Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Old Volo Creamery

I believe this building was the old Volo creamery.  It has been converted to apartments.  There is an old sign next to it that has mostly deteriorated away, but you can see part of the print at the bottom and it says, "Bottles & Cans."

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Picture of A.J. Raymond

I was able to find a picture of Volo Civil War Soldier, A.J. Raymond.  He also owned the creamery. Here is a screenshot.

Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Lake County, Edited by Newton Bateman & Paul Selby,  1900, page 734.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Volo Women Got a Little Rowdy

The old Newspapers tell the tale of several Volo women (five total) running a woman suspected of attempting to commit adultery with another woman's husband out of town.  The women were fined in court after being arrested.  One of them was Lovina Cook (the wife of A.J. Raymond).

Five women rode Mrs. John Richardson (Minnie Richardson) on a rail and dumped her into a mud puddle.  After that they threatened she would get worse if she did not leave Volo.  They did not like her relationship with William Dunnill, her brother-in-law.  Each woman paid $28.11 for court costs and faced a $100,000 damage suit.

Courtesy and Belvidere Daily Republican 05 Jun 1914, Fri.

A judgement of $1500 was entered against the defendants.

Courtesy and Republican-Northwestern 14 Sep 1915, Tue.

The defendants were:  Lovinia Cook-Raymond, Mrs. Mary Lusk, Ann Stadtfeld, Emma Stadtfeld, Mary Sabel, and Alma Walton.  Mrs. Raymond died before the case was finished and her estate fought the judgement and appears to have not been forced to pay the judgment.

Four of the women convicted were grandmothers.

Courtesy and the Pittsburgh Press, 03 Dec 1913  (left picture above is photo of Mrs. Richardson, the victim).

Holstein Dairy Cows

Holstein Dairy Cows - A picture my father took in Wisconsin years ago.

The Holstein Dairy Cow is famous for its milk output.  I did find an old article that showed John W. Gale put a Holstein Bull up for sale.

Courtesy of and the McHenry PlainDealer

The undersigned has for sale a fine three-years old Registered Holstein Bull.  Will be sold cheap if applied for soon.  J.W. Gale Volo, IL.  - The McHenry Plaindealer – 18 May 1887, Wed.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Getting Closer to What the Gales Looked Like

I've been looking for a long time for the photos of H. Wallace Gale and his family.  It has proven to be a tough task all though I haven't lost hope.  I have found some photos of related cousins from Vermont from the Civil War period that give me an idea of what they might have looked like.  Here are some snapshots from old books and online sources regarding Gale cousins in Vermont.

John W. Gale

I'm almost done with my follow up book on the Gales of Volo.  It will reveal what happened to the Gale family after the American Civil War.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Last Dairy Farm Closed in Lake County

The Diebold farm was the last dairy farm in Lake County that closed in 2014.  The brother and sister that were running it cited getting older and not having anyone that wanted to continue the farm as the reasons for closing as well as milk truck companies not wanting to come and get their milk any more.  

This farm was said to last for four generations of their family.   Their story is typical of what I've seen while studying the Gales.  If there aren't enough family members left to carry on, it is harder to keep the farm.

Here are some snapshots from the news article along with a link.

From the article written by :

About a week earlier, the last of the milking cows were sold, ending a long tradition of family dairying in Lake County. The old stanchions -- 13 on each side -- where the cows would be secured for milking and two stalls at the end of the ancient barn had literally become history.

"Everybody my age basically quit," said George Diebold, who at 66 has the creaky knees and back that come with a lifetime of milking, twice a day, every day, and growing and harvesting hay and corn for feed. "There's a few who farm but nobody wants to milk cows."

At one time, there were many processing plants and hundreds of dairy farms in Lake County, said Greg Koeppen, manager of the Lake County Farm Bureau.

Some were large farms and others had only a few cows to produce milk for the family or as barter for other goods, he said. The Diebold farm, which was settled in 1872, was the last true family dairy operation.

"It's the end of a long era in Lake County," Koeppen said.

That also means the age-old Diebold family practice of moving the herd to pasture in spring and summer along Fremont Center Road -- much to the delight of onlookers and the occasional police escort -- has become another footnote.

Virginia, the family matriarch who died about five years ago, relished that duty well into her 80s. Sometimes, people would bring their kids to watch and take pictures.

"It's kind of strange," George Diebold said of the quiet, empty barn. "Now, you walk in and you know they're not here."

Golden Oaks Farm in Wauconda is now the last dairy operation in Lake County, Koeppen said, but it is a corporate concern run by hired managers and employees. The modern, computerized operation with three milkings a day attracts visitors from around the world, Koeppen said.

"It's not what we would classify as a family farm," he said.

To get a sense of how long the Diebolds have endured, consider that the dairy barn was remodeled in 1933 with concrete replacing the dirt floor and metal stalls replacing wooden ones. The date is etched in the foundation for posterity.

At its peak, the Diebold farm had about 40 milking cows. George Diebold, who was born and raised there, said he has been cutting back the past few years due to a combination of age and economics.

He used to sell to a dairy plant that supplied Dean Foods, but its operators wanted a premium to pick up his milk.

"The trucks didn't want to come this far because there was no one else," Diebold said. "We just phased out slowly."

Diebold cows could produce as much as 400 gallons of milk every two days. It is something the family will miss, said George's sister, Mary Lou.

"That's what we were raised on," she said. "That's going to be an adjustment."

President of the Lake County Heritage Farm Foundation Nancy Schum said the demise of the family farm is ironic, given the emphasis these days on local crops and markets.

The span of generations is also a significant characteristic that is disappearing, she added.

"To me, it's kind of sad because it signals the end of something that was a priority years ago," Schumm said.

Diebold, whose great grandfather established the farm, considers himself semiretired.

He'll still work the grounds, plant, harvest and bale hay, grow corn and soybeans, tend to the remaining heifers and maintain the 10 buildings on the property among other duties.

"It's still a full-time job but it's part time from what I was doing," he said.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Gales of Volo

I found out how the brother of Henry Wallace Gale died. I'm not ready to reveal it yet as it is a mind blower and goes along with the rest of the history of Volo and similar towns across America after the Civil War.  I'm still fleshing out the details and have now committed myself into writing a 2nd book about the Gale family of Volo which will discuss the history of the town and what happened to the Gale family after the Civil War and up until today.

My goal is to eventually find a picture of the family of Gardner Gale and so far it has proven to be a very hard task.  When my research is ready, I will reveal more surprising history of the Gale family and pioneer days of Volo.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Free White Persons, Free Colored Persons - 1840 Census

I am continuing to research the Gale family.  Those that are familiar with my work and books, know that I talk about the white slaves now and then.  Today, that history has been swept under the rug and in fact the SPLC denies the existence of white slaves (specifically Irish slaves).  Today, I found a most interesting piece of evidence that classifies "white" people as free or not as well as classifying "colored people" as free or not.  Furthermore, the classification was broken down by age and gender.

It is no wonder that many whites were abolitionists and as I've told you all along, "whites" were the first slaves in America and the West Indies.  Here is a screen shot from the census from (fair use is claimed).  It is absolutely unbelievable that this history is hidden and denied today.  It proves all along, the "Indentured Servant" stories are incorrect.  the "Indentured Servant" story is as credible as the "Happy Slave" story.  The real reason this history is hidden, in my opinion, is the truth of who ran the slave trades.

Screenshots from the SPLC website with false history:

When you get kidnapped from your home and your family killed (i.e. the Irish during Cromwell's time) and sent on a ship, beaten, and cast into slavery (servitude) without a choice or anyway home, and a never ending excuse for why you can't go, only to work sugar cane and tobacco plantations, you are a slave.  This doesn't even discuss the rape and buggery that went on, either. The cover up of history and the sugar coating of what really happened, is a real sore point to me and has to be addressed.   Even more kept quiet, are the violent fights between freed white slaves and black slaves in Barbados and the rest of the West Indies.  Both groups were purposely put against each other as they are today.   For now, I continue to uncover the past.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Race of Giants Lived in Lake County, IL

A race of giants were found in the mounds when the early pioneers came to Lake County.  Many were over 7 feet tall.  They didn't leave much in the matter of records and their skeletons were falling apart.  Who were they?  We won't ever know until the Smithsonian is put in check and we are allowed to fully examine their DNA without interference.  That day will be coming.  Here is the page from the book with the testimony.

"Of the very early history of the region which now embraces Lake County but little can be written. The Mound Builders had occupied it and passed away, leaving no written language and but little even as tradition.  They had erected their piles of earth, usually from the surface soil, and underneath them had deposited the remains of their dead, together with bits of pottery and a few rude implements of husbandry and warfare.  The mounds were quite numerous along the rivers and in the vicinity of the inland lakes.  That they were of great antiquity is evident from the fact that huge forest trees had come to maturity upon their summits and were awaiting the ax of the pioneer.  Excavations of these piles of earth have revealed the crumbling bones of a mighty race. Samuel Miller, who has resided in the county since 1835, is authority for the statement that one skeleton which he assisted in unearthing was a trifle more than eight feet in length, the skull being correspondingly large, while many other skeletons measured at least seven feet.  There were extensive burial ground on the shore of Lake Michigan, mainly south of the stream known as Waukegan River; also at various point all through the county."

- Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Lake County Edited by Newton Bateman LL.D, Paul Selby, A.M., and Hon. Charles A. Partridge, Chicago, Munsell Publishing Company, 1900, page 619.

Was the Town of Volo Named after the Greek Town of Volos?

I have found some information online that suggests that the town of Forksville, Illinois was renamed to Volo at the suggestion of a Greek resident who was naming it after the town of Volos in Greece.  I am still trying to determine if this information is correct.  There is a town in Greece named Volos and it is very beautiful.  Considering that the Gales were probably descendants of the Greek Trojans, this is very appropriate as many Gales settled in what is now Volo, Illinois.

Volos, Greece at night

Here is the official seal of Volos, Il (looks like a Phoenician ship which is very appropriate).

The name was changed on November 27, 1868.

- History of Lake County, by John J. Halsey, LL.D, Illinois , University of Chicago Library,  1912, page 626 of 904. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How I found Henry's Name

The mystery of H. Wallace Gale's name was a tough nut to crack at first since all of his records referred to him as H. Wallace Gale.  Even his cenotaph (with an error in his death age - should be 20 years old and not 21 years old) referred to him as H. Wallace Gale.  For some reason, it was important for H. Wallace Gale to use his middle name more than his first but he included the initial to his first name always.  This made him unique.  He was referred to as H. Wallace.  It took me a while to find out what the H stood for, but with the help of the National Park Service, I was able to find out his name was Henry.   Here are the screenshots from their website, that helped me crack the mystery.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Town of Volo (Forksville) Started with 150 People

Another antiquated book I came across, was written by the man that defeated Gardner Gale in 1858 for Congress, Elijah M. Haines.  The book called, Historical and Statistical Sketches of Lake County, was written in 1852 and states that about 150 people were in Forksville (Volo) and about 200 in Wauconda to begin with.  Here are some screenshots from this old book that is found online:

It appears that the family of H. Wallace Gale was in Forksville, Il by 1854 (from previous research), but there were other related Gales who were in Forksville as revealed in my book.  This now gives me a good idea of the number of pioneers (150) who settled Forksville, IL. now known as Volo, IL.

Photograph of Elijah M. Haines, Illinois politician from Lake County and former Speaker of the Illinois House.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Chicago Botanic Garden

A wonderful place to visit, Chicago Botanic Garden, has over 385 acres of walking area, gardens, and nature areas.  Periodically, the Chicago Botanic Garden has several events.  I've recently visited the Orchid Show and the Night of 1000 Jack o' Lanterns in 2016.  Here are pictures from both.  Enjoy.

The Pyramid House

In the Northwest suburbs of Wadsworth, Illinois, sits one of the most interesting homes ever built.  It was built in the shape of a giant pyramid.  The Gold Pyramid house was built by Jim and Linda Onan in 1977.  They have placed a giant statue of Ramses II and the house is surrounded by a moat. The Onans live in the house and provide tours of the home and on-site museum/gift shop for a small fee.  In addition, the son of Jim Onan has begun offering tours to Egypt.  Here are some of my pictures of the Pyramid House and a link to their website.

Gold Pyramid House

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Volo Auto Museum & Haunted Tour

I've been to the Volo Auto Museum multiple times with family and highly recommend it. They have a host of various exhibits and cars ranging from classics to hollywood to historical cars. There is a bit of history in each car they display.  In addition to the cars, they also have a Military Museum with many original artifacts.  It's very good as well.  The grounds have a lot of room to walk around or sit and they have a pizza cafe (ShowBiz) on site as well.   Often times, they have live events (bands, sleep-overs, etc.) and are open most of the year.

In addition to their museum, the antique barn and antique malls have many things to look at and purchase.  I've never seen so many interesting things and each time I go, it seems there is something always new.

But, as I have already discussed, their antique barn seems to be haunted by a Civil War ghost and possibly others as well.   I wrote a book about my research and experiences there.  In addition to the stories and the old cemetery across the street, the Volo Auto Museum does a haunted trolly tour in the fall.  Last year I took this tour in October.   It was quite interesting.  I won't give too much away, but the most interesting thing of all was a display case (shown only on the tour) that showed the items found under the floorboard in the old farmhouse.  It included an old Civil War knapsack, a gun, some letters, and a case.  Here is a picture of it:

At the time I went on the tour, I hadn't received the federal records regarding Henry Wallace Gale, yet. After I received them, I was surprised to see what was listed as returned to the Gale family. It included clothing, a knapsack, and a few other written items I could not read.  Here is a copy of that record:

After a lot of research,  I believe one of the items listed that was hard to read, was a Walch gun. This Civil War era gun was commonly purchased by Union soldiers at the time and a picture of it found online seems very close to what was in the case.

I would highly recommend that the Grams family continue to look under the floorboards in the old farmhouse for Henry Wallace Gale's clothes and perhaps they could use a noninvasive method to find them without lifting up all the wood (or look near where the knapsack was found).

Here are some more pictures from the Volo Auto Museum: