52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 23:
Bridge

Covered Bridges of Indiana

When I read the prompt for this week, I thought of the old covered bridges my father went out of the way to drive across. During the 1960s our family took many road trips around Indiana. Sometimes we went to a park for a picnic, sometimes to visit family or friends. I can remember during some of these trips stopping to view one of the many covered bridges found all around Indiana. [1] Some of the bridges were in very poor condition and were not to be driven across. On more than one occasion I recall looking down at the creek below between the remaining boards that once made the bridge.

Bridge Photos

To illustrate this post I wanted to include photos of the various covered bridges we visited. But, to my surprise, my father only photographed three! Two are in Parke County [2] and one in Montgomery County, all three are near Shades and Turkey Run State Parks. All three were taken during the fall of 1963.

Parke Co, Mill Creek Bridge

Above is Mill Creek Bridge in Parke County, IN, near Tangier in the fall of 1963. [3]

Parke Co, Billie Creek Bridge
Montgomery Co, Deer's Mill Bridge

Above, top, is Billie Creek Bridge in Parke County, IN, near Rockville. [4] Above, bottom, is Deer’s Mill Bridge in Montgomery County, IN, near Waveland. Both photos taken in fall of 1963. [5]

Photos are a Bridge to the Past

Before we all had cameras on our phones, and before cameras were digital, taking photographs was more time consuming and less convenient. I will have to be satisfied with my memories, since photographic reminders do not exist of these long past family outings. I clearly remember viewing and driving across far more than 3 covered bridges. Including a really dilapidated one near Beanblossom in Brown County. That was probably one bridge we could look through the boards at the creek below, and we did not drive across it. I recall a two lane covered bridge, near the entrance of Brown County State Park, that one was not out of the way since we were going to the pool at the park. How fortunate we are today to be able to document even ordinary experiences in photo and video.

Conclusion

While researching this post, I discovered that many of the old covered bridges have been restored and made over as tourist attractions. The Billie Creek Bridge now has an old-time village built near it that includes many restored historic structures that were moved to the location. Many of the communities near these old bridges have festivals centered around their bridge. What fun! Be sure to check out some of these relics of the past, they are worth a drive out of the way. And, be sure to take a photo!

EPILOGUE

In 1963 my father bought an International Harvester Traveall. [6] This was the vehicle we made our family road trips in for about 13 years. I recall going with my father to the car lot to pick up the vehicle, it was somewhere on East Washington St. in Indianapolis. The dealer gave me a white with red trim cowboy hat with an IH on the front. I wish I had a picture of that hat. The Travelall had neither power steering nor power brakes, or seat belts for that matter. My father added two front seat belts later, they were lap only and bolted through the floor.

IH Travelall 1963
I drove the Traveall only a few times as a teenager and still remember the difficulty turning the wheel, definitely two hands.

Frank Takeo Flucawa

Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.

David L. Osborne: His Indianapolis Homes

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.

The Marriage of David and Jennie Osborne

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.

Do You See A Resemblance?

While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.

Probate of Jesse King 1868

Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.

Letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary

A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.

Sarah Smith: Challenge

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846

Laferre to LaFara: Unusual Name

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.

Luella Pressell: Surprise!

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.

Rumple Family Photo 1895

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 8: Family Photo
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one in particular I found very informative.

Conrad Rumple: Bachelor Uncle

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.

George Lafary and Catherine Landon: Large Family

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 11: Large Family
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.

In The Paper

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.

Genealogy Brick Walls

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.

Catherine Landon: Out of Place

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 16: Out of Place
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.

Immigrant Ancestors, Fresh Start

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week1: Fresh Start.
The varied reasons my European ancestors immigrated to North America for a fresh start.

William and Uva Lafara: Favorite Photo

I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.

Close to Home

My grandparents. Earl and Pearl, met at church, close to home, in 1914,

So Far Away

My great-uncle Frank immigrated to the United States from Japan in 1905 to further his education, so far away

Same Name

I get excited when I discover an ancestor with the same name as a friend, or co-worker, or neighbor. Maybe we are related!