Saturday, November 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
This is the Meeting House in Washington. When it was originally built (between 1787 to 1789) it did not have the bell tower that can be seen on the left side facing it. It would have looked the same on both sides with the little porch on the end. The pulpit -- since the meeting house was both the town hall and the church meeting place -- would have been opposite the front entrance. When the building was built it also had a main floor and a gallery above for additional seating but would have been open to the ceiling in the center. It has been remodeled a bit over the years and now it is two stories on the inside with the upstairs now a stage for local plays and productions. The Meeting house remains little altered on the outside; but is completely different now on the inside. Gone are the box pews that families paid for and had priority to use. I used to think that was odd, but having read about this now, I have discovered that the pews were "sold" as a means of purchasing them since the town didn't have the money left over for that when the building was done.
In the photo here you can see the original meeting house (on the right), next to it and in the center is a school that was later built, and the closest building is the "newer" Congregational church which was built when the governmental and religious functions of the town were a little
more separated than they had been initally. They say that this is now one of the most widely photographed town greens in New England because of its picturesque trio of buildings.
Our trip was so much fun. We were able to talk to Gwen, a town historian, who shared all kinds of information on various family members. We were able to meet with Grace, the town archivist and were able to see the actual birth and marriage records of various family members and to take flashless digital photos. Another historical society member, Tom, was able to point out the farms of family members on the south end of town. Fortunately we visited that area on Sunday after we had talked my brother and sister-in-law and some of the nieces into visiting Washington as well. Without his four-wheel-drive we NEVER would have made it and the rental car company would have had a stroke had we tried!
Church Tabor (named Church because that was his mother's maiden name) was one of the prime carpenters on this meeting house as noted above. He helped with the general construction, specifically built the roof, constructed the window frames and transom above the door and also built the original six pillars (three of which are left) that supported the structure on the inside. I'll try to add a few more photos soon of the interior. And photos of our walk through the cemetery where we surprising found adversaries resting in peace together.
We are looking forward to another trip to the Other Washington again next fall if we can manage it!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
So Thursday evening we began our road trip to California. We had fun driving down and visitingfriends. On Sunday we (my other daughter and I) said goodbye to Ash and she and her group left for Mexico. Beth and I then headed down to meet our orphaned Bible contact.
Not only did Jackie and Scott refuse payment for the Bible -- which they got for a bargain of $26 on Ebay!, but in addition they took us to a terrific and authentic Mexican lunch! We visited Old Temecula and wandered through antique stores and even visited the old town jail which was covered by a cascade of brilliant bouganvilla. What a delightful afternoon. After we went back to their house, we chatted a little longer. Jackie had taken all the additional papers that had been scattered through the Bible and put each item in a protective plastic sheet and put them all in a three-ring binder.
I can't say thanks enough to Jackie and to the Orphaned Bible project! They write "We buy old familiy bibles and then research each family to find living descendants of the original owners of the bible. When we find a home for the bible, we send the bible to the familily. We do not expect anything in return. Knowing that the bibles have returned home to their families is very rewarding to us." For more information they do have a website listed for more information -- http://www.ajmresearch.com/Orphaned_Bibles.html .
Following our time with Jackie and Scott, we visited other friends and then began the long trek homeward on Monday morning, arriving Wed morning at 1:00 AM! Back to work and squeezing in fun projects between responsibilities. I'm now in process of scanning everything so that I can pass the best copies possible on to my VDV (Vandervort) Gang!
I have begun posting my family tree on Ancestry because altho I have a personal family tree computer program, I am hoping that the information, photos and letters posted will be always available to family members in the decades ahead. It is so easy for information to disappear as our older generations pass on and are no longer available to answer our myriad questions. Jackie has contributed much to our family tree by rescuing this old, fragile Bible and returning it to those of us who care. Perhaps we will know someday how it came to migrate from California to Oaklahoma where it was bought at a garage sale and later offered for sale on Ebay. We are so grateful to Doug -- who and wherever he is --that offered it for sale and did not leave it silent and neglected.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
The little note above the Bible was found inside and provides the connection. I think the note was added by Ella Jane Stevens Sherwood, mother of Susan Rosina Sherwood Weber who is the 2nd recipient of the tiny Bible . I am currently in possession of the Bible which belongs to my mother, but I like the idea that it has visited me, me whose middle name is Susanne (sort of in between the Susan of my grandmother and the Susannah of my great-great-aunt.
I like the letter that Susie wrote below and her description of Arthur makes me appreciate him so many decades later.
Oct 16, 85
Dear Aunt Grace,
It is some time since I received your last letter. I have been waiting so that I could tell you some news. I am keeping house! I thought maybe I never should, but I am, and have been now four weeks. I was a little fearful that I might not be able to stand the work and thought before writing I would make sure. I think I feel even better than when I was doing nothing. Through the summer I could be out with my flowers and help Arthur and my life was tolerable, but when I thought of passing another such winter as I did last, I could not endure the mere thought of it. If the Lord gives me strength and health for only this year it will pay me. I think I am better in all aspects by having my mind taken up with something. My work is not hard just for us two every thing is real handy for me. We have the west part of the house and I have a nice cupboard and my room has a carpet with oil cloth all around the stove. My flour barrel is just off the head of the stairs in the dark chamber and the cellar is no farther for me than it is for them. Arthur is just splendid about helping me and says I’m a boss cook. I used to often say if I should die Arthur wouldn’t miss me much for I never had any chance to make myself necessary to him. I tell him if it was not for that horrid trouble I should be perfectly happy, but it is not wise for us poor mortals to have no trouble. I only pray that I may have my strength a while longer and maybe then I could oversee and have it easier than I have done. I hope you are all well as usual. I would so much liked to have seen you all this summer but will wait now till next if we are all spared. I shall not go to Milwaukee either. I could have gone very cheap at one time, $2.75 there and return and a Ticket to the Exposition but we did not have the money and the Exposition’s closed now so will not go. I had a letter from Clara last week, she was real well and getting fat, she said. I have not heard from Grace but twice since she went home. I had lots of things to write to her but guess she don’t want to hear them. She has given up coming back of course, or would have been here before this. I saw Mrs. Kent Fair here (that was six weeks ago). She was very anxious then to hear from her as there were so many calling for Grace and she wanted to answer them but I presume Grace has seen to it. I have sent her Delinator to Kendall. I did not know where she was. I wrote and asked her to tell me where to send them, she must have known there was one due long since, but I kept waiting thinking I should hear from her. I have to repost them anyway so took it out for Mother to look at. The PM won’t forward them. I will now tell you why I did not write yesterday as I intended. I went over to see Edith. Al said he had written to Pa so perhaps told you that she had broken her arm about five weeks ago. It is broken right in the elbow and Tilly’s second one broke hers in the same place about ten weeks ago. Edith looks for thin and pale. I wanted to bring her home with me but Al had got to take her to the Dr. again today. I guess Uncle Billy’s folks are well but do not see any thing of them they are out with us. I’m sorry but can’t help it. Mattie has been very poorly awhile ago but is better now, was down to see me this afternoon but I had gone into one of the neighbors and she went back home. Myra is working down on the Prairie now at Mr. Godfrey’s. Give my love to Auntie when you see her and all the Elroy friends, with a large share for you all at home.
Your affectionate niece, Susie
Thursday, June 18, 2009
This photo is a little fuzzy looking due to having been taking through a screen when the sun was getting lower on the horizon. My little house finch friends.
You can't really tell because of the motion and the screen, but this is the chickadee that I thought must be a fledgling at first. Feathers were sticking out all directions! Looked more like a cartoon character than a little bird.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Duncan, one of our two masculine feline's, demonstrated his printer sleeping capabilities a few posts ago, an ability he still excells in at inconvenient times. At the moment I need to print nothing, so the printer lies quiet and empty.
Since our daughter, Caspian's "mom," has been out of town for three months, Caspian, four years older than Duncan and much more tabby looking, has determined that the antidote to his lonliness is watching over me as I work. He does make it difficult at times to get through tasks in a timely manner. But at least this not-so-little, but always-decorative work impediment is soft and generally moveable when necessity arises!
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Dearest Husband, Friend, Companion
Solace of my earthly joys
None so near in heart communion
None like this each grief destroy.
Absence us has separated;
Days like weeks they seem to be.
Time I have not overrated
Thought the weeks are only three.
From your presence I’m absented
Though in spirit feel thee near
Cannot from you be contented
Though I mingle with friends dear.
Could your presence be demanded
Swift I’d call you to my arms
But this boon must be suspended
Enjoyment seek in other charms.
Love hath bound us in affection
May this ever be our theme
When we can on retrospection
Glance with pleasure on life’s scenes
Heaven lend thee richest blessing
Scatter flowers in your way
Those immortal worth possessing
Wreathe thy brow in endless day
Heaven keep thee dear companion
In the path of duty go.
May our souls enjoy reunion
If we meet no more below.
Mary W. H. R.
*Mary Wight Healy was one of the daughters of the Nathaniel Healy -- of yesterday's post on the death of his brother. Mary Wight Healy was born on 10 Aug 1822. She married Abiel Graham Richardson in 1843 or thereabouts. They apparently had two children, Clarence, who shows up in the census records and Carona H Richardson, born in the 1850's of whom I have so far found out little so don't know how long she lived. Abiel Richardson worked as a carpenter and also as a farmer, but his first love was being a minister. He died in 1892 and Mary lived at least until 1900 when she shows up living with her son Clarence, his wife Eva and their three children in the 1900 US Census. I am always a little surprised by Mary's hairline in this photo, but I've always heard that this is what happens when you wear your hair tightly tied back, and apparently it is true!
Monday, June 01, 2009
Sept 18th 1807*
I to the office came this eve
A letter here I do receive
Whose contents causes me to grieve
Though welcome information
My brother’s dead a solemn sound
What words more painful can be found
He’s dead and buried in the ground
Where he must turn to dust
God’s ways are equal he is just
Though he take our relation
Though he was active brave and smart
Death’s haggard arrow pierced his heart
‘Twas far beyond the Surgeon’s art
To give him respiration
Yet though the grave his body binds
And death his active limbs confine
We trust in glory still he shines
Nor does know grief or woe
Or any pain he felt below
How blest his situation
My reason bids me not to weep
Faith says Death’s not an endless sleep
This glorious hope my soul does keep
From bitter lamentation
By Charity I am inclined
To think that he with all mankind
Will be so happy as to find
That reward which was stored
In Heaven’s archives by the Lord
Before the worlds foundation
Let thoughts like these dry up each tear
Our grief assuage our bosoms cheer
He now in Heaven does appear
How blest his situation
We all believe this is the case
And that the time rolls on apace
When we again shall him embrace
There remain free from pain
Nor shall we ever part again
Or know a separation.
My sister Lydia well I know
This is to you a heavy blow
It fills your soul with grief and woe
And sad solemnization
The frailty of our race we see
Not long ago he seemed to be
As healthy and robust as we
Now grim Death takes his breath
And he a lifeless corpse is left
The grave is now his station
Methinks in tears I hear you say
I’ve lost my comfort and my stay
My Partner dear has turned to clay
How sad a dispensation
Where ‘ere my weeping eyes I place
I there behold his empty space
No more on earth I see his face
None can guess my distress
I bid adieu to happiness
Till I again embrace him
Cease my dear sister to lament
Had you a life of hatred spent
This would your sorrow much augment
And be an aggravation
If you to quarrel were inclined
Or if you treated him unkind
A cause for mourning there you’d find
But you know, ‘twas not so
Your heart was ready to bestow
Relief on each occasion
Why should we murmur or complain
That he has left this world of pain
And has gone home with Christ to reign
To reign throughout duration
Though we with tears bedew his urn
We would not wish him to return
From seraphs which adore and burn
Where his mind is refined
Far more than those who are left behind
Of any sect or nation
My parents dear I you address
My soul does feel for your distress
In pangs too poignant to express
On this most sad occasion
Though you in age are called to mourn
The loss of one whom you have borne
Whom death has lately from you torn
Do not grieve but believe
God has a right him to receive
He lends us our relations
Though of a child you are bereft
Which like a limb was from you cleft
Remember you’ve eleven left
In healthful situation
Though you have lost a hopeful son
Yet he of six is only one
Whose labors o’re whose work is done
He is not dead only fled
To Jesus Christ our living head
There to receive Salvation
When Hannah for a son did sigh
Remind her partner’s kind reply
Far better than two sons am I
The nearest of relations
God does you each to other spare
Your woes in union you can bear
Your mutual joys together share
There we find God is kind
We yet have blessings left behind
His character death chose to place
Beyond the reach of foul disgrace
Where slander daren’t show his face
And vice can never enter
From Virtue he on earth could fall
The sphere he moved in was too small
His maker him vouchsafes to call
To that good where his soul
Did aim as magnet to the pole
Or matter to the center
My brothers and my sisters all
This is to us a solemn call
‘Mongst old and gray, great and small
Death spreadeth devastation
We to the level must be brought
The plumb must try each act and thought
How diligently then we ought
To prepare since we are
To come to that all trying square
Which knows no deviation
May wisdom from the East direct
The West to strengthen and protect
May Beauty cover each defect
By speedy reformation
That when the Angel’s trump shall sound
To call the dead from underground
We may be tried and worthy found
To be blessed with the rest
Which Paul in Beauty has expressed
Unto the Hebrew nation
*Most geneologies have Samuel listed as having died on September 30th of that year. So I do not know whether the person who copied this (which I believe was Evalina Richardson Thompson from the handwriting) wrote the wrong month or if he died rather the end of August instead of September. I haven't seen documentation for date yet but will attempt to ascertain that in the future. This Nathaniel Healy was born July 10, 1785, married Jane Tabor a few months after this was written, and died on 19 Feb 1841. Samuel was born 11 June 1783 and so was two years older than Nathaniel. Samuel's wife in various family histories is reported as Lydia Barker and this poem confirms that his wife's name was Lydia. It also confirms the number of children of their parents, John Healy and Mary Wight. They actually had a total of 13 children, but one, a girl, Katherine, had died nine years earlier in 1789 at 34 years of age.
Friday, May 22, 2009
My folks were Jim Reeves fans while I was growing up and while walking through these magnificent woods, I could hear "My Cathedral" in the background of my memory. We also rode a cable car up through the woods and enjoyed a fabulous Native American museum. We walked on the beach and ate every meal out and had latte's across the state. What a fun, fun trip!