Muxical Notes

“On the road again -
Goin' places that I've never been.
Seein' things that I may never see again
On the road again -
And our way is on the road again.


We returned to the Pittsburgh area, so that Dottie could work on some of her genealogy studies on her Mother's ancestors. I've described this previously in our logs, but let me tell you these Appalachian Mountains are up and down, steep and twisting. Just look at the City of Pittsburgh which is surrounded by Three Rivers: the Allegheny and the Monongahela which join in forming the Ohio River. What is at the famous landmark? Nothing less than Three Rivers Stadium the Home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt (The University of Pittsburgh.)

** You'll notice the 'Download' word, if you would like to see a larger picture with more detail click on this link. The return arrow will bring you back to the main story**

three Rivers(download)

This time we took a double decker bus, Hop On and Hop Off Tour of downtown Pittsburgh. In 2010 our tour was done from a small van with just a few people, and it was much better. The Hop on Hop Off is fine, but not nearly as detailed. I was hoping to catch some good photos, but found this not to be the best method for acquiring photos of any quality. I'm still sharing these with you. Of course the first priority would be the notable William Penn, for whom this city of some 2.7 million people is named.

William Penn


Three Rivers Stadium the home of the Steelers


And just down the street is the 'Ole Ball Park' and the Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates


I wrote of our visit to the beautiful University of Pittsburgh in our 2010 logs, as the classroom in this International Tower were an unbelievable display of interior design, beautifully woven to fabulous art. We did not realize at that time that this is the standard for the entire State of Pennsylvania. This you'll experience with us in this log at the Capital in Harrisburg, and again later when we arrive in Philadelphia. Art is an incorporated fact and the culture of Pennsylvania.

On Universities: the University of Pennsylvania is only one of 68 other colleges located in this area. Two notables that immediately jump to the from are Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne Universities, both of which are located in downtown. Dottie's mother, Margaret Schumaker Lewia attended Mellon University as a freshman prior to the move to ABQ in 1916 because of her brother Claude's TB.

Within this Tower one will find the Classrooms that I've covered in our 2010 log, and they are magnificent. In fact the entire educational complex of 'Pitt' is spectacular.Pitt University(download)

The Business District and Downtown Pittsburgh.

The City is the home of 8 Fortune 500 Companies third only to NYC and Philadelphia. There are also 1,600 High Tech Companies located here. But the City is known as the City of Bridges as traveling anywhere in the City means negotiating these three rivers. Pittsburgh has 446 bridges just to keep you moving. You guessed right, it is a driving nightmare for a tourist, even with a good GPS. One must be prepared to make a bunch of 'U'ies', and hold one's mind temperature in check. Just go with the flow.

Downtown Pitt(download)

Dottie's Family on her Mother's side.

We stayed at Tarentum about 20 miles north of the City, and this being our 3rd trip we have gotten to know the back country roads fairly well in searching for old Cemeteries and Graveyards.

Proudly we were able to visit the grave site of her Grandfather, Dr. Milton Daniel Schumaker, MD. He took his family to Albuquerque in 1916 to help his son, Claude Schumaker, recover from Tuberculosis. The Schumacher Family stayed in NM, Claude practicing Dentistry; and Dottie's, Mother, Margaret, completing her college education at UNM, from which she graduated in 1920. Unfortunately, Dr Schumaker died of a heart disease shortly after arriving in Albuquerque and was returned to Tarentum, where his grave is located.

D Schumaker

We found this Family Farmhouse south of Ford, PA where her Great Great (2) Grandfather Daniel Shoemaker (b 1808) lived. Note the name change in the spelling, why ???? Daniel was a farmer and his son, Isaiah W. was a Baptist Minister, so I doubt he was fleeing from the Sheriff.

Schumaker Home

Daniel's head stone at the Oakland Methodist Cemetery off of 66 and Crooked Creek.

Daniel Shumaker

The two following headstones were very impressionable on me. We are talking about Grandparents of 250 years ago, and Dottie was able to find and visit their resting places. Great (3) Grandparents, Joseph McKee was born in Ireland/Scotland, and after coming to America met Jane who was born in Virginia in 1776, the year of our Declaration of Independence. We stood in humble awe, when we visited them. What a neat experience, or as our Grandchildren would say 'Cool'. This is just one of four 3rd and 4th Generation Great Grandparents, who we will have found on this trip; and all whose births dated in the 1700's and each representing their migration to the United States. Several of whom were veterans of the Revolutionary War.


Joseph McKee

Then we drove to the Cemetery where Great (3) Grandfather, John Serfas, of (Byles Co 3 PA REGT Rev War). a Revolutionary War Veteran is resting.

J Serfas

Isn't his resting home a beautiful site in this Pennsylvania meadow. Originally there was a Church located here. Meadow

Peace be with you.

View Hills(download)

The Magnificent Capital of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg

We related to you the comments of the Security Guide in Topeka, KS at the Kansas Capital who related how "the Professional Capital Tourist" regards the Capital of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Mexico to be the grandiose of all Capitals. WELL, Unfortunately for New Mexico his statement was corrected in our visit to Harrisburg. The 'Trinity' of Capitals are Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Texas.

Those Texans get to us every time!!! This did not surprise us as the NM Capital Building hasn't impressed us that much, so to the Texans we apologize for replacing you in this significant list. Darn it, as we've been in Austin many times and never made the opportunity to visit the Capital grounds. Now we have a 'Must Do" added to our bucket list. We're talking about the Capital Buildings and not the Cities, for as Cities of course Santa Fe prevails.

The Pennsylvania Capital Structure was completed in 1906 at a cost of 12.1 million dollars. CPI this number and that in today's dollars would be 250 million. We have never experienced anything equal to the ornate art work you'll see when you visit Harrisburg.

Capital HarrisburgDownload


They must have been expecting us to arrive; as in the Tundra they were set up for a Press Release, and Dag gum I really hadn't prepared my speech. But as with any good Politician just keep talking and someone will figure out something good or bad. And as we learned in the Service, it really doesn't make any difference what you remembered; for as long as they just remember you!

Press Conference

The President of the United States in 1906 was Theodore Roosevelt, and he was present to dedicate this masterpiece. His remarks began the comment that there was not a more spectacular structure in North America than the Capital of Pennsylvania.

Teddy Roosvelt

This photograph of the capital dome I had to take blind, holding the camera close to the floor and pointing it up to just click away and hope! the four pillars of the State of Pennsylvania are 'Law', 'Religon', 'Art', and 'Science'


Capital Domedownload

Capotal StariwayDownload


The four pillars supporting this 275' tall dome are inlay-ed with figures representing the foundation of Pennsylvania as ushered in by William Penn.

1) Law; 2) Religion 3) Science 4) Art



The Legislature Chamber:


Legislative chambersDownload

The Senate Chambers

Semate Chambers(download)

Senate chamber


These Senate Desks are original and the only noted change from the original was the brass cover in the upper right corer, which at one time was an ink well.

Senate Desk

The Governor's Press Office

Seante Chambers

The Governor, Addressing Guests of the State of Pennsylvania


We left the Pennsylvania Capital Building completely awed. This magnificent edifice challenges the United States Library of Congress in ornateness. We thank the People of Pennsylvania for the richness of their art and splendor of excellence displayed in their Capital, Universities, Community.

We are now journeying to Philadelphia to explore the treasures of the seat of our Nations creation. Why has the City of Philadelphia the right to this claim, and not New York or Boston. Friends, in the mid 1700's Philadelphia was the second largest English speaking city in the World, second to London. Be sure to join us in this seat of our nations history.

Come on Willie sing us another verse, and we’ll move on down the road. 

Dl 7 NR

Norm & Dottie