Thursday, June 20, 2013

Higher Ground Co-housing Community-- Bend, Oregon

I'm spending the summer house sitting here in Bend's Higher Ground Co-housing Community[] for my friends Perry and Carol who are leaving next week to bike across the U.S.

This is Higher Ground's Common House where various events are held.  On Wednesday night in the summer there is a potluck dinner.  Last night's was pretty well attended.  A fairly full house with several dozen people attending.

I've been getting out for a short morning walk to get familiar with the local critters since I arrived on Sunday afternoon.  It's going to take me awhile to figure out what all I'm seeing but here are a couple that I spotted this morning:

House sparrow.

Western Scrub Jay

And this grey squirrel was pretty curious about what I was up to.

Friday, June 14, 2013

My Langins - Samuel Jarvis Langin

Samuel Jarvis Langin[1877-1968] was a great uncle of my mother's-- Marjorie Langin Leeak.
[Based on the memories of  Samuel Jarvis Langin's grand daughter Doris.]

According to family lore Samuel Jarvis Langin [commonly referred to as “Jarvis”] was a young boy of three or four when he came with his parents to the United States in the late 1870's. JJ Langin and Anna Ramsey Langin were reported to have "walked over the border and into the United States."
After growing up in Riverdale, Michigan Jarvis went to Mellen, Wisconsin-- possibly for a job in the lumbering industry. During his time in Mellon Jarvis became head of the Mellen Volunteer Fire Department.  Mellen Wisconsin is described as being "situated on the historic Bad River, in the scenic Chequamegon National Forest and next to the wooded hills of the Penokee Mountain Range. Noted for its variety of outdoor activities, Mellen boasts an abundance of pristine lakes, miles of rambling streams, and a wooded paradise."
These were the days when when candles were put on Christmas trees. As the story goes Lawrence, Jarvis' son, lit the candles and set the house on fire. Needless to say, it made an interesting story that the child of the head of the Volunteer Fire Department started a fire. It was said that, "Uncle Lawrence didn't want to talk about it much" later in life.
It's not clear how long the family lived in Mellin , but Jarvis' daughter Agnes May and son Lawrence were born there in 1903 and 1905. From Mellen, the family moved to Duluth, Minnesota, and Jarvis took a job as custodian at the Woodmen Hall on 21th Ave. West and lst Street-- also referred to as the Odd Fellows Hall. He worked at the Woodmen Hall until he took the job at the Duluth Labor Temple in downtown Duluth, and he and his second wife, Ethel, lived above the building. He was buried in the Odd Fellows section of the Mt. Hope cemetery in San Diego, CA.
Jarvis moved to California when he retired in 1955 or '56 at the age of 79. When Jarvis went to apply for Social Security he learned that he was not a U.S. Citizen. Not being a citizen was a total surprise to Jarvis and his daughter Agnes Langin Dyson. Jarvis never knew he wasn't a citizen until he applied for Social Security. He worked all his life and retired some time in his late seventies. He was a good citizen-- he thought. He went to school here, worked here all his life, kept up with politics and the labor unions and VOTED faithfully. He married a woman from the U.S. and then another after his first wife died at a young age. When it was discovered that he was not a citizen, he wrote back to Madison, Wisconsin, to get the marriage records which made him eligible to apply for citizenship. He ultimately became a citizen in 1961.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Ogden's Union Station Railway Museum

It was hotter than blazes here in Ogden today so instead of hiking I took a short afternoon bike ride to see the rail museum at Ogden's Union Station.

[Click on the image to see full sized.]

This 4-8-4 Northern locomotive is the biggest, and most impressive, piece of old iron they have here at the museum.

See all of the large bolt heads here on the boiler?  What the heck are those things? I'm guessing it has something to do with the firebox...  Let me know if you have an idea.

[Click on the image to see full sized.]

This is certainly another impressive piece of old railroad iron too.  Interesting that its useful service life was only 9 years compared to almost 20 years for the Northern steam engine.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ogden Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival

I came to this festival thinking it was strictly a bluegrass festival but was pleasantly surprised to find that it included all kinds of acoustic music.  The picture below is of The Boxcars, my favorite bluegrass band of all time.  In this picture they're conducting a "band dynamics" workshop for only about six of us-- it was terrific!