Listen to and read the oral history interview with Beatrice Beaman about life in Reynoldston New York

Oral history interview with Beatrice Reynolds Beaman, daughter of Berton Reynolds of Reynolds Bros. Mill and Logging in Reynoldston New York talking about the history of the Reynolds Mill and life in Reynoldston in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries

Mrs. Beatrice Reynolds Beaman
 

Biographical notes provided by her at the time of her interview.

Born November 4, 1890 – born in Reynoldston in big house.  Delivered by Dr. Johnson from South Bangor.   Started going to school house when three years old.  Mary Taylor Lawrence (a cousin) was the school teacher.  Came to Malone in 1906.  Graduated from Franklin Academy in  1910, from St. Lawrence in 1915. Had to come home one year because of her father’s fire, helped him in County Treasurer’s Office, continued helping him until his term was up. 

Childhood

Very strict – yet remembered as comfortable.  Didn’t get to church.  Grandmother used to take them for Sunday afternoon walks, quoting the Bible.
“I   learned my Bible that way”  Grandmother brought up nieces, nephews, cousins. 
Grandmother the strongest influence  Reynoldston was all right when I was a youngster, but I  don’t think I could have gone back.”   (Yet she did, because of Dan’s sickness, keeping Grandma Reynolds’ house
for three-four years.  
Enjoyed Reynoldston the second time because “I’m a  country girl.”

Kept in contact with Gertrude and Hazel Bordeaux, Agnes and Harriet Bombard, Addie Butler, Florida used to go and see Billy Collins and Charlie Merrick while they were in nursing homes.

While in St. Lawrence  University didn’t feel uncomfortable  with girl from wealthier city families.   Felt her wealthy acquaintances were “very simple people.”  Her sister felt uneasy among richer city  people.  A member of a sorority at St.  Lawrence (Kappa Kappa Gamma). 

High school life rather than district school fitted her for college.  District school had fifty  people under one teacher, education hardly possible. Belonging to Phi Sigma at Franklin Academy, belonging to church fitted her for social life at St. Lawrence.   

Everybody in the family enjoyed a good joke.  If Beatrice heard a joke she always said “I must remember to tell mother.”  Early upbringing influenced most- made her more liked – “Never mind, Beatrice, you’re a good girl and Grandma will always love you.”  Beatrice’s disposition in
childhood was nasty.  Her grandmother made her more kindly.   
 

August 6, 1917 married Dan – was from Richville in St. Lawrence County, worked in a YMCA when they were married.Lived in Malone the longest.  Dan taught most in Waddington, Richville, Ogdensburg.  Clerk of Malone Board of  Education for several years.  Dan Beaman died January 13, 1964

 Family headquarters (his parents and then hers after her mother died in 1943).  Sold second house in 1962.  In Flanagan Hotel since late  1963. 

 After marriage – to a science teacher – (Dan Beaman) – moved about:  Lived in Chicago, ‘Waddington, Ogdensburg, Duane, Malone,  Richville, Reynoldston, Richville

Jobs she held – Deputy County Treasurer under her father –Occasionally substituted teaching for her husband 

Tried to bring children up to like simple things, to obey Children were: Teacher,   Housekeeper, Nurse, Civil Engineer 

Didn’t hold grandmother up as an example because she died before they were born.  

Remembers childhood as fun, games, people generally well  behaved, except for a few scraps among themselves.   

Mrs. Beaman saw her diet as being limited – cereal and  toast for breakfast so she ate with loggers (meat and  potatoes) 

Really poor – she doesn’t see people as poor – they had plenty of salt pork and potatoes, carrots and onions.  Didn’t see people in Reynoldston as being so poor as those in the city.  “I don’t think that in those days there were what you’d call poor people now” 

Gifts on New Year’s for French Canadians? 

Feels poor might have been insulted at gifts. 

Mrs. Orson Reynolds flowers:  Circle of flowers across drive from old house Two circular fences – one wooden, four feet in side that
a wire fence planted all around with sweet peas.  Circular beds of different flowers -pansy, portulaca- inside the bed of sweet peas.
Rose and lilac bushes at gates of the main circle. 
Old fashioned roses and asparagus plant in rear garden.

 TAPE 1                                                                                                                    Page 9

 Description of beginnings of the Reynolds Mill and background on Orson Reynolds and family; General overview of Berton Reynolds involvement; role and work in the mill and business; number of men who worked in the mill and logging camps in the early operation of the mill before 1905; description of skidding logs to the mill from the woods; background of workers; pay for workers at the mill; supplying the company store and workers; description of goods in the company store; Christmas celebration at the Reynolds and family diet; more on workers at the mill; more on drawing logs to the mill; Carpenters’ at the mill; measurement of wood;

 TAPE 2                                                                                                                    Page 26

Life in the community and going to school; attending high school in Malone; more on the work done by Berton Reynolds and the other Reynolds brothers; purchasing food and supplies for the company store; more on diet; pack peddlers; telegraph, telephone and mail service at the company store; more on the various jobs performed at the mill, bookkeepers etc.; description of horses at the mill; household help for the Reynolds family; more on community spirit; Berton Reynolds was an avid hunter; no churches in Reynoldston, but religious beliefs were strong; Dances at home and at the Bordeaux hall; Alcohol consumption; Indians; description of funerals;

 TAPE 3                                                                                                                    Page 42

 Funerals; religious camp meetings; travelling medicine shows; no weddings in Reynoldston,  just receptions and parties; Christmas celebrations at the end of the 19th Century; Christmas presents; clothing; mill and logging operations in the winter; description of early logging camps in the late 19th century; household furniture; local civic politics; Educational background of Berton Reynolds; early workers at the Reynolds mill; people living in Reynoldston; Native Indians in Reynoldston; more on the company store; more about the Reynolds Mill; herbal home remedies & medicine;

TAPE 4                                                                                                                    Page 60

More about home remedies; more about life in Reynoldston late 19th early 20th centuries; attending elementary school in Reynoldston; raising children; duties around home; midwives; early smallpox vaccinations; women’s hair; women’s jewellery; women’s clothing; men’s clothing; knitting; discussion of the Reynolds family homes at the mill site;

TAPE 5                                                                                                                    Page 73

Wash day and boiling water on stoves; wells for water; description of Reynolds homes and furnishings; stoves and heating the houses; hired help for the Reynolds women; men’s clothing; Roles of the Reynolds brothers in the mill and business operations; ironing clothes with metal irons; mice and rats as problems; family horses; family cleanliness; more on household furnishings; spices and drinks;

 TAPE 6                                                                                                        Page 90

 Details of washing clothes; women’s fur coats and clothing; clothing worn for bed time; Reynolds Mill company houses; social life and mores; Reynolds mill farm to support the business; Description of barns and buggies; recreation and summer camp; visits by ministers and socials for religions; description of holidays such as Easter; Description of Allen Bordeaux; more details of everyday life in Reynoldston at the end of the 19th Century; gardening and canning;

 TAPE 7                                                                                                        Page 107

More about religion and everyday life and learning about the Bible; details of daily living; description of family property; holiday travel; description of homes of poor people in Reynoldston; discussion of family philosophy and instruction as a child;

TAPE 8                                                                                                        Page 113

Description of family and background on them; relationships between brothers and family members; discussion of scrip money and the role it played in the early days of the mill; More about family members and stories; Reynolds financial involvement in the Malone Lumber Company; End of the Reynolds Brothers Mill and operations in Reynoldston;

TAPE 9                                                                                                        Page 126

Description of beginning of Reynolds Mill and the building of the homes; more on the family and its background; Family relationships;

Click on PDF  link  below to read the transcript of  Mrs. Beatrice Beaman  interview:

 

Transcripts

 

Click on Audio link to listen to interview:

Audio

 

Click on Audio link to listen to interview

 

Audio

 

Click on Audio link to listen to interview

 

 

 

Tape 1

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Audio

Audio


/public_html/reynoldstonnewyork/wp-content/Beatrice Beaman 1.mp3

Tape 2

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Audio

[audio:http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/02 Beaman 2.mp3]

/public_html/reynoldstonnewyork/wp-content/02 Beaman 2.mp3

Tape  9

 

Click on Audio link to listen to interview:

Audio

[audio:http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/Unknown album (13-09-2011 9-15-48 AM)/01 Beatrice Beaman Reynolds 9.mp3]
/public_html/reynoldstonnewyork/wp-content/Unknown album (13-09-2011 9-15-48 AM)/01 Beatrice Beaman Reynolds 9.mp3

 

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