Working For The Railroad….

My grandfather, Seibert Lam died years before I was born so I never had the opportunity to know him. As time goes by I’m slowly learning more and more about him and his life on this Earth.

My grandfather, Seibert Lam

My grandfather, Seibert Lam

His occupation for many years was working for the railroad company: Fruit Grower’s Express out of Alexandria, VA. From what I gather his job was working on the railcar doors but I don’t know exactly what he did with them. A few months back I finally came across a photo of the station in Alexandria, although I’m not sure if this was the building he worked in or not.

Fruit Grower's Express; Alexandria, VA

Fruit Grower’s Express; Alexandria, VA

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Read All About It….

The following account of Dean Mountain ran on March 15, 1917 in the Rockingham Register. Dean Mountain sits in western Virginia, not far from the town of Elkton in the Blue Ridge. Enjoy!

Dean mtn history March 15 1917

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Recognize Anyone?

The only 2 ID’s I have for this photo are of the men riding the horses: Doss Meadows & Van Taylor. I’d love to hear from someone that has the rest of the ID’s that go along with his one!

Doss Meadows (l) & Van Taylor on horses (2)

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Friday-Night Foot-tappin’

I figured that tonight would be a good time to share this…tap your foot and sing along if you know it

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A Visit To Meadows/Devil’s Jump Cemetery

In March of 2012 myself, Larry Lamb, & Greg Lam ventured into Jollett Hollow intent on visiting old home sites, telling stories, and visiting the Meadows/Devil’s Jump cemetery where it’s believed that many of our ancestors are buried. The location of this cemetery is on private land and it’s best if you approach the landowner prior to entering the area. The cemetery is located on the left side of the road as you’re climbing Devil’s Jump but I’ll have to get an exact mile measurement at a later date. The following pictures tell the story of the trip…

Larry Lamb documenting location of stones

Larry Lamb documenting location of stones

Meadows/Devil's Jump cemetery

Meadows/Devil’s Jump cemetery

Meadows/Devil's Jump cemetery

Meadows/Devil’s Jump cemetery

Daffodils blooming

Daffodils blooming

Looking west from the top of the hill

Looking west from the top of the hill

Greg Lam & Page Meadows checking for markings

Greg Lam & Page Meadows checking for markings

Carrie Meadows, only identified grave at the time of visit.

Carrie Meadows, only identified grave at the time of visit.

Larry Lamb documenting location of stones (looking northeast)

Larry Lamb documenting location of stones (looking northeast)

Looking North from the cemetery

Looking North from the cemetery

Meadows/Devil's Jump Cemetery

Meadows/Devil’s Jump Cemetery

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Show-n-Tell….

Here’s another great Lam family photo taken around Christmas in 1901.

Lam-family-1901

Lam-family-1901-text

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…”just some old books”…

During a trip to my Grandfather’s house to scan family photos I stumbled across a real gem as far as Blue Ridge area genealogy is concerned. The original purpose of my trip was just to catch up and scan pictures that he had come across for me. While I certainly accomplished the original goal I had no idea I would stumble across a well-known piece of mountain history.

When we were discussing his father he ventured into the subject of items left behind by my Great Grandfather and said all he had was, “just some old books”. I hadn’t thought much about it at first but as we began scrolling through old pictures and talking about stories from long ago the subject came back into my head about the old books. I asked him about those and he said that he’d gladly walk downstairs to retrieve them for me. Reentering the room I noticed he was carrying a couple of early hymnals. When he handed them to me I noticed the condition was fair at best. Handling them as gently as I could I opened them. The front few pages were written in and I didn’t think much of it until I read the names: Stephen Hensley, Harriet Dean.

Stephen & Harriet (Dean) Hensley

Stephen & Harriet (Dean) Hensley

Harriet Dean was born April 27, 1848. Stephen Hensley was born years earlier, on January 23, 1842. Both were born to families in the Elkton area, Rockingham County, Virginia. They were joined in holy matrimony December 1, 1864 in Belmont, Ohio (Why Ohio? Maybe we’ll talk about that later). The couple had quite a storied relationship to say the least. Stephen was a circuit preacher in the mountains and worked many late hours as well as extended amounts of time away from home. The stories of their turbulent marriage are many and varied. One story includes an instance where Harriet put their housecat on Stephen’s back and allowed it to scratch the blood out of him. Not exactly something most men would enjoy in the slightest.

Stephen & Harriet (Dean) Hensley

Stephen & Harriet (Dean) Hensley

Through all of the bad stories shines a number of letters written back and forth between the couple during Stephen’s last days while hospitalized in Charlottesville. The chain of events can be found in Jan Hensley’s book: Sallie’s Story (supplement version). If you don’t own this set I highly recommend them both!

Rev. Stephen Hensley's hymnal

Rev. Stephen Hensley’s hymnal

Rev. Stephen Hensley's hymnal

Rev. Stephen Hensley’s hymnal

Harriet (Dean) Hensley's hymnal

Harriet (Dean) Hensley’s hymnal

To say I was surprised to see these names written on the pages and cover of these hymnals would be a rather large understatement. I sat there for hours talking to my Grandfather about the significance of these hymnals and the stories surrounding the couple. The visit ended with my Grandfather ensuring me that these hymnals would come to me when his time on Earth had passed. In all honesty I hope I don’t own them anytime soon as I want to spend more time with him but it’s nice to know that one day these will be passed down to me, as they were to him.

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