Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Family Reunion - Part 1

There's something special about this couple. It's not just that they are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in this picture. It's also not that this man was a Kansas State Representative from 1939 to 1946, which is interesting to me since I come from a politically active family. What's special is these people are my husband's grandparents.

My mother-in-law, Lauranell, stands on the left next to her father, mother, sister, Ramona and sister, Elna. Her brothers, Kenneth and Pete are in the back.

My mother-in-law's family has hosted bi-annual family re-unions for many years.

This reunion photo is from approximately 1955. My father-in-law is on the right in the back row and my mother-in-law is to the left of him holding my husband's oldest sister, Brynn.

Since marrying my husband, I have the pleasure of attending these events. We have traveled to Maine, Colorado, southern Kansas, Kansas City and across town (to my mother-in-law's house). One of the intriguing parts of these gatherings are the old pictures and many stories that are shared. Much talk of the original family home takes place.

This beautiful house was designed by my husband's grandmother and was built in 1910 for $10,000. The house and family farm were located in the sweeping Blue River Valley that is largely under Tuttle Creek Lake today. The main reason my husband's grandfather ran for office was to forestall and hopefully eliminate the plans to build the Tuttle Creek Dam. The project was postponed for many years, but in the end the periodic flooding in the area along with significant flooding in 1951 made the construction of the dam inevitable.

An attempt was made to move the house, but it failed when teenagers, I'd like to think, accidently started a fire in an upstairs bedroom as the house stood on girders ready to be transported. The fire quickly consumed the entire house.

Many special pictures and memories are shared at family reunions while new ones are made.

Check back for more on this year's reunion!

1 comment:

Living on the Spit said...

My heart aches for the family home. Jenny, what a wonderful story you are telling and documenting here. I can not wait for more!