Wednesday, October 17, 2012

David McIntyre - Ships Ohio and Dale

I had read awhile back that my great-great-Great grandfather David McIntyre had served in the US Navy in the Mexican War from 1846 to 1849.  This info was from his obituary as well as a book of history of Crawford County, Wisconsin.  However, I had no confirmation from any other source.  While I thought it was likely to be true, there is always the possibility he was padding his resume so to speak :-).  My distant McIntire (our families spelled them differently) cousin Kristine had suggested I contact the US archives and so I went on line and in my wandering through their site found a contact email.  I wrote, gave them the particulars on David McIntyre (including maybe McIntire) along with his birth and death dates, location and spouse name. 

To my great excitement, I received an email back confirming that David McIntire (the spelling in their records) was in the Navy and I am now in process of ordering copies of the documents from the file.  Chris, the wonderfully helpful archive specialist  told me in his original reply email that he is sure this is my David McIntire (uses that spelling) because after the war he was in Prairie du Chien, was a blacksmith, and his wife's name was Louisa.  David McIntyre was a blacksmith and in Prarie du Chien was working for the railroad in that capacity.  Chris wrote that David served on the ships USS Ohio and the USS Dale.  So now while I am waiting for the particulars, I am reading information on the Ohio and the Dale and looking forward to getting my copies of the files a few weeks from now. 

Family History hunts are so much like the "whodunnits" that I have always love to read.  And it is addicting like gambling in that you get just enough random reinforcement to keep looking a little longer and hoping to fall into another mother lode of information.  Above is a photo of a drawing of the Ohio during the Mexican war and below it is the Dale.  My hope is that the actual military record files will tell me when he was on each ship so I can match up when he was on each vessel and what events she might have been involved in which he participated.  These photos are from Wikipedia which stated that they were in the public domain. 
More information can be found at or at

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Big Bird Bath Day

Fall is coming on and it must be a good day for birds to get a good bath and to clean up before the long cold winter comes when it will be a little nippy for diving into cold water.  Today while I've been working I've had to stop a few times and try to take photos of my nervous little friends.  Above is a Junco.  Birds that have enjoyed the spa, but who were too nervous to be documented include a Chestnut Backed Chicadee and Gold Finches (immatures and adults).  I had three little Golden Crowned Kinglet's come by (photo below) and they certainly are nervous!  But in the middle of it I was surprised and delighted to discover that what was in the camera viewfinder was a Townsend's Warbler rather than the Kinglet I had started to photograph.  What a treat.  In the 3rd photo little Towney demonstrates how to get really clean. 

Then the Kinglet's returned.  Most photos ended up blurry as they flapped and danced and ducked their heads under water.  But the slowed momentarily for documentation.  

 Finally a little Black Capped Chicadee hopped into the mix and scattered Chestnut Backed Chicakees and Gold Finches. 
I love having the bird bath right next to my window.  Such a delightful group of small winged friends.  The Anna's hummingbirds (male and female) are having a heyday as well but aren't stopping by to bathe at the moment.  They go for the top of the fountain more than the birdbath altho ONCE I did see the male come to the birdbath. 

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Missing You Sweet Sister


love you. . .

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Utah's Strongest Earthquake

In this letter Geore Stevens Sherwood talks about the March 1934 earthquake that was centered in Hansel Valley, Utah and which shows up on the internet as Utah's strongest earthquake.  It was a 6.6 earthquake.Here is more information on the earthquake for those who are interested.  He gives his first-hand impressions as well as some of the news of the day about this.  He also talks about the financial impact of the depression on his family and those around  him. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Preparing to go OVER THERE

Uncle George Stevens Sherwood, while in training at Camp Logan before heading off to WWI, sent many letters and photos home.  Not all have been matched up to the letters.  We were able to match up one photo with this letter as well as  a not listed but still fun photo of George and his "tentmates."   First names are missing, but tentmates are "Wahlstadt, Marshall and Sherwood."

"Camp Logan, Houston, Tex.

Sunday, P.M. Oct 28, ‘17

Well, here I am back in my tent. Just got back from town, where I went with Mohr, whose picture I herein enclose. We took a jitney and got to the M. E. church just in time for church, 10:30 A.M. Were treated fine by the people there. Heard some fine music by choir, also vocal and violin solos, then a fair sermon. Got out of church at 12:45. Just went straight from there down to Thompson’s Cafeteria where two poached eggs on toast and a piece of hot mince pie set me back 25 cents but they were worth it at that. Then we walked out to the union station and around town awhile, then went to a movie then chartered a fliver and came back to camp. And now I am writing to my dear folks back home, or at least trying to when the noise in here will allow me to.
You ask for a sketch of our days work. So I give an abbrieved (coined by me) schedule:

5:45 First Call
6:00 Assembly and Roll Call (as fully dressed)
6:10 Physical exercise
6:30 Mess
8:00 Drill or Detail work
12:00 Mess
1:30 Drill, work or loaf
5:30 Retreat
6:00 Mess
10:00 Taps –lights out

(Photo of Mohn - otherwise known as #5 below)

I am still waiting to hear how much I owe you.
This is a nice sunshiny day with cool breeze blowing.
If I don’t get down to real work soon I will be as fat as ever, I guess. Did I tell you before that we have received over 1,000 draft men from Rockford.

Now to explain the views or snapshots, I should say.
No. 1 is explained on the back. Our tent is next to last to be seen at far end of street.
No. 2. Mohr took of me when I was grinning and faking a salute, not thinking he was ready to shoot.
No. 3 Also explained on back.
No. 4 Lowery and I are studying surveying out of my book together.
No. 5. I snapped of Mohn so you could see what my pal looked like. Also so I’d have one to keep.
No. 6 was also taken the day of the Liberty Loan Celebration.

I will send you some more soon. Don’t for heavens sake let anyone see No. 2. It is awful.

Love to al,

George Sherwood"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

THEN AND NOW -- The home of Grace Gulvin Sherwood Doud

A few years ago I went to visit the address of my Great-Great-Great Aunt Grace Gulvin Sherwood Doud.  I had known she had lived at 3504 North Mason Avenue in Tacoma and wondered if the house was still there.   Grace Gulvin was the youngest daughter of Richard William Sherwood and Mary Ann Gulvin.  Grace was named for her aunt, Grace Gulvin and when young Grace was young Mary Ann died.   Richard William Sherwood then married his former sister-in-law Grace Gulvin and she was then both mother and aunt to the children.  She and Richard had three more children after that.  The younger Grace married Chester Doud and they were married from 1887 until 1921 when Chester passed away.  They had two sons, Roy (Royden) and Richard Doud.  After I had seen several of her letters I took a tour around Tacoma visiting the homes in which she had lived but I wasn't sure if it was the same house or if it was the same lot.  I thought it likely, but wasn't completely sure.  I took the color photos posted here in 2008 and discovered today the vintage photos mailed to her brother and sister-in-law, William and Ella Jane Sherwood in 1927.  Obviously it is the very home in which she lived.

 On the back of this photo it says that it was received in letter Dec 13, 1927.  Grace Doud had written "View of back of my home   - Grace Doud." 
 Two nearly identical views of the same house approximately 80 years apart.  The garage was nicely added so it's not obvious it was not an original part of the structure.
On the back of the photo it reads -- "The front of house facing the east with 3 lovely fir trees on the south side.  Grace (Pautsch - neice of Grace Doud and daughter of Clara Sherwood Pautsch) took the pictures this summer just before she went back home.  It was early and I hadn't raised the shades as the sun shines in pretty strong so the windows don't look just right as athough it had a blind side."
On the back -  "The front porch showing the wicker table and chair Grace and I painted.  They are green and oranged and looked so gay last summer.  The house was new when I bought a year ago last October (that would have been October of 1926).  Grace Doud's Home." 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Congrats Graduate Grandma -- A Century Ago -- from KENDALL HIGH SCHOOL

One hundred years ago (and a couple of weeks added because I did not think of this early enough), my grandmother Susan Rosina Sherwood graduated from Kendall High School in Kendall, Wisconsin.   I believe this is her graduation photo and I know this is her diploma, as I photographed the original. It is much to large to scan at home.  The diploma lists all the things in which the student had shown proficiency.  I'm impressed!  And not only does her diploma state that she was proficient, but Grandma spent her life attempting to influence her family, friends and political leaders of what was necessary for them to do the very best for themselves, their families and their country.   She loved the old farm known by various names over the decades - Spring Brook Farm; Pine Terraces; The Old Home Farm; The Old Weber Farm - and I do wonder how her life might have been different had she spread her little wings and flown away.  Since I inherited her penchant for nostalgia, I can hardly complain and I can't thank her enough for being the hoarder of family letters and history that she was.  Susan was the daughter of William and Ella Jane (Stevens (Atwater)) Sherwood.  She was born February 1, 1894 and went to meet her Maker on August 14, 1987.  She was mother to four children, William, Mary, Robert, all of whom have followed her there as well.  A century ago she had just reached this educational rite of passage and like all other graduates was looking toward what her future might hold.    She never went to college but she was very articulate and well able to communicate in writing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Baby Letha Lenore Sherwood in 1923

Letha Lenore Sherwood was born in October of 1922 in Utah (maybe Woodside, maybe Price), the eldest daugther of George and Atha Farnham Sherwood.   These are some of the earlierst photos I've seen. It says on the back that these photos were taken in Price Utah April 13, 1923. 

Letha was my father's first cousin and my father,Robert Sherwood Weber, was born ten or so days before the letter below was written and two months after these photos were taken. 

He is the subject of the comments about the "new boy" and "Dear Little Babe."  This letter gives a little insight into their daily lives. Top photos are George Sherwood and his daughter, Letha on the porch swing and then two  photos of Letha and Atha. 
"June 17, 1923
Dear Mother:
I suppose this letter will be at least two days late for your birthday, but am going to write it now anyhow and mail it tomorrow anyhow. Letha is teething and sure peevish, especially evenings, so with gardening operations and all have had no time this last week to get birthday letters off to you. Bless her heart, she has finally given up and gone to Slumber Lane by the sound. Or maybe it’s a false alarm.

Well, Mother O’Mine [Ella Jane Stevens Sherwood], wish we could be there to celebrate with you and that you had some of the lovely strawberries Atha canned last night to celebrate on too. But expect berries must be about ripe there by now too. How is Sister and the new boy. No news is good news we hope and trust but we anxiously wait a more detailed account as we have rec’d only your first hurried note. Well, I watered part of the company garden this A.M. and went out to Dora’s and cultivated a little this P.M. which is a heathenish way to spend Sunday and now I’m paying for it in being tired tired tired for we manage to keep on the jump from 8 AM to 6:30 PM at the Lumber Yard six days a week and I am well nigh held responsible for the loading and unloading as well as town deliveries now most of the time so it keeps me moving and planning.
Now with an earnest prayer that you may enjoy a birthday full of joy, health, and happiness tomorrow and on each succeeding June 18th for many years, I’ll close this letter of greeting and love to our dear dear Mother Mine.

[Changes to Atha’s handwriting]

Now I will add my little lines of Love and best wishes for a happy Birthday tomorrow and many more to follow. Wish we could all be together to make it more completely happy but as we can’t we can send our Love and Greetings by mail.

Well as it is late and the Baby finally gone to sleep I expect we better close this and sleep while we can as my Lover-Boy is very tired tonight.

Love to Susan and that Dear little Babe for us, also Daddy.

So much much Love to our Dear Mother from her loving Children.

Letha, Atha and George

Friday, June 01, 2012

1916 Explosion at Miller, South Dakota Roundhouse

I found this postcard with papers previously belonging to my step-great-grandmother, Ida Marie Sherman who married Charles Lorenzo Vandervort (and became step-mother to his three children)and a decade after he passed away she married John William Radloff.  Charles Lorenzo Vandervort worked for the railroad as an Assistant Master Mechanic.  He worked for the Milwaukee/St. Paul Railroad in Milwaukee from 1890 to 1901.  He worked for the Soo Line in Enderline N Dakota, Gladstone and Minneapolois from 1901 to Nov 1922.  He died in  1 941.  He worked for the Rail road for a total of 31 years according to his wife's notes. He and Ida likely had this postcard since they lived in North Dakota at that time. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Farewell to Mother Susan Sherwood Weber by William Philip Weber

The photo above shows the Herman and Susan Sherwood Weber family probably around 1938 or so.  The Sherwood family runs to prematurely gray hair and Susan was no exception.  Susan's first born son was William Philip Weber and he was born on May 31, 1919 while is uncle George Sherwood was on his way home from World War I.  William,  Uncle Bill and I knew him, was a most compassionate and caring son to his mother Susan in her declining years.  These are his thoughts about her last moments in his own words.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Small Treasure from Mary Elizabeth Tillotson

Mary Elizabeth Tillotson copied a poem in 1916 which was entitled either "Lament of a Little Girl" or a "Little Girl's Plaint" depending on where you find it.  I could not discover a specific author although I'm certain that there must have been one! 

Let's see if I can make this simple. My great-grandmother was Ella Jane Stevens, but she was born Julia Eldora Welch.  She was the birth daughter of Mary Elizabeth Richardson and Evi Welch and was born in Topsham, VT where her father died when she was an infant.  Her mother later married Martin Dexter and they had several more children.  David and Rosina Jane (Richardson) Stevens, her aunt and uncle had no children and when Julia was 5 (about a week shy of her 6th birthday) she was adopted by them.  Martin and Mary Elizabeth (Richardson) Dexter had a daughter they named Bertha Dexter and Bertha was about three months old when Julia was adopted by the Stevens family.  Mary Elizabeth, Bertha and Julia Eldora (Ella Jane)'s mother, died when Bertha was about 12 years old.  When Bertha grew up she married Sylvester Tillotson and they had five children.  The youngest child was Mary Elizabeth Tillotson who I assume was named for Bertha's mother, Mary Elizabeth Richardson Welch Dexter.  As adults, Bertha and Ella Jane (formerly Julia) began corresponding and continued exchanging letters until their deaths, eight days apart in July of 1925. 
I imagine that this cute little poem was copied by Mary Elizabeth either purposely to be sent to Ella Jane, or as a school lesson -- nice cursive at 8 years old -- and shared with her distant aunt.  Bertha was always very proud of her children's accomplishments, as was Ella Jane.  Mary Elizabeth Tillotson - who apparently married someone by the name of Bean that I haven't tracked down yet -- lived to be 83 years old.  Should any of her children or grandchildren wander across this blog, I hope they will enjoy this small look into her childhood. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Ben Hur Flour

I had never really thought about flour in terms of the drama of chariot races! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Mother's Doll

When my sister, brother and I were going through the folk's house, dividing up things, we took turns over and over as we went through each room. One thing that I decided to take, purely for sentimental reasons, was my mother's doll. I figured I'd just put in in a box and keep it because it had one major flaw. Only one of the two eyes that opened and closed would "open." The second eye had the white part and blue iris was either stuck facing backwards or the paint had come off. They look was rather creepy and I really had no idea what to do with it since I would NOT want to look at it all the time. But it was mom's and so I didn't want to have it thrown away.

About six months ago I was driving to visit a client in Bellevue when I drove by a sign that said "Doll Museum." In an instant I realized I should give them a call and see if they thought it could be repaired. A few days later I remembered and called. They referred me to a woman in Shoreline who repairs all kinds of dolls and she had time to see me right away. She thought it would be simple to repair and so I left the doll with her and waited to see how it would all turn out. Awhile later I was informed that she was all better! It turns out this this is a composition doll, probably made sometime after 1916. Mom was born in '23 so that seems to fit fairly well. The doll has the original factory clothing -- pink and orange. In this last photo, I have her sitting in my highchair. It's hard to believe how many years it has been since I sat in this chair! The woman who repaired the doll thinks that my photo of mom and her doll may not be the same one, but since I know mom did not have much -- they were pretty poor -- I shall just assume she was holding someone else's doll or it is the same one and it is just the glare of the lighting that makes it difficult to tell.

I am so pleased with how the doll turned out and enjoy looking at her now. I wish I had had this "brilliant" idea a decade ago and could have had it repaired for mom years ago. A million regrets, but millions more more moments of gratitude for my wonderful parents.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Big Thaw - the end of Snowzilla

Things are definitely beginning to thaw here in the Pacific Northwest. It must have started last evening before the temperature dropped again because we had one great icicle on our house and the neighbors had a whole row of them. You'll notice on our single icicle above that the water is running off the end of it. I remember as a kid we loved icicles and would break them off and suck on them. Hm. I suppose we could have been ingesting all kinds of not so good things, but it was fun and tasted good! We would also have sword fights. The neighbor's icicles below are quite decorative!

The snow is gone from the tree in the backyard, but the biggest indication that the weather has turned for the moment (besides the rain which just started after I began typing) is the fact that the birds thought it was time for a major bath event. We heat the birdbath when it is freezing (you can maybe sort of make out the heating element in the photos below) but while the water never froze and they often stopped by to drink, none of the birds took a bath during the snowy week past. Today,however, things have changed.

Today they have all jumped in and they keep shoving each other out of the way over and over again. Take a look at what they are doing to my office window. The robin simply shoved his way in and all the pine siskins & finches bolted!
A trio of starlings came by as well and completely took over the bird bath, but they were not intetered in being photographed!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snowy Feathered Friends

Just a few more photos of our weather with some of our feathered friends featured! Above is my little hummingbird friend at my office window feeder. I couldn't believe it snowed again ALL DAY today. A week of snow!!

This little Robin is enjoying the heated bird bath.

We've been happy to have a Varied Thrush hanging about in our yard -- we think he lives in the "bramble" in the corner of the yard that is covered with currant, thimbleberry and grasses.

Flocks of birds have been hanging out waiting to cycle through the feeding station!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom

Mom would have been 89 years old today if she had not passed away in summer of 2010. While we miss her very much we know that she is in a better place. We know that because we live in the Lord we never have to say goodbye for the last time. Happy Birthday sweet mommy.

Snowzilla Reprise

Looking a little bit more like a frosted cake than a bird-bath -- here's our demonstration of how much snow we had in the last couple of days. Of course some has come and gone, but here is today's volume.

Another wonderful day in the Northwest Winter Wonderland. Well, I work from home anyway, so not too much different. BUT it was definitely another great snow day. We woke this morning to news reporters describing the "inches to foot" of snow down south -- more toward Tacoma and West toward Ocean Shores. For a little while we thought maybe the front had come through south of us and we would be spared. But that was not too be. That was good too because since my husband isn't working and therefore isn't making money, he likes to feel that his decision was justified. An hour or so later here came the snow. We try to keep our little feathered friends well fed during days like this. We had to bring the humming bird food in mid-day for a refresher melt. The little guy flew to the first feeder holder which is an "umbrella" with a hook for the feeder to hang upon. No food. He then flew to the other side of the tree for the second feeder - no food. Last, he flew to my office window feeder - no food. Well, not to be completely stymied, he flew back to the first feeder and perched on the hook, apparently waiting for the food to return (which it shortly did :-) ). We have had House Finches, Junco's, Nuthatches, Varied Thrush, Towhee, Pine Siskins, Gold Finches and Hummingbirds around all day. Here are a few of today's residents. We had to put the millet under the ground feeder rather than in it because the food kept getting covered up by snow. They figured it out really quickly however!

This evening the snow turned to freezing rain which makes for a very crunchy, slick surface. Looks like another good morning at home tomorrow. I tried to cancell a doctor appointment scheduled for tomorrow, but the clinic was closed today. I left a message - but they didn't get it as I got home this afternoon (we walked to Blockbuster to return our movies) to a message reminding me of the appointment. I guess those people work from home as well because the clinic was closed! The battery on the camera was dying, hence the darkness of the photo -- but I think the ice on top comes through just fine!