The story, as I recollect as told by my Grandpa Hudson Dexter Mead II, is that the train set shown below was made by his dad for him as a child. Grandpa was born in 1906 so this would have been made around 1910 or so. From the looks of trains in the 1910’s that I could find versus trains in the 1870’s (which would have been in my great grandfathers childhood) I am not sure if it was made by my great grandfather (b. 1868) or my great-great grandfather John Groot Mead (b. 1838).
But my grandfather gave me this train to make sure it was passed on down through the family and I now have a place to actually put it up so others can see (of course, they would have to come visit me to see it!). It included some train tracks which seemed to be missing a few sections so I made a couple more sections so the whole train can be set on the train tracks.
Below is a full length photo, then a front half and back half photo. Following these pictures will be individual pictures of the cars:
Everything on the cars is hand made, even the wheels. Some of the components are household items, like the crane car which uses an open face fishing reel for the bucket lift line and what looks like gears to turn the boom lift chain and to rotate the crane. The engine has some light bulb fixtures and the brakes actually actuate. Enjoy the pictures:
This was a short overnight road trip in Michigan to see the fall colors and travel down the “tunnel of trees” or highway M119 in northern lower Michigan. We started off with lunch at the “Legs Inn” (http://www.legsinn.com/) in Cross Village. Very good meal with about a one hour wait to get in as this is a very popular place, especially during the fall color season.
We left after lunch to travel down M119 south to Bay View just outside of Petosky. The weather was very windy, cold and mostly cloudy which put a damper on the sight seeing, but it was very pretty anyway. This included a stop at a small historical church with a short walk to the beach (not for a swim, believe me).
For the evening we had a nice stay at the Terrace Inn (https://www.theterraceinn.com/) with a very nice dinner at the 1911 restaurant at the Inn. The inn is located in Bay View which is an association formed by the United Methodist Church. The inn has a quiet time from 11 PM until 8 AM, which is kind of nice for those of us who hit the hay early. The Inn is within walking distance of Little Traverse Bay and would be a great place to stay for a longer visit in the Petosky and Harbor Springs area.
Day three included an 8 hour bus trip into the Denali Park, with the hopes of seeing some wildlife and Mount Denali. It was a gloomy day and no sight of Mount Denali.
But we did see some wildlife, including a grizzly bear that wanted to cross the road that our bus was on.
The scenery was majestic and not exactly what I was expecting. Almost all of the land in this area is tundra, which does not allow trees to grow tall because the ground is always frozen under the top soil. I think a few more days stay here with some possible hikes would be worthwhile to see more. But this was our one day here because tomorrow we board a train and truck on down to Whittier to board our cruise ship. But here are a few other pictures of the landscape. You may want to visit the national park web site to find much more information and much better pictures.
Day 2 of our honeymoon started with a morning riverboat cruise down the Chena river that runs through Fairbanks. Needless to say there were a few people along for this short trip.
Along the way we witnessed a landing and take off of the most popular transportation in Alaska, as well as a visit to the sled dog training home of David Monson. His wife Susan Butcher has won the Iditarod four times but she passed away in 2006. You can see more information at http://www.trailbreakerkennel.com.
We even were able to touch the pelt of the fiercest animal around, a wolverine!
It has now been 8 weeks since our wedding and I am finally getting around to posting a few pictures and notes of our honeymoon trip to Alaska. I hope the few of you that check out this blog forgive me as it has taken a bit of moving in time for us, considering I am 66 and have been unmarried for 11 years and Mary is NN and has been unmarried for about 25 years, with 8 children and 11 grandchildren between us. And now I have another whole new family tree to work on. Retirement is just as busy as ever.
The wedding day was August 10, 2018 and our first night was in the Webster house right here in Bay City next to First Presbyterian on Center Avenue:
After a night at a park and fly hotel in Detroit, in the early morning hours of August 12th, we are on our way to Fairbanks, Alaska:
First Married Selfie
View of Alaska
By Sunday evening we were pretty tired and went looking for a restaurant in Fairbanks. The only restaurant in town we found open was a Thai place, so we flew all the way to Fairbanks, Alaska to enjoy Thai food. Go figure. But it was good and in the next post I will have our first day in Alaska as we travel from Fairbanks to Denali.
Second road trip of the year, and this one was different than any I have taken before.
Wait for it…
I went with my fiancé!!
Meet Mary Martini. We are planning on getting married on August 10th this year, and celebrating with a cruise to Alaska. That will be a trip with lots of pics I am sure.
And now I also have a whole bunch of new genealogy work to do. I will have to live to my 90’s to get it all done, if genealogy research can ever get done.
On this trip we visited Chris, Lia and Emma and had a great time and watched Emma play a great soccer game. Then traveled to PA to see Brian, Amy and Sammy for another great time and to watch Sammy play baseball (and break his hand in the process). Then traveled to Virginia to spend some quality time with Stephanie and Steven, along with Steven’s parents. Then back to Columbus for a night and finished the trip off with a visit to see Ron and Pat Guoan and Bill and Judy Black, including a rousing game of 6 player Sequence, and on the morning we headed home we stopped and visited Anna Mae Wires along with Rick and Norma.
We visited a prison in Mansfield Ohio where they filmed Shawshank Redemption.
We visited the Indian Echo Caverns in Pennsylvania.
And up to the Star in Roanoke (after visiting Black Dog Salvage).
Short road trip with Mary Martini over to visit her sister and family in Holton, Michigan. First we visited the Frederick Meijer sculpture gardens and butterfly exhibit in Grand Rapids. We were greeted by the Michigan marching band (see pic below). Of course later that evening we also had to endure Michigan getting smoked by Villanova.
My personal favorite
On Tuesday we visited the White River Light House and museum (not open yet unfortunately) before heading back home through a beautiful cold, rainy and snowy day in April.
Uncle Mickey is my only living Aunt or Uncle. And the one that I know the least about. But I have learned a bit through my research and chat with his daughter Kristine. So here you go:
Uncle Mickey was born George Thomas Davenport on 10 February 1933 in White Bear Lake, Ramsey County, Minnesota. He was the youngest of 6 six children and born 4 years after my father Frank. He had four older sisters Olive, Lois, Barb and Marian. His dad, our grandpa, died in 1945 when he was 12 years old so he would have probably lived with his mom Muriel, our grandma, in Minnesota. There are some stories of him being in Bay City for a bit but at some point he moved to California, because:
He married Loretta Mae Stone in Butte County, California on 9 July 1952. They have a son Robert Allen Davenport born 3 November, 1953 and a daughter Teresa “Terry” Lynn Davenport born 8 May 1957 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Teresa passed away on 8 August 2003. Kristine has confirmed this to me as good information, so lo and behold we have two more first cousins that we never knew about (or at least I never knew about). Here are a couple of pictures I found of Uncle Mickey, one of which is a picture of him with Loretta. And also a yearbook picture (top row, 4th from the right) with Loretta in it:
I am not sure how long he lived in Salt Lake City, and I did not find a divorce record from Loretta, but I know that he married Juanita Lois Urbano about 1963 and she is the mother of Kristine. Here is a yearbook picture of Juanita:
I have some somewhat conflicting information regarding his divorce from Juanita, but I have a marriage record between Uncle Mickey and Mary Lou Limon on 6 October 1979 (this is also confirmed by Kristine). I do not believe they are together anymore and I am unclear on any other information.
It would be fun some day to actually meet my first cousin Robert Allen. And I do know that Teresa did marry a Paul Evans and they appear to have had two children born in the 1980’s.