phone calls and emails...

I heard from Ilene Lock over the weekend. She’ll be coming by next Saturday to discuss what I’ve uncovered and to share pictures.

She told me a few things over the phone, one was the Elizabeth F. Scott went by Betty, which may explain a note that was found behind the fireplace, written to KNK, signed by Betty (read earlier post).

The other thing she told me was the Betty had cancer and passed away in my dining room. I have mixed feelings about ghosts and spirits – usually I’m more apt to believe when I’m home alone at night. I have felt fear at times when I start walking toward the front extra bedroom. We don’t usually use that room, but I keep things in the closet, etc., so when I start walking toward the room and into the room, I have a slight feeling of dread. Well, that’s not where Betty died…she died in the room directly under that bedroom. Maybe her spirit rose into that room.

Ilene also mentioned that the Scott’s were the ones that built the cinder block retaining wall in the back yard. They did this so they could fix a problem of a huge mud puddle at the back door. The retaining wall was torn down by Terry Risko and Marina Kruse and replaced with landscape boulders and beautiful perennials. A portion of the wall is still in tact at the wall of the garage that is against the hill.

There were other more personal things that Ilene mentioned about the Scotts and other owners, but I will not post that on the web; I will leave that for the booklet that I’m going to make for myself.

Yesterday, I received my first response to the letters that I’ve written to the previous owners. Mrs. Patricia L. Portwine emailed me. That was really cool. Jerome and I were both at the computer when we received the email.

We learned a few things from her email. We learned that the abstract is not completely correct. She said that they lived in the house from 1975 until their retirement to Florida in 1986. I had the 1986 part right, but didn’t realize that they had lived in the house for that long. I’m not sure why the abstract is incorrect; maybe it has something to do with a refinance…? Don’t know. But that changes things a bit on my spreadsheet – it means that they were possibly the family who lived in the house nearly the longest; second to the Scott’s who lived in the home for just about 16 years. We’ll have to see, because the Kruse/Risko’s lived in the house just over 10 years too. I’m waiting to see if Pat answers my reply email with the date that they purchased the house.

The Portwine’s lived in two other homes in Romeo during their lifetime. Mr. Eugene Fred Portwine was a math teacher at the Romeo High School from 1955 to 1984. He was a council member and President of the Village from 1980 to 1986. Sad to say, Mr. Portwine has passed. Mrs. Patricia L. Portwine was also a teacher; she taught in Armada.

A significant item she mentioned was the inscription on the brick on the outside fireplace chimney; with this account, I will be able to complete my application for a historic plaque. YAY!

Finally, she affirmed that the photo of the house on the snowy hill was their cottage in West Branch Michigan.


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