On Thursday, 10-12-06 my friend Kathy and I set out for Morgan and Judy Wayland's place in northern Oklahoma,
where we all piled in their vehicle and set sail for the Weylandfest 2006 in Boonville!
We arrived in Jefferson City, Missouri where we stayed Thursday night, meeting up with Ben and Mardell Smith from
Oregon, and Ben and Francis Finley of Jefferson City, Missouri. We had a wonderful visit in the home of Ben and
Francis before enjoying each other's company for dinner, and eagerly anticipated the next day's trip to Boonville,
Mo., the home of our ancestors.
Along the way, we toured Tipton, Mo., with Mardell (the world's greatest tour guide), showing us the actual homes of
Roy and Gertrude Finley and of Herman and Ida Weyland, along with the beautiful little church they attended, back
in the early 1900s. The church is now closed, but has the most beautiful stained glass windows you've ever seen.
We thoroughly enjoyed the town of our ancestors, Tipton, Missouri!
Traveling down Highway 5 to Boonville, we found Ravenswood, the 3,000-acre ranch/plantation, which has been
there since the 1800s. What an awesome sight, and knowing that Ravenswood had been the Weyland Wagon &
Carriage Co.'s best customer, brought much hope of laying our eyes on one of the wagons we all so desperately
wanted to see.
After a few minutes of looking around, a carriage house was spotted and we all got to see what we had come for….
there she stood.…..one of the very wagons that Morgan Wayland, Sr., had kept photos of for so many years!
He had carefully preserved photos of many of the carriages and wagons, maybe knowing that one day his family
would go in search of the things he knew in life. What treasures Morgan Sr., gave us all, with his foresight to save
and label the photos of many of the wagons and carriages.
The wagon stood with 2 others, but was neatly tucked in the corner, in a state of slow decline, after her many years
of proud service to the Ravenswood plantation…..Such a treasure, with much pride and skill crafted into its huge
frame. I located the famous brass tag on the rear of the wagon and yes, confirmed it was indeed, a WEYLAND
wagon. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house as we all stood before the very image of our ancestors, and
one reason for our trip to Boonville. This was a most moving and emotional experience for all of us as we drove off,
now headed for Boonville, Mo.
We arrived at the Weyland Furniture store, and were welcomed by Jim and Nancy Weyland, son Russ Weyland and
wife Sheila, son Sam and daughter Abby, our family we had only known through e-mails for the past 4 years!
Wayland Harris had come from Piedmont, to participate in our Weylandfest 2006, and brought with him the
knowledge of Louis and Catherine's homeland, Germany! Jim's cousin Bette Jean and husband Gene Kent were
also present to help celebrate, and Jeff and Kelli Wayland arrived shortly thereafter. Weylands/Waylands had come
from 4 different states to participate! What started with 8 people, turned into 17!
A picnic in the park had originally been planned, but with the chilly winds, Jim and Nancy took us all out to their
house where 17 of the Weyland descendants were finally able to sit and visit, tell stories and view/identify photos
that had been tucked away for so many years. Wayland and Jeff dove into a game of chess, while discussing their
trips to Germany and their love for the homeland of Louis and Catherine Weyland. What a wonderful gift, to look
around and know these were my grandfather's people, and know I had finally located the ones my mother had only
wondered about for so many years!
On to our hotel, the magnificent Isle of Capri, overlooking the Missouri River and beautiful riverbank area of
Boonville, where even more Weylands arrived, Jack and Liz Lewis from Kansas! We were all able to view the HUGE
portrait of Boonville in the hotel lobby, depicting the town in late 1800s/early 1900s, and low and behold, there stood
the L. Weyland carriage shop and home, also in the painting. Another Boonville treasure nobody expected!
We were so blessed at all we found in Boonville, Missouri and after visiting the cemetery and a goodbye visit at the
furniture store, started our trip back to Oklahoma via Ravenswood, to once more lay eyes on the wagon so skillfully
crafted by our ancestors. What a sight. I think our hearts sank as we drove off, knowing she might not be there
next time around and/or what condition she would be in, if she was.
A short detour through Jefferson City, to sit down and visit once more with Ben, Mardell, Ben and Francis in hopes
of identifying more photos, and a goodbye, we headed back to our homes in Oklahoma, with wonderful memories of
Weylandfest 2006 and all we had taken in, family we finally met, and thoughts of Louis, Catherine and all the
Weylands who have gone before us, and provided us all with so much history and a such a proud heritage.
We have been blessed with the knowledge we have discovered and are surely blessed with the wonderful ancestors
we have found, from New York to Oklahoma and the many points in between.
This was truly my trip of a lifetime. I found them, Mom……and it was so awesome!
To the Weylands!
Becky Lewis, Madill, OK, October 12, 2006
Great-grand daughter of Herman P. and Ida May Weyland
OUR TRIP TO BOONVILLE, MO
OCT 12, 2006