Erie County (PA) Genealogy

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Altstadt-Reilly Camping Trip 1911

Contributed by Mary A. Granahan


These pictures and information about them have been provided by Mary A. Granahan. All photos below were taken during the week of August 12-19, 1911, during a camping trip to Millcreek. Mary has provided information and three paragraphs from the diary of her Great Great Uncle Joseph Reilly. She relates: "My Great Great Uncle Joseph Reilly did a diary of this trip. I have it in it's entirety.  It is written with humor, but also details the modern and not so modern conveniences of the time.  It talks about riding in a horse drawn wagon, out past Trinity Cemetery and Waldameer park.  He mentions the electric street cars and gasoline cars."

Any inquiries about this family or the photos may be directed to Mary Granahan.


From the diary of Joseph Reilly, the following has been transcribed concerning a camping trip by "THE DON'T KICK KLUB" during the week of August 12-19, 1911.  

"As I gaze on the peaceful scenes before me, I fall into a reverie which begets, not only thoughts of the joyous outdoor life of the farm, but also of the long winter, with its long nights, when all the world is dead and still; and it does hold forth a dreary aspect for me then, and the vision rises before me of the comfortable city home and I feel that the cry of "Back to the farm" is a voice crying in the wilderness, insofar as I am concerned;  however, and yet to some, I'd better "dry up" as Bob expresses himself.

"Having come out of this fit, I find we are drawing near our destination.  Now we are beginning to count the land marks. There is the farm house, at which we inquired the way, when we first sought out the "Robinson Farm"; now we have passed Glen Rudah - we puzzled a bit as to what the name may mean; Bob suggests that it is Scotch for Red Glen, which explanation is possibly correct.  There in the distance, I can readily see Robinson's barn, and now the farm house.  Soon we are turning into the yard, by the barn, through the farm lands, toward the camping grounds, which lie in an open space in the woodlands that border the cliff overhanging Lake Erie.

"As we make our way forward, there is quite a little drop, or decline, in the land and I feel a wee bit shaky as the horses pick their way down.  Frank has gotten down now from the wagon and is proceeding us, with the ostensible purpose of guiding us and guarding against pitfalls; but I think he is actuated by canny caution, for the old conveyance might tip over you know. Frank certainly is the wise one. "

They gave each of them a job  or two, while camping, and a  name, descriptive of what their jobs were to be,  as I will list below:

Francis J. Altstadt (My GGrandfather)  --  Doctor  --  Cook
Francis J. Feeney  --  Pinochle  - Kitchen Maid
Joseph F. Reilly  -  Tillie  --  Chambermaid  -  Chronicller for the trip.
Francis E. Reilly  -- Cookies  --  Mechanic
Robert M. Reilly  --  Cricket  -- Laborer

This story was dedicated to Thelma K. Altstadt in remembrance of her beloved Father, Francis J. Altstadt, by Joseph F. Reilly, Uncle.


Francis Altstadt Relaxing on a bridge At the Lake (Erie)



Tents Another view of the bridge See below for names



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The photo of the children has their first names on the photo.  These are the full names, as best I know them:  Ellen Reilly Altstadt (my GGrandmother), Florence Hesplein, Janey Reilly, Mary Reilly, Lillian Reilly, Robert Feeney, Kenneth Feeney, Gertrude Hesplein, Thelma Altstadt (My grandmother) and Edward Altstadt.  There are four people in the photo that I don't know who they are.


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This page was last updated on  Tuesday, April 23, 2002 .

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