Monday, September 13, 2021

To celebrate our 45th Anniversary we went to Johnstown Pa, the site of the 1889 Flood that took 2200 lives. We'd been to the downtown flood museum and the historic cemetery before. This visit we went to the top of the hill, 14 miles from town, where the dam for the South Fork Hunting and Fishing club lake broke.


Friday, August 6, 2021

Ree and Me

 On a trip home to West Virginia from Colorado, we made a side trip to Pawhuska, Oklahoma to visit Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile and Bakery. I'd read that the Drummond Ranch Lodge, where the Food Network segments are filmed, was open for tours certain weeks of the year. The Drummond Ranch is huge and we enjoyed the view. The 120,000 acre ranch is home to wild horses. At the Lodge, the hostess told us "Ms. Ree" has just cleaned out her props and set a table of ones she was giving away. I got the very pan she used on set! I loved seeing the kitchen at the Mercantile too.  2021

For more, check my food blog:

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Grain & Trains

As grain and train enthusiasts. we so enjoyed our first trip through Kansas. The scenery was spectacular. Ever town had a grain elevator, train yards and (at one time) hundreds of hopper cars filled with grain.l In Wilson, we ate Sunday dinner at a packed restaurant called "Made from Scratch".

 Jim Lawson at Kansas originals asked me to select 2 songs from his playlist. I chose "Blue Moon" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" He was a grain farmer and told me about the old days.


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Mile High


When Greg and Michelle said they’d be visiting Denver from their home in Sweden, we packed up the car to go see them. What a fun time we had. We met them at their Airbnb and walked to Rye Society for lunch. After we splurged at a fancy donut store that looked like a gift shop. They walked to our hotel for dinner and we had a nice one at a nearby Greek Restaurant.

From our motel, we walked to the capitol the next day and posed for pictures at the mile high spot. We all enjoyed the cultural center and our lunch there too. Bob and I always gave leftovers to the kids to enjoy at breakfast. We watched James May in Japan shows and YouTube videos at their place.

On day 3 we met Michelle’s sister Christina and her new baby Samuel at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal for two fun trips along the 11 mile road. While we didn’t see buffalo, we did see mule deer and prairie dogs, not native to West Virginia. Another lunch at the Rye Society where the servers treated us like friends, then a fun trip to a Butterfly Pavilion.  There Greg and I took turns holding Rosie the Tarantula. We cooled off at dinner under a tent during a rain storm while Bob and I shared a Steak N’ Shake milkshake and they tested craft beers. What a joy it was to all being together.

July 2021


Thursday, July 1, 2021

Abraham Johnson


Patterson Creek is a tributary of the North Branch Potomac River in West Virginia (then Virginia). George Washington and his surveying party entered the mouth of the creek, swam their horses over, got in canoes and traveled 15 miles up the creek to the settlement of Abram Johnson where they camped overnight,. Johnsons' original home was on the site of the present Kuykendall Farm house. His grave is across the road.

Abram was an official of the Ohio Company and proprietor of the first store in Ridgeley. "America's First Chain Store Corporation", funded by wealthy London and Virginia gentlemen established a chain of heavily constructed stores, later confiscated as forts, where settlers could exchange grain, hogs and tobacco for "blankets, red shroud, half thicks, liker and ches". The road surveyed and built by the company from upper Potomac Valley to Pittsburgh was the first east to west men traveled. 

During the French and Indian War, Johnson and family returned to New Jersey for a while when a friendly Indian warned him the Indians were planning to kill him. The friendly Indian protected Abram's home from being raided and destroyed like many others in the area. Throughout his life, Abraham was a prominent figure in Public affairs.

Abraham Johnson is our 6th great-grandfather. He is the father of Elizabeth, married to Aaron Duckworth. Buried here is Abraham, and wife Rachel, their son William and wife Catharine and grandson Okey with wife Nancy. Recent ground penetrating radar tests of the cemetery sited some 30 graves. The large stone is possibly one of a slave. Great grandchildren erected the large monument.

Abraham Johnson timeline:

  • 1748-granted 293 acres and a mill on Patterson Creek.
  • 1750-named proprieter to Ohio Company store in Ridgeley-stays there during the week.
  • 1754-Hampshire County Tax Collector.
  • 1758-goes to New Jersey to avoid hostile Indians.
  • 1767-Colonial Virginia Justice of Peace.
  • 1772-High Sheriff.
  • 1782-Census taker.
  • 1790-sells 219 acres and mill to Reese.

Friday, June 11, 2021

May Cemetery


May Cemetery in Maysville, WV (Grant County) was neglected and overgrown.

In search of Dad's maternal grandfather Millard Whetsell's grave, i was thrilled when I thought I found it. I did not. What I did find was the marker for Millard's mother-Mary Whetsell and her niece, Lillie E. Iman. Lillie was born the same year as Millard's daughter Mae and also died young.

It was Millard who erected the large stone for his mother and niece.

Mary lived with Millard in 1900. Mary and Lillie lived with Millard in 1910. After Mary died, Lillie was back with her parents (Frank and Rosa) and siblings in the same dwelling as Millard. At that time (1920) Millard was a postmaster in Emoryville, an unincorporated coal town in Mineral County.

Looks like Mary had 4 kids with husband Israel: Millard, John, Rosa and Albert.

I hope to get back to this cemetery again, maybe next spring when the leaves are not out on the trees and the light is better. Next time we'll park at the bottom of the hill across from the Fire Department and walk up the rut filled road.

Henry and Anna


J. Henry Fier was born in 1867. His parents came from Germany. He and Anna married in 1894. Henry lived in Allegany County Md. until 6 years before his death when he moved to Akron. He worked in the coal mines and farmed. In 1920, Henry worked as a janitor in the Public Schools.

Henry had red hair and brown eyes. He had 2 sisters. Carrie was the oldest and never married. In 1910 she lived in Woodland (near Frostburg) with Henry and family, then again with the family on Hammond Street. Henry's middle daughter is named Carrie.

Henry and Anna Fier had 8 children-5 boys and 3 girls.

Anna Ferrens Fier was born in 1870 and died in 1949. Her parents came from Scotland. Anna married Henry when she was 23.

Grandma Fier had brown hair and dark eyes. She was short and wore a lot of petticoats. Grandma made her clothes and her kids' clothes. She even made umbrellas. Anna was wiry-always on the move. She ate oatmeal everyday.

Mom stayed with her in Akron Ohio. Grandma Fier carried her groceries 6 blocks. On Sundays, she would not work. When it was time for the boys to go home she would say "Nighta".

When Henry died in 1930, their son Christopher was living with them in Akron. In 1940 Anna lived in Akron with her son James, his wife Nell and their son James.