Monday, May 30, 2011

Decoration Day - Memorial Day

For as long as I remember Decoration Day weekend was a very special time for our family. First of all my brother Willard's birthday wa
s on the 30th so we could get together with family to celebrate. The Memorial Day holiday is a time to honor those who gave their lives in the service of our country. In our family we also had special remembrances of all our family members and friends who had passed before. The week before the holiday we would go to the nursery and pick op potted plants like geraniums, zinnias and and iris, sometimes even small rose bushes and other bedding plants if they were available. Back then, we were able to actually plant the flowers on the graves around the headstones. The grounds keepers actually kept them watered throughout the summer. During the week my parents would make plans for visiting the cemeteries at Sterling, and Otis Colorado.

Usually dad would work until noon on Saturday's and ,when we lived close to Sterling, we would go to Riverside cemetery in the afternoon to visit the graves of my dad's side of the family, the Dunn's. Riverside is a beautiful old cemetery with huge trees that were fully grown when I was small. We have old family pictures of my father's family visiting Riverside when there were only small trees and no shade.

There was almost a ritual to prepare the graves for planting. We would take all the plants out of the car and carry them to each location. Dad would then unload the planting soil, canvas tarp, garden tools, hand broom, rags and water. First, any weeds, stray grass or dead plant material was trimmed, pulled and removed. Then, the planting area was prepared and the potted plants were carefully removed from the pots and laid on their side on the canvas. Then the plants were placed in the hole that had been prepared with potting soil and water. After everything was planted, any debris was removed and the stones were lovingly cleaned and polished. Finally, everyone would reverently tell each resting loved one their private thoughts. After the tears. The trip home would be filled with stories and family memories.

Monday, May 23, 2011


This is a narrative that covers the history of the family of Edward John Tresize and their immigration to America from England. It was originally posted on but is not avail. May have been posted by his children.

My father, Edward, and Johnny dug a hole they called the "little Johnny" but no gold was found. They sunk another one nearby and called it the "Big Johnny Mine." They found silver but no gold. The same can be said of other miners in the area. No gold was found. The only gold that was found was in H. A. W. Taybor's mine, the Matchless Mine. He would invite famous people to Leadville because he was a senator. He would feed them a big banquet then take them into the mine and show them gold nuggets laying around. He was trying to get them to invest in his mine. One day, he had a group of investors in the mind and they were about to sign papers to buy the mine when a man came running up and said, "Looky, looky," his eyes were bulging out and he was excited. He had a gold nugget in his hand the size of a walnut. The men asked him where he found it and he replied,"right over there, and it wasn't there yesterday!" Tabor looked startled as the men turned and walked away and did not sign

Tabor's first wife did not like all of his crooked ways and divorced him. My stepmother, Helen, knew Baby Doe McCourt back in Glen Burnie, Maryland. They were girl friends at that time. They moved west together and lived in Davenport, Iowa. Helen married Macon while she lived there. They later followed the gold seekers to Colorado. First, they moved to Central City, then Breckenridge, and finally to Leadville where Macon went into the grocery business. My oldest sister, Polly, married a widower, Fred Wahl. He had a small son, Johnny. Polly and Fred opened a bakery business a few blocks away from Macon and his grocery store. When gold became the money standard in place of silver and the big bust came, they all went broke, along with everyone else. Horace Tabor married the good looking blonde McCourt woman.

Photo of Baby Doe's Home by Mo & Terry Smedley