Wednesday, April 28, 2010

To Milton

H.D. Lamb (1864-1927) was an entrepreneur with his finger in many pies in Red Oak, Iowa. He bought and sold pieces of real estate, ran a grocery store, an undertaker venture, and a furniture business, and did some farming. It seems like the ventures he was involved in were successful, but never made the family really prosper. In 1906 the Lambs left Iowa to seek their fortune in Oregon.

The Lamb family, H.D. and his wife Mabel (1867-1940) and their children Marjorie, Harold, Frank, Fred and Harry boarded the train west in Red Oak headed for Portland. They interrupted their journey in Pendleton to visit their friend John Bolt who had moved from Red Oak to Milton. However, the Lambs liked Milton so well that they decided to stay instead of continuing to Portland.

H.D. took his heavy, eight foot long furniture maker’s work bench along on the journey, expecting to rely on his furniture making skills to make a living in his new home. Years later H.D.’s daughter-in-law Willie gave the tool bench to her son Gib.

“You can have it, but don’t ever give it away,” Willie said to Gib when he asked if he could have the tool bench. Today Frank has his great-grandfather’s workbench. It is a sturdy implement, the wood darkened with age, a much used piece of equipment.

Few things remain of the belongings that the Lambs carried with them on that long ago train journey. A carved oak clock some ten inches tall sat on the seat beside them on the train ride. Later it sat on Gib’s TV for years, a treasured belonging. (There is a story about somebody—Willie—who couldn’t sleep when it was ticking or perhaps not ticking)

Stashed away in their luggage, Mabel Lamb also carried some silver. Those days silver flatware was a sign of prosperity. Silver was a luxury item and one that was easy to show off. When the lady of the house had company over for coffee she would dig out her silver coin spoons. Willie Lamb inherited Mabel’s spoons. She eventually gave half of the spoons to Clark and Arleen Lamb and the other half to Gib and Helen. After Helen died the spoons were divided between her children.

H.D. stayed active in business and the community in Milton. Gib remembers that his bald Grandpa was fond of saying, “You can’t grow grass on a busy street.” (Add short recap about business ventures)

This is a work in process, recording objects and events. It is hard to make it come alive.
Other belongings: Blue Willow Ware china, crazy quilt
Attach H.D. Lamb family pictures and Lamb family tree
Silver spoon story


1 comment:

  1. I think it comes alive when you talk about the items in the here and now. What does Frank do with the work bench now...where does he keep it. How many spoons do you have. What do you do with them? The only emotion you can put in the story is yours...what do you feel about these treasures and what do you hope happens to them?