Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fascinating Family Discovery

In sorting old family pictures, my parents discovered a previously unknown relationship between two items that Seth inherited from Grandma and Grandpa.

This axe head....

...belonged to this man, our great-great-great-great-grandfather.

His name was Rasmus Brogaard and he used the axe to build his first house in America.  Also he was a gold miner in the 1849 California gold rush.

We found the axe head at Grandma and Grandpa's house, but we had no idea where it came from.  It was painted a gaudy gold.  Seth took a liking to it and we brought it home for him.  He also received the framed picture (which is not a photograph, but likely an ambrotype or daguerreotype).  Then last week we found a photo of the axe and the picture together with a note on the back explaining it.  So, that gold axe that we thought was just a hunk of junk has actually been in the family for six generations!

Seth boiled it in soapy water and scrubbed it with a wire brush to get the paint off.

It's incredibly heavy!  Can you imagine swinging it all day chopping down trees?

Thursday, July 17, 2014