Friday, May 4, 2007

Drivin' around Massachusetts

It was an interesting day, once we got going. I called my cousin Barby in the morning, and she asked me to do a favor for her. She needed Aunt Gerry's cremains delivered to the funeral home to be inurned. So we went to Barby's home in Westford (she lives in Hildreth Heights, where our ancestor Richard Hildreth built a house in the 1600's - not there now, of course).

Barby went to Augusta ME yesterday and brought back all of Aunt Gerry's family papers, photo albums, and many of the articles she wanted passed to the nieces and nephews. I'm going to take the papers and photos home with me and scan many of them for a family CDROM later in the year. I looked through quite a bit of it and there are several pictures I don't have, and some of the papers are interesting. My cousin Peter and his wife came just as we were leaving to take the cremains to Leominster.

We had a 2 PM appointment at Richardson's Funeral Home in Leominster, and were there about 10 minutes late. We handed over the urn and the cremains, with the needed paperwork, and that part of it will be taken care of efficiently, I'm sure. I was honored to be able to take Gerry 25 miles on her final journey to the grave.

What to do now? Well, it was a beautiful day, so we decided to visit the family homes and graves and take pictures. Before we left home, I had found the addresses of all of the homes, and had found them all on a map of Leominster and Fitchburg. So we visited (in order):

a) 20 Hall Street, Leominster - this home was bought by my grandparents Fred and Bess Seaver in 1927. I had not seen this home before. The present resident came home while I was taking pictures, and I told him my grandparents had owned it and my father lived in it. He even invited us in, but we declined. Nice guy!

b) 290 Central Steet, Leominster - this home was provided rent-free to my grandparents Seaver from 1911 to 1927 by the Paton Mfg Co - my grandfather Fred Seaver was the manager of the factory next door to this house. My father grew up in this house and it had many memories for all of the family - and there are many stories too.

c) 149 Lancaster Street, Leominster - this home was owned by my great-great-grandparents Hildreth (Edward died in 1899, Sophia in 1923) and was the home for my great-grandparents Frank and Hattie (Hildreth) Seaver for most of their married life.

d) 7 Cedar Street, Leominster - this home is across the street from 149 Lancaster and my great-great-grandfather Isaac Seaver lived in it in 1900 (he died in 1901).

e) 42 Summer Street, Leominster - my great-grandparents Thomas and Julia (White) Richmond lived here in 1900. I had not seen it before, and it was the only house I didn't photograph. It was set back from the street a bit and there was no place to park in seamy part of town.

f) Evergreen Cemetery in Leominster - we found that they have dug the hole for Aunt Gerry. We took photos of the three Seaver stones in this cemetery, but there were shadows on several of them. I took pictures last year in the rain so it was no great loss. We will have another shot at pictures on Saturday, I'm sure.

g) 116 Lawrence Street, Fitchburg - my grandparents Fred and Bess (Richmond) Seaver lived in this house in 1910, and my father and two of his siblings were born here. I had not seen it before.

Now it was time to head back to Chelmsford for dinner. We had a choice - go through rush hour bumper-to-bumper traffic on Highway 2 and Interstate 495 for 20 miles, or take a two-lane road - Highway 2A - through Lunenburg, Shirley, and Ayer into Littleton. What do you think? It was a beautiful day and we took the ride through the country - averaged 35 MPH, probably faster than the highways! We stopped at Kimball Farms in Littleton - we knew they had a great ice cream place, and thought it had a sit-down restaurant. Nope - we had to find another place to eat. We shopped for about 45 minutes, then headed off to Scupper Jack's in Acton - I had a Mapquest printout from 3 years ago with me. We had a nice dinner - scrod and fries, and Linda had another Frozen Mudslide to drink.

The funeral is tomorrow at 11 AM, with a family party at Barby's afterwards. I think that some of us will go out for dinner somewhere in the evening to share memories, stories and pictures. I will probably not post anything on Saturday or Sunday (until I get home).

The wireless signal in the room is working tonight, and I'd better get this finished before it dies! Has everybody heard the joke about scrod?

1 comment:

Becky said...

The joke about scrod? Geez, I didn't even know what scrod was (I'm from Indiana, ya know). Found out on wikipedia... now I know the joke too - if that's the one you're talking about.

As a side note, my Joslin ancestors lived in Leominster: Peter Joslin, John and Lucy Wilder Joslin, Joseph and Sarah Tarbell Joslin. Peter and John went there in the 1740's. Joseph died there in 1829. Leominster and Lancaster are on my list of places to go after I retire...