We had been planning this trip for “YEARS” a chance to take a trip and visit the historical sites of our family. Finally, on June 25, 2014 we were able to make that trip. We loaded up the car with snacks and hit the road to PA. My grandfather (Odell) driving, my great grandmother (Clara) as passenger and my grandmother (Marva) and I hanging out in the backseat. We had planned to set off around 9am but after I mistakenly left my camera in my great grandmothers house; causing us to backtrack a little more than we would have liked to we were good to go around 10am.
It’s funny to me how my grandfathers family and my grandmothers family seem to enter twine at times. Everyone seems know everyone but i guess it makes sense since they all grew up around the same time in roughly the same areas. Even though this road trip is geared towards my great grandmothers family, my grandfather found a way to make it enlightening for both sides of my family.
Our first pit stop was on the side of the road facing one of the houses where my grandfather (Odell) used to live. Across the field you can tell that the house is still in tact for the most part, but we could only get so close because there would have been nowhere for him to turn around in the lane.
The HOME PLACE… stories have been told me about the home place, the home of Benson and Maryetta Harris (later passed down to Roy Harris ~ Uncle Bud) Where all of the family members would gather EVERY Sunday for dinner. Imagine if you will that this is the equivalent of having a family reunion every single weekend. There could be at least a hundred family members at a time. I remember my grandmother saying during the trip “even though we were poor we never ran out of food and everyone had a good time”
My great grandmother (Clara) led the way through winding roads and streets, her memories flooding back to her as we rode, pointing out houses of old family friends and recalling key places in the little town. Due to a lapse in memory we weren’t able to find the exact location of the home where my great grandmother (Clara) was born. It is no longer standing but to be in the area was enough for me.
My great grandmother (Marva) has for 71 years believed that she was born at York County Hospital… she found out today that not only was that NOT the case, but she that she wasn’t even born in a hospital…
She was born here… in this house. Most of the original house had been added onto and the porch had been changed. It used to wrap around the entire house.
We were then headed on to Chanceford Cemetery… Not to be confused with the cemetery located at Chanceford Presbyterian Church founded in 1751. That is the “white church” – and although the church was built out of white bricks that wasn’t the reasoning for it. The church attached to the Chanceford Cemetery that I was looking for no longer stood. The only thing that remains to my knowledge is a well and that is just a matter of hearsay. As a matter of fact, the cemetery has been locked for quite some time. It lay beyond a mans property and permission is needed to cross over to his property into the cemetery. To my knowledge, the cemetery has “grown up” (Up until that day I had never knew there was a term for an overgrown cemetery but I’ll accept it) and was barely recognizable. I heard that an uncle of mine used to tend to it and then one day they stopped letting them pass through the property to do it. I’m sure one day I’ll try to find the site again, or at least the family who is in charge of the cemetery, but thats a task for another day.
We ended our trip with a pit stop at Arctic Circle for some soft serve ice cream cones… I can’t wait for the next trip.