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Immigrating from Germany to Northern Michigan

Michigan

Story Narrative:

"I would like to tell the story of my grandfather who moved to northern Michigan from Germany. He came in the 1890s. He was 17 years old and left on a ship knowing that he would never see his family again. It was a very difficult decision and one that haunted him for his whole life. When he arrived here, he soon met what was to be his wife, my grandmother. He met her at a dance and wrote to her because she was a long ways away, almost 10 miles, and by horse and buggy that was a long ways.

They got married and had five children, including my father. What was really interesting about this journey story for me is in 1970-something, more than 75 years later, we went to Germany and met his family and when his niece, my grandfather's niece, saw us coming, she started to cry and over and over she said, 'Mein Uncle Heinrich's people, you've come home.' It was a very touching time and it's a wonderful memory of my grandfather's journey here, never to have seen his family ever again. That is so often what these stories meant to people over time."

Asset ID #7051

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