Fanfare Interrupted

I was close to finishing up my 10th anniversary post when I suddenly sensed a truck bearing down on me - a truck loaded with a ton of bricks.  After swiftly typing a few concluding paragraphs which may or may not have made a lick of sense, I turned out the light and tucked myself in.  That was nearly two weeks ago.  So here are the concluding thoughts that didn’t make the cut before my latest do-si-do with Covid, or whatever name should have been scribbled on the dance card.

Steps to Graveyard

A summary of the past ten years of searching and blogging wouldn’t be complete without a salute to Phil Thornton, who scared up some of the most interesting content displayed on these pages over the last decade.  Originally setting out to follow Thomas Lovewell’s trail out of Ohio all the way to Fort Churchill, Nevada, and the Pacific Northwest, Phil has specialized more recently in studying the “Jewell County Cartel’s” mining interests in Wyoming at the start of the 20th century (see “The Bible, the Beatles, & the Board of Trade”).

Historical sleuthing should be in his blood since Phil is not only a great-great-grandson of Thomas Lovewell, but also the grandson of Orel Elizabeth Poole, the Lovewell family’s original curator.  After giving the family tree a thorough shaking during her childhood in Lovewell, Ms. Poole stirred up local interest in tales of  White Rock Creek in the 1950’s, when Lovewell State Park was about to open.  She also took the opportunity to pass along her late father’s version of his own father’s life story.  While not always completely accurate, Stephen Lovewell’s account provides an abundance of valuable clues.  

It’s been great fun to travel vicariously with Phil to the family’s roots in the “Old West” of Nelsonville, Ohio, (see “Creepy Hollow”)  all the way to Solomon Lovewell’s later haunts on the Oregon coast, where a corner coffee shop (see “Solomon’s Travels”) seems to mark the location of the pioneer’s famous cabin.

An indispensable part of my toolbox for the past few years has been Rhoda Lovewell’s The Lovewell Family Revisited.  An updating of Gloria Lovewell’s 1979 book of family history, heavily supplemented by Rhoda’s own interviews and searches through courthouse records, the result is a Word Document in which every name (and it is chock full of names) can be pursued through the decades and run to ground.

In addition to her magnum opus, Rhoda has also passed along bundles of notes and bunches of scrapbooks she’s accumulated on her decades-long search.  In other words, there’s a lot of history still waiting to be explored.  Time to get cracking.

© Dale Switzer 2023