August 23, 2012

Hegney family visits homestead

Hegney family visits homestead
By ALLAN TINKER

High on a hill, surrounded by the peace of tall, waving grass, shade and fruit trees, remnants of buildings and landmarks barely visible, the descendants of Tharald G. and Bertha Hegney came to share memories.
They arrived in sturdy vehicles, on Friday, August 10, with a special four-wheel unit for the eldest of the crowd, ninety years-plus, Faith Hegney, the widow of the second generation son Dewey. They came to see where their ancestors had lived and farmed on this piece of homestead land.
They walked the land, exploring the stone masonry projections, the huge rock piles, the metal pieces stuck into the ground, old remnants of once-viable machines: everything that would have held the touch, voice or effort of those who had worked here so hard for so long.
They wondered at the huge house that had been built to hold the family of 16: three stories high and never completely done. Not far from the basement, now used for rubbish disposal, was the outline of the house that had been dug into the hill. This one had held the family safe and secure until the huge one could be built. They wondered at all those people in such few square feet.
They found no remnant of the claim shack, the very first shelter put up until their house dug into the hill was made by hand. Still, barn walls and stones that look as though there might be some vague design left under decayed vegetation and soil, remained. Many had huge trees within the inside dimensions of the rock lines; trees that defy one to reach around the tremendous trunks.


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