Triple A Road Atlas

Cover of Triple A road atlas
Cover of Triple A road atlas

I grew up north of the Adirondacks in New York’s North Country: the kind of place where, if your grandfather didn’t grow up within spitting distance of where you live today, you’re not really a local. Since my parents arrived there in 1987, only five years before I was born, I could never lay claim to the history that is the second unofficial requirement of citizenship in the North Country.

But every summer, my parents would load our family and the Triple A road atlas into the van and drive across the country to Fort Collins, Colorado—where, even though I was a visitor, I truly felt at home.    It was here, in the 1860s, that Captain C. C. Hawley served the Union Army at what was then “Camp” Collins. It was here, not long after, that Stewart Webster made his way from New York, where he had been dumped by a band of clumsy kidnappers who, back in Ireland, had mistaken him for the son of a wealthy landowner.    In 1948, Hawley’s great-nephew and Webster’s great-granddaughter met at Fort Collins’s Empire Grange, and married shortly after. Thirty years later, their second daughter married a man from Michigan, bought a road atlas, and drove 1,700 miles east to settle in the North Country.    My parents’ atlas has always been a link for me to the place where my history lies. But it also represents the constant thread of migration that has moved my family’s history along for generations: westward and eastward, north and south, always returning home. 

Place(s): Colorado,Adirondacks
Year: 1862

– Anonymous

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more