This story properly begins at Heart Lake, five miles east of Montrose, the county seat of Susquehanna County in northeast Pennsylvania.

In 1910 or 1911, my great grandparents, Earl and Grace Goodrich, came with their family from Binghamton, New York, to a Goodrich family reunion at Heart Lake. They may have come on day trips in earlier and suceeding years.  Binghamton is about thrity miles north of Heart Lake, and there was train service from Binghamton to Heart Lake.

In 1923, Earl and Grace Goodrich rented a cottage and the whole family came – their two married daughters, Netta and Ruth, their sons-in-law Clarence Barker  and Victor Brink, their 4 granddaughters Laura and Margaret Brink, and Annetta and Clara Barker, and their unmarried son and daughter Edwin and Esther – twelve people in all. It's quite possible that there was a thirteenth person, Earl's mother, known as Grandma Hawley.

The following year, in 1924, Ruth (Goodrich) and Victor Brink rented a cottage across the lake from the one they had come to in 1923. I'm sure the whole extended family came that year too.

Two years later, in 1926, Earl and Grace Goodrich and Victor and Ruth (Goodrich) Brink bought the cottage next door to the one they had rented in 1924. For years that cottage was a gathering place for the descendants of Earl and Grace Goodrich and their families.

In 2011, one hundred years after that Goodrich family reunion, three cottages on the south side of Heart Lake are owned by great grandchildren of Earl and Grace Goodrich -- the Horne, Mellen, and Traver cottages.

Earl Goodrich died in 1933. When his widow Grace died in 1940, she left the cottage to Victor and Ruth (Goodrich) Brink and compensating legacies to the other three families who were her heirs, so the cottage became known as the Brink cottage. In 1953, Netta (Goodrich) Barker's daughter Clara Barker purchased an off lake cottage four cottages away from the Brink cottage. In 1957 Esther (Goodrich) and Eldon Mead bought another cottage near the Brink cottage and the following year sold it because they were able to buy the cottage next door to the Brink's, thus creating a mini family compound whose double lawn has been the place of many a family gathering.

But to turn  to the Susquehanna County forbears - - - -

Earl Ashton Goodrich was born March 27, 1866, about two miles from Heart Lake, on a farm owned by his aunt and uncle, William and Nancy (Hawley) Gunn. His mother, Jennie Permelia (Hawley) Goodrich, was 19 and his father, Manzer Judson Goodrich, was 21. They had been married four months before on November 24, 1865.

Manzer had served in the Union Army from November 1862 to August 1863 when he was 18 years old. We know that in 1868 he  was postmaster in Alford (Stocker p 566), and that he also taught school.  In June of that year 1868, Permelia (as she known then) had a second son, Burton Henry Goodrich.

Sometime in the next five years, on the recommendation of one of his Tiffany uncles, Manzer went to Iowa alone.  Jennie Permelia would not go with him, perhaps, as family tradition has it, because she suspected, or knew, he was unfaithful. In any case, by the time Earl was seven and his brother Burt was five, their father had left.

After Manzer left, Jennie and the boys moved in with another Hawley sister and her husband, Sarah (Hawley) and Abram Severson on a  farm in Conklin Forks, New York, just over the border from Susquehanna County.  In the 1870 census Jennie appears in the Severson household as Permelia Goodrich, age 23, teaching school. 

In 1873, Manzer married again in Iowa, although there is no record of a formal divorce from Jennie.  It was probably at this time that Jennie changed her name back to Hawley.

In the 1880 census, the boys were still with the Seversons and Jennie, now listed as Jennie P. Hawley, was about five miles away, with another sister and brother-in-law Ellen (Hawley and Edwin Wilbur on the farm of Edward’s father, Abram Wilbur in Hawleyton, New York. [The name Hawleyton is not connected with our Hawley family.]

Sometime in the 1880's, Jennie moved into the City of Binghamton.  I’m told that when he turned 18, Earl walked the 10 or so miles from the Severson Farm in Conklin Forks into Binghamton to join his mother and look for work.

If you're like me, you'll wonder how we (or I) know some of this. As I go along, I'll try to indicate the source of the information.

Go on to the next chapter.