Monday, December 9, 2013

I Just Love This Photo!

I'm busy working on a long blog post with the story of the Whetstone family but miss posting here, so thought that this might be a good time to share some of my favorite family pictures. You've see a lot of them but my thought is to select just one and then write everything I know about it and make some observations too. Might just make a game of it and play, What Do You See?

So here goes and the first one is a picture of my great grandfather's house. He was Daniel Williams and a recent blog post was the story of that family.

The Williams home, built about 1899, in Ocean Allegany, Maryland.
Pictured are:
Back row, left to right: William Williams (1884-1964 ), his wife Lillian "Lillie" (Merbaugh) (1884-1964 ), Tom Williams (1890-1951 ), and Jane (Price) Williams (1862-1939),
Front row, left to right: Cambria "Camey" Williams (1897-1960) my Grandfather, Joseph "Joe" Williams (1895-1948), Charles Williams (1899-1979) and Aunt Betty's father, a neighbor, and "Blackie" the dog on the fence post.

So there it is, and I dearly love this picture. Aunt Betty and Mom both have copies, and now I have this electronic copy. Aunty Betty says that the house was built by Daniel and Jane (James) Williams about 1899. Charles, Aunt Betty's father was the only child of Daniel and Jane born here, but many of the family lived there from time to time and so the next generation was also born there.

I see here a two story frame house with balanced and even architecture, painted to emphasize the trim and make the overall impression more decorative and appealing. There is pride even today when Mom and Aunt Betty talk about this old home place. And notice the contrasting painted brick-a-brack on the top of the porch posts. Someone took care with how this home presented itself.

I also like the front fence and the rambling garden with trees and perhaps climbing roses festooning the porch. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you'll see what might be some type of crisscross wire making a structure for the climbers growing up the front porch. And is that a fruit tree on the right side? It looks tidy and well kept. Aunt Betty's note on the file says that a street car ran right in front of the house. How proud the family must have been to ride it and see their house as it was undoubtedly admired by riders.

Aunt Betty tells an interesting story of life in this house. You see in these parts the mineral rights were not sold with the land so the mining company could dig a mine right under your home. Even today this practice continues. Some days, Aunt Betty said, you could hear the miners right below the house, talking, and digging away. At one point the activity was so energetic that it moved the house right off the foundation! Imagine!

Mom says that there was an outhouse down and the end of the yard but by the time she was a very little girl, about 1920, there was a regular bathroom in the house on the first floor. Her Grandfather Williams was very ill near the end of his life right about then and we speculated that perhaps the bathroom was added on the first floor to make it easier for him.

There was a natural cold spring that came out of the ground in the back yard. There were a lot of them then, Mom says. The water was cold the year round so the family kept butter and milk in the indentation in the earth where the spring came out. In the house between the dining room and kitchen was what we might call a pantry, a short hallway with shelves, That was where Mom went to check to see if there were any pies available.

Every time I go see Mom it's my intention to drive the short distance from Frostburg to what's left of the once prosperous coal mining community that was Ocean. Next time, for sure. I wonder where it got that name, because believe me, it's no where near any Ocean!

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