Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wyatt Earp's Pawnshop

I recently read and loved the novels Doc and Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell, about Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers.  When I was in San Diego on the Old Town Trolley Tour last week, pulling into the Gaslamp District, the guide pointed out a pawnshop that was started by Wyatt Earp when he moved to San Diego after the OK Corral.  I had to see it closer, so I got off the trolley and walked back a few blocks.  I had never been in a real pawn shop, but I had to go into this one. 

I asked the man working there, and he said, yes, it was started by Wyatt Earp, and that he used to live across the street.  That is now a shopping mall, but the inside of the pawn shop still looks, I imagine, like it did when it was built.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Mormon Battalion Historic Site

Last week I was in San Diego.  We went to the zoo and saw the seals and even a whale in La Jolla, and I spent a day on the Old Town Trolley Tour.  I almost did not go, as I thought it might be too touristy, but it was well worth the price, convenient, and I saw so much.  I could have spent another day or two seeing the sites.

At the end of the tour in Old Town, I visited the Mormon Battalion Historic Site.  I grew up and still live a half-hour from Palmyra, New York, where the Mormon church was founded.  I am not a member, but as a genealogist, I spend time in the church's family search centers and I have been to Salt Lake City and to the big library there as well as seeing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and other sites.  However, I did not know that a group of Mormons traveled to San Diego in 1847 from Iowa, before they settled in Salt Lake City.  The museum is a replica adobe building, and it is a really fantastic interactive display, including rumbling from a stampede, the night sky, thunderstorms, cedar wood scents, and photos that talk just like in Harry Potter!  I also got to pan for "gold", and having watched a documentary about the Klondike a few days earlier, I was anxious to try and found it a lot more difficult than I expected.  My "gold" nugget is on the upper right hand corner of the photo.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The 70th Anniversary of Anna's Passing

70 years ago this morning my great-great-grandmother, Anna Ritschard Glossner, died.  She is the most intriguing of all my ancestors, so much so that I am writing a book about her.  Born in Switzerland, she appears to have been well educated there.  She immigrated to New York in 1884 as a young woman, and quickly married another immigrant and occasional mill worker, had 11 children and was predeceased by all but the oldest 5.  She certainly does not fit into the stereotypical American Dream, but she was a survivor and did what she could to keep her family fed.  I have been immersed in research about her lately, so stay tuned for the biography!