine max Merr. 18 Oct 1971 (2512)
  • *Malus coronaria (L.) Miller 20 May 1973 (2946) [at MICH]
  • Monarda fistulosa L. 2 Aug 1970 (2013)
  • Polygonum convolvulus L. 11 July 1972 (2716-B)
  • Populus grandidentata Michx. 11 July 1972 (2715) [at MICH]
  • Populus tremuloides Michx. 17 May 1972 (2581)
  • Pyrus malus L. 12 June 1972 (2589)
  • *Ranunculus fascicularis Muhl. 20 May 1973 (2949) [at MICH]
  • *Ranunculus hispidus Michx. 9 May 1971 (2200) [at MICH]
  • Rhus glabra L. 26 June 1973 (3071)
  • Rosa carolina L. 11 July 1972 (2720) [at MICH]
  • Rosa virginiana Mill. 11 July 1972 (2720)
  • Rubus occidentalis L. 11 July 1972 (2718-B)
  • Secale cereale L. 28 May 1976 (3951)
  • Spiraea alba DuRoi 13 Aug 1967 (883)
  • Tilia americana L. 11 July 1972 (2719)
  • Viola sororia Willd. 20 May 1973 (2954)

Note: Not included in the CARP area, but on the north side of the Morgan and Thomas roads intersection, was an old Morgan homesite (SE 1/4 Sec. 15, T3S, R6E), where I collected the following:

  • Euphorbia cyparissias L. 9 May 1971 (2197); 20 May 1973 (2942)
  • Prunus virginiana L. 20 May 1973 (2944)
  • Ranunculus abortivus L. 9 May 1971 (2194)
  • Rhamnus cathartica L. 20 May 1973 (2941)
  • Ribes cynosbati L. 9 May 1971 (2195)
  • Quercus sp. 20 May 1973 (2945)
  • ?Syringa x persica L. 20 May 1973 (2943)
  • Taraxacum officinale Wiggers 9 May 1971 (2196)
  • Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr 20 May 1973 (2952)

Plants Collected from Harwoods' Woods

(CARP Area 7) Harwoods' Woods lies in the triangle between Michigan Avenue, Textile Road, and a line drawn south from Thomas Road (NE 1/4 Sec. 27, T3S, R6E). Although I have no voucher specimens, I know that, as a child in the 1930's, I collected Phlox divaricata, Erythronium americanum, and Claytonia virginica there.

  • Arisaema atrorubens forma viride (Engler) Fern. 10 May 1964 (444; 447)
  • Carex sp. 7 May 1973 (2921) [at MICH]
  • Erythronium albidum Nutt. 7 May 1973 (2920)
  • Euonymus obovatus Nutt. 2 Aug 1970 (2005)
  • Helianthus decapetalus L. 2 Aug 1970 (2007)
  • Lysimachia nummularia L. 13 July 1972 (2728) [at MICH]
  • Podophyllum peltatum L. 16 May 1973 (2938)
  • Rosa palustris Marsh. 18 July 1972 (2744)
  • Smilax ecirrhata (Engelm.) S. Wats. 26 May 1963 (258); 10 May 1964 (445)
  • Taenidia integerrima (L.) Drude 26 May 1963 (253)
  • Viola cucullata Ait. forma thurstoni (Twining) House 7 May 1973 (2923-A)
  • Viola papilionacea Pursh var. papilionacea 7 May 1973 (2924) 26 May 1963 (259) [at MICH]

Note: Farther west, roadside of Textile Road (NW 1/4 Sec. 27, T3S, R6E), in either CARP 6 or 7, I collected the following specimen, with the notation on the label, "fls gathered other year," which may be in the EMU herbarium.

  • Populus deltoides Marsh. 13 Aug 1967 (891)

3 diamonds used to separate entries

Ruth MacFarlane may be contacted at: P.O. Box 99, Mass City, Michigan 49948; (906) 883-3696; email ruthmacf@jamadots.com

See also: Marriott-Webb Farm and Farmhouse on Thomas Road, by Joellen Gilchrist, and Burgar, Gordon - Memoirs.

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