Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mom at the Frazier Farmstead Museum

While reflecting today about my mother, Brenda Steunenberg Richards, I was reminded that one of her favorite childhood experiences was visiting family at the Frazier Farmstead in Milton, OR. The photo of the Frazier home below comes from the Frazier Farmstead Museum website. I had been exploring the website recently as it was being updated.
Frazier Farmstead in Milton (now Milton-Freewater), OR. Former home of our Frazier kinfolk. Photo above comes from the updated Frazier Farmstead Museum website.
Mom proudly displaying her copy of Whither Thou Goest
A favorite book of mom's (and mine too) is Whither Thou Goest by Patrick Simpson. It is an account of the Beardsley family journey by covered wagon in 1878, and Patrick's retracing of that trip in 1996, from Wells Bridge, NY to the Wallowa Valley and Milton, OR. Mary Jane and Theo Beardsley made this long cross country trek with their two young daughters, Eva and Frankie. 

Frankie & Eva.
Photo Frazier Farmstead Museum.
To help make the family connections, Eva Beardsley would marry Ralph Maxon Wood and their daughter would be Francis Beardsley Wood Steunenberg—my grandmother.  Hence, Ralph and Eva were my great-grandparents, Theo and Mary Jane would be my great-great-grandparents and Patrick's great grand-aunt and uncle. Hopefully I got that right and it makes Patrick and I cousins of one kind or another.

The photo below to the right is of my mother in circa 1925 at the Farmstead. The cross in front of her came West with the Beardsley family in their covered wagon. If you compare the photo to the modern day view of the house, you can see mom would have been kneeling on the grass just behind the Frazier Farmstead Museum sign with the window seat over her right shoulder.  The cross now resides inside that same window seat. To find out more, read The Cross Story written by Museum Director Diane Biggs about our visit to the museum in 2005 (link below).

Brenda Steunenberg circa 1925.  JTR Collection.
I have always been pleased that my mother was able to enjoy Whiter Thou Goest and rekindle her connections to those memories of childhood before she passed away. I treasure our time spent reminiscing about the history of the Farmstead and all the good times she enjoyed during family visits.

Happy Mother's Day mom. 

The Cross Story

Frazier Farmstead Museum website

Facebook: Frazier Farmstead Museum - Milton-Freewater Area Historical Society

More fun at the Farmstead circa 1925.
Related Blog Posts
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Happy Mother's Day. We love you Mom.

Sunday, July 29, 2012
Where is Stonewall's Arm?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Frazier Farmstead Museum

Saturday, August 16, 2008
Private Justus Simpson, Company G of 152nd NY Volunteers

Saturday, August 16, 2008
Private Lewis Simpson, Company K of the Eighty-ninth New York Volunteers

Photo taken in 2005 during our visit to the Frazier Farmstead.

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