In November 2008, my daughter Ann Sargent Slayton of Steuben, Maine, accompanied me on a trip of a lifetime to China. Since Ann’s seafaring great-great-grandfather was active, we are quite sure, in Maine’s China trade, she thus became the fifth generation of our family to spend significant time in the Middle Kingdom.
We weren’t able to visit Jinan, the town where I was born to missionary parents, or Chengdu, where I lived as a toddler. Instead we followed the path that my grandfather, RH Sargent, had trod on a geological research mission in 1903-04. This included Beijing, Taiyuan, Wutaishan, Xi’an, and Shanghai. Since grandfather had spent most of this expedition in Shanxi Province, we added the ancient and well-preserved city of Pingyao.
Grandfather had done his 2,000 miles across China on foot, and we, too, chose to stay mostly on the ground, using local vans and drivers. In the end, the trip that had taken grandfather and his fellow scientists six months we accomplished in just 14 days.
Ann took a series of photos on our trip, many of which echo the photos my grandfather took in 1903-04. We have made a slide show, interesting in its own right and also as a comparison to grandfather’s images. Visit us on Facebook to see a few of the slides. To inquire about our slide show, please contact us.