Cousins from up the Creek Came to Visit

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, June 10, 1914: Had company this afternoon. They were my cousins from up the creek.

This picture of Warrior Run Creek was taken from the bridge in McEwensville.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Hmm. . . I have no idea who these cousins were. Warrior Run Creek flows through the Muffly farm. Going upstream from the farm, it flows through McEwensville, through the Warrior Run High School property, and then up into the Muncy Hills where it originates. (Downstream it flows into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River south of Watsontown).

I don’t know of any aunts or uncles (who would have been the parents of the cousins) who lived near the creek.   But, Grandma’s mother had 7 siblings and her father had 10. I have no idea where some of them lived.

It seems odd that Grandma refers to these cousins by where they lived along the creek. Warrior Run Creek is too small to be navigable, so the cousins would have come via a road. If I were describing where the cousins lived I think that I would have listed the town  (or perhaps a landmark like a church) that they lived near.

28 thoughts on “Cousins from up the Creek Came to Visit

    1. That’s definitely possible. I think that there were a lot more paths a hundred years ago than what there are now, since people walked so much more back then.

    1. In Pennsylvania a small creek is a crick. 🙂

      Do you also use that term in VA?:. . . I’d thought that maybe it was a localized Pennsylvania Dutch term.

  1. It is possible that the creek was navigable 100 years ago? Maybe it has silted up or something changed the flow in the intervening years?

    1. I also wondered about that. I think that if the water was high that it might be possible to take a canoe down the creek–but my general sense is that canoes weren’t very common a hundred years ago.

    1. Thanks for sharing the great link. It’s interesting how much regional variation there is in the terminology used to describe various geographic features.

      In central Pennsylvania people sometimes call a small creek, a “crick”–but I think that is a very localized Pennsylvania Dutch term.

  2. Folks back then had quite quirky ways of describing things and directions. I’m glad she wrote about it in her diary though. I hope the visit was a good one. 🙂

  3. Usually, visits with cousins are fun… Whenever I get together with cousins & siblings we laugh a lot and just catch up on what everyone’s been up to. My cousins live a lot farther, though, than “up the creek”.

    1. I also enjoy catching up with cousins at reunions and family events; and like you, my cousins are scattered across a wide geographic area. One thing I like about this blog is that it has given me the opportunity to reconnect with several cousins who I hadn’t seen in years.

  4. I would like to hear about some cousin relationships that have lasted into middle age. I have cousin relationships and sometimes because of the longtime association things get dicey. Sometimes big surprises pop up about longtime harbored feelings.
    But all said & done, a cousin is a handy friend.

    1. In general I’ve maintained the closest relationships across the years with cousins who were fairly close in age to me. I’m sometimes surprised how I might not see a cousin for a long period of time, but that we are able to pick up where we left off when we are at a family event or gathering. I’m also surprised how much I have in common as an adult with cousins who are much younger than me.

  5. I always like the way people refer to places as ‘up’, ‘down’, ‘over’ etc. For example, I go ‘down’ to St. John and ‘up’ to Woodstock, referring to our position on the Saint John River. Jane

  6. One of the things I’m dealing with in researching and thinking for “My Father’s House” is the fact that some people just seem to disappear along the way. My son-in-law finds them in life and death records, but I can’t find them in my family experience. Same with my father’s violin. It just fades from the picture. I’ve decided to just let those things happen, because that seems to be a part of life too. Some things and people just fade away.

    1. It makes sense to let some people and things fade from the picture. That’s what happens in real life. Occasionally I’ll hear what happened to someone I hadn’t thought of in years–though I think that happens more now than in the past because of the internet and social media.

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