Thursday, July 23, 2009

Return to the Scene of the Crime

Many months ago, I shared the story of my great-great grandfather and how he was murdered in 1889. You can read about it here, or just stay put for the recap: he had a wife and a girlfriend. The married husband of the married girlfriend didn't like that too much. My great-great grandfather also stole the guy's horse. Tensions escalated until one shot the other. That was the end of that.

The shooting took place at a person's saw mill. Before I went on my Acadia Parish road trip, I looked up the location of the land where the saw mill once stood. After a day of research and cemetery hunting, my father, son and I made our way through the back roads of Louisiana in search of the scene of the crime.

These buildings are younger than the saw mill, but this was the land on which the shooting took place.

The yellow grass is really rice that's almost ready for harvest. It was a indescribable sensation to ponder what once went down in this field, all while listening to the gentle sound of the rice blowing in the wind.

A building thunderstorm really added to the scene. It was like movie special effects, symbolizing the tension between my great-great grandfather and the man who shot him. We stayed for just a bit, trying to race the storm and get back to our hotel after a long day.
But before we left, my dad paused to re-enact the scene. Here he is playing the part of my great-great grandfather, uttering the line, "DON'T SHOOT!"

Oh yeah, we went there.
You know, not all my ancestors walked the straight and narrow path, but I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. I wouldn't be here if not for them.


  1. Amy,

    Loved this entry. Your last sentences really ring true. Who among us has "perfect" ancestors?

    Great job!


  2. Great entry... reminds us why we are searching for our ancestors life stories =)

  3. Amy -
    Love this post and the story! The stories make the search much more interesting and fun - even when they're not so happy stories. I've found a few myself and it just proves that our ancestors were human just like us.

  4. Loved your post, especially the "reinactment" part!

  5. love the story and think it's awesome how you embrace it and took the time to be in the 'spot'. The story goes, in my family, for my step-grandpa, that he left China and came here because he had killed a man with a pool stick. He is long gone and was before I ever heard tell of this will fun, at some point, to find out if this story is true! Thanks for sharing!

  6. What fun and what a great idea for a road trip. (I love my "bad Brinlee boys" in this same way and hope I can find the scenes of their crimes some day.)

  7. Great blog, story and traveling companions. Isn't it wonderful when all living generations can make these trips.

  8. Such a great story. I dream of re-enacting family stories like this and visiting these kind of meaningful sites, though the stories I have in mind are all pretty mundane (and boring!) compared to this one!