Saturday, March 12, 2011

Narrative By Eldred Bennett Trezise:Part 1 Coming to America

As promised I am posting this story in a serial format. The story is a collection of memories written by my Grandmother Pricilla's brother Eldred. When I was growing up my parents and I visited him on numerous occasions. He had a very impressive train set up that seemed to fill his basement and had multiple trains running at the same time. He also was an accomplished painter. For my mother and father's 40th wedding anniversary he presented them a beautiful painting of the Rocky Mountains during aspen. The painting still hangs in our home. I want to give credit to the web site this is published on as it looks like one of Uncle Eldred's children originally posted it. The credit follows the post. Please respect the copyright of this material in this and all further portions of the letters.


The Trezise family originally came from Cornwall England and settled in Ishpeming, Michigan. My father, Edward John came over to the United States with a brother. He left his wife, Grace and four children in England while he searched for work and established himself in this country. The children left in England were: Elizabeth Mary (Polly) who was born 6/8/1881; Edward John who was born 12/13/1882 [should be 30 Aug 1883—SCM]; Priscilla Jane who was born 1/23/1885; and Charlotte Anne who was born 6/11/1886. A baby sister, Priscilla Anne was born on 9/2/1882 and died 12/13/1882. Edward worked for the Michigan Central Railroad. My father sent for my mother and brother and sisters and they came to Ishpeming. I was born in Ishpeming 11/23/1893. My brother, Lewis Henery was also born in Ishpeming on May 8, 1895.

Shortly after my brother Lewis was born, my father followed the Gold Rush to the Klondike in British Columbia. While there, he met a man named Johnny Brown and they became good friends. My father returned to Michigan and moved the family by covered wagon to Leadville, Colorado where it was rumored they had discovered vast veins of gold. Johnny Brown went to Leadville ahead of my father. The prospectors arrived in Leadville by the hundreds, until it became a metropolis of 14,000 people. Many were living in tents, shacks, dugouts, and lean-tos built of wood and canvas. All of the stories about the vast wealth to be found there was only half the truth. Many of the people there starved to death and died of malnutrition.

My sister, Dora Ellen was born while we were living in Adlaide Park near Alma, Colorado on March 8, 1897. Heating was done with wood and lighting with candles and oil lamps. A huge fire took place and wiped out the whole mountain side. The mountains were covered with thick timber at the time and the tents, shacks, lean-tos, sheds and houses all were consumed. The only part left was the downtown section. We lived in a house near the Matchless Mine when my brother Thomas Wesley was born on December 21, 1898.

One has only to walk through any of the six cemeteries located there and note the dates on the markers to realize how very young the people were when they passed away in those days. There were a few stories going around about someone striking it rich, including the Tabor family. If the Tabors had diamonds, jewels, mansions, and fantastic wealth, I did not see it. Horace Tabor died when I was only six years old and I do not remember a lot about him.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Things to Come - A Pioneer Story

The last few weeks have been hectic at work with training and working late but the ancestors are no respecters of our short sighted understanding of time. Even though I come home exhausted, they keep prompting me to log on and take a stroll into their world. This week was so exciting, I got a message from an member who had found a story written by my granduncle Eldred B. Trezise. This is a wonderful story of an adventurer and his family that starts in Cornwall England and ends up in Kansas, by way of Michigan, the Klondike, and gold and silver mines in Leadville Colorado.
Over the next few days I will share a piece of the story in each post so you can enjoy it. I hope by doing this we may find out who posted the narrative originally. Best guess right now is one of Eldred's children. So stay tuned for stories and pictures.
Until next post, I wish you peace and blessings.
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Family Reflections and Thanks

I would like to start out my post by thanking my lovely and talented granddaughter Natasha Smith for her "remodeling project" on the "Quilt". I just love it, you can see her own creation at her Blog Melted & Merged: The Smiths.

Over the past few weeks I have reconnected with one of my father's cousins, Robert Dunn. We had lost touch after my father passed about 10 years ago. We reconnected on and found we each had pieces of our family story that the other did not have.

He is a very creative photographer and had put together a photo retrospective of Ben Dunn's time in the Army during WWI.

Ben was an uncle of both Robert and my father Maynard. Cousin "Bob" had also transcribed Ben's letters to his family during his time in service. These letters gave me an opportunity to get to know more about him and my great-grandparents.

I received another treasure as well, a framed marriage certificate for my great-grandparent's (Mary Ellen Ramsey and Wilbur Dunn) wedding in 1887.
As soon as I get a photo taken of it I will share it as well.

Reconnecting with long lost relatives is a great earthly reminder that our Families are Forever. Don't let procrastination and and the fear of rejection or awkwardness stop you from reaching out to others and enjoying those blessings.
Till next time....Mary Ellen