Thursday, November 19, 2009

MY PERSONAL PILGRIM

Granted, it is a stretch during this Thanksgiving season to call him a pilgrim, but he definitely was my personal pioneer. This is my great, great Uncle Asa.
Uncle Asa was a logger in Parkman, Maine in the 1860s. He was involved in a logging accident and lost his leg. They told him that there was no place in the logging business for a one-legged logger; so he should go West where he could ride a horse.

So, with $100 loaned to him by the local Masonic Lodge and only the possessions he could carry; he headed West on the train to Denver. Once in Denver, he then walked to southeastern Colorado to homestead to farm and ranch. The year was 1876.


After Asa's brother, my great-grandfather, was widowed he soon was lured to Colorado by the promise of free land. He came to farm, ranch and raise his sons alone. And that is how I became a Colorado native.

I've been fortunate to inherit what few possessions Uncle Asa had. Among them was this walking stick. With a peg-leg, I'm sure this was a very important belonging.

We don't know the story behind this sampler, but evidently it was brought from Maine on his journey and was important to him. Was it made by his mother, or perhaps made by a lost love? He was a life-long bachelor.

The kitchen tools of a pioneer were simple. Most of these were hand-made.

And probably the most special is this bible. It is only 3x5 inches in size, and the print is so tiny. The inscription indicates that it was given to Uncle Asa's mother, Nancy, by a friend in 1846. And, she passed it on to Asa for his journey in 1876.

I never look at these few material things without thinking about the hardships endured by the pilgrims and/or pioneers in their efforts to establish America. How blessed we all are to live here and celebrate Thanksgiving.

Cindy at My Romantic Home is hosting show and tell Friday. Please check out her blog for a list of the other participants.

I'm also linking to the weekly party hosted by Mary of Little Red House.
She will have a list of participants showing off their creative mosaics.

Be sure to check out Cindy's and Mary's blogs for a special treat.

27 comments:

Mieke said...

What a wonderful history ! It's awesome that you still have the belongings of your great great uncle. Thank you so much for showing us.

Susie Q said...

This was just wonderful to read Sally. I feel provledged to have done so. Thank you so much for this...what wonderful treasures you have...in material possessions and in stories.
Love,
Sue

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

Sally what wonderful history you have of your family! I think that is so neat as many of us really don't know a lot of our family's history. I remember asking great Aunt Mamie about Ireland but she was never very open about their past.

I remember looking at that lovely old Bible- such precious possessions you have!

blessings
mary

Rosie@Journey to Charm said...

That's a great story. You're lucky to know a little of your ancestor's life story. I have pictures of great-greats, but know nothing at all about them. I often imagine that their lives were hard without modern conveniences. Thank you for sharing.

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

What a gift to have these family treasures and to know their history.

Chari said...

Hello Dearheart...

My friend, I really, really enjoyed this post and learning a bit of your family history! I always find this so interesting! Russell and I have really been digging into our family history lately...I appreciate knowing a little about my "roots"!

What sweet treasures these are! Ohhh...and to have your Uncle Asa's Bible that was given to him by his mother...precious and priceless!!! And...I love the sampler! Do you have it framed? Thank you so much for sharing your precious family treasures and history with us today! I too, think about the hardships that these that have gone on before us...have endured! I am very thankful for our modern day conveniences...that's for sure!

Have a fabulous Friday and weekend, my friend!
Love ya,
Chari
PS...was wondering how Bob's mother is doing? I'm still praying, my friend!

fitty's pinky rose cottage said...

such a great story.. love to see the forks & knives.. so orignal! thanks for sharing..

Hootin' Anni said...

I gotta tell you....I'm into my own family's genealogy, and anything like this that you shared, captures my interest completely!!!! I especially like your thinking behind the sampler...was it a long lost secret love....you and I think alike on cherished items like this. I loved it all!!!!

Mine is up. Just Dollar Store Finds for the Holidays this week. Click Here

Leann said...

Sally you are so lucky to have these wonderful heirlooms and to also know and feel the history behind them.

The Bible is so beautiful!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Leann

Sheila said...

What a wonderful history lesson you shared. The handmade forks with the mother of pearl inlay are beautiful. I miss my Grandfather , as he would share many stories with us about his hardships and adventures. Thanks so much for shring this.

Lynda @ Elegance Reclaimed said...

What wonderful history and treasures you have, and grand of you to share them with us ...

Thank You.

Lynda @ Elegance Reclaimed said...

What wonderful history and treasure you have. Grand of you to share them with us.

Thank You.

Lora said...

What a great heritage! And how wonderful that you are able to enjoy some of your family treasures.

Manuela@Pleasures of Homemaking said...

I got the bottlebrush trees at Michael's in the section with the Christmas houses. Maybe you could call them and ask them to check to make sure they have some in stock. Mine has tons but you never know!

Manuela

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

How great that you know so much family history. He was obviously a very determined man. What a life he must have had, and how wonderful that you have some of his possessions - especially that Bible - what a treasure! Thanks for sharing his story. laurie

santamaker said...

What a wonderful story you have! Such history at your fingertips...you are so lucky to have those items to pass along to your family. Thanks for sharing!

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Sally, you are lucky to have these beautiful gifts along with the history to go with them. How fortunate to know your background. I think your personal pilgrim would have been one fine fellow to know.
I wish you could have been at the open house too Sally. What fun we could have had.. hugs ~lynne~

Manuela@Pleasures of Homemaking said...

Sally, a reader just emailed me to say that she found a bag of bottlebrush trees at Home Depot and they were on sale for under $6! So check there if it's closer than Michaels.

Manuela

Shelia said...

Hi Dear Sally. Oh, what a story! How wonderful you have these stories of your relatives! What strong folks these were way back then. Can you imagine how brave and strong he must have been to go through that journey?
You do always have wonderful stories of your ancestors. I love hearing them.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,
Shelia ;)

ceekay said...

I just love old family pieces and the stories that go with them. What cherished memories in those that you have of your Uncle.

Nouveau Stitch said...

What a wonderful sentiment for Thanksgiving week! Have a blessed and joyous celebration with your family!!

Ellen

Carol said...

Loved reading your story! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

Great story!!! And fabulous items!! Thanks for sharing them.

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Thanks for telling us that story. It is so important to know where you came from. Valerie

eileeninmd said...

Great story about your family history. The photos are neat. I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Lori E said...

I am a genealogy researcher so this was an inspiring post for me. The forks and knives are treasure for sure. My husband really liked the one on the right.
But best of all to me is the walking stick that you know he held in his hands most every day.

Mary said...

What an amazing post, and so touching, Sally! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful images, your heritage and your uncle's story at MM. :) Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!