Mailbag 2

From Project reader Kevin O:

I came across your entry on St.Anne’s while surfing for places I remember from my childhood. My mother’s family lived in that parish (moving at least 3 times) for 4 generations from the time they arrived from Ireland (early to mid 1800s) until we left for Camden, NJ (of all places) in 1962. Despite that pedigree, Mom (God Rest Her Soul) was never sure if she lived in Richmond or Kensington, so your own geographic imprecision can surely be forgiven...

A-ha! Good to know I'm not the only one who doesn't know where it is. If a longtime resident struggled with the issue, what chance did I have?

... I remember an old family legend about a grandfather who lost a thumb due to a musket backfire while on the barricades defending the old St.Anne’s from the...protestants who were trying to burn her down, so that part of your history rings true as well. Decades later, I told that tale to a friend from Dublin, Ireland, his response was "Oh, so he lost a thumb shootin' a Protestant? Sounds like a f*ckin good day's work to me!"

That's a great story, and one that you should be proud to have in your family. It's a shame that they weren't able to save the original St. Anne, however. I suspect it was structurally far nicer than the current incarnation.