Harold Fenlason
Winters Past

February 15, 1983

 


 

(Names and other words that could not be transcribed exactly are in italics. Unknown voices are referred to as ďmanĒ or ďwoman.Ē Comments, explanations, and additional names are in parentheses.)


 

Jane Dudley: . . . at Pocomoonshine Lake. Our program this morning has been titled ďPast Winters Remembered,Ē and Frank Fenderson, our vice president will be giving the program. I might add the year is 1983.


 

Frank Fenderson: You want me to start right off?


 

Jane Dudley: Yes.


 

Frank Fenderson: Well, (talking in the background) actually the way this thing was laid out, Iím not supposed to do anything. You people are supposed to do all the - the heavy work. I- I hope I can badger you into doing a lot of it. But, the - the title of the thing was ďWinters, Many Years Ago,Ē and if you - if you havenít already, if you will just be thinking of odd things that happened in the old-time winters, then everybody can contribute their - their little bit to that. I can start it off by - oh, two or three little things. I ran across one - not necessarily about winter - just the other day that I thought was pretty good. It was either in ďDowneast AncestryĒ or in ďSecond Boat,Ē that little magazine that the girls over in Machias put out, and I know everybody would like to know how to make a fast buck. And so, I found in here how it used to be done. This was in 1833, and there was offered a one cent reward for Lucians Cole, an apprentice of John Daniels, Jr. in Paris, Maine. Now, the apprentice had run away and there was an offering of a one cent reward if you could bring him back again, and it made the notation that there were many such rewards offered. So, if you wanted to make a fast buck back in 1833, all you had to do was bring back a hundred runaway apprentices and you could make a dollar. Thatís a little different from what it is now, but I thought you might be interested in that. I - I donít remember quite back to the 1800s. Some people say that I do but I donít quite. My - my memory stopped probably around 1915 or in that neighborhood. I can remember pretty well that far back, but not much beyond that. But, there are two or three things that stick in my mind about living in Calais, this was, in Milltown actually, the - the bad side of Calais. And, at that time, we didnít have too many automobiles. Matter of fact, people who had them put them in a barn or a shed somewhere and jacked them up and left them for the winter. Now, as far as the roads went, the roads were not plowed at all. They were broken out as the expression went. We had people with a big crush sled and they would take this sled and drive around they would beat down the roads somewhat so that you could travel by the horse sled. And, the remarkable thing that I remember was that there was plowing done, but we plowed the sidewalks. That was so people could walk.


 

Jane Dudley: Not the streets.


 

Frank Fenderson: Not the roads, no. Didnít plow any roads at all. Didnít need to because the horse sleds could go and theyíd get around all right, but you plowed the sidewalks, and I know in Milltown they had what we called a fire horse, and I even remember this one very specifially. It was a great bay or - we used to call him Silvie, and he was a famous fire horse. When they had the competitions in the summer time, this Milltown group of fire people always seemed to win because they had the best horse. And, among other duties for this horse was to plow the sidewalks. I can remember very specifically on Baring Street which is the street coming up, you know, from Calais, that this fellow would go around plowing and on Baring Street we also had a two room school house, covered grades one, two, three and four, and we had two charming ladies who ran that school. One was Viola McArthur and the other one was Annie Hughes. And, I - I was - I was talking to Howie Clarke the other day, and thatís the Howie Clarke, Sr., and I - we agreed that perhaps he and I were one of the - were two of the very few people who remembered Viola McArthur and Annie Hughes. Now those women had to get to that school and they lived some distance away so they had to walk on the sidewalks. And thatís why - one of the reasons why they had to have those sidewalks plowed - so those teachers could get there. And, I also remember that these - that these women were very skillful teachers. Annie Hughes in particular was a real dictator. Boy, you - you did as she said or else. I donít know what the else - or else would be but she slapped everybody anyway. Great, great woman. And, my memory is that their education was pretty good. I can still remember though the McArthur girl holding up the flash cards - you know, a whole stack of them - pulling one out - pulling one out and all in unison weíd say this is ďcow,Ē ďdog,Ē or whatever was on the card. And, sheíd do that over and over again and thatís how we learned words. Iím not so sure but what that was a good system. I - I often wonder with all these so-called educational improvements how we managed to learn to read and to write, particularly to write and do it reasonably well. Must have been something there in the teaching then. But thatís neither here or there about the - the old days. I - I want to speak about - all right I want to show you this. If you want - if somebody wants to look at this, I brought it up. Itís titled ďThe Way We WereĒ and itís 1908. Now, you may or may not have seen this but it describes Calais, St. Stephen, Woodland, Eastport Campobello and St. Andrews. And, the Calais section of it, I think is very good. It tells about a lot of people if you were here years ago, you would remember easily. I wanted to bring to your attention one man in particular whose name was Breault. I hope I pronounced that correctly, and this guy was an M.D., but that wasnít his claim to fame. He ran a telephone company, and this was in competition with the Bell System or whatever we had at that time. Iím not sure but what Jack can do this better than I can. But, this Breault was a real character and he - he was one - one minute the - acting as the doctor and the next minute heíd be running around with an arm full of wire stringing it up on posts and all that sort of thing. And, I - one favorite story I have about Breault was that - Doctor Gilbert who was a - maybe some of you remember was a - a doctor there and - eye, ear, nose and throat, they used to have at that time - not so many specialists as they have now. They studied everything. But, he was scared to death of riding in an automobile with this fellow Breault. (Indistinguishable words) He didnít know where he was going. He could have killed this fellow in a minute, and probably thatís right. I remember that as children on our feet in - this - Iíll have to preface this by - by Thanksgiving the streams and ponds were frozen and we went skating. Now, Iím positive that the weather is changing. Also very shortly after that we had snow and it stayed and that was that. Along in the spring, it went, but it was - it was there. And I - I want to speak about the footwear. We used to wear things called either shoe pacs or moccasins and as I remember it, these things were a single layer of leather with leather tops and they didnít wear out so much because we were always walking on snow.


 

Woman: Home made, at that.


 

Frank Fenderson: Yes. Oh, the - the - the moccasins.


 

Woman: Yes. They were home made.


 

Frank Fenderson: Yes, but they were a great - they were a great rig for snow. You needed, I think, probably three pairs of socks inside to keep you warm. That was all right. But, they worked. And - but I never see anything like that, now. Unless - - -


 

Jane Dudley: It sounds like theyíd be slippery, you know.


 

Frank Fenderson: Well - - -


 

Margaret: They were.


 

Jane Dudley: They were? Margaret said they were.


 

Frank Fenderson: Well, that could be. But, you didnít move very fast anyway. This was - this was leisurely living. So, I wanted to speak about that. And, I - I wanted - Iíll - Iíll have one more little thing and then Iím going to turn you people loose. I remember quite vividly Christmas when I was a young boy and I didnít realize it until many years later, but I suspect that my family was not too rich. You know. We werenít exactly in poverty and we didnít have any - of course we didnít have any food stamps or AFDC or any of that kind of stuff.


 

Woman: We didnít know about it.


 

Frank Fenderson: No. Thatís the exact thing I wanted to say. I never realized that I was poor. But, I guess I must have been. So, I want to tell you a couple of little stories about Christmas. One was - one was about the first time that I was old enough to go out and cut down a Christmas tree, and then of course - you didnít - nobody cared - you usually didnít have to worry about who owned the land, or anything. You just went out and cut down a tree wherever you knew there - one was. So, in any event, I went out and cut down a tree and brought it back very proudly. It was nicely shaped - it was all right. My mother, who was smart in a lot of things, looked at it, and she said, ďThat is a Scotch spruce. I wonít have it in the house. You donít know any better than that.Ē So, I got a very quick indoctrination on the difference between a Scotch spruce and a fir. I never made that mistake again. So, I - I - I did have to go out and cut another tree. I donít know what I - I threw the spruce (indistinguishable words) away somewhere. But, she nailed me in good shape. As I say, she was smart. Sheíd sometimes (indistinguishable word) you along , but she was smart. Then - of course every family had customs at Christmas, and I - I wanted to leave with you a couple of our little customs because I thought they were priceless. We - we trimmed the tree much with cranberries and popcorn and maybe one rather inexpensive set of lights. Thatís all we had. And, we put a star on top of it made of cardboard. I remember that every year one of our jobs was to re-do this star with the lid from tea packages. Remember those? And so we would re-cover this star - it wasnít too big - little bit of a thing like that. But that was how our - our real symbol of Christmas. And, we did that. I thought that was nice, and that this - this trimming was ok. I didnít see anything wrong with that.


 

Woman: (Indistinguishable words.)


 

Frank Fenderson: No, I didnít. Thatís right. Thatís right. Very good. And, so I - - -


 

Woman: (Indistinguishable words.)


 

Frank Fenderson: Yes, thatís right.


 

Woman: And as time passed, we used gum wrappers.


 

Frank Fenderson: Gum wrappers.


 

Second woman: My grandmother had one, too, and when I used to use gum - (indistinguishable words) gum wrappers.


 

Frank Fenderson: Oh, yes, to put it on, yes. I had one family custom that I have to leave with you. Every year I bought for my father the biggest candy cane that the Becket Company made. Now, Iím sure that they made a lot of the biggest, but as far as I was concerned, I never saw but this one. They - Becketís used to hang them on a string there in the windows and they were all sizes, you know, like this. I swear this one that I bought was that - that- that big. And, it was - it was a real, you know, big part of our Christmas, and for days my father, with his jackknife, would cut off little pieces and weíd all have a little piece of that peppermint candy cane. Never forgotten that and I thought it was a real event and a nice Christmas. Of course, one more thing, in our stockings and only at Christmas, as I remember it, we had one big orange.


 

Woman: Right down in the toe.


 

Frank Fenderson: Right in the toe, thatís right. And, I donít think we ever had another orange for a year.


 

Man: That orange was there for a purpose. That plugged up the hole in the toe.


 

Frank Fenderson: Thatís right. Probably thatís right. Now, that should give you people a start and I think those are about all the odds and ends that I have to talk about. Probably talk too long anyway which I do very easily. But, now, so letís have somebody give a few memories. Who wants to start?


 

Jane Dudley: Iíd like to ask a question. In Calais, did they have lamp lighters? How many of you remember Longfellowís lamp lighter?


 

Frank Fenderson: No, no.


 

Jane Dudley: Well, I grew up in East Orange, New Jersey, and these were big old Victorian houses with - the street was lined with maples and in the summer it was like an arch and in the fall they were gorgeous. They were sugar maples. And, I remember standing watching the lamp lighter come up the street. Now, I remember particularly one - one picture. It was snowing quite hard and I could see one - two lamp posts. One across the street and one just down in front of the neighborís house. And, I can remember standing next to the glass with the lace curtain behind me. I wasnít supposed to be fooling with the curtains, you know, so I remember that - being between the window and the curtain watching him. And, he was a little short man and I assume his ladder was wooden, and he carried this little wooden ladder which probably wasnít any higher than this and heíd stop and put his ladder there, and heíd climb up and heíd turn on the - I guess they were gas lights. And, then heíd climb down and heíd go on - go down to the next one, and I just love thinking of that because itís something you donít see any more. And, of course I lived in a populated area. I didnít know if they had a lamplighter - maybe they had one in Portland.


 

Frank Fenderson: Iím not sure. Jack, do you remember?


 

Jack Dudley: I do not remember any (indistingquishable words) The earliest street lights I can remember there were those arc lights.


 

Frank Federson: Arc lights, yes.


 

Jack Dudley: They had a piece of carbon. Once in a while the piece of carbon would stick and make the gap too wide and she wouldnít fire, but if you went up the pole and hit the pole with something, the jar would bring her down.


 

Frank Fenderson: Now, how did they get started at night - you know at - - -


 

Jane Dudley: How were they turned on?


 

Jack Dudley: They were turned on with the main switch.


 

Jane Dudley: That was later, then.


 

Frank Fenderson: Oh, yes.


 

Jane Dudley: When it was more sophisticated.


 

Frank Fenderson: I - I couldnít - - -


 

Jack Dudley: With a lamplighter, you must have had gas lights. (Indistinguishable words) They could have had - they could have had kerosene, (indistinguishable words).


 

(Frank Fenderson and Jane Dudley talking at the same time - canít be understood and transcribed.)


 

Man: This light out here.


 

Jack Dudley: This light right out here in the yard - out on that iron post, there. That was a street lamp that came from Dennysville. Original - that was an original street light.


 

Jane Dudley: Was that a gas light or no?


 

Jack Dudley: No, no. They didnít have gas down there - it was kerosene.


 

Jane Dudley: Kerosene.


 

Woman: Wasnít it gas because they (indistinguishable words).


 

Second Woman: You would have had natural gas probably, too, down there.


 

Jane Dudley: I always thought it was gas. Now -now, Iím going to have to find out whether it was kerosene.


 

Man: Up to about - about three or four years ago in Maplewood, right along side of East Orange, they still - they had the only gas lights in the United States.


 

Jane Dudley: Is that right?


 

Woman: Did they keep them - - -


 

Man: Iíve got - Iíve got a bunch of friends that live right there in Maplewood and theyíre generally talking about them, but I havenít phoned Virginia about them lately. I donít know whether theyíre still there or not, but I believe they might be. They keep them just for the novelty of it. Theyíre quite big. You - you remember them.

Jane Dudley: Yes.


 

Man: Quite big. (Indistinct word)


 

Jane Dudley: I think - - -


 

May: Ayuh.


 

Jane Dudley: Yes, I donít remember the size of the one that I remember.


 

Man: Quite big.


 

Frank Fenderson: Mary Williams has provided a couple pictures and you probably would like to look at them you know as - when we finish . One is titled ďClearing the Streets, February 1926,Ē and it shows a wooden snow plow.


 

Woman: Thatís South Street.


 

Frank Fenderson: Thatís South Street.


 

Woman: That there is.


 

Frank Fenderson: Yes. And, this other one says ďSouth Street in Calais, Maine,Ē and it - it shows the - the snow and the depth and what it looked like, and I - this - this is proof of - very good proof of what I told you - that in Calais in early days, we had snow - plenty of it. And, I - I do remember that - I had the job of shoveling a path wide enough for a horse sled to come in with wood - into the house. I canít say that I was - you know, thrilled about this, but my dad said thatís what you do and thatís what I did. I never thought much about that so thatís - I didnít have any plow. I just had a shovel. About like cutting up four foot edgings and sawing hard wood to keep the stove going. Those were chores, and they were chores to be done and they had to be done. Keep the wood box full.


 

Woman: They didnít have the streets plowed then.


 

Man: No.


 

Jane Dudley: What was it like in Alexander and Crawford?


 

Woman: Snow shoes.


 

Jane Dudley: Did you have them at school? Must have looked cute. You could keep them all outside (indistinct word) poke them in the snow.


 

Woman: Well, either snow shoes or skis. Skis all standing up in front of the school. (Indistinct words)


 

Jane Dudley: Did you wear skis when you were teaching? When did you start teaching? What year?


 

Woman: You mean in Alexander?


 

Jane Dudley: Yes, I was wondering Ď30s or - - -


 

Woman: Must have been Ď31 or - - -


 

Second Woman: About the first snow plow that they ever tried to come up through Alexander - John Black rigged it up, and he had a - two trucks for the - some kind of a big pole between the two trucks, and got over as far as Edgar Perkinsí and I think he was there about a week before he got unstuck and went back to Woodland again. And, then about the first that I can remember that we ever got a road cleared through was a Mr. Bell.


 

Other Woman: Oh, yes, I remember him - plowing up home.


 

Second Woman: And, he wasnít long clearing the road.


 

Other Woman: Had good roads, too. And, they were wide and - - -


 

Jane Dudley: Did he have a truck or a horse?


 

Woman: No, he had a truck.


 

Other Woman: They were snow covered but they were wide and


 

Man: He had that big Walter snow fighter.


 

Other Woman: Yes, he had a Walter snow fighter.


 

Man: He just stayed there (clicking noises)


 

Woman: Ayuh.


 

Man: Heíd stay there all night.


 

Woman: He had a (indistinct words).


 

Third Woman: Iíve heard my husband tell about shoveling the snow plow over West Ridge Hill, Cooper Hill, up by Catannís, you know, that hill, and that would have been probably like 1930 or something like that. They got word that the snow plow was starting from Elmer Grahamís, and there were two, one behind the other. One was supposed to push the other. And, he said that he and - well, quite a few of the men. Of course, he was just real young at the time went down and they spent just about all day shoveling. Then the - - -


 

Woman: Shoveling to get the snow plow through


 

Third Woman: Shoveling to get the snow plow through. The snow plows appeared and by the time they got them up over Cooper Hill and down the other side it was dark. So the men came in and stayed at his house all night and then the next day they went on and another crew shoveled them across the flats over there in Meddybemps.


 

Man: Thatís a fascinating story, yes.


 

Jane Dudley: Jack, what about how you used to come out here in the winter when you were a kid? How did you get here from Calais?


 

Jack Dudley: We used to take the train over to Woodland, and walk from Woodland - come out the South Princeton Road and down the lake and that way.


 

Jane Dudley: Did you walk on snow shoes?


 

Jack Dudley: All the way.


 

Jane Dudley: All the way from Woodland?


 

Jack Dudley: If the road was broken out (indistinct words) Youíd have to hit it just right. You might be able to pick up a ride on a sled with someone part way.


 

Woman: They used to haul wood in through. You could run - get a ride on them - when they used to haul wood to Woodland.


 

Jack Dudley: (Indistinct words) get a ride that way.


 

Jane Dudley: What was it like when you got here?


 

Jack Dudley: Hum?


 

Jane Dudley: What was it like when you came into the cabin and spent the night, or a few days?


 

Jack Dudley: Cold! (Laughter) You could look right out through between the logs. You could take a pail and leave it right here in front of the fireplace. In the morning when you got up, it was frozen. I was thinking, Harold mentioned the barns in Calais, I can remember on the main street, the street railway ran right down the middle of the street through the built up section of town and they plowed the sidewalks and probably was some shoveling done, too, and throw the snow over in the road. That was done on both sides of the street, and the street railway, they had a plow and when you wanted to go from one side of the street to the other, if you were standing on the sidewalk, you had to climb four or five feet over a snow bank and then you went down into the hollow in the middle where the railway was and then up over the next bank - over and down again on the sidewalk. When you were standing on one side of the street, you couldnít look across. The snow banks were so high.


 

Jane Dudley: Probably didnít see anyone all winter that lived across the - across the street.


 

Jack Dudley: (indistinct words) Doctor Breault in that book there that Sandy Ives has started up. They put out one on the Breault farm. Probably somebody here - - -


 

Man: Ralph bought it.


 

Woman: If you donít have a copy of it, I have a couple which I would be glad to give you one of them.


 

Jack Dudley: We have - we have a copy of it. Thank you.


 

Jane Dudley: We have one. Thank you.


 

Jack Dudley: And, of course itís interviews and most of the stuff is just as Ralph said, and he mentioned about somebody telling him about this - some crazy man down in Calais who was going to bring a telephone line up through there. Breault (indistinct words) ďNever will work up here,Ē he says. ďThe boys will shoot those things right off. (Indistinct words) I can remember some of those old (indistinct word) poles although I donít think thereís one left now. If there is I donít know where they are.


 

Jane Dudley: Lila Ayres Bridges told me there was one pole for years and years and years left in Charlotte and that itís just been a few years that itís disappeared and she just found out about it this year and she was so sorry it was gone. She has a cabinet in her little dining room over in Charlotte thatís about this high. Itís made of dark wood. I donít know what kind of wood. Do you, Jack? It has glass in here and I guess little doors down here. Her father made it and he made it from the old switchboard. She said that when she was a teen ager, she worked the switchboard in her kitchen. And, we have a picture of the switchboard thatís very, very cloudy. Itís dark. I donít know if we can get it in the newsletter or not. But, Harold, would you mind writing a little piece about that doctor and the - and the - his business there.


 

Harold: Oh yes. Oh yes.


 

Jane Dudley: And a little character piece about him and weíll put it in with the picture. I think that would be so nice.


 

Harold: Thereís pretty good information about him in here and I can amplify it. One thing as I remember it. I think this was perhaps in the 1920s when I worked with Fred Criss in the drug store down there. It seems to me that we had two telephones. One was a Breault - now, is this right, Jack - that the business would have a Breault telephone and the, I suppose, Bell telephone. And - - -


 

Jack Dudley: The Breault line - he had his line going some places where the - - -


 

Harold: The other places didnít go.


 

Jack Dudley: Eastern Telephone Companies.


 

Harold: Yes. Yes.


 

Jane Dudley: That was his name for it? Eastern Telephone?


 

Harold: No.


 

Jack Dudley: No, that was the - - -


 

Harold: No, his - his was Breault Telephone. He was a pioneer if there ever was one.


 

Jane Dudley: Wasnít the (indistinct name) grocery store - - -


 

Woman: (talking at same time) doctor in Princeton?


 

Harold: Well, yes, at - at one time he was the doctor in Princeton and then he - - -


 

(Several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: Someone told us the story


 

Harold: He was also a doctor in Eastport and a doctor in Calais.


 

(Several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Harold: Is that so. Yes. You have to tell us that story.


 

(Several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Jane Dudley: So they can hear you.


 

Woman: Well, Iím not sure. I donít like to say anything until Iím sure. Maybe January. You remember the practice in Princeton before he went to Calais?


 

Harold: Pardon?


 

Woman: Dr Breault.


 

Harold: Yes.


 

Woman: He did, didnít he?


 

Harold: Yes, Princeton and Eastport.as well, you know. Thatís recorded in this booklet that I have.


 

Jane Dudley: I donít know how many people know Ruth Broger in Calais, but sheís a very nice lady. Sheís quite famous now because she won - what was it? The Chamber of Commerce (indistinct words) something this year. But, anyway, Ruth remembers walking down the street with her - I think her pants were falling down. She was a little tiny girl and she was going to the store down the street for her mother and her pants were slipping and she said Dr. Dafoe - Breault (indistinct words) was walking towards her, and she said she asked him if he would pull up her pants for her. And, she said, he did.


 

Woman: Talk about the winters changing. They always used to have the ice all cut and in the ice house before Christmas.


 

Man: Christmas - Christmas vacation. Dad used to take advantage of it.


 

Woman: See.


 

Man: While us kids was home, weíd put up the ice.


 

Woman: Did you see the news on the television the other night where that island in the lake up there in Michigan - has never been able to get off that island in the winter, the ice wasnít thick enough.


 

Jane Dudley: They were living on the island and couldnít get off, and yet they couldnít get boats back and forth.


 

Woman: No.


 

Jane Dudley: The ice (indistinct words).

Jack Dudley: I can remember back when I was in high school coming out - lots of times at Thanksgiving you - you wouldnít have any snow. Youíd have very little. You could manage to drive out here. (Indistinct words)


 

(Several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: When I was in high school, there were quite a few people from Alexander who went - went to Calais High School and they - one time there was a big storm so that they couldnít get transportation - the parents or someone would come after them. Theyíd take turns, like that. And, they walked home, and it was 14 miles, and - oh, (indistinct word) the road a lot of the way, you know. There was no - - -


 

Jane Dudley: Did they walk on snowshoes, or - - -


 

Woman: I donít think so.


 

(Several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: Annie Foss was one of them. There was Perkins


 

TAPE TURNED OVER. SOME CONVERSATION LOST.


 

Jack Dudley: Fay. I remember Fay.


 

Frank Fenderson: Fay, that was Johnís son.


 

Jack Dudley: Yes, Fay Early, and then after he got through, why Jimmy Sprague had the (indistinct words). They originally used to cut in November.


 

Frank Fenderson: Yes.


 

Jack Dudley: And then people, for some reason or other, claimed - of course figured there was too much pollution from Woodland there. Never - Princeton never bothered. Princeton was a clean little town, but Woodland had the paper mill was why they didnít like it. And that was when they - they rigged up a plank or something there at the bridge, and they blocked that on that meadow on the Airline in the fall - early fall. Theyíd go on that and theyíd mow it - mow all the sedge and meadow hay and what-not. Mow it right down. First year that they cut there, they didnít do that and when they put the water up, they couldnít get the water up high enough so when they cut the ice, the ice was all - (indistinct word) in it, you know. Big one. Because they didnít have too much water over that meadow. Afterwards, they mowed it and then when they closed the dam, it would bring her up and theyíd get enough water so that - in that area - the vegetation wouldnít get up into the ice when they pulled it up. Yes, that ice house was there - I donít know, there may be some of it still there.

Woman: Kenneth used to cut ice way back - they made a machine frame for cutting the (indistinct word) and they sold it and I needed ten pounds and I think they were tempted to buy a bag of ice.


 

Frank Fenderson: I - I - I have one more little story and I donít know whether this was around here or not., but it was about a - a fellow in this small town and he was a little on the foolish side, you know, and most small towns have it down pat, and he - he was kind of crazy and a visitor came in one time and he asked what on earth can this fellow do. And, the fellow stood up and said very proudly, ďI can saw ice to beat hell.Ē And, that was the story, and the way they did it, they had a long saw with two handles and after they started, they sawed like this. And, you can just imagine the picture of this town fool walking up and down at a great rate and that was his claim to fame. He was proud because this ice saw didnít rust. Thatís how he expressed it anyway.


 

Jane Dudley: Jack, what type of saw did they use here?


 

Jack Dudley: A two man saw.


 

Jane Dudley: They had to cut it - - -


 

Man: You know what


 

(Voices in the background - canít be transcribed.)


 

Jane Dudley: Is that like a pit saw?


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Jack Dudley: No, a pit saw has a handle on both ends.


 

Man: (Indistinct words) has a handle on each end. One fellow down below and one fellow on the lip. The ice saw had the handle up this way and no handle on the other end. You better know when (Indistinct words)


 

Woman: In other words, we have a man in the pit.


 

Man: Yes. (Two or three other men talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Other Man: I want to get back to the telephone. This Doctor Breault - - -


 

Woman: Breault.


 

Other Man: He evidently thought there was a great need for communication between neighbors, but there was a need for communication that hasnít been spoken of. A few years ago (indistinct words) and you listened and you could tell well, thatís Mr. Brownís team and thatís Mr. Jonesí team because every team had itís own distinctive set of bells. And so, by listening it was just as good as - - -


 

Jane Dudley: Sleigh bells, they would be, wouldnít they?


 

Other Man: - - - tell who was coming.


 

Jane Dudley: Horse bells?


 

Woman: On a - on a big team, it would be (indistinct words)


 

Jane Dudley: We have, you notice, the bells that hang by the door outside. They came from Vanceborough. Did Jack ever tell about the story of the bells? Why donít you tell them about the bells out there?


 

Jack Dudley: No. You tell them.


 

Jane Dudley: And whose bells they were and Santa Claus on the roof. Tell the story. Thatís a wonderful story.


 

Jack Dudley: This - this article that came out in the Yankee Magazine - a short article - and it was written by the editor, Sam Hale, and he talks about Christmases they had when he lived in Vanceborough and they were - and on Christmas Eve theyíd be all sent to bed and told to stay there and then later on theyíd hear sleigh bells off in the distance. Louder theyíd hear them. They kept getting closer and then finally theyíd be up on the roof, and then thereíd be some stomping around and they were told if they moved or got out of bed, why theyíd be shot, but anyway it ended up on this night - their father was doing it, of course. He got up there on the roof and he = there was snow or ice up there some ways, he didnít realize. And he hit that and he went down and he let some oaths out of him or whatnot and then they rushed to the window and that was the end of the story. So, when I read - - -


 

Jane Dudley: (Indistinct words)


 

Jack Dudley: I wrote down there to the Yankee Magazine and I told Hale, I said probably the sleigh bells that were used by Hale are hanging up by my back door because I bought those from Roger Hale. That would be (indistinct word) father up in Vanceborough.


 

Jane Dudley: In fact you lifted them off the wall even when you bought them. And, so - so - so what did Hale have to say? You said you would go out on Christmas Eve and ring them for him?


 

Jack Dudley: Well, I said Iíd give them a shake for Christmas Eve for him.


 

Jane Dudley: And that he should be listening. And, he wrote back and what did he say? ďI heard them,Ē or something like that.


 

Jack Dudley: Well, I can remember not exactly a winter story, but almost winter. Back when they had wharves in Calais that were being used, and the saw mills were still running up in Milltown, they would haul lumber down and pile it up on the wharves. And then theyíd load it onto a sailing ship, and there were always a number of sailing ships there. Of course the local lumber companies owned quite a few. They would tied up there at the wharf for the winter. Of course, they would be frozen in. Well, about the first of March theyíd take a crew down and they would load them - put the lumber on them. Because what they wanted to do, they wanted to get that lumber off that wharf before the first day of April - all they could because if it was there on the first day of April, it would be taxed by the city, but if it was in the boat, and the boat was out in the - and they used to go down there, and if the ice wasnít - of course they didnít have ice breakers in those days. Sometimes theyíd get over - I have a picture here somewhere of the - I think it was the Kickapoo. She came up there once and she ran up on the ice over there on the St. Stephen side and she got up on there so high she couldnít get back in. She had to stay there until the - well, I guess they used dynamite. I can remember them using dynamite down there on the wharves in Calais at that long even wharf blasting a channel out to where the ice breakers opened it up out there so they could get that boat out and away from the wharves before the first of April.


 

Jane Dudley: To save money.


 

Jack Dudley: To save money. I have a picture of myself taken down there. I donít know who took the picture.


 

Jane Dudley: You can tell itís you, though.


 

Jack Dudley: John Martinís in it and Tony Pasani.


 

Man: Oh, yes.


 

Jack Dudley: Tony used to run the place there where Art Keck used to have.


 

Man: I remember Tony.


 

Jack Dudley: (indistinct word) his wife. Yes.


 

Man: There was another Pasani, Omoro, Tonyís younger brother, and he gravitated to Boston and I remember when I first went to Boston and worked on a soda fountain, this Omoro Pasani worked on the same fountain and we had a great time.


 

Jane Dudley: Mildred, what do you remember when you were a little girl in the winter?


 

Man: (Indistinct words)


 

Mildred: Well, I - I remember my father taking a deerís foot one time and went all around - made tracks in the snow outside to make us think Santa Claus had been there. We never had a Christmas tree.


 

Man: (indistinct words)


 

Jane Dudley: You didnít have a Christmas - - -


 

Mildred: No we hung our stockings but we didnít have a Christmas tree.


 

Jane Dudley: In those days, did other people have Christmas trees?


 

Jack Dudley: Oh, born and brought up in Milltown.


 

Mildred: Not that I know of.


 

Man: Yes, sure.


 

Mildred: I donít think anyone (indistinct words)


 

Woman: Itís very recent - - -


 

(Several people speaking at the same time.)


 

Man: (Indistinct words) if I can orient this right.


 

Mildred: (Indistinct words) to get an orange. Well, thatís the way it was. We didnít (indistinct words)


 

Man: This wouldnít be the old grist mill.


 

Mildred: (Indistinct words) on the Fourth of July.


 

Jack Dudley: I donít know. I was thinking that was the upper dam. I donít know.


 

Man: Yes, could be. Yes.


 

Jane Dudley: My mother got a potato doll one Christmas, and she said she hadnít known until she got that potato doll that they were kids. She said all she got was the potato doll and (indistinct words) that was something (indistinct words) It breaks my heart every time I think of it. When I was a little girl she had all these dolls all set up for me, you know. I guess maybe not (indistinct words).


 

(Men talking at the same time as Jane Dudley - canít be transcribed accurately but something about a sawmill and itís location.)


 

Woman: I didnít get - - -


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed. Men continue talking while next woman is speaking and canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: The last (indistinct word) before Christmas, we bought a camp. It was in the woods in Dyer, and no electricity and no indoor plumbing and oo-wee. A log cabin and weíd go up there every Christmas and spend Christmas up there. Weíd cut a tree and decorate it, by all home-made things. The first year I made some of those salt and flowers ornaments (indistinct words) And each year weíd add a little something to the tree (indistinct words) hand-made ornaments. The tree had no purchased ornaments whatsoever on it. No lights. Weíd string cranberries. Weíd string pop corn. We made garlands from - the construction paper. So the entire tree was decorated all - which would be the memories from my childhood.


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: So itís really funny. The first thing I did was get rid of all my life. I gave them away - everything that was in the house. I gave away all my life. I gave my daughter most of my decorations, and - so that is new history coming.


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Second Woman: I feel very funny. Iím - well I guess about probably one of the youngest ones (indistinct words) Christmas for me was back in Indiana. That was home, and we used coal. The area I grew up in was a coal area, and my mother said they always - they always heated with coal and in the fireplace grate, youíd put coal in there like you do wood. And, there was a big black walnut tree in the yard, and my mother says to me that she did the same thing that I did that at Christmas time you went out and took the hammer and tried to break those black walnut shells and pick out the - the - for the Christmas cooking and the shells are still as hard as they ever were. That when the tree was - that when theyíd fall off the tree, and theyíre rather large. Theyíre about this big around and theyíve got this green husk thing on there. It turns brown - when it hits the ground it bruises real easy and such, and my grandfather had an old Model - I donít know - Ford. It was an old square looking thing, and when they built the garage they put cement troughs that the wheels went in to drive to the garage. You had a whole - you had these troughs, so you lined up all these - - -


 

Woman: Indistinct words.


 

Second Woman: Yes, - lined them up in these troughs and youíd have to back that car out over those things and then we had to go pick them all up (indistinct word) We went home for November and December. These were - this was - my father was an army officer and we went home for holidays and back in Indiana was home, and my grandparents were - well, my grandmotherís been dead for 14 years and she was 94 when she died, so they were in their 60s before I was ever born. And - so they were always very old, you know in my growing up time - they were up - and these were the things that were done without fail every year. You - you had to have black walnuts and of course being the youngest one, I got stuck with the job of the hammer and the - - -


 

Jane Dudley: We always had dates with peanut butter in them and then you rolled them in sugar and that was one of them - the children got, you know. Did you ever taste them?


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Jane Dudley: Did you hear that question?


 

Other Woman: Does anybody remember (indistinct words)


 

Woman: Yes, we had them. They had little - little metal fingers hooked on the branches (indistinct words) But, I had that in Germany - in - in Italy. When I went to Italy, I was seven years old, and they didnít have lights on their trees and you had candles that clipped on the branches.


 

Jane Dudley: Really.


 

Other Woman: I always thought they would have caught fire.


 

Third Woman: You had to watch them.


 

Woman: They didnít have electric ones?


 

Woman: I donít know. We had electric in the Philippines that we lived in.


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: Itís a wonder they didnít all burn down.


 

Jane Dudley: When you donít have the candles lit. I suppose it just sat there and you watched the tree and then you blew them out.


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Jane Dudley: (Indistinct name) did you have candles on your first trees?


 

Woman: Yes.


 

Man: Always say yes.


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Jane Dudley: Ellie Sanford has them on her tree but they only - you know, theyíre very careful with them.


 

Woman: We had, I think, three when I was a kid. I wish I had them now.


 

Jane Dudley: Three what?


 

Woman: Three of those little cans you clip on with (indistinct words)


 

Jane Dudley: We used to hang - my mother used to hang cornucopias filled with hard candy that when people came to visit, theyíd all carry home some. This - this - when we were living down in Belgrade - Jack and I were down in the Augusta area for three years - I got very much in love with the woods in that particular area, so I collected all this stuff and got into natural crafts. So, I had a tree where I made things and every one who came took home a present. You know, from the tree. They could pick something from the tree. I havenít done that since I moved up here, but I thought - I think that would be fun to do again. I think Iíll try it for next year. We had a low ceiling. This ceiling is - a little bigger tree. Youíd need more stuff. Thatís the - - -


 

Woman: When did you make all that stuff?


 

Jane Dudley: Well, Jack was going to the office every day and I was alone, and I had all kinds of time.


 

Woman: Oh yes, but now, you have - - -


 

Jane Dudley: Oh, now - - -


 

Woman: Youíve got such a large - - -


 

Jane Dudley: I know it.


 

Woman: Youíve got such a large group.


 

Jane Dudley: I have too many things I want to do. Thatís - - -


 

Woman: Too many people.


 

Man: Is anybody here familiar with Grand Lake from that period, West Grand? West Grand.


 

Second Man: Yes, I (indistinct words)


 

Woman: Harold did, yes.


 

Man: I came across that the other day and I canít (indistinct words) taken up there.


 

Second Man: Whatís the name of (indistinct words)


 

Man: I canít remember which one it was. There were several of them.


 

Different Man: Salmon, Salmon Lake. Yes, sir. I think there - thereís one of those boilers - as you say there was two or three of them on the lake there. But thereís one up for compasses (indistinct words) goes through the thoroughfare - swings around to the, oh, the - - -


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.) (Two simultaneous conversations that can be transcribed.)


 

Woman: I think you got a little mixed up with the kind of cording I meant. I meant cording like in the old cord bed.


 

Man: Whatís the lake that runs into that? (Indistinct words)


 

Jane Dudley: A bed. Yes.


 

(Several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Other Man: Wabassus


 

Man: Wabassus Yes, right above Wabassus3. One of those - - -


 

Other Man: (indistinct words)


 

Man: Thatís right, yes. Because that flowed (indistinct words)


 

(Several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Man: Old man Dennyson used to be keeper there.


 

Frank Fenderson: (indistinct words) called a spool bed and itís (indistinct words)

(Several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Frank Fenderson: And, thatís when they used to be threaded with cording. And, at one time my mother bought a mess of three eighths rope as thick as - I still have that hanging - that rope hanging around. Itís probably rotten by now. But, we strung up this bed. I tried to sleep on it. Thatís the most uncomfortable bed that anybody ever could find.


 

Jane Dudley: Is that worse than the floor?


 

Frank Fenderson: What?


 

Jane Dudley: Is that worse than the floor?


 

Man: (indistinct words) That probably is about an 18 foot flume.


 

Frank Federson: Well, I guess maybe


 

(Several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: What kind of under tick did you have on it?


 

Frank Fenderson: What?


 

Woman: What kind of tick (indistinct words)


 

(Several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: We used to have a straw tick. You put a straw tick on it and then if you were lucky you had a feather bed to go over that.


 

Frank Fenderson: Oh, that was probably it, then.


 

(Several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: We had an old cord bed out at camp - one that my great grandfather made, and I donít know (indistinct words).


 

(Several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Man: That was before the outboard motor.


 

Other Man: I guided up there, but after we had the motors. We rowed up there - paddled fishing, but we had the motors to come home with.

Frank Fenderson: I never saw that one, but I have a picture of the one thatís (indistinct words) Yates (indistinct words - several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed) - much smaller than that. Itís called The Idler and I have a picture of that. A fellow by the name of Everett Campbell used to run it - wood fire - steam.


 

Man: This is a big boat.


 

Other Man: Yes, a big boat.


 

Frank Fenderson: (indistinct words) no I donít (indistinct words) I think that next meeting Iíll bring down some of those - Iíve got quite a few of Grand Lake Stream and the Princeton area.


 

(People talking in the background - canít be transcribed.)


 

Jane Dudley: I think this has been lots of fun.


 

Frank Fenderson: Yes, it has.


 

Jane Dudley: We should have more discussion meetings.


 

Harold Fenlason: (Indistinct words) for the next meeting will be very similar. People - we must caution them now to please bring (several people speaking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Jane Dudley: Harold is going to tell us about next meeting. He wants to caution you about something.


 

Harold Fenlason: Well, as you probably remember from the newsletter, the next meeting all members are requested to bring an antique article of some kind, and then be able to speak about it and - and, you know, describe how it affected early living. I can give you a few examples. I had some of mine that I wanted to bring. I wanted to bring a flax comb which I think is a fascinating thing - a very rough board about that long and about that wide and itís got spikes all up in it and it - what they did, they took the wet flax and threw it over these things and pulled and, you know, after this - When you stop and think of the beautiful linen that came out of that, itís just unbelievable that it can be done. I - I thought that might be a thing to bring. I - I - I also wanted to bring a pair of skates that my father made out of some files - a couple of old files and he made skates out of them. And, I had one or two other little things, but this is a sample. Most everybody must have some kind of an old -


 

Jane Dudley: And, if they donít, go out and find a rock or something. Something.


 

Harold Fenlason: So, next meeting, if you and tell everybody else who you might know thatís coming, bring an old thing to talk about. Itís kind of a - like a kidís show and tell. I think it will be fun.


 

Woman: I have some things in a box here that I could start circulating if you want to. Itís needlework and it shows what they did before they had sewing machines and they had to sew by hand.


 

Jane Dudley: Oh, look at this dear, dear cap.


 

Woman: Iíll start and pass these around. Weíll start over here. These old ladiesí caps.


 

Jane Dudley: Arenít they beautiful.


 

Woman: I suppose my great grandmother made those. Didnít she, Mama, or maybe Grandma embroidered them. I donít know.


 

Jane Dudley: Oh, how beautiful.


 

Woman: Thatís what they wear in pictures saying their prayers.


 

Other Woman: Yes, right.


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Jane Dudley: Mildredís grandmother made these.


 

Third Woman: Isnít that amazing.


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: They used to wear them - what - wear them to (indistinct words).


 

Man: What is the material? Is that what they call crinoline?


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: I donít know whether itís crinoline or muslin.


 

Other Woman: I think itís muslin more likely.


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: My grandmother made that lace on that. Itís done with rick rack and her needle and thread.

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Man: Is that tatting?


 

Woman: No, itís rick rack done, and needle and thread.


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: She made the lace on that, anyway. You see, itís made with rick rack and needle and thread.


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Other Woman: Sheís got the one with the big shuttle where you can really see what youíre doing. You find them in the - - -


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Woman: And, this was what the little boys used to wear. My motherís brothers. And, his mother made them. (Indistinct word) all these ruffles by hand, and - - -


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Jane Dudley: (Indistinct words) very cold the other night. Iím making these - I make these for gifts, and I hope - I hope (indistinct words) make everything all the time. I hope I can get a lot made for Christmas.


 

Woman: That was a boyís (indistinct words) That was my motherís brotherís - - -


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Jane Dudley: And how nicely it was kept. Look at - - -


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)


 

Jane Dudley: I made - I made - Iím an awful show-off. Iíve been trying to find, and I thought Iíd have it here when Nancy comes in case they want someone with a (indistinct words)


 

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed. What I can understand of the remainder of tape, it is just everyday conversation - bits and pieces about this and that - nothing to do with genealogy or local history.)