Sunday, April 29, 2007

Stiff Knees, Swollen Ankles!

Yep, that's what I have tonight - a couple of knees with a whole lot of stiffness in them and an ankle that puffed out pretty good after some rare usage I put the old legs through today.
This morning, I was up bright and early - a really rare thing for me to be up by 7 a.m., unless it's that I haven't yet gone to bed -which is more likely the cause for me to be awake at that hour.
But today, not only was I up by 7 a.m. but I was showered, dressed and out of the house too before 9 a.m. and that is really a shocker to my system.
The reason for my early hours was that I was to meet up with a group of other folks who are interested in the history of the ghost town nearby where I live and who ever showed up, we were all going to go spend the morning tramping around in the woods, down in Peale - the ghost coal mining town featured in the website shown on my blog under the listing of my "favorite" places I like to visit online.
The leader/organizer of this expedition was Jeff Feldmeier from Allen Park, Michigan. Jeff's grandparents both came from this village where I live and he still has a good many cousins who live in this area. Add to that, he has such an interest -more like a "love" of this area and its history that although he grew up in Michigan, I'm betting he probably knows more about this area's history than do most of us who were born and raised in these old hills.
There were nine of us who ventured out today and though at a couple times in our trekking around, it did get a bit misty, at least it wasn't more than that.
Our first stop was to walk back in from the dirt road, along a logging path, in search of the Peale cemetery. My two younger kids and I had tried to locate the cemetery about 8-9 years ago to no avail. Although a friend of my son's who is a big hunter and knows the woods around here very well told me later that we were probably just a stone's throw away from the cemetery but it is very difficult to see it. The reason being - there is only one marker left there - the rest having been destroyed over the years by either vandalism or also, from forest fires since many of the old-time markers were made of wood.
I had a personal interest in wanting to find this cemetery though as my great-great-grandfather Till is buried there. He died in Peale in 1889 if my memory of the dates from my family tree records is correct. However, with no cemetery records available as to who is buried there, no markers to show exactly where the graves are save but the one for a lady by name of Martha Renfrew, it's just a means of being able to say that I did visit his grave, just didn't know exactly where it is located.
From the cemetery, we went up to the area that at one time was the village park - complete with a brick-lined swimming pool too in its hey-day! That area is pretty well overgrown now and though there is a big pond there that we're guessing is what now remains of the old pool, I couldn't see any of the bricks that used to be visible. I don't remember it ever being full of water either years back when I had last ventured up to that area of the old village.
I remembered to take a camera along with me today and got pictures down at the cemetery, up at the park and of the ruins of the last house that was being used as a camp but burned completely to the ground last October. It was really a beautiful big old house and why someone would get enjoyment, pleasure, from seeing a slice of the area's history going up in flames and smoke is beyond me. If you take a look through the Peale website posted under my blog favorites, you can see what this old house looked like until last fall.
Before I left the others in the group - had to get back home as Mandy had to be at work by 1 p.m. this afternoon - we managed to find what appears to be the remains of the foundation that was once the Peale Company Store - a place that back in the 1880's and 1890's served ALL the needs of the townspeople.
I'm really glad I had to curtail my walk around old Peale though because by 1:30 this afternoon, my legs and back were telling me that exercise maybe a good thing but my system is not very accustomed to much of it and it was protesting greatly! A two-hour nap this afternoon then was the prescription for curing those woes for me.
But, when I got up after having given my legs and back some relief and relaxation, I think the walking along with lots and lots of fresh air was really a good thing after all.
As soon as I get that roll of film developed - and hopefully at least a couple of the pictures I took will turn out ok - I'll post what I can on this blog for all to see how pretty the forests and hills of central Pennsylvania really can be, even on a grey, misty late-April day.


terry said...

I looked at the Peale website but didn't see the big house. I saw a smallish stone house captioned as a camp house, though.

I hate it when historical landmarks, even gravestones, disappear.

Smalltown RN said...

That sounds like such a trekk....good for you..and although your body initially rebelled as you said you know it was good for it.....

sounds like a very interesting bad some of the landmarks are gone....

Thanks for your comments on my latest was very helpful....I know what I must do...and as I reread my post from yesterday I see that I sound like I am whinning.....that's not like me...suck back reload and take the bull by the horns is more like me and that is exactly what I am going to do....thanks again for your comments greatly appreciated....

sognatrice said...

Oh I'm so homesick right now! I'm originally from the Mount Carmel/Shamokin area, and what you've described sounds like a walk I can't wait to take once I get back there. Also, I love that you're so involved in your family's history--my love for genealogy, etc., is actually what landed me here in my ancestors' village in Italy :)

Anil P said...

Will await the pictures.

James Burnett said...

I'm jealous. I've always wanted to visit a ghost "infested" building or town.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.