Christmas and Holidays in Reynoldson NY 1870-1970

Details of Christmas and other holidays such as Easter, New Years in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries in an isolated mill town in Northern New York

 

Christmas in Orson Reynolds House ca. 1880, Reynoldston NY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas In Reynoldston

Christmas in Reynoldston was celebrated in a very modest way during most of its history.   Few people had much money to buy gifts for Christmas.  For many of the men it was one of the few holidays they did not work and
was a time for socializing and drinking.  Families had somewhat larger meals, but at that time of year travel was next to impossible and had to make do with the same foods they ate throughout the year. 
 

 


Lillian Bordeaux Prue:   “Now, I can remember  one thing… at Christmas time there were an awful lot of families,  all the way up and I mean very poor families and Christmas time didn’t mean much to them because they never had anything. And we used to , the better off families, used to make things…mother used to make popcorn balls and  taffy and we would pick up all the toys that we could fix up.    We would fill a big sled with a box onto it and we would take that way up to the top of the hill to the poorer children and they were so pleased with it.  We gave them donuts…I can remember mother used to make little donuts and things that we would take up…you …”       Mr. Langlois:  Were you the only family that did this? 
Lillian Bordeaux Prue:  “Well the Reynolds and my family, were the ones who did the most of it.”  Lillian Bordeaux Prue   oral history interviews  1970  Interviewed by Bill Langlois and Robert H. McGowan Tape # 1


Delia Moquin:  “Yeah and then he (the Catholic Priest) would come up at Christmas time, between New Years and
Christmas to make our Christmas.” 
 

Delia Moquin August 24, 1970 


Mrs. Ann (Bordeaux ) Desparois & Ealon  A. Bordeaux  

Mrs. Desparois:  “Oh we had a Christmas tree.  It was simpler than it is today…but  it was decorated with different things we had on hand.”   

Mr. Langlois:  Your brother Gene said you didn’t have a Christmas Tree. 

Mrs. Desparois:  “Oh, we always had a Christmas tree.” 

Mr. Bordeaux:  “Oh yes…” 
Mrs. Desparois:   “We always had a Christmas tree.  As far as I know, we always had a Christmas tree.  We had home made stuff and knit stuff.” 

Mr. Bordeaux:  “Hang up your stocking and get presents…” 
Mrs. Desparois.   “And what you got isn’t what you kids get today.  You got an orange and some candy… “

Mr. Bordeaux:   “You were waiting for Santa Claus to come.” 

Mrs. Bordeaux: “ I believed until I was twelve years old.    I didn’t find out until then…well I heard my sister and my mother talking about getting some present the night before Christmas.  Reynolds’ (store) had everything. 
You look in the store and I’d say everything.  They had…” 
 

Mr. McGowan:   Were you taught about the reindeer then?  

Mrs. Desparois:  “Yes.”  

Mrs. Desparois:  “No  It used to be sacred times.  My grandfather Bordeaux was very religious…and he just lived it that all.   But they  did not have much trouble with their children because the children were always controlled by the parents.” 

Mrs Ann (Bordeaux ) Desparois & Ealon  A.. Bordeaux  oral history interviews January 1969 Interviewed by W. J. Langlois and Robert H. McGowan Tape 1  

 


Mr. & Mrs Clifford Berry 

“We had Christmas entertainment…  Well I can remember the staging.  I remember the staging.  We had…the Reynolds Lumber Company gave us the lumber to build a staging in school.  We had stage at the front of the school, where we put on a Christmas entertainment.  It was the only entertainment that they had at Christmas up there.   If I didn’t make  something, they would have had nothing.  We had a Christmas tree and we had presents…”

Mr. & Mrs. Clifford Berry  Tral history interviews tape 1 1970

 


 Mrs. Beatric Reyolds Beaman 

As I can remember we used to have our Christmas at home.  We all hung our stocking along the fireplace …the mantle …and we have our Christmas and then at noon we all go into my grandmothers and we’d have out Christmas dinner there and they’d have a tree, we didn’t have a tree ,and they’d have a tree in the afternoon and
Uncle Herbert and Aunt Bess would come up from Malone…they’d be up there and Uncle Newton and Aunt Delia come over and Uncle Frank would be there of course and we had the Christmas Tree there.

 Mrs. Beatrice Beaman oral history interviews Tape 3 1970