"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Exploring My Western Roots

Wonder where I get my cowgirl inclinations?

My mother, Maryon Hoyle (aka Kelley and Hall) circa 1940

Part of my agenda for this summer is to explore some places that I used to visit with my family when I was a young girl living in NYC. What seemed like every summer, my mother, father and I would make the long drive back west to visit their families in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Now I have the opportunity to go back to those places and although my family is no longer living there, I remember some of their homes and some of the landmarks surrounding them.

 In 2011 we started the revisitations in Big Arm, MT, on Flathead Lake, where my maternal grandfather, A.D. Hoyle and my grandmother used to summer at one of the local RV Parks, and fish...a lot. (Wonder where I get the RV inclinations?)

Peggy & A.D. Hoyle, Big Arm, MT
We continued the revisitations last time we were in Albuquerque, in 2012, by finding the small housing development that same grandfather built about 60 years ago. There's even a Hoyle Rd. in the neighborhood!

Now we are in the San Luis Valley where A.D. Hoyle and family lived in Monte Vista, CO. I've never been here before, so it was more about discovery than revisitation. With the help of my Uncle Robert Hoyle (on the phone with Google Maps), we found the five acre farm and the home that A.D. Hoyle built almost 80 years ago. We tried to take a few drive-by shots of the farm without alarming the young men hanging out in the yard.  (I wasn't sure they were the Ancestry.com type.)

The Hoyle ranch, about 70 years later

Robert described what his father did there on the farm in Monte Vista as "miraculous" - feeding his family through the Great Depression while holding down a full time job as well.

The extended Hoyle Family on a picnic, Monte Vista, CO.
(My mother, Maryon, second from right end, back row, between her mother and father.)

With Uncle Robert's help we also found another home were grandfather Hoyle and family lived, as well as the home next door where my great grandparents Emory Dent and Ida Hoyle lived.  Just amazing.  (The little boys playing in front of the house were pretty excited about us taking a picture of their house, with their mother's permission of course.)

Among our family photos I found this picture my great grandfather, identified as being in the San Luis Valley somewhere, so perhaps we're looking at the very same landscape now.

Emory Dent Hoyle. Monte Vista, CO

Our next stop will be Colorado Springs, for more family reminiscing...


  1. How fun to follow your history around the country! We too are headed to CO Springs next (staying at Cheyenne Mtn. Seems there is rain on the way...

    1. We're driving there in the rain tomorrow. Cheyenne Mountain As well. Site 44 for a week. I think we're supposed to get together. Brew pub maybe?

    2. :-) Sounds like a good idea. Looks like we are in for a long stretch of rain. We are in site 2 in the Raptor loop for 10 days. I'll email you so we can start planning...


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