Who builds a polo field in Phoenix? It’s so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk and bake cookies on a car dashboard. Sometimes airplanes can’t fly. Answer: My great grandfather J.E. Thompson. Though J.E.’s gesture seems foolhardy, it may may have actually paid financial dividends. That sly fox! Joseph Edward, who belonged […]
Old Pennsylvania Grist Mill Was Probably Not in the Family
This just in: It unlikely that “my” John Clark built this beautiful grain mill along Yellow Breeches Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River. It sure would have been nice to say someone in my family was responsible — it was the first grist mill in Cumberland County, Pa. I thought for about a year […]
Derelict Motel Occupies the Hill Major J.R. Boyce Tried to Take
More than 400 soldiers died during the two-hour battle of Iuka, making it one of the fiercest of the Civil War. (Six people died per minute.) Yet today it’s difficult for visitors to this small Northern Mississippi town to find any trace of the battle. Yes, there’s a big, touristy mural on a crumbling downtown […]
Search for Simmers Grave Ends in Disappointment
My mother left behind a faded picture of her grandparents’ headstone with a note on the back, “North Merchistan Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland.” I could barely make out the names on the headstone, Hugh Simmers and Marion Murray. But it was impossible to read their dates of birth and death, which of course would be vital […]
Real Estate Mogul Fred Pickering Died Alone
Rhoda Anne Williams and Walter Hinds Doty hadn’t been married too long when a mysterious visitor showed up in their driveway.
Gumshoe Turns Up Site of Original Pennsylvania Farmstead
We asked private investigator Booth Neyscop to chase down a genealogical lead. Here’s his unedited report.