Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Libraries and Graveyards

Today was a research day! After eating our breakfast to the constant Michael Jackson chatter on the TV, we escaped to the quiet sanctuary of the EMU Historical Library. What fun! A nice, history-loving gentleman named Harold was happy to take us downstairs to the archives to view some treasures. Joseph played the flute that belonged to Timothy Funk, one of Joseph Funk's sons.

Timothy Funk's flute and the original "Musical Millions" on the shelf

We saw and held some of Aldine Kieffer's "Musical Millions." We looked through a 16th century German printing of "Martyr's Mirror," held the first edition of "Harmonia Sacra" and the 1860 edition that Gabriel would have been helping print.

16th century edition of "Martyr's Mirror"

1866 edition of "Harmonia Sacra"

We held and read one of Joseph Funk's letters (incredible handwriting!)

One of Joseph Funk's letters to his daughter, Mary

We also saw several other books of Aldine's, and a chair that Joseph Funk had added a writing table onto, kind of like some of the school desks that have the writing section on the side. Maybe he wrote all those letters sitting in that chair!

Joseph Funk's chair

Then we got to business on research, working our way through many files and books. They have photocopies of every edition of "Musical Millions," pages and pages crammed with tiny little printing, and full of information about Funk's teaching methods and articles about congregational singing, music history, etc. We made almost 300 copies just today! One short autobiography of Aldine's will shed some interesting light on life in Singer's Glen, life during the Civil War, and life after it.

Aldine's bold signature

I copied stuff for so long that my left arm started complaining!

Sorting through files and taking notes

Looking at the real books!

1860 edition of "Harmonia Sacra." All the first editions only had three parts.

1860 edition. Gabriel Shank probably helped print or bind this very book.

We thought we were going to go back to the Rockingham Historical Center today, too, but we ended up using the whole day at EMU, except for a brief break during lunch. Joseph went out to lunch with Ken Nafziger, and I went into town to the Farmer's Market (I bought a little miniature bouquet for our room (reminded me of your cute little bouquets of past market seasons, Bethany) and the Virginia Quilt Museum. At first I was worried when I started through the museum, I didn't know the ugliness of modern art had infiltrated into the quilting world. The quilts seemed even more ridiculous when I finally found the Civil War era quilts. They were unbelievable -- intricate applique, tiny tiny stitches, quilting in rows 1/8 inch apart. The entire quilts were almost solid stitching. I wish I could have taken pictures. Interesting stories accompanied many of the quilts, and I wanted so bad to remember them, but this old, sleep-deprived brain has already forgotten them. The museum is in the former house of one of Gabriel's military captains, Warren. And one of the quilts was made for one of the guys in the 10th VA by his grandmother. He died in the war, and the quilt has been passed down through the generations since.

We spent our evening back at Singers Glen, this time in the cemetery on the hill behind the village.

Joseph Funk's tombstone. Notice the harp on top.

We took our dinner and ate there after wandering through the gravestones and admiring the view. I think just about everybody in Singers Glen would have been able to see us up there. It looks like almost every house has windows that face toward the cemetery.

Funk's stone is on the right. Singer's Glen is in the background.

Trying to write poetry like Aldine. jk

We thought we were doing to draw and paint, but by the time we were done walking and eating and just staring, the light started to dim and we decided to just stare some more and take pictures to draw from at home.

This would have produced another dramatic poem from Aldine.

The drive home was beautiful, and we kept up our nightly Kline's Dairy Bar tradition, this time with sundaes!


Tomorrow we head back to Dayton and will spend late afternoon and evening with the Emswilers. We're hoping our research work will go fast enough for us to squeeze in a quick trip to some caverns south of Dayton that Stonewall Jackson actually had his men camp in during the war.

Here's a question for you: Where did Noah keep his bees?

The answer to the difference between Brethren and Mennonites: One baptizes face forward, the other tipping you back in the water. (We can't remember which one is which. I think the Brethren (Dunkers) might be the face-firsters.


  1. It looks like you're having fun!
    Kline's dairy bar seems to be a recurring theme...

  2. What a treat! to see what you are doing and get to see some of the things you are seeing. Whetting our appetite for learning about all the wonderful things God did in people's lives when we get to the Heavenly Library/Museum.

  3. Sweet! Aldine's signature is awesome.

  4. I thought so too, Bef! :-) And what I can see of Joseph Funk's handwriting looks AMAZING!!
    I wish I could write like that...