Home in Washington County

Chris - happy in Washington County
Chris – happy in Washington County

I’m so happy to be here in Washington County!  As we drove in last Friday evening, crossing the Monongahela River, I experienced a great rush of familiarity, and even an awe of the place.  It is magnificent country, lush green everywhere with rolling hills, and expansive views around every other corner.  And I recognized so many place names, many from my family history research, and some from my childhood visits here to see my grandparents and extended family.

For the first time in over a month, I slept like a log, right through the night.  There’s something about being here….

The last two times I’ve been here have been with my mother; the most recent was five years ago.  I’m so thankful for those visits with her because she was able to show me the location of her grandparents’ farm, which is still standing.

As I’ve said before, the main reason I came here is to bury the cremains of my parents and my two brothers in the family cemetery.   I wanted to take care of that right away, so that’s what we did yesterday.  It was certainly a difficult and sad task, and brought back the pain of losing them all.  But at the same time, it’s closure for me, and a satisfying completion of a task which my mother asked me to do.  So the sadness is mixed with a sense of relief.  My family is finally home, and my mother is near her beloved grandparents, which was her wish.    May they all rest in peace together.

Now I feel like Washington County, Pennsylvania, is more my home than ever before.

The campground where we’re staying has everything we need, including terrific wi-fi, which is why I’m posting so much all in one day!  The sites are close together and there aren’t many trees, but we have full hook-ups, we’re sitting on level gravel, and the grassy areas between the sites means we aren’t tracking dirt or sand into the rig.  We have a picnic table between our two rigs, which we’ve set up with a checkered tablecloth and a large citronella candle.  Add two chairs and a fire pit, and we’re very comfy here!

I’m going to take some time today to plan my research trip tomorrow to Washington, the county seat.  I’ll be starting with the land records, to see what information I can track down about my great-grandparents’ farm.

Washington County campsite
Washington County campsite

6 thoughts on “Home in Washington County

  1. So glad you made it safely! It does look beautiful there. Hope you have good luck tomorrow at the Courthouse!! Love the pics! There could never be too many pictures for me!!!

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    1. Oh my Darling, beautiful niece Christine, I love all of your wonderful writing. It is vivid and fast moving. I can almost be there with you. Thank you for the photographs of the James Chapel Cemetery. I still find it strange to see my name on the stone with a blank termination date. I am happy that you love the all of the area of your mother’s and my early life. Lots of love from your favorite uncle Jimmy

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  2. I’m glad you are enjoying your trip. My wife and I are considering buying a travel trailer. I look forward to following your adventures. Seems like you are managing so far. I’m sure it will be challenging at first.
    While I was hiking the Appalachian trail, I walked along the ridge line of those mountains. ALL ROCKS!
    My wife’s family is from Washington and Westmoreland counties. I’m anxious to hear of your discoveries.
    Good Luck and happy trails.
    Wayne Campbell

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  3. I fricken love reading this!! You are a wonderful writer and it’s all very descriptive if what you are seeing and experiencing!! This should become a book like ” Wild ” by Cheryl Strayed!

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