Home Sweet Home


This ride was simple. Find someone’s ride on RidewithGPS.com. Download it to my Garmin. Follow it. Improvise at will.

I am as Pennsylvanian as they come with all my ancestors of at least five generations having been born in Pennsylvania. With one exception. My grandmother, Ruth Ann (States) Lowmaster was born in Oregon. Sweet Home, Oregon. Her dad, John T. States, was a lumberman in Indiana Co., Pa., in the early 1900s. He and two brothers went to Oregon as did the family of Mae Bartlebaugh, who was probably then 15 (when she moved).

While in Oregon, they met, married, and in 1907 my grandmother was born. Family tragedy would bring them back to Pennsylvania by 1911 and my grandmother never returned to Oregon to see where she lived, a disappointment she carried with her.

Dam at Green Peter Lake

Today was my day. I started by a covered bridge then rode out on US 20 – the same US 20 that rolls through Erie, Pa. I followed Foster Lake then made a climb through the lush forest to Green Peter Lake. I turned around and went alongside the other side of the lake and then my map took me away from town. I could have crossed a bridge and made a loop, albeit 20 miles or so but I was looking for 40 (or so).


Green Peter Lake

The (pre-programmed) route I was on was called Berlin Wall and the author sort of chastised anyone that wanted to try. I was on Berlin Road and this was a good name for it. I started climbing and reasoned it couldn’t be too hard. It kept climbing. And kept getting steeper. I was working hard to get myself over the top. Well done guys!

Liberty Rock Products

Once over the top it was down in the valley to a loop turnaround. I was passed by a number of logging trucks and two Weyerhaeuser plants. No mistaking, this is a lumber town.


The Rio - Theater in Sweet Home
The Rio – Theater in Sweet Home

Back in town I continued through town looking for a cemetery and looking for miles since I was close to 50. The cemetery is Gilliland, which I found (with help from a rural letter carrier). My great-great-grandmother, Emma Ruth (Ross) Painter, mother of Mae (Bartlebaugh) States, is buried here. I found her grave and was completely satisfied with a day of riding around my grandmother’s birthplace and a little tombstone hopping.

Emma Ruth Painter

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