November 24, 2014

Wordless Wed: Way Back When

Amanda and Wesley Wilkerson

 

Amanda (Bean) and Wesley Loren Wilkerson, Clinton, Iowa circa 1950’s? Wes had just come from work and needed a drink, I guess. :) We seem to have quite a few family pictures taken in bars.

WA State History – The Fire Lookout Builders

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“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”, so they say. Roadside signs here in Washington state give the forest fire danger level each summer and fall. They say it rains here in Washington all the time, and the locals let you believe that so we don’t have more people moving here, but the truth is, it gets pretty dry by late July and lasts into August and September at times. Forest fires have always been a part of life here in the Pacific Northwest, and always will be.

My first memory of my dad working for the State Forestry Service was when I was about 5 or 6. Of course, I took it more personally because when Dad was away on a job Mom would let us have cool things like pancakes for supper. Looking at it as an adult, I imagine that Dad probably hated those jobs building fire lookouts for the State. It was darn hard work, even for a young guy in his 30’s. One of his recollections says when he worked at the fire lookout in Raymond, “It rained every day!”.

The reason this topic is even on my family history radar is because I am transcribing a list of jobs my dad worked on throughout his life as a carpenter. In that list he mentions several of the lookouts he helped build, and I was just astounded at the sheer number of them. Some had been built decades before and were being upgraded in the mid-1950’s when he was involved, but some might have been new construction.

Somewhere, I think we might have a picture or two of some lookouts he worked on, but I found a really nifty site today that lists some of the lookouts with pictures of them when they were still in service. The website is: 

The photos on the page are indexed and I would like to show some of them here, but they are private and only viewable on the pages.

Here is a link to some of the WA state lookout towers by region. A few that Dad (W. G. Yates) worked on are: Squally Jim at Pe Ell; Entwhistle (Dad’s first job for the Forestry); Coyote Mountain; Crawford Mountain; Deep Creek, Ladd Mountain, Raymond, Capitol Peak (gone now; Dad said you could see the Pacific Ocean on a clear day!); Elk Rock – near Mt. St. Helens; and even one here in Port Orchard. The logo above is from Rex’s site and I have made it a link to his main page if you would like to give him a visit.

This is just tiny glimpse into one man’s work accomplishments and contributions. Dad was of the G.I. Generation since he was born in 1920 and a WWII veteran. I miss him every day.

More from iPentimento:

 

COG – Modest Genealogy Goals For 2010

Carnival of Genealogy

I don’t usually make New Year’s goals, but here are some things I hope to accomplish this year in my personal and professional genealogy:

  • Last month I ordered a Civil War pension file for George O. Barlow, an ancestor of my niece-in-law Jill Hohensee Yates, and after it comes in the mail I hope to glean some additional information from it before sending the records on to Jill’s mom Carol. I’ve been doing some research on Mr. Barlow through Ancestry and other sites too, as well as collecting pictures of headstones from Find-A-Grave. When I feel I have ‘enough’ and have reached a stopping place in the research, I plan on putting it all on disk for a backup version and then printing most of it off for a notebook to give to the family.

Genealogy vs Real Life

My own family research has taken a far back seat this last year as my husband and I adjust to him being retired. When he was working I could allow myself several hours a day of an uninterrupted wallow in my paperwork, pictures and emails as I forged ahead filling in the family trees. We have some home projects going this year (bathroom remodel, raised bed garden) but once those are done I might be able to get some genealogy done. I would really like to have a cook to make meals so I would only have to show up to eat. ;)

  • It’s a never-ending quest to find my ancestor Miles Yates who married Deborah Holmes in 1840 Roane County, TN.  I suspect Miles might have been a ‘family’ name, and his real first name was something else.
  • After I find the article again, I want to write about one of my Holmes cousins who was on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour as an award winning fiddle player.  She was self-taught and lived in Missouri and Iowa during the time she held her champion titles. I know she was one of my Holmes cousins, but I need to find the newspaper articles about her to state her full name. So many cousins, so little memory.

These few things should keep me busy all winter and spring, don’t you think? What are your genealogy goals for 2010?

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Newspaper Account Of Genealogy Goldmine

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