We spent part of last Friday and Saturday above Beaver, Utah at Big John's Flat. It was the annual Baker Reunion usually held at Big John's on the first full weekend in August. The Baker kin start pulling in their camping trailers and ATVs the Sunday before. By the weekend the place is full of people and dogs and kids.
Raymond Baker was my husband's grandfather who was born and raised in North Creek just north of Beaver. Eight years ago his youngest son and wife came across Raymond's name craved on an aspen trunk in the forest above North Creek. Three years ago that area burned in a forest fire. Phil went in and found this tree still standing. This year he decided to take it out which was a good decision as the tree was rotten on the inside. Phil thinks the name was craved in about 1920.
Years ago other Bakers had removed this aspen trunk found in the same area. It was carved by Raymond Baker''s parents, Sylvia Twitchell Baker and Ray Baker on July 24, 1911. It was common practice to go up on the mountain to celebrate the 24th of July which is when pioneers first arrived in Utah in 1847.
This carving is calligraphy carving. It was beautiful.
I always love family memorabilia displays. These are items belonging to Ray's son Raymond Baker.
The reunion is for all descendants of Sylvia and Ray. Sylvia's great grand-father Ancil, marched with the Mormon Battalion.
These are reproduction items based on what a Battalion member would have had.
Lynette, Phil's wife, read a history of Ancil Twitchell and his parents. It is an extremely interesting story which you can find here.
We usually stay at the Butch Cassidy Best Western in Beaver because we are not great campers. Before driving back up the mountain on Saturday morning, we drove to North Creek to see the Baker homestead.
It's current occupant is a Baker descendant.
The home as been added onto the back. I love the homeyness of the original structure.
This is the lane heading into the house off of North Creek Road just past North Creek Loop Road.
That is the ancient fruit tree orchard. Just west of this orchard Ray walked back from Manderfield where he had been helping with a threshing machine before being struck with terrible pain in his abdomen. He was bent over almost double as he walked and his young sons found him. He passed away on November 11, 1917.
Such a sad time for the young family of Daniel Ray Baker.
Read more about Ray and Edith Sylvia Twitchell Baker.
Looking east from the lane entrance towards the mountains.
Looking west towards the mountains on the other side of Interstate 15. Can you see the farmer in the field gathering hay?
There were frames and props available for fun picture taking. Here I am with my niece, Sarah. Sarah hasn't a drop of Baker blood in her but she really wanted a ride to Provo from Mesa so she joined in on our adventures.
Jill Baker Cluff, Glen's first cousin and new resident of Silver City, New Mexico.
Avery, Glen's second cousin, Brad's daughter and a beauty.
Cousin Adam's youngest and a cutie.
Cousin Jason's son and new best friend.
Cousin Brad's daughter, Olivia.
It was so fun to have Glen's remaining aunts there, Bonnie and Rita.
Aunt Rita with her son Tom.
Cousin Brenda's family. There is another boy behind Brenda. They are moving to Texas so Joel can work on a doctorate degree. That is also where my niece, Sarah, is headed this month. She will be working on a masters degree at another university.
Glen's sisters, Wylene and Peggy. Peggy had come back from Florida for a visit and Wylene was thrilled.
So thrilled that the two of them are now at Disneyland.
They joined their brother Glen for some vanity shots.
He even smiled!
We missed you Joyce!
All of Raymond Baker's daughter Elma's kin who were in attendance including Wylene's husband Oni, son-in-law Jared, and grandson Jack. Jack's mother were working a nursing shift so that she could go to Disneyland, too. She picked Mickey Mouse over all of us!
Sarah and Olivia became good friends.
Cousin Bonnie Rae's daughter and her dog. They, too, are best friends.
The Phil and Lynette Baker siblings and Kimber. Jason, Adam, and Brad in back with Brenda, Jill, and Mindy in front. Uncle Phil is just a couple of years older than Glen so these kids have felt more like first cousins to my children.
Every year on Saturday there is a big communal meal and a raffle. These were the ticket selling girls. They sold a lot of tickets.
I took photos from different angles so that I could show the masses.
That big central camp fire becomes the eternal flame. The long dinner tables are in the background. Kudos to those who grilled all that chicken.
After dinner, the raffle begins Glen's Uncle Joe Baker and his cousin keep it rolling.
Usually every family takes home something from the trailer. This year I won a packet of a dozen homemade greeting cards. So cute! Much of this is handmade goods. After the raffle, many begin to pack up for the ride home before Sunday. The diehards hang around for another night.
I love this place and I love this family. I love the man I married and that he introduced me to them all.