The pier area of Cleveland is beautiful. Chris and I wandered around and took photos along the way.
While in Cleveland Chris and I visited the cemetery where family members Jeptha and Susannah Wade are buried. The Wade memorial chapel is in Lake View Cemetery, which he founded himself, and the chapel is beautiful.
The artwork inside was made by the famous Louis Comfort Tiffany. There is a Tiffany window as well as murals on each side, made of tiny pieces of cut glass.
The murals on the walls symbolize the prophecy and law of the Old Testament, with the prophets shown as rowers of boats headed away from Death towards the life of Christ.
It’s really stunning to see. The burials are outside near the lake.
The entire cemetery is one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen.
Here is John D. Rockefeller’s memorial.
We also toured the tomb of former U.S. President James A. Garfield.
It’s hard to imagine that Tiffany and Garfield and Rockefeller were all close friends of Jeptha Wade, along with many of my family members. Jeptha and his wife died in 1890 and 1889, respectively. I’m thankful they took in all the orphaned nieces of our family in those years. Strangely, there are just very simple plots for them at their burial place near the Wade Chapel.
I spoke in my last post about Jeptha Wade, the man who took in my great-great-grandmother when she was orphaned at the age of eight. Jeptha’s name can be seen all over Cleveland, because as an industrialist and philanthropist he gave so much to this city.
Chris and I visited the Cleveland Museum of Art that is in the same location where the Wade mansion was in the mid-1800′s.
Several items have been donated to the museum from the Wade family, including this beautiful piece of furniture.
I was imagining it being used for the wedding of my great-grandparents in December of 1870.
One area outside of the museum is called “Wade Park,” and Jeptha’s name can be seen on the signage there.
It was fun to see all the families enjoying a restful day in Wade Park.
There are regular concerts going in this area, drawing in crowds that come to picnic and listen.
The day we stopped by we heard a very cool and entertaining reggae band.
I don’t know if reggae bands are what Uncle Jeptha had in mind when he donated the land, but I’m sure he’d be pleased to see so many families enjoying these parts of the great city that he helped build financially.
One of the things I wanted to do while in Cleveland was to do some research on Jeptha Wade, the founder of the Western Union Telegraph Company.
Here is a photo of Jeptha’s wife, Susannah Fleming Wade:
This couple lovingly took several orphans into their home (most of them left behind by deceased family members) including my great-grandmother, Myra Huggins. Here is a photo of Myra as a child.
Another photo was taken about the time she was orphaned, and she looks so sad. She had lost her mother when she was two, and now her father, Rev. Morrison Huggins, had also died suddenly.
But it was nice that she had a home with Jeptha and Susannah Wade. When I walked into the Western Reserve Historical Society and asked for information on Jeptha Wade, they were surprised. I told them I was descended from one of the orphans that the Wades had raised, and the researcher told me that they were just now doing a project on the Wade family and needed information on the orphans, which I was able to give. I have written previously about this family here.
My great-grandparents, Myra Huggins and Edward O. Chaney, were married in the Wade mansion in Cleveland, and I was pleased to see a print of the home in the private office area of the historical center.
Jeptha Wade was an industrialist and philanthropist of the highest order in Cleveland, along with his friends John D. Rockefeller and former President James A. Garfield. Jeptha gave his land for the city parks, cultural district, Lake View Cemetery, and other major institutions. I was disappointed not to be able to see the mansion itself, since it had been razed.
But the researchers had another pleasant surprise in store for me. The Wade parlor has been preserved right there in the museum connected with the library. I was able to stand inside the original parlor itself!
I could imagine this piano being used for the wedding of my great-grandparents — Edward and Myra Chaney — in 1870! Here is what they looked like at the time of their wedding.
Sadly, Myra had been orphaned at the age of eight and would also die early as a young mother. My grandfather was three years old when his mother died. But the tradition of caring for orphaned children has carried down through the family nearly every generation. I continue to support orphans and needy children around the world through Compassion International. This is a great legacy to be a part of.
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus. –1 Corinthians 1:4
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. –1 Corinthians 15:57
There is the wave breast of thanksgiving—a catching God’s eye with the easy motions of praise—and a time for it. In ancient Israel’s rites for a voluntary offering of thanksgiving, the priest comes before the altar in clean linen, empty-handed. Into his hands is placed the breast of the slain unblemished ram of consecration: and he waves it as a wave offering before the Lord…Thanks be to God. (The Annie Dillard Reader, pg. 414)
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. –Romans 1:21
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! –2 Corinthians 9:15
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. –Ephesians 1:16
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. –Colossians 3:17
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. –Philippians 4:6
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. –Colossians 2:6-7
Today I’m sharing old pics from past Thanksgivings. The first one goes way back to 1955.
This is an old family gathering also from the 50′s. I’m in the red.
These two date from the 70′s. This is Paul’s mother with us.
This is one of my favorite photos of my mother, and it was taken on Thanksgiving Day in Jackson Hole.
We don’t always get the whole family together for Thanksgiving, but we always take photos.
Last year we joined Paul’s aunt and cousins in Milwaukee.
Finally, here are some of the delicious pies we’ve made in the past.
I’ve been reading the book Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick this month. I especially enjoy seeing the names of some of my ancestors in this book — John Alden; William, Alice and Priscilla Mullins; Thomas Rogers, and Richard Warren.
Regarding the first Thanksgiving, Mr. Philbrick has these comments:
The term Thanksgiving, first applied in the nineteenth century, was not used by the Pilgrims themselves. For the Pilgrims a thanksgiving was a time of spiritual devotion…Countless Victorian-era engravings not withstanding, the Pilgrims did not spend the day sitting around a long table draped with a white linen cloth, clasping each other’s hands in prayer as a few curious Indians looked on. Instead of an English affair, the First Thanksgiving soon became an overwhelmingly Native celebration when Massasoit and a hundred Pokanokets (more than twice the entire English population of Plymouth) arrived at the settlement with five freshly killed deer. Even if all the Pilgrims’ furniture was brought out into the sunshine, most of the celebrants stood, squatted, or sat on the ground as they clustered around outdoor fires, where the deer and birds turned on wooden spits and where pottages–stews into which varieties of meats and vegetables were thrown–simmered invitingly. In addition to ducks and deer, there was, according to Bradford, a “good store of wild turkeys” in the fall of 1621…The Pilgrims may have also added fish to their meal of birds and deer…Alas, the Pilgrims were without pumping pies or cranberry sauce.
I find it very interesting that at least some of our typical traditions are still being observed today. What will be served on your table this year?