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Township pioneer home marker vandalized, reward offered

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July 14, 2010 - Brandon Twp.- A small piece of the community is missing.

An 80-year-old brass plaque identifying Tunis D. Hummer (1789-1863) and wife Francina (Swayze 1793-1878) along with their family members as one of the township's pioneer families has been allegedly removed by vandals.

In 1932 descendants of Tunis D.and Francina moved a rock (known as Hummer Rock) and attached the plaque to the stone located on the north side of Granger Road between Perry and Hadley roads to remember the family. The couple raised 12 children and traveled via the Erie Canal in 1825 on a covered wagon to the township site. The Hummer family later constructed a farmhouse and barn on the property which were later destroyed in a fire. The rock and plaque were placed on the Granger Road property in 1932.

Township resident Jane McCrory, the great-great-granddaughter of Tunis D. Hummer noticed the plaque missing about two weeks ago.

"It's my family that founded and settled that property," she said. "We'd really like to have that plaque returned. It's part of our history."

Bill Wright, former township supervisor and area historian, worked to establish a fence around the property located on the north side of Granger Road between Perry and Hadley roads.

"It's been a few years but I'm sure some of the original foundation logs from the (Hummer) cabin are still just under the ground," said Wright. "It's a big piece of township history now missing. If we don't preserve these places they will be lost forever."

Jeannie McCreery, township clerk, said the property that surrounds the rock was donated to the township several years ago and is considered a memorial site designating the pioneer township home.

"We figure someone stole the plaque and sold the brass for the metal value," said McCreery. "The township will replace the plaque, but it won't be the quality brass it was. What kind of person steals a historical plaque? It's pathetic."

Dean Salley, president of the Ortonville Community Historical Society, said a $100 reward is offered for the return and conviction of the individuals who removed the plaque.

"It's unspeakable how low people will go for a few bucks in brass. The plaque is an important piece of history—we'd all like to have it back."

Any information regarding the plaque, call 248-627-4911.

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