May 29, 2017

Road Trip to the Past - Day 8: “The National Road” and “Returning to the Present”

Our final stop was The National Road and Zane Grey Museum in Zanesville, OH. This quaint little museum looks like it is housed in a former theater. But its impressive exhibits and very eager staff made it a worthwhile stop. It gave us great perspective on the history of The National Road and the role of its coach drivers (like Parris Eaches).

The staff even allowed my wife to peruse their collection of books and research materials where she found an entry about Parris!

Then, like birds in the fall, we started heading south again. Our time on the road was up. We had to head home and back to the present. We still didn’t touch our CDs, discussing our trip, highlights, what all we saw and found, and what we’d like to research in the future.

Parris was the character I was most interested in going into this trip. But I met a lot of other colorful characters along the way. And while census records and other publications disagree about the spelling of his name, we feel confident it was with 2 R’s. Maybe one day we’ll raise some money and put up a marker in South Side Cemetery for him and his family.

Now, weeks after returning home, my wife is still on fire for researching her family history. She is still deep in that rabbit hole. And I’ll admit I’ve started to wade back into mine. Maybe a trip to North Carolina is in our future. I wonder what distant Bakers lie waiting there to be rediscovered.

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