Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | April 21, 2014

MORE Cousins visit roots on Palomar!

Elsie barb waite mountain years   PalomarCousins (62) again

Last week I had the joy of connecting with long, lost cousins on my beloved Palomar. This week even more arrived! They enjoyed seeing the vintage photo above from 1910, of May and Alonzo, Alice, Hylinda, and Elsie (seated on the running board), and Mr. George Cleaver, taken from the family orchard.

Our time together was absolutely wonderful and I was asked to provide a little more of our family history on the Mountain.  Scrolling through Pinterest one day, someone I did not know, recognized the 100 year old cover photo I used on my book “Elsie- Arizona Teacher 1913-1916”. She shared the photo with family, and suddenly more relatives that I had not known at all, began sharing with each other that there was a book talking about their family history. So, my grandmother’s journal, that became the first book of Elsie, was the link to get our families all reconnected.

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It was so fun to share my beloved mountain and our mutual “roots” with cousins who have not been here in decades, some maybe never. We shared family pictures and family stories and were blessed to be able to gather on Palomar.

Alonzo Gilman Hayes was born in 1849. He married May Carrie Reed in 1882 in Alexandria ,Virginia. He was 33 years old and a florist at the time. In 1897 Alonzo brought his wife, 3 daughters and a son to Long Beach, California. They moved there because their son suffered from a heart condition and they hoped California would be beneficial. That son Gilman died January 1st 1904.

Alonzo knew his wife and daughters longed for the majestic oaks and lush countryside near the Potomac River, just outside of Washington, DC.  So they took a trip up “Smith Mountain”, as Palomar was known of in the past, and bought an apple ranch that had 6 or 7 acres of apple trees. Alonzo increased it to 13 acres with different varieties of apples and owned 160 acres of land on what we now know as State Park Road.


That is my mother, Katie Beishline having fun in an apple tree about 1920.   Apple trees have been known to live for 200 years, but the average lifespan of the apple tree is closer to 100 years, with usually between 30 and 40 of those years being fruitful. The longevity of the apple tree is determined by the rootstock, and this also governs how early it bears fruit. Alonzo must have planted great rootstock and tenderly cared for his apple trees. They are still bearing abundant and delicious fruit at least 110 years later.

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Ray , the handsome young man in the photos is fifth generation to stand beneath these very trees. My grandchildren, and Dan and Marcia Beishline’s grandchildren (Laura Beishline Lorenzen’s children) are 6th generation to love Palomar. Tuesday we had granddaughters, Chris, Evelyn, Rosie, myself, and Edie, from each of Alonzo’s 3 daughters and great, great grandson Ray, standing beneath those same apple trees. Elsie might have described the feeling of being together under those trees as “glorious”, and indeed it was.

The Hayes rootstock is strong. Elsie maintained her love of Palomar and my mother who climbed those same apple trees as a child brought her family up also loving the mountain. I met my husband, Curt Waite, while living with Elsie one summer on Palomar, so my connection to the mountain continues strong even though I was away from it for many years. Now, the love story continues.

Barbara Anna Waite



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