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Monday, August 31, 2009

Memory triggers - -snap goes the flea.

Funny how our minds work, something happens during the day, many times something very minor, and BAM, our memory banks are flooded. Happened here this AM.

My activity was the killing of one very small, almost minuscular bug. I mean, he was just a wisp. And, then he was no more. Sorry bug, but you are NOT welcome in my kitchen!

My next thought was of my grandmother Bowen and how she killed fleas. I could actually see her in my mind’s eye digging fleas off the family cat and taking her nail, to well, snap that nasty flea in two. She was relentless and she never flinched. Actually, I believe she took some delight in breaking them in half! She would chase those fleas around on the cat’s body, never giving up the chase till she got them and snap, you had to hear the snap, she informed me, or they would not be dead, as fleas are notoriously tough.

Then, my thought processes wandered around to how she lived in a different time, well before the Orkin man, eh?? I wondered, did they even have flea powder available from the local veterinarian?? Hmmm, something else to google sometime, the development of flea powder.

Anyway, in my little trip down memory lane, I guess I figured, if they did not have the flea powder or the Orkin man, then gramma B’s method of flea control was all she knew. May have been all she knew, but, she did it well! Snap!

I still don’t know why my mind jumped from my little wisp of a dead bug to gramma B’s snapping of fleas.

I am not even sure why I wrote this blog. Snapping fleas, ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Memory triggers, strange things, eh??

*Next memory trigger: Aunt Geneva who hated thistles with a passion, and she passed that hatred on to me. And believe me, they are harder to kill than those fleas ever were.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

79th Carnival of Genealogy, Carnival of Family Reunions, Lashbrook style

This is my contribution to the Carnival of Family Reunions!

This edition is being hosted by M. Diane Rogers at CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt'

Her challenge is, in part: Have you been to a family reunion recently? What do you know about past family reunions?

Did not attend this reunion, it took place in 1933, a few years before I was the twinkle in my daddie’s eye. As matter of fact, this is Man’s family, not mine, and he was not a twinkle either.

This photo came to me from Helen Gallmeyer DeWitt, a family member that lives in the area of Iowa where this reunion was held. If she told me how she came to have the photo, I apologize, as I do not remember. A few years ago we visited Iowa and she shared oodles and oodles of information and photos with me. She left them with me for several nights and I scanned for hours and hours. Believe I scanned over 200 photos and other family history delights.

Helen had marvelous photos, many, if not most, with names. She had no idea who some of the people were, however, I did know. In her collection I found this photo of the Lashbrook family reunion that took place in 1933. The really wonderful thing was that there was also a list of everyone IN the photo. Talk about a genie-jackpot!

I scanned this photo at a very high resolution and size. This allowed me to Photoshop individual faces out of the group photo. For many of these people I had NO photo at all until the family reunion photo was given to me. One of my genie-goals is to have a photo for everyone in my data base, sadly, many of these photos are of headstones, not the person when they were alive. This family reunion photo helped me towards that genie-goal.

What a wonderful gift this photo is, I thank Helen Gallmeyer DeWitt for her generosity and sharing, and the party, unknown to me, that identified all these relatives.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

How many ancestors did you "meet" ?

Well Randy Seaver is at it again, challenge time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

Here is your challenge for tonight (or whenever you read this):

1) Write down which of your ancestors that you have met in person (yes, even if you were too young to remember them).

2) Tell us their names, where they lived, and their relationship to you......

While compiling the list, I realized I had written blogs about most of these people, see links. Cept for Ida’s, hers is, well, maybe, sorta about her.

I have color coded the relationships, Blue for Father's lineage, Red for Mother's lineage.

Father: Donald Eugene Bowen, born Virginia, lived many years in Michigan, died in South Carolina.

Donald’s Father (my grandfather): Hayden Eugene Bowen, born Georgia, lived most of his live around Norfolk Virginia where he died.

Hayden’s Father (my great-grandfather): Joseph Eugene Bowen, born Georgia, lived many years in both Georgia and Virginia, died Georgia. I could have met him, we were both alive at the same time, with just a month or so overlap, I seriously doubt I ever met him. So, I won’t count him.

Donald’s Mother (my grandmother): Florence Ruth Dews Bowen, born Virginia, lived in Virginia and North Carolina, died in North Carolina.

Florence’s Mother (my great-grandmother): Lorena Estelle Eley Norsworthy Dews Harlow Lenahan Collins (ya still with me here???), born, lived and died in Virginia.

Mother’s Father (my grandfather): Leonard Homan Trumbo, born, lived and died in Virginia.

Mother’s Mother (my grandmother): Minnie Agnes Halterman Trumbo, lived most of her life in Virginia, moved to Florida where she died.

Minnie’s Father (my great-grandfather): David Halterman, born West Virginia, lived and died in Virginia

Minnie’s Mother (my great-grandmother): Ida Matilda Whitmer Halterman, born West Virginia, died Ohio.

How many of my ancestors did I meet, 8. Cannot count Joseph. I have written about 7 of these ancestors on my blog since April. Sorta, cause of Ida’s entry.


Hummers, the photographic challenge

This AM the hummers were quite active at the feeder. They are so enchanting and I cannot resist the photographic challenge. I pulled up the chair by the window, shot over 35 photos through the window, zooming, holding breath, shoot shoot shoot! Here are some results, most have been tweaked a bit with Adobe Photoshop. The last photo with high density of color is interesting, but the others, more gray looking ones, are closer to what my camera captured.

Sadly, I missed the best shot with my camera, 3 hummers at once, chasing each other around the feeder. It is in my mind's memory bank tho.

Photos 2 and 5 have two hummers in them. Remember if you click on the photo, it will enlarge. Please use your back button to return to the blog.

Some other hummer photos can be found at friend Karen's blog, Genealogy Frame of Mind-Tuesday and in my prior post, Hummer blur and gosling butt feathers.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Tribute to yorkies loved

In my scanning projects I continually find photos I had forgotten I had. Once found the emotions run from "Oh, my, isn't that funny, look at those hairstyles, look at those clothes! SNICKER"" to "Oh, my, I remember, wasn't that a fabulous vacation, dog, friend, - -"

My blog is about my life, my love of family, friends, RVing, nature, flowers, family history and yorkies. So far, I really have not talked about the fur kids a lot, so, here is my tribute to another one of my loves, yorkies. The yorks that have come and gone in our lives.

The other day I came across this photo of our first yorkie (Yorkshire Terrier), Sebastian. (That is a fake mouse in his mouth, snicker, a Christmas present from his human gramma. He believed it was a real mouse and you were not going to tell him otherwise.)

Sebastian, 1986, not long after his adoption. His first camping trip! By the end of the weekend he had moved himself from sleeping in a crate at night to our bed. No more crates at night for Bas or any other yorks we have been owned by.

Then came Benjamin, sometime in 1987. Sebastian (on left) was the soul that made me love Yorkies, but Benjamin (on right) was the soul that stole my heart.

Here is Benjamin all grown up, about 1994. Benj was deathly ill as a young dog, we spent a lot of ca$h to save him. I lost 12 pounds and lots of sleep during his month long illness. This did not change his personality tho, he was a sweet york, but ALL york, and until you have been owned by a york, it is all but impossible to explain. They have the spirit of a dog many times their size and not much fear.

Ahhh, then Man and I met Abigail in 1997. Up till now, the yorks were my affliction. Abby took care of Man in about 30 seconds flat. He was a gonner, totally infatuated with her. I think you can see why, she was a real cutie, and had attitude plus. Minute she hit the floor at our house she told the cats just who was boss now!

Here she is posing as a show dog, about 1998. She believed she was the alpha animal of our household, and yea, she never understood that I also thought I was the alpha. She never stopped challenging me. Spirited she was.

These three yorkie spirits came into our lives, shared our home, taught us lessons and left us for the Rainbow Bridge. You know the saying, gone but not forgotten.

"Broken hearts are what give us strength, understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect." (Source of quote unknown.)


Checkmate, Nope, Stalemate

It has been a long summer, Labor Day is almost upon us, and you realize your research has stalled.

Here are a few suggestions for jump starting your research.

Read Blogs, there are a great many that deal with genealogy and family history. It is amazing what you might find, tricks, new web sites, blogs that might make you cry, and some that will inspire you. Goodness, if you get lucky, you might find a long lost cousin.

Read forums, many of the great genealogy or research sites have forums (some also have blogs). Read them, learn the intricacies of each site, should help you be a more resourceful researcher in the future.

Check out Cyndi's List. You can get lost there for days, I can almost guarantee a visit at Cyndi's will jump start your research!

Review your own private library. Pull those books off the shelves, sit down and have a read.

Review your photos, are there names, dates, places identifying them all?? Should you be scanning some of them, sharing them with cousins and other family.

Review some of your files, I promise you, doing so will find documents and hints you forgot you had, or that have new meaning since you saw them last. While you are at it, scan the good stuff, and consider tossing the bad.

Go to the library, your favorite research library and browse the stacks. A leisurely stroll down the stacks is a great way to stumble into a great research find.

How bout a internet search of Persi, or pull up the online catalog to your favorite library and search for counties your ancestors lived in. I found some brand new books that way, good stuff in them too!

Go find a new search engine. There are several available, and you just might find a new bit of information by using one of them.

Just a few ideas, but should get you excited again about your research.

Now, no more stalemate - - START YOUR RESEARCH ENGINES! I wanna see genie happy dancing going on!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oh, pretty lady, who are you??

The challenge, from We Tree Talk about an orphan picture containing people you do not know. Provide comments on your best guess about date, place, subjects.

Here is the photo:

This photo was found in the collection of photos that came to me from my father. It is in rather pathetic condition. He, and most of his ancestors, lived along the east coast, hurricane country. The original is seriously faded, her image is barely there. Scanning and several of my feeble attempts at digital enhancement got the image this far. That is not saying a lot, but you can see her face and clothing.

Hints to help identify are slim, her hair style and clothing, are the two most obvious. There is something not seen in this presentation, information that the photo was taken in Knoxville Tennessee. After starting this blog I decided to see if I could discover more about the photographer, dug out a hard copy of the photo, and rescanned the corner with the name. With enlarged, enhanced scan and a good ole fashioned magnifying glass I discovered the name of the photographer to be Brakebill-McCoy. A google search found that some of their photos found their way to the University of Tennessee Special Collections Library. Another reference was found at Rootsweb.com, TNKNOX-L Archives, where a researcher with access to Knoxville directories found the photographer listed from at least 1901 to about 1909.

I am not the best at placing clothing and hairstyles in a time frame, so I went to Fashion-Era.com. On the page dealing with 1904 Weddings, we see similarity to the dress in this photo. Another page from Fasion-Era.com deals with hair styles, 1900-1914, see the drawing on the very first row, 1908, again, to me, and my untrained eye, similarity.

I believe this is the sister of my great-grandmother, Laverta or Leverta Eley. She was born between 1870 and 1872 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Family tradition has it that she was institutionalized. Family traditions continue by saying that her husband, may have been a "Yankee" and that she may have suffered a mental breakdown in childbirth.

I have a marriage for her in 1886 in Norfolk County, Virginia to one Joseph Etheridge, who was born in Virginia. I have no idea what happened to Joseph, 1900 census and directories for the area are inconclusive.

I have not found Laverta on the 1910 census. She is referred to as Mrs. H. A. Bates of Nashville Tennessee in her mother's obituary (1914). I did a detailed search of the Nashville Tennessee directories, the first reference to Laverta, is in 1914 for Harold A. (Laberta) Bates. I can find Harold as early as 1907 in Nashville. We can follow Harold and Laverta in the directories till around 1920, but, we have not located them on the 1920 census. By the way, never have found a marriage for Harold and Laverta.

In 1930 I actually find a Leverta Bates on the census two different times, one of those entries, we note, seems to support the family tradition that she was institutionalized.

1930 U.S. Census of Manhattan, New York City, New York County, New York: Harold A. Bates, rents home at $100.00 a month, owns radio set, age 54 years, married, age at time of first marriage 22, born New York, both parents born New York, sales manager for soap manufacturer; Leverta W., wife, age 46, age at time of first marriage 20, born Virginia, both parents born Virginia.


1930 U.S. Census of Middletwon, Orange County, New York, Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital: Leverta Bates, age 53, married, born Virginia, both parents born Virginia, inmate.

No death record has been found for Laverta.

I have studied my data base over and over, trying to discover other possibilities, could this be Lorena, Laverta's sister? I suppose so, but Lorena was married 5 times, was widowed several times, had 6 children with the first two husbands, ran a boarding house pretty much by herself, supporting herself and her children. Not sure she ever had the time to get to Knoxville. Other females that would be related to my father have also been eliminated (for now) from possible consideration.

Is this photo really Laverta? I believe so, but am not sure I will ever prove it. I have shared this photo with other researchers that are interested in this family/clan. So far, no one knows who this lovely young lady was.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where oh where is that photo??

While scanning the last few days, I have re-discovered some great photos, like the one in yesterday’s blog. Not that a photo of Moi is such earth shattering news, but Man is awful cute, eh?? Seriously, it was a fun discovery, or re-discovery for me.

I dismantled some of those awful photo albums the last couple of days, goodness, what they did to the color on some of the photos. Adobe Photoshop corrected some of the discoloration, not perfect, but you know what they say, beggars cannot be choosers.

One of the discoveries in the last album was of Son # 3. True it is not the best photo in the world, it is rather out of focus. However, I will over look that, for this photo has Son # 3 sitting in the Whitmer cradle. Look close, there it is.

The Whitmer cradle was hand made from black walnut in about 1900. Sellestine Whitmer made it for his daughter, Ida Matilda Whitmer Halterman. Ida was expecting her first child.

Sellestine is my great great grandfather. Ida is my great grandmother. We have had 5 generations use this cradle since Sellestine made it. I currently am the caretaker of the cradle, it is one of my most prized family heirlooms.

When I re-discovered this photo, first thought was, out of focus, second thought, HEY WAIT A MINUTE! That is the cradle. Photographic proof of generation # 4. I know I have proof of generation # 5, L & M. L & M's parents humored me and brought the girls over and put up with all my fussing over HAVING to have a photo of the girls in the Whitmer cradle, thank you Son and daughter-in-law!

I believe there was photographic proof of generation # 3 (Moi), I remember seeing such a photo years ago. Was there photographic proof of generation # 2 (my mother)? You bet I am gonna ask her. I doubt there were ever any photos of any of the 3 girls that represent generation # 1.

So, now I will be hunting for photos of the Whitmer cradle to see how many generations I can photographically prove used the cradle.

Where IS that photo??


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lookie what I found, the first photo

One of my long time genie-goals is to scan our photos, linking to my database. It is sorta my form of scrapbooking.

Yesterday AM I went to one of the many piles around this disaster I call an office and picked up one with 20 or so photos. I decided to scan about 7 of them, 6 of those were keepers. Like this one, believe it is the first photo I have of Man & Moi, a few years ago. My, my, but we really look young.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Ancestry vs Moi's computer/printer - the WO’s intervene

Some of my readers may remember my post about my genealogical support group, the WO’s.

After my little snooping yesterday AM researching what was behind this Ancestry - no print situation, of course, I turned right to the WO’s. We spent a good part of yesterday chatting about this. A lot of what we wrote was expressions of angst and dismay. It was not pretty.

The rest of our discussions surrounded, what version of IE we were using, what version of Windows we were using and if we could print or not.

Summary, two gals using IE 8 and Windows XP had no trouble. All print functions were the same as they were about a month ago. Two gals using IE 7 (and one updated to IE 8 during this discussion to see if that made any difference - it did not) and Vista, basically, we cannot print from Ancestry. It does not matter if it is a census image or a page from a book or a military document, if it is on Ancestry and the user has Vista installed on their computer, they are not going to print directly from Ancestry.

Yes, there are work arounds, save to your hard drive, open the image, manipulate if you desire, crop, etc. and then print. This adds several minutes to obtaining a print out of an image, more work, more time, and time is my most precious commodity, therefore my unhappy state of mind.


1.) Man and Moi have been out and about RVing, so, I just discovered this situation. One of the WO’s, the one with Vista, has been known about it for well over 3 weeks. She even tried calling Ancestry.com, but after 20 minutes on hold, hung up!

2.) Three weeks and counting is a LONG time for a primary function of a huge operation like Ancestry.com to NOT work. The word, APPALLING comes to mind here.

3.) You may note that I have no icons on my blog connecting to Ancestry.com or other pay sites. Many bloggers do for one simple reason, it pays! I made a decision early on that I did not want to go there. I want to be free to say what I want, about what I want, when I want. Strongly criticizing those who help pay your bills just is not cool, at least for me.

4.) Nah to Ancestry.com

5.) Yah to the WO’s. You ROCK! Again, we have “solved” the problems of the genie world! Well, sorta. At least we know as of yesterday afternoon Ancestry was not supporting Vista users. SIGH

* No, I have not been to Ancestry.com this AM to see if the print function functions.

**Two of the WO’s also blog, Karen and TennLady.

*** Hopefully, soon this situation will be behind all Vista users, and Moi will return to your regularly scheduled, more upbeat blog posts!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ancestry vs Moi's computer/printer

Those of you who read my blog from late last evening know that I was

1.) frustrated

2.) tired

3.) frustrated, ooooo, I already said that.

Well, after a good night's sleep and on contemplation, I did what I frequently do, start searching for answers. I did NOT set Man upon my computer settings. Instead, I went right to Ancestry.com and what they call their "Blog". Only took me a moment or two to find a entry titled, Updates to the enhanced image page.

Currently there are 183 responses to this post. I will confess, I have not read all 183. First there are a lot of angry people/users there. Second, original poster has not responded a lot to this flurry of angst. Next, seems they are talking about printing (specifically census) and also search issues.

I am only going to address the print issues. That issue is what sent me to frustration level 10 last night. I cannot print "current view". I like many who have posted on the Ancestry blog used this current view exclusively.

Come on Ancestry, we pay big $$$ for your service. You have been losing our good will for a while now, but, this one really takes the cake, as they say in France!

Mixed metaphors, whatever, frustration does that to a person.

Fix it Ancestry and faster would be better!

Post script to Man, you don't have to look one bit at my computer or printer, t'ain't me or mine!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Genealogy Scavenger Hunt!

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings comes up with some interesting challenges. Tonight it is a scavenger hunt.

Randy's challenge is in 2 parts:

1) Is there someone on your list of 16-great-great-grandparents that you don't have a census record for, and for which one should be available?

2) Tell us about it in your blog........While you're at it, give us a source citation for your census finding too

Ok Randy, this sounded good, as I have not done any significant research in well over a month. I did not participate in the 16 great greats, but, the assignment gave me a great excuse to stop everything else I was doing and RESEARCH!!!

So, I start looking at the list of the great greats, and what research chore I might have indicated on their individual to do list. Maybe I can delete some to do items from the data base, hmmm, that is always a very good thing!

Hezekiah Bowen, 1834-1908, to do list shows I am curious about some Emanuel County Georgia Land records. Hmmmm, lets skip that for the moment.

Martha Sikes, no to do items.

William H. Remley, to do list says, find maps for enumeration areas of Colleton County South Carolina. I want to see if I can figure out where in the county he lived. I love maps. But, lets skip that for the moment too.

Mariah Grant, no to do items.

Edward Dews, 1830 census and some more land records from Princess Anne County Virginia this time. I decide I am not ready to tackle the 1830 with all those tick marks, gonna skip the land records.

Martha Dews (his wife, maiden name unknown), no to do items. Ditto for Solomon Benjamin Eley, Sarah Anne Darden, Zachariah Z. Trumbo or Catherine (Kate) Dove.

Peter Preston Holsinger, Rockingham County Virginia. Oh, yea, here is some census work that needs doing. 1860, oooohhh, realize he is still enumerated in his father’s household, so get to take that off the to do list. Also need the 1900 census. This is when the bottom fell out, so to speak. Had NO trouble locating Peter, but, did have a bucket load of trouble trying to print from Ancestry. I still don’t know if it is my computer or Ancestry. My frustration level jumped through the roof and I decided that the dogs needed grooming more than I needed to deal with Ancestry, my computer and my printer or this challenge. So, I went and groomed. One dog looks a lot better, but I can guarantee, he was not happy with Ancestry, the computer or printer either!

Hour or so later, I returned to the torture chamber of Ancestry and census. Next on my list of 16 great greats was Mary A. Kessler, nothing indicated, ditto for Daniel Halterman and his bride Barbara Delawder, so I skipped on to Sellestine Whitmer.

I needed just about all census reports for Sellestine. In 1860 he is still enumerated with his father. I discovered I did not have the 1860, so, mucked around, figured out a substandard method of printing and filled in the blanks and eliminated another to do item. (The bonus of looking for Sellestine in 1860 is that I got his father’s report, but, I also found on the same page data for Philip Delawder, including 2 additional children not on the data base, correction of birth year on another of his children, birth year and place for his wife.) I hunted down the 1870 census for Sellestine, no surprises there, and again made a substandard printout of the report for my files.

At this point, it is late, I am tired, I am short of temper with printer, computer and Ancestry and the rest of this challenge will have to wait. I still need to locate for Sellestine the 1880, 1900 and 1910 census reports.

That leaves great great number 16, Sarah Bayse, but she has no to do items attached to her.

Yes, Randy, I source. But, I am going to skip this portion of the challenge for now. My views on sourcing may make the purists cringe. I have talked about sourcing* a few times already on my blog, and I know I will again in the future, so stay tuned.

Evening was not quite “Fun”, but it was interesting, and I did find 3 census reports, deleted several to do items from the data base and added some goodies to Philip Delawder’s family, even tho he is not a great great.

Now, I have to find a way to ask Man to have a lookie see at the computer set up and see if the difficulties are on my end.

* See Sourcing? anyone really sourcing?
Sourcing? anyone really sourcing? Post Script
Exact Science - - You’re Kidding, Right??

Art in the Sand

Man could barely get the camera out of my hands. Gosh durn it, Moi loves digital photography. Take as many photos as you want. Take hundreds.

Found this one in Door County Wisconsin, I was taking photos of flowers on the lake shore and all but stumbled on this.

A mission was born, how many more works of art could I find in the sand? Some natural, some done by artists unnamed.

A star is born?

I call this one Sand Toes and Rocks

Art by gull:


And love:

Rocks again, natural abstracts.

Footprints no more:

Mother Nature's grass holding on to the dunes.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tana on the road, Grand Mere and Warren Dunes State Parks

The rest of our day yesterday was spent checking out two Michigan State Parks, both south of St. Joseph. The first was Grand Mere State Park. The sign states it is a National Natural Landmark. Even after a google search or two, we are uncertain just what that means. There is a trail to hike. Supposedly .5 mile. Hmmmppphhhhh. Sorry to say, likely due to budget cuts in Michigan (ouchie) there were no maps, no brochures, no explanations on the bulletin boards, just a sign stating National Natural Landmark. Man and I decided we would walk the trail and discover the park, au natural, just like some pioneer.

We walked well over .5 of a mile, came to this sand pile in the midst of the trail. Have a feeling that if we had climbed the HUGE sand hill to Man's left we might have found Lake Michigan. But, with no signs and weak knees we opted for the more flat path.

So, we treked on and on and on and on. Mostly what we thought we saw off to our left was a marsh like area. Saw a couple of mushrooms, and a neat tree with a huge woodpecker house/hole. As the path closed/narrowed down, the skeeters closed in on us. We decided, lets see what is around the second bend. For us, it was the end of the trail!

We turned and headed towards the trail head and Big Butt. Have to say the trip out was a LOT faster than the trip in, and it took us a good 20 minutes to depart from the "end of the trail". Our guess is that we went a good mile in and out. Sure got our exercise.

Here is a map of the park, we were somewhere - - - - -

Next stop, Warren Dunes State Park, a lookie see for campsites. Great park, but not for the big rigs like Tana. Beach is fabulous, but the highlight of the park is, of course, the dunes.

Some were brave enough and young enough to get to the top. The old knees duo did not attempt, just watched from below.

What with the walk to no where at Grand Mere and our visit to St. Joseph, we were ready to head back to Tana. Another totally enjoyable day.


Tana on the road, St. Joseph Michigan

Yesterday, again, after a lovely slow morning in Tana, we jumped in Big Butt and headed out the Blue Star Highway (A2) and M63, but this time we headed south. On the list of places to visit, St. Joseph Michigan, Grand Mere State Park (why, we had no idea, discoveries to be had) and Warren Dunes State Park (to check on the campsites for future reference).

There are many city and county parks along the lake shore of Lake Michigan, both north and south of Van Buren State Park. In the last few days we have pulled off in a number, enjoying the views and the weather. Neglected to record the name of this park, but, got the required beach shot, actually, this photo was taken to attempt to record just how still Lake Michigan was, as Man said, you could have water skied on it, nary a wave to be seen.

Arriving in St. Joseph we happen along the waterfront of St. Joseph River, a lovely park, and a bridge that swings to allow boat traffic to pass.

found St. Joseph to be an exciting and enchanting town. City officials seem to be paying attention to a lot of minute details, large flower pots around town had the town name on them, no off the shelf planters here, very attractive. They are rebuilding areas, including a carousel. Spotted this beautiful horse, maybe a future resident?? If so, the children and young at heart that visit St. Joseph in the future will obviously have great steeds to ride.

Along the river and lake shore there are green spaces and walkways, monuments marking and explaining St. Joseph's history, art work, a 1872 water fountain, and much more.

Above, some art/sculpture along the St. Joseph River.

1872 Maids of the Mist by J. W. Fiske.

There is a lighthouse, but of course, picture perfect.

This summer St. Joseph is sponsoring Surf N' Safari, Stampede St. Joseph. 29 painted creatures from the wild, transplanted to St. Joseph. A visit to their web site allows you to read about the artists and view the art. Not sure I could pick a favorite, but the Sea Lion is high on my list. (That car in the background was not bad either!)

LaSalle built Fort Miami here in November of 1679, it was the third settlement in Michigan. On March 7, 1834 it was incorporated as the Village of Saint Joseph. Steeped in history, but reinventing itself, St. Joseph is indeed an exciting and enchanting place.

*The rest of this day's adventures to be found in another blog. Come back soon to hear about Grand Mere State Park hike. (The hike to no where.)