Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Interesting Relatives

Most families have at least one and possibly more, interesting relatives. I will talk about those in my family, other than myself, who many have considered ... different for many years. But no, the award today goes to my Aunt Anna Huseland Gibbons.

When my Grandfather, Gunder Asbjornson Huseland died in 1908 just (in a reversion to a Norwegian, slip I originally spelled it yust) a short time after migrating from Wisconsin with my Dad, Amos, the youngest at seven years old and six older sisters. The family had established a homestead in an area of Stevens County, Washington know as Aladdin. Aladdin does not exist anymore, but the old highway between Colville and Northport is known as the Aladdin Highway. Since 395 was built, it now serves as a rural road serving folks who live in the farming areas along Deep Creek.

This homestead was called a timber claim and was 160 acres straddling Meadow Creek, a short distance from Aladdin Hwy and Meadow Creek Road. This intersection was prior to Highway 20 which took a long leisurely route from the Colville Airport through the mountains and ending a few miles south of Ione, in Pend Oreille County.

Back in the day of my family though, Meadow Creek Road travelled a short but steep route up over what was then called Huseland Hill, past Big Meadow Lake and on down to Ione. This was a very short rout for those living in the area of Aladdin, but to those in Colville not so much.

But I digress. After the death of Gunder, there was absolutely no income for the family. Zero, Zilch. The older sisters journeyed to Spokane, where they entered domestic service. They then send money home to Mom. Eventually, Seven years later, Gunder's widow married a man whose homestead was just a few miles north. His name was Pat Grace.

During that period the older sisters married as well. One, Anna, married a man who's occupation was tattoo artist. Working for Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Baily Circus, he soon convinced Anna to allow him to tattoo her. All of her. Eventually, she hired on with the circus as Artoria, the tattooed lady, where she worked for years. Her only child, a wonderful lady, lives in retirement in rural South Carolina, near antebellum homes and cotton fields.

Now that you know some of out secrets, how many of you have those long kept secrets that beg to be released. Tell us about them.

No comments: