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Archiver > CORNISH > 1997-11 > 0879289916


From: "Ralph E. Venk" <>
Subject: Follow up on Earle's Retreat
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 17:11:56 -0600


This is especially for Wendy M. Simpson in New Zealand, but since it is
Cornwall history it may be of general interest.

Earle's Retreat, located near the downtown area of Falmouth, consists of
a rather large two story building. It extends sideays from a central
core area which has a "gathering" room on the ground floor and a chapel
on the second. The extensions hold small but adequate apartments where
elderly Falmouth residents can live. Possibly they could be called
"Falmouthians" (?). The residents - they used to be called "inmates" -
go through an application process and must be of good character and with
limited resources. They pay no rent as the Retreat is endowed and of
course will acccept donations as well.

The Retreat was founded by George Earle and the dedication occurred in
1869. He was a brother of my Great Grandfather, Joseph Earle. They
were just two of either 12 or 13 children born to Joseph Earle and Ann
Crabb. I have 11 of them in my tree and they were all boys. Don't know
about #12 or the possible 13th. My G Grandfather was the first born
(in 1802) and George the 4th, in 1807. All were apparently born in
Falmouth. My Joseph married Isabella Pratt from the London area in
London and came to the US and lived in Brooklyn. George, married Mary
Devonshire of Falmouth in London. He was an architect and builder
starting in Falmouth, then to London and then to the US - Philadelphia
area, where he continued building. He then got into real estate and
acquired land in Indiana. He founded (really) the town of Hobart,
Indiana, just south of Gary. I've visited the town on several
occasions; its a nice thriving community and he is recognized in their
history as the founder. One of the schools is named in his honor -
George Earle School. The name "Hobart" derives from a younger brother,
Frederick Hobart Earle. He - Frederick stayed in Falmouth, as a
printer, later the quaymaster and was the first trustee of the Retreat.

As is frequently (and sadly the case), my interest in genealogy came
long after it should have. But, I ended up the repository of lots of
family treasures. One was a packet of papers telling about the
dedication of the Retreat in 1869, and included were copies of
applications for residence, etc., etc. This led to discovering that the
Retreat is still going strong, and there was some correspondence with
the Chairman of the Trustees. My wife and I gave ourselves a 50th
wedding anniversary gift - a trip to England this past June. We had a
27 day bus tour of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Then a two week
stay in London. We took the Britrail to Plymouth where we rented a car
and drove to Falmouth. We were greeted royally by several of the
trustees, the matron, all the inmates (oops - residents), even the Mayor
of Falmouth. They had prepared a "cream tea" in honor of our visit. My
first taste of Cornish clotted cream (wow)!!!

A plaque hanging on the wall of the gathering room states:
EARLE'S RETREAT. FALMOUTH
FOUNDED A.D. 1869
by George Earle, a native of Falmouth, but a resident in and citizen of
the United States of America; with the object of providing therein a
free residence for natives or inhabitants of Falmouth of good character
(particularly such as have led honest, sober and industrious lives) and
of advanced age, whose incomes are so small that the payment of rent
places it out of their power to have proper necessaries and comforts in
their declining years.

It seems that there were no miners in my Cornish ancestry. Apparently
Falmouth was not "dreckly" in the area where minerals were abundant.
None-the-less, I have been enjoying the stories not only about the mines
and the emigration to the mines of America, Australia, South America,
Africa, etc.; but also the wonderful stories and discussions about
food. This is a great list!
Wendy, if you need more info about members of the Earle family, let me
know.
Ralph Earle Venk

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