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5 December 2008 Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Christmas greetings from Linda, Robert, and Derry! We have been doing well in
the past few months, and went on some trips together.
JOURNEY TO THE EAST COAST
Our long trip in the last half of the year was to the east coast. (more than
6,000 miles) The summer convention of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA)
was to be held in St. Paul, Minnesota, on 12-17 July. In addition, the Safari
chapter of FMCA would be celebrating its 20th anniversary at a rally in the
Amana Colonies, Iowa, on 1-4 July. We planned to attend both the rally and the
convention. Then we planned to continue east to the coast where we would visit
family members whom we had never met before. The areas we planned to visit in
Iowa and Wisconsin were severely damaged by floods in June. Fortunately, the
flood waters receded and the land dried out sufficiently before we arrived in
the area. We left Albuquerque on 26 June and headed east. At Oklahoma City we
turned north. The weather was hot, and we discovered that the dash air
conditioning was not working properly in our motor home. We got some refrigerant
put in when we were in Kansas, and then the weather turned cooler. That kept us
cool enough for the next 8 weeks until we got back home and had the air
conditioning repaired. When we arrived in Iowa, our first stop was near Boone
where we stayed at Ledges State Park. The portion of the park down by the river
was still closed due to the recent floods. The higher region where the
campground was located was dry, however. We stayed near Boone because we wanted
to take a ride on the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad. In fact, we rode on
three other trains on the trip. We had a beautiful day for our train ride.
Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad.
Our next stop was at the Amana Colonies for the Safari Chapter rally. The rally
was attended by a couple hundred owners of Safari Motor Coaches. We enjoyed
meeting our Safari friends and celebrating the 20th anniversary. Also present at
the rally was Dennis Dame who painted the Giraffe mural on our motor home
Dennis Dame paints another mural.
Since we had 8 days between the rally in Iowa and the convention in Minnesota,
we spent that time in Wisconsin. Our first stop there was at the Wisconsin
Dells. This is an area of fantastically eroded rock through which the Wisconsin
The Lower Wisconsin Dells.
We took a Duck trip on the Lower Wisconsin River (below the dam). Ducks are
One of the Ducks.
Side canyon of the Upper Dells.
We also got a look at Lake Delton whose dam had been breached during the
flooding in June. The lake had drained completely and some homes had been swept
away. This is what remains of the lake.
Lake Delton will be re-filled in 2009.
Our next campsite was on an island in the Mississippi River at La Crosse,
Dinner by the Mississippi.
La Cross from Grandad Bluff.
The University of Wisconsin at La Crosse library is a repository of the
Wisconsin Historical Society. This is where some of the papers of Samuel D.
Hastings are kept. He had been the treasurer of Wisconsin during the Civil War.
More importantly, he had married Robert’s great-great-great-grandaunt,
Margaretta Shubert. There were supposed to be some personal papers in the
collection, and Robert hoped to discover some new information about his Shubert
ancestors. We searched through a box of correspondence and found two letters
from Margaretta's brother, Samuel, and a letter from a brother, Benjamin, whom
we had not known about. These letters also revealed information about other
family members. After we left La Cross we drove to Green Bay, Wisconsin. Robert
wanted to see if there were any descendents of Samuel Hastings still living in
Green Bay. We stopped at the cemetery where Samuel is buried and asked at the
office if they knew if anyone were still living. The last known descendent of
Samuel had been the president of the cemetery. He died in 1994. The person
working at the cemetery office did not know of any living descendents of that
person, so we looked in the phone book for Hastings and found several. Robert
attempted to call them. Some could not be reached. Those that he did reach were
not descendents. It appears that there are no living Hastings descendents of
Samuel living in Green Bay. We then spent some time enjoying the sights of the
Green Bay Botanical Garden. Here are some lovely photos of the gardens.
Then we visited the National Railroad Museum.
An aerospace engineer playing train engineer.
The following day we departed from Green Bay and drove to Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
That evening we visited Robert's Russell cousins who live there. We shared some
more family information and photos with them.
Greg Russell family.
The following day we continued our journey to St. Paul, Minnesota. We spent the
next few days in St. Paul at the FMCA convention. We had a great time at the
convention, and we were also able to meet Linda's cousin, Carolyn, and her
husband, Don, from Tucson Arizona. On Sunday at noon we visited with Robert's
Shubert cousins Kathy and Ginny and their husbands.
Linda with Carolyn and Don.
Robert with Cathy and Ginny.
After the convention, we headed back across Wisconsin and stopped just south of
Milwaukee. As we passed through Milwaukee, we stopped and visited with Kristin
who has also been looking for information about Samuel Hastings. She was in
Wisconsin doing some research in archives in Madison. We had some frozen custard
at Kopps. (A treat we do not get here.) We spent a day in Kenosha Wisconsin,
where we wanted to see the new Civil War Museum that had just opened. It was
very nice, but only partially open. It is on the shore of Lake Michigan, but the
weather was so cloudy that we couldn't even see the lake. We enjoyed a very good
lunch at Frank's Diner in Kenosha. We would certainly recommend that experience
if you ever visit Kenosha. The following day, we continued south and went
through Chicago and headed east into Indiana where we spent the night. Next stop
was Erie, Pennsylvania, for a night. Then we headed into New York State on a
very rainy day. We stopped that night at Jack Gardner’s home in Canisteo. He and
Linda are fifth cousins once removed. He was in Afghanistan with the Army, but
his wife and children were home. We spent that night camped in their front yard
and enjoyed a good time exchanging family information with them.
Linda with Gardner cousins.
Linda's and their common ancestor was Benjamin Baxter, who had fought in the
Revolutionary war and who is buried not very far from Canisteo. The following
day we traveled a short distance and went to Owego, New York, where Gordon
Orton, Robert's former Air Force roommate lives, and spent the remainder of the
day there with Gordon and Nancy. We enjoyed visiting, talking about old times,
and looking at and copying old photographs. The following day we moved on to our
destination near Boston, Massachusetts. We actually stayed in Foxborough, not
very far from the Patriots (football team) stadium.
Campground in Foxborough.
We were in Massachusetts to visit Robert's Shubert cousin, Charles Schubert. Our
first day there, however, we spent with Vickie, a friend who had lived in
Albuquerque around 30 years ago.
Vickie came to visit.
Then we spent portions of the next four days with Charles. We went through many
boxes of old photographs and documents that he had inherited. Robert scanned
We were very delighted when Charles discovered a photograph of Robert's
great-great-grandmother, Eliza Shubert Malseed. In fact, Charles found two
photographs of Eliza and gave them to Robert.
Portrait of Eliza Adams Shubert Malseed.
We enjoyed very much our time spent at the Shubert house in Wellesley and
enjoyed learning many new things about Robert's Shubert family. Charles and
Robert are third cousins once removed.
Robert with Jan and Charles Shubert.
Their common ancestor is George Shubert who lived between about 1804 and 1840.
George's sister, Margaretta, was the one who married Samuel Dexter Hastings.
After we had left Wisconsin, Kristin did research in the archives in Madison and
discovered some letters written to Samuel Hastings by John Shubert. She sent
digital copies of these letters, and we were able to confirm that John was a
brother to George.
Our next destination was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We stayed on the outskirts
of Philadelphia in the town of Hatfield. That is where Robert's cousin Debby
Conigliaro lives. She is a second cousin once removed. We had never met Debby
before. It was only in the last couple of years that we learned about her.
Robert with cousins Debby and Carole.
She had inherited many old Malseed documents, and we were very anxious to see
what they were. We spent several days there in Hatfield scanning documents and
photographs that Debby had. We discovered that she had the family Bible of
Andrew and Eliza Shubert Malseed. She also had photographs of Andrew and Eliza's
son George Shubert Malseed, which she gave to Robert. She also gave Robert a
wedding photograph of his grandparents. While in Philadelphia, we spent one day
downtown. We wanted to see the Irish Immigration Memorial. The sculpture there
was produced by a New Mexican named Glenna Goodacre. She designed the Sacajawea
Irish immigration memorial.
On another day we met with Barbara Lewis, who is also a Shubert descendent but
from a different family line. She lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota, but was
there visiting her mother and doing some Shubert research of her own. On
Saturday, we took Debby and her husband, Joe, on a tour of some of the family
sites in Philadelphia. We showed them where Andrew and Eliza had lived and where
John Malseed had lived. We also showed them the cemetery, where they are buried
along with some other family members.
Robert and Debby at Daniel Malseed's family cemetery plot.
For lunch, we stopped close to where Daniel Malseed had lived, and had a Philly
cheese steak sandwich at Geno's.
Waiting for lunch at Geno's.
Debby also has Andrew Malseed's Journal, which dated to 1844 and inside of which
was placed many documents relating to his Civil War service in 1863 and 1864. It
appears that the documents that he had from that time were split into two
bundles. Robert inherited one, and Debby inherited the other. So we have
exchanged scans of each other's so that each one of us has either an original or
a good scan of the complementary documents. When we left Philadelphia, we
continued south and stopped in Towson, Maryland, where we stayed with Robert's
cousin Jan Sorensen. It was Jan’s birthday when we arrived so we celebrated with
Jan and her daughters.
With Jan, Barb, Sue, Pat, and Nan.
We met with several other family members there including Robert's nephews and
also his cousin Bill Malseed.
With nephews James and John Abell.
The USS Constellation in Baltimore's inner harbor.
Our next stop was near Williamsport, Maryland. While there, we made a visit to
Robert's nephew in Emmitsburg, Maryland. We also spent a couple days touring
some sites that Robert's ancestor, Andrew Malseed, had visited during the Civil
War. Robert has a letter that Andrew wrote from Falling Waters, Virginia, so we
went there. We found the falls that Andrew had written about in his letter.
The falls at Falling Waters.
He also wrote from Martinsburg, West Virginia, so we went there and saw the
railroad yards that Andrew described seeing after the raid by Stonewall Jackson
had destroyed much of the railroad stock. We left copies of Andrew’s letters
with the Historical Society.
Martinsburg railroad yards.
Andrew was not involved in the battle of Antietam, but nevertheless we spent the
day touring the battlefield and surrounding area.
View of the famous Dunker Church.
Robert in the sunken road.
At the Burnside Bridge.
The Antietam Cemetery.
We also visited the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.
Lock on the C&O canal.
Visitor Center at the C&O Canal National Historical Park.
From Williamsport, we headed west into the mountains of western Maryland and
West Virginia and stopped in the town of Durbin. On this trip we had planned to
ride on three historic railroads. The first was in Boone, Iowa, the second and
third, were at Cass and Durbin, West Virginia. The railroad at Cass is an old
logging railroad and the ride takes you up a steep grade to the top of Bald
Knob, a very high point in West Virginia. The Shay engine is a geared engine
with vertical pistons and a driveshaft. It was designed for climbing the
Shay engine. Note the driveshaft on the side.
We also rode the train at Durbin along the river that flows down the valley. The
Climax engine of the Durbin Rocket is also designed for climbing. Here you can
see the drive shaft beneath the engine.
Climax engine of the Durbin Rocket.
Between Cass and Durbin is the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Greenbank.
Because the telescopes are so sensitive, the entire area is a radio quiet zone.
That means there is no cell phone service and also means that no electronic
cameras are allowed near the telescopes, so we took this picture from an
The large telescope at Greenbank.
Robert had transcribed the John Shubert letters and sent copies to our other
Shubert cousins. One, who was a descendent of John, managed to contact another
descendent of John. We discovered that he lived in Franklin, Tennessee. This was
more or less on our way home, so we revised our path and we were able to stop in
Franklin to visit with our new-found cousin, Shane Van Wey. He and Robert are
fifth cousins once removed.
Robert with Shane Van Wey.
We arrived home on 20 August.
RALLY IN CREEDE, COLORADO
In September, our family motor Coach Association local (Chaparral) chapter,
held a rally in Creede, Colorado. We went and spent several days there and
enjoyed visiting with our friends and touring the area around Creede which is an
old mining town. We drove up into the mountains and saw many remnants of the
mining activity. It is possible that mining could resume there.
The small town of Creede, Colorado.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAMBLE
The Rocky Mountain Motor Coach Association of FMCA held its annual Rocky
Mountain Ramble in Farmington, New Mexico this year. It had been held there at
the San Juan County Fair Grounds a couple times previously.
Friends’ property along the Animas River.
We spent the week in Farmington, and again we enjoyed visiting old friends and
also visiting the area around Durango, Colorado.
As this letter is being written, we are busy rehearsing and preparing for
our annual Christmas musical. This year we will be presenting a rather elaborate
musical drama on 6 and 7 December.
Derry loves to play games like ‘fetch’, or ‘keep-away’ where he grabs
something he is not supposed to have and then has us chase him around trying to
get it from him. You can see in this photo that at 2 years and 4 months of age
his red color has faded almost completely away.
Derry freshly groomed with bandana.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We continue to be thankful for the Lord's providing for us in all ways. We
trust in Him, and pray that you will do likewise and enjoy a blessed Christmas
season and New Year as well.
Robert & Linda
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Le Gach Deaghui i gComhair na Nollaig agus na Bliana Nua.
Frohe Weihnacht und ein glückliches neues Jahr!
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Page last updated:
11 December 2008