Call for updates and where to join Kathy's 70th birthday walk: 413-736-6414
Springfield a Hiking Hub for B&B’ers
(More photos from Kathy and Blanch, March 29, 2009, below.)
On Thursday, 4/2/09, two "No Fear" 70-year old ladies are walking 15 miles from Palmer to their Springfield headquarters at the Lathrop House B&B, on their way to NYC from Boston. KAthy Biever and Blanche Kosche are seen here on the day before their walk into Springfield,which occurred on April 2, 2009, They were detoured from the route Keith plotted for them by a kindly patrolman who sent them down Allen, Bradley and Sumner. The next day, April 3rd, was Kathy's "real" birthday and Springfield CouncilwomanKateri B. Walsh and husband Daniel Walsh came to wish Keith and Kathy well and to present them with Mayoral certificates from Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno.In addition, Daniel Walsh presented all present with American flags, with a very interesting explanation of protocol for flying them.This was especially meaningful given his record of bravery and service to the nation. The very civic-minded Shelia McElwaine, Vice-President of Concerned Citizens for Springfield and a Seattle native who had much to reminisce about with Kathy and Keith, then led the walkers through Forest Park and into Longmeadow to start the next leg of their journey.
Diana Mara Henry for the Lathrop House B&B in Springfield, MA.
188 Sumner Ave., Springfield, MA 01108
413-736-6414 (House office)
Full story and more photos from the walk through Sturbridge Brimfield and Palmer follow:
Kathy and Keith Biever, who live in Seattle, have arrived at the Lathrop House B&B with friend Blanch. They are using the Lathrop House B&B as their hub while they explore genealogy (Keith) and hike from Boston to NY ( Kathy.) Keith’s grandmother was born in Springfield.
In celebration of her 70th birthday, Kathy (who marked her 50th by walking from Philadelphia to DC, and her 60th by walking 40 miles from the Pennsylvania border, across Maryland, to Harper’s Ferry - in one day) will walk with friends from Boston Common to Central Park, staying at the Lathrop House B&B for six nights along the way at the end of March and beginning of April.
Kathy invites hikers and walkers from Springfield and the Pioneer Valley to join them for a day or more of her “Septuagenarian Walk.” Diana Henry, keeper of the Lathrop House in the Historic Forest Park Heights neighborhood, who enjoys walking the trails and routes in 735-acres right across the way from her B&B, is inviting all who join KAthy on April 2 back to the B&B for refreshments and a lounge in the grand Victorian living room afterwards.
Keith, a fan of David McCullough’s John Adams, mapped out a tentative route for the walk in the vicinity of the Boston Post Road which John Adams followed riding his horse from Boston to New York en route to Philadelphia to the Continental Congress and then again to work on the Declaration of Independence. “Keith will be great help with routes and driving us to beginning and from end of walk each day, and while Friend of the Week and I ambulate, he will continue his addiction to genealogy.”
Keith will do some research in Springfield and some more in Providence where he two years ago found record of his great grandfather’s serving in cavalry in the Civil War. Kathy says, “Keith’s heavy into encouraging his relatives to send in their DNA -- an odd process in itself – kind of yucky to swab one’s mouth and then to send one’s spit away in an envelope! Via this DNA thing, Keith has connected with umpteen cousins with 11 different spellings of the last name.” Biever name goes back to Biwer in Germany, 1710. Keith is researching his grandmother, Mary Marrah, born 1867, through St. Michael's parish, the Springfield Public Library and the Genealogical Society.
Each week a different “Friend of the Week” will walk with Kathy. “Anyone else out there have such special (not to mention thankfully healthy) friends willing to indulge one in this way?” One “Friend of the Week” Kathy will be walking with while they stay at the Lathrop House B&B is Blanch, who accompanied Kathy 20 years ago on her 50th birthday walk.
“We’ll use Google Maps which offer choice of Car, Public Transit, or Walking. ‘Walking’ offers guidelines, but is not perfect as it pretty much suggests only streets/sidewalks, ignoring stairs, footpaths, parks. But with Google Maps plus advice from the locals, all will work out. Amazing that we managed to get from Philadelphia to D.C. sans cell phones, sans internet, sans Keith. So did John Adams.”
Route follows the Boston Post Road ( Known in our area as Boston Road) from Palmer to the Lathrop House B&B at 188 Sumner Ave., Springfield, MA