Get Those Cars Tuned, We’re Doing a Road Trip

So, one activity we’re planning for the reunion is a drive-by tour of places important to our family history. Topping that off in order of interest is easily the town of Laingsburg.

Laingsburg, as you remember, was founded by our ancestor Peter Laing (the Doctor Peter Laing). We know a lot about him from the book The Hill and Below, by Birdie Colby and Emma Jane Wright. It’s a historical tribute to the town of Laingsburg and delves into the generational details of Peter and his family.

In 1833, Peter, his wife Mary, and seven of their nine children came from Wilton, NY, to Michigan. They settled in Ann Arbor where Peter set up a medical practice. In 1835, however, his wife Mary died.

Blood Tavern, Laingsburg, MI

Colby, Birdie, and Emma Jane Wright. The Hill and Below. Exponent Press. 1976. pg. 21.

The next year Peter left Ann Arbor and moved northward to Shiawassee County. Here, on the southeast corner of what is now Fenner and Grand River Roads, he built a log cabin tavern. This became a stopping place for travelers along the Grand River Trail, and later, when owned by someone else, it was called the Blood Tavern, or the “Old Red.”

Peter Laing's Home

Colby, Birdie, and Emma Jane Wright. The Hill and Below. Exponent Press. 1976. pg. 13.

That same year Peter built a home and second tavern near what is now Crum and Church Streets in Laingsburg. In 1837 he established a post office in the tavern and became the first postmaster. Thus the town’s name—Laingsburg.

Peter and Laura Laing

Colby, Birdie, and Emma Jane Wright. The Hill and Below. Exponent Press. 1976. pg. 8-9.

In 1844, Peter remarried. His second wife’s name was Mrs. Laura Louisa Kemp, and together they had two more children; Charles and Paisley. Paisley, of course, is noteworthy because he is the Amos Boys’ great-grandfather. (The name Paisley is interesting in itself. It shows up so many times in the Laing family—even some of the women have it as their middle name.) Also, take note of Peter’s age when he married Laura: 56 years old. And he was 60 when Paisley was born!

So, here are a couple sites to put on our tour. Don’t worry, we’ll make up a map with everything clearly marked (really, I’m surprised Mapquest doesn’t specifically mention the Amos name in their online maps).

In the meantime, here are three interesting newspaper articles. Jerry has several more, but guess what, you’ve got to come to the reunion to see them!


This first article is about Helen Lucretia Phelps. She’s not directly related to us, but I thought its headline deserved attention. Can you imagine the uproar it would cause today? I asked the Amos Boys who might have been “non-white?” Native American Indians.

Laingsburg area newspaper

According to Jerry, at one time there was a push to change the town’s name to Sleepy Hollow. This next article covers a bit of that topic. The name change didn’t go through, obviously, but now there is a Sleepy Hollow State Park nearby.

Laingsburg newspaper


Laingsburg newspaper

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7 thoughts on “Get Those Cars Tuned, We’re Doing a Road Trip

  1. The name Blood was prominent in Laingsburg. There was a Dr. Blood to whom the town cemetary is named after. Local legend is that his ghost haunts the cemetary which has been witnessed by many drunk teenagers.

  2. Pingback: Creating New Memories | Those (Expletive) Amos Boys

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