On the Way Home: Pittsburgh, Loveland, Bloomington, St. Louis, and Vegas–and back to Maui!
The holidays make me think of family, so finally, I’ll report on the rest of our trip on the U.S. Mainland, an important part of which was getting to visit relatives.
On the way to Loveland, near Cincinnati, to see Paul, my oldest nephew, and his great family, we first spent several days with Servas hosts. The first was a wonderful Servas family outside Philadelphia; they welcomed us on very short notice. We first met them in a park to listen to a great concert!
And then our surprise was Pittsburgh–no more steel mills but a wonderful city of rivers, bridges, museums, and music! The incline, which is what used to take workers to the steel mills, is now a tourist cable/trolley car ride.
Then on to Loveland.
Then on to Bloomington, Indiana (home of basketball — Indiana University) to see cousins Vanessa, Ryan, Ashlyn, and Carsyn.
Then back to St. Louis in time for fireworks.
Cousin Elaine has been researching our family history with the help of a Wisconsin cousin and Vanessa. They found we are related to Mary Laney Backensto Moreland whose grave is in the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis. One hot summer day, my sister, cousin, and I ventured out to see what we could discover. Established in 1857, Bellefontaine Cemetery has numerous historic and extravagant tombstones and mausoleums for prominent local and state politicians, as well as soldiers of the American Civil War.
Mary Laney Backenstoe Moreland’s will was executed in 1864 in St. Louis City. [When Elaine first wrote to me about Mary, I read that she was executed in 1864, which makes a very interesting twist–but not true]. Mary was married to Hanson Moreland a businessman and wagon builder who built the first fire engine for St. Louis and owned land in the city. Hanson died on 6/9/1863. Those buried in this same plot include Mary D. 4/3/1863, Wm. H. Nelson 4/3/1863; Mary Backenstoe 4/3/1863, Virginia T. Moreland 4/3/1863; Lloyd H. Moreland 4/3/1863, Mary L. Moreland 3/22/1864, Fred Fursch 2/20/1867; Mary A. Moxham 6/11/1878. We don’t yet know why five of them, including Mary Backenstoe, have their date of death as 4/3/1863. My grandmother, on my father’s side, was a Backenstoe, and my dad’s middle name was Moreland.
The graveyard contains those known and unknown:
Some of the prominent people buried there include William S Burroughs (writer), Adolphus Busch (founder of Anheuser-Busch), William Clark (of Lewis and Clark), and Thomas Hart Benton (the politician).
Elaine, Trish, and I had fun wandering among the graves in this beautiful old St. Louis cemetery.
As a family, we also celebrated birthdays and being together.
We’re particularly proud of Mark who besides being a great dad and husband, works in a challenging career, coaches elementary school basketball teams, and has been continuing his education–for years. He recently graduated with about 160 credits to earn his B.A. Yeah, Mark!
Our next stop was Las Vegas where Barry has family–and according to him–you can get the cheapest flights between the Mainland and Maui.
Then on to Honolulu to visit friends Jamie, Jeremy, and Lilia:
And we’re back to our son and friends …
and turtles . . .
and the whales are now back for the winter.
Although it is great to be on the road, it’s wonderful to be back home.
*Except where noted, photos by me.