Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Box of Old Pictures, Chicago Dogs and Evergreen Cemetery

A Research Trip Home

Last week I made a trip home to Illinois. While my ancestors came from the northwest suburb of Barrington, I grew up in the neighboring town of Fox River Grove.

My mom had recently mentioned she found an old box of pictures under the living room sofa so i was anxious to go look through them. My sister Mary and I try to scan pictures as soon as we can. Mom has a habit of cutting the originals up for her collage.

There were about 80 pictures we had not seen or scanned before so Mary scanned them as TIFFS and then I cut and saved another set as JPEGS.

One amazing thing was some actually had names and dates on them! This is my favorite. It is of my dad and is sibling from 1940. It is the earliest one I have seen of the three of them. I am very happy that we were able to rescue these pictures and document them.

Chicago Dogs and Evergreen Cemetery

Every time I make a trip home I have to visit Evergreen Cemetery. Over the years it has become more than a cemetery. Folks jog, walk and push strollers through the wooded rows of headstones. I like to eat lunch there. There is nothing better than a Chicago Dog and Fries from Kookers to give me the energy and motivation for an afternoon of locating, photographing and cleaning headstones.

On this trip I needed to take pictures of some memorials I had adopted on Unfortunately when I found them I could not photograph them until the 'bird droppings' had been removed. With a jug of water and some gentle rubbing the stones were ready for their close up.

Of course it rained soon after, so the 'bird droppings' would have been handled naturally if I had waited a day!

The last stop was to decorate my Grandparents, William and Florence Schwemm Pahlke's headstone. Lilacs for Grandma and American Flags for Grandpa, a World War I veteran.


As I mentioned in a previous blog, Spring Cleaning can be a genealogist's break through moment or nightmare. I hate to think of how many folks might have pictures under a couch or in the back of a closet. You never know what you will find or what may get thrown out.

Take Care,


  1. What a treasure trove! I am so glad to read that you take the time to clean off headstones. I do the same when I take photographs for findagrave. It just seems the respectful thing to do.

  2. Enjoyed your blog and also love that you clean up the headstones!
    I recently blogged about Spring Cleaning as well and what I fear our ancestors tossed thinking it unimportant. Scanning photos is time-consuming, but oh so worth it. Great job and Happy Anniversary :)