Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 4

Sorry this is late - no internet for 36 hours!!

Another great day for research. Another challenging day with electronics.

The boxes in the "20s" of the Davenport archives are filled with family photos and adventures. Sure enough, GG Davenport did publish a book on his trip in the west. It includes valuable information on how many burros to take when camping and traversing the Rockies (2 for 4 people unless you are taking folding tables, then you need 3 burros). Burrows are all basically stubborn but can be handled if you have confidence. They will test neophytes by lying down and moaning. Do not take this as a near death experience (for the burro) but only a bid to stay in the barn and not join your adventure. The book was too long to copy but our terrific archivist Brian arranged for the university library's scanning division to scan the book and make it available on the library website. Should be completed in a few weeks. By the way, GG Davenport spend his 75th birthday at the bottom of the Grand Canyon - we should all do so well.

Lots of photos of grandmother Margaret Davenport as a young girl. We also found a period photo of the "farm house" on the U of I campus - the Mumford house that we had photographed the day before. Margaret was born in the parlor. We also have great interior shots of the 807 S. Wright Street home the Davenports built in 1905.

(One research note - we found studio photos of 10-12 faculty families in E. Davenport's files. We wondered if their families knew those photos exist or if they had copies. Too bade they are not cross referenced. It makes me think that in my research, I should peruse the files of more prominent people to find potential tidbits on our family.)

We left Urbana about noon and Fiona directed me to I-74 and Lafayette. At Danville, Fiona got a wild hair and sent me off through the cornfields, 2-lane roads, ad gravel washboards of rural Indiana. I waved to any number of farmers on tractors. It was wonderfully reminiscent of my childhood particularly the undulating waves of tree-covered hills broken by cultivated fields. Sure enough, I emerged on highway 26, a familiar route. I found Rooker road which is no longer called that and the entrance to our Windwood property. The once soybean fields are now home to 6,000 square foot luxury homes. The old farm houses that used to line the gravel road from our property to the highway are mostly gone and replaced with more modern structures.

From there I turned left on Klondike Road and, much to Fiona's disgust, drove past the turn to Barbara Greene's and made my way to Klondike School. The elementary buildings are still there although altered with a new front entry and a new middle school. The old junior/senior high is long gone. A look across the highway reveals that Burghorn's farm is also long gone replaced with a Manard's (like Lowe's) store. Retracing my steps, I also found 1821 Summit Drive, our first home in W. Lafayette. The house looks very small and the trees very large. The neighborhood is cooler and dimmer, not the open, sun-drenched lawns we used to gambol across. Finally, I made my way to Barbara's. She is 89 this year but sharp as a tack. We had a lovely natter and dinner at the independent living restaurant. Tomorrow we are off to an art exhibit and then I head to Chicago.

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