Monday, June 19, 2017

(29) Digging for Roots

Rush Lake Cemetery, Curlew Iowa

Grubbing For History

Today we didn't travel very far, but we covered more than a hundred and seventy years of history. We drove north from our campground at Lakeview, Iowa and ended up in the small hamlet of Curlew, Iowa. Curlew is where my great-great-grandparents settled after migrating from New York. They broke Prairie and suffered almost unimaginable hardships in order to make a better life for themselves and for their children.

Alvin Served in the Civil War
Their first winter in Iowa they spent in a corn crib and stuffed sheets and blankets through the slats in order to protect them from the wind. My great great grandfather, Alvin Vosberg Lacey, made a deal for a wagon load of potatoes to feed his family. The wagon load was cheap because some of the potatoes were spoiled, but Alvin figured that he could cut out the bad spots and have enough potatoes to feed his family through the winter.

The following year he filed for a homestead in Palo Alto County, Iowa and their the family made a home. This was all recorded by my great-grandfather's sister, Etta Mae Crowder, in a tract she wrote for the Iowa historical Society in 1948 entitled "Pioneer life in Palo Alto County."

In many ways I think our ancestors were better than we are. Their sacrifices made possible the world we have today. I don't think we should have to endure these trials, but it is my sincere hope that we appreciate them.

Lakeview, Iowa

We made camp in Lakeview Iowa. This is a really great place to stay. We were told the people come from as far away as Omaha, Nebraska to spend weekends here. We rolled in on a Sunday night, so things were just clearing out. The campground was clean, the view was great, and we didn't have any noise from the trains or the trucks. It was nice to spend two days in a row in the same place and not have to worry about waking up and immediately breaking camp. As a bonus the fireflies put on a nightly show which we really enjoy.

The only thing I regret about this trip so far is that our initial problems have caused us to abbreviate and quicken our schedule somewhat .
Linda with Dixie, who is a proud Iowan
who resides in Lakeview

We had hoped to spend more than just a day at some spots. In other words, we wanted to tour, not travel. Still, this morning we had time to relax a little bit before going on to Curlew. At breakfast we talked to Dixie, a longtime resident of Lakeview.
She loves this place and like most Iowans is proud of her state and her city. There is much to be proud of.

Curlew Iowa


  1. Don't dwell long on the regrets in life. Your abbreviated schedule has gotten you to where you are. I would have loved to see the Ranchero, but perhaps our paths would not have crossed, had your original schedule been followed. Seems like a good excuse for a future trip to Idaho for us Nebraskans, of course, to check our your FoMoCo haulers.

    Bill, what a powerful paragraph above. ( "In many ways..." ) Worth reading again and letting that message sink in.

  2. Had no idea we had the Iowa connection. Interesting!

    1. Remind me to get you a copy of the story.

  3. Bill and Linda, I didn't realize you're using a 40 year old trailer. You are really romantics and it comes through in your writing. Good use of photos; it's a compelling story but readers want each day's update. You're probably working on it right now. See.

    See you tomorrow,. John Jackson