The Isaac Plumb family moved to Sherburne from New York City in 1842, because of business reasons. Henry was born and grew up in this tiny but remarkable town. To put the puzzle pieces back together and re-constitute his life story, it has been and will continue to be, essential for me to do research on site. I’ve just finished my fourth trip to Sherburne, and each time have found magic in the air. People have invariably been fascinated with my project and very eager to help in whatever way they can. Nancy Simerl, director of the Sherburne Public Library (itself a gem), has become a kindred spirit and so has her assistant, Kathleen Erath. Mike Mettler, Julian Button, the extended McDaniel family and their relatives, have all been delightful. I feel like an honorary Sherburne citizen. My adrenaline pumps up as my car approaches the main intersection in town and I see the monument to Sherburne’s Civil War soldiers, one of them “Ikey” Plumb, Henry’s older brother, who lost his life on July 4, 1864, in Campbell Hospital, Washington, D.C. The family are buried in the West Hill cemetery and descendants of Henry’s sister Anna come back to be buried, down to the current generation. It is important to me that I do right by the material that has fallen into my hands and I have already “repatriated” several of Henry’s artworks and some relevant archival material.

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