Randolph, Massachusetts is the town where my dad was born and grew up. I looked forward to spending time there and seeing some of the same houses, buildings and streets he knew as a boy. Things have changed a lot in the 100 years since he lived in Randolph, but I saw many structures and landmarks that would have been familiar to him.
Driving on Russ Street and Wilson Street, I looked for the house where Dad’s family lived until 1920. An old plot plan of the area indicated where the house should have been. I saw only a newer home… surely not the house I was looking for. I drove on down the lane and suddenly, there was an outcropping of rocks right in the middle of the street. I remembered an old photo of my dad with his mother and baby sister and felt pretty certain that these rocks were the same ones.
Quincy is not far from Randolph. My grandparents lived in Quincy before moving to Randolph, and other relatives lived there, as well. There are two houses on Ridgeway Street built by my Leake kin. The green house was constructed by great-uncle John Leake. The tan-colored home was built by great grandfather Thomas Leake. Thomas later moved to Alberta, Canada, and built a similar-looking house in Spirit River. (See Blog Entry # 9)
As a 9-year old, my dad lived in his Uncle John’s house for a short time. After Dad’s father died, his mother parceled out the younger children to other relatives for a few months. Behind these homes is the Sailor’s Home Pond. Dad remembered his parents ice skating on this pond when he was a little boy. Summer & Winter views.
One other stop in Quincy I wanted to make was to see the grave of Ronald Blake, a brother my dad never knew. Ronald died when he was just 6 years old. The cause of death was meningitis with complicating factors of middle ear and mastoid disease. In the days before antibiotics, Ronald was unable to fight this infection. Rest in peace, Uncle Ron.
On Sunday, I visited First Congregational Church of Rochester which was near my campground. It was established in 1703. This building dates from 1837.
On the way there, I had to stop for these guys to cross the road.
Also near my campground was the global headquarters of Ocean Spray Cranberry. Mmmm…. Turkey and cranberries. Must be getting close to Thanksgiving!