Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Drive Down Jones Memory Lane Via The Slotemaker Road To Lynden
The road sign you are looking at is located in Whatcom County in Washington. The Canadian border is about 10 miles to the north.
For you reading this in Texas, that big blue wall looking thing under the clouds is known as a foothill. In this case it is a foothill of the Cascade Mountains. If those clouds were not hovering we would likely be seeing the Mount Baker volcano.
My Dutch ancestors arrived in America in the early 1890s. I think 1892. I believe they entered America via Ellis Island, but I am not sure of that. I do not know if my ancestors were illegal immigrants or if they had passports and entry visas, or whatever the legal arrival document was at that time in history.
I do know the reason my ancestors wanted to move to America was to escape the constant European wars. Sort of ironic in the year 2016.
I also know my first ancestral Anchor Baby was my dad's dad, my grandpa, Cornelius. I am guessing my Dutch ancestors were legit American citizens before the birth of their first Anchor Baby. The only one of my original Dutch ancestors who I got to meet was great-grandma Tillie, wife of my dad's dad's dad, John. I learned a little Dutch from my great grandma. Words such as brookies.
My Dutch Ancestors quickly assimilated into America. Only great great grandpa, Cornelius, did not learn to be fluent in English. Great grandma Tillie had a bit of a Dutch accent.
Upon arrival the family of four headed west to find their future, going from one Dutch community to another. Always hoping for something better than what they'd found.
Eventually my great grandpa, John, was sent, by train, to the far Pacific Northwest, where the family had heard of a flourishing Dutch community. Grandpa John returned to his mom and dad and wife to report that he had found their final destination, a land of fertile soil, like Holland, the tallest trees he'd ever seen, fish in abundance in clear rivers, berries growing wild, along with apples.
The family soon headed west to their new home, bought land next to what became a road named after my family's Dutch name, before the name became Americanized to "Jones".
The Dutch are picky people. Which is why so many kept on heading west til there was no more America to move to, unless they wanted to hop a boat and try Hawaii. The town near the Slotemaker Jones Farm is called Lynden. Modern day Lynden is sort of a Dutch theme town, with windmills and precisely trimmed lawns where, unlike Texas, no litter is allowed.
And, like Texas, an inordinate number of churches.....