As I wrote in the last post, Sheila Antworth Lafferty put me in touch with her mother's cousin, Claude Bartley, neighbor to the Crabtree family in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick, Canada in the 1920s and 1930s. Here are some of the memories Claude has kindly sent to me. [Comments in brackets are mine].
April 7, 2014
I received the Crabtree Family Tree [the link to the Remember blog] from my cousin Carmen Antworth's daughter Sheila in Conn, that is where I got your e-mail address.
Going through this brought back many old memories, the Crabtrees lived on a farm next to my dad's farm in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick, Canada before moving to Maine.
I remember going to school with Faith and there must have been more of the family that I went to school with because Lois was one year older than me [so Claude was born about 1925, as Lois was born in 1924]. The schoolhouse was on the line between the two farms. We used to carry water from the Crabtree's water supply to the school.
April 8, 2014
You asked about life growing up on a farm, if it was all work or some play?
The Crabtree and Bartley farms were very small and both families were very poor at that time.
There were ten in our family and of course all ten were not home at the same time. My oldest brother Martin (1909) was married in 1930, the year my youngest brother, Eugene, was born so there was quite an age spread there. My dad did well to feed and clothe us, I often think about how he did that, we only had a team of horses, no tractor and no car.
|The Bartley family, [circa 1937-38?]|
Front row, l to r: Eugene, Katrina, Wellington, Alice, Velma, Grace
Back row, l to r: Claude, Alden, Herman, Vivian, Martin, Austin
Photo courtesy of Sheila Lafferty
I think the Crabtrees was in about the same boat, although I do remember your grandfather having a car while in Beaconsfield.
As far as having fun, we had fun with things we would make ourselves, I remember making a pair of stilts out of two pieces of board and nailing square blocks on each one and walking around on them.
Also when the McLellans [Alma's family] lived there the three oldest, Russell, Louie and Lawrence made a two seater ferris-wheel. It was a little scary, but we enjoyed riding on it.
By the Crabtree Blog, when it gave the McLellan family names it gave the three oldest boys names' as George, John and David, the birth dates were right I thought, but we knew them as Russell, Louie and Lawrence, perhaps nicknames? [Claude was correct about the names; the boys' names were George Russell called "Russell," John Lewis "Louie," and David Lawrence called "Lawrence."]
April 12, 2014
Little late getting back to you.
As I mentioned before about the difference in ages between my oldest and youngest brothers being twenty one years, the oldest of the family were up and gone before we got to know them very much.
Austin, the one older than myself, died in 1939 at the age of 15, that left a younger sister and brother and myself to help with the house and farm work.
|Bartley's farm in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick|
Photo courtesy of Sheila Lafferty
We had a very small farm (as your grand parents did). We had a team of horses, (no tractor). We grew potatoes, grain and hay and always had a large vegetable garden in which we all worked,
Mother loved working in her gardens, (vegetable and flower gardens). We also had cattle, sheep, hens, and pigs. Mother was a very smart woman, she cooked a lot and kept us all in woolen socks and mittens, she also liked to sew. We never had electricity, pumping water and everything else was done the hard way, by hand, but not knowing any difference, we didn't mind what we had to do.
As I remember, your grandparents' family moved to Maine in 1934 and the McLellan family moved in on the farm the same year with seven boys [read more about the McLellan family here]. Audrey was born in Beaconsfield. It seems to me they were there a few years but the way the other dates I have they were there only about two years.