It isn’t easy to locate and identify an unmarked grave in a small cemetery, but Virginia Mongreig, Schoolcraft township clerk, and Jane Crist, local volunteer, made it their mission to locate the grave of Enoch Robinson, an African American Civil War veteran.
As Crist worked her way through the various veteran’s graves last spring — cleaning and noting the absence or presence of appropriate flag holders and symbols — she was unable to locate Enoch Robinson’s site. Crist called Mongreig and the two began their research, scouring township records.
Mongreig remembered a very old book stored in the vault: Vicksburg Cemetery Schoolcraft Township Burial Records 1874-1935. This book documented the grave purchase and location.
The two then began searching for any information about the soldier: Crist obtained the obituary through census records at the Vicksburg Historical Society; Mongreig reviewed Dr. Arle Schneider’s book, “A Tale of One Village,” and found evidence of Enoch’s involvement in the community.
Crist met Mongreig and her husband, Chip, who measured, reviewed burials from township records, and probed the area, and Robinson’s gravesite was located. The next step: securing a veteran’s headstone. The markers are provided at government expense.
Mongreig contacted Gary Swain of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, whose group has made repairs in the old cemetery. Swain completed the application for a marker and forwarded the application along with a letter from Mongreig.
Swain last year provided more information about Robinson to station WMUK. Private Robinson served in the 15th U.S Colored Infantry Regiment. He was born in 1835, grew up in southern Ohio, enlisted in northern Tennessee and spent most of his enlistment in the Tennessee area. He died in 1891.
The marker arrived about 130 years later: October 13, 2021.
Mongreig and Crist are thrilled with the outcome: Enoch Robinson’s grave is now identified with a veteran’s marker, and Enoch Robinson will be honored with a traditional Civil War Memorial Service by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War on September 17, 2022 at 11 a.m. in the north portion of the Schoolcraft Township Cemetery.
“It’s going really, really well,” said Bud’s Bar owner Tom Brady, who purchased the Schoolcraft building and business and reopened the restaurant with his wife, Shannon. “We are doing double the volume from what we expected.”
Although they opened in August with a limited menu, the owners are adding items as their capacity grows. “We were overwhelmed with orders for nachos” when they were added to the menu, said Brady.
The best sellers so far are the smash burger and the chicken sandwich. “We use good meat for the burgers, and we hand bread the chicken at the restaurant,” said Brady. And they’re proud of the ribs. “Shannon’s baby back ribs are cooked for four hours with our own dry rub, then we cook them on the char broiler and serve them with a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce.”
Over the next month or so, they plan to add a Denver cut steak to the menu. They plan a fish fry on Fridays and prime rib on Saturdays.
Don’t expect them to be open for lunch yet, though; they are still struggling to find kitchen staff. To get the space ready, the owners installed new floors and repainted inside. They fixed the plumbing and the air conditioning, and remodeled the kitchen. “We wanted the place to be familiar but fresh.”
They are keeping the iconic Bud’s Bar sign, but it will cost $21,000 to get it to light up again. To help raise the money for that project, they’re planning to hold special events. Keep an eye on their social media for announcements.
“We’ve been taken back by the support we’ve received,” said Brady. “It’s really humbling to have people thank us just for opening.”
Schoolcraft has returned to its roots and rebranded its mascot. Over the years, the Schoolcraft Eagles strayed from the golden eagle and used the bald eagle in its images. Starting with the coming season, the golden eagle has returned.
The Golden Eagle football team faced its first opponent August 25. The Comstock Colts visited Roy Davis Field with hopes to start its season at 1-0. Coach Ferency and the Golden Eagles had other plans for the visiting team, and it didn’t take long for the team to set the tone for the game.
After receiving the kickoff and during the second play, Isaac Noora took the handoff and went untouched for 53 yards down the home team’s sideline for the first score of the 2022 season.
For the second straight year, Schoolcraft will have a female kicking the extra points. Last season, Hannah Thompson was the first-ever female to score a point in a football game for Schoolcraft. This season Brooklyn Hamelink will be taking on the task of putting the ball through the uprights. Her first attempt went straight through, making the score 7-0 Golden Eagles.
After a struggling Comstock got the ball back and suffered three straight penalties, the Colts had to punt the ball. A few plays later, Senior Tagg Gott took the ball five yards through the center of the line to hit paydirt. Gott, after playing in Indiana last season during his junior year, decided to return to Schoolcraft for his senior season. He will be playing in the quarterback position, the same position he played in Indiana.
Comstock was never able to get much going on offense and had its hands full on defense with the size and speed of the Schoolcraft team.
Gott added three more touchdowns to his first. Noora added two more to his first and Gavin Hart added his own score. This took place all in the first half of the game. And Hamelink added her name to the Schoolcraft record book by making all eight extra points she attempted.
The Golden Eagles hit the locker room with the score at 56-0. The second half of the game was a non-stop running clock with no additional scoring, and only juniors and sophomores played on the Schoolcraft side of the ball. Schoolcraft ended the night running 25 total plays on offense, totaling 348 yards. The Comstock Colts had 52 plays on offense but were only able to post 114 total yards.