The seed for Family Photoloom was planted fifteen years ago, when our family took a five-week family history trip. With daughters age 8, 3 and 2 the time, we flew from our home in Hillsboro, Oregon to attend a family reunion in London, Ontario, and then drove south through 2000 miles of sweltering Midwest summer heat to Fort Worth, Texas before returning home. The following is Scott’s account of one day on that trip.
We had heard stories about the Huskey School – of how Peter Huskey lead a wagon train to Missouri and started the first subscription school in the area. We traveled from St Louis to Hillsboro, Missouri, where, after knocking on several doors, we finally found distant cousin Dave Huskey, who gave us directions to the school.
“It’s up the hill. Just follow the fence on up, and when you get to the clearing at the top you’ll want to follow the fence. It’ll lead you right to it.” That’s when our adventure really began.
Loaded down with cameras, a tape recorder, a gallon of water, grass clippers, and a diaper bag we set off. We climbed the hill slowly, carrying Grace and Olivia most of the way, and by the time we got to the top clearing, we were very excited to find the school. I put down the child I was holding and asked my family to stay there while I searched around the clearing for a fence to follow, but after much looking could not locate it.
Leaving my family, I returned down the hill, where Dave gave me more detailed directions and pointers about how to find the fence. (His account doesn’t reflect it, but it was no short walk down and up that hill, and Scott was gone nearly an hour. The girls and I spent the time singing in a swath of Black-eyed Susans. ~ Renee)
When I returned back up the hill, we made our way to a back corner of the clearing that I had not explored completely. We found the fence!!! We followed it, and we saw…a house?!? No, that wasn’t it. We stopped, disappointed. Only Leisha and I went ahead. And then we saw it - about 25 yards ahead was the school house.
With yells of joy, we gathered our family at the school house. Just at that moment, we heard Dave coming up behind us on his tractor. He helped us find the tombstones of my third great grand-uncle, John Huskey and his wife Nancy, and told us about the ‘Huskey Gold,’ which legend says is still buried on the Huskey farm in a cedar box. He even let us have a few boards from the Huskey School as reminder of our trip.
We all loaded onto the tractor for a ride to the bottom of the hill, but when we arrived, we discovered that we had left our boards at the school house. Having come this far, I was not going to let our ‘mementos’ get away from us. It was getting dark, so I ran as much as I could, all the time swinging my arms wildly to swat away the huge thirsty horse flies, one or two of which escorted me all the way. At the top of the hill I grabbed our boards and said a quick prayer of thanks before jogging back down the hill with my fly escorts.
It was nearly dark when I neared the bottom of the hill, and I was greeted by beautiful fireflies celebrating my arrival. I jogged into Dave’s parking area with the boards held high above my head in triumph. I discovered that I was soaked! I had sweat clear through my clothes – even the money in my wallet was wet. There is the dark of the driveway, we shared our adventure and exchanged genealogy information with Dave and his family. Then with warm goodbyes, we packed up our car and headed back to St Louis. We topped off our evening with an alcohol sponge bath and a check for ticks (one had almost burrowed into my knee), followed by a meal at the local fast food place. We will remember this day now and always as “Our Huskey Homestead Adventure.”
Make a resolution now - this is the year to get your photos organized, and your family engaged in the grand adventure of family history. Visit Photoloom.com to learn more.