Category: History

with Orah Myrtle and Alfred Josiah; check it out!

Letter #5: June 2, 1889

INTO IRONWOOD I found myself giggling like a kid when researching this one, had to force my eyebrows down. It was an “Oh, goodie!” moment, and I thought, “this is too much fun.” Today I share #5 of 14, letters written by my great, great grandfather Si Smith from Ironwood, Michigan beginning in 1889. The…

Hazel de Helen

She stood all of 4′ 10″ and weighed 110 pounds. She was my father’s aunt but was more like his second mother. When I recently found a box with her name on the outside I felt my heart twist. Dad became her power of attorney. He passed 11 years ago; now those records sit at…

Letter #4: May 15, 1889

INTO IRONWOOD I think he wanted me to know. Why else would I find this exact tidbit of information among the piles of documentation, 127 years later?ย  Sometimes, you gotta shake your head. While researching my great grandma Orah, the subject of my series The Malevolent Matriarch, I discovered letters written in the 1880s by…

Letter #3: March 31, 1889

INTO IRONWOOD One of the utter frustrations of genealogy is slamming into that brick wall, again, and deciphering the scanty, often hard-to-read records. But we all know the delightful, gut-giggling joy when a puzzle piece fits. Or several. This letter, #3 in my INTO IRONWOOD series, has done it all. This is a new, short…

Letter #2: February 10, 1889

INTO IRONWOOD I don’t know cold, or what it’s like to experience a truly, deep cold winter. I’ve been neatly tucked away somewhere in the Pacific Northwest most of my life. I haven’t experienced bitter, biting winters next to Lake Superior. We are pretty spoiled in the garden department as well; what we plant grows…

Letter #1: January 27, 1889

INTO IRONWOOD Some of you are familiar with my series about my great grandma, Orah Myrtle Butterfield (the link takes you to the first entry titled Cherry Season). I stared a series about her for several reasons. At first it was to preserve our family history, but also because her letters were shocking. Hundreds of…