John & Anne Wiley

2011/04/24

Ground School

Today we’re exploring in a rental car. A few years ago we discovered I’m not me. Anne had hired an exceptional genealogist for my birthday, to research my paternal grandfather’s ancestry because he’d been placed in an orphanage at age 8 along with his two sisters when his mother died. Turns out he’d changed his name for reasons we can only guess at, but our expert had been able to uncover the facts leading us back to the 1740s just North of Pittsburgh. So today we begin a short ground tour learning more, photographing terrain & tombstones.

Yesterday we found what remains of the nice home in Pittsburgh where my grandfather’s older sister had worked as an escape from the orphanage.

7340 Attic Escape

7340 Attic Escape

She probably lived in that attic room, and it must have seemed heavenly after her time in the orphanage. Then with some help from Abby (our phone’s GPS) and a lot of help from Louise, we found the actual orphanage.

7365 Gramps' Orphanage

7365 Gramps' Orphanage

Turns out it had burned down, but in the center of this snap you might make out the bell they’ve placed as a memorial. After a fascinating guided tour of Wheeler we paused at Suzie’s magnificent farm.

7394 Paradise Found & Lost

7394 Paradise Found & Lost

Beautiful as it is, the WV mining laws have allowed many negative impacts on the quality of air, water, and sound here that remind us how precious is what we have inherited from ancestors and how we pass it on to descendants. Even with all the mining mayhem, it’s a relaxing place to Be.

As a promise of today’s discoveries we were treated to a gentle sunset drive back to Pittsburgh.

7427 Pitts Sunset

7427 Pitts Sunset

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