Marcina McKeon Foster-Author

Marcina McKeon Foster-Author


Edit: Someone reminded me Capt. Foster and his City of Flint are mentioned in Chapter 5 of Marcina McKeon Foster's fantastic "Stories From the Attic," which has lots of great Fenton history in it.

According to "Stories from the Attic," Captain Foster was noted for his rivalry with a competing steam ship owner, Captain Eddy, who owned the steam ship City of Fenton. Both vessels were capable of transporting up to 600 passengers. Chapter 5 is set in the 1890's. Marcina McKeon Foster-Author

We just digitized this fabulous shot taken aboard the steamship City of Flint in 1896. Captain David Foster is at the left, next to pilot George Skelton.
You may already have this image of my Grandfather, Charles Judson Phillips, as a toddler, but thought I’d share it with you… I love his laughter in this!
Julie Hussar

Fenton MI. 1937. My grandfather Tom Woodworth and his brother Shull are in the picture. Grandpa Tom was fire chief in Fenton to many years.
The Fenton Baptist Seminary. Built in the late 19th century, and stood in Fenton, Michigan till about 2015
Cottage on Lakeshore Drive, Crane’s Point, Lake Fenton. 1940’s
Picnic on Case’s Island 1897. Notice the large wooden platform swing.
Lake Fenton
YAY!!! Marcie. Great start in social
Media! That book is amazing!!’

Watch here for fun photos and stories from Fenton’s history from the Ladies’ Coronet Band to the O E Williams flying school to the Phillips Factory Fire.


Below is a picture of the Fenton Seminary. According to the Nomination form filed with the National Register of Historic Places in 1982
“Fentonville distinguished itself early with a highly developed private and public school system. The Fentonville public system was, as of 1876, one of the five systems in the state on the University of Michigan’s accredited list. Unfortunately the private school system failed when financial difficulties, not unknown to such institutions, forced it to close its doors. In addition to primary and secondary schools , Fentonville had three instructions of higher learning, one of which was the private Fenton Seminary, founded by Rosina L. Dayfoot under the auspices of the Baptist Church.

A two-story frame building was the first to house the Fenton Seminary, which served as a feeder preparatory school for Kalamazoo College in the western part of the state. This structure was soon followed, circa 1867, by the extant monumental stone structure at 309 High Street. At the height of its success, the seminary boasted classes in business, languages, music and calisthenics. By 1886,however, the school’s trustees found it impossible to continue operation of the Fenton Seminary and offered the building and grounds to the Baptist Ministers Aid Society. From that time until very recently, it has been known as the Baptist Ministers Home and served as a retirement home for clerics.

The three-story sone structure was originally constructed in the Second Empire Style, complete with a mansard roof, dormers, and rounded arch windows. A severe fire in 1899, however, destroyed the entire interior, roof, and the original two-story veranda with its balustrades and divided front steps. During the building’s reconstruction in 1900, the porch was altered to feature two stone piers, the front stairway was built as a singke flight, and the third story was eliminated and replaced by a truncated hip roof. The new roof’s details included a centrally placed gable dormer flanked by fanciful metal dormers.

Fenton also had two Episcopal schools , Latimer Hall and Ridley Hall. Latimer Hall was the boys’ school and opened November 14, 1872. The headmaster was Rev. O. E. Fuller. Latimer Hall was located at the west end of Rockwell. It was destroyed by fire in 1907.

Ridley Hall was the Episcopal school for girls and opened 1876. Ridley Hall was on the north side of town at Thurber and First Street. It later became The Normal School.

Photos from Marcina McKeon Foster-Author's post 11/06/2022

This is the best picture I’ve seen yet of the carriage house behind the ”Dream Victorian” in Shiawassee Avenue. After Everett Scott’s untimely death from appendicitis, Grace was left with two small children to support. The children were sent to live with family while Grace had the Victorian converted to a boarding house and the carriage house converted to her personal living quarters. It was there she met the new minister,
Rev MacWillians, who became her second husband and stepfather to my grandfather William and great-aunt Helen Scott. They are all buried in the cemetery just outside of town - Grace in the middle, Everett to her left and Mac to her right.

308 W Shiawassee Ave, Fenton, MI 48430 | MLS #20221021689 | Zillow 08/02/2022

308 W Shiawassee Ave, Fenton, MI 48430 | MLS #20221021689 | Zillow

Grace and Everett Scott’s “Dream Victorian” is for sale! Take a tour on Zillow to see the beautiful interior.

308 W Shiawassee Ave, Fenton, MI 48430 | MLS #20221021689 | Zillow For sale This 4200 square foot single family home has 5 bedrooms and 3.0 bathrooms. It is located at 308 W Shiawassee Ave Fenton, Michigan.


The Colwell Opera House!

According to Marcina McKeon Foster's great historical fiction "Stories from the Attic," some Fentonites watched the 1910 return of Halley's Comet from the rooftop of the Colwell Opera House.

As McKeon Foster puts it, "Stories about Halley's Comet were in the newspaper every day. There were ominous predictions of catastrophe: the comet's tail contained poisonous gas that would wipe out life on Earth as it passed through the atmosphere; the comet would be closer than ever before and might collide with Earth. Mark Twain had been born during Halley's Comet in 1835 and he predicted his own death as it passed by again. Sales of telescopes soared.

"That evening the comet was to appear, crowds gathered on lawns, street corners and down in Water Works Park. Grace's guests huddled on the Opera House roof, drinks in hand. All eyes looked towards the heavens. As soon as it was spotted, cheers rang out. There it was, high in the sky: Halley's Comet! A great white ball of fire with a long pointed tail, it was the most memorable sight of 1910."

Playwright creates social-justice play to exonerate the ‘witches’ of Connecticut 06/11/2022

Playwright creates social-justice play to exonerate the ‘witches’ of Connecticut

My sister Jean McKeon Martin found this -
To the Scott side of my family - this is kind of cool - the play is about the arrest, trial, and hanging of our 9th great grandmother Rebecca Elsen Mudge Greensmith.

Playwright creates social-justice play to exonerate the ‘witches’ of Connecticut If you haven’t heard of the Connecticut witch trials, which happened three decades before the infamous Salem trials, this playwright wants to change that. Debra Walsh hopes to to educate, entertain and encourage audiences to push for the exoneration of Connecticut’s witch-hunt victims with her n...


Great news!

Photos from Marcina McKeon Foster-Author's post 04/25/2022

St John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Fenton, Michigan
The original church was dedicated in 1868 but as the congregation grew the stone church was built with stones donated from local farmers. Paul McKeon donated stones from his farm on Ray Road. This church was dedicated in 1928. Paul attended this church all his life. The graveyard can be seen to the left. My father said the family purchased the very first row of plots at the front near the road. But later more plots were added in front of the plots.

Photos from Marcina McKeon Foster-Author's post 04/24/2022

After we landed in Phoenix we stopped to see my mom’s Cousin Judy. Judy spent the summer of 1960 with us on Lake Fenton. My mom had 5 children under age 10 and I’m guessing we were rather rambunctious. Judy was 20 and engaged to be married. I remember her sewing doll clothes for my Tammy doll. She wore her hair in a French twist and I thought she was terribly glamorous. She had little rhinestones that she twisted into her hair. I begged and begged my mother to take me shopping so I could have rhinestones for my hair, too. We had not seen Judy since her wedding December 1960. My sister Jean was her flower girl and had a white rabbit fur m**f. My mom bought me one too and I thought it was wonderful. We reconnected after Judy received a copy of “Stories from the Attic” for her 80th birthday. After stopping to see Judy we headed north to Prescott to meet her four daughters. Pictured below are me, Judy, her husband Steve and Peanut. I don’t have a photo of Judy as a bride but this photo is from her wedding- my sister Jean in the starring role of flower girl, and Judy’s sisters and me. Judy


More second cousins - we share the same great grandparents- Clifford & Mabel Phillips. Our grandmother, Nellie Phillips, and their grandfather Jud Phillips were sister & brother. They are now living in Arizona- not far from my sister Rebecca! We all met last week at Kathi’s house. Left to right: Kathi Campbell-Terrell, Susan League, Kim Dillon, Laurie McCampbell, Marcina, Melissa Campbell , & Rebecca Horvath


Happy Easter!


On the back of this photo is written “1934 Allen Gunning with accordia.”
In the book “The Village Players” pg 23 he was described as an “interesting person.” He was in the real estate business from Montreal to Detroit. He was described as always dressed in a suit but not necessarily well pressed. One story had him flashing an uncashed $10,000 check. He was born in Ashprington England and emigrated in 1883. His parents were William Gunning and Mary Ann Crawford. They had 7 children. Allen married Margaret Guest in 1910 and they had no children. By 1930 he was widowed and married Minnie Fox Corrigan. She died 6 months later. By 1940 he was married to someone named Louise.

Although Allen was not a blood relative he had three connections to our family. In 1904 after our great grandfather Clifford Phillips graduated from high school he traveled to England with Allen Gunning. Clifford was 20 years old and Allen was considerably older. So family friend? Was Allen going back to see his family??
Second connection- our great great uncle Ray Corrigan married Clara Forte. Clara’s sister Margaret was Allen’s first wife. Third connection- later Allen married Mary Fox Corrigan just a few months before she died. So Ray’s brother-in-law is now his step-father.
Fact is stranger than fiction!


Mary O’Connell McGuire and daughter Margaret Mary McGuire - Albany, NY
Approximately 1904

Marcina McKeon Foster-Author updated their phone number. 03/20/2022

Marcina McKeon Foster-Author updated their phone number.

Marcina McKeon Foster-Author updated their phone number.


Since “Stories from the Attic “ was published a year and a half ago one of the benefits has been connecting with long lost relatives and some we didn’t know. This may be the most remarkable story. We had heard our great grandparents had adopted a girl in 1913. She was raised with our grandfather Paul and his brother Ralph on the McKen family farm in Fenton. This was really all we knew and the circumstances were rather mysterious. Fast forward to spring 2020. I’m looking for a graphic designer to format my book for publication. I see a former co-worker and friend, Theresa Fiorani, on FB. She has her own graphic design company, Canoe Circle Graphics, and she had just designed a cookbook. I contacted her and she does an amazing job designing “Stories from the Attic“ for publication. At the same time she and her husband are purchasing a vacation home on a lake. She meets her new neighbor, Kathy Kean Wasen, and discovers she’s from Fenton. So Theresa gives her a copy of my book. Kathy starts reading and recognizes the McKeon name and realizes this is the family that adopted her grandmother, Margaret McGuire McKeon over 100 years ago. Small world.

Kathy and I met this morning to compare notes and were amazed at all the people and places we had in common.

Six degrees of separation indeed!

Photos from Marcina McKeon Foster-Author's post 02/27/2022

Colwell Opera House was the center of entertainment in Fenton for many years.
In 1869 it’s predecessor was the Colwell Hall Building. 1870 Susan B Anthony was there. 1876 “Old Fashioned Days” and 1879 Tom Thumb and Mrs Thumb performed.
1879 there was a fire that destroyed the wooden bridge and many businesses and buildings including Colwell’s sawmill. David Colwell sold his interest in the sawmill to his partner and began manufacturing bricks for the Colwell opera house, rebuilding the businesses that were destroyed and his new house on High Street. The Opera House hosted revival shows, medicine shows, and school dances. A local group, the Wacoms performed “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and a pair of female wrestlers known as Farmer Burn’s Daughters always packed the house.
1883 - the Fenton Ladies Band cashed in on the fad of roller skating and opened a rink there on Tuesday and Saturday. 10 cents to skate and 5 cents skate rental.
1885 the Opera House was renovated and in 1887 Thomas Edison’s. “Animatiscope” was shown. 1890 saw much needed improvements including a new floor for the stage, two fine dressing rooms were installed and the prisecenium was painted.
1903 the Fenton High School Junior Exhibition was held there.
The Colwell Opera House later became Cooks Opera House.

Photos from Marcina McKeon Foster-Author's post 02/21/2022

Naples Heritage Book Club -
I was invited to present today at Naples Heritage Golf and Country Club book club. Over 50 ladies - all so welcoming and complimentary. I had a wonderful time sharing my journey of researching, writing and publishing “Stories from the Attic.” So many of them had great family stories to tell too! I hope they are inspired to write them down.

It's now easier to email Marcina McKeon Foster-Author 02/05/2022

It's now easier to email Marcina McKeon Foster-Author

It's now easier to email Marcina McKeon Foster-Author

Marcina McKeon Foster-Author updated their address. 02/05/2022

Marcina McKeon Foster-Author updated their address.

Marcina McKeon Foster-Author updated their address.


Working on “Stories from the Hayloft” - our great aunt Marie Trollman. She was a woman ahead of her time - taking a selfie with her Brownie camera and a car mirror.


Using a 1900 Sanborn map I plotted the homes and businesses in “Stories from the Attic” This became the Walking Tour of Fenton. 22 locations with information about the year built. Available through the Fenton Historical Society or by contacting me.


Beautiful crochet most likely done by Grace Colwell Scott- she was a milliner and excelled at all needlework. She won a golden thimble for her work


Fun fun day! First stop Jade orchid farm - picked up a sun loving orchid for my lanai, next stop Green Door Nursery where they’d just gotten a huge shipment and we talked to a very knowledgeable employee and saw great unusual plants for my shady areas. Lunch outside at Three60 Marketplace and watched as the Cruisin Tiki - a floating bar - took off. So back at the Admiralty House on Marco Island to relax. The day had started cool and rainy so I hadn’t packed beach walking shoes. Now the weather was beautiful and my girlfriend and I sat out under the tiki hut watching the water in the Gulf. Women started wandering over - wine and books in hand. It was a book club! They were discussing “The Island of Sea Women.” We were invited to stay for the discussion. What a wonderful group - the moderator was great and the comments insightful. My idea of a perfect book club. After the book club they wanted to hear about “Stories from the Attic” and had some interesting questions I hadn’t been asked before.


Read about the City of Flint and the City of Fenton and the rivalry between Captain Eddy and Captain Foster on Lake Fenton - Chapter 5 of “Stories from the Attic.”

Edit: Someone reminded me Capt. Foster and his City of Flint are mentioned in Chapter 5 of Marcina McKeon Foster's fantastic "Stories From the Attic," which has lots of great Fenton history in it.

According to "Stories from the Attic," Captain Foster was noted for his rivalry with a competing steam ship owner, Captain Eddy, who owned the steam ship City of Fenton. Both vessels were capable of transporting up to 600 passengers. Chapter 5 is set in the 1890's. Marcina McKeon Foster-Author

We just digitized this fabulous shot taken aboard the steamship City of Flint in 1896. Captain David Foster is at the left, next to pilot George Skelton.

Photos from Marcina McKeon Foster-Author's post 01/12/2022

China painting
This is the plate painted by my great grandmother Mabel Corrigan as a young girl. Who hadn’t done crafts? Over the years the crafts have changed - knitting, crochet, counted cross stitch, decoupage, macramé. Read Chapter 11 in “Stories from the Attic” to see how I imagined Mabel and her girlfriends getting together to work on their plates.

Photos from Marcina McKeon Foster-Author's post 01/04/2022

Finding second cousins! On the left Susan Phillips League and my sister Rebecca McKeon Horvath. Susan’s mother was our mom’s “Cousin Judy.” We share great grandparents - Clifford and Mabel Phillips. Judy stayed with us one memorable summer at the cottage on Crane’s Point on Lake Fenton. It was 1960 and she was only 20. She wore her hair in a French twist and to an 8 year old she was so so glamorous. I’m sure she was a lot of company for my mom and helped with 5 rambunctious children. Judy just celebrated a birthday and was given a copy of “Stories from the Attic.” Her daughter, Susan, tracked me down on Facebook and we discovered she & my sister Rebecca are practically neighbors in Arizona.
Judy’s wedding - left to right me, Janie Phillips, Patty Phillips and flower girl Jean McKeon.

Photos from Marcina McKeon Foster-Author's post 12/17/2021

Fox house in Piety Hill neighborhood- owned by our 3 x great grandfather over 140 years ago. What a coincidence- I read about Piety Hill in an online newsletter and contacted the reporter to see if he knew anything about this house. Not only did he know about it - he owned it! What a Christmas gift for my siblings and I to get a tour!

Here’s the original post

Yesterday I had the opportunity to tour the home and neighborhood of my 3 x great grandfather in the 1870’s. His name was Colin Fox Sr and he was president of Western Telegraph when the first trans-Atlantic cable was laid. Family lore has him exchanging the first message with Queen Victoria. The house was incredible- 12 foot ceilings, bay windows, paneled dining room, a call box for the servants, a watering fountain for horses and beautiful bay windows. To thank our host for his hospitality we gave him a few pieces of the Fox china - a finger bowl, saucer and small plate.


Merry Christmas from the Scotts- approximately 1938
Left to right - William (Billy), William (Phil), John, Nellie Phillips Scott, and my mother Shirley.

Photos from Marcina McKeon Foster-Author's post 09/16/2021

Researching for “Stories from the Hayloft.” Book 2 - our dad’s side of the family. They lived out on a farm west of Fenton. The farm is still owned by my cousins. My brother and I spent the night and shared photos and stories with my sister Jean Martin, cousins Susan Fous, Mark Mora, Tim McKeon and my sister-in-law Carol.

Photos from Marcina McKeon Foster-Author's post 09/13/2021

Awesome day in Fenton. So many friends from all over the state stopped by for the book signing for “Stories from the Attic.” New friends and readers in Fenton too. Can not tell you how much that means to me. Dinner with family at the Laundry Restaurant.


Nice surprise today - the Tri County Times printed a very nice article and four pictures about “Stories from the Attic”and the upcoming book signing. I’ve just seen the article online - can’t wait to see it in actual print!! Thank you reporter Sharon Stone and the Tri County Times!

Timeline photos 08/27/2021

Bring home this gorgeous pen & ink drawing of the original Fenton train station by artist Carol Stevens. You can register for the raffle at my book signing on September 12, 2021 at the AJ Phillips Historical Museum from 1 to 4 PM. The winner will be chosen at 4 PM. Enter the raffle for free!


Fenton 1900 - using a Sanborn map I pieced the Village of Fenton together and plotted the homes and businesses I was writing about. Several street names had changed and there were no street numbers to go by but it gave me a feel for life back then.


Buy local whenever possible - most first time authors do not have the satisfaction of having their book physically available for purchase in a bookstore. Fenton’s Open Books has carried “Stories from the Attic” in their local author section since it was published. I can’t tell you how proud and honored I feel. Be sure to stop by and pick up a copy before the book signing September 12. And browse through their collection of other local authors.


Hot off the presses! The “Stories from the Attic“ walking tour was so popular I decided to spice it up! Stroll past the 22 homes and businesses featured in the book. Stop by the A J Phillips Fenton Historical Museum Sunday September 12 from 1-4 for the book signing and to pick up your copy.

Timeline photos 08/03/2021

I’m honored to be presenting my book, “Stories from the Attic,” at the A J Phillips Fenton Museum on Sunday, Sept. 12, from 1 to 4 PM! This is your chance to learn the history of the Fenton area, ask questions, and get your booked signed by me. Pick up a copy in advance at, or RSVP to the event by visiting!

Photos from Marcina McKeon Foster-Author's post 07/19/2021

This was one of the first sewing machines in Fenton. It is a Wilcox and Gibbs c1887 serial . It was brought to Fenton by Susan Howe Collins (1820 - 1907). She was our 3 x great grandmother. A Civil War widow she moved to Fenton to live with her daughter Martha Collins (1847 - 1930) and Martha’s husband John Colwell (1849 - 1922). They lived in the big brick house at the corner of LeRoy and High streets. She spent many happy hours teaching her granddaughter Grace Colwell how to sew. Grace was an excellent seamstress and later worked in the millinery department of Scott’s Department Store. Grace won a golden thimble for her creations.




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