Friday, September 6, 2013
The Founding of the Homeplace - Summer 1838 - Progress Report - Part 4 of 5
The Founding of the Homeplace
Summer 1838, Progress Report
Part 4 of 5
"The Founding of the Homeplace" saga will continue here on every other Friday during August and September. This is a serial presentation of the story, beginning in 1833, when four families decided to settle the land, the valley, that would become the setting of the first two books in the The Homeplace Series: "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited" and subsequent series stories, set in 1987 and 1996, to date. The underlying premise of this series is the desire of the family matriarch to retain the family farm in the southern Missouri Ozarks in whole and in the family.
[See Story 1 (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4), Story 2 (Part 1, 2, 3, and 4), Story 3 (Part 1, 2, 3 and 4), Story 4 (Part 1, 2, 3 and 4), and 1838 Progress Report (Part 1, 2 and 3) earlier.]
Characters in this series become actively involved in the study of their family history and snippets of that research appear, from time to time through the series (one example). This serial presentation begins to share that ‘research’ in Story Form, and, some of the Stories represent 'writings of the family' that were ‘discovered’ in the process of that research. Each Story is an essay or report of the activities of the initial four families and their descendants that settled the Homeplace – the farm and the surrounding valley.
Summer 1838, Progress Report
In this episode, we share "Part 4 of 5"
The “Fourth Sunday” tradition continued in the valley with most of the eleven families gathering along the Central stream near the Patton’s for the July 1838 gathering. Jake and Kate took pride in the area around their home and businesses. It had become a park-like area and all of the families enjoyed spending a Sunday afternoon together there each month.
At social events such as these, it had become fairly obvious that Harry McDonald and Sarah Baldridge would eventually develop a romantic interest. They were each 16 years old this year, and enjoyed each other’s company. But, they also preferred to focus on long-term plans. Each was a serious young person. They recognized that ‘growing up’ and achieving 20 or 21 years of age before marriage would likely be in their best interests. They were encouraged by their parents to do that, if they could wait.
The younger children played games in the grass and with the dogs that some of the families had brought along. This year, it seemed, most of the children were from the western families.
News of the world outside the valley was a common topic of discussion during these monthly meetings. News would come from the freight trips, the occasional circuit riding preacher and the traders that still passed through the valley, from time to time.
A trader had brought word from the south that during the spring of this year, four or five more families had moved up from the south and settled along Oak Creek a few miles south of the Oak Springs valley. It was said that a couple of the families had a few slaves, as well, and were planning to open some tobacco fields as well as cotton fields. None of those folks had come further north, and no one in the valley here had gone south lately. His other news was that a copper mine had been opened, apparently the prior year, down near the confluence of the Current River and the Jacks Fork River
[...to be continued... on Sep 20, 2013, with Part 5 of Summer 1838 Progress Report]