A Journey through Two Centuries
Kathryn Smith Lockhard

“We become who we are because of those that came before and the choices made. It is the results of those decisions that lace one generation to the next.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathryn Smith Lockhard is a former financial controller.  She has spoken to large academic groups on career education and assisted in writing a manual for the State Department of Education based on statewide surveys she had conducted.   As a videographer hobbyist, she has been interviewed on radio.  As a direct descendant of the Roesch and Houston families, she has given a presentation to members of the Brevard Historical Society on the Roesch history based on three years of arduous research and countless interviews.  A native of Florida, born at the former Banana River Naval Air Station, she now makes her home in Massachusetts with her family.

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   Forever Laced

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

From the Napoleonic Wars to family gatherings in 2008, Forever Laced tells the history of one extraordinary family through events large and small, of historic and personal significance

Franz Josef Rösch, after fighting in Napoleon’s French Army in Russia in 1807, returns home, marries and has six children. Franz’s experiences in the military affected how he raised his children. He taught them not to be fearful in defending justice in order to attain a better life.

Franz’s youngest child, Mathias, and future generations of the Roesch family—whose name was anglicized upon arrival in the U.S., like so many others—emphasized the importance of family and sacrifice. These younger generations journeyed to new places, such as New York, Wisconsin, Missouri, and the Florida community of Eau Gallie. 

The stories of their extraordinary lives chronicle and mirror the development of America. They are husbands and wives, farmers, politicians, teachers, and entrepreneurs who struggle to live the American Dream.

Kathryn Smith Lockhard, a direct descendant of the Roesch and Houston families, conducted years of research and collected information from diaries, newspapers, books, memoirs, and other sources to compile this history. Visually navigate through history with the many wonderful photographs and documents. Join her as she uncovers the struggles of her forefathers and finds lessons of faith, patriotism and love. Examine the history of a great family and an entire nation in Forever Laced.

INTRODUCTION

Footprints were left behind everywhere, in the sand, on the rocks, near the clear blue water’s edge.  If I blink, I fear I might miss seeing a fleeting memory rushing by at lightning bolt speed.  Look closely under the surface, much like an archeologist mining for traces of history, a fragment of bone.  Who are these spirits that taunt me?  I keep digging deeper and faster yet to find my way home. 

       Gone from Eau Gallie, Florida is the city hall that once also housed the fire station and Police Department, the site marked only by a small blue plaque indicating where the local seat of government once stood; the unpretentious Post Office is no more, merged into the neighboring city of Melbourne.  Yet even though those symbols of a formal close-knit community have vanished, residents to this day cherish this village, once the jewel of South Brevard County.

       Eau Gallie sits neatly nestled along the oak and palm tree lined banks of the Indian River that merges with the Atlantic Ocean.  The waning evening sun descends behind me casting ever-lengthening shadows upon the darkening water.  I stand on the banks of the river, inhale deeply and the smell of salt and fish permeate my nostrils.  I close my eyes and feel the wind tousle my hair as it wraps its arms around me and I am left with all my senses to wonder. 

       Gone are the early pioneers that arrived in the wilderness with slaves in tow.  Gone too is the village’s first mayor, the union soldier and the confederate sympathizer’s daughter.  Gone are the politicians, farmers, teachers and entrepreneurs who served their country and community well.

       Who were these people that made willing sacrifices through the centuries as they fought wars, built communities, endured the loss of loved ones, suffered wounded hearts and broken marriages?  Shrouded in mystery, trails are left to disclose who they were, where they came from, and the purpose of their being. 

       The remnants left behind are the time-traveler tourists, searching for their place in history.  Time doesn’t stand still and tomorrow won’t wait.  A sigh, a blink, a wish upon a star and a century is gone.

 

 

For more information about Forever Laced, contact Kathryn Smith Lockhard at: kathrynsmithlockhard@yahoo.com