November 24, 2015

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Water

Water, Water Everywhere

It seems like I’ve been around water in some form almost all my life.  The above picture is of the Port Orchard, Washington marina where were currently live.  But I was born in Olympia, WA which is surrounded by water sources of many kinds: It’s located on Budd Inlet; the Deshutes River flows into the inlet from mountain snows in the Cascades.

The west side of Washington state is the ‘rainy’ side of the Cascades, while to our west is the Olympic Mountains with it’s famous rain forest. It’s not a  tropical rain forest that you would naturally think of, but a temperate one with giant firs, native maples, and ferns that grow on the side of trees.  There’s even a blue glacier up there!

My parents lived in a small logging town south of Olympia from 1926-1941 and their lives were surrounded by water there too. Nearby were lakes such as Black Lake and Deep Lake, and “cricks” and small rivers like the Black, the Cedar, Waddell.

In my article Car Camping—50’s Style I describe our trips to Waddell Crick/Creek and all the fun we had getting muddy, wet and enjoying food in the great outdoors.   The article is on my older blog Pentimento if you have time to read it.

Florida Beaches & Rivers, and The Mississippi at Clinton

That’s not the extent of my adventures with “water” though.  When I left home after getting married in 1970 we visited for a short time in Jim’s home town of Clinton, Iowa.  Clinton is right smack dab on the Mississippi River and is the eastern most point in the state.  I remember the night we drove up on the levee to see the river and having ( Bye Bye) American Pie playing in my head. Oh, and we were in a ’57 Chevy too. :)

I don’t remember being around water when we were in Germany, other than knowing the Rhine River was not too far away.  We came back to Iowa in 1972 and for eight years I got to know the Mississippi in all it’s incarnations: at flood stage, frozen over, brown and dirty, and full of nice cat fish.  Our travels brought us to Port Orchard again in 1980 (just after the volcano blew!) and we lived here until we migrated again, this time to Amelia Island in Florida.

Amelia Island is located at the northeastern most point of Florida and a barrier island with the St. John River flowing between the island and the mainland.  In order to get to the island you only cross and bridge at either end to go over the river.  North of Jacksonville, Amelia Island is a beautiful location, but it does get some cooler weather, unlike further south into the state.

The Pacific Ocean

I think I love the ocean here the best. Yes, Washington does have rocky beaches, with lots of driftwood and is prone to wild storms on occasion too. All during my childhood we made multiple trips to places like Moclips (where my uncle Lem and aunt Della Yates lived), Copalis, and Pacific Beach to dig clams or just to visit and enjoy the sound of the surf and play in the sun.  If we went with friends we’d run all over the beach (within sight of our parents), splash through the tidepools and hunker down behind the windbreaks Dad and his friend Al would build back near the rocks.

A Visit To Old Bordeaux

Thank  you to Amy Coffin at WeTree and Thomas MacEntee at GeneaBloggers for making this meme possible!

Daniel W. Ranslow Obituary 1981

I’m not going to hide it, I’m blatantly trying to get some of our family members interested in visiting this blog.  I doubt that any of them will find it tiresome though, because this is their family and I am sharing documentation and history with them.

Visitors, as usual, please click on the image until you get it full-sized. :)

Tombstone Tuesday – Clinton Iowa War Memorials

Clinton War Memorial Iowa

Jim’s home town of Clinton, Iowa has a very nice display of war memorials for the most recent wars: Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean and Vietnam.  The Civil War era memorial is for William B. Mayes who enlisted in DeWitt, Iowa and was born in Ohio.  He was a Medal of Honor Recipient and was in Company K, 11th Iowa Infantry.  He was at the Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia.  His memorial stone is also in this group of photos.

Chinese History In My 1954 Cookbook

Low Moor, Iowa Honors WWII Vets

When Johnny Comes Marching Home: After The Civil War

Tombstone Tuesday – Russell W. Volckmann

On a recent visit to Iowa my husband Jim found the gravestone of Russell William Volckmann  that I have written about several times in this blog. 

MacArthur Left But Volckmann Remained


The headstone is located in Springdale Cemetery, Clinton, Iowa (FindAGrave location).  There are several Volckmanns buried in the same general area around the General’s headstone.