Category Archives: George Henry Story

5 Ways to Preserve Family Stories

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The teen sat on the park bench, hungry, tired, jobless, a boy of New Haven, Connecticut. He wondered what the world would hold for him. He sat staring into space, after awhile his focus landed on a beautiful girl across the street, near the corner of Church and Chapel Streets. She was made of wood! It was this girl that led him to climb the stairs to the third floor ship carvers shop of Mr. Northrop.

 at Mystic Seaport - Sea Music Festival 2013
at Mystic Seaport – Sea Music Festival 2013

Telling the family stories at Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival 2013

opening with a little Harmonica music in the figurehead gallery

I can almost envision him sitting there today, a gangly teen of 14, with that hungry look in his eyes. The year would have been about 1849.  I sat there, one day, for half an hour and felt the 150 years between us slip away. It was as if I sat beside his ghost. Like he was re-living the day in New Haven when his career launched and he found his path into the world. Not haunted, but living, this bench in New Haven has seen thousands of hungry sitters. How many were destined to one day sit in the White House?

George Henry Story, crossed the street, mounted the steps to the ship carvers shop on the third floor. Soon he had a position as an apprentice. He would carve wood figureheads for ships and tail boards with ships names and port of origin. Amazing, I can sit and look up at those windows, I almost hear the lost voices. A century and a half have not erased the moment. The hungry boy had found a position, and his next meal.

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George Henry Story – The Man Who Painted Lincoln

Young George started his journey from that humble park bench. Luckily he wrote an account of his experience. This is my treasure as a family stories enthusiast. I hope people look carefully to preserving their family treasures, journals, diaries and writings! Letters are also key to many family stories, even if they need further research to develop.

George went on to become apprentice to a painter and  began a painting career two years later. At age 26 he sat in the White House for three days in the office of President Abraham Lincoln. He made preliminary sketches and took copious notes of the events that transpired in the office during his visits. He then painted the White House portrait of President Lincoln, that is now hanging in the Presidential office.

Top 5 Ways To Preserve Family Stories

Save your family letters from past generations, dry, acid free, temperature and humidity stabilized

Digitize the content of fragile documents

Share documents with those motivated to make use of them

Assemble family photos with their corresponding writers – label photos

Tell the stories, repeatedly, to the younger generation

I used the writings of my Great Uncle, George Henry Story to create an award winning CD. I have only used seven of his stories from those writings. I am developing more of his content for future release.

I hope that people interested in art will find the stories of the painter equally interesting.

George Henry Story - The man Who Painted Lincoln

The CD is available on my website, I’ve shared copies with many in the family.

Story Products: Books, CD’s Downloads

you can also download the stories from CD Baby



What will you do with your family treasure? This week, make a point to share a family story. Your story does not have to end at the White House, it can be as simple as the day you found your lost dog, just tell it! Write your stories down, 150 years from now, someone may sit where you once did and feel they know you and your world, because you cared, and shared.

The Birth of an Audio CD

The Birth of an Audio CD

         How many hours, how many emails, how many years? Yes, years from start of the CD  idea to CD in hand.  In order to make the best CD, I needed to be ready, and so did the material. This is a storytelling CD, but the same could be said for music, you have to… Continue Reading

2013 National Storytelling Festival

2013 National Storytelling Festival

The National Storytelling Festival       What an adventure it is to attend the National Storytelling Festival! I was invited by my friend Norah Dooley who would be telling in the Exchange Place. I have wanted to go to the festival for a long time and 2013 with Norah’s invite, I finally made it there. We’ve travelled… Continue Reading

I Was Absent, But I Produced…

I Was Absent, But I Produced…

       I was absent from my blog.Was there homework? Is there a new assignment?  I took a hiatus from writing and posting, chasing articles and images, I just took a break.  I believe in the power of my blog to reach people and to get information I feel relevant, collected and redistributed. A little bit… Continue Reading