Great-Grandma Lizzie's House

This weekend, I was pleased to find that Lizzie's childhood home, off Witherbee Road, is still standing! It was one of the miners' houses built from the tailings (or leftovers) from mining iron ore.

The tailings houses are boxy, built with large, gray bricks.

At the time Lizzie lived there, she would have lived with her parents, John Baptiste and Mary and her younger brothers, George and Francis. She would later move out when she married my great-grandfather, Michael Kelly.

Finding the home was such a gift, but I also enjoyed a girls' adventure with a dear friend. I've forgotten what a blessing it is to spend a day chatting about guys, life, work, etc. We ate comfort food, sipped margaritas, and laughed until we cried. Much needed!

Another blessing of the weekend was doing some digging on Ancestry.com and finding that Lizzie's older sister, Alma, had a daughter and named her "Pearl" after our Lizzie Pearl!

The baby was born while Lizzie was still alive, so Lizzie and Alma must have been close, although they were born 17 years apart. From the census records, it seems that Alma had moved out of the family house before Lizzie was born or shortly after.

Researching a family through the history of women is always a challenge. Their names change as they marry, and their existence is rarely documented beyond birth and marriage records. Still, Alma and Lizzie have provided the best clues so far as to what life was like for them in Witherbee.

I feel ready to piece together the full intro of the book. I'm trying to accept that it's OK for it to morph and grow as I learn more about Lizzie's life.

Gretchen PearlComment