Why is Rancho Joaquina, my great grandfather’s 6,709-square-foot Adobe Revival home built in 1924-5, worthy of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places? Because it was built by my great grandfather J.E. Thompson, of course. No seriously, what’s the criteria? Why was the gorgeous Phoenix home listed in 1984? An ideal source recently […]
Locals remember the scene when J.E. Thompson first visited Greer, Arizona, on his way from New York to Phoenix. He arrived in 1919 with his clan in a Twin 6 Packard touring car, which was about the grandest thing that many residents had ever seen. He was referred to as the local millionaire. But the […]
Great Grandfather J.E. Thompson (1875-1950) used to vacation at a cabin in the White Mountains on a plateau about 1,000 feet above the town of Greer, Ariz. Great grandfather called the small, one-room building far from civilization his “hunting shack.” Unfortunately, the cabin burned a few years ago, leaving only a concrete foundation, the two-oven […]
The project started out innocently enough. I merely wanted to confirm some of the often bizarre stories my parents and grandparents had told me at family events, typically after a few drinks.
Genealogical research often turns up more than you really want to know. I got a rude reminder of this truism before the Christmas holidays, when a genealogist working in Cobourg, Ontario discovered that my earliest North American ancestor, William Thompson (1806-1849), assaulted a tailor, didn’t pay the fine, and spent time in the lock-up. The […]
Dear Long-Lost Uncle Ough, I know that you are dead – in fact you died more than 130 years ago – but that’s no excuse for not writing to you about my recent trip to your old hometown of Sacramento. Things have certainly changed since you lived there, and not all for the better. But […]