Seeing Ireland by the use of my father’s basic Kodachrome slides

A savvy traveler in 1953 to Ireland from rural Minnesota packs a transportable 35mm digicam, Kodachrome slide film, and totally different requirements for world journey. That’s exactly what my father did sooner than heading to the island of Ireland.

My late father Martin, nicknamed Marty to stay away from confusion collectively together with his father, Martin J. Walsh Sr., made our family’s first recognized return journey residence to Ireland in 1953, recording his adventures with Kodachrome and his Clarus 35mm digicam.

An area of Murdock, Minnesota, my father was 28 on the time and dealing as a railroad telegrapher, talking with Morse code in Minnesota for the Good Northern and Burlington Northern Railroad. He would proceed working for the same railroad, 1943 -1984, solely the determine modified to Burlington Northern Railroad.

Our family was part of a primarily Irish immigrant settlement in De Graff, positioned in rural Swift County, Minnesota, arriving inside the late 1800s. This was the first in a group of ten villages in 5 counties in western Minnesota established by the late Saint Paul Archbishop John Ireland, serving to Irish Catholic households like mine escape from metropolis slums, and resettling in farmlands in rural Minnesota.

Archbishop John Ireland, circa 1908. (US Library of Congress)

Archbishop John Ireland, circa 1908. (US Library of Congress)

As soon as I used to be a toddler, my father, telling tales of our family’s historic previous and connection to the island of Ireland, would say, “We’re Archbishop John Ireland’s people.” It merely occurred to be the Archbishop’s ultimate determine was the an identical as a result of the nation my people left behind inside the mid-1800s.

My family is probably going one of many 4 thousand Catholic households Archbishop Ireland help resettle in west central and southwest Minnesota in the middle of the years of 1875-1885. Archbishop Ireland’s targets had been to alleviate the perceived problems with nativist prejudice (anti-immigrant), poverty, and lack of religion confronted by metropolis Catholics (notably Irish) on the east coast and poor Catholics nonetheless in Ireland by relocating them to low worth farmland in western Minnesota.

Within the current day, I dwell merely three miles from De Graff, in Murdock, Minnesota, within the an identical dwelling my father was born in 1924. You’ll be taught further regarding the De Graff and the historic Church of St. Bridget on the US Division of the Inside, Nationwide Park Service website. The Library of Congress in Washington, DC has an in depth presentation on Irish-Catholic Immigration to America to find further particulars on immigration.

My father did not have a career in photos, nevertheless his unbelievable 1953 Kodachrome pictures survive proper this second, giving a glimpse of his expedition to Ireland.

His love of journey and pictures had been handed on to my brother Paul M. Walsh and likewise me, every working as photojournalists, and careers related to photographs and media. Within the current day I do know further about my father and his journey to Ireland simply because my father recorded what he encountered collectively together with his 35mm digicam and Kodachrome.

You’ll view further of my father Martin J. Walsh Jr.’s footage of Ireland proper right here on Flickr.

I take into consideration my father as a extremely proud youthful man with the unbelievable various to see the homeland of his family in Ireland in 1953. I do know his go properly with pockets had been full of important journey objects as he wrote particulars on the border of one amongst his 1953 Kodachrome slides from Ireland.

My father’s US Passport, issued February 6, 1953, lists no partner or children. The define of the passport bearer, my father, is 5 ft 11 inches, brown hair, hazel eyes, with no distinguishing marks or choices. His location of begin is listed Murdock, Minnesota, with an occupation of telegraph operator.

Passport photo page - US Passport of Martin J. Walsh Jr., of Murdock, Minnesota, 1953.

Passport {photograph} net web page – US Passport of Martin J. Walsh Jr., of Murdock, Minnesota, 1953.

I might add, nevertheless not listed on my father’s passport, is Black Irish. I nonetheless keep in mind my father referring to himself as Black Irish as soon as I used to be a toddler, however he was clearly caucasian, along with freckles, indicating he was a service of the unusual purple hair genes.

The time interval Black Irish is a reference used of people of Irish ancestry, often used exterior of Ireland, with black hair and darkish eyes. The thought suggests these individuals are of Spanish lineage, descendants of shipwrecked Spanish retailers. Be taught further about this fascinating concept.

Immigration stamps US Passport of Martin J. Walsh Jr., 1953.

Immigration stamps US Passport of Martin J. Walsh Jr., 1953.

My father wasn’t however married in 1953, seemingly lived at residence collectively together with his dad and mother to avoid wasting money for a go to of a lifetime touring to Ireland, England, and France, along with a stopover in Canada. Journey to Europe opened up after World Battle II, and my father left residence by put together from Willmar, Minnesota, in step with my grandfather’s diary, sooner than lastly landing by plane in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Marty Walsh, Seaside, south of Belfast, May 1953. Photo of Martin J. Walsh Jr., of Murdock, Minnesota, 1953, photographer unknown.

Marty Walsh, Seaside, south of Belfast, May 1953. Image of Martin J. Walsh Jr., of Murdock, Minnesota, 1953, photographer unknown.

American Particular workplaces helped preserve traces of communication open to his family once more residence in Minnesota, receiving letters from his mother, and the newest data of Murdock, along with particulars on the native Catholic parish, in step with his letters despatched residence.

Belfast, Ireland, outskirts of city, May 1953. Note: Slide heavily damages in the sky area.  Photo by Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome slide.

Belfast, Ireland, outskirts of metropolis, May 1953. Observe: Slide carefully damages inside the sky house. Image by Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome slide.

His travels to Ireland included a refueling stop by airplane in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada, a stopover essential in early postwar transatlantic air journey sooner than arriving in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I really feel my dad would uncover it fascinating the airport in Gander, on account of its strategic location and runway functionality, grew to change into a selected alternate landing web site for NASA’s Space Shuttle program, in step with gandercanada.com. My father was flying to Ireland, what may have appeared like home journey coming from rural Minnesota, surrounded by prairie and open farmlands.

My father’s pictures of his Irish adventures included a go to to Killarney in County Kerry, one among many locations of origin for my family in Ireland. He didn’t have a possibility to search out the farm I discovered in 2018 that our family is said to in Townland Dromkerry in County Kerry.

May 19, 1953, Jaunting cars going through the Killarney Lakes and park.  May 19, 1953. Photo by Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome slide

May 19, 1953, Jaunting automobiles going by the use of the Killarney Lakes and park. May 19, 1953. Image by Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome slide

The views from Dromkerry look out on the Gap of Dunloe, the Lakes of Killarney, the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple Mountain ranges, quite a lot of probably the most pretty views in all of Ireland.

Killarney Lakes, Ireland.  May 19, 1953. Photo Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome.

Killarney Lakes, Ireland. May 19, 1953. Image Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome.

He took footage of a three-hour journey by pony and entice by the use of the Gap of Dunloe and Lakes of Killarney, the railway station, mountain panorama views, and views throughout the countryside.

Killarney Railway Station, May 19, 1953, Jaunting Cars getting ready to drive three miles through the park.  Photo by Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome slide.

Killarney Railway Station, May 19, 1953, Jaunting Autos on the point of drive three miles by the use of the park. Image by Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome slide.

“Marty Walsh. Taken in Saint Stephen’s Inexperienced, Dublin. It was taken after a rain. My pockets full, May 16, 1953,” wrote my father on one amongst his image. He was staying all through from the inexperienced on the Shelbourne Lodge, and even accommodates footage from his resort room window overlooking the well-known Dublin park.

Marty Walsh, Taken in Saint Stephen's Green, Dublin.  It was taken after a rain.  My pockets full, May 16, 1953. Photo of Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome slide, photographer unknown.

Marty Walsh, Taken in Saint Stephen’s Inexperienced, Dublin. It was taken after a rain. My pockets full, May 16, 1953. Image of Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome slide, photographer unknown.

He apparently took trains and tour bus journeys spherical Ireland, touring to Dublin, Galway, Limerick, and places the place the movie “The Quiet Man,” that features John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, and Barry Fitzgerald, was filmed in Galway. His Kodachrome slides level out places akin to John Wayne’s dwelling and totally different particulars of the 1952 film.

“Tour Bus made a quick stop proper right here. A small village near Galway. May 14, 1953.” Image of Martin J. Walsh Jr., of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome.

I might even counsel “The Quiet Man” sparked a objective for my father to journey to Ireland, if not seize his curiosity ample to go away residence to search out his family’s Irish roots. If , you’ll view “The Quiet Man” trailer proper right here:

In January 2019, whereas staying on the Shelbourne Lodge, I really watched “The Quiet Man” from the comfort of my resort room as part of my hold, one factor unimaginable all through my father’s journey to Ireland. I did not have a resort window view of Saint Stephen’s Inexperienced, in its place, I had a courtyard view contained within the resort, and a view of the Irish flag from the rooftop.

Dublin, Ireland.  View from Hotel window.  Hotel Shelbourne, overlooking St.  Stephen Green.  May 1953. Photo of Martin J. Walsh Jr., of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome.

Dublin, Ireland. View from Lodge window. Lodge Shelbourne, overlooking St. Stephen Inexperienced. May 1953. Image Martin J. Walsh Jr, of Murdock Minnesota, Kodachrome.

Jannet L. Walsh, of Murdock, Minnesota, is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of the forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative “Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Tales from Ireland and Minnesota,” scheduled for publication in 2022 by Shanti Arts Publishing. She has compiled Irish Household tree Toolkit, a list of sources for researching your Irish roots. You’ll adjust to Walsh on Fb and Twitter.

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