Edward and Betty left England in May of 1868 and traveled on the ship Emerald Isle, arriving in New York on Aug 11, 1868. They then booked passage on a train, traveling in cattle and box cars to the end of line at Fort Benton Iowa. There they were met by Edward Mumford and his mule teams that would take them the final 3 weeks to the Salt Lake Valley. I suppose we tweaked historical facts a bit to suit our situation. We skipped the part about travel by ship and train, and went right to the part about the wagons. But a mule train can be somewhat difficult to handle for a novice, so we opted for handcarts, which was the only thing we had anyway.
Actually the original handcart era was from 1856 and 1860 so we were even a little out of sync there, but the Gledhill’s had six children with them and we had seven, so score one for close family size at least. We did have an auntie Kay, and they must have forgotten theirs. And we had blisters, which I’m sure they did also, and our nights were every bit as cold as theirs.
When we stopped along the trail we had a chance to talk about what it would be like to be a stone mason in England, how the family lived, and the closeness they must have had for each other. We discussed the dream of coming to America to live in Zion, and joining the other family members who had left 3 years earlier. We learned what the Perpetual Emigration Fund was and how that creative concept helped many to immigrate. Also we discussed the dream that Betty had of 2 young men with briefcases that would come to their door with a message, and how when it happened three months later, it changed their lives forever.
Overall we agreed that being part of a Trek re-enactment was a great experience. It helped each of us better appreciate the history of the great western migration of the Latter-day Saints. We had fun be we also had many, many, learning and teaching opportunities. It strengthened faith and testimonies and even built a little character. We even made a few new friends.
Ma and Pa Gledhill 1868
aka Brad and Teri Ogden 2009