Kimble, Myrtle

Interviewer: Frank O. Reed
Place of Interview: her home, Lakeville
Date of Interview:
File No: 8 A & B Cycle:
Summary: Lakeville , Selectman Abram Martin Jr. , Abram Martin Sr.

Interview Audio

Interview Transcript


Myrtle Martin Kimble

Transcript of a taped interview

Narrator: Myrtle Martin Kimble

Tape#: 8 A &. 8.

Date: November 30, 1981.

Place of interview: Mrs. Kimble’s home in Lakeville

Interviewer: Frank Reed

Also present: daughter, Catherine Pickert

Mrs. George Kimble is the daughter of Abram Martin and the sister of Abram Martin, Jr. a longtime First Selectman in Salisbury She was born on January 22, 1889, one of seven children. She has lived most of her life in Lakeville and reminisces about life and her family in the early years of this century


Property of the Oral History Project

Salisbury Association at the Scoville Memorial Library

Salisbury, Connecticut, 0 60 6 8




Kimble Oral History

Narrator: Myrtle Martin Kimble

Tape 8 A S. B

Date: 11/30/81

Interviewer: Frank Reed

Daughter, Catherine Pickert, present

FR: This is going to be a tape of an interview between Frank Reed and Mrs. George Kimble of Bostwick Hill in Lakeville. Mrs. Kimble is the daughter of Mr. Martin, who was a leader in the community years ago. She is in her nineties and is hard of hearing. So I hope that I can pick up the information with the tape recorder somewhere in the room as I talk with her informally. You say your brother, Abe, was First Selectman?

MK: My brother, Abram, was First Selectman. My father was Sheriff for Litchfield County.

FR: Oh, yes.

MK: And he used to be called out in the middle of the night when people were having trouble, like there would be Polish people, you know foreigners, they were having fights….

FR: Oh, yes.

MK: They used to call Dad out and he’d have to go in the middle of the night. Mother used to be crazy because she thought he’d be killed, ’cause they had guns.

FR: Were those workers in the mines?

MK: Pardon.

FR: Were those workers in the mines here?

MK: I don’t know what they were doing. They were foreigners. Some lived over on the Fails Village road. Of course, that was a good many years ago. And then Dad had a livery stable, you know. He went up to Canada and bought his horses, wild horses, and brought them down. He had a lot down in back of our house where he had like a circle and he used to drive his horses down around on a two-wheeled sulky and train ’em.



He would then either sell ’em or rent ’em out to people who wanted to hire a horse and wagon.

FR: Was that here in Lakeville’?

1’1 K: Yes, right down…. You know, where the gas station is now. Our house used to stand where the gas station is.

FR: That’s the Mobil station, Frank Bogue’s station?

Ilk: Yes. And right where or whatever it is next door, a roadway used to go down between our house and the Barnett house. The stable was down back of that and then there was another roadway…. Old Dr. Bissell lived right next door. The roadway used to go between our yard and theirs and into our backyard. People used to come in there with their horses and rent ’em or train ’em. I remember one time, Hiram Bissell …He had the store up in Lakeville. That old building’s been torn down now, opposite the Williams, near the old bank. What was I saying?

FR: Dr. Bissell’s, this would have been Dr. Bissell’s son, was it?

CP: Hiram Bissell

MK: Hiram Bissell lived right next to old Dr. Bissell. He had a horse that he used when he went riding. It got pretty feeble. I remember his riding it into our back yard and wanted Dad to take it up on his farm. He had a farm up on Wells Hill. He wanted my dad to take his horse up there and shoot him. It annoyed my mother so, she told him he ought to take his own mother up there and shoot her. [laughter] She thought he might just as well take his own mother as the horse!

Different times Dad was called when they were having these Polish fights, foreigners. We always worried sick ’til he came home. Afraid he’d be killed, you know,because they were fighting. And then one time….Do you remember the old ore bed over here?

FR: Yes.

MK: There used to be little houses all around where the motel is now. Well, there was a family there by the name of Beers who lived there, Alec Beers and his wife. One night, Dad was called over there because they were having trouble. He went over and these foreigners or somebody, they thought it was old Dr. Orton. Do you remember him?



FR: No.

MK: He lived across the street from us down in Lakeville and he used to hate my father because Dr. Orton sold whiskey to different ones and Dad had him arrested a couple of times. So he came over and set fire to our ice house one time and then a barn that my father had down on Pettee Street. Some of his cattle were burned. Well, anyway, Alec Beers tried to tell Dad that Dr. Orton was the troublemaker so, one night Dad was called over there to the….Well, we called it the old ore bed over here because his wife said something had happened to her husband. So Dad went up and she was she thought her husband had gone out to take care of the dog. She thought he didn’t come back when he should, so she opened the door and somebody had hung him from a tree right outside their door. They always thought this was old Dr. Orton, because he didn’t like it. Dad had all kinds of trouble that way.

FR: Your dad was Mr. Martin. Was that his name?

MK: Abram Martin, Sr. His son was Abram Martin, Jr. who had the garage there.

FR: When did your Dad come to Salisbury to live?

MK: When did he?

FR: Was that before you were born?

MK: I was born in Lakeville.

FR: Born in Lakeville?

MK: Mother had seven children. Some were born over in Pine Plains. They lived there. Both came from Saugerties, New York.

FR: I see.

MK: Well, things like that happened. We used to always worry. One time Dad had rented a horse and carriage out to a salesman. He came along to rent the horse. My sister worked up the other side of the Hudson somewhere, in a hotel. She happened to look out the window and she saw this horse of Dad’s hitched out in front. So she called him up and Dad came up and he got there in time to get the horse away from the fellow who was stealing it.



Another time he had a horse stolen. It was over near East Canaan somewhere. The man didn’t live there but the man that stole the horse stopped at this man in Canaan and wanted to sell the horse to him. Somewhere Dad got wind of it. The man bought the horse and Dad got wind of it that the horse was over there, so he went over and went in the stable where the horse was and the man said, “You can’t have the horse,” ’cause he’d just bought it. Dad said, “It’s my horse.” The man said, “No, it isn’t ’cause I bought it”. Dad said, “You bought it from someone that came along, didn’t you?” He said, “Yes.” So Dad said, “Can I prove to you that it’s my horse?” He went in the stable and spoke to the horse, you know, and the horse started to whinny or whatever you call it and turned right around and looked at Dad. The man said, “I guess it’s your horse.” but he said, “You’ll have to pay me what I paid the man, to get it back.” We had all kinds of things happen like that.

FR: Did your Dad have a livery stable in Saugerties before he came here?

MK: No. I think he used to have a meat market and had a meat market in Lakeville for a while.

FR: He started with that. He brought the horses down and trained them and had a livery stable here?

MK: See, he and not her both used to go up to Canada. They would go up on the train and he would buy what horses he wanted and had them sent down by train. Then Mr. Harriman over in Canaan, was he in Canaan? Falls Village, I think. Well, anyway, he was very wealthy and he bought a team of Dad. Dad had Charlie DuBois. Did you ever hear of him? Do you know the DuBois family?

FR: The DuBois family lived in Salisbury, didn’t they? They live right next door to me and Marie May was a DuBois. She lives in the house she was born in, right next door to me. So that’s the family.

MK: They had quite a family, the DuBois’ He brought the team down for Mr. Harriman for Dad. He could hardly speak English. Dad gave him work and he moved to Salisbury. I guess they had quite a family, didn’t they?

FR: Yes, I think so Marie and her sister.

MK: There is one daughter that lives in Salisbury, the last I knew.



FR: Yes, there are two of them, sisters, live side by side. Frank Markey’s, Alice Markey, who is another sister and then Jimmy Du Bois is a brother of the two girls. And Rod Tooley married another Dubois girl, so there was quite a good sized family.

MK: There was quite a family. I remember years back when they were always on the street. They said the children, you know, they were always around.

CP: Tell him about the ice-breaker. Tell him about the time Grandpa almost lost a team of horses over at the lake

MK: My father used to bring….Of course, years ago they didn’t have electric refrigerators. It was all ice. So Dad used to cut ice over on the lake for different people. Then we had our own ice house and he’d fill that. W ell, one noon, Dad was boarding a horse for some man. He had that horse and one of his own hitched together on a big sleigh, you know, for the ice. He came off of the pond to come home for dinner and he left my brother over there with the team, you know, to fill the back of the sled to bring home the ice.

C P:Which brother Sheldon or Abe?

MK: Abe.

CP: Oh, Abe.

MK: So when Dad came away they had the sleigh backed up to where the ice was cut and he was boarding the horse for some rich man. My brother….The horse was…I don’t know what was wrong but my brother twisted the reins around where the whip was, you know, instead of leaving it loose. The horses thought he was backing and they backed right into the pond and drowned. We were all sick over that because that one horse didn’t belong to Dad, you know. My brother was pushed into the lake, but he managed to get out.

CP: Tell him about your dogs, Mom. You always had Airedales. Remember you said people used to feed them ground glass.

HK: What?

CP: Your Airedales, your dogs and people used to poison them you said You told me once that Grandpa Martin always had Airedales and that people who were envious of him used to feed them ground glass. You told me once.



MK: We had one of our pet dogs killed one night. There was a fellow that didn’t like ’em. He used to bark at him. There was a fire that night and the fellow came up across our yard. The dog went at him, you know, so the fellow killed him. I don’t know how he hit him, somewhere, and laid him right by our cellar door. Left him there and that just about broke our hearts. The dog’s name was Keno.

CP: That was the same name. That’s why Aunt Jennie named that big watch dog, they had. Right? You told me once that Grandpa had dogs that were, that somebody thought that someone had fed them ground glass.

MK: What?

CP: You told me once, a long time ago. Maybe it was Aunt Jennie that told me, that Grandpa always had Airedales. He liked Airedales and that you lost more than one dog because you thought that people had fed them ground glass. Maybe it was Aunt Jennie who told me that.

F R:This is your daughter who lives in Red Hook, isn’t it?

MK: Do you know Virginia Carter?

FR: No, I don’t.

MK: She works at Hotchkiss School. She’s supposed to be manager of the business office up there She lives in Salisbury. Do you know where Lyle Phillips used to live in Salisbury? He is right across from the cemetery in that little one-story house.

FR: On Under Mountain Road?

MK: Well, Virginia, my daughter, lives in that little house. She rents it.

FR: This is Mrs. Pickert, isn’t it?

MK: This is Mrs. Pickert.

FR: And you have another daughter named Phoebe Storms.

MK: Yes, and I have two sons. My oldest son, George, lives out in Houston, Texas. He was here for a couple of years, but they moved out there. He worked for the Owen Illinois Company for years after he graduated from college. Then he had a breakdown and had to give that up. He



worked for a company down in Cromwell for a while and then he got a good job out in Texas managing some kind of a furniture store.

FR: Now have you always lived in this house?

MK: No.

FR: Were you born here? No, you said you lived over where the Mobil station is now.

MK: When I was first married, my husband worked for the Telephone Company and wherever he was sent. He was foreman and everywhere he was sent we had to move, you know. We would just get s tail one d somewhere, maybe a year or two, and then they would transfer him somewhere else, so we lived all over. We lived in Waterbury for a long time and we boarded down in New Milford for a long time, when he worked for them. Then we bought a house over in Canaan. Just after that, we hadn’t lived there too long, and he was transferred to another place. That’s the way we kept going.

But I did live in this house when I was first married because we lived in Canaan and my mother wanted me to come back, and be here. Some man and his wife were building this house. They had designed it and they were building it themselves and they had it partially done. It seemed he had retired, but he had an offer of a good job so they decided to sell the house and take the job. Dad happened to hear about this house and it wasn’t finished. He asked them what they wanted for it. What do you suppose they asked?

CP: Five thousand

FR: I’ll raise it. Ten thousand

MK: He paid forty-five hundred for it.

FR: Oh!

CP: Can you imagine that!

MK: The furnace wasn’t in. The lights weren’t in and we had kerosene lamps, you know. A coal stove in the kitchen. Anyway, just after Dad got it finished, he rented it to a couple. Come to find out, they were in debt all over the world, I guess, and they had bought all new furniture and hadn’t paid for it. The stores found out they were here so they came around to get the furniture. The people skipped out in



the night and left all the furniture they had bought, mostly in the house.

I lived in Canaan and that was just before my oldest daughter Phoebe, was born. So Dad called me up and said it I wanted to come over here and live in this house, he would send a team over to get my furniture He said the house here was practically full of furniture, if I wanted any of it. I could keep it. I said, “No, I don’t want anybody’s furniture. They hadn’t been paid for it. They might come and get it.” After that different stores came around looking for the people that bought the furniture and didn’t pay for it. I was glad that I said I hadn’t taken any of it. I wouldn’t have anyway ’cause I had my own. So that’s how we stayed here. Let’s see, Phoebe was born here and Catty was born here and then I think we moved to Waterbury.

CP: No, Mom, we lived in Canaan ’cause I started…

MK: Ginny was born in Canaan.

CP: …I started first grade in Canaan I was in first grade when we moved to Waterbury ’cause I had to go to the first grade there. We lived on Daisy Hill, remember. We lived on Daisy Hill over in Canaan.

MK: It’s all changed over there now. We lived right across from where that big factory is in Canaan.

CP: Just above the Catholic Church.

MK: There wasn’t any factory there.

CP:Just below Lasher. Mr. Lasher has a great big farm up there.

MK: An undertaker lived right next to us.

CP: What was his name?

MK: Marsh.

CP:We lived right below Mr. Lasher and up above the Catholic Church.

MK:He was an undertaker, anyway. I know that. And then, as I say, when

this house… We were looking for a place to stay, [indistinct]

FR: You must have been born…. You said you’re ninety-three. You must have been born in 188??



MK: 1889.

FR: 1889.

MK: I’ll be ninety-three on January 22nd.

FR. January 22nd. That’s wonderful.

CP: We’re going to have an open house.

F R: Are you really? How wonderful!

CP: If everything goes well.

FR: Birthdays are great fun. You’ll have to have a celebration on your ninety-third birthday.

MK: Do you remember when they had that big fire up in Salisbury?

FR: No. I don’t remember that. I’ve only lived in Salisbury ten years.

MK: Well, I was a kid in school up there. I forget just how old I was, but Dad was a fireman, too, and they had a two-wheeled jig, I called it, with a hose twisted around it and they had to pull it by hand. So the fire siren blew, it was about two-thirty in the morning and Dr. Bissell lived right next door and his daughter, May, was alive. She called over and wanted to know if I wanted to go up and see the fire. We walked up and that whole side where the post office is, the post office and drug store and the building next to it were just burned right out. I remember that and I remember we stayed until just about time for school to open and we had to come back to Lakeville for school. So Dad happened to see that I was there yet, so he told me I had better start right back for school. I didn’t want to, I wanted to stay there and see what was going on. But we had to come back.

CP: Tell him about up above the watering kettle. Up there on Mt. Raggie where the mule teams used to cart the ore up to the hill and they had a smelter up there. Wasn’t it you that told me about that?

MK: About what?

CP: The way they used to carry the ore up the hill, up Mt. Raggie and there was an ore smelter up there and those horses or mules would pull the ore up to the top of the hill and smelt it right up on top of Mt. Raggie.

MK: I have forgotten that.




CP: Tell them about how you used to go to Saugerties by horse and buggy and stop in Pine Plains.

MK: A bunch of our relatives lived in Saugerties., New York, so we used to drive over. Dad would take the three-wheeled wagon and two horses and take the whole family. We would start early in the morning and drive as far as Pine Plains and then we’d stop and have lunch there. Then we would drive on the Hudson and take the boat across the Hudson to Tivoli and then from there drive on up to where our relatives lived.

FR: Did you take the horses and wagon right on the boat?

UK: Yes, and we were always afraid those horses would get off into the water. Oh, Dad used to stand by their heads. They just had a chain across the back of the boat, you know, and we used to always be afraid that team would get in the pond or lake or river, rather.

CP: So what did they do? They went to Pine Plains. He asked me earlier why did your father move to Pine Plains from Saugerties.

MK: He had friends that lived there, Mr. and Mrs. Waldron and Mr. Waldron had a meat market over there and Dad came over to work there. I forget where Dad lived in Pine Plains. Then he came over here to Lakeville to open up his own meat market and the livery stable. Do you know where the house is up there?

CP: In Pine Plains. It is a duplex house. They would go to Pine Plains, stay overnight and then take the horse and buggy and go to Avalon, which is now Tivoli, and they then take the ferry.

Tell him about the Depression when the president of the bank…

MK: What?

CP: About the Depression. Everyone went bankrupt and the president of the bank committed suicide. The president of the bank committed suicide over at the lake and Grandpa had to go over and identify his body.

MK: What was his name?

CP: I don’t know but you wouldn’t want to tell me. The president of the bank shot himself.




FR: I remember those days. I was out in the Finger Lakes region and they had a depression out there and the banks failed and several of the bank officers got into difficulties. It happens. It happened all over the country then.

MK: [indistinct] used to live right up here on the corner, you should drive in on the right-hand side, that big house there. I guess the dentist lives there now.

CP: Dr. Gott?

MK: Well, used to live in there

CP: How about the flu epidemic in 1918?

MK: Huh?

CP: 1918, the flu epidemic, when everybody died with the flu in 1918.

MK: I don’t remember I don’t think we lived here. We lived in Waterbury then

CP: Well, you were the one that told me about it. How people were dying like flies.

MK: A lot of people died.

FR:Yes, indeed they did. I just got my flu shot today, so I wouldn’t die’

CP:Well, I’m going to get mine too I called Dr. Brown two or three

weeks ago to have him stop in so she could have one.

MK: I remember the year I had the flu so bad. I had the flu shot and I had the flu worse than if…

FR: Oh, really.

CP: Well, Mom, I’ve had flu five times.

MK: Well, It’s different, Catty. If I were out and around among the people…

CP: But we come in. And I’m out with people and I could get it and bring it over, you know.

MK: I don’t know if I want to have Dr. Brown come in and pay him thirty dollars to give me some aspirin. They charge terrible, the doctors.




FR: Everything is expensive nowadays.

The iron ore industry had pretty well petered out before you came to live here, hadn’t it? They weren’t making iron much.

CP: They had ore beds over in the Ore Hill and up here?

FR: The ore beds were here but they weren’t mining much ore in those days, when you were a child, were they? I think that industry was pretty well gone. But you said your Dad brought horses down by train from Canada and I suppose they came right down through Salisbury and Lakeville didn’t they? The train ran right by the house I live in now.

MK: That train used to run right along down back here

FR: Back here, that’s right.

MK: There was a man who worked on the railroad, Mr. Palmer. Every time he went down here on the corner he would blow his whistle so they would know it was him. Do you know Mr. Palmer, Mr. Willard Palmer?

FR: No.

MK: I think some of his relatives live in Salisbury. He and I are old- timers. you see, i know his father and mother. They lived here in Lakeville.

FR: Now, would that be Jim Palmer’s father?

MK: No. I think his name was Willard. His name was Willard and they lived down here on Perry Street, Mr. Palmer. He remembers all the old-timers. You see, I used to know his father and mother, so he calls me up every other day and to tell me and ask me all about if I remembered this or remembered that.

CP: Then you used to have quilting bees.

MK: Now they have a Bible class down there every Tuesday nights. I used to go when I was able to get out.

CP: Tell them how you made clothes Mom.

MK: Hum??




CP: Tell him what they did They had a sewing room You had a sewing room and you used to resent the fact that Aunt Edie and Aunt Jennie would have new clothes and the clothes were beautiful fabric and then they’d take them apart, tear ’em apart., take the seams out, and reverse them and you’d have a dress made out of the reversed material.

MK: I remember my mother belonged to the Methodist Church down here and Dad was Congregationalist up in Salisbury, where he used to go to church. We lived almost across from the Methodist Church. So I used to go every time there was a funeral over there to the church. I was only a kid, but I wanted to go over to the funeral. So there was a Mr. and Mrs. Powell that lived next door to us, in the old Barnett house and I used to go fishing with Mr Powell when I was a kid, over on the lake. He and his wife used to go and I’d go with them. I used to go over to every funeral and then I’d come home and tell my mother about it. Well, Mr. Powell died, very suddenly, and that broke my heart. I was just like a daughter to him, so I wouldn’t go to the funeral. They couldn’t get me to go to the church. I didn’t want to see Mr. Powell dead. I remember that. Henry Barnett, they used to have a store down here in Lakeville.

FR: That was Bill Barnett’s father, wasn’t it?

CP: Here’s a picture of Mrs. Barnett, Sr. You remember the Barnetts, they used to own Barnetts’ store?

MK: You know Bill Barnett, don’t you?

FR: Yes, I know Bill.

MK: 1 used to take him out in the baby carriage.

FR: Is that right?

[discussion of pictures with daughter]

FR:Remember when these pictures were taken they had to ho 1 d very still

for a long time to get the exposure, so they couldn’t have a quick flashing smile. They had to brace themselves.

[more discussion of pictures with daughter]

FR: That’s quite a treasure to have all those pictures.




MK: There’s a lot of invitations, thank-you cards from people.

[a bit more discussion of pictures]

MK: That album must be over one hundred years old.

FR: I wouldn’t be surprised “Mrs. T.L. Norton, Friday, January 1st from 3 to 6.” Celebrating the New Year by having a tea party. That’s a very nice invitation. Engraved card with the date written on it.

MK: That’s Torn Norton’s wife.

CP:Is this when Uncle Sheldon died? January1st? No, oh no. T h a t’s w h e n the Uncle Martin died. ’27. I was in ah… I remember when he died. We’d been up here for Christmas. [indistinct] You see, Uncle Martin lived here. He owned this whole corner. He had a barn in the back and the garage and chicken coops. And there were no other houses around. This lot down here was vacant. It used to be ball park. And on Sunday afternoon they had a ball game and it was lighted [indistinct] it’s grown up so.

FR: This was a letter of sympathy on January 4, 1927. That was my last year in college, 1927, just before I met my wife.

CP: I love old things. Mr. and Mrs. John M. Miller wish to announce the marriage of their daughter Harriet Levine to George [indistinct]. Remember that, Mom?

FR: Here’s a wedding invitation.

End of Side One

Start of Side Two

MK: This John Miller used to have a harness shop. Now, let’s see it was on the side where Barnett’s store used to be. I guess that building has all been torn down, too.

FR: Yes, that’s where the Shell station which is now the Gulf station is.

MK: Oh, is that what it is?

FR: Yes, they changed the name in just the last few weeks.



CP: Now, who is this, Ma? Here’s a wedding invitation. Mrs. Temperance A. Meyer requests the honor of your presence at the marriage of her daughter, B. Leda, to Mr. George B. Snyder on Wednesday afternoon February the 20th, 1901 at one o’clock Saugerties.

FR: You were just a little girl. You were about eleven or twelve years old when that wedding took place

MK: Yes.

F R: Can you remember the wedding?

MK: What was that?

FR: Can you remember going to that wedding?

[few comments about the invitation]

MK: I doubt as I remember the wedding, but I remember going to their house. It was right down on the Hudson River

CP: Here’s the Bartles. Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Bartle request your presence at the marriage of their daughter, Minnie, to Mr. Peter Powers Evarts. That’s a little scandal. Peter Evarts lived down here on Main Street and I can remember… I was about ten years old and I used to go down…. Aunt Jennie, Aunt Edie kept books for Uncle Abe down at the garage and Aunt Minnie kept books at the Bartle’s store, no, Barnett’s store, Barnetts store. And, I think Peter Evarts was a jeweler. I think he repaired clocks. And his wife was a ??? I remember Aunt Jennie, Aunt Jennie used to go up on the hill. It was up where the old bank is. There used to be a Chinaman had a laundry up there Aunt Jennie used to go in there and buy big canisters of orange pekoe tea And I think she had kind of a crush, I think she had a crush on Peter- Evarts and his wife was a????. They lived in the same house but they didn’t speak, [remainder of gossip unclear]

MK: The Bartles used to live over on the road almost near that school on the…

[discussion about furniture in room]

MK: My mother’s Old family Bible.

FR: Your mother’s old family Bible. That’s another treasure.




CP: This says Mrs. Evelyn Snyder.

MK: That was my mother’s before she was married

FR: Have you kept the family tree in the Bible, as many people did?

CP: She tried to. I think she’s lost track of…

MK: The family tree was [unclear]

FR: Often times it was between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

MK: Urn?

FR. Often times the family tree was right between the Old Testament and t h e

New Testament.

MK: Well, my brother. Abe, and his daughter, two of his daughters died with cancer: My brother and his two daughters.

FR: Now, this Abe Martin, the First Selectman of Salisbury for twenty- five years was your brother. Is that right?

MK: Um, um.

FR: And then they had a celebration in 1945, in his honor. Harry Bellini gave a testimonial to Grace Harding. Tom Wagner gave a testimonial to Howard Landon and Sid Cowles gave a testimonial to George Selleck. Howard Landon gave one to your brother, Abe Martin. Bill Barnett was the toastmaster.

MK: Sid Cowles used to be my brother, Sheldon’s, chum. Every Sunday night, before prayer meeting started over at church, they would meet at the Methodist Church, Mother used to have all the young people at the house for hot chocolate and generally she had an apple pie or something like that. During the week she’d have the Ladies’ Society over there and they’d piece quilts.

FR: Oh, yes. [long pause] Here’s the Lakeville Journal story of your brother’s death. That wasn’t very long after he was honored as having been a First Selectman for twenty-five years.

MK: He had to give up. You see, he had a cancer.

FR: Oh.




CP: I think I know how he got cancer, too. He had a hernia and someone’s car got stuck down in front of the driveway. He helped push it and he incurred a strangulated hernia and they repaired it. But that might have been the beginning, you know.

FR: Have you read about the party that’s going to be held for Lila Nash?

MK: I have an invitation.

FR: Good. I hope you are going to write her a letter.

MK: I’ll write to her or send her a card

FR: That would be nice. We have some albums to fill with letters and cards and things like that for her. We will try to have that ready when the party happens on the 6th of December. We are going to have an extraordinary Town Meeting on the 6th of December.

[More discussion of pictures. One appears with snow!

FR: Oh, yes, great piles of snow.

CP: They had snow like that, right. You don’t see winters like that anymore.

M K:That was so over in Canaan.

FR: That’s right.

MK: My husband worked for the telephone company and I remember they let a gang come and stay there all day shoveling snow.

FR: It is great fun to have all these treasures of pictures.

MK: My youngest son that works for the telephone company has been with them thirty-three years.

FR: Has he really?

MK: He is one of the supervisors now. He lives in Watertown and works in Waterbury.

[more discussion about pictures]

CP:This is Aunt Jennie. She was in love, Tell him about that,Mom.




MK: What?

CP: Aunt Jennie was in love with a fellow and he went to Hartford to work and she went to Hartford to work and she thought he was in love with her and then she found out he was going with her cousin. Who was he going with?

MK: I don’t know.

CP: And so she came back to … Well, you tell it. She came back from Hartford, right? When she found out that he was going with some other girl. You told me that she almost… You thought that she was going to have TB. She was depressed and lost a lot of weight. She never went out with another man. From that time on she was real sour and dour about men Mg father was very handsome and he used to grab her around the waist and roll her around and say, “Hi, Jennie, old girl” And she’d say “Now, George, you stop that now.” She probably enjoyed it.

[more about pictures]

CP:Someone took your house. This is how it looked. I remember this. They had hydrangea trees and this was the main street in Lakeville. This was in front of the house and this was the sidewalk going up to the porch.

Mom, tell him about when they used to date. They had two living rooms, they had a front living room or parlor and you had a sitting room. The family would sit in the sitting room. It had a bay window. I can remember when Aunt Lucy lived here She’d sit in that bay window and sew. When they dated, their boyfriend would come to the front door and whoever…Don’t forget, there were five girls and two boys. The girls would receive their beau at the front door and they would entertain them in the parlor. Marm and Grandpa Martin would go to bed and they had latches on the door. I remember later they changed Uncle Sheldon’s room: they turned his room into a bathroom, right? So here she’s dating her boyfriend and it’s time for him to leave. So Marm (Grandma Martin) would come to the front stairs. They had front stairs and back stairs and she would take the latch and wiggle the latch and that meant

MK: Time for him to go home.

PR: Time tor him to go home.




CP: If he didn’t go home, she’d give a couple of signals., right? Then if he didn’t leave, then she’d open the door and say, “Myrtle, hasn’t that young man gone home yet?” My mother did the same thing, only she didn’t wiggle the latch.

FR: He saw to it that he went home promptly.

CP- Would you like a cup of coffee?

FR: No, thank you very much. I’ve got to get home. It’s 5 o’clock already. It has been great fun.

[More discussion about pictures]

FR Sheldon, that’s your….?

CP: Her brother.

FR: He died when he was a young man?

MK:Twenty three years old

FR: Oh, yes.

CP: Oh, look at this. Here’s a good one. Here’s the whole graduating class. And I remember when this school was down there. This is my mother: this is Sadie Cleaveland, Mary Calina, Catherine or Kit O’Brien. Didn’t Kit O’Brien date Uncle Sheldon? I thought I heard something about that. Ethel Judd. Is she the one that went with Aunt Jennie’s boyfriend? Ethel Judd? You don’t remember.

MK: Ethel Judd went with ?? Beers.

CP: Well, she married him. Mary Judd Dufour and they live over on Lakeview Ave. Myrtle Martin Kimble, Jane Calina, William Traver, Professor Frank Wallace and Earl Turner and Joseph.

MK: Is that my high school picture?

CP: Yup.

MK: I’m the only one alive except Sadie Cleaveland. Do you know where that was taken? Do you know where the post office is now?

FR: Yes.



flK: That used to be our high school.

FR: Oh, really.

UK: That drug store is still there. The old academy was torn down. The high school was on the second floor. The kindergarten on the first floor and our professor’s wife used to teach the kindergarten and I used to play the piano. She would come upstairs and call me down to play for the kids.

FR: Very nice.

CP: Here’s Dad, again, and this is your father’s team of horses. What did he do? Did he rent horses to the telephone company?

UK: No, he sold them. Horses to the company.

CP: It said these horses belonged to your father.

MX: They belonged to him.

CP: Oh, I see. In other words, he trained ’em, right?

UK: That’s the ‘way the telephone company used to go out.

CP: They didn’t have a set up in any one town. They had to travel around: they boarded at boarding houses. They went where ever the work was. And then he worked in Canaan. And then he was transferred to…

FR: That’s very nice, your high school graduation.

11K: Wallace. I can see him sitting up in front of the class now, chewing on his finger nails.

CP: I found some letters one day that people had written to her father when her mother died. Her father was in Hartford with the Legislature when her mother died. She must have lived here and her mother had asked, had requested… It must have been cold and she requested her to stay overnight especially with the baby. Her mother didn’t feel well. She had gotten up with the baby and her mother said, “Myrtle, come on to bed. It’s cold.” Her mother had a stroke that night. Her father was in Hartford and he sort of had a premonition He felt that something was wrong and came home on the train. Now, did Grandpa Martin get home before she died or after she died?



2 1

MK: He got home before she died, but she didn’t know him, didn’t recognize him at all.

CP: What was her first symptom? Just slurred speech, right?

MK: She went up to the store. To Roberts store to buy some embroidery and then she went across to Dufour’s (where the jewelry store is now). Mrs. Dufour used to have a restaurant in here. She used to do her own baking. So Mother went over there to get an ice cream soda before she came home.. Mrs. Dufour had just made some hot rolls, so she brought one in and Mother ate it. Well, she came home. Dad used to keep cows and when he had extra milk the neighbors would want to buy it, you know, so he’d sell it to them for five cents a quart.

PR: Think of that.

MK: So Clyde Spence called who lived below us and he worked in Roberts store. It was just supper time and Phoebe was, I guess, three weeks old and I had gone down to stay with them for a week Mother had to get back to start supper. We had a three-room cellar One cellar was all plastered and a wooden floor and everything Mother used to churn her butter down there. Had a cupboard down there where she kept ail her cakes and preserves and everything. So before she went out, she said to me, “If I’m late getting home, don’t you go down cellar for anything: I’ll get it when I come in.” It kept getting later She finally came home and I had started supper, because my brothers were there and I thought they needed their supper, you know. So Dad was in Hartford, he was a Representative. He was in Hartford. So Mother came… We were just starting to eat when Mother came home She sat down at the table. I remember she had some stewed prunes. Mr. ???? came in and wanted to know if his wife had been after the milk. She said, “I will get up and see.” She took the back of the spoon, she took the spoon and had it turned backwards and was trying to pull the prunes out, you know. She sounded so funny. So I said to my brother, “I think there is something wrong with Mother. You had better get her in on the couch.” So he got up and helped her in on the couch and I heard her moan. Old Dr. Bissell lived right next door to us. I tried to get hold of his son, young Dr. Bissell, who lived down the street, but he wasn’t home. So I said, “We’ll call old Doctor.” Of course, he was just like another father to us. I called him over and we got Mother undressed and got her to bed. I said, There’s something wrong with her. She doesn’t sound right.” He said, “I think it’s something she ate. She’s got indigestion.” So we called in the visiting nurses and



they tried to get her temperature and old Dr. Bissell gave her some medicine.

And Father, he felt so bad, we had to lay him down on the couch. My father was a Representative and he said he had another meeting the next day. He said something seemed to tell him to come home on the last train. So I said to my brother, “Drive up to the station so Dad won’t have to walk down and see if he’d on the train.” He was. Of course, she didn’t know him when he came home and old Dr. Bissell couldn’t do anything for her and just a few minutes after that she was gone. Mrs. Barnett, I remember, lived next door and she made some home-made molasses candy. She came over to the door to give some to Mother, I said, “I’m afraid Mother won’t be able to eat it.” She said, “Why?” I said, “She’s gone, that’s all.” She went that quick.

CP: I remember reading a condolence card that your father got when she died. It was wonderful, from a friend of hers out west. You know what a wonderful person she was.

MK: Do you live up ___ ?

FR: i live right behind the library in Salisbury. The house that we live in…

MK: Did that belong to the Satres?

FR: Yes, that’s right.

MK: Mr. and Mrs. Satre lived right next door to us, Ottar Satre.

FR: Right. Mr. Satre bought the old railroad station, passenger station, in Salisbury and tore it down and rebuilt it as a very modern, lovely little house. My father and mother bought the house later after several other people had owned it. They bought it in 1957. When they died in 1964, they willed it to me and I have owned the house since ’64, but I hadn’t lived in it until ’71. So I have been up here about ten years. But I remember corning up to Salisbury from Ossining, where I used to be, to visit Mother and Father. Salisbury has been home to me because Mother and Father lived here ever since 1939, when they first moved here to retire. They retired to the house across from the Ragamont Inn, upon the hill across the way. Remember that house? When you asked how much I thought your Dad had paid for this house, I remembered that Father and Mother paid only $10,000 for that big house up on the hill in 1939.

Why, there’s Phoebe. Hello, Phoebe.



Phoebe: My dog’s wire broke again. That makes me sick! It took me two years to get one up.

CP: They put a run out. It’s a heavy multi-strand wire.

FR: Did the dog get away?

Phoebe: He ran up the road dragging his chain.

More talk about dog’s chain and the tape ends}