A is for Altamont: First of twenty-six posts in the April 2017 Blogging From A to Z Challenge on the theme “Whispering Chimneys: My Altamont childhood” — where my genealogy journey began. Wish me luck!
Altamont, N.Y. — R.D. 1 to be exact — was my first childhood address. How I ended up there is an interesting tale.
In the early 1950s my parents and maternal grandparents decided to buy a large house, move in together and start a family business. Sounded like a plan…sort of.
“We didn’t really know what kind of business, just something we could earn money at,” Dad told me.
My parents lived out-of-state then, and I was just six months old. But Dad quit his job and they headed back to upstate New York where they had grown up.
“I can hardly believe it now,” Dad said. “There I was, twenty-six with a wife and a baby, and I was essentially unemployed.” Even more amazing, Mom was on board with this scheme.
“We packed you in a picnic basket and off we went,” Mom told me. A picnic basket? I asked.
“Actually, it was a wicker bassinet you could put in the car,” she explained. “Everyone used them back then.”
Finding the farm
Our first destination was my maternal grandparents’ house in Gloversville, New York — my mom’s home town.
That’s where we spent Christmas in 1950.
Meanwhile, my parents started shopping around for a home big enough for the five us and the future family business. They looked in nearby towns, but the houses were small for the price.
So they widened their search into the country and that’s when they found the farm. Dad captured their excitement in an essay he wrote years later.
A young family came upon one of these mansions and was hypnotized by its ten acres of land, big red barns, and a few tourist cabins. They could find so many possibilities that they could not wait to own this historical marvel. This was the start of the great adventure!
So they bought the farm, named it Whispering Chimneys, and the great adventure has stayed with me all of my life!
Please join me daily in April for #AtoZChallenge snippets about my early life on the farm and how those formative years contributed to my sense of family and heritage.
Up next: B is for Birds and Bees and Aunt Rita: My first genealogy lesson. Please stop back.
© 2017 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.