Saturday, April 19, 2008

Home Again

Yesterday was an emotional day. I had a lovely visit with my aunt. My uncle had no idea who I was. The last time I visited, several years ago, he was such an active, vibrant man that it was hard to see him so weak. Even though he didn't know me he gave me one of his smiles that I remember so well.

After my visit I ran out to the old family homestead. The house has been gone for years now and the property deeded to someone else. Construction has just started on a new home and the old mighty oaks that lined the road look old and tired. I suspect that their days are numbered.

Some of the bulbs that my mother remembers seeing from her bedroom window were blooming still. I was tempted to bring a few home with me but there was no one around to ask permission of. I did take pictures and I will try to find some of the same varieties to plant here.

I decided not to travel home back through Ontario. Instead I headed onto I90 so I could make a quick stop at the cemetery in Bronson, MI. My map was almost right and I got perfect directions from a woman at a local store. I'd almost given up hope, but there in the last row and in excellent condition, I found the headstones of Michael and Sarah (Wisner) Camfield. Many of the letters I've been reading were written by Sarah and all are addressed Dear Children.

It was a bit longer coming home through Ohio but I'm glad I was able to stop as I'd never been to Bronson. I wish I'd had more time in Michigan but I can always go back. As much as I enjoyed my trip it is good to be home. I guess I missed spring while I was gone as we had a perfect summer day here today. John tells me that the last of the snow vacated the premises on Thursday.

At the library I had to sign a form agreeing not to publish any of the letters before I obtain written permission from both the copyright holder and the library. I've been working on that a bit today and will send an email to the library tomorrow. Hopefully I'll hear back quickly as I'm anxious to start sharing some of what I found.


Jasia said...

I'm glad you got home safely and that your trip was so successful. I know you had some disappointments but overall it sounds like you made huge strides in researching your family history. I'm really glad that you enjoyed Michigan too. I sure enjoyed meeting you!

Anonymous said...


Glad to read that you returned home safely. I know you had a productive trip even with the disappointments. It was great to meet you and spend some time with you. I will enjoy following your blog with all your treasures from your trip.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

The finds at the library made up for any disappointments I had.

Meeting both of you made the trip awesome!

Miriam Robbins said...

Apple, I sure enjoyed reading about your adventures in Michigan and lived vicariously through you! It's been nearly 8 years since I've been back, and like you, I could live there awhile and still not get all the info I need and want!

I'm so glad for you that you got this opportunity both to research and to meet other bloggers, and I look forward to reading future posts about your great finds!

CountryGirl said...

I'm so glad your trip was such a success! I can't wait to hear more details, glad you are back!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Hi Miriam,

It has been quite awhile since my last trip to MI. I hope I don't have to wait too long to go back. Hopefully I'll have digested all the info contained in the letters before I do.

Hi Sis,

I just get home and you're leaving! I hope we can catch up later in the week!

Lidian said...

Hope you can start sharing the letters that you found soon - I can't imagine why the ,ibrary would mind, hope they repsond quickly.

Glad you are home safe and had a good trip.

Patricia Marie said...

This appears to have been a successful trip. I can't wait to hear more.

Terry Thornton said...

Apple, I've been following your saga with great interest. I'm so glad you found a treasure trove of documents. What amazes me, however, is that you are having additional roadblocks put up on the use of the letters from your family. How did the documents get put under copyright protection? Maybe someone can explain --- and I hope that you get full permission to use letters from your family. Glad you are home and that spring sprung your way!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Hi Pat,
I never dreamed I'd find so much!

Laura and Terry,
The form I signed is a standard form that everyone has to fill out. The library is concerned with protecting the rights of whomever holds the copyright. I don't think that they are trying to put road blocks up, they simply have their procedures. As I understand copyright all works are protected whether or not you apply to the government for copyright protection. I'll be posting on that shortly.

We had a surprise visit by out of town relatives today so I wasn't able to follow up with the library. Barring other surprises tomorrow I should hopefully be dotting my i's and crossing my t's then :-)