Oral History Cover Sheet
Narrator:William Joseph Bradley
Interviewee: Jodi Stone
Place of Interview:Mr. Bradley’s home on Fish Street, Millerton, New York
Date of Interview:July 29,1987
Summary:Parents, his children, Lakeville School, his teacher and classmates, grandparents and
Evarts family, property owned from Belgo Road to Ore Mine Road to Rt. 44, English ancestors, Nathan Bradley and Hammonassett River, Nathan’s Pond, family homestead built in 1722 just below corner of Belgo and Reservoir Road, spring across the road belongs still to Bradley family, bird sanctuary owned by Wm. B. Reed, location of Wm. B. Reed house, Bradley Corner, how Belgo got its name one version, west Main Street of Lakeville as he remembered it, why moved to Millerton, the Depression, Fred Hotchkiss, Oakhurst Restaurant, Millerton politics, Tax Collector, Village Board, Mayor, his duties as mayor, Capt. Nathaniel Everts’ sword and its history, his burial place, use of Bradley property on Belgo Hill, snowstorms as a child, childhood fun, description of Ore Hill Mine and miners, games and sports.
Property of the Oral History Project, Salisbury Association at the Scoville Library,
Salisbury, Connecticut 06039
This is Jodi Stone interviewing William Joseph Bradley on July 29,1987, at his home on Fish Street in Millerton, New York. He was born May 18,1899.
WB:White Plains, New York
JS:What brought you up here?
WB: My father owned the farm. His family owned the farm, and he bought off the brothers and sisters; the other people who inherited it. He took a little farm, and came up here. He thought he’d like to go farming, so he came up here. I believe he worked on the railroad for some time because he was in Poughkeepsie for a while, and he moved to White Plains. That’s where I was born, and when I was 13 months old, we moved up here to Lakeville, to the farm in Lakeville. We lived there for twenty some years. Then in 1921,1922 I think it was when he sold the farm to John Robert Taylor. They owned it for some time, and they eventually sold it. It’s been sold again to Khaki Hoffman. They have done some extensive remodeling on the old homestead.
JS:Do you have brothers and sisters?
WB: I had a brother; I am the only survivor of the Bradley family. I had a brother Orville Bradley who was named for my grandfather, Orville Gridley Bradley, but he was Orville Pierce Bradley. My mother’s maiden name was Pierce. I had two sisters who married twin brothers, Ethel and Mary Bradley married Bill and Frank Chase. Mary had three children, and Ethel had one child who is still alive and living in Florida. One of sister Mary’s daughters, my only niece, lives in Tivoli, New York. Her family lives there. Gordon’s family, he’s the one in Florida; he has two sons; one in Hartford and one in Florida.
JS:Who are your children? What are their names?
WB: My oldest son is named Travis Pierce Bradley. He lives in South Hampton, Long island. He is retired from the New York Conservation Department. He is married to his second wife. He had two boys and a girl by his first wife. He had no children by the second wife. She had three children. My next oldest daughter Joan is married to William Riley III of Sharon. She’s an RN and she works at the State Hospital in Wassaic, New York. My next oldest daughter Janet lives in Los Vegas, Nevada. She was married. She just lost her husband recently. She had three daughters and a son. She had four children. My next oldest is my son Roger Bradley. He’s married and lives here in Millerton. He’s employed by Northwestern Van Lines, Arnoff Moving & Storage. Then I have one daughter Elizabeth who lives in Houston, Texas. She had five children, four daughters and a son. Only two of them are married. That’s hers. I have a daughter Marsha who lives in Los Vegas; she just lost her husband. She had one daughter. I have another daughter Sandra who is married and living in Manchester, Conn. She had five children, I believe.
JS:That’s a big family.
WB: Then my youngest daughter Baby is married to John Walters. She lives in Sharon, Conn. She works at the Sharon Hospital. They just bought a new home in Sharon. They are very happy. They have two children; a son and a daughter both married. As far as my family goes, we stopped right there.
WB: I guess so.
JS:When you were a boy here, where did you go to school?
WB: I went to school in Lakeville, in the Lakeville School. I was in the first grade to enter the new high school where the Post Office is now. It was actually built the year I went to school 1905. When I started school, I was six years old. The new school had just been finished. A former school was where the Masonic Lodge is now, the Academy there, called the Academy. Right across from that, across a driveway there was the Catholic Convent School.
JS:Who was in school with you? Do you remember? Who was in you class?
WB: Oh quite a few in that class. I have a picture of it.
JS:Can you remember any names?
WB: Oh yes, I remember quite a few names. For the boys I have Harold Evers, and Philip Everts. Philip Everts and I were the same age day to day. We were born in the same year and the same day. Of course, he’s in the Everts clan in family tree, and we are related, cousins, Harold Hubbard, Leslie DuFour, Katherine Silvernail, Gladys Osborn, oh my goodness. I can’t remember them all.
JS:Do you remember who your teacher was?
WB: Yes, Bessie Argall was one of my teachers.
JS:She’s related to the Paul Argalls?
WB: Yes, she’s Paul Argall’s aunt. She’s married to the minister Dann, Rev. Dann.
JS:Is that anything to Evelyn Dann?
WB: I don’t know. I know what’s her name who plays the organ at the Methodist Church. (Evelyn Dann) She just…
JS:Yes, she just retired. I can’t remember her first name.
WB: Evelyn, her father.
JS:Now tell me about your family going back. I understand that the Bradleys have been around
here forever, and related to the Evarts. That’s Jo Evarts family, too?
WB:Jo Evarts’ family comes in there, yes.3.
JS:So, who were your parents?
WB: My parents were William Bradley; William P. Bradley owned a farm there.
JS:And your mother?
WB: My mother was Elizabeth Pierce Bradley.
JS:And they were born here? No, you said your father…
WB: My father was, yes. His whole entire family was born here.
JS:How far back can you go; great grandparents?
WB: My great grandparents, I didn’t know them, of course.
JS:They were farmers your great grandparents?
WB: Oh yeah, they owned a lot of property along with the Evarts family. My great grandfather married an Evarts and that’s how we got into the Evarts line, and before that I don’t remember.
JS:Now you keep saying all that land. What land? Where is it?
WB: It covers the entire Belgo area, Ore Hill area, and up as far as Mount Riga up as far as the lakes, a few thousand acres. It was all the property between the two roads Belgo Road and 44 to Ore Hill. As you go through Ore Hill on the right-hand side, do you know where Ore Mine Road is?
WB: There is a yellow house on the right-hand side and there is another one just across the intersection there. They were both Evarts homes. They owned all that property up there, even mining rights. That was a land grant from the King of England.
JS:To whom your great grandfather?
WB: To one of the Evarts, I believe. I’m not sure. I don’t think it was a Bradley because Bradleys married into the Evarts family. That’s how they came in there. The first Bradley that came over here came over here in 1600 and something. There were two brothers Nathan and James Bradley came over from England. They were supposed to have landed in New Haven, but instead they landed in New London. They walked the entire distance from New London to New Haven across the state of Connecticut. Nathan Bradley was credited with discovering the source of the Hammonassett River.
WB: Yeah, Hammonassett River. At the head of the Hammonassett River there’s a pond, I don’t know how large it is, but it is still on the map; it’s called Nathan’s Pond, (2011 It is still on the Ct. Map.) and it is named for Nathan Bradley. He was supposed to have been a great bear hunter. He killed a great many bears according to the genealogy. You’d have to read it; I couldn’t tell you all about him. But that house, the old homestead, they finally settled in Guildford, Conn. That’s where they settled when they came to this country. The old homestead up there was built in 1722.
JS:The one up on Belgo.
WB: Yes, where Khaki Hoffman lived. Do you know where that is?
JS:Yes, it’s at the corner of Belgo and Reservoir Road.
WB: Yeah, but just this side of Reservoir Road on the left. That big house, they remodeled the whole thing. There’s a little pond across the road. Well, that pond across the road is drying up, and it has been for quite some time; there’s not much water coming in there. There’s a spring on the property near the homestead that in the will, as long as there’s a Bradley alive, that spring belongs to the Bradley family. It can’t be touched; it can’t be converted or diverted, or anything. Anybody who owns that house has the rights to that water. Well, what happened to that spring? Somebody bought the lot that that spring is in. I guess they thought they owned the spring because they dug a big hole right near it, and they shunted the water to fill up that big hole in the ground. The spring is practically dried up now. I don’t know if anything can be done about it. So Khaki Hoffman had their water tested, and they said it was a contamination; they drilled a well. Now they have good water there; there’s always good water up on that hill. What else can I tell you?
JS:You were telling me about a bird sanctuary.
WB: Oh yeah, that is just above the old homestead there. It is on the right-hand side, and it’s a triangular piece in there, and goes back between 5 and 8 acres. I am not sure exactly how much there is there. That belonged to William B. Reed; he was a member of the Bradley family because his middle name was Bradley. He lived where, well you turn going to Indian Mountain School, you leave 44, that big place on the left-hand side there. I don’t know who lives there now. Wagner lived there at one time, then he sold it to….
JS:Peter Gott lives there.
WB:Peter Gott lives there?
JS:Well, if you mean right at the corner of Indian Mountain and 44? It used to be Tom Wagner’s
WB: No, the next one, the big yellow place on the left-hand side, beyond that.
JS:Going toward Lakeville?
WB: Just before you go down the hill. I believe that Ann Chase used to live there, didn’t she? 5.
JS:Yes, she did. That’s right.
WB: That’s the property. Dr. Cadman had it at one time.
JS:It was a Cadman house.
WB: That’s right. That was originally the William B. Reed house. He owned some property up in there. He declared it a bird sanctuary. I guess he was quite a bird lover. He fenced it all in, and No Trespassing signs there, and I told you about the gate the other day.
JS:Tell me again.
WB: A big white board gate and on each board on the gate he had letters and on top of it, it said Audubon Park. The rhyme goes as follows “Don’t shoot the birds; the little birds, the pretty birds, the useful birds.” and it was signed at the bottom W. B. Reed.
WB: I believe that’s the only Audubon Park I ever heard of, I mean in the town of Salisbury. It was a private sanctuary; it wasn’t any society or anything like that. I understand they have an Audubon Society in Sharon now, but I don’t think there is one in the town of Salisbury.
JS:No. You also mentioned Bradley’s Corners.
WB: That’s the four corners of Belgo Road and Reservoir Road and Ore Mine Road come together. I don’t know who owns the house at the foot of the hill now, but Mr. Milney built that and that was the original Evarts homestead. I believe he built that house around the old house and used some parts of the old original Evarts house in that new building that he built there. I have never been in it, but I was told that.
JS:Do you mean that big white house? (It has a stone wall around it on the corner of Ore Mine &
WB: Yeah, right at the foot of the hill.
JS:Where Dr. Wieler lived.
WB: Yes, where Dr. Wieler lived right at the foot of the hill. Then someone by the name of Summerville owned it at one time. That was after Dr. Wieler. I never knew him. That four corners was always called Bradley’s corner. Well, it was Bradley Road right up from 44 to the foot of Belgo Hill, and from there on it was Belgo. It was known as that. How Belgo got its name I don’t know. There are many versions of it. I don’t remember them. Somebody said that one time someone had an old cow with a bell on, a bell ringer. Where the bell goes, the cow goes. I think that is how they found the cow. I don’t know. It’s a funny story.
JS:Can you remember as a child the houses in Lakeville along Main Street? Who lived in them?
WB: Yeah, I remember them, but not who lived in them.
JS:Let’s go down the street. Let’s start where, what’s there now, the restaurant is, the Lakeville
Cafe. It used to be the First National, Morris Brickman’s, the A & P. (now the Boathouse Restaurant in 2011)
WB: It used to be A. C. Robert’s.
JS:Yes, going toward Salisbury, can you remember who lived on that side of the street?
WB:Yeah, Russell Miller had a plumbing shop. That would be the next house. (Used to be Lakeville
Wine Shop, now in 2011 a dry-cleaning establishment)
JS:That’s going toward Salisbury?
WB: Where Ada Emily Miller lived. You probably don’t know her, or do you?
JS:No. the apothecary place is. That belonged to a man named Wentworth. What was his first
WB: I think she’s in Avon some where’s; I think she is still alive. If she is, she’s quite a bit older than I. Last we heard somebody had been to see her and said she was still alive. Now the next place was where I am not sure. He was book keeper for A. C. Roberts & Co. for years. That was a nice house. It was brown clapboard house and had a big iron railing fence all around it. That was so the school kids couldn’t get in. (It used to be a drugstore; Gentiles owned it. Then Dick Walsh bought it and called it The Apothecary Shop. It was sold again and in 2011 is now The China Inn, a Chinese Restaurant.) Next to that was the school. (It was the high school. Now in 2011 it is the Post Office.) Then you go on down where the…
JS:It used to be the Blue Room.
WB: Well that used to be a residence. There used to be a shoemaker in there; I’ve forgotten what his name was before. Who is the shoemaker over there now?
JS:Danny (Loffredo) but he died.
WB: Danny Loffredo. Well, this guy was before Danny Loffredo. I don’t remember what his name was. Next to him was Bill McCullough, he had two sisters. They lived in that house; I can’t recall their names now. Next to that I believe was…there are two other houses in there. Charlie Miller owned one. Charlie lived in one house, now who lived in the other. The other was just before you come to the Methodist Church.
Then the church…
WB: The church then the Day, the Charlie Day House (Mental Health Center, 2011). He was a gardener, he had a truck garden; what else he did I don’t know. He had two sons and a daughter I think. There was a Royal and a Henry Day, I’ve forgotten what the girl’s name was, but there was a girl. Seems to me there was, but I don’t remember. Then next to that was Dr. Bissell’s house. (Where Salisbury Bank & Trust is now) Then next to Dr. Bissell’s going up the street, the only person whom I remember who lived in there was the Tuttles, Dr. Tuttle. There was probably someone before him, but I don’t remember who it was. Maybe I do too; I think I’ve got something in my genealogy there; some one of my relatives lived in that house, right by the brook. Then you go around there, the Chapin house and Dr. Noble and above that there is a two-family house. Several different families lived in that house. That’s where Dr. Peterson was. He had his office in there later. I remember the Bryants lived in there at one time. If you look at the house, you can see there are two different apartments there. Next to that going up the hill was Peter Evarts.
WB: Yeah. Peter P. Evarts. Next to him was Ben Jones, owner of the Lakeville Journal. He printed the Lakeville Journal. The next house up was set back; a big white house belonged to the Cowles family. That’s where the Cowles family lived years ago, Dwight Cowles and Sidney Cowles.
WB: Dwight Cowles had a sister Lila, and another sister, Addie I think her name was. She was some kind of educator; she tutored kids. She practically brought up the Borden kids I guess, when they were little. Beyond that was the undertaker.
WB: Newkirk now, but before Newkirk it was Burdick, before Burdick it was Arthur Lord. Before Arthur Lord I don’t remember. I don’t think the town of Salisbury had an undertaker before Arthur Lord. I don’t remember one anyway. I guess we always used Valentine’s Funeral Home over here. He prepared more people in Salisbury than anybody else.
JS:What brought you to Millerton? You were the Mayor of Millerton for a while.
WB: I got kicked out of the town of Salisbury.
WB: Well it was during the deep Depression. It is a sad, sad story. During the Depression I was always interested in automobiles even as a little kid and anything mechanical just thrilled me. So, I got into the automobile business, and I worked at that for a while. Then I went into business for myself. I worked for Dufour and I worked for Bill Chase; then I went in business for myself during the Depression.
Just before that I had purchased a house in Lime Rock. Everything went fine for a while; then all of a sudden BOOM the bottom fell out of everything. Just like the Stock Market. There were no jobs available and people did not have any money. You couldn’t make a living. I was working for myself, not in the automobile business anyway because there were too many shops around at that time. So, my wife and I moved down to Lime Rock, and we lived there a few years. I worked on WPA and anything I could get to do to make a dollar to keep my family alive. Finally, I couldn’t keep up the payments on the home. The mortgage was bigger than the pay check; Homeowner’s Loan Corporation it was at that time. I couldn’t keep up the payments so I lost the house. I came to Millerton. I did. My family was still in Lime Rock when I came to Millerton to work. I came over here in 1933. They came over in 1937.1 got over here. I was working not only in the garage business but I worked in several other jobs at the same time. I got interested in politics. I got acquainted with a very good friend of mine named Hotchkiss, Fred Hotchkiss. You probably don’t remember the Hotchkiss name.
JS:Didn’t they, wasn’t their house what used to be the Oakhurst Restaurant?
WB: That was the original Hotchkiss home, yeah.
JS:That’s what I thought because the man who made that restaurant unearthed piles and piles of
Hotchkiss family papers in the old barn there.
WB:That was a carriage house.
JS:Yeah, that’s right. That’s what I thought that was the Hotchkiss house. So, he was in politics
WB: He was not in politics, no, but he got me interested in politics. As I said I was working several different jobs, and the job of Tax Collector came up. He was quite influential in the village of Millerton; his whole family was, but he wasn’t interested in politics. He was working in the bank at the time. He asked me, “Why don’t you run for Tax Collector? It’s not a hard job, not much to it. It pays about $75 a month, and you could use the extra money. Why don’t you try for it?” I said, “Fred, I don’t have the chance of a snowball to get elected here. I am practically a stranger; I haven’t been here that long.” He said, “I know, but let’s try it and see what we can do. I think probably you’ll make it.” So, I said,’ Well, alright if you think we can do it, I’ll try it.” So, I guess he talked to some of the other influential people in the village. You had to be a Republican to get anywhere over here. The first thing they asked you when you came over here was Are you a Republican or a Democrat? If you were a Democrat, they wouldn’t have anything to do with you. You had to be a Republican. He talked to the Pulvers, the McKays, and
the Miners and some others. He said,” I think you have a chance.’ Well, that was all I needed. Form a caucus and vote for yourself and you’re nominated. You’ve got it made. The second time I ran for collecting taxes I was opposed by a Millerton native, and I beat him. We had the biggest caucus ever was held in the village of Millerton.
JS:Who was the person?
WB: In the town of Northeast it was. Where they usually held the caucuses was in the town room which was in the old Brick Block Hotel, in a room not much bigger than my dining room there. We had so many people they all had to stand outside because there was no room. I guess we’ll have to move somewhere. So, we moved across the street to the Odd Fellows Hall to accommodate the crowd. So, I won that nomination.
JS:Who was the man?
WB: Albert Franks. After that I got out of politic for a year or so; then all of a sudden Bill Cloney who worked for Dutchess Auto at the time was interested in politics, and he wanted to run for mayor and I think he’s already on the village board. He asked if I would like to get on the village board. I could take his seat on the village board because he wanted to run for mayor. I said I don’t know. Anyway, he finally talked me into it so I ran for it, Village Trustee and I made that: consequently 16 years on the village board; 4 years as mayor. That’s how I got stuck in politics.
JS:You liked it though, didn’t you?
WB: It wasn’t too bad. There was one meeting a month, and of course there were committees that you had to work on: The Street & Highway Committee, the Lighting committee and other committees that you had to take care of. You were appointed or assigned to these things by the mayor and you had to report to him at meetings and so on. You had to handle complaints, like dog complaints and cats, and “There’s a skunk in my yard, what are you going to do about it?” We had one here last night, as a matter of fact, all the trivial things that people complain about. Nuisance things but they were the things you had to take care of.
JS:So, you never moved back to Salisbury?
WB: No, I never did. We bought this house, and we had made some extensive improvements here. My wife likes it here. We like it. I wasn’t born here, but brought up here and naturally my roots are there; my whole family.
JS:I want to ask you about this sword you showed me the other day. Give me the history of that
WB:The history, Margery is going to write that up for you.
JS:Ok but I’d like people to hear you talk about it.
WB: OK the sword that you see on the table belonged to Captain Nathaniel Everts. It is a relic of the French and Indian War. That dates back to about 1745 or 46, around there somewhere. He got the sword from either a French or a British officer, now I’m not sure of that either but I guess it was a British officer. They became acquainted and they wanted something to remember each other by so they swapped swords. This is the sword that Nathaniel Everts got from the, this is the sword that he received from the British officer. There is quite a story with that. It is a history which I will give you if the historical society wants that.
JS:The sword? I have already talked to them about that. (The sword is in the Town Clerk’s office,
and the written history is in the History Room at the Scoville Library.)
WB:The waistcoat there…Margery is going to write up the story. It had already been written up. My
sister wrote it, but it is not very legible.
JS:Where did the vest come from?
WB: The vest came from another; that was Capt. Nathaniel Evert’s.
JS:His own vest.
JS:He must have been a big man.
WB: He was. He weighed over 300 pounds. There are some very interesting stories in that genealogy.
JS:He was a Capt. in the French & Indian War?
WB: Yeah, and he also, well there are three Nathaniel Everts. I’d have to sort them out. Capt. Nathaniel Everts 1, Capt. Nathaniel Everts 11 and Capt. Nathaniel Everts 111, there’s a plaque over in the Methodist Church.
WB: Yes, dedicated to one Nathaniel Everts. I don’t know if it is the 2nd or the 3rd, anyway that was his waistcoat. He was a big man; he weighed over 300 pounds.
JS:Do you know where they are all buried?
WB: Yeah, some are buried in Salisbury Cemetery.
JS:The big cemetery.
WB: The big cemetery near the road toward Great Barrington on that end near Cobble Road. There’s an old cemetery in there, and they are buried in there.
JS:Not behind the Town Hall.11.
WB:No, there is a William Bradley buried there. I found his grave, but we’re not positive just who he
JS:Sounds likely though.
WB: Yeah, it sounds to me like he may have been. I don’t know, I don’t know who his ancestors could be.
JS:There were a thousand acres up there on Belgo. Did they do any mining themselves, the
WB: They did in the beginning I guess. I don’t know. I don’t have any recollection.
JS:Mostly they farmed it.
WB: Yeah mostly, the income of what they owed or something like that. Farming in those days was just existence. You raised your own food and that was it. Cut your own firewood, and lived off the land. Whether they had anything to do with the Barnum & Richardson Mining company I don’t know. I know my father worked in the mine, and I presume maybe his brother or his uncles may have or his wife’s father did. I don’t know what he did. I have no idea what he did.
JS:Do you remember anything as a child that was really catastrophic or very exciting: fires, storms,
big snow storms? Parades? Anything that sticks in your mind as a big memory as a child?
WB: Oh yeah, you talk about snowstorms. I guess so. Snowstorms in those days, you don’t see them today. Back in the 50’s we had some heavy snow here. At one time we had snow up to the top of the railing out there.
JS:In the 1950’s. I was here then.
WB: We had some bad snowstorms then, and in the early 30’s we had some bad snowstorms. But that was when I was living in Lime Rock. When I was a child, we had some bad snowstorms and plugged roads. You would have to get out in the morning and shovel snow. There were places where the wind would blow the snow off the ground, off the road, and there’d be bare spots. We’d have to plow snow in to cover the bare spots so to make the siding. There would be sometimes we would have to wait for us to get out. Peabody’s farm was up on Reservoir Road, up at the end of the road there. Sometimes we would have to wait until Peabody came down because his man came down with the milk and stuff with a team of horses. The two families with the two teams of horses would try to break the road through and shovel. Sometimes you couldn’t get through; you would have to shovel first. I remember when the snow banks were as high as the horses’ backs.
JS:Did they have v plows or something?
WB: No, not in those days.
WB: No, never had any plows in those days.
JS:Not even pulled by horses.
JS:So, you were often snowedin as a child.
WB:Yes, quite often, I remember sometimes we used to have to, well, my father used to get up, and
he would try to be in the barn by about 5:00 or 5:30 in the morning; in the wintertime he wouldn’t get there until 6 or 7 o’clock. He’d have to shovel a path all the way to the barn. Sometimes he’d have to tunnel; it would be just so high you would just tunnel through it to get into the barn. That’s my recollection of the snowstorms. They were very bad.
JS:Then the weather really has changed.
WB: Oh yes. When I was a kid, I used to ride my sled on the top of the snow banks, go right over the tops of fences that existed at the time. There are no fences now of course. Fences were 4 to 5 feet high; I’d go right over the top of them; crusty on the top.
JS:It must have been hard walk to school.
WB: It was until, but once you got a path down through and the road was open, it was alright. It wasn’t too bad. But it was bad enough when you got a snow storm during the day; it was quite treacherous trying to get home.
JS:Yes, I would think. What did they do with the little children?
WB: They all got home someway.
JS:Did the teachers bring you, or did the parents come get you?
WB: No, you got home by yourselves.
JS:You were tough kids then.
WB: We were tough kids, sure were. I remember when I was very small when I first started school, my brother would, sometimes the snow would be so deep I couldn’t get through it. He’d put me on his shoulders and carry me.
JS:What did you do for fun when you were a little boy? Where did you play?
WB: Oh, we did the same thing that all kids did in those days; we had to make our own fun. We had our swings; we had our tree houses, and climbed trees, got into mischief and things like that which we thought was fun. We used to play down around the mine a lot when we were kids. I remember going down there and we’d follow the miners into the mine.
WB: Ore Hill, before they would go into the mine, they would stop at the mining house and get their candles. Everyone had so many candles. They had different places where they would hide their candles along the drifts. They called them drifts opposite the mine opening. Then you went down in the mine, and it was all shored up with slabs and stakes. They had a place where they’d pull the slabs out and put the candles in there. They knew where they were. So, we would kind of follow them down there and watch where they put the candles, and then we’d take the candles. We had tents in the summertime, and we would use the candles in our tents at night. That was a dirty trick I know, but I don’t think they ever missed them because they always had plenty of candles.
JS:What games did you play as a little boy?
WB: We still play the same games I guess hide & seek, tag, baseball, croquet, and anything you can think of.
JS;Did you go swimming a lot?
WB:Yes, we did.
JS:At the Grove?
WB:We went to the Grove and in the pond right across from Khaki’s I toldyou about that was fed by
that spring. That made a nice little swimming hole, butit wasn’tvery big so we likeda lot of water so
we’d go down to the lake, Lakeville Lake and do our swimming there. There were several places there we could swim. Mose Jeffers and I were very good friends, in fact we were the same age. There were three of us, three boys and Donna Salisbury who were born on the same day: Phillip Everts, Phillip Jeffers, and myself. I don’t know what happened to Phillip Everts when he got out of school. He moved away somewhere down to New Jersey or Long Island, but Mose Jeffers and I grew up together. His grandfather owned the place where, what’s his name, the lawyer; you know where the pine trees are going toward Millerton? Know where Pulver used to live? Bill Pulver? Just beyond that on the right-hand side. It was the old Bissell place. That was all open ground around his house all the way down to the lake. There was nothing in there then; cow pasture and the railroad ran through there. He had a beautiful beach there, just level and nice with sand and so forth. We used to go there and swim around there. We had boats there and go fishing. We spent a lot of time fishing. That was one of the sports we did.
JS:And skating in the winter probably.
WB: Skating in the wintertime. I never got into skiing. My friend did; Jeff got into skiing. He broke his leg. They had a grape arbor on the hill from the barn down to the road, a piece of property sort of like this. The grape arbor was just at the foot of the grade. That would fill in with snow in the wintertime and he’d ski down there and jump over that grape arbor. He jumped one day and broke his leg. He never went skiing after that.