Tag Archives: family reunion

52 Ancestors: The First Howe Tavern Keeper–# 38 John Howe, The Pioneer

John How(e) 1602-1680

John How was definitely a pioneer in fact as well as spirit.  Although we don’t know exactly when he came to this continent from his native England, it must have been in the 1630’s. He was part of what is known as the Great Migration, when 20,000 immigrants, mostly English Puritans, flooded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In the first decades after the Mayflower arrived, emigrants  created new communities–35 in the first ten years– across what is now New England.

John How probably  lived briefly in Watertown, Massachusetts, but he first shows up in public records as one of the 54 men who started Sudbury in 1637.

First Meeting House, Sudbury MA

Site of the first Sudbury Meeting House. Marker located in Sudbury Old North Cemetery, now in Wayland, Massachusetts. Massachusetts.

First Meeting House, Sudbury

Plaque on marker of Sudbury First Meeting House.


It was there John first became a Freeman and was elected a selection in 1642.

But the families there soon wanted more land and John was one of 12 who pushed into the wilderness to found Marlborough. In 1661, at the age of 59, he opened a tavern, or ordinary.

This was the start of a long line of Howe tavern keepers, both in Marlborough and in Sudbury, where John’s son Samuel moved.

Even my grandmother, John Howe’s 6th great-grand daughter, ran a bar-restaurant, as you can see at the top of this page.

So it was fitting that a group of descendants of Vera Stout Anderson and John Howe gathered at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, formerly known as Howe’s Tavern.  Here in front of the Martha and Mary Chapel, added by Henry Ford (more later about how Henry gets into this story), we snapped pictures of representatives of four generations.

Descendents of John , Samuel, David, and Elizabeth Howe.

Four generations of descendents of John , Samuel, David, and Elizabeth Howe.

How I am Related

  • My maternal grandmother, Vera Stout (Anderson), was the daughter of
  • Hattie Morgan (Stout), the daughter of
  • Mary Bassett (Morgan),the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Stone (Bassett) the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Howe (Stone), the daughter of
  • Israel Howe, the son of
  • David How, the son of
  • Samuel How, the son of
  • John How.

Notes on Research

As Ancient Is This Hostelry: The Story of the Wayside Inn, by Curtis F. Garfield and Alison R. Ridley(1988)
A History of Longfellow’s Wayside Inn by Brian E. Plumb (2011)
Howe Genealogies by Daniel Wait Howe (1929), Massachusetts Historical and Genealogical Society. This is said to be the best of the several genealogies of the family. Although I do not have a copy of the entire book, portions of it are available on the Internet.
Middlesex County records found on Ancestry.com. Birth, death and marriage.
Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County Massachusetts Vol. 1, ed by Ellery Bicknell Crane (1907) Available as a Google Books e-book.


I also have had assistance from the archivist and Longfellow’s Wayside Inn historian Richard Gnatkowski and Sudbury historian Lee Swanson.

Cousin Reunion and Aunt Pauline’s Spice Cake Recipe

Spice cake has been a favorite in America (and in Europe and the Caribbean) for as long as people have had access to the exotic spices of the East.

Spices for spice cake

Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves. Photo found on Flickr. Click photo to learn more about the photographer

Today, I will be arriving in Sudbury, Massachusetts and looking forward to a family reunion. This week my sister, brother and I will join two cousins at the Wayside Inn. The cousins, Herbert Anderson and JoAnn Anderson Yoder are two members of the family of five children raised by my Uncle Herbert Anderson and his wife Pauline McDowell Anderson.

In this picture, Jimmy, who was my age was not in our group. Sadly, Jim is no longer with us.  Romona and Larry Anderson are unable to join our mini-reunion because of health issues. But here we are all when we were young and gathered at our Grandma and Grandpa’s house. (Apologies, Herb–someone labeled this picture back when you were called “Sonny” and I was called “Bunny” by the family.)

Anderson Kids and Me

Cousins Romona, Herb, Larry, and Jo Ann Anderson with Vera Marie Badertscher, Grandma and Grandpa Vera and Guy Anderson’s house, Killbuck, 1941.

Herb and Pauline lived on a farm on a hill outside Killbuck, Ohio, and I have to admit that Herbert (Sr.), although I loved him dearly, was not the best provider, plus he went off to fight in World War II after all those children came along, so Pauline must have sometimes had a tough time feeding that nest of hungry offspring.

As we toast to family at the Old Bar at the Wayside Inn, I want to remember their mother, Pauline, with this spice cake recipe, given to me by JoAnn.  Here’s another toast, when we had another mini reunion back in 2006. All grown up Herb and Jo Ann.  (She looks so much like Grandma Vera with that beautiful snow white hair.)

Anderson Cousins

My cousins Herbert Anderson and Jo Ann Anderson Yoder toast their September birthdays. Millersburg, Ohio, 2006.

Aunt Pauline’s Spice CAke

Serves 12
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold


  • 2 cups Brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 3 eggs


1. Combine dry ingredients.
2. Beat together butter and sugar.
3. Stir in buttermilk.
4. Stir butter/sugar/milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Beat two minutes.
5. Add eggs. Beat two more minutes.
6. Pour into greased cake pans.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30-35 minutes until well done.


I have passed this recipe on as Jo Ann gave it to me, and as she got it from her mother. That means assumed details are missing. You can use either two 8" round or 9" round cake pans, or similar sized square ones. A sheet cake baked in a 9 x 13 pyrex cake pan works great. You could, by reducing the cooking time, make the cake in cupcake tins, also.

"Cook until well done" means when a cake tester or toothpick plunged into the center comes out with no moist crumbs attached.

We don't have a suggestion for frosting here, but a plain cream cheese frosting (as shown, topped with walnuts) or a glaze of lemon juice, confectioner's sugar and water is delicious to complement the spices. Or it would be delicious served warm with a caramel sauce or whipped cream.

Since I'm on the road as this goes to press, I have borrowed a photograph.

I made one small change, reducing the amount of cloves. The original called for one teaspoon of cloves, which is too strong for me, but feel free to adjust spices to your family's taste.