Friday, June 15, 2007

Train Excursion Photos

Thomas watches out the window.

What our neck of the woods looks like.

Pardon those filthy toenails! Eeeks...Those foot rests brought back childhood memories for me as well. I annoyed the heck out of the passenger sitting in front of me because I played and played with that thing, swinging it full circle, moving it up and down. I told Thomas and he gave it a try.

The lounge of the women's restroom. Not as nice as I remembered.

In case you've never seen a toilet on a train.

Dare I say it, but these 1950s cars are much more comfortable and roomy than today's Amtrak.

Bob, with a smile on his face.

Trains, Trains, Trains: Aren't We Lucky?

Today has been the best day I've had for a long time. I felt good all day, and I've been sickly for the past couple weeks. That alone was great. However, I got a kick out of Carole's blog this morning and while I was reading that, I got a call from Bob at work.

A few weeks ago they were handing out free tickets for a train excursion from a town about 20 miles from here to our town and back. It was a safety train excursion put on by Union Pacific. Our train club had been given tickets to distribute. When Bob told the head hauncho how many tickets he wanted, the guy told him: UP rules, NO children. Bob said then I don't want your tickets.

We all three grumbled about the no children rule then forgot about it. Until this morning. Today was the day of the excursion. One of Bob's co-workers is also in the train club. He told Bob that it was not true that children couldn't ride along, they could. Bob called to tell me he'd be taking the afternoon off and to alter my plans. He was calling everyone in the club to get some extra tickets. We wound up with two tickets and got a third when we arrived at our destination.

Imagine my surprise when the train showed up: It was the Portland Rose. I blogged once that my father was the engineer on the very last run of the Portland Rose out of Laramie. The photo of him and the crew is on this very blog here.

The entire journey lasted two and a half hours. It brought back many memories for me. As a child, dad took me for a train ride from Laramie to Cheyenne. He wasn't as attentive as my mom was, so I ended up playing in the bathroom a lot on that trip. I just had to take a photo of the bathroom, which is a little smaller and not as nice as I had remembered.

Thomas and I called dad from the train and said, "You'll never in a million years guess what we are doing right this very minute." Dad got a kick out of it.

A good day was had by all. Even Bob, who has worked in the train industry his entire life and isn't really into trains, had a good time.

Oh My Goodness

I've been working on my genealogy this week, filling in gaps of cousins. I know my direct line pretty well. I've been working on Stonebacks and Keims who moved from Pennsylvania to Kansas in the late 1870s.

Now how weird is this? Carole at Mt. Pleasant Acadamy is hosting Adventure Mouse right now. Carole posted about their trip to French Creek State Park. I clicked on Carole's link to French Creek State Park and sprayed my coffee on my computer screen.

Lo and behold, Carole, her kids and Addie Mouse were at the very place where my 2nd great-grandparents (and 3rd, and so on) lived and worked! Hopewell Furnace is a part of French Creek State Park and that is where my Samuel and two of his brothers worked before traveling to Kansas.

I never thought I'd be green with envy over a mouse's adventures. The mouse gets to meet all my blogging friends, travel the world, and now the mouse sees my ancestors' homeland. Oh Addie, wish I could go with you!

What a small world it really is.

Found in my research:

John Millard married Sarah Stoneback, the daughter of George and Anne Stoneback. Sarah also had a brother John. It is believed that John Millard or John Stoneback and his sister Sarah Millard moved to Mulberry Creek Kansas in 1878, and purchased a 140 acre farm for $900. It is documented that a John and Sarah left on April 2, 1878. A party was held at the Bethesda Church near Hopewell Village for them prior to their leaving. The three Stoneback brothers (John Jr., Jacob and Samuel) had worked at the Hopewell Furnace as had John Millard. A few days later 30 people including Samuel & Jacob Stoneback, the brothers of John Jr., loaded two boxcars which were part of the mail train, and headed to the same location in Kansas. The two brothers purchased each a 160 acre farm within sight of John and Sarah's farm.

John, Samuel and Jacob lived the rest of their lives in Kansas.

The Pioneers:

This is supposedly a photo of my third great-grandparents, Anne Houck and George Stoneback. A very distant cousin sent this to me but he wasn't 100% sure of its authenticity. I wonder how it felt for them to have four of their children up and move to Kansas?

This is my second great-grandfather, Samuel Stoneback, the pioneer.

This is Samuel's wife, Susanna Keim, who traveled with him to Kansas.

This is Samuel's brother, Jacob, late in his life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Feeling Nostalgic

I was going through my genealogy tonight, trying hard to relax, and came across this photo. Elsie Stoneback is my great-grandaunt. Mabel Stoneback is my second cousin twice removed. Mabel ended up marrying Allie Hunt who is behind her in the photo.

Elsie was born in 1884, so I'm assuming this photo is around the turn of the century. I am just taken with it because the young ladies all look so lovely, and the young men so handsome. I wonder what the story is behind the photo. Was it, perhaps, the 4th of July?

Were the girls hot? Were those high-necked collars bothering them? The gloves? Nah, that's the way it was then, they were used to it.

I wonder what happened to them all. I know Elsie married a gentleman by the name of Purvess and moved to California. I know she had two daughters, one of which died at birth -- on my birthday June 27th -- in 1927. I know her daughter married and had one son. But what was her story? I have a photo of her when she was much older standing with her brother, my great-grandpa. I still wonder.

I also have a photo of Elsie with her father, my 2nd great-grandfather. He was a pioneer, having moved to Kansas from Pennsylvania in the 1870s along with his wife and my great-grandpa.

What's his story? Was he a good man? Was he fun? Was he a hard worker? Did he miss his family back in Pennsylvania?

I always wonder. I assume he had a great spirit, what pioneer wouldn't? On the back of the second photo, my grandmother wrote, "Grandpa Stoneback and the goose that used to chase me."

I have many old photos, some I'll share here because it is a big part of who I am. I have always loved family history. I am trying to figure out how to provide copies of these photos to my siblings without breaking my bank. Two do not have computers.

For now, though, I'll just enjoy looking and wondering. I still admire those girls and their pure beauty, all dressed up in their finest with their beaus behind them. One small moment of their lives frozen in time for me to enjoy.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Meg at Get In, Hang On did this meme, and I thought I would follow suit.

The game is SCATTERGORIES…it’s harder than it looks! Here are the rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They MUST be real places, names, things…NOTHING made up! If you can’t think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person before you had the same 1st initial. You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Your Name: Frankie

1. Famous Singer/Band: Frank (as in Sinatra)

2. 4 letter word: four-letter word starting with F -- tee hee hee -- uhm, FORT yeah, that's it, fort

3. Street: First Street

4. Color: fuchsia

5. Gifts/Presents: flowers

6. Vehicle: Ferrari

7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: flags

8. Boy Name: Fred

9. Girl Name: Felicia

10. Movie Title: Frankenstein

11. Drink: Fresca

12. Occupation: Farmer

13. Celebrity: Farrah Fawcett

14. Magazine: First

15. U.S. City: Flagstaff

16. Pro Sports Teams: Falcons

18. Reason for Being Late for Work: flat tire

19. Something You Throw Away: furry food? filthy feather dusters?

20. Things You Shout: Fore!

21. Cartoon Character: Fred Flintstone

I'm going to tag: