All of the research in the world can not compare to the feeling of actually seeing, and touching the real thing. I have been hard at work researching our immigrant McGees, last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the land where our McGee’s began their new life. My partner in crime, my niece and somewhat unwilling participant, Katy came along with her husband, Allen. We also brought along my littlest – who is always ready for adventure.
The family who owns the land was gracious enough to invite us out to take a look. They have a small greenhouse and so of course the trip included some shopping! I picked up some flowers, Katy and Allen found a gorgeous strawberry plant and some vegetables. It is so special to have plants that were actually grown from this land.
We met Hans who grew up here- his parents, immigrants from Germany purchased the farm in the 1950’s. His parents gave him his own parcel of the land where he built his house. He showed me the footprint of where one of the original houses stood. It is now a black top drive in front of a small shop. Below is a picture of an original barn. It gave me goosebumps to see!
The farm in its current state is about 160 acres and includes a piece across the road. Seeing it really put it all together for me. William must have had so much pride in this, his land, his ability to own it and pass it on to his sons. As a Catholic in Ireland that is a privilege he could not enjoy. The surrounding area is wild and open with rolling hills, farms, and woodland. We were struck by the fact that this could not have been easy land to cultivate and farm. In my mind, it is what I imagine Ireland to look like… maybe that is why they choose it. I leave in just over 2 weeks for Ireland – I’ll let you know how it compares!!
Hans was kind enough to let us take pictures and explore, he invited us back in the fall to take in the views! The next few pictures really don’t need words…