FROM OREGON BACK HOME
After the Oregon Trail caravan, we came back to Boise, Idaho for the Airstream International Rally, then continued east through Idaho, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Virginia, before reaching home base in north Georgia.
Friday, June 19, 1998 - While camped in Troutdale we went by to visit Phillip Bradley and his family. Karen was working so failed to meet her, but saw little 10 month old Keith. He was pulling up, just before walking. Phillip has a nice place within view of Mount Hood.
We also drove into Oregon City, riding down Main Street of the old city. Lying just below a high bluff, there was no room for the city to expand without scaling the bluff. Their solution was to install a public elevator to get from the downtown area below to the residential section above. We toured the John McLoughlin home which was moved from below the bluff to above after his death. It is now a National Historic Site. The 78 year old lady who was conducting the tour fainted in the midst of her spiel. Ann ran next door and called 911 The medics and fire department came, and she appeared to be okay.
Oregon City was the first incorporated city west of the Missouri River. It was the capital of the territory even before it became a U. S. Territory. This was the destination of the emigrants because this is where they filed their claims to the free land. They no doubt went to the capitol first to find out what land was available, then went back to file their claims. The city is on the banks of the Willamette River, so set because of the water power available from the Willamette Falls. It has now been swallowed up by Portland.
Dr. John McLoughlin was in charge of the Hudson's Bay Company from the 1820s until 1845 or so. He extended credit to the destitute emigrants as they flooded into the Willamette Valley. That was against company policy since the company wanted the land for the British crown. So, John lost his job. By then, he was independently wealthy, so he moved from Fort Vancouver to Oregon City and further built his estate. He continued to be a benefactor to the arriving emigrants.
During the course of compiling the caravan journal, I went through two printers. Exchanged the second one for a new one at Office Max today. That's the third. Must have gotten hold of two lemons. Print quality was good, but they kept chewing up paper at inopportune times. I won't be able to print any more until we get home anyway. My computer refuses to recognize any printer. A computer expert in Kemmerer, WY tried to fix it, but after several hours on the phone with the Dell service department, it was concluded that it had to go back to the plant for repair. I can't do that until we get home. Meanwhile, the computer still functions well, in every way but printing. I had to transfer all the data to Bill Herzing's Dell laptop, then print the finished product from his. Lots of fun.
Our final banquet was at the Rheinlander Restaurant in Portland. It was like a sampler meal with roast pork, sauerbraten, German sausage, and chicken cordon bleu - all on the plate together. Following the feast, there were some peaches, a skit, some singing, and some goodbyes for those who were not going on to Boise. The caravan was now officially over, but those going to the rally in Boise would remain together for a few more days.
Saturday, June 20, 1998 - We left Troutdale early for the 200 miles trip back east through the Columbia Gorge to Pendleton, Oregon. The weather was clear enough to see snow covered Mount Adams across the river to the north. We caught glimpses of Mount Hood in the rear view mirror. After settling in at the campground, we walked a couple of blocks to the Copper Kitchen to have dinner together. There were now only 21 couples in our group.
Sunday, June 21, 1998 - After thoroughly scouting the town of Pendleton for churches we decided to become Methodists for a day and attended the First Methodist Church. While the people were warm and friendly, the service lacked sponteneity. Everything was read - even the sermon. One exception - the music director forgot this was their first 9:30am service and didn't show up until after 10:00am, so the pastor (a young woman) asked for hymn requests from the congregation.
We took a tour of the underground tunnels of old Pendleton on Sunday afternoon. These tunnels crisscrossed the entire city in the wild days of the 1890s. No one knows how many miles of tunnels exist. They are all still there, but only about 4 percent of them have been made safe enough to be part of the tour. In the tunnels were saloons, gambling dens, a Chinese laundry, a jail, escape routes from numerous bordellos, and Chinese living quarters. The tour lasted an hour and half and included a tour of a former brodello. This was one of many, but the longest lasting. It operated openly until 1956.
What a strange combination! - going to church in the morning and touring a brothel in the afternoon.
Monday, June 22, 1998 - Leaving Pendleton with the early crew, it wasn't long before we started up the long grade, climbing into the Blue Mountains. In seven miles we climbed 3,000 fee and again marvelled at how the emigrants handled this. Once up to the higher elevation the trees were plentiful, and it looked good. We were now on a higher plain, crossing broad flat prairies. About 85 miles out from Boise, we stopped at the little town of Vale, Oregon for a couple of nights.
Vale is located on the Malheur River at the point where the wagons of the emigrants crossed the river. There was no town here then, however. The first building in the area came in 1864 at the close of the Civil War. It was known as the "Stone House" to passers through and served the area as a post office. The old building is still standing. Hot springs flowing into the Malheur River made the area a popular camping place for Indians and pioneers alike. Vale's claim to prominence now are the murals painted on building walls around town depicting scenes along the Oregon Trail. There are seventeen such murals with more being painted as they raise funds. The murals are a source of civic pride.
We played cards with the Larsons and Herzings in the evening - the first time there's been time for such. The men won handily at "Hand and Foot."
Tuesday, June 23, 1998 - Our leaders had arranged for carriage rides around the little town to view the murals this morning. The riding tour lasted more than an hour and was very interesting. There were some beautiful horses pulling - one wagon, one carriage, and one buckboard.
Every business has "V" cards that they give out to visitors ("V" for Vale). If one can gather six signatures on a card (from separate businesses around town), then you are entitled to a free print of one of the murals. We got the campground, the barber shop, the gas station, the grocery store, and the drug store to sign ours, and chose "The Crossing" - a beautiful painting of a wagon train crossing the Snake River.
Wednesday, June 24, 1998 - We gathered early to convoy in to the rally site in Boise. We travelled in two 10 unit groups, then joined about fifteen miles out to go in together. Our arrival appointment was 10:00am. Upon arrival we were parked immediately in vacant field where probably 1000 trailers had already parked. As soon as we settled in, we drove the half dozen miles into Boise State University to register at rally headquarters. We saw many friends from former caravans and signed up for several activities. Boise appears to be a thoroughly modern, busy city - the capitol of Idaho.
Thursday, June 25, 1998 - Not much happening yet at the rally. Rain has made the field we're parked in a pool of mud. As a result all trailers coming in have been held in the "bull pen" hoping the rain would stop. The tractors (Silver City Movers) have been busy pulling folks out of trouble. We've been able to come and go despite the mud, thanks to our 4WD.
We attended a banquet given by the Caravan Committee for caravan leaders in the evening. The caravan program is growing, with new caravans being added each year. Many caravans going in 1999 are already filled. Signups continue for the 2000 and 2001 caravans. One - the Polar Bear Caravan - is already filled for 1999 and 2000. The Polar Bear runs in the fall through the western Canadian provinces and Yukon Territory. We're signed up for the Southwest and Newfoundland caravans in 1999.
Friday, June 26, 1998 - More rain during the night has added more mud to the roads. Graders and gravel trucks are trying to make the road passable. Most folks stayed home until noon when sun came out and quickly dried things up enough to move around.
Saturday, June 27, 1998 - Bright sun today, but much cooler. We rode around town to look things over. Found a nice mall that made Ann happy. There's not much happening yet at the rally. The parking site turns out to be 10 miles from rally activities. Buses have started running again, but it is a long trip into town. At 7:30pm, opening ceremonies began, and the long march of the units started. That is always an impressive sight. The announcement was made that there were 1800 units registered - something of a disappointment - with quite a few first timers.
Sunday, June 28, 1998 - Watched hot air balloons ascend over the city. I spent the afternoon showing caravan videos in an excellent theater in the Student Union Building. Quite a few people showed up to watch. The evening entertainment was local musicians from Boise - a group called the Junior Jam and a quartet of singers. The kids were the best by far.
Afterward, we watched 30 minutes of fireworks coming from the end of the river festival.
Monday, June 29, 1998 - Not much happening today. It really turned hot - at least 95 degrees. The thermometer at the trailer (in the sun) read 112 degrees. We went to the mall in Boise to cool off.
Tuesday, June 30, 1998 - Played in a "Hand 'n Foot" contest in the morning. The rules were different than the way we usually play, but it was fun. There were about 20 people participating.
After lunch we went up to the viewing room where the results of the caravan journal and drivers manual judging was announced. Our Oregon Trail Journal won first place as "Best Overall." So, I guess I have to go before the big group and accept an award. It was amazing to see the high quality publications. We won by 2 points in a scoring system where best possible was 300. Our score was 285. Linda Keutzer's journal for their Unit Caravan to Boise came in second. Since Linda and I worked together on the Maple Leaf Journal in 1991 which also won a blue ribbon, it made us both proud to have the one-two punch this time.
Wednesday, July 1, 1998 - Played in the WBCCI golf tournament this morning with 130 other Airstreamers. Had a strange game with 4 terrible holes (triple bogies), but also had 7 pars and 1 birdie. So ended with a 93. Not even thinking about winning anything, I was surprised during the evening announcements to learn that I had won second place. Some screwy scoring system.
The evening entertainment, since this was Canada Day, consisted of a group of Ukrainian dancers from Calgery, Alberta - and they were terrific. They were not paid professionals, but they were excellent. The sea of red in the audience gave them several standing ovations.
Thursday, July 2, 1998 - We got up early to go into town. This was the first day we had had to be by ourselves. We started at the beautiful Idaho state Capitol building. With a dome that appears much like the capitol building in Washington, D. C., the building has marble columns, floors, stairs, walls and ceilings. Some of the marble is from Italy, some from Georgia, some from Alaska, and some from Vermont. Completed in 1920, the building took fifteen years to construct. It has the unique feature of being heated by naturally hot water from nearby springs. We posed by the Liberty Bell which is prominently displayed in front of the capitol building.
We then took an hour long open tram ride through the city - narrated by the driver. He pointed out many of the downtown parks and buildings that Boise is proud of, then went out to the exclusive residential area along Warm Springs Road. Each of the homes along this road are heated by natural hot water. Many of the homes have been restored to their original elegance.
The evenings entertainment at the rally was the Teen Queen Show. Before the show, awards were handed out for best of this and best of that. My trophy for "Best Caravan Journal" was a miniature Airstream on a walnut stand with flags of the U.S., Canada, and Idaho.
Final count for registration was 1903 units.
Friday, July 3, 1998 - I showed two more videos at the Special Events Theater this morning. They seemed to be well received. Had a bout with vertigo that put me down for the rest of the day.
Saturday, July 4, 1998 - Felt much better, but stayed in most of the day for a little recuperation. The WBCCI 4th of July parade took place in dowtown Boise, and those who went said it was especially well attended not only by our people but by local citizens as well. After the parade a clubwide picnic was held in the Boise Center. That evening, the flags were retired, and the rally was officially closed.
FROM BOISE TO KIRCHHAYN - 1998
Sunday, July 5, 1998 - We said goodbye to all our caravan friends who were parked together at the rally and left about 7:30am. Trailers were leaving the rally site in quick succession. We drove north on S.R.55, the Payette River Scenic Parkway, intending to drive about 200 miles. The scenery was outstanding. We went from 2300 feet of elevation to over 5,000, then back to 1800, then back to 4200, then followed a high plain for several miles before descending to below 1,000 feet. The first part of the drive followed the wild Payette River as it descended the mountain we were climbing. At McCall we crossed Payette Lake and followed the Little Salmon River down the mountain. The mountains just north of Boise were barren except for sagebrush, but as we climbed higher the mountains were covered by pine and fir trees. Then there were wide open plains with views that must have been 100 miles across.
Finding a campground 200 miles out proved to be a problem, so we drove on to Lewiston - 275 miles from Boise. There were no campgrounds in Lewiston either, but we found one just across the Snake River in Clarkston, Washington. It was strange that there were so few campgrounds in the area. The campground in Clarkston was already full when we arrived, but they had a spot for dry camping, which was all we needed anyway. We were next door to a bowling alley, so we rented some shoes and bowled with house balls. Oddly, our scores were better than with our own equipment.
Monday, July 6, 1998 - Climbing out of the Snake River Valley was a tough climb, but once we were atop the mountains, the road leveled out and stayed that way most of the way to Coeur d' Alene. We found a campground in nearby Post Falls, then proceeded to do necessaries. Ann went to the laundry while I found a place to service the Suburban. It needed new shocks - not surprising after 105,000 miles. I had it lubricated, washed, and gassed, then followed a lead to find a new brake controller in Spokne, WA. At a safety seminar in Boise, we were told about a new Kelsey-Hayes Micro Controller with a remote, hand held manual control. I thought that idea a good one, and since my old controller was acting up a bit, I pursued the lead and found one. I then spent the rest of the afternoon installing it. Guess we won't know ifit works until we hook up again and drive around.
Tuesday, July 7, 1998 - The name, Coeur-d'-Alene. is French, coming from a term applied to the local Indians by French fur traders. Translated, it means "heart of the awl" or "heart like an awl point," referring to the sharp trading talents of the Indian tribe. The local river, lake, and town ultimately assumed the name. Lake Coeur-d'Alene is a beautiful, clear lake reminding us of some of the lakes in the Black Forest of Germany. Americans came to the area when General Tecumseh Sherman came to establish a fort in the summer of 1877. Fort Sherman is now the site of North Idaho College in the city of Coeur-d'-Alene.
We took a two hour boat cruise on the lake in the afternoon. In one corner of the lake, logs that had been floated down the river were being stored awaiting processing in a mill further
downstream. That was the only thing detracting from the beautry of the lake, however. There are many houses on the south shore that can only be reached by water - very nice houses. One of the most interesting things that can be seen from the water is the Coeur-d'-Alene Golf Course. The fourteenth hole is a par three with the tee box on land and a green that floats aound in the lake. The distance from the white tees is 170 yards - most of the time. After teeing off, a boat takes the golfers out to the island to putt out, then brings them back.
Wednesday, July 8, 1998 - Not much happening today. We explored Coeur-d'-Alene some more in the morning, then drove across the border to Spokane, Washington and to the mall to get cool.
Thursday, July 9, 1998 - We pulled out early heading east on I-90. This was the first test of the new brake controller, and it worked like a charm. It's a real plus to have the remote control in hand when the trailer brakes are needed alone on downgrades.
We ran a little impromptu survey as we drove from Coeur-d'-Alene to Missoula..we met 50 motorhomes, 18 fifth-wheel trailers, and 13 conventional travel trailers. It's obvious that motorhomes are by far the most popular RV on the road. We see that in the campgrounds now too.
The mountains along our route today were very nice. We crossed the Continental Dividejust east of Butte at about 6300 feet. We've again changed time zones, so we're now two hours behind ET.
Our campground for the night had a car and RV wash facility, so we got some of the Oregon Trail and Boise mud and dirt off. We should be a lot lighter now.
Friday, July 10, 1998 - Not much to comment on this day. We drove 360 miles to Miles City, Montana. This was a mail forwarding station, so we wanted to get it picked up before the weekend. Miles City is a modern cattle town with a Walmart and the usual fast food spots. They used to have an annual cattle drive down Main Street, but they don't do that anymore - too dangerous, I guess. We stopped for the night at a KOA. Nothing much to speak highly about it - just a typical KOA.
Saturday, July 11, 1998 - After a two hour drive, we arrived in the little North Dakota town of Medora. Medora is at the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the midst of what is called the North Dakota Badlands. The landscape is tortured - as if some giant plow has been set loose to churn up the earth. The bluffs and buttes and hills are surprisingly coverd with green grass. In the draws and arroyos and along the river banks, huge cottonwood trees are thriving, releasing their little tufts of cotton bloom.
We were in Medora nine years ago when we stayed in the same Red Trail Campground. Much is the same, but there have been some new things added. Medora got its start in 1883 when a French nobleman by the name of Marquis do Mores arrived with an ambitious plan to process beef here and ship it east in refrigerated rail cars. The idea had obvious merit,but it was about fifty years ahead of its time, and the Marquis lost his fortune. The chimney of the meat processing plant, in a small park near the entrance to the National Park, is all that remains of the Marquis' grand plan.
About the same time as de Mores was trying to build his meat plant, Teddy Roosevelt came west to recover his health and sanity. Roosevelt had just lost his mother and his wife and suffered from a severe case of asthma. The clean air and strenuous exercise cleared his mind and cured his body. From here he went on to become a famous president of the country. He is quoted as saying, "My experience when I lived and worked in North Dakota with my fellow ranchmen on what was then the frontier, was the most important educational asset of my life."
Medora prospered for awhile, then fell into abandoned disrepair - until the 1950s. It was then that a North Dakota millionaire - Harold Schaffer - decided to restore the town. Harold Schaffer was the "Gold Seal" man. Through the Theodore Roosevelt and Medora Association the historic town continues to grow and prosper as a tourist attraction.
The "Medora Musical" is presented nightly during the summer. The outdoor drama takes place in a box canyon called the Burning Hills Amphitheater, just west of town. Seats covering the closed end of the canyon overlook a vast open expanse of the "badlands" and face a stage where the show takes place. We saw this extravaganza nine years ago, but a new wrinkle has been added. Preceding the show, some 800 people are served "Pitchfork/Fondue," an 11 oz. ribeye steak threaded on a pitchfork and cooked in a kettle of hot oil. The steak is served along with baked beans, baked potatoes, rolls, brownies, salad coffee and lemonade. Served on a terrace with a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape, this really sets the mood for the show. To further enhance the setting, four beautiful elk appeared on the bluff right behind the stage.
There were a lot of kids around. At one point in the show they asked for all kids twelve and under to come up on the stage. There must have been 200 of them - all much excited. The patriotic show is dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt and features several re-enactments of his escapades - especially the charge up San Juan Hill with his Rough Riders. But we didn't get to see the finale. Instead, the finale was provided by the weather as the sky danced with lightning and the rain began to fall.
Sunday, July 12, 1998 - A ride through the national park really brought home some of God's artistry. The landscape is tortured, but it is also exceeding pretty. No two rock formations are shaped exactly alike. There are cones and domes and blocks and walls. Some of the stone is white, some is red, some is sandy in color. Some hills are covered with grass; some have low cedar trees. Near the river, the cottonwoods abound. We looked for buffalo, but saw only a fox, a deer, some horses that may have been wild, and hundreds of prairie dogs. After the previous nights thunderstorm, the air was so clear, mountains 100 miles distant were clearly visible.
Monday, July 13, 1998 - We moved on to Bismarck, ND and stopped at a KOA that was the exception to the bad image of KOAs. This one was very nice, clean, and the attendant had a good personality. Only problem was that we were nestled back in the trees and couldn't find a TV signal with our dish, so couldn't watch the Braves. It was very hot. We went to the Kirkwood Mall and walked around for exercise and relief from the heat.
All throughout the northwest, we had seen beautiful, dark green grass on lawns. It appeared to prosper in th shade. Upon inquiry, we learned that it was a variety of Kentucky blue grass, developed to withstand the extreme cold temperatures of the region. After stopping at several nurseries, I bought a roll of it to take home and try on our mountain. Since it just cost $2.25 there's not much at stake. I will have to roll it out and sprinkle it each day until we get home.
Tuesday, July 14, 1998 - We moved to Fargo, stopping at the same city RV Park in town we've stayed at twice before. It is adjacent to Roger Maris Park, a large complex of baseball fields and other park facilities. From the tortured landscape around Medora, the landscape has gradually smoothed out as we progressed eastward. Coming into Fargo, it was wide open, flat, treeless plains for as far as the eye could see.
We stopped for the night in the City Campground on the edge of a park with many baseball fields, all dedicated to the memory of Roger Maris. This was our third time there. It was hot, hot, hot. Our airconditioner was overworked.
Wednesday, July 15, 1998 - We moved on to Clear Lake, Minnesota and the Airstream Park there. This beautiful campground is full of very friendly people. We were welcomed with an invitation to join in a potluck supper. At the supper were several folks we had run into before, including a couple who parked opposite us at Medora. Another - Mike Rhodes - came by our trailer after supper and invited me to play a round of golf on the adjacent par-3 course. It was a demanding course, emphasizing the short game - my weakness.
Thursday, July 16, 1998 - We celebrated Ann's birthday at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. What an extraordinary place! Built in 1992 on land vacated by the Minnesota Twins baseball park, it containes 4.2 million square feet of space. Inside is an amusement park with roller coaster, ferris wheel, and other daredevil rides - the most violent, called The Mighty Axe. There are movie theaters, car agencies, a recently opened Underwater World aquarium, along with the 525 stores. There are four floors of stores, and a basement. More people visit this place every year than Disney World, Graceland, and Grand Canyon combined.
We started at the basement, spending an hour in the aquarium, called Underwater World. The admission price for seniors was $7.95. That included use of a self-guiding tape player and headset that explains what you see as you walk down a water tunnel. All the while giant turtles, sharks, sturgeon, rays, and a myriad of smaller fish, swim all around and over the transparent walls of the tunnel. I came away thinking that they had done a better job of displaying the world of the sea than the hyped up Aquarium in Chattanooga.
If one had the endurance to stay at the mall for a couple of days, you might be able to see it all. We were there for five hours and saw only a fraction of what is there.
Friday, July 17, 1998 - We moved through Minneapolis-St. Paul, crossing the Mississippi River to Wisconsin and to the little town of Hixton - because it was the right distance to break the trip to West Bend in half.. The countryside here is all rolling farmland. The temperature has cooled, and the air has cleared. Nice to give the airconditioner a rest.
Saturday, July 18, 1998 - We moved over to West Bend on the way to Door County. Took a ride down to Jackson, looking for the old church at Kirchhayn where Great-grandfather Jox pastore from 1858 to 1865. After several mis-moves we finally found someone who knew about the old church on Mill Road. Located in a rural area - in the midst of a huge cornfield - the old building is no longer a functioning church, but is a museum, described like this by a historical marker: "This historic site was a center of religious activity for German Lutherans who, fleeing religious persecution and economic practice. came to Kirchhayn in 1843 from the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1847 they formed the Evangical Lutheran Congregation of Immanuel. In 1853 they erected a log church in which they worshipped and taught school. The school immediately north was built about 1850, and the parsonage immedately west was built in 1870. The brick church presently standing on this site was built in 1874." This means that Grandpa Jox was there when they built the school. I learned that the church quit functioning as a church about 30 years ago. I also learned that Tom Dausman, who was in charge of the Historical Society which now owns the church, lived down the road a mile or two. But no one was home. Proof of our find will have to wait.
Back in the campground, we grilled some chicken and steak, then relaxed for the evening.
KIRCHHAYN TO DOOR COUNTY - 1998
Monday, July 20, 1998 - Had an interesting morning with Raymond Dausman, President of the Jackson Historical Society. Since 1974 the society has been working to restore and maintain the old Immanuel Lutheran Church on Mill Road near Kirchhayn, Wisconsin. The church ceased functioning as a church in 1974 when the membership dwindled to two families. With Mr. Dausman's help we were able to prove beyond any question that this was the church great grandfather Jox pastored from 1858 to 1866. Mr. Dausman had the old church record book that was, in fact, begun by Rev. Jox.
Although the Immanuel church was started in 1847, they did not start keeping their own records until Rev. Jox came in 1858. He was the fourth pastor, but probably the first given the assignment on a permanent or full time basis. After a split with the David's Star Lutheran Church (also in Kirchhayn) over whether to join the Missouri Synod, the Immanuel people held their worship services in their homes from 1847 to 1853. In 1851 they realized they had to have a church building and proper burial grounds of their own, so they purchased 40 acres for $350. Two years later they sold off half the property and used the proceeds to build a little log church and established a cemetery. When Rev. Jox came in 1858, he meticulously copied the baptismal, marriage, and death records of his congregation into his new Immanuel Kirchbuch, then consistently entered new information as it occurred. These records had previously been kept in the nearest Missouri Synod church in Freistadt. So the new Kirchbuch now dates back to 1847, and all the entries from 1847 through 1865 are in Rev. Jox's handwriting. When the book was recently translated into English, the translator mistakenly read his name as Fox instead of Jox. The book contains the birth and baptismal records of the three Jox children who were born while the family lived in Kirchhayn:
Mother: Augusta Maria Ernestina Wille Father: Johannes Heinrich Jox, Pastor
Auguste Wilhelmiene Katherina Jox, b.10 Aug 1859; bp. 15 Aug 1859------ p.13
Johannes Friedrich Heinrich Jox, b. 8 Oct 1861; bp. 10 Oct 1861----------- p.17
Johann Carl Wilhelm Jox, b. 15 Jan 1864; bp. 19 Jan 1864------------------ p.22
The old log church is still there and is currently being repaired and restored. After the new church building was built in 1874, the old log building was used exclusively for the school that was begun in the early 1860s during Rev. Jox's time as pastor.
Rev. Jox left in 1866, so his preaching was all done in the old log building. In the restoration process they are covering the old logs, which have deteriorated badly, with wood siding, and they are restoring it as a school since that is what it was through most of its existence. An apple tree near the old log church looked old enough to have been there with the Joxes - perhaps even planted by them. If the tree could only speak! Both these buildings would have probably been destroyed but for the efforts of Raymond Dausman and those working with him in the Jackson Historical Society. While they have been severely limited in what they could do for lack of funds, they sure have our thanks for saving the buildings.
Tuesday, July 21, 1998 - On the way north we left I-43 to head west on SR10. My objective was Reedsville, which I thought was the new name of Maple Grove where Grandpa Jox preached before going to Kirchhayn. Before we got there, we saw a sign pointing north on CR-G to Maple Grove. But the only thing we saw at Maple Grove was a huge Catholic church - St. Patrick's - that appeared deserted. Not a soul around anywhere, except a lot of tombstones in the cemetery, all with Irish sounding names. With the trailer behind us, it wasn't possible to do much exploring, so the whereabouts of Rev. Jox's first church remains a mystery.
Continuing north we skirted Green Bay and settled for the next three days at the Aqualand RV Park near Sister Bay, Wisconsin on the northern tip of the peninsula that extends up into Lake Michigan. This is a resort area for the people of eastern Wisconsin. Lots of boats. Lots of camping opportunities. Lots of restaurants. After settling in we found a bowling alley and restaurant that had been recommended to us by the Bill and Patt Herzing. The bowling wasn't much, but the meal at Sister Bay Bowl was excellent.
We drove out to Gills Rock to check on boats to Washington Island, then went back to camp for the evening.
Wednesday, July 22, 1998 - We boarded the Island Clipper for the cruise to Washington Island at 10:00am. Washington Island is about seven miles north of the tip of the Door County peninsula. The channel is called "Death's Door" because of the many boats that have sunk there due to tricky currents and storms. It was first called that by the Potawatami Indians who lost many canoes and people in a storm that caught them in the channel. Door County got its name from "Death's Door."
We got across the channel okay on a beautiful day, arriving at the island terminal in about 30 minutes. A tour train pulled by a Chevvy Blazer was awaiting our arrival. We boarded that for a two hour tour of the island. The island is 30 square miles of largely undeveloped land. There are about 800 year around residents, most of whom are descended from Icelandic immigrants that settled here in the mid 1800s.. The little tour train was called the Viking Train. We saw their schools, churches, their "uptown" area, air strip, beach, war memorial, a farm museum, and an ostrich farm. Many of the passengers brought their bicycles. Others rented bikes or mopeds to tour the island on their own.
The high points of the tour were th
Schoolhouse Beach, Door Co., WI
e beach called "School House Beach" and the ostrich farm. The beach was a rocky beach, but the rocks were uniquely white and smooth, and the water was crystal clear - a beautiful spot. The ostrich farm was very interesting too. These huge birds are raised for their meat, their skins, and their feathers. One bird can bring $9,000 or $10,000. The breeding male was worth $35,000. The eggs weigh 4 pounds and appear to have been lacquered. They bring $35 each. Ostrich meat is red like beef. If I've remembered the figures correctly, one bird will yield 150 to 175 pounds of steak and 50 pounds of burger meat. I had to sample an ostrich burger, and it was very tasty.
We arrived back at Gills Rock about 1:00pm and stopped at the Door County Ice Cream Factory in Sister Bay for some homemade ice cream - another of the Herzing's recommendations. It was excellent. They've been serving ice cream since 1912.
We drove south on SR 42 to Ephraim, Fish Creek, and Egg Harbor. At Fish Creek we entered Peninsula State Park for a beautiful drive through dense forest and along the coast. There was an interesting lighthouse at Eagle Bluff that has been turned into a museum. There were probably 1,000 campsites, mostly filled with tents and popups.
Our last experience of the day was to share in a Door County fish boil at the Edgewater Hotel. In an outdoor iron kettle, over an open wood fire, water was set to boil. Then potatoes and onions were dumped into the water. Five minutes later they dumped in chunks of whitefish that had been caught that morning. These are oily fish that give up that oil in boiling water. It took five minutes more for the water to return to a boil. To remove the oil from the water, a can full of kerosene was thrown on the fire which flared high. This instant superheat caused the water in the pot to boil over, spilling the fish oil on the ground. Then the fish, potatoes, and onions were removed and taken to the dining room where they were served with cold slaw, a drink, and later cherry pie ala mode. This traditional Door County fare began over 100 years ago with the Scandinavian settlers.
Thursday, July 23, 1998 - After a hearty breakfast at Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant (Swedish pancakes, bacon and meatballs) we walked for awhile along the rows of shops, then drove down to Cana Island Lighthouse, near Bailey's Harbor off Highway Q. This required a quarter mile hike, part of which was through ankle deep water on the edge of Lake Michigan. The 81 foot high tower was built in 1870 and is still operating, though it is now automatic. The keeper's house is now a museum. When the light was manned, a log was kept which tells of some pretty scary times when storms came up. On several occasions waves covered the island washing around the keeper's house. At one time there was a roadway on a rock causeway leading to the light, but that has also washed away. All that violent weather had a detrimental effect on the brickwork in the original tower, so steel plates were brought in to cover the bricks.
Later in the evening we went to a play at the Peninsular Players Theater near Egg Harbor. The theater was in a nice spot on the shoreline of Green Bay. We watched the sunset, then went into the covered, but open air theater. The play was Rain, based on a story by Somerset Maugham. The acting was good, but the story was depressing. It was about the contrasting personalities of a missionary and a former call girl marooned together on a South Sea island.
Friday, July 24, 1998 - We moved from Sister Bay to Sturgeon Bay and the Quietwoods North RV Park - about 30 miles to the south. After lunch at DJ's on the Bay, at the foot of an old draw bridge, we went across the street to the Door County Maritime Museum. The exhibits tell the story of Door County's nautical history from the canoes of the native Americans, to the three masted schooners of the 1800s, to WW2 mine sweepers, to post war ore carriers. Many of these vessels were built at the shipyards in Sturgeon Bay. Sturgeon Bay became an important port on Lake Michigan when a canal was cut across the Door County peninsula, shortening the shipping route from Green Bay to Milwaukee and Chicago by 100 miles and allowing the ships to avoid the hazards of Death's Door. A craftsman was putting the finishing touches on a small wooden boat that he had built with western red cedar and white oak.
Saturday, July 25, 1998 - After breakfast at Country Kitchen in Sturgeon Bay, we took in the farmers' market on the square. It was not only fruits and vegetables, but crafts too. We then drove out to the Coast Guard Station and the Sturgeon Bay Lighthouse. It was not open to the public, but was nonetheless a fair subject for pictures. We followed the Sturgeon Bay Canal back to town, then went out to Potawatami State Park. There was a tower on a bluff that afforded a good view of Green Bay and the islands around the mouth of Sturgeon Bay. The drive through the park was through more dense woods where little light ever reaches the forest floor.
FROM DOOR COUNTY, WISCONSIN HOME
Monday, July 27, 1998 - We drove up to Egg Harbor on US42, picked some cherries, then returned to Sturgeon via scenic County Road B along the lake shore. Ann picked up a cold somewhere- maybe from wading out to Cana Island, more likely from a lady sitting next to her at the playhouse.
Tuesday, July 28, 1998 - We left Sturgeon Bay early to start south. At this point we had driven nearly 9,000 miles since leaving home back in May, and we'd been in 16 states. Driving through Milwaukee on I-43, we arrived at the Country View RV Park ne Honey Creek, Wisconson in the afternoon. Weather was pleasant, though a little warmer than it was in Door County. We had not used the air-conditioner since Fargo, ND. Ann was still feeling poorly with her cold.
Wednesday, July 29, 1998 - Found Buck's place without much trouble. He had sent good directions. I was somewhat taken aback by Buck's appearance - definitely showing his age and the result of serious health problems in recent years. We drove together to Jackson and Kirchhayn for him to see the old church that I had found earlier. Had a good visit in the time together.
Thursday, July 30, 1998 - Headed south on this day to Springfield, Illinois - Lincoln country. Most of the drive was in light rain and cool temperatures.
Friday, July 31, 1998 - From Springfield we drove to St.Louis and a good evening with Carl and Harriet Wellons. Harriet cooked a shrimp and rice dinner, celebrating a friend's retirement. Frank and Velda ???? We retrieved our bowling balls, left there in May.
Saturday, August 1, 1998 - Crossed Illinois to spend the night in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Sunday, August 2, 1998 - Drove through Indianapolis and on to Ft.Wayne, Indiana, arriving a little after noon. Found the Johnny Appleseed City Park - a very nice, shaded campground next to a ball park. $10 rates. After relaxing a bit, we drove over to Decatur, about 30 miles away to see what we could find. Stopped first at the Adams County Historical Society and Museum. In an Adams County history I found a reference to Rev. Friedrich Berg as pastor of St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church. Asked where I could find the church and was told at the intersection of 1100 N and 100 E. This turned out to be several miles north of Decatur, people in the area still refer to it as Decatur because it is fed by the Decatur post office.
A new church, built in 1970, is there on the east side of 1100 N. Across the street is an old two story home that proved to be the parsonage. Knocked on the door and met the pastor who was very accomodating. When I introduced myself and saif that my grandfather was once the pastor of the church, he said "You must mean Friedrich Berg." I was surprised that he was so quick with that. My grandfather pastored the church from 1881 to 1891. Anyway, I asked about records where perhaps my father's birth might have been recorded. Sure enough they were there. The pastor went to his study and opened a large safe, withdrawing the old record book. On March 4, 1889, there it was. Walter Heinrich Berg, son of Friedrich Berg, Pastor and Auguste geb. Jox with Maria Jox as sponsor. Similar entries were in the book for my Uncle Teddy and Aunts Lydie and Madge. The pastor took me over to the church building and down into the fellowship hall. There on the wall was a picture of the old church that was there in the 1890s, and standing in front of the church was my grandfather! Then he gave me a copy of the church history that was prepared on their 150th anniversary in 1995. In it was a picture and a very nice biographical sketch of Grandpa Berg, stating how he started the first school in the neighborhood. That school still exists, standing just west of the parsonage and cemtery.
Near the new church is a bell tower that contains the original bell and is topped by the original cross off the old church. The bell is still rung, but it is done by a remote controller inside the church which activates a solenoid to swing the clapper.
Pastor Martin Moerhing told me that the congregation's first church building was located about 1/4 mile to the northwest on the old Wayne Trace, the trail from Fort Wayne to Cincinnati. Some evidence of the old trace is still there.
Monday, August 3, 1998 - Visited the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, the second largest genealogy library in the country, next to Salt Lake City. It truly was large. to fully take advantage of a place like this would require a week long course on how to use the library, then some more time for searching. I broused a bit, found the complete set of Germans to America volumes which publish passenger lists of vessels coming to America from Germany in the big migrations of the 1850s and 1860s. I found my ggrandfather Jox and his parents. H. Jox, age 21, left from the port of Hamburg and arrived in New York on 19 Aug 1853 aboard the vessel Hannover. His occupation was listed as "teacher." His destination was shown as Wisconsin. His father, Johannes Jox, and his mother, Elisabeth Jox, left from the port of Bremen, arriving in New York on 2 May 1859 aboard the vessel Bremen. His occupation was shown as "weaver." We know that the parents went to Kirchhayn, WI to live with their son.
This information would indicate that J. H. Jox went directly to Wisconsin from New York. He must have been advised by the church authorities in Milwaukee to go to Concordia Seminary in Ft.Wayne for further study before giving him an assignment. After his first assignment in Maple Grove, WI, he was sent to Kirchhayn in 1858. It was at that time that he must have sent back to Germany for his parents to join him.
Tuesday, August 4, 1998 - Woke up to rain, the heaviest we've seen since leaving home in May. It was a good day to spend at the library. I found the newspaper accounts of the arrivals of the vessels Hannover and Bremen in the August 19, 1853 and May 2, 1859 editions of the New York Times. Learned from the accounts that the Hannover was a "brig" and the Bremen was a "screw steamsnip." There were 94 passengers on the Hannover, and 425 passengers on the Bremen. There were three articles about the Bremen. Having made a stop at Southampton, England on April 18th, the Bremen brought with it news of "unusual interest" about "the Italian question." Apparently the news was of moves and agreements between England and Austria, in how to deal with France. The captain of the Bremen was Mr. Wessels. The vessel had arrived in New York the day before on the 1st of May - a Sunday.
Concordia Seminary was started in Fort Wayne in 1847 to train young Germans to become ministers and teachers to serve the increasing number of Germans in Indiana. Since my great grandfather Jox attended this seminary in 1853, I wanted to learn a little about how it worked. The school was begun with financial help from Germany by Rev. Wilhelm Sihler, a German born and educated man with a sincere desire to preserve Lutheranism among the German population in America. The school, called a "practical seminary," was associated with the Missouri Synod from the synod's outset. It began in a three room parsonage with a four room house that also hosued the first eleven students and their tutor. In the first nine yars of its existence, only one student was American-born; eighty-eight students came from Germany. Seventy-two of these successfully completed their course. Since Rev. Jox was there during this nine years, he had to have been one of the seventy- two.
One of the big issues among the Lutheran clergy in those days was the German language. Those in the Missouri Synod stubbornly held to the notion that Lutheranism had to be in the German language. Thus, German was the language of choice in Concordia Seminary and in all the early Missouri Synod churches.
A Rev. Wyneken early recognized that the growing German population in the U.S. greatly needed a church relationship. There was such a shortage of qualified men to serve as pastors, he made a trip back to Germany to spread the word that missionaries were badly needed, that German immigrants to the U.S. wee starving spiritually. It was Wyneken's "Appeal" that was responded to by Wilhelm Sihler and many of the students who came to the school. The following quote lends some insight to why Rev. Jox decided to come to the U.S.
"The need for more pastors and teachers continued to be stressed as more and more German emigrants came to America. With this there was the encouragement to parents to send gifted boys to study for the ministry. ... Congregations ... were encouraged to support at least one student. This was very important since students paid little or no tuition and students even needed to be helped with books, bedding, clothing, and donations of food to the seminary's commissary."
In 1861 the seminary was moved from Fort Wayne to St. Louis. This explains why Rev. Friedrich Berg, a generation later than Rev. Jox, went to Concordia Seminary, St.Louis for his training. As a side note, the seminary was moved back to Fort Wayne in 1976. At the same time the seminary was moved, Concordia College, then called a "Gymnasium" was moved from St Louis to Fort Wayne. This means that my father was attending a regular college, not a seminary, when he was at Concordia in Fort Wayne in 1908.
By the time the of the above moves (at the start of the Civil War) the size of the Concordia campus in Fort Wayne had grown to 25 acres in size with numerous buidings.
I also checked the Germans to America volumes for an entry showing the arrival of the Bultemeiers - Carl Berg's mother and step-father - to no avail.
Wednesday, August 5, 1998 - Drove out to Concordia Seminary this morning. Concordia College and Concordia Seminary are on the same location - a was very large, beautiful campus with well manicured grounds. The buildings were modern, but not imposing. Don't know whether it was in the same location as it was 140 years ago.
Thursday, August 6, 1998 - Drove down to Decautr in the morning to pick up our mail, then came back to Fort Wayne to visit the library again on a rainy afternoon. Spent a couple of hours reading the sports page of Fort Wayne newspapers from 1906 to 1910 hoping to get a clue about Dad's baseball career. The surprising thing was that there were so many teams - at least 15. Lineups did not appear in the paper for most of the teams. Those that were did not include Dad's name, but that proved little.
It has rained hard and steady now for four straight days, and the forecast is for more in the next couple of days. The campground we're in is a city park called the Johnny Appleseed Park and Canpground. Born near Springfield, Massachusetts on 26 Sep 1774, John Chapman went around the country planting apple trees. He was a barefoot, eccentric vagabond, with a mission to fill the West (Ohio and Indiana) with apple trees. He died in Fort Wayne on 11 Mar 1845 and is buried in this park.
Friday, August 7, 1998 - With such a steady downpour we decided to stay put in Fort Wayne. In a break in the weather we drove out to Concordia College and stopped to ask if there was any record of my Dad's asttendance there. I knew he was there between 1900 and 1915, but couldn't pin it down any closer. At the administration office they sent me to the library. There, the librarian listened to my question and got a strange look on his face. He said that had I come in three days ago, the answer would have been no. All their recors of the early years had been transferred to St. Louis. But, he had just received several very old books from a local resident. The books were still on his desk, as he had not yet reviewed them. We looked and found that one was a record of enrollments for the period I was looking for. The entries in the book were done by years, but were not listed alphabetically. It therefore meant that each entry had to be checked line by line. We started in 1910 working backwards, almost stopping when we found nothing through 1905. But, having gone that far, I wanted to go a little further. Then, there he was - entering in the fall of 1903 - when he was but fourteen years old!!
While at the Lutheran library, I asked if they had any records of my grandfather, F. Berg, or my great grandfather, J.H.Jox. Both appeared in their microfilm record of Lutheran pastors that graduated from Concordia Seminary, although no new facts appeared that I didn't already know. One fact I didn't have for sure was that Maple Grove was in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. That confirmed that the Maple Grove we found was he correct one, even though we could find no Lutheran church there.
Back in the Allen County Public Library, I looked at the Fort Wayne newspaper sporting pages for 1904 and 1905. There was not much reporting of the local baseball teams, so I learning nothing more.
We went bowling at the Pro West Bowling Lanes. Did not do well.
Saturday, August 8, 1998 - The rains stopped and the temperature rose. Not much doing this day.
Monday, August 10, 1998 - We made the short drive east to Bowling Green, Ohio for one night before moving the trailer to Helena for refinishing. We scouted around for a motel for a couple of nights, finding the Days Inn motel in Fremont. Fremont was the home of President Rutherford B. Hayes.
Tuesday, August 11, 1998 - We've been "on the road" now for three months. Moving over to the Helena shop of P & S Trailer Service, we spent the night in their parking lot. I removed the solar panels from the roof of the trailer to make ready for refinishing. The deterioration of the finish has spread to the side panels, so we decided to have the whole coach done instead of just the roof.
Wednesday, August 12, 1998 - Moving out of the trailer, we checked into a motel in nearby Fremont - Days Inn on Rt.53. Fremont was the home of President Rutherford B. Hayes who was our 19th president, serving from 1877 to 1881. Hayes was a successful lawyer in Cincinnati before getting into politics. He served as governor of Ohio as well as in the U.S.Congress before his election to the presidency. He inherited a fortune from his uncle and guardian. This inheritance included the 25 acre estate called Spiegel Grove in Fremont. The estate remained in the family until the 1960s when it was given to the state. All the furniture in the home is the original, there when the president lived there. The house which once had 18 bedrooms now has only 8. It has 15 fireplaces. Very impressive. Also on the 25 acre estate is a museum and library. Lucy Hayes was the first of the presidential wives to be called "First Lady." She was also the first presidential wife to have a college education. Hayes was prouder of his army rank of General than his rank of President and referred to himself as General. He served with distinction in the Civil War.
Thursday, August 13, 1998 - After driving over to the trailer to see how they were doing, we drove north to Port Clinton and Marblehead on the Lake Erie shore. There were lots of boats and boatyards, and some pretentious homes along the shore. Had lunch at Big Boys.
Friday, August 14, 1998 - Drove over to Helena for another check on the trailer. Surprisingly, I found them finished, so I re-installed the solar panels and made ready to leave in the morning. The new finish looked very good.
Saturday, August 15, 1998 - Pulled out about 9:00, only to come down with another attack of vertigo. We spent four or five hours in a Rest Area, then drove on to a campground in Upper Sandusky, making only 40 miles for the day. .
Sunday, August 16, 1998 - Drove 400 miles to make up for previous day. The road through West Virginia was a nice one through the mountains, though it rained most of the way. The steep roads and rain made it a slow day. We camped for the night near Clifton Forge, VA after passing through the rugged mountains.
Monday, August 17, 1998 - Pushed on to Pocahontas State Park, near Chesterfield. A new campground has been established in the park to accommodate larger Rvs. Our pull-thry site was very nice. Found the kids in good shape. John and I played golf on Tuesday, then picked up some KFC for a picnic at the trailer in the evening. Wednesday was the day that John, Jr.'s birthday was celebrated. The family had dinner at the Outback restaurant in Midlothian. We told everyone good-bye on Wednesday evening, then retired to our campsite.
Thursday, August 20, 1998 - After doing a few chores around the trailer, we hooked up and drove over to Scotsville for a visit with the Schumakers. On Friday, we drove over to Palmira to see Frank Schumaker's new house. And quite a house it is going to be. He has a 200 acre estate with a lot of virgin timber, and he has placed the new house in a beautiful spot in the trees. He also has set up a place for Airstream rallies nearby.
Saturday, August 22, 1998 - Heading for home. Made it 406 miles to Franklin. Called Betty to see if they would be home. With an affirmative answer, we pulled into the Mi Mountain campground and went over for a visit. Then on Sunday morning, we headed on home. Weeds had taken over.
We had been 12,000 miles, driven through 19 states, and had a great trip. Looking forward to the next time out.
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