Friday, March 18, 2011

18 March 2011 Last full day in Rhode Island and my struggle with that stupid GPS thingy

Wilcox Park

     Today, Rhode Island treated us to wonderful weather.  Would you believe it was almost in the 60s?  I know !!!  Our first stop was back to that "quaint" (I've learned that as my new vocabulary word...  i even like how funny it sounds.. quaint) town of downtown Westerly and had a wonderful breakfast at the Prime Time Cafe in Connecticut.  I thought it was pretty clever when I remarked that we parked in Rhode Island, while eating in Connecticut, but it did not earn me any giggles or applause from Carol.  And the rest of the day, i really became very close-friends with my GPS...GRRRR.

After breakfast, we had to go back to the HUGE River Bend Cemetery and meet John there.  Well, my dilemma was that the car was parked in an area where I couldn't turn to the street I needed to turn to, and instead, it lead me further into Connecticut.  Yeah.. Paper bag comes to mind once again.  I finally turned into a street, did the ole turn around thingy and went back from where we came.  Whew, and now my friend the GPS could relax again and show me the way.  At the River Bend Cemetery, we enter the little building and two ladies are handing us a Cemetery lot list (they were two books) and pointed out a large number of Lewis-Family-Members. One of the ladies said that they are not allowed to make copies due to copyright laws.  I sit down and start to write... 1 name of 70+ names...  I don't get to write as fast as i wanted to as the "talking" started...  5 min. later, I bring name number 2 to paper.  after 15 minutes, I made it to 20... oops, wrong row again... concentration was just not where it was supposed to be as genealogy questions kept coming up. 

 John enters the building, we shook hands and he asked me what I'm writing.  "I am copying the cemetery list."  "You want me to copy that for you?"  "Can you do that?"  And now the other lady looks up and says that that's against the copyright, afterall, those two stood out there in the cold, "I remember it was so cold when they were out there and recorded the names,"  she said.  John looks at me and repeats his question and, of course, I said "yes".  He smirked!  "I will have no part of this" the lady at the desk says in the direction of John who is walking to the copy machine.  Zip-Zip-Zip... all is copied and we are ready to leave.  Of course, he remarked that he would have done this for me already if I would have sent the e-mail we've discussed last week, but he smiled while saying it...  The people here are so nice.. even the lady at the desk had some nice words to say.  We left to go to the Wilcox Park.  It's a cute, or perhaps quaint park ;-)  Unfortunately,  no educational information about that park could be found... but we found a few other things for the ole camera anyway.

such as this white oak tree... crazy tree!!

We had to get back to the hotel to do our check in and print out our boarding passes and the front office was closing early.  While Carol is dealing with the check in and passes, I called the Westerly Town Hall to see if I can make an appointment to show my silly little face at their Office to meet with the Town Clerk.  I was told that all the old documents were destroyed and if there are any information of value, it probably be found at the Westerly Public Library.  Since I was there already, I had no reason to go again as Mrs. Wright was so very helpful when I solicited historical documents of Westerly.  Next Stop, Pastor Stall, to pick up the book he had promised me.  After that, we were off to the Town Hall in Exeter.  And because I am so great in organizing and coordinating a day, I wrote down a description from a map Peter Lewis sent me to see Lewis City.  Worked out perfect, because the Town Hall was not far from that Lewis City.  However, my GPS argued with me that the place does not exist.  But not to worry, as I wrote down how to get there as it showed on Peter Lewis' map.

Wilcox Park (I am not that big of a fan of Columbus anymore though)
 Leaving Pastor Stall's church a bit later than anticipated, we arrived at the Exeter Town Hall 20 minutes before closing.  Not to worry, we know exactly what we are here to look for.  John Lewis, born 1780, son to John Lewis (1747).  The Lady gave us a name index which then shows which Book has the desired information.  First things first, we find John Lewis (1747), only, in this book his birth date is listed as : 11-10-1746 ( Exeter Births, Marriages, Deaths, Book 3, Page 164).  And that was it.  Nothing further.  No data in regards to his own family, in particular, his son John, born 1780.  Two minutes to spare.  I rush through the books to find some data for Peter Lewis.  I made a notation of what I found and we had to leave.  Wow... twenty minutes sure go by fast.  We go back to the car and I took out the notes how to get from here to the Lewis City.  The town clerk said "oh yes, you turn left and then right and you have to go about 5 miles.  I lived here all of my life.  I don't know if you actually can get there.  This is city property, there might just be some tracks going there."   Great, we shall see how far we get.  And so I turn left out of the parking lot.  After some time we noticed that we are no longer in Exeter.  Okay, next opportunity I get, I shall turn around.  The GPS is freaking out not knowing where to put the arrow.  It was a simple map I received from Peter Lewis.  From where I was, I should have had only about two turns and voila, Lewis City, right before me.  But no...  Instead, I am driving back to the Exeter Town Hall and while driving, I call Lewis to "HELP!!!".   Lewis, of course, sitting in his office in downtown Atlanta, checks out the ole google maps and tells me to go West on 10 Rod Road to Victory Rd.  "Are you heading west?"  I don't know why he keeps asking me those questions... I can read Egyptian Hieroglyphs, but I have no idea where North, East and all that is.  He is such a patient man.  "I am going towards I95" I say... that's all I know.  Lewis agrees I am going West and tells me I don't have to turn right to follow Victory Rd or lane, but instead, I can take the left and follow 10 Rod Rd all the way to Midway Rail and then to Plain Rd.  Sounds easy enough, I think to myself.  And that's exactly what I did... i branch off to the left as previously discussed and follow the road.  Now, I am driving under a bridge, passing the on-ramp to I95S to my left.  "What?  where are you?, Lewis asked.  "What's the street you're on?" "On the same one I turned onto" ... I am quite helpful, yes?  "Okay, now I am in a little town.. it says 138S and there is a turn coming up, where do I go?"  Lewis can't find me on the map... I am starting to panic just a bit.  Lewis tells me to stop so he can find me, i turn left into a parking lot.  "What street are you on?", was his next question.. I don't know...  I get into the entire spill again of how I have not left the road he sent me on. "Which way is the plane facing?"... oh yeah, 'cause Lewis is a pilot, the GPS has a plane... is he asking me again whether I am facing north or west?  Why does he keep doing that?  "Push the zoom in button on the screen !!!"  Yeah... I told you "paper bag", didn't I?  Who gets lost with a GPS??????   do I really have any business driving in a different State?  In Rhode Island of all places... I will get lost here.  I don't think Rhode Island needs a crazy person.  Oh my gosh, I will die here!!!   "Go pull back out of the parking lot and take a left"... oh good, I do get to go home, he found me on the map.   A sign reads "Welcome to Hopkinton"... what????  How did we get to Hopkinton?  By now, Carol is ready to give up.  She tells me to just go ahead and push the button on the screen which says "Hotel/Resort".  Noooooo.. we can't give up...  Who gives up???  Oh good, another sign I95 to Westerly.  Go push the button to go home, Carol tells me again.  Meanwhile, Lewis had missed his bus and was called by the girls, asking where he is.  Really?  We give up now?   Fine... and so I push the button, thank Lewis for making sure I didn't end up in some of those spooky woods they have here and turned onto I95.  (I shall never leave Hotlanta without Lewis again!!!)

We are really hungry, so we decide to stop at that restaurant we keep passing when we get off I95, Exit 1.  Can't miss the turn to the restaurant.... well, YOU can't... I can.. and so i did.... unbelievable!!!!  We get to the restaurant and asked them if they have that infamous Rhode Island Clam Chowder... No, they don't, but we stayed anyway.  The restaurant was on the golf course, one player on the green.  After dinner, we returned to the hotel... while I am typing away, Carol fell asleep on the couch... She must have had one awesome and very exciting day !!! 

Tomorrow, we are heading back to Boston very early in the morning to catch our flight back to Hotlanta.  Although, as great as this trip was, I am so very disappointed that I was unable to prove the father-son-connection of Caleb and John Lewis.  :-(

Wilcox Park


  1. Well done, i am in awe of what you are doing, it is something we have been thinking about doing in tracking down our roots. Have a safe trip back home and again thank you for the journey. {hugs}

  2. LOL Oh girl, you are a hoot. I felt so bad for you with your GPS troubles. Is the GPS on the blitz? I love my GPS and will never buy another car without one.

    You had an amazing trip, I see. I'm sorry that you weren't able to prove the connection. Huge applause for everything you did find. I was fascinated reading the details.

    Have a great trip home!


  3. Aaaaaaaaaw...I'm so sorry you weren't able to prove that connection as well, but it sounds like the trip was wonderful. You seem to always make good times wherever you are...I am so sad that you were so close to me...We could have met and had a fun time! Thank you for always sharing and I truly enjoy all that you write....I just had a nice cup f coffee and had this great reading material...made for a sweet Saturday morning...Thank you Liane

  4. Wow.. last few post have been wow..

    and then theres you, WOW

  5. Liane,
    Even though you didn't get to definitely prove the link, you did get a lot of information. I need to go to Newfoundland, Canada to look up my Dad's family. Maybe one day.....


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