Thursday, April 30, 2015

Counter-top Decisions, and the Kitchen Plan Refined

Today we got ALL the counter top samples that I had ordered! Amazing! Thanks to Wilson Art and Formica customer service! The small chips were from local retailers Kurtis Kitchens and Baths and European Cabinetry.

I set the samples side-by-side with the various cherry samples I have. (None of which is the quartersawn natural cherry we are going with. I should have just gone online and ordered a door.) I also have a sample of cork flooring so I had that texture to compare.
Design is too large a scale...But I love those greens. The adjoining family room is Benjamin Moore's Potpourri Green after all.

 Solid surface. I like the texture... but it is too stark white.  Jonathan Alder's new designs great, but the colors too intense... except the linen which is too pale.

The warm colors in Daisy were amazing with the wood, but the scale of the design is too big.
"Endora" is pink and gold, and I think it would be great in my bath remodel.
"Betty" looks pretty good and we like the teal and orange. The design elements are are better scale.
This solid surface seems 'right' with the cherry.

So...'Betty' laminate, or the solid surface? We are getting a quote on each.

Here is the kitchen.  Sink and stove corner...

 and fridge and pantry on the other wall. And yes, that is a carpeted floor. Horror!
We need a working kitchen that will accommodate our needs as we age.

Here is what we worked out with Jen:
The sink will be where the range used to be. The cooktop is not to code in its current location.

The sink peninsula will become all countertop! What a nice prep area. The view opens to the family room and sliding door to the yard.

The range will go where the fridge used to be...with a venting hood, which we have never had before. 

Again, lots of counter space. And drawers, not shelves. Plus some glass doors for pretty displaying.

The new fridge had to go on the fourth wall, but will be 'built in'. Finally, a closet for my Swifter!
There is still open space for the table and chairs in front of the window area.
I feel some guilt putting so much into this kitchen instead of doing a DIY cool and cheap upcycling of elements. (I don't think I'm cool enough to pull that off!) 

We justify it because it is our 'forever' home. And we lived in provided housing most of our marriage, but for seven years in a Philly rowhouse. 

But mostly because this room is the center, the heart of the house. You have to pass through to get anywhere. I want a room that makes me smile, a room that I feel uplifted in. 

May in A Year With The Fairies

May Day

The rollicking, frolicking Fairies are gay,
A-tripping the woodlands the first day of May,
A-hoppity skipping, now here and now there,
A-picking and snipping the flowers everywhere.

The rollicking, frolicking Fairies delight
For dear little children to work all the night,
Filling their baskets the first day of May
To leave at the door ere they scamper away.
The May Queen
The Fairies choose at peep of day
Their fairest lady, Queen of May,

And make for her a throne of flowers
All festooned round with leafy bowers.

They make for her a crown of roses
And wind her little want with posies,

And sing and dance till close of day
Around their dainty Queen of May.

The May Pole Dance

The Fairies dance with song and shout,
And some trip in and some trip out
Around a Dandelion tall
Whene'er they hold their May-day ball.

Swinging, swaying, see them bend,
Hear their voices sweetly blend
With the silvery fairy strains
While they weave their Daisy chains.

from A Year With The Fairies, Ann M. Scott, 1914

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Kipling &Trix by Mary Hamer

"Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius (as distinct from fine intelligence) that I have ever known." Henry James
2015 marks the sesquicentennial of Rudyard Kipling's birth. He was the most famous and popular author of his time. He won the 1907 Pulitzer Prize, the youngest recipient ever and the first English speaking recipient. His stories endure and have been turned into Disney cartoons and movies.

"In consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of the world famous author."The 1907 Pulitzer Prize citation 

It seemed a perfect time to learn more about the author of Kim, The Jungle Book, Captains Courageous, and the many poems including If.

Mary Hamer's book Kipling and Trix was published in England in 2012. She chose to novelize her story because she "wanted to make emotional sense of these lives". Hamer's extensive research in preparation for the book brings authenticity, and her ability to capture the inner lives of her characters allows the reader to forge a deep connection.

Family tragedy changes a person. Consider President Lincoln and his wife Mary after the loss of their son, or Teddy Roosevelt after the death of his wife Alice and his mother on the same day. Childhood trauma has a lasting effect. When a person has endured childhood trauma and mets personal loss in adulthood the outcome can be disabling.

Rudyard Kipling and his sister Trix (Beatrix), like the other children of British civil servants assigned to India, were sent "home" to England for their education. Rumer Godden awrote about the same experience: a childhood spent in India, separation when sent to England, homesickness for their childhood family, and idealization of that first home. Kipling and Trix were not just unhappy and stifled in England, their caretaker hated Kipling and manipulated Trix. The abuse of her brother was witnessed by Trix and left a deep psychic scar. Kipling never got over their parental abandonment or the sense of responsibility for, and failure to protect, his sister. Kipling's story Baa Baa Black Sheep gives insight into their experience.

The bright girl who dreamed of writing married too young, and married badly to a man who relentlessly pursued her then expected her to become a regular Stepford Wife. Trix was able to publish verses and several books. She suffered several nervous breakdowns and became obsessed with Spiritualism and 'automatic writing.'

Kipling was still a boy when his father secured him a position in India. A compulsive writer, he published his first collection of verse in 1886. He lived life at a frantic pace, suffered a nervous breakdown, married, and settled in Brattleboro, VT. An ugly court case involving his brother-in-law sent the Kiplings to England. A winter holiday to South Africa brought Kipling and Cecil Rhodes together, and the Boer War became Kipling's new cause. He became obsessed with the idea of raising children to be soldiers.

Kipling changed after the death of his daughter Jo. Trix spent most of her young adulthood under her parent's care, mentally distraught. During World War I Kipling's son John died fighting in the Battle of Loos. It was after that loss that Kipling wrote, "If any question why we died/Tell them, because our fathers lied."

Fame, success, marital happiness, and wealth could not drive out Kipling's demons or save Trix.

I received a free ebook in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Kipling & Trix
by Mary Hamer
Aurora Metro Press
ISBN: 9781906582340
$22.95 paperback

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Michigan 101: Fort Wayne in Detroit, "Where No Shot Was Ever Fired In Anger"

This weekend we visited historic Fort Wayne in Detroit, Michigan. It was my first time at the fort.
Some shots were fired, as these slugs embedded in the limestone facade of the 1848 Old Barracks reveal.

The building was part of the improvements made under command of Montgomery C. Meigs, completed in 1851, costing $150,000.

There has been a military site here since 1701 when Cadillac built Fort Detroit. The fort was surrendered to the British in 1760 during the French and Indian War. The Brits built a new fort and occupied it until 1796 when the Americas retook it and named it Fort Shelby. During the War of 1812 the fort was surrendered to the British without a fight. The Brits abandoned it, and the Americans moved back in!

In 1815 it was the site of the Treaty of Springwells bringing an end of hostilities between the Native Americans who had allied with the British during the war. In effect it absolved the Native Americans from 'taint of treason' for supporting the British during the war, and allied them with America.  Lewis Cass and future president General William Henry Harrison were present at the signing.  The interpreter was James Riley, brother of John Riley whose bible was passed down in my husband's family. See my post about the Riley family  here. 

The fort was named for General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, but a treaty was signed before the canon even arrived. The fort was then used as an infantry garrison, but was not needed until the Civil War. During WWII Italian prisoners of war were housed here. It became a primary induction center from the Civil War until Viet Nam.

The walk to the Sally Fort entrance.

 Entrance into the interior of the fort.

Inside the Star Fort is the original barracks.
Canon  mounts along the Star Fortification faces toward the Detroit River. It was built on a sand mound that was an Indian Burial Mound.
The view looks at the Detroit skyline in one direction, with the Renaissance Center (RennCen) seen behind the bridge in the distance.

Across the river is Ontario, Canada. A freighter was docked there.

 Industry along 'down river' can be seen.
The powder house, seen below,  is the oldest structure in the Fort.
Several boys in Civil War reenactment costumes were at the Fort. The boy holding arms told me all about the Fort's history and about the group of reenactors his father and he participated in.

The first floor of the New Barracks had this door to nowhere. It gives one a lot to think about.

The path up the hill to the cannonade is embedded limestone. How many feet have trod this land? 

The site has nineteen 1000-year-old Native American burial grounds. No wonder some think the fort is haunted. Events held at the fort include ghost hunts, war reenactments, vintage baseball games, Swing dancing, Civil War Days, Medieval Days, and an annual flea market.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Our Kitchen Remodel Getting Underway!

We have the table.

We are in the final steps of planning the remodeling of our retirement home kitchen. The house was built in the early 1960s and never updated. No dishwasher. Little counter space. Shelves that are not adjustable. Our new refrigerator does not fit in the old place! We have a hutch there now.

The cabinets were made by a local man who did all the houses around here. The Alder Kay logo is still on the sink cabinet. Our contractor Jen once worked with the son of our cabinet maker!
 My brother refinished the cabinets in the 1980s, so they look pretty good.

We will stay with the slab cabinet style already in the house.

Two Januaries ago we fell in love with a ten year old model kitchen in a big box store in Ludington, MI. It was a natural quartersawn cherry. We can't get past wanting those cabinets. Here is a photo from the manufacturer:

We ordered new lighting for over a peninsula counter in spun aluminum:
We are considering different counter tops. I went to manufacturer's website and ordered larger samples. We have samples of natural cherry (not quartersawn) and laminate.

Three samples are Jonathan Alder's new linen look line for Formica. We have a pale blue Boomerang retro print. Some of the other samples I ordered can be seen here. I also love the upcoming retro collection found here but we would have to wait until summer to get them. I keep up on all the Retro news from Retro Renovation run by Pam Kueber, Her focus is on authentic restoration for mid-century homes.

I love the intense green and oranges, but I don't want the eye to go to the counter tops and not the cabinets. Also, the cabinets will change color with age and we must consider they will be richer and more colorful over time. Yesterday we saw 20 year old natural cherry cabinets. Amazing!

We went to European Cabinetry in Roseville, MI to look at laminate samples. The owner heard the name "Jennifer" and took us under wing. He took us to see the Cesarstone, and I have to admit he gave a pretty good sales pitch and I saw some samples I liked. Then he gave us a tour.

Here is their sample kitchen with the in-house hand-carved corbels and an amazing back lit onyx back splash.
 We will not be getting that kitchen.
 The hand carved work is amazing. The artist said it took him a month to carve one.
Back to reality...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Teller of Tales: Stevenson, Samoa, and The Last Bookaneer

I have been a long time Stevenson fan. I loved A Child's Garden of Verses as a girl. In third grade I discovered a slim biography on R. L. Stevenson in my classroom's small library. I read it several times, fascinated by his varied and romantic life. Some years ago I happened upon a tattered copy and picked it up. It was published in 1954, written by G. B. Stern and entitled Robert Louis Stevenson: The Man Who Wrote "Treasure Island. I had copies of Kidnapped and The Black Arrow; I loved the movie versions of Treasure Island. Some years ago I happened upon The Lighthouse Stevensons by Ella Bathurst and enjoyed it.

I have also been a Matthew Pearl fan since reading his first novel The Dante Club. His latest novel is The Bookaneers, a rollicking good read with lots of twists and turns and red herrings. A Bookaneer is Pearl's imagined literary pirates, back before the United States accepted European copywrite laws, vying to steal manuscripts to be sold to printers. Their idealized rationale was that literature must be available to the readers. Their motive, more than money, was pride in being the best thief.

Bookaneer Pen Davenport has asked bookseller Fergins to travel to Samoa with him as his sidekieck. Fergins was to record Davenport's last act as Bookaneer before the July 1, 1890 deadline when copyright laws are enacted in the United States. His object is to steal Robert Louis Stevenson's current novel. Their arch rival Belial has arrived before them, taking the role of a Marist priest to worm his way into the Stevenson household. Davenport is posing as a travel writer.

In 1889, after wandering the South Pacific, Stevenson settled in Samoa where he built a home, Vailima , where his and his wife and her children lived until his death in 1894. In The Bookaneers we meet Stevenson and learn about his life in Samoa and his 'lordship' over the natives who called him Tusitala-- The Teller of Tales. In a preliterate society without books, memorizing the tribal stories by a story teller was an important and revered role. Stevenson is a real presence, his lanky frame draped sideways over chairs, or sprawled on a bed surrounded by papers while writing.

The story is framed with Fergins telling his adventures with Davenport to a young friend, Mr. Clover, a dark skinned train waiter in love with books. Fergins himself is a Teller of Tales. This device allows Pearl to manipulate the plot in ingenious ways, keeping the reader on a roller coaster ride as Clover hears the story in pieces,and in the end goes on his own search for knowledge. Several times I thought the story had concluded; but one more twist was in store.

The book reminded me of an adventure tale, a romance like the old school stories of the 19th c. I enjoyed every minute.

I received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

The Last Bookaneer
Mathew Pearl
Penguin Press
Publication April 28, 2015
ISBN: 9781594204920
$27.95 hardcover

Saturday, April 25, 2015

April in "A Year With the Fairies"

The Gardeners

When April comes with sun and showers
The Pixies plant a million flowers;
Each Pixie brings his little spade
And digs and delves in vale and glade.

The whole day long he spades and weeds
And gives to Earth his little seeds,
And begs from April sun and showers
Til little seeds grow into flowers.

April Wakes the Flowers

April clad in crystal rain-drops
Danced across the sunny skies,
Found Earth's children still lay sleeping,
Yearned once more to see their eyes.

So she pelted them with rain-drops,
Sprinkled them with soft warm showers,
Till the pattering of her crystals
Waked the sleep, smiling flowers.

from A Year With the Fairies, by Anna M. Scott, illustrations by M. T. Ross
1914, P. F. Volland & Co,

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Roots of Understanding: The Poetry of Robert Hillyer

"Quite simply, for a long long time now, You've made me happy, sad, and tremendously alert with your poems. For all this, I want to thank you." Letter written by Ray Bradbury to Robert Hillyer on September 10, 1959
As I wondered how to address Poetry Month I perused the poetry books on my bookshelf. When I saw the first book of poetry I ever purchased for myself I knew what to write about.

As a girl I would bring home books of poetry from the school library, reading everything from Walt Whitman to Catullus over the years. The Collected Poems by Robert Hillyer was one of my early favorites. My copy was purchased on December 31, 1968 for $4.75 with Christmas money. I read those poems over and over. I didn't know anything about Hillyer. I realized I never heard anything about him in my classes.

I Goggled and found Robert Stillman Hillyer won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1934. He was part of the Harvard Aesthetes, a group that included Malcolm Cowley, E. E. Cummings, John Dos Passos, S, Foster Damon, and John Brooks Wheelwright. He was an ambulance driver in the war, and taught in many universities.

The poems were very nostalgic, which appealed to me. I've written before about how moving when I was ten years old affected me, that I was full of longing and nostalgia for the 'old days' of my first home. I found especially poignant the poem Julia's Room, which was one of Hillyer's poems set to music.

He went up the dark stairs and knocked at Julia's door;
It opened, and a blade of light cut the dim hall,
But the girl was a stranger and when he spoke to her
She could not--or would not--understand at all.
She looked at him a moment--horrified, he thought--
Then slammed to door shut.

Bewildered, he guessed that while he was away
Julia must have invited a friend he had never known;
Sometimes when she asked an old friend to stay
She moved to the attic room and gave her own away.
So he climbed the second flight, but that floor was dark
As rain-drenched bark.

"Julia!" he called but no light flashed on.
"Julia!" he called down the stairwell gloom...
"Whoever you are, for God's sake be gone!"
Then he remembered it was fifty years ago
And he melted like snow.

Oh, I loved nostalgia! Like this poem remembering a childhood scene of skipping pebbles with a friend:

Of lives that intersect, then go their way
At last to lose themselves alone against
The shores of silence, our brief hours of play
Seem now the symbol; the bright memory fenced
With deep, oblivious forest, and condensed
Into one flash, one fragmentary scene
That skips the surface of the years between.
from A Memory

Another poem I especially liked was The Victim.
The hummingbird that darts and hovers
Made one fatal dart--alas!--
Against a counterfeit of flowers
Reflected in the window glass.
When four-o'clocks had sunk in shadow,
The window caught an extra glint
Of color, like the sudden rainbow
Arching the purple firmament.
Transcendent are the traceries
Illusion weaves to set a snare;
The quick competitor of bees,
Trusting his universe of air
Fr flight and fancy, dazzled so
In quest of sweetness, was waylaid
By something hard that had a glow
Brighter than the garden made.
Illusion shatters; the ideal
Is much more ruthless than the real.
The visionary hummingbird
Hit nothingness, and hit it hard.
This poem was a little morality tale, like The Spider and The Fly in my One Hundred and One Famous Poems, which I wrote about here.

Throughout the volume I underlined lines that caught my heart or mind.

"Is there nobody now 
Who can speak with my speech
But the wind in th ruin,
The waves on the beach? 
from Manorbrier

In Thermopylae he wrote, "Men lied to them and so they went to die. Some fell, knowing that they were deceived, And some escaped, and bitterly bereaved, Beheld the truth they loved shrink to a lie."

This was deep stuff!

"For life deals thus with Man, to die alone deceived or with the mass, Or disillusioned to complete his span. Thermopylae or Golgotha, all one, The young dead legions in the narrow pass, he stark black cross against the setting sun."

I didn't know what Thermopylae was, or hardly even Golgotha although the cross reference may have helped me on that. It gave me something to think about.

His long poem The Gates of the Compass II. The Nightmare was quite horrible and Gothic to me. It starts,

We come on leaden feet, we come with leaden
Tread along the haunted corridors
Through darkness void as in a dying brain
Where one by one the thoughts have flickered out.

We are told the unknown dead loved life, and not to dismiss his death, for "In him you weep the doom that is your own."

Traditional verse fell out of favor. Hillyer seems to be a forgotten poet. I had not picked up this volume in years. But the poems spoke to my girl's mind and, like Ray Bradbury, I want to thank him.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Recycling" Vintage Hexie Quilts

Recycled Hexie Quilts: Using Vintage Hexagon Quilts in Today's Quilts  ins't the most gripping title but once you see Mary W. Kerr's quilts you will be hooked. I was prowling eBay looking for Hexie quilts within the hour. I have a sudden need to accumulate cutter quilts, particularly those based on hexagons!

Kerr first presents vintage quilts using Hexagon patterns, including Grandmother's Flower Garden variations, Seven Sisters Hexagon, flower baskets, floral wreathes, stars, lozenge, and mosaic diamonds. Scrappy and planned patterns are included.

Then we see 52 new quilts made with 'recycled' Hexie quilts. I already love using vintage textiles in quilts. I have, after all, 800 handkerchiefs, four drawers of old laces and trims and ribbons, a big drawer of embroidered linens, and who knows what else squirreled away.

Kerr demonstrates how to use Hexies as sashing, blocks, or borders combined with vintage embroidered linens, embroidered quilt blocks, and applique blocks. They are just wonderful!

I loved her use of cutter hexie tops as wide sashing and borders around vintage embroidered linens. A modern looking quilt can be made by floating hexie 'blocks' on a solid background fabric. She also has examples of some non-hexie recycled tops. Her examples range from pillows to bed sized quilts.

A chapter on how to work with vintage Hexie textiles can be applied to other pieced tops. Labels, quilting, and using fusibles also merit chapters. A nice step-by-step tutorial on applying crocheted doilies to a quilt is given.

The book has 148 full color photographs of inspirational quilts and is beautifully laid out.

This is not a pattern book, but you will get tips and inspiration to create your own recycled Hexie quilt project. This is a great book for the quilt guild library, too.

Mary W. Kerr is a quilt appraiser with the American Quilt Society and has published several books, teaches about vintage textiles, and restores quilts.

I received a free ebook for a fair and unbiased review.

Recycled Hexie Quilts
Mary W. Kerr
Schiffer Publishing
ISBN13: 9780764348204
$19.95 soft cover
Publication Date: April 28, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Lancashire Greenwood Family

My great-grandfather was Cropper James Greenwood. According to his Baptismal entry he was born February 13, 1882 in Bacup, Lancashire, England and baptized May 7, 1882 by A. Phillips, Vicar of St. John's church. His parents were William and Elizabeth Greenwood of Underbank St. in Bacup. William was a warper. Underbank was over the Irwell River.

Their 1875 marriage certificate shows William 23, warper of Underbank and son of Hartley (dec), sizer, married Elizabeth Hacking, 20, weaver of Vale St, daughter of Daniel Hacking, greengrocer. They were married at Christ Church, Bacup, by John M’Cubbin Vicar. Witnesses were James Greaces and Sarah Statt.

Cropper's first name was his great-grandmother Sarah Cropper's last name. The name has been traced back to the 16th c in Lancashire, England.

Greenwood is an ancient Anglo-Saxon name prevalent in the area. The middle name James does not appear anywhere but on the 1940 New York census where he is listed as James Greenwood.

Rossendale, Lancashire 
The Forest of Rossendale, once a royal hunting ground, was deforested for cultivation in 1507 by Henry VII, opening the land for settlement; towns that grew there included Bacup. Newchurch, and Waterfoot, all districts within the Rossendale township. Read more about Newchurch at 
The moors were used to raise sheep for their wool. Until the Industrial Revolution weaving was a home based industry. Around 1780 muslin or cotton lawn was being woven in Bacup, with Fustian, a thick and rough but long lasted cotton, soon being made. The Fustian was good for warp thread in weaving. The local damp climate was good for spinning yarn. Cotton dealers gave warp and weft to local weavers who brought back the manufactured cloth. From The History of the Forest of  Rossendale; read the full text at
A Hartley ancestry page notes that her ancestor Greenwood Harley left Colne for Bacup for work after the industrial revolution put the home cottage weaving industry out of business. 
 By the mid-1800s the Lancashire cotton mills had reached their heyday turning out 8 billion yards of cloth a year. 
 For information on the Lancashire spinning industry see
Lancashire Roots

The 1891 Census for Newchurch, Lancashire shows Cropper, age nine, living with his family at Blackthorn Terrace. His father William, age 48, was a warper; that meant he set up the long parallel warp yarns on the loom in one of the mills. His mother Elizabeth was age 34. The eldest son, David H. (Hartley) at age 15 was a weaver. Thirteen-year-old Eveline, eleven-year-old Roland, nine-year-old Cropper, six-year-old Sam and baby Fred kept Elizabeth busy.
Photographs of warpers at work can be found at:,_Evansville,_Ind._Girls_at_weaving_machines,_warpers._Evansville,_Ind._-_NARA_-_523100.jpg

Bacup in 1900
The 1901 census shows the family in Bacup, Dry Corner, Rossendale. William was still a cotton warper. Cropper was working in a quarry and Sam was a farm laborer. Children at home included Fred and seven-year-old Alice. David was living elsewhere.
Quarrying in the moorlands dates back to the 15th century when the stone was used locally, especially for roofing slates. Sandstone outcrops rise above ground high on the sides of the valley. With the growth of cities like London a demand for paving and building stone increased quarrying. By 1902 the local landscape was no longer recognizable, rubbish heaps and machines dominated a ruined landscape.
Immigration to America
The Majestic
September 1906 Cropper, age 24, immigrated to America on the Majestic out of Liverpool. His occupation was given as 'farmer.' On September 27 he arrived in New York City. He was described as single, a farmer born in Bacup, England. He was 5'3", with dark hair and dark eyes. He paid for passage himself and had $50. He was going to Mechanicville, Saratoga Co., NY. He had traveled with women and children from Bacup going to Mechanicville to join their husband and father; they settled in Troy, NY.

In America- Marriage

On December 12, 1906, Delia Smith, age 17 and born September 6, 1889, arrived on the Majestic. Age 20, Delia had been a domestic in Manchester. She was going to the home of 'friend' C. Greenwood, 24 Williams St. in Mechanicville, NY. Delia was 5'3" with a dark complexion, brown hair and gray eyes. She had $45.

Delia, or Della, was born at Chat Moss, Barton on Irwell to Irish parents John Smith and Bridget Allen. John Smith came from horse breeders and his children could 'ride before they could walk' I was told. He was also called Pigeon Jack, so perhaps he participated in the popular sport of pigeon racing. His father bred horses in Ireland. The story is that John was given horses to sell in England; instead of returning with the money he stayed in England. He died in a tragic train accident in 1901. His wife had died several years before. Delia was twelve at her father's death. She worked as a domestic servant in the Manchester area. In 1906 she immigrated to American to join her fiancée Cropper Greenwood.

Delia and Cropper married on February 21, 1907, in Troy, NY. They had children Emmett Howard, born 1908 and died of a heart ailment at age 9; Frederick Edward 1912-1957; and my grandmother Evelyn, 1913-1996.

Cropper next appears in the 1907 Troy, NY city directory working as a stable hand. The 1909 directory shows he was still a stableman but had moved. In 1910 they had moved again--but Cropper was now a chauffeur. Mom told that he was a 'chauffeur for a rich man." They moved again in both 1914 and 1915 with Cropper still a chauffeur. 

His WWI Draft Registration shows Cropper's birth as February 15, 1877. This is quite different from the birth records found. He worked as a chauffeur for Thomas Connor. The 1920 census shows a Thomas Connor living in Watervielet, born in Ireland, and 47 y.o. Cropper and Della Smith Greenwood were living on Parameter St. in Troy, NY. He was described as short, medium weight, with black hair and brown eyes.

The 1923 city directory shows Cropper was a machinist and living in a new location. From 1926 through 1931 Cropper was a 'machinist' living with Della on Central Ave in Troy.

In 1933 Cropper returned to England. The ship manifest gave his last address in England as Scout Holme St, Waterfoot, Lancaster.

May 23, 1927, Cropper Greenwood became a naturalized citizen at the District Court, Troy NY. In 1943 Delia became a U.S. citizen.
Actually, they lived in Troy,  NY
Cropper with his grandchildren, my twin uncles Don and Dave, in 1930
Sometime after 1947 Cropper and Delia moved to Kenmore, NY. Cropper died on December 11, 1956, when I was not four years old. My father said Cropper had sold us his old Dodge. He loved it and missed it and when he visited he would just sit in it.
I was recently contacted by a "distant cousin" who shared the first photos I have ever seen of my great-grandfather's family. This family photo is circa 1989.

Back Row: Sam (1884), Rowland (1880), David Hartley (1876), Cropper (1882) 
Middle Row: William (Father) (1852), Eveline (1878), Elizabeth (Mother) 
Front Row: Alice Jane (1894) and Fred (1891)

Elizabeth Hacking Greenwood
My great-great grandmother reminded me of her great-granddaughter, my Aunt Nancy, in her face shape and diminutive size.
William Greenwood
The Greenwood, Hartley and Cropper families were cotton mill workers for generations. William's parents were Hartley Greenwood, a cotton warp sizer born in Colne, and Sarah Cropper, born in Bacup.

In 1861 William Greenwood lived on Underbank in Bacup. Their oldest son John was a cotton warp sizer and their eldest daughter Sarah E. was a cotton broadloom weaver. In 1871 Sarah was widowed. Cropper (21), William (18, stripper & finder), and Sarah (12, cotton washer) worked in the mills and Alice, age 8, was at home.

Mill work was dangerous. The work conditions were harsh, with high heat, lint affecting breathing and eyes, long hours and tedious repetition. Children were employed in dangerous work. Delia's younger sister Susan worked as a 'scavenger', crawling under the moving looms to collect lint.
Articles on Bacup mills:

I wish I knew which mills my ancestors worked in and what products they made. I wish I knew how their work impacted their health and life.