Mary Gold Hobbs is born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland just as the infant United States begins to flex its muscles in a world dominated by the powers of Europe. Her family, shaken by the trauma of the War of 1812, joins the flood of immigrants flowing down the Shenandoah Valley, through Cumberland Gap, across Kentucky, and into Indiana as the territory teeters on the brink of statehood. Orphaned, abused, and rescued, Mary Gold marries into the Norris family and sees it through the Civil War and well into the Industrial Revolution.
This story is unique because solid genealogical records exist only for the latter part of it. The first portion, although incorporating the actual history of Caroline County, Maryland and history of Indiana, is largely fictionalized. The latter, major portion of the story is based on the genealogical records of the Norris family as they removed from Dearborn County, Indiana, to Clinton County, Indiana. The story thus becomes the third of three in the Norris family saga. It covers Indiana history from an everyday, "home front" point of view through the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution.