Descripton of home life in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Descripton of home life in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Clothing, food, home remedies, canning, gardening, hygiene in Northern New York ca. 1900,

Home Life

20/08/2011

 

Home Life

On the left Mrs. Freda Willcox, the bookkeeper, Reynoldson N Y

 

Many of the houses of Reynoldston provided little more than four walls, a floor, and a ceiling. Most families lived in a small company built houses, while the Reynolds family built two large, richly decorated homes, and the poor lived in cabins or log houses.

The one and a half story houses of the better paid mill workers such as Joe Bombard, Albert Bordeaux and Philias Moquin stood in the center of the community, lining either side of the road.
The style basic to all of these houses was a simple rectangle, either standing by itself or joined with
another rectangle to form a ‘T’. Shaped as they were, the ground story of most homes allowed
for at least two windows on the longer sides and one or two on the shorter sides; if a door was cut on one of the shorter sides of a house, it always replaced a window.In most houses, the steep roof
was covered with ragged cedar shingles, that formed the sloping walls of the second story rooms. Confined by this steep slope, second stories had room for one or perhaps two windows on either end. Although average homes were finished off with narrow clapboards, the sharp angles, rough construction and spotty or non-existent paint on these houses made them seem depressingly harsh and drab. Alike in their roughness and lack or paint, dwellings could be distinguished from one another only by slight variations in size and number of porches, sheds and out-buildings.


Mrs. Delia Moquin

(married in)St Helen’s Church

 (honeymoon)We went from there.  We went to Reynoldston..  And his brother had a dance for us that night.   And a dance right there.

 (brother-in-law) Henry Moquin.   And he lived where Gene (Bordeaux) lives now.    We stayed up there with his brother for six weeks… Then my husband got a  house on the other side of the bridge.   We lived in that for awhile and then he decided to build himself a house.   That house is in Reynoldston now.   Build a log house.  Wanted to build a log house.  There was enough timber in the back on the land to make a plan to build a log house.   He said I will have a home of my own anyway.  He proved that anyway.  He did build that type of thing.   That house by the river. 

(Who did you pay rent to?) The Reynolds.  All the houses around there.  People wanted to come there, the Reynolds would build them a house.

Mrs. Delia Moquin oral history interviews  1971 Tape 1 p.12


Tom & Jenny Campbell 

(back peddlers)    . 
Mrs. Jennie Campbell: Old Joe we used to call him.  Started to go back to the old country and he died on the way.  Sold clothing…after a while he begun to drive a cart you know…
  He’d carry it in suitcases on his back…..After a while he begun with a horse…Just clothing I think he sold…he used to sell suits of clothes and one thing or another.  (Joe) Once a month at least and he would stay over night here.  He was a nice old fellow.  We used to buy …God, he used to trust us….he used to trust quite a few….Like the Jendreau boys there, he’d trust them…that was four people.  (trading)  I never was much of a jockey.   I never traded horses…I traded horses once that’s all.

Tom & Jenny Campbell  tape 5 p. 3


Mrs. Lillian Bordeaux Prue 

All day.(Doing the washing)  She begin in the morning and when we got home from school, she was still scrubbing on the tub.  On the wood stove…in a boiler.  I think she had an old brass
kettle she used to heat her water in…later on she had a boiler…at first I can remember when she used to have that old brass kettle. (a boiler) It is an oval shape and it was copper.  We used to boil our clothes.  Oh yes they always boiled them. 
Everything but the colors….but the whites, and clothes, the towels and the underwear we all boiled. They scrubbed them first and then they boiled them and then they took them and put them into another suds-like to get some of the suds out and then they rinsed them.    So you can see that it was a long days work, it really was and it was a hard days work. (rugs) We used to weave them.  Most of the carpets that were then were woven.  You wove them yourself…You used rags that you were saving for a long time, what they called carpet rags.   And you say had trousers that wasn’t very good…well you would cut all the good pieces and  sew them together and then they would make a ball of that, different colors, and when they had enough, they would make a carpet and they had looms and they wove these carpets.  And they did that themselves and most of the carpets up there at that time was woven hand made carpets. Anything that was good and strong, good and strong.

Mrs. Lillian Bordeaux Prue oral history interviews Tape 1 p. 16 & 17


Tom Campbell

Old man Trim he used to come up through here with two kettles,  to break out the road in the winter time.   Two big  potash kettle.  We been here weeks at a time when there wouldn’t be a team go by not a team.  

Tom Campbell oral history inreviews 1970 tape 5 p. 1


 Eugene Bordeaux

Mr. Bordeaux:  They had to plow when the snow got too deep.   They used to take a kettle and put a team on it and drag it.  It kind of flattened the snow.  Big potash kettle.  Big as this.   Probably weighted seven eight hundred….People used to get in there too and ride in that kettle.  That was when I was a kid.   And then they began to get ploughs….horse ploughs.  Made out of timbers.   They called it the Michigan Plow.  That is the first plough that come around here, the Michigan Plow.   And it had wings on it to throw the snow out.  It was made out of hardwood plank.  You could put on five or six teams to draw it, it was heavy.  

Eugene Bordeaux oral history interviews  1969 tape 11 p. 10


Mrs. Lillian Bordeaux Prue

Well most of it was pork…most of the people had pork.  Unless, once in a while they had a chicken or something like that.  But it was mostly pork and mostly salt pork.  In the winter time, in the fall they used to kill their pigs.  And as long as it stayed cold, they had fresh, but the rest was all salted.   And they always planned on having pigs that were awful fat, because that was the thing and they cut it up in squares and salt it in big barrels. Oh , Hundreds (quarts canned)  with berries and all we used to pick a lot of wild berries then.  Of course then we used to pick a lot strawberries, raspeberries, blue berries and blackberries…An awful lot around Reynoldston and some other people canned a lot.

Mrs. Lillian Bordeaux Prue Tape 2 p. 3 & 5

 

 

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