[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen I think back to the early days of Alaska, I am always intrigued by the history of it all. I love finding family histories and stories of people that pioneered our great state. I try to imagine life back then, how families operated, and the roles they played in making Alaska what it is today. It makes me want to go back! I imagine myself as a pioneer woman, improvising with what I have, and working with my husband to make life work! I imagine the simpler times with less distraction and a strong sense of love and family values. Reading by lamplight and cooking in cast-iron! Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for my modern day conveniences (although I often take them for granted), but this type of thing really turns my history nerd crank.
A friend of mine, Renee Estelle, recently celebrated a major milestone with her Grandma Ruth DeArmond, Ruths's 100th birthday! Renee shared some wonderful pictures of her Grandma's life on Facebook . The pictures were so great, I just had to know more! She was kind enough to let me share some photos and family history here for you to enjoy as well. The photographs help tell a wonderful story, capturing small glimpses of her grandmother's life growing up in the last frontier. A time capsule, if you will. Here is some of what Renee shared with me:
Grandma is definitely an Alaskan woman! She grew up in Sitka--her father R. W. DeArmond was the first magistrate for the U.S. government there.
She went to college and became the Home Demonstration Agent to the new colony in Palmer when they started up in 1936.
She married my grandpa, Howard Estelle, who was the Extension Agent, and they raised 7 kids.
The blue barn on top of Bailey Hill right out of Palmer is still the family homesite.