When Russel and Anna Bahn of Mechanicsburg tied the knot in 1900, they had no idea it would someday lead to a large family reunion.
Russel and Anna's granddaughter Elizabeth Bahn said the reunion is really meant for younger members of the Bahn family lineage.
“It's good for my children to see where they came from. Know their cousins,” said Bahn.
Under a large pavilion in Mechanicsburg Memorial Park, nearly ninety parents, siblings and cousins gathered to celebrate the Bahn family name and legacy. It's an impressive family tree that, according to family lore, nearly didn't take root.
“The story goes that my grandmother had two children,” explained Elizabeth Bahn. “The oldest two were girls. And, after the second one was born, the doctor told her she could not and would not have any more children.”
“Six years later on a Christmas morning,” she continued, Anna had my Uncle Paul.”
And, after Paul, four more Bahn children arrived. From there, the Bahn family grew to include 27 grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren, and 52 great-great-grandchildren.
“Out of 125 direct descendants, we are counting at 122,” said Bahn. ” We only lost three.”
Throughout the afternoon, treasured pictures triggered memories for some, and put faces with names for others. But, for all, it was a chance to catch up.
Carole Vogelsong Bousum drove up from Crofton, Maryland, to see her extended family. “The only time we seem to get together anymore is at funerals,” said Bousum. ” So, it's nice to get together and just have some fun and see everybody.”
Perhaps the younger attendees weren't sure what this big party was all about. They were just having fun. But those who organized the event are hoping that seeds were planted for future reunions.
“I want them to remember their ancestors and I want them to be able to get together and know all of their cousins,” said Pat Bahn Hutter, another granddaughter of Anna and Russel's.
The afternoon finished with group pictures that will quite likely adorn picnic tables at a future Bahn family reunion.