Saturday, June 21, 2008

Notes from the IA, IL, WS trip

(Jan) We took a fun little detour on our way home from Wisconsin. We decided to cross the Mississippi River at Sabula, IA and spend a little time in Maquoketa. Some of Chuck’s maternal great, great grandparents had lived there before settling in Carroll County. Chuck has known for years that a great-great-grandparent was buried at the Cod Fish Hollow cemetery (don’t you love that name?) and we did find it and his grave. We spent 3 days at the Horseshow Pond city camping site; very nice and clean and $12 night w/electricity. N 42 03.255 W090 39.857 Our neighbors, Dick and Anna, were also SKP’s and we enjoyed several visits with them.
After being back at the farm for two days, just long enough to do laundry, mow lawn and for Jan to have dinner with girlfriends, the lure of the outdoors struck again. We are at Swan Lake State Park south of Carroll, Iowa. It’s a nice place with a beautiful paved 3.85 mile walking trail around the lake plus it connects to the Sauk Rail Trail that goes north 28 miles to Black Hawk Lake. We’re with hometown friends and since it is closer to my parents here than from the farm, it has been handy to spend time with them also.
Life just goes so quickly! It seems like we looked forward to spending time with the kids and grandkids in IL for so long and now it’s already a memory. But what a great time we had with Eric and Cheri (at right) and their kids.

Friday, June 13, 2008


(Chuck) It was on to Illinois to spend some quality time with a couple of grandchildren. I have been looking for a place to stay in the north east suburbs of Chicago. Last year we stopped at a private campground and $30 seemed a bit too spendy for a simple spot with electricity. I noticed a few comments on the SKP board about two parks near where we wanted to go. Buffalo Park and Paul Wolff park are both close to Elgin and only about fifteen minutes from Eric and Cheri’s house. Buffalo Park is closed due to habitual flooding and that left Kane County, IL Paul Wolff Park (N 42.04.178 W088 32.546) 866’ elevation. It was a good choice and we enjoyed the stay there. The cost was only $16.00 water and electricity at the site.

On Tuesday we left Paul Wolff Park and drove north to Richard Bong Recreation Area, Burlington, WI (N 42.37.858 W088 07.136) 847’ elevation. It is a very large Wisconsin state park. They have a large number of sites that are very large and have electricity on site. The sites are heavily wooded and give you a very individual site.

We had a great time with Ryan and Jessica. We made their first geocach and caught their first fish. On Wednesday we traveled over to Lake Michigan and enjoyed the afternoon at the lake shore.

Back at the Bong Rec area we heard the coyotes howl and saw our first woodcock. There is a remote control flying field at the rec area and we watched a very fast remote controlled airplane.

Tomorrow we leave here and will travel back to the farm in Iowa. We will be there for about a month to spend time with Jan’s folks. The Halbur 125 th anniversary of the town will be on July 11 and all of Jan’s family will be there. Jan has two brothers and one sister and all 44 of their children and grandchildren will be in Halbur for the celebration. After that it is off to Colorado for us. We will be at the Colorado Boomerang at Clear Creek Reservoir at Buena Vista, Colorado.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


(Chuck) At Saylorvile, IA we dabbled in genealogy. It was a good start for us. It had been a long time since we had done much actual research work and it has been fun. We moved on to Jasper County, IA to find more of what we could about my Vandeman and Dearinger families. We spent several days in the public library and the Jasper County Genealogical Society library. We stayed at the Jasper County, Mariposa Park.
May 19 Newton, IA Mariposa Co. Park (N41 47.002 W092 57.755) 998’ elevation. You can enter these coordinates in Google Earth and it will bring you right to the place where we were. It is a neat feature, I hope you enjoy it.

From Jasper County we moved up to Northeast Iowa to find more information on Jan’s ancestors who had moved through Dubuque and Clayton Counties. The New Vienna and Guttenberg Libraries were very helpful. The real goldmine in that area is The Dyersville Area Historical Society. Judy Weber is one of the driving forces that promotes the genealogy research in the area. Thank you Judy!!! The society maintains among many resources a library of thousands of obituaries that have been photocopied from local newspapers. They go back about 125 years and have given us wonderful additions to our genealogy database. I know that we have 75 or 80 obits to transcribe to Word. It will not be done this week, but they will help a lot to understand some of the collateral families. One other project that I have been adding is gravestone photographs. I like preserving these stones with photographs. It helps to provide a record of the writing on the stones. Many of the early marble and sandstone stones have noticeably deteriorated in the last 35 years that we have been visiting cemeteries.

We stayed several places in New Vienna, New Wine Park had flooded the day before we arrived and we stayed one night only because I was confident it was not going to rain Tuesday night. Wednesday the weather deteriorated and staying there again was not an option, so we moved up to the ball field area. Soon it rained again and the creek was out. We moved the rig further up the hill to the church parking lot that night. We were at New Vienna Memorial Day and the flags at the cemetery are always a wonderful sight.

May 26 New Vienna, IA New Wine Park Flooded
May 27 New Vienna, IA Ball field Lehman (N 42 32.860 W091 06.933)
May 29 New Vienna, IA Church Parking Lot (N 42 33.058 W091 06.895)

While we worked in Guttenberg we stayed in a large parking lot of a manufacturing plant that was closed. It didn’t cost anything and it served the purpose for us.

May 30 Gutenberg, IA Industrial Park (N 42 48.418 W091 06.958)

This was our genealogy work for the time being. We know that we have some courthouse work to be done in Clayton county and it will have to wait until we get back. Hopefully on the return trip from Chicago. We found that we were in great need of a grand kid fix and after Guttenberg we headed on East to Lake in The Hills, Illinois. It in a North East Chicago suburb and home to Eric, Cheri and a couple of great grand kids. We will be here for a while. We will take the kids up to Wisconsin for a few days and have a great time.
room reservation in London