Thursday, August 13, 2009


The plan for the next day was for us all to attend the Ellingwood Family Reunion in
Norway, Me. I'm afraid I was the last one downstairs(say, have I mentioned here
before that I hate stairs?)and into the car, and then I knocked over Cheryl's coffee
climbing into the SUV. Ah well.

We got back on Rte 26 and retraced our trip from the previous day back to Bethel
and then on to Norway. It was a nice sunny, cool day and I enjoyed looking at the
scenery. So many of my ancestors came from the towns we'd driven through during
the trip: Paris, Upton, Woodstock, Waterford, Newry. I wondered which of the older
buildings we passed had been standing during my ancestors' times. I also wondered
about the large pen of reindeer on the farm we drove past! (We speculated about that once
we arrived at the reunion. I like my cousin Diana's theory that they were on vacation.)

We arrived at the reunion around noon time. It was first held back in 1923 in honor
of Asa F. Ellingwood and with the exception of the World War 2 years it's been held every
year since. In recent years it's been held at the home of Jerry Ellingwood in Norway. He's
got a great view of Lake Norway from his house and younger family members were
outside playing volleyball and other games when we drove up. There was a canopy up for
dining and family memorabilia and pictures were on display on tables inside the garage
where they were out of the bright sun and wind.

Once we signed in I had the chance to meet people I'd met through email and Facebook:
Lori Grippo, the family historian and editor of the yearbook given out at the reunions,
Bonnie Atkinson, the secretary/treasurer of the reunion committee, and Jerry Ellingwood.
it's president. I browsed through the memorabilia and added some copies of two document
transcriptions I've posted here on the blog; one was Cyprian Stevens' letter to the Bay
Colony Council and the other was John Ellingwood's petition for compensation due to
the loss of his finger in fighting the Indians. I chose these two because Florence O'Connor
mentioned them in her book The Ancestors and Descendants of Asa Freeman Ellingwood
and Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood.

By the way, Jerry has copies of the book available which is printed to be kept in
a three ring binder. This makes it possible to add yearly updates with family
events to the original book. The cost is $11.70 and if you are a descendant of
Ralph Ellingwood of Beverly Ma. it's well worth buying the book for all the
information you'll find in it!

Lori Grippo mentioned that another attendee wanted to ask me about my West family so
I spoke with Evelyn Chamberlain and two other ladies who remembered my great uncle
Clarence West and his wife Mabel attending past reunions. I called over Aunt Dot to speak
with them. Now she'd hoped to find relatives of her Uncle Willie Tidwell, my grandfather's
half-brother through Clara Ellingwood's first marriage. I didn't seem the Tidswells had
shown up often for the reunion but the three ladies did know Uncle Willie so Aunt Dot
enjoyed talking with them. We also saw that Grandpa West had attended at least one of
the reunions years ago when his name was found on one of the older lists of attendees!

Jerry Ellingwood and Al Atkinson cooked up hamburgers and hot dogs and everyone
enjoyed their meal under the canopy before the business meeting was held.

To be continued...

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