So this is what I see when I get to the house today – several areas where people have wiped off the back door to be able to see in the house! I cannot fault people for doing this because I would be doing the exact same thing. There have been very few times that I have been at the house when someone hasn’t stopped by and asked to see it. My contractor said when he stops at the gas station down the street they always want an update on the work. The question I get asked over and over again is, “Will you be having an open house?” Yes! Although at this point, I think we may need to have people enter in shifts. So far I have invited all the neighbors, my co-workers, the former owners, my realtor, and everyone who has sold me something for the house or is working on the house. That’s a whole lot of people.
An update on the old letters I found. Thanks to Ancestry.com and several other sites, I was able to track down Russel’s great-grandson. Turns out anyone with an unusual name, or a name that is spelled differently than the norm, is much easier to trace. All my life I have been annoyed at being Holli with an “i”, but 100 years from now it will be easy for my descendants to distinguish me from the Holly Seaburys. And I happen to know there are at least two other ones, from Facebook messages that clearly aren’t for me. Anyway, I sent an email to Russel’s great-grandson, Dixon, who didn’t think I was a nut job at all (contrary to what my husband believed would happen) and he has been very kind in sharing family details and even sent a picture of Russel in uniform! I have found quite a bit of information on Russel’s grandfather, William Geiger, who owned the house, and will be sharing it with him. It’s been incredibly exciting to first find these old letters and then connect with a descendant of Russel. I am going to get in touch with a contact at Lincoln Life and see if they have archives and maybe I can track down Gertrude and share the letters with her descendants.
The picture on top is Russel in uniform and the one on the bottom is from a Notre Dame archive. Russel is on the far right and the article is about how he and three friends walked from South Bend to Chicago to see a Notre Dame football game. You can read the article here: http://www3.nd.edu/~wcawley/corson/walktochicago.htm