Childhood Homes Revisited
The Curlitt Club
September 2, 1996
Copyright © 1996 The Curlitt Club
All rights reserved.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Jean Barton 4
Lillian Bateman 5
Joan Burns 9
Leona Davis 11
Lucy Fuller 16
Helen Huston 18
Gloria McCabe 20
Avis McClintock 22
Doris Robb 24
Evelyn Strasser 26
This book grew from the combined efforts of many people. It had its beginning in the assignment for Curlitt Club members to present a short written account describing a childhood home. Because the club has long been a supporter of literature and the Albion Library, the members decided that the accounts should be gathered into one collection and be placed in the Albion Library. Thus, we offer this one segment of a two year program celebrating the Centennial Year of the Curlitt Club.
MY FAVORITE CHILDHOOD HOME
by Jean Barton
I was the youngest of eight children. My father died six weeks before I was born. By the time I remember things clearly, my oldest brother and sister were in homes of their own, which left my mother in firm control of six children and an endless stream of cousins and friends, so we lived in big houses. My favorite was a corner lot with lots of room to play and a small creek as its back border. And I had my own bedroom, a long narrow room with a sloped ceiling that was two steps down from the rest of the upstairs, and the best part was a small door on one end that led to a small attic. What more could a twelve year old want ? There was a large black walnut at the corner of the house, so in the fall, I got used to the scampering of squirrels and chipmunks and the dropping of nuts on the roof of my favorite room.
OUR OLD HOUSE
by Lillian Bateman
The van seemed to come to an automatic halt; I backed up a few feet and climbed out. My footsteps took a familiar path across the front yard to a young couple sitting on the porch.
I seldom travel the County Line Road (now Moses Road) for it is too painful to see the run down neighborhood. I had never talked to the new owners of "our house" nor seen much of it since the remodeling. Suddenly, I was standing in front of total strangers, however pleasant. These aliens were living in "my home".
I told them my name and explained that I had lived in the house for many years . Because there was no rebuff to my approach, and a welcoming smile encouraged me, I continued to speak.
"I was born in a room that is now part of your living room. My father was born that same room and lived here for seventy-nine years, " I continued.
As the young people became interested, they started to ask questions.
"Oh, yes," I replied. " all the original buildings are gone except for the house. " The barn was behind the house; and the granary , incubator, and sugar house were all around the driveway."
When Mr. Watson asked about the location of the driveway, I answered that it had been closer to the house. Water had washed it down, thus forming a bank along the edge. It made a wonderful place to sit. Many people who couldn't stay long enough to go into the house, sat on that bank for a few minuets to visit . There were some mighty good stories spun on that bank, many of them by the men visitors who laughed heartily with my dad.
When someone queried about the incubator house, I explained, "Dad was a poultry farmer, and for years he hatched eggs. There were three large chicken coops and several movable brooder coops for the young chicks."
I explained that the two hundred acres were used to provide grain, hay, and pasture for the beef cattle and the chickens. Speaking of the pasture reminded me of the special tree near the creek. My sister and I spent a lot of sentimental time under that tree. It was our camping area, our picnic site and our get away space for deep thinking. The loggers left that tree and I'm glad to see it standing.
When speaking of the house, I reminisced, "That was my bedroom, upstairs. My sister and I shared a room, even a double bed. We fought over bed space so we rolled a blanket and put it down the middle, creating a boundary line. We also drew an imaginary line across the floor to designate Lillian's half and Clara's half. After the hired man was gone, we each had our own room, but we often crawled in together when it got very cold or lonely."
Dad made maple syrup every spring. It was a wet, muddy process to gather the sap; but I think we all enjoyed the fire and sweet smell of the boiling sap except for my mother who cleansed the 100 plus gallons of syrup.
Dad always had horses, including a pony. We used them for work horses and I drove them for the easier jobs. They were all thinkers, and outsmarted us quite often when they chose not to work. We always made pets of the animals and talked to them as if they were part of the family.
We always worked together and we girls knew as much about a four cylinder motor as we did about cooking chicken dinner. Everyone shared the chores and no one was ever asked to work alone.
We had a bad drought one summer and about all that was harvested was a bumper crop of potatoes. The cellar was literally filled with potatoes. We had to crawl over them on our bellies to reach the fruit cupboards. There was little hay, and the cows survived on chopped spuds that winter.
"Have these maples in front of us been here long?" the lady asked.
"They must be a hundred years old," I reasoned. "I can remember sitting with my grandmother under these trees when I was a young child. My grandparents moved here in 1890. The house was originally across the road on the Main property . Scotts moved the house across the road for their daughter's family. Soon after, my Curtis grandparents bought the property and moved here. My parents were married in 1925, bought the farm, and lived here until 1976."
"The house was always a haven of security for us girls, Dad was always the protector. He could always fix our problems or at least get us through them without too much pain. Home was a safe, comfortable place to be; and when the property was sold, some of us went with it."
"We didn't have electricity until 1937. We cooked on a wood stove and a kerosene cook stove. Mother prepared a lot of food, and we girls learned to cook before we went to school. I can still smell the bread baking and see the many desserts being prepared. There was a cistern pump in the kitchen for washing. Drinking water was carried from the barn. Kerosene lamps and lanterns provided light.
"The Round Oak stove in the sitting room provided heat for the "front" part of the house. My grandfather lived with us after Grandma died and we spent winter evenings around the stove paring apples, cracking hickory nuts and telling stories."
"We were so excited when Bill Consedine wired the house for electricity. We actually had lights in every room. A refrigerator, washer, and electric pump soon followed. The inside plumbing and water heater came when I was a teenager, as did the central heating."
" I remember Grandma Ray's funeral at our house. My Grandmother Curtis had died a year earlier and I didn't understand much about death. I faced death again when Grandpa Curtis had a terminal stroke. It was another difficult time for our family."
"This place has lots of memories for me," I concluded. "Thanks for letting me go on a short nostalgic trip. "
"We are anxious to know some history of our new home. Thanks for answering our questions," the owners replied.
I waved goodbye as I drove off, feeling quite good-- sort of connected again.
THAT OLD HOUSE
by Joan Burns
Our house was built after a fire destroyed the home of my parents and their three small children. Dad built a two story, five-bedroom house. The porch that reached across the front was shaded by large maple trees. A back porch hosted any number of farm animals that we could carry, coax, or drag up the steps, and sometimes sneak into the kitchen.
The kitchen housed a huge wood cook stove to feed the family that would grow to twelve. It was surrounded by ceiling-to-floor cupboards and a wide counter that often served as a rest area for the smallest members of the family while mother baked the daily bread, cake, and pies. A tin-lined pastry board that pulled out from under the counter doubled as a lunch counter for the little ones. The pump at the sink often needed to be primed.
My first memory is of my mother lifting me out of bed in the morning, carrying me into the kitchen and setting me on the chair. She lit the oil lamp and made a fire with finely split kindling in the cook stove. Once the fire was lit, she would pull down the large warming doors that hung several feet above the stove and would lift me to my favorite spot on top of the warming ovens while my feet rested on the open doors. She would then take the oil lamp down to the basement where she fed the big black furnace that had been banked the night before. I would sit in suspense and coziness, watching the firelight flicker across the ceiling and walls until Mother returned with her lamp and lifted me down. She then awakened the family and the day began.
The children of the house were endowed with a climbing gene that kept our parents ever alert. The house and farm buildings served us well as a complete gymnastics center. We shimmied across a five feet wide wooden door frame dividing the living room and dining room. We vaulted over the porch rails and hung from the banisters. Though we were forbidden to scale the roof top, we often did......while companions below chanted, "You did it before and you can do it again."` We were able to maintain the courage to jump from the high barn beams to the hay-strewn floor. A beautiful maple tree with a large horizontal limb jetting across the driveway served as a favorite site of "King of the Mountain," and heaps of haystacks kept us physically fit and ever ready for another day of action and adventure.
As the children grew up, married, and became parents, the house changed in appearance and convenience, but it seemed to grow in spirit and love to embrace us all. There were always little ones, parents, grandparents, cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts and uncles, friends, neighbors, and even my father's business associates who stayed overnight, sat at the large, over-abundant dining-room table, and in the summer, conversed on the long, shaded front porch.
The house was a part of us and seemed to absorb the love we held for each other. Though I grew up and later had a house of my own. I needed to return to that old house for the reservoir of peace and well-being that it endowed.
THAT "OLD" HOUSE
by Leona Davis
Yes, it's still there----on the corner of North Main and Elm Street in the small town of Springboro, Pennsylvania.
"What a great location!" thought Mr. Andrew Seeley, builder of this house around 1920. Early 1925 found a couple, Robert and Ora Barnes Lowry, with a six-month old daughter, looking for a home they could call their very own. This was their choice, and I, Ruth Leona, their only child, spent most of the following twenty years in this exciting and almost-new house.
This summer (1995) I was privileged to tour again THAT OLD HOUSE with Calvin and June Webber, owners since their former home was destroyed in the Albion tornado of May 1985.
Suddenly, I was walking down Memory Lane from the first step on to the porch to the last step by the old well which still sports the old pump of seventy years or more..
Then the porch was the focus of many a warm summer evening or balmy afternoon. Early on, there was a rope swing just for me. I could swing higher than the wide rail surrounding the porch, and even touch the beautiful pink climbing rose bush. Later came the glider and chairs which were often occupied by neighbors and friends. Here we could watch the world pass by, all the way to the main corner in downtown Springboro, Pennsylvania.
Once inside, we found ourselves in the dining room, a room with seven doors leading to all parts of the house. I remember the oak table in the center with a large buffet on the north side. Above it hung a large mirror where one could get a last look before venturing outside. Then I remembered the two south windows always adorned with house plants in winter, and a Boston fern all year long.
Large double doors opened into the living room. Here, windows on the north, east, and south gave one a great view from the school on the north to the center of town on the south, and provided the most interesting pastime--watching the school kids in the morning, at lunch time, and after school. (No school buses!)
Beautiful lace curtains adorned those windows. During spring housecleaning, they had to be hung fresh and clean before the Memorial Day Parade passed by. In the southeast corner sat our player piano with family photos and Bible on top. A picture of the twelve disciples at the Last Supper was hung above it. What great music I could play on that piano with my feet! My fingers could only pretend.
The northeast corner held Dad's easy chair where for hours, he could read the newspapers, including the Conneautville Courier, with his eyes shut. But come the middle of December, that corner changed like magic. Dad, and later on, Dad and I, would go up on Shadeland Hill and drag out the best hemlock tree to be found.
Soon that corner of the living room was filled with the spirit of the Christmas Season. Out came special ornaments, always with an angel for the treetop and icicles everywhere. Somehow Santa found this corner every Christmas Eve all those twenty years and left such wonderful gifts---dolls, buggies, sleds, even roller skates and good books, but one Christmas changed my belief in Santa a "wee bit." I had gone to bed upstairs but decided to take a quick look down the hot-air register over the living room. Wow! What did I see but a doll and buggy already there. Santa wasn't due until midnight, was he?
Well, those registers over living room and dining room were just holes cut in the floors, situated directly over real hot-air registers directly from the furnace downstairs. They did provide some heat, but they were even better for peeking and listening. Ha!
There were three bedrooms upstairs -- mine had no heat and only a north window, but above that window was a shelf, and on that shelf was my cat collection. The room was on the back side of the house where no traffic would awaken me -- only Dad's stoking of the coal furnace on a cold winter morn. When I was ten or twelve, Mr. George Wright installed water pipes bringing us water from the Boro. The closet across the hall became a real bathroom with a real hot-air pipe all the way to the upstairs. Soon that pipe would start to crackle and I could hear the heat coming. Now was the time to throw off those quilts and make a dash for the warm bathroom. What a great feeling! I could even peek out the little window over the commode and see the weather -- more snow or happy sunshine, and sometimes a woodpecker on the big maple tree.
Then came the smell of bacon and eggs or pancakes or plain oatmeal, up the open stairway. One stepped out of the bathroom onto a little balcony around which there was a banister. Now one could slide on this banister all the way around and down. (Wow!) Mr. Seeley knew how to build houses for kids and grandkids.
Down the stairs I would go, and into the dining room. Near the door sat the Majestic radio, topped by a mantle clock. How I did love to hear that clock chime! I ate breakfast with Dad before he set out on his rural mail route with the horse or the Chevy. A walk into the kitchen might find Mother still packing his lunch bucket, always with the pie on top of the sandwiches. This bucket would sit on the old cherry drop-leaf table under a pleasant south window. Then there was the old coal stove -- often with the copper boiler on top, heating water for the daily wash.
From the kitchen we could either exit downstairs, outdoors where the walk led first to the outhouse (three holes, of course), then to the granary, next to the chicken coop, then to the barn where we had two horses and a cow, or we could enter into a large backroom used, not only for storage, but also for washing clothes, dressing chickens, and even taking a good bath in the old wash tub on Saturday nights in the summer.
From here one could step onto a back porch overlooking the back yard and the garden with both vegetables and flowers... my dad loved glads. I shall never forget the day I was standing in the barn door. Suddenly, there was this terrible sound of things breaking and a cloud of dust coming from the porch area. As I ran up the walk I could see my mother coming out of the debris. Fortunately, she was only bruised, and Dad did build a nice, new, and larger porch. There I could swing in a hammock. It was pure delight reading a book there on a lovely summer afternoon. Later in the fall, it was a "ringside seat" for activities at the Albro Packing Co.
Back inside and into the kitchen was a door to the pantry which held many cupboards, also a sink beneath a pleasant north window and a cistern pump. The water was, oh, so soft rain water, perfect for washing one's hair. Another door led us back into the dining room and a sharp, left into a small sewing room or bedroom, later on, for my grandparents. There by the north window sat Mother's "White" sewing machine and an old sewing chair.
You will note that I always mention north windows because they were our means of air-conditioning with the help of the beautiful row of maple trees on the north property line. The many south windows were very pleasant in the winter time.
Returning to the dining room, one always could see hanging on the wall between the kitchen and pantry doors, a large painting of delicious fruit. This would greet everyone coming from the outside as did the smells of fresh-baked bread, cookies, or apple pie. Aunt Ora was especially noted for her sugar cookies.
As for the discipline in That Old House, there was always a yardstick kept on a special shelf by the kitchen door. When my mother would spat it against the floor with gusto, a scared cat could be seen running for the open basement door. Even I went down those stairs once when trying to reach something on the shelves above, but we both survived in fairly good shape.
Today, That Old House has been remodeled. The section containing the kitchen, pantry, and backroom is no longer on the house. The downstairs bedroom is now the kitchen. This is fine for today's way of living; but in my memory, That Old House is still there.
MY CHILDHOOD HOME
by Lucy Fuller
I grew up in Albion on South Water Street. Both the north and the south ends of the street were dead-ended. The north side ended at the railroad tracks, and the south side overlooked the valley and Jackson Run. This location with its endless change of season was a wonderland in which to play.
When I was a child, the Albion Boro Park was still a swamp and most of the kids on the east end of town gathered in one spot. The Liska family on Third Avenue rented the valley area for a cow pasture, and since Mr.. Liska kept the level spot at the end of Wells Avenue cut for hay, the boys laid out a ball field. Yes, the cows did wander through the middle of the games.
For those who didn't like baseball, there was the wonder of the creek to explore with its small islands. Wild flowers were abundant and there were always trees to climb. At the end of Park Avenue, was the remains of Griffith Park dance hall. My Dad told us about the abandoned canal boat that had been found many years before ; but though we searched for it, we never found it. Winter snows created a great place for sliding but the lack of a good start could land the unfortunate sledder right into the sewer at the foot of the hill.
In the summer time, the swimmers headed for the swimming hole near the remains of Griffith Park. The braver souls -mostly boys- swung on the overhead grape vines and dropped into the water below.
This is the spot where the gypsies camped when they came to trade horses with E. J. Robb. We watched their activities from behind the bushes because we had been warned that they had been known to steal small children. Along the tracks was the hobo camp where the boys would gather to listen to the stories of those who were mostly jobless family men riding the rails and looking for work.
I was fortunate to move back to Water Street in 1960 when the third generation of my family was able to search for the abandoned canal boat and learn the many secrets of the valley.
Walter's mother described the location very well in saying that Water Street had the conveniences of town and the quiet of the country.
MY CHILDHOOD HOME
by Helen Huston
My father was a Railway Express Agent for the B & O Railroad who was transferred several times in his career. I was born in Greenville, Pa. ; then we moved to Connellsville, to Greensburg, and finally to "little" Washington, Pa. where I spent most of my youth. (Age 8-20)
We lived in a 3rd (and 4th) floor apartment building which was a converted hospital. One small room that we used for storage was part of a former operating room complete with tiled floor.
It was nice apartment building, but the rooms were small. I know that my mother always had wanted a house although my father didn't want the care and responsibility of ownership. So they stayed there until he developed heart trouble, and they moved to a lovely ground floor apartment on the other side of town. By that time, I was married and moved away.
There are many experiences which I could write about but I 'I'll just choose two or three.
I had an Italian girlfriend, Patricia, who was my constant companion. We were in each other's apartments all the time and even shared colds, and the flu. She lived on the first floor and I lived on the third. There was no elevator. Her father was a composer and one day Perry Como (who was not yet well known) came to listen to one of Auggie's songs. From a distance I saw the visiting future star, but paid little attention to him. If only I had known!
Wash day was really tough for my mother! She had to lug the dirty clothes down three flights of stairs to the laundry to get to the wringer washer and washtubs. When the weather was nice, she hung the clothes on a pulley outside. We lived next to McWreath's Dairy (ice cream) which had a big smokestack. If is would happen to blow while the wash was out, soot would fall and the washing would have to be done over. When the clothes were dry (which required running up and down the stairs to check) she lugged the wash back up three flights to the apartment . As I write this I wonder how she did it. I never really thought about it before.
The third experience deals with romance. For a long time I was "in love" with Joey , the boy next door. He was a couple of years older and saw me as a good friend (but too young). Then one day I grew up and went to college. Suddenly, Joey decided he liked me more than just a friend, but it was too late for me then. However, I still keep in touch with his mother at Christmas and I know that if we lived closer together we would still be good friends.
On a final humorous note - when my dates would bring me home, they would always comment that my dad was watching out the window . And he was! He would kneel on the floor so that only his head showed . It used to drive me to distraction. Under those circumstances, it was hard to show the date proper appreciation for the evening.
by Gloria McCabe
My childhood memories are of 171 East State St. and 87 East State St. Of course, they were the same house, but the address was changed when Albion started home mail delivery! The landscaping reflected its builder; every house Roy Brooks ever built had a driveway lined with giant catalpa trees, and in the back was a patch of bamboo that would have supported a family of pandas. Less obvious was the fact that no room was completely square-- at least that's what everyone proclaimed who did any carpentry work or papering at the house. . In the back was a barn that dated back to the Civil War and the first house built there. On the west side of the driveway, there was a pump of the same vintage. More importantly , inside in the dining room was a pump at the sink. My Gramma Lizzie refused "city water" and drank only from that well. I really understood she was dead when my dad took the handle off the pump the night she died. I had never been allowed to drink from it because my dad believed there would be surface contamination from all the neighboring homes and their "outhouses."
I never used our outhouse but it was there until the late forties. We had a lovely bathroom, but we never got to use it until after 1951. You see, the fixtures were all there, but the compatible plumbing couldn't be finished until after the war. Then, when it seemed as if "slop jars" and trips to the antique oak commode in the basement would be a thing of the past, a chimney fire put the newest room out of commission for quite some time.
The bathroom was a special room to me because it was built inside of another room which was inaccessible unless you knew where to find the doorway hidden in the south wall. Another hidden spot was a dugout room found only if you knew to enter the north cellar wall behind the big old coal furnace. After the tornado, this was where Mama, Harve, and I were found buried, although it wasn't where we took shelter in the first place. I guess God knew where it was, too.
The staircase was so beautiful to me. The oak spindles, newel posts, and banister would just glow after the weekly house cleaning. Thanks to my brother Sam and my son Harve, I still have them, even though the rest of my beloved childhood home was destroyed May 31, 1985.
Gramma Avie, Gramma Lizzie, and my father died in that house, but I never thought of it as haunted. If it was, then it was haunted by benevolent spirits who guarded the inhabitants through fires and storms; and every house should be so blessed.
REFLECTIONS OF MY CHILDHOOD HOME
by Avis McCLintock
A house has four walls and a roof; a home has a heart; and the heart of my childhood home was the family which lived within its walls. The rather ordinary Victorian two-story wore a coat of yellow paint when we moved there in 1936; but in later years, the more traditional white prevailed. Green trim accented the windows and doors, which opened wide for family, friends, neighbors (who popped in frequently during the day), and cousins by the dozens. Both porches, front and side, offered play areas to the neighborhood kids; but the big swing on the side porch brought extra screams of glee as we rode over the porch rail, much to the chagrin of the two Grandmas. Daddy sat on the steps smoking his wonderfully aromatic pipe, and Mama sometimes peeled potatoes or shelled peas as we sat there peacefully on late summer afternoons.
Inside, well worn furniture and rugs (which were frequently turned to cover worn spots) echoed warmth and welcome to all who cared to enter. Narrow wainscoting in the dining room presented a challenge when yearly fall and spring house cleanings took pace. So did the large carpets which we unmercifully beat in the back yard. Lace curtains graced the large windows, and dark green shades kept the rooms cool in the heat of summer. Large iron registers provided a place for the inhabitants to warm their bodies on cold wintry days, but no registers warmed the second floor where three of the four bedrooms were situated . Many nights, frost covered the inside of the windows.
As the family changed, bedrooms took on new personalities. The late 1930's saw brother Sammy in the west room with big-little books, iron tractors and other "boy toys". The north room belonged to my parents, and my private section contained an iron cot and an oak wash stand at the far end of the large room. Grandma Lizzie surrounded herself with beautiful antiques from the Civil War Era. Her east room furnishings came from her own childhood home. Grandma Avie 's room on the first floor was more reminiscent of Post Revolutionary days with a white iron bed, a huge dresser and large wooden chest. When Grandma Avie died in 1941, Mom and Daddy moved downstairs, leaving me with my very own room to decorate all in pink and blue "girl-stuff" and a brand new bed! In 1943, my dearest wish came true when my baby sister was born. When Sam came home from the Navy, he joined the State Police; he then married, leaving the west bedroom for Gloria to occupy. Grandma Lizzie passed on in l951; however, the east room remained "Grandma Lizzie's" until the end of the house's existence in 1985. We kids often insisted she returned, turning lights on and off and treading the squeaky stairs. (Couldn't be the age of the house, could it?)
That wonderful 95 year old house remained my home even after I married and owned my own. It was not until the terrible day--June 15, 1985-- that I really said good-by to the most beautiful house in the world. Mom, Gloria, and I watched tearfully as a monstrous bulldozer buried the tornado debris --the only physical remains of my childhood.
MY CHILDHOOD HOME
by Doris Robb
The house where I where I was born and grew up was built by my grandfather about l883. It stands 2 miles south of Albion on State Rt. 18.
Three porches lead into the house. We will take the small one on the East side. A heavy door opens into a large hall dominated by a stairway with carved walnut newel post and spindles . On your right are ceiling high sliding walnut doors opening into the parlor with its 10 foot ceiling, bow windows and shiny black granite fireplace. In my grandmother's day a vase of peacock feathers sat on the hearth . On the mantle was a clock and a 15 inch high glass dome that covered a stuffed song bird on artificial branches. The dome was not to be lifted from the round wooden base. Of course, one day I lifted it and very carefully replaced it. Evidently, I didn't ruffle any feathers as I never heard any repercussions.
When I was young, the furniture was upholstered in shiny black slippery horsehair. Cecil claims that every time he tried to kiss me, he slid off the loveseat onto the floor.
A door opens into the dining room which also has bow windows and six doors. On one wall are two small doors which open to the dumb waiter.
The bedroom seems smaller that the other rooms, perhaps because of the built-in wardrobe and the beautiful cherry desk secretary that reaches almost to the ceiling.
A door which leads into the bathroom reveals the built-in galvanized bath tub.
From here, we go into the kitchen which has 6 doors to the dining room, back porch, woodshed, back stairs, pantry, and bath room. The pantry has shelves to the ceiling, two tip -out flour bins, and a door that leads to the basement.
Upstairs are 4 large bedrooms, the one on the south and east with bow windows, and a smaller room at the back called the tank room.
This room at one time held a large galvanized tank providing running water by gravity flow to the bathroom and kitchen, The tank sprang a leak and was replaced once. After that our running water was obtained by a hand pump from the well, until electricity was available.
There were acetylene gas lights to replace kerosene lamps until about 1940 when electricity reached the rural areas. The gas lights burned with a bright, white glow. Neighbors said when my parents gave a party and every room was lighted, it was like a resort hotel.
My playroom was the tank room where my imaginary friend , Alma , and I played dolls or spent time reading.
But my real playground with my real pony, Loretta, was the pasture , the creek , the sugar bush , and the woods where we roamed.
FAVORITE PLACES IN MY CHILDHOOD HOME
by Evelyn Strasser
I could write many "favorite places" about my childhood home, west of Albion where the Vets Club is presently located. Placed on a 42 acre farm was the 13 room house which had 5 outside doors and enclosed porches on all four sides. I often reflect on how my mother and father always kept it clean, orderly inside and outside without the many conveniences of today. We all had our days at a time. I loved the many large maple trees lining the front yard and the one lone tall pine tree. We made syrup every year, sugared off in snow.
One favorite pastime was using the granary in the summer for my house. I had a kitchen, living room, and nap room- - all curtained off by my mother. She gave me some utensils, rugs, and odd pieces of furniture. My father made a table for me; and in the fall, all this was stored for another year.
My good friends were Marion Hochadel Marhoefer and Lou Ellen Fobes Rindo. We played house, had dolls, cut out pictures from Sears Catalog, drew pictures, created puzzles and games, and played school! Our version of arts and crafts was in creating all kinds of articles from the burrs which we gathered. Lou Ellen had a pony as did my brothers and I. We rode many miles., either on horseback or in a buggy or sleigh depending on the season.
My father became very ill with pneumonia. Dr. Umburn told him he would have to give up farming (he also carried the U.S. Mail) or his life would be shortened . Mother and Dad decided to sell the farm and move to Albion. I cried and cried, and cried some more the day we made the final move. It seems like it was yesterday.
My childhood days made memories never to be forgotten.