The Mixed-Race 'Berry' Family
The Berry Family
Isaac Berry, Sr.
Isaac Berry, Sr. a run away slave from Palmyra, Missouri, and
Lucy Esther Millard were married in Ontario, Canada in 1859.
He was 27, and she was 18.
They remained in Canada for 18 years
where six of their eight children were born.
After coming to Michigan in 1877 with the Todd Family,
they settled in Mecosta County, Morton Township,
the area now known as School Section Lake Park.
The children of Isaac and Lucy Berry were William Albert (Jun. 27, 1860);
Isaac, Jr. (Feb. 22, 1862); Mary Clarissa (Feb. 22, 1864); Louis Harvey,
(May 1866); Benjamin Nelson (February 1868); Lucy Jane, (Nov. 11,
1871); Malinda Dianne (Apr, 1878); and John Henry I. (Nov. 8, 1882).
Raymond Pointer, Jr. said that he recalls his Great
Grandmother Mary (Kate) Berry-Pointer saying that she
was eight years old when they came to live in Detroit.
At the time the city extended as far north as the New Center Area.
The rest was swamp.
There were strip farms that ran north up to the boundary.
When you subtract the year of her birth, 1864 from the year of
their arrival in Mecosta in 1877, the remainder is 13.
She either was 12 or 13, or there was some amount of time
(at least five years) spent in Michigan before they came to Mecosta.
After coming to Michigan two more children were born,
Malinda and John. Isaac and Lucy, after settling down on the
80 acres began the task of clearing the land and constructing
the necessary buildings to house livestock and other farm animals.
Isaac also started an orchard, sending away for different kinds of fruit,
then doing his own grafting and making his own grafting wax.
Some of the apple trees he planted remain at the park area
today, along with the big cedars at the end of the lane.
These cedar trees are located at the entrance to
School Section Lake Park in Mecosta, Michigan.
Pictures Courtesy of Judy (Jackson) Caldwell & Raymond Pointer