Staunton, VA to Williamsport, MD

We only had 140 miles to go today, so we had a fairly leisurely morning before we had to pack up to leave for Williamsport and the KOA we would be staying in tonight. We pulled out of the campsite at 9:30. We are getting pretty good at taking down the campsite and did it today in 15 minutes. It was a sunny, warm day with highs in the upper 90’s expected. This area and the surrounding ones are still recovering from the storm damage done last Friday—a week ago!!! People are still without power. The ride was pretty uneventful, but we did cross through the northeast tip of West Virginia traveling about 36 miles across the panhandle of the state.

It wasn’t long before we were in Maryland crossing over the Potomac River. 

We arrived in Williamsport at our campground at 12:30.

After setting up camp and having lunch, we called Bob’s cousin, Lynne, who lives in Falling Waters, WV. We had contacted her to let her know we would be in the area and would like to get the address to Bob’s mom’s family farm. She was kind enough to offer to show us around the farm, now owned by her brother. Bob was only about 8 or 9 when he was here with his family the last time, so he doesn’t have many memories, but we couldn’t get this close without checking out the old homestead. We drove 10 minutes to the farm to meet Lynne there. Her father, Bob’s Uncle Jim, was waiting for us there.

Bob and Jim did some rekindling of old memories while I took some pictures of the farm.

The old farmhouse is nicely kept on the outside. 

Uncle Jim grows a wonderful garden and visits there every day to tend to it.

Once Lynne arrived, Uncle Jim gave us a tour of the inside of the house. Bob remembers that there was an old woodburning stove in the middle of the floor (now gone). 

He remembers that his family slept upstairs during their visit and had to use chamber pots at night because there was no indoor plumbing…..just an outhouse. He has memories of his grandma churning butter when the family arrived and of playing with the farm animals. We toured the second floor bedrooms climbing the steep stairway.

The farmhouse had the original wooden floors and leaded glass windows. 

Uncle Jim showed us Bob’s mom’s old bedroom upstairs.

Outside, there was old barn and a tool shed housing antique farm tractors and tools. The farm consists of 36 acres in all where they did truck farming.

After touring the house, we jumped in Lynne’s car so she could take us to the farm where Bob’s mom and 3 of the 4 other siblings were born. The farm is called Arch Springs and at one time consisted of 200 acres. The house was huge…16 rooms in all. Four generations of family lived there until they lost the farm and moved to the other farm in Williamsport (Hagarstown). 

Arch Springs farm housed all kinds of farm animals….goats, sheep, cows, llamas, and long horn cattle. It looked like a petting zoo with all the animal sounds to boot! It was quite a menagerie!

Bob’s grandfather was a farmer and preacher of the Church of the Brethren, so from Arch Springs we took a drive down Reichard Lane to Manor Road that led to Manor Church, where Bob’s grandfather was pastor for 48 years.

The original part of the church had the board and mortar construction and was very well taken care of.

As we were leaving, the female pastor drove up and opened the church for us to see.

An addition was put on and named after Bob’s grandfather, called the J. Roland Reichard Christian Educational Center. There was a plaque hanging on the wall to commemorate the event.

From the church, we went across the street to the cemetery, where many of the Reichards were buried. We visited the graves of Bob’s grandfather Roland (1891-1982), and his grandmother, Kate (1897-1985). His Aunt Julia, Bob’s mother’s youngest sister, was also buried there (1930-2001).

Uncle Jim wanted us to meet his wife, Judy, so we drove over the Potomac River to Falling Waters, WV and stopped at his house for a short visit. Lynne and her husband live across the street from her parents. Lynne’s son, wife, and 4 children stopped over to meet us as well. It was like a small family reunion. Around 5:30, Lynne gave us a ride back to our truck at the farm. We took a few more pictures, said our goodbyes, and drove back to the campground. 

It was great to visit with some of Bob’s family and learn more of his family history firsthand.

We got back to the campground, relaxed a little, and made dinner. Auggie and I walked around the campground for our evening walk. He got to play in the doggie playground, Camp Canine, and sniff to his heart’s content. I think he would have had a better time if another dog had come to join him, but no such luck.

We continued our walk along the river that runs along the campground and back to the RV where we watched some TV before going to bed. It was a wonderful day rekindling some old memories!

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