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A Farmboy's Upper Peninsula Memoirs: Thirty days after the Great War ended, Clifton Nixon was born. It was a time of migration as people were taking advantage of the Homestead Act of 1862. An amalgamation of Protestant and Catholics-Irish, Scotch, French, Polish, and Italian-crossed the St. Mary's River from Canada answering the cry: "Free Land!" Clifton's grandparents made their way to the remote valley of Munuscong to the tiny town of Pickford, Michigan, where they worked brief growing seasons and endured icy winters to raise cattle and hay and fulfill their American Dream.
Steam engines, threshing machines, and Tin Lizzies were beginning to transform the lifestyle of rural America, but the settlers in the UP were reliant on few modern conveniences. One-room schoolhouses were placed two miles apart and became the central hub of each community for those first-generation pioneer immigrants.
In Frogpond, Clifton recalls with rich detail the muddy streets of Pickford; the quirky merchants, draft horses, neighborhood friends; and the beloved little red one-room schoolhouse. The stories provide an optimistic outlook that belied the era of hardships of his growing-up years. His rare enthusiasm for life provided him the ability to transform ordinary life into technicolor with his words and stories. Clifton's practical imageries of people and events in the little town of Pickford will forever live on in these memoirs as a reminder of a unique time in our history.