For my Brother , and for Swampwitch
My Great Grandfather, Franklin Castle, married my Great Grandmother, Augusta Travis, in 1877 in Battle Creek, Michigan. He already had four sons (possibly only 3 living) and a daughter named Hattie from his first marriage. My grandmother, Grace, was born to Franklin and Augusta in 1879, and five more children followed.
My Grand Aunt Hattie wrote some journals before she died in 1965. A portion of one of her journals can be read below these old photos. In it she tells of their journey from Michigan to Delta Colorado.
My great grandparents at their cabin in Delta, Colorado. I believe that is my grandma Grace between her papa and mama.
My grandmother Grace and my grandfather William, who was 21 years her senior. They were married June 22, 1895.
A picture of Delta looking at Grand Mesa, probably taken by my Grand Aunt Hattie's husband who was a traveling photogrpaher.
My grand Aunt Hattie.
From Aunt Hattie's Journal - (her handwriting was poor and we did the best we could transcribing them)
Well, the summer before I was fifteen, my brother wrote, urging my Father to come to Colorado as up the Ute Indian Reservation to be settled and they were each taking a 160 acres joining each other and he could get one joining theirs if he came right away, so as he then had three boys growing, he thought he better get a place. So he sold out. We packed things to ship when we got settled, and we boarded the train bag and baggage, which meant quite a bit, with 4 little kids. So that was the way we left Michigan.
Our Trip To Colorado
The first place of interest to me was seeing Lake Michigan as we went around the south end into the Grand Central Depot where we went right into the depot and there a number of trains standing there for various places; a number of tracks side by side, we had to wait a while there. The next day we went in sight of the Missis-
sippi River and saw the boats going up and down it. The water in the Mississippi was so clear and pretty, but when we crossed it just below where the Missouri ran into it, the water was red and dirty, and it showed plainly where it ran in.
We then went into Kansas City just at dark. Had to wait a while there and then went across Kansas in the night. In the morn-
ing (we) saw our first antelope (also coyetes) and then came in sight of the Rocky Mountains with the sun shining on them. They sure looked grand to us - first mountains I had ever seen. Then came into Denver - from there through mountains to Canyon City,
on the Red or Arkansas River. From there we went zigzagging back and forth on such short curves, you could sometimes see the back car, and could look down to where the river looked like it was very small. We climbed the mountains above the timberline over Monarch Pass (they said it was the highest pass over the Rockies),
then down the western slope above the Black Canyon of the Gun-
nison River, pass Gunnison City, on to Montrose, then Delta, where Herbert and Newton met us with the family convayence,
a lumber wagon.
Delta was a very small place - had to cross the Gunnison River on a ferry boat. On through the dobys to Uncle Herbert's place, where Eliza met us with a hearty welcome and a good pioneer dinner. I well remember, she had fresh parsnips from the garden, and we had always been told they were poison to eat until after they had been in the ground all winter. But she only laughed and said they ate them anyway and they never hurt them.
Well, on Sunday morning, my brothers came with horses all ready for my Father and I (also Eva), to go with them up on Grand Masa hunting. You see, at that time venison was a staple article of food, as everything was high and as yet, very little had been raised in that valley, as the valley had only open to settlement two or three years - taken from the Ute Indians. My brother was well acquainted with the old Chief Quray and his tribe.