To Great-Grandmother’s House We Go . . .


This is the home of my great-grandparents – my mother’s beloved grandmother and grandfather.  Mom spent many happy days in this house.  And even though it was torn down long before I could remember things, this is very real, and very vivid in my mind – the huge staircase in the dining room, the large kitchen, the sitting room (which also was the bedroom for the grandparents) with it’s large fireplace and clock on the mantel that kept perfect time.  There was the parlor with its beautiful furnishings, bookshelves on either side of the windows – this was where my mother, her siblings and cousins would set up a grocery store and their grandmother, complete with her hat, purse and gloves, would make purchases with nickels and dimes!  The dining room which held a party feast on the last day of their visit.  And the fish pond, the barn and cows – the old cemetery very near the house.

Robert E. Lee Montgomery – such a colorful and historic name! – and Frances Barber Linton Montgomery are sitting in the center of the photo.  My great-aunts, Lilly and Maggie, are next to their mother – and my grandmother, Alice, on the end.  She doesn’t look very happy – perhaps she had something more pressing to do than sit for the portrait!

The boys, Robert Lee and Edward Linton, stand with their horses.

But there are two that were gone before this picture was made.  A daughter, Laura Frances, born in 1897, died of tuberculosis at the age of 15 – shortly before this photo was made.  A son, Benjamin, born in 1908, died when less than a month old.

Out of a family of seven children only three married, and only two had children of their own.  Of the five young people in the photo Edward lived to be 71, Bob, 82, Maggie, 89, Alice, my grandmother, 92, and Lilly, 94.  I come from a long line of ‘long livers’!  Perhaps I’ll be just as lucky!

6 thoughts on “To Great-Grandmother’s House We Go . . .”

  1. I love that they included the animal in the family picture. The animals are in good shape, too I think that says something very positive about the family. I can’t believe they got a picture with the dog looking at the camera. Every time we tried to do that our dog would look away. It would make me tense trying to hold a pose and worrying about the dog and children at the same time. I can’t imagine if we only got one shot at it! Nice picture!

    1. Yes, their horses were good animals. My great-grandfather had a dairy operation and took very good care of his cows, also! Mom remembers standing with him in the road, bringing the cows from the pasture across the street to be milked. Of course it was a small country road, little traffic, especially since in 1930-40 there were fewer cars. Mom’s parents had a horse and buggy that was used until about 1943, when their son bought a car.

  2. Thank you for sharing this, it is very poignant. I, too, have a photo of my great-grandmother’s house in Winamac, Indiana (O’Malia and Falvey). The dream of home ownership was very important to Irish-Americans because of what happened during the Famine. April Brown


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