Feb 03, 2006, 03:28 PM
Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust
Van Buren Michigan Strongbox of Gold
Mystery surrounds township's cemeteries
By William Zilke, Special Writer
PUBLISHED: November 24, 2005
Van Buren Township was formed by an act of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Michigan in 1835.
The cemeteries of Van Buren Township tell the story of its earliest settlers and even their roots before coming to Michigan.
According to Diane Wilson's Water Under the Bridge: A history of Van Buren Township, Abraham Soop arrived here in 1832, when it was still Huron Township from Seneca, NY.
He was the only settler to be granted a section of one square mile of government land.
Together with Amariah Rawson and David Dalrymple who lived on adjacent properties, the three men created Soop Cemetery.
Wilson writes Van Buren residents who had died were frequently referred to as "being in the Soop," and the name was changed to Pleasantview.
At least one Revolutionary War soldier, Amariah's father Abner, is buried there.
Soop himself died in 1841 as result of a fall when his team of horses bolted.
Of all sites or landmark in the tri-community area, more rumors fly around Pleasantview Cemetery than anywhere else.
Wilson writes of a rumor surrounding a missing box of golf coins.
One Isaac Bumpus was buried in Pleasantview in 1921, and a rumor nearly a century old then has persisted that he was the last man to see a mysterious box full of gold coins which has never been found to this day.
Allegedly, Bumpus went to the back 40 acres with a newly hired hand.
There, the farm worker buried a strong box and died a short period of time later.
After an unspecified period of time, a detective from New York investigating the robbery of a strong box full of gold coins.
The detective followed the trail of the man all the way to Van Buren Township from New York.
There is little doubt the strong box the man buried was the missing gold cache.
After that, digging up the buried fortune no doubt became a favorite topic of conversation or pastime.
"One should consider, before beginning a new search, that the Bumpus farm is now the K-Mart parking lot," wrote Wilson.
The cemetery also is a hotbed for ghost hunters.
I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow
Feb 03, 2006 03:28 PM