So on Tuesday I decided to take my kids on a family history tour of sorts here in the Lou. The Valley Park area to be most specific. Just 5 miles from our home. Glad we went out on our excursion earlier in the week because this was Valley Park just yesterday:
And today we wait for the waters to recede as the Meramec River has finally crested.
The majority of Valley Park has been spared but so many other areas took a major hit.
As you can see it has been raining here a TON. Like buckets and buckets. Flash flooding and all that not so dandy kind of stuff has been going on. Rain is dandy when you need rain. Flooding will never be dandy. In fact today the all the area rivers are supposed to crest and then there will be even more flooding. Homes sitting in water. Levees breaking. Highways and Interstates completely shut down in both directions. Oh joy. So you get the idea and understand now why we needed to get out of the house just to take a drive after being shut-ins for a bit. Get out while we still could before the rivers crested.
Now that you have the backstory we will return to the whole family history tour business. *wink* We picked up some McDonald’s to eat lunch in the minivan as I drove along. (Shock and awe! Tell me that I’m not the only mother who does this???) Honestly at first I was going to drive them through Lone Elk to look for some animals, but I missed the turn and couldn’t get back that way because the road was closed being covered in water and all… This created a bit of a problem and I told the kiddos that we were just going to have to go back home. But how to get there? I couldn’t go back the way I came because at the time that direction was closed. (Now it’s just all closed.)
So with my trusty GPS doing the guiding we took an adventure to get home the long way around. As I drove further into Valley Park I decided to show my kids where my grandfather grew up. I’m a fan of the genealogy and fortunately I live in a city where my shared maiden name family goes back quite a few years. Since around the time they immigrated from England in the very late 1800’s.
First we drove past the “house on the hill” that my great-grandparents lived in before my grandfather (my Boompa) was born.
Isn’t it amazing? It was built over a hundred years ago (in 1894) and given to my great-grandparents as a wedding present. Can you imagine? Such a nice wedding gift! I would so love to go inside it. Or maybe one day even purchase it and bring it back to its original glory. A girl can dream right? Just the fact that it’s still standing and that my ancestors once lived in it is pretty dandy to me.
Right around the time that the Great Depression hit my great-grandparents decided to downsize and moved to this house just around the corner.
Much smaller lot and built in 1912. I wonder if it had anything to do with the Great Depression? I wonder if there were financial troubles? My dad did say that they paid cash for the house. I wonder if the big house was just too much to take care of? I wonder if the “house on the hill” was old and they just wanted to move to a newer one? I wonder. I’ll have to do some digging and see what I can find out. Isn’t family history kind of fun?
Record your own history somewhere because one day someone will be wondering.