In 1681, King Charles II of England granted a Royal Charter to William Penn of certain lands in British America. In 1683 a group of Quakers from Krefeld, Germany settled in a town they called germantown which later became part of Philadelphia.

In 1684, a second group of settlers from Krefeld arrived in Germantown. My ancestors, the Koester(Custer) family were in that second group. So I have deep roots in Pennsylvania.
Eleven generations of family and their contributions.

Penns Hills
Penn's Hills......became Pennsylvania. It is a state full of panoramic views and majestic overlooks. A state that was originally forested with dense stretches of trees has now been cleared for farming and grazing.

My family lines participated in both worlds. Some were the lumbermen who cleared the lands and others were the farmers who used the cleared land.

Other ancestors were Railroad Workers, Miners and Businessmen. One captained Steamboats down the Mississippi River.

Panorama Pennsylvania
I liked to stop at the side of the road and look out over the vast expanses of Pennsylvania Land. In this picture you can see a perfect example of land that was dual purpose. Some of the land has been left with trees, while other parts have been cleared for planting or grazing.

Imagine that as the early ancestors saw it. Nothing but trees for miles in each direction. A true virgin forest with nothing but animals and Indians.

What a place to call home.

Road Pennsylvania
John Denver wrote a song called "Country Roads" about his home in West Virginia. I heard many a joke in Pennsylvania about people from West Virginia being the Pennsylvania relatives nobody liked.

Having traveled the back roads of both states, I can tell you that the song fits perfectly whether you travel one state or the other.

You never know what might be around the next bend in Pennsylvania, Animal, Mineral or Vegetable. All three abound.........

RV'ing in PA
On one of my trips to Somerset County, Pennsylvania, I found myself cruising behind this RV for a while. We were a caravan of vacationers, enjoying the country road.

Every time I travel these roads I can hear a voice singing, "Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go."

That song by the way, is based on a poem called "A Boy's Thanksgiving Day", written
in 1844 in Massachusetts.

How well it fits Pennsylvania too!

Fayette County Pennsylvania
This is a little later in the trip after I had broken away from the RV. Fayette County is where my grandmother was born in 1894. Her family had made its way across the state and had settled both in Fayette and Somerset Counties.

Several generations of miners worked these hills. My great grandfather was killed in a mine accident when my grandmother was only six years old.

Strong and sturdy people in a bountiful, but dangerous land.

Road pennsylvania
Over the hills, or through the hills, the
roads of Pennsylvania offer a path to excitement and adventure.

Whether you want the wilds of western Pennsylvania or the settlements of Eastern and central Pennsylvania, you can find a path to get there.

All roads in Pennsylvania lead to somewhere.
I've never found a dead end. But there have been times when I have had to ask where I was and I've found places not on any map.
Adventure awaits the fearless traveler.


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