This is another house near the one where my son was staying in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
No, that’s not a toy backhoe in front of the house. It looks small because the house is so large. At one of the visitor centers we found a book that told about some of the houses that are still standing. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down any of the information and now can’t verify any of it from web information. But for part of its existence this was some sort of resort or retreat for people from the New York City area, and was known as the Schoonvort house, after a family that first owned it. Or maybe it was Schonvoort or Schoonvoort. Or it could have been more than one of those, because the spelling of these Dutch names was not always done consistently even within the families.
In reading about the Van Aukens and the Schoonvorts who first settled in the valley before the French and Indian war, I came across another Dutch name that I immediately recognized, even though I had never before thought of it as Dutch: Tietsoort. That one jumped out at me because four of the members of the 1832 militia in Cass County, Michigan, were Tietsorts: Abram Tietsort, Abram Tietsort, Jr., Levi Tietsort, and Peter Tietsort. In Cass County, it seems the family dropped one of the o’s. And whoever compiled the militia records for the government spelled the name yet another way: Titsort. They had come from the New Jersey side of the river (though not near the river) and had lived in Ohio before coming to Michigan in the late 1820s.
Back on August 13 I had found a number of their graves:
Here are two of them, in the extreme southeast corner of the cemetery in Cassopolis. Abram, Jr. is on the left, then a small marker that says “Little” [some-name-I-can't-read], then Abram, Sr., and his wife Margaret.
Abram Jr’s role in the militia is described as follows in the 1882 county history, on page 60:
When the dread tidings of the Sauk uprising were received at Chicago, the Government agent there sent an express to Michigan asking for the aid of the militia of the Territory in defending that point. Gen. Joseph W. Brown commanded his brigade to take the field, appointing Niles as the place of rendezvous. Those who arrived there by the 24th of May were mustered and marched out toward Chicago. Cass County furnished as many men as her small population would allow. The news was brought to Cassopolis by Col. A. Houston and communicated to Abram Tietsort, Jr., whose duty it was, as Sergeant of the company, to notify members of the order issued by their commander.”
LeRoy Barnett’s roster says that Abram’s rank was Fourth Sergeant. The captain of the company was Isaac Shurte, another Dutch name from New Jersey.
When I was there I neglected to look closely at the iron marker by Abram Jr’s grave. It’s rare to find a marker like that to recognize service in any of the Indian wars, though there are a few. But Abram Sr. definitely should have a marker for his service in the War of 1812.
A family genealogy has been published that gives some information I had not seen before: It seems that Abram Sr. had built a log cabin on the east side Stone Lake. Was it near where the Log Cabin Museum (shown above) was built almost a hundred years later? I don’t know, but the museum is on the east side. Abram Sr. was a mason. Did he build any brick building that still stands? He died in 1847. Abram Jr. also lived on Stone Lake, and was a cabinet builder. A “treasury chest” he built for the county is still in the family, according to this publication. And the Tietsort name is in the local phone book. Maybe I’ll have a chance to meet some of them some time.
Abram Jr. died young, at age 37. His wife remarried, so I suppose that explains why her grave is not alongside his, while his is alongside those of his parents, both of whom outlived him.