Vermont Folklife Center - Digital Archive

Interview with Blair, Rupert -- TC1991-0034

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Vermont Folklife Center Archive

Mad River Valley Project/VFC1991.0004

Rupert Blair/TC1991.0034

 

JB   Jane Beck

RB   Rupert Blair

Place   E. Warren, Vermont

Date   December 12, 1991

 

JB   We were talking about the Allen Fuller place.

RB   The house, we have the picture here is, I would say it was torn down in the late 30's. It went through several hands from the time that Allen Fuller had it. It went to Amosy Fuller which was the son who stayed there on the farm, and he built the house that is there now. It has been moved in the last few years. It wasn't substantially changed. When Fremont Lovitt came up here to look after his parents in the 30's he hired a family to live in and look after them. [1:03] Then he became interested in farming the old place. The Fuller place became available, he bought that. He fixed up the house. And in doing that that house, it was further run down than it there. That picture there must go back to perhaps there is a date on the back.

JB   Allen Fuller house. He settled on Fuller Hill about 1844.

RB   Those according to Ruth Dakota's figures I think. It think that's one of her pictures.

JB   Earl's father had a house as well that was a different farm. [2:00]

RB   Next farm below.

JB   Is there a house there now?

RB   The house is there now, it has very little resemblance to the house that I remember being there. There's a picture down in the town hall of the house with probably Earl is in the wagon. You go to the town hall, not the municipal building. And I'm very proud of the fact that they were people here who had these big pictures enlarged and put up around the hall, which is similar to the ones, there's a couple in the municipal building in the stairs there. There is a picture of the old house with Earl's family, sitting in a wagon. I would presume probably Earl was one of the kids in the wagon, but I wouldn't say for sure. [3:10] I've seen the picture, but I don't remember. I do not have photographic memory!

JB   I don't either, but all those kind of pictures really help you realize the changes have been so great.

RB   In I think 19, I should remember, 1908 it seems like was the date on the barn. There was a big barn down across the road.

JB   Well his father built one in 1912.

RB   So what, I only missed it by 4 years.

JB   That's close enough! And I only know this because I was just reading all of this.

RB   I remember they had a date on it, a beautiful big barn. [4:03] There's some wonderful stone work down there too. There's a fellow who bought it, George Gardner, has preserved that stone wall according to his restrictions can't be removed. Strange things happen. But it is preserved as far as anybody at the moment is able to do. If you drive by on the road, you can see the foundation walls, beautiful straight walls up there, built by someone in the family I guess. There was an old stone mason, I guess they called them stone mason that they would now anyway, Riley Lovitt that lived down over the hill. There's a house they call the Blair house where he lived, the Lovitt place. Earl's mother referred to Riley Lovitt, Riley and Jim. Riley was the old, they were two bachelors lived there. [5:08] Riley went out and build these stone walls. In fact he built a lot of them in the area. And whether he took part of that or whether that was done by some of the Fuller family, I don't know. I sort of think what I can hear it was built by some member of the Fuller family. (RB-I think that's right.) Earl probably-

JB   I think he's told me, I looked through. I don't know whether you're interested in reading some of the transcripts or not. But if you're interested.

RB   Yes I would be interested. This is just all history that I'm interested. I don't know why, because.

JB   He's a wonderful, wonderful story teller. Not only that, he gives you a lot of details that help you picture. And he's funny.

RB   As you say he's a good story teller. He'd show you the picture. [6:03]

JB   His father I guess was a great horseman.

RB   Yes. In fact his, Elijah. I think I've heard that his father's name was Squire Elijah. But his wife said she wasn't going go to call him to dinner, stand there on the porch, holler "Squire!" I think I've heard that story! So she calls him Elijah. And I think that's the name that's on the stone. I think that was eventually dropped. Now this may or may not be true. But some where along the way I've heard that little yarn. [7:00] I don't know from whom they bought that farm. As families often do, the boys go out with the encouragement of the parents, buy a farm near by.

JB   I think originally it was part, it was the end of part of the property of his father? (RB-It could be.) And then he as I understand it bought another farm as it became available, or some more acreage became available.

RB   There were two Cardell places. In fact there's still, I guess this foundation is still there, as you go over the hill and beyond the barn you come to a crest of the hill, beautiful view of the valley. And they're some rose bushes. And I think they old foundation is still there unless the recent improvements, if you put improvements in parenthesis, they have erased it.

JB   [8:07] Now how far was this place, the Allen Fuller place from you, about a mile, 2 miles?

RB   It's about a mile up over the hill here.

JB   And the house was going up over the hill on the right.

RB   No, that house, actually on a road by itself. I have an aerial photo of the whole thing, I can show you where the road is. I'll bring it out here, cover some things. I think it's here still. Sometimes somebody borrows it. [gets the photo out. shows Fuller Hill Road. 9:50]

JB   So Mr. Lovitt is sort of where the road bends there.

RB   The old house was connected I think perhaps on the you can see where it goes to the barn.

JB   It looked like it was all connected barn. [10:10] Now what was this road then down in here?

RB   This is the road going to Warren village.

JB   This is still Fuller Hill Road?

RB   That's the Fuller Hill Road. And there's Elijah's place, there's a picture of the barn and the buildings that were there.

JB   So that could of been at the end of the other Fuller place.

RB   It could of. There's that road, bunch of rose bushes I was telling you about. An old foundation. That's the Cardell place, I can't tell you which it was Fred. And there's another Cardell place.

JB   And this was the barn that was built in (RB-1912.) Now when was this aerial photo taken?

RB   This was taken 1962. [11:03]

JB   So it's grown up to bush and trees much more.

RB   Yes, you wouldn't recognize it now. I have a picture that was taken out here by my mother in 1910, looking north. I've just recently got 2 or 3 other pictures taken of the same area now. The telephone company is working on it. I suggested perhaps they'd like to do a comparison.

JB   How many negatives did your mother leave?

RB   Probably there's 25 good ones.

JB   Have they all been printed?

RB   There again I have conned the telephone company into doing it. Supported all the peace proposition. But they have the money and the interest. Now there's a piece of land here. [12:00] Now I think that is a piece that belonged to Lauren that was given to him by his uncle Amosy. I know there was an island out there right in the middle of that piece of property that Amosy gave to Lauren. And it was attached to this. And originally the land went, maybe I can see, there's a sugar house down here that's still standing that Lauren tells about sugaring there when he was just a boy. He went over there and stayed there all day. I got a tape of that he told me about.

JB   I thought I'd go and definitely talk with him.

RB   I do have a tape here. I had two of them. I think my son has one, he was listening to it. [13:05]

JB   I'd love to borrow it. There's going to be plenty of time. [He looks for the tape. [13:36]

RB   I'm not sure if that's the one or not. Floyd told about his working for gas and electric company, in Massachusetts when he was a young fellow. On the television awhile back, a couple years ago G.E. was one of their promotional bluRBs showed a picture of the first lights that were put up in Lynn for a baseball field. He was at that time foreman of the pole crew. And he told about [can't hear.] It may be on that. [14:35] There was a picture of that field came on, it was 1923 I think it was. This gives you an idea where the lines came about.

JB   This is a big help. So it was a big piece of property that the grandfather originally settled on.

RB   Here's where he settled.

JB   And according to Earl he squatted, he didn't buy it. It was squatters rights, and he cleared the necessary land.

RB   I'll have to take his word for it. So far as hemlock, I would guess probably that might be, __________ somewhere in here. Of course you can't tell by looking at the map. You've probably run into this before. As you look on the mountains or in the landscape in this area anyway, you will see squares of spruce. [15:37] The reason for that is, this is my observation, I don't think I'm __________, but people clear a piece of land and it'll grow to brush. The cows will eat off all of the hardwood. And you'd have perfect squares of spruce.

JB   From the pastures, ya.

RB   If you look at a pasture, here you see that same thing. Up on the mountain here there used to be perfect squares, you don't see any hard wood.

JB   Where is prickly mountain? Is prickly mountain the mountain as you go over to Roxbury? [16:21]

RB   [can't understand.] Here's the 4 corners. Come over here about half a mile and turn right. And this was before Prickly Mountain.

JB   So it's over toward Granville.

RB   You go to Granville this way. But this is the old back road that goes out through. My grandparents lived over there farther. And strangely enough Kenny and his wife

JB   Kenny's your son?

RB   Ya, he was on Across the Fence with the deer farming. It was 10 days ago. She married previously they had built a dome over there. As time went on, her husband she decided to go their separate ways and Kenny come into the picture. [17:29] But the house is on what was my grandfather's old sheep pasture. Right across the brook, no farther than here than to the main road from where my mother was born. The brook the goes down by their house I've heard her tell about playing in it as a little girl. They came here when she was 10.

JB   Now she was born when, your mother?

RB   1886. (JB-And her name was) Mary May.

JB   Now was your uncle, was that Will Blair?

RB   No, my uncle was HeRBert. Sometimes he signed it H.B. He was blind from about 1928. Will Blair was in Moretown. A family that came into the valley was James Blair Sr. He [18:39] had my grandfather I guess was the oldest, James, Nathanial and David. David lived in Warren village. Nathanial lived up the river as we refer to it, south of Warren. The 3 daughters, Jeannette married McAllister, who was a carpenter and fox hunter, carpenter in the summertime, fox in the winter. One that married Stevens, he lived in Warren village. Mary had died a Thayer. [19:43] They came originally from around the Richmond area. I don't know the dates. They tell me that he came in to Richmond area, came in a boat to the United States from Canada. I expect probably from Scotland by the name. He taught school there, married and raised a family, lost track of them. But I understand that he was buried in Bradford. [20:24] Some one of those things that some day I'm going to do. And Some days never come, unless by accident. Prickly Mountain actually was a development that was done by a group of architects who came out of Yale. [20:54]

JB   Is that Peter Sellers? David Sellers?

RB   David Sellers. There is a difference. There's David Sellers, (JB-Louis Makell) Louis Makell, ya, he was one of them. Didn't he teach at __________ ? Taught art at the university. There was a Renicke, Bill Renicke. At the same time there was Randy __________ , he still lives up here, runs a business, one of the selectman in town.

JB   And he was an architect too. I didn't realize that.

RB   I assume that he finished the course. I think one of the requirement is to design a house was one of the things that they were each doing. Had some pretty wild designs there too. [22:00]

JB   I heard that. I never been up there I don't think.

RB   He built the tack house originally to live in. As Barry Simpson who is chairman of the planning commission has been for years, runs the dirt roads, I started to say toy factory, but no it's not necessarily. It's a woodworking business. He produces some beautiful pieces too. They had a design similar to window quilts at one time. They __________ toys. They developed a folding child's table, you fold it up inside of the suitcase, unfold it and then nice little child's table. And they've done rocking horses, all sorts of toys and they do a wonderful job. Recently they had an idea that I thought had a lot of merit. [23:17] By using Seran Wrap, they had a frame you put the Seran Wrap over, just put the roll in and draw it down over a piece of clear plastic. And back a little ways, you could adjust it, was a pin hole. And you see anything at a distance, you look through that pin hole, and trace it on the Seran Wrap, wonderful thing for children. You could draw exact pictures of it. Then when you were done, just rip off the Seran Wrap. I thought that had a lot of merit. I saw it about a year ago. Some really clever fellows. He had developed into a-

JB   Is this the other side of 100? Or is it this side of 100?

RB   No, it's just over here. My nearest neighbor. Instead of turning right you come up. If you turn left you gone over here and turn right again. I was involved in that a little bit in their coming in here. I was listing. We had our town clerks office was a small building right where the gazebo is in town now. These 2 fellows came in looking for Wards properties. They were looking for some place to start a development like that. [24:50] It was Art Clipful and Peter Gluck came with Dave Sellers and Bill Renicke. Those the 4 of the young fellows. I thought they were loggers when they came in, looking for Ward property. They wanted to know if we knew of any place that was for sale that they could do that on. Well I had a piece of property over here I sold Gluck and Clipful I think 60 acres, just below the Fuller farm. [look on the map. 25:50] An interesting thing about this, Cardell, used to be a common thing. People living in the village would have a wood lot. So Mr. Cardell's daughter was married. And he gave them a wood lot. So they would have their place there. That was a part of it. I rather assume that this is the Cardell place. They referred to it as the Fred place, Fred Cardell. There was another house over here, which was, I don't remember the detail. There used to a barn there, in fact you can still see the barn now, rather see the foundation of the thing. There was a set of buildings there. [26:54]

JB   Is this barn still here?

RB   No, that was torn down I would say probably shortly after that.

JB   Tell me a little about Earl. Was he as great a horse runner as he says he was? What kind of a, just let me sort of put him in perspective. I'll ask Floyd too.

RB   Floyd was __________ floating horses teeth now. Still does. Yes, I think perhaps that Earl was as good as, probably he was almost as good as he claimed! His father used to be the one one would call if they had a sick horse or sick cow. And he had a formula for medicine for colic that was incredible. [28:00] Floyd complains he never shared it with his sons. But his father never shared his secret with his sons. However, I will give Earl credit, being a clever fellow, and he probably (JB- Figured it out?) acquired that some way!

JB   How did Elijah learn something like that? Did he pick it up?

RB   He probably got it from doing. They raised horses for a business. Of course this was back before everybody went to dairying. I've heard the story told that this Cardell lived over on the road in back, what we call the Burns Road now. He came over one time and he was talking with Elijah about a colt he had just bought, paid $100 for it. He was pretty proud of his colt. Elijah apparently didn't share his enthusiasm about the quality of the colt. He was always quite a man for a colt. Elijah said well I was always quite a man for $100 too. [29:32] I think he probably grew into this thing, picked up information wherever he could. Raising horses apparently was quite a, well it had to be quite a business when everybody used them. I've heard them tell the story about Mr. Cardell, I don't know if he was related, probably out of the same family lived down where Warren Antiques is now. In fact the barn where Warren Antiques was a horse barn, the carriage room was almost like a ballroom, all done up, matched planed lumber. [30:12] Rather a showplace. The old fellow used to work with horses more or less. In the course of working with a horse once and a while a tooth had to be extracted. And he had the forceps to take a horse's tooth out. And upon occasion if anybody had a bad toothache they could persuade him to pull it, if they had the courage. And my uncle tells this, somebody told the name of the fellow lived up here in E. Warren, he had a toothache it was driving him crazy. Thought he'd go down see if he could get old man Cardell to pull it. All the way down he was worrying what if he slips off? Well he got down there and sit down, and the old fellow got his forceps, he got a hold of the tooth. He said the only hope he had in his life was he would slip off!

JB   I would think that would be the most excruciating.

RB   [31:11] Dr. Shaw used to live down here to Waitsfield. He was a big man, powerful man. The nearest dentist some of the time there was a dentist down there. Novocain wasn't a common thing back 20's. If you had a tooth to pull you'd go down and see Dr. Shaw. [End of tape 1, side A]

JB   [Tape 1, side B] when he was pulling a tooth, he wouldn't charge you. And only 50 cents if he hollers!

RB   I had a young kid, well he's still alive in WateRBury now, I had a tractor. It was 1940-41. It was an attractive thing for kids. They used to like to come up and help work on the farm, let them drive the tractor when he could. Well it seems I had 2 of them, the boys were shoveling with the dung fork. They got a little carried away. One of them, the fork went through into his hand. I took him down to Dr. Shaw. [1:00] He looked at it. He had his little rod with a ball on the end of it, poke and probe. He poked in. This kid was trying to impress the world with a brave and strong soul he was. Doc probed around to be sure there wasn't any dirt, and then poke out anything that was. He had right a hold of his hands so he couldn't get away. He said it hurt? Stop, quit it hurts! He bandaged it up with a salve. It looked for all the world like tar. But it healed up. But I said when he got ready to go, said doc, how much do I owe you? Aw, give me half a dollar. If I have to cut his hand off I'll charge you a little more! [2:03]

JB   Earl talks about, I forget who he treats, but there's some guy that has hemorrhoids. And he just laces him with iodine. And he comes back, the poor guy's sitting in a pan of water. But he claims the next day he's fine. If he could stand the pain.

RB   This a Dr. Sia to Waitsfield, he ran the medical center He was there for a time in Waitsfield. I think he later went down to Burlington, I'm not sure, I went down for some minor thing. [3:05] I saw he had a propane torch setting up on his shelf. I says what in the world would you use a propane torch for? Says oh, treating piles. Never had one come back! Then he went on to explain! Said he never had one come back! Then he explained to me that if anybody pinches a fingernail, he had a needle or a pin, hold it in the torch and get it red hot and just touch it, it would melt the nail and relieve the pressure, no pain involved. He was pulling my leg at the time! [4:00]

JB   I guess Earl went to veterinary school, he said out in Chicago. I couldn't figure out what kind of a veterinary school. But a lot of it he got from his father I guess.

RB   I would put more credence in the last part of the statement.

JB   He was out in Chicago for awhile. I could never understand what kind of school, or what he actually did.

RB   I'll make no comment on that. However, he was very good farm nurse. [5:01] I remember one time my uncle had a horse that was sick and he called Earl and he came up. Earl went in and looked at the horse and gave him some of his medicine. My uncle said think he going to die? Earl said I'm sure of it, but I don't think now!

JB   He sounds like he was quite a humorous guy. Was he generally liked?

RB   Ya, the whole world liked him. This is a funny little thing. He lived up in Fayston at the time. I went down to a minstrel show. __________said you see that sign down there, Earl Fuller veterinary? It's got a picture of a bird on it. He said ya, bird on it, duck, quack, quack! [6:15] To tell on Earl I though was the whole story, and I've heard this before. In fact I heard it from a man, Joslin, over the feed mill down to Waitsfield. He told his side of it, I've heard the other side too. Earl lived up in Fayston, ran a farm up there and he bought grain from Joslin. He had a feeling that Joslin was charging him more than he ought to for the grain. Joslin came up, he had a few cows in the village. In fact he lives just as you go into Waitsville village from here. [7:05] The mill that he ran was where the ski club is in Waitsfield now, it burned I guess in the early 50's. Was rebuilt. Joslin died before then.

JB   Which Joslin was this?

RB   Steven, S.P. He sold grain. In order to speed the collection of his bill he went up and he was going to buy a cow from Earl. Earl said well she isn't in now, but I got one that's real good milker. She Steve went up the next day and there the cow was in the barn just as Earl told him it would be. She had a beautiful big bag. Well, Steve led her home, set down to milk her. As he milked all he was getting was air. Earl used to have, milk fever was one of the things that he treated quite well. [8:10] The treatment they had then was to inflate the udder with air so that produce and stop the production of milk. He had taken his instrument, he built this up. He figured that would kind of even out the score.

JB   So did the guy keep the cow?

RB   Ya, he bought her! It was that or nothing. Well it went on for, I was a kid going down to grange at this time. Mrs. Summerville, Thelma Rickett's mother, she was down to the grange. One of the staunch patrons of the grange. I use the word matron, describing a lady rather than the office. [9:03] At that time they ran the fair which Warren Grange ran a fair on the flat behind our Lady of the Snows church now. There's a big flat. They had a nice little fair there. Well, in running the fair and having the shows they naturally had to buy some hay and grain, probably grain from Joslin. Somebody complained that Joslin had charged them more for the grain that they had got than they thought he should have. Mrs. Summerville got up, and she said perhaps if Joslin had beat the grange that they ought to have brother Fuller sell him another cow! [Jane asks him to repeat. 10:02]

JB   I gather he was quite a dealer.

RB   He was. A lot of the things that were attributed to him as being crooked or dishonest was either retaliation, or a game. He played life a lot like a game of checkers.

JB   With some humor as well.

RB   If he could outsmart somebody. But he was a clever horseman, there's no question about it. I heard my neighbor up here, Casey Jones we called him. He lived over here one time on the hill just on the other side. He broke horses from a early manhood. Casey tells that one morning he was going out to get his cows. And Earl apparently had taken a horse out to break early in the morning before there was any traffic on the road. [11:09] Seems that he was up somewhere near where Casey could see him by the road, and the horse got away from him. Said he caught the horse, but he never saw a man run so in his life! So he was really under pressure. Cause he was something like this book, Real Vermonters Don't Milk Goats. I noticed there's one page that particularly amused me. Said real Vermonters don't jog. But will run is pressed. When the old fellow had a swarm of bees chasing him! So Earl was pressed.

JB   He was a little slight guy I guess.

RB   Ya, he was. [pause 12:10] I don't know call him slight. He wasn't a big man.

JB   I just knew him, and by that time he was not getting around well in the days I interviewed him, which was in the early 80's. When did he die, '83 4?

RB   I think he was close to 100 when he died. I would say somewhere along in there.

JB   And his wife must be dead now too, Nan?

RB   She died a year or so ago.

JB   She must of been right up there too.

RB   They weren't very far, but I guess she was a little younger than he was. I never knew her that much. I knew his first wife much better.

JB   And she died of cancer. [13:13] (RB-This was quite awhile ago.) And then he said he sold his farm and went to blacksmithing.

RB   He went blacksmithing I think previous to his wife died. They lived there in the village and he ran a blacksmith shop. He rented it from Blake I guess. Floyd Blake. Frank Blake was, his wife was granddaughter of Ned McAllister. I told you that she married Bill McAllister who was a part time fox hunter and part time carpenter. [14:14] I have a little story to tell about him. He took pride in being a good carpenter. Somebody wanted him to hang a door. He insisted it was not the right way to do it, but if they wanted it hung that way, fine, he would hang it. But if you ever tell anybody what damn fool hung that, I'll punch you in the nose! Well it seems that somebody inquired that. He fulfilled his I could tell you the name, come up to me sometime. It's the first house up on the Lincoln Gap road. [15:00]

JB   Earl told a number of stories of people up there. I guess the Hartshorns lived up there.

RB   Frank Hartshorn. His daughter in law is Kit Hartshorn. His grandson is chief of the fire department here. His oldest son Paul drives a log truck. He has a farm down below Waitsfield and his son took it over. But I started to say Frank Blake's wife Wilmine was a granddaughter of Ned McAllister. They had a son and a daughter. Jessie McAllister and Wilmine. Well Jessie never really got into hard work if he could help it. And Frank was a prosperous, hard working man. [16:15] One time he said to Wilmine I'll give you $100 if you get your brother's recipe for living without working! That was back in the days when $100 was a $100. Since added a zero on to it to keep it up, and the government's going to put a couple more on if we don't watch them. When they put the blacktop road through Warren they eliminated the blacksmith shop.

JB   Where was it?

RB   As you go down to Warren and turn to go north, as you get into the village, there is I guess you can still see a piece of the cement foundation almost tight to the road. [17:15] Originally the road was narrower. The shop stood right tight to the road. So they had to buy the shop, I think the road went through there, mid 50's. The interesting thing about this road, Roy Long was one of the businessmen in town. And there was HeRB Wheeler and Clayton Neal ran a little garage farther down, since burned. The town owns the land now, it's just on the west side of the road just as you come through the bridge, which is in the north end of town. [18:13] There's a little area there the town owns now. They used to have telephone booth there. It's a turn out. There was some opposition to building the road around the town because these fellows doing business thought it going to take the traffic away from them. It was all planned in the late 40's, or very early 50's to relocate the road. And there was some opposition. They went up to the highway department and voiced their concern. They accommodated them. Some of those fellows up there in the highway department had camps up in Calais, N. Montpelier. So they obliged them to pave the road up through there. [19:09] It was 5 years or more after that before we got a road! That was the center of the activity of town back when the town was depended upon horses and transportation. In fact going over the mountain on slippery days in the winter they might come in early in the morning and get the corks sharpened up at the blacksmith shop. He'd go in, take off the shoe and sharpen the corks before the days of or whatever they had that you could remove the corks and change them. They had to take the shoe off, put it in the forge, and hammer them on the corking vice, get a new cutting edge so they could walk on the ice before the days of sand to salt. [20:13]

JB   Earl says that his father, I guess his grandfather had a blacksmith shop on the place. [Rupert gets up] Did you have a blacksmith shop here?

RB   No. There was a blacksmith shop on the airport road. Joe Drew I think it was, ran a blacksmith shop, served the center of E. Warren. E. Warren at one time was a center. [Shows Jane a picture.]

JB   Now that must be gone too.

RB   Yup. I remember when that building was there. In fact my memory goes back into the 20's. [21:02]

JB   How did your mother happen to become a photographer? Or take these glass plate negatives?

RB   Well this Will Blair that you spoke about, it seems that the Blair family always went off and tried to find some easy way to make a living, in addition to their farming operation. Will took pictures, tinkered watches, fixed harnesses, fixed shoes. He had a few cows to fall back on, which ever way it was. It was a cottage industry actually as we see it now. He went around taking pictures, took pictures for people.

JB   What happened to his photographs? [22:00]

RB   So far as I know, they were destroyed some time along the way. There was a Ern Chase from Waitsfield, you probably have run across him? Not him but his photographs. He had oodles of plates. Malcolm Reese bought all of those. I don't know if you ever see the World, Judy Reese? It's her husband. If you met him on the street you'd think you met Abraham Lincoln. I don't mean that in a derogatory way. But there is a striking resemblance.

JB   And so he has a lot of these photographs?

RB   He has a lot of those glass negatives that Ern Chase did. Ern was pretty much the same thing but in a bigger way. In fact I think he had a business in Montpelier.

JB   Now is Malcolm Reese in Waitsfield? [23:04]

RB   Ya, he's instead of turning left at the Maple Lane farm, you're going down to Waitsfield village you go straight through. It's probably a mile, just beyond Donny Joslin's, house on the right. I don't know if the telephone company has acquired any of those or not. I think they did.

JB   Who's the person to talk with at the telephone company?

RB   Susan Simms or Dana Haskin. You must of seen their telephone directory? You see the '78 one they had too?

JB   I'm not sure which one I've seen. They have little histories?

RB   There's a recent one, and then there was one that they did, I think they did one in '78. [24:00] It was a history of the telephone. I won't bother to look it up now but I will get it. [Rupert goes to find it. 24:55]

JB   It's interesting that the telephone company is interested in doing this. It's great.

RB   I suspect some of those negatives probably came from Ern Chase's collection. I also suspect that perhaps that Dana and Mrs. Haskins, Eleanor have acquired most of the things that Malcolm had in addition to a lot of other ones.

JB   Malcolm was Malcolm Reese. So you say he has

RB   He originally got them from the Chase's. Mrs. Chase who outlived her husband by quite a bit. Alden Bettis who lives below Waitsfield. [26:06] He has a very good memory. In fact there's a picture of him. His mother died and he went to live with his aunt, which grew up here in western part of Warren up on the ledge. [Rupert walks away from mic.] There's a picture of him as a young fellow driving a milk truck. One of these.

JB   Who's this guy? [looking through photos.]

RB   I have no recollection. See that's in Waitsfield. I could deny any knowledge of it. [27:07] without admitting I forgot. There was kind of an interesting little anecdote. I heard about a Mrs. Smith that was down, trucking teaming business. There's a picture of Alden when he was a young fellow. I think you'd be interested to talk with Alden. He probably would remember quite a lot more than I would. He's a year older than I am.

JB   And he grew up in Warren?

RB   Yes, Warren and Waitsfield. But he mostly grew up in on the west hill in Warren. [pause; 28:10] He and I graduated grammar school 1932 together. He graduated from Warren grammar school, I was up here in E. Warren. All in the same town. I remember this Clarence Hartshorn had a truck, big body truck. The teachers in Warren hired him to take a group, probably was close to 20 of us, maybe not that many, graduated the 8th grade. They took us down to North Beach down to Burlington for a celebration. I hate to say this, I could swim except the first time I ever wore a bathing suit! [29:02] I had to rent that one!

JB   Did you mostly swim in the brooks and stream here? (RB- Ya.) Was there a particular good swimming hole around?

RB   There was one big enough to swim in not too far from here. When they put the blacktop road in they ruined it for the kids. Up on the brook coming up this way you can still see where the water ran down over. They ruined it by moving the road over they ruined the swimming hole. But there was brush growing along side the road there, very good place to go swimming, not to far from here.

JB   I didn't mean to interrupt you. I side tracked you from talking about your mother starting to take pictures. But you said it was Will Blair? [30:06]

RB   I suspect. But it seems to be something in the genes I guess. Tinker, do other things. It's the same, she became interested in the history of the town. That's intrigued her. And she complained because I came along to confuse the thing later. When she first started taking pictures they got their chemicals from Germany. When Germany went to war, couldn't get the chemicals and they weren't as good, she had trouble. My daughter gave me a book, Progress of [gets up to find book. 31:27] And in that book it told, I couldn't find it now, but it told the same thing that she did, that the chemicals came from Germany. And there was a time when picture taking was very difficult.

JB   And she started what, about 1910 you said?

RB   Probably a little previous to that. [End of Tape 1.]

RB   And there's a trap door in the back with frosty glass in it. She had a little lock on the shutter. She'd leave the shutter open, and she'd look through the glass and focus forward and back until she got a clear picture. I never could understand it, it was almost was wrong side up, on the glass. When she got ready to take a picture she had a little frame, you drop the glass negative in with a black front and back on it. There was a slot in the camera. When she got everything all set to take the picture, it took a minute, then she had this shawl she through over her head so that the light wouldn't bother her. It was a 20 year old deal by the time I remember it. [1:09] She'd close the back door, close her shutter, then she'd pull up the little piece of black cardboard in front of the film, trip it, put it back in. Then she'd go upstairs. She had a dark room as such, it was a closet up there that was shut and she had a lock on the door so that the kid or anybody else wouldn't open the door on her. She had a little kerosene light with a red lens in it. And she developed her own negatives. Did her own prints. She did contact prints.

JB   And those are the ones that are down at the library, the contact prints.

RB   Copies of them. I probably have some here up in the attic. I remember seeing her do it. [2:07] She had 2 or 3 jugs set in there. She put some chemicals into [someone comes in. tape shut off.] Very energetic person. She drives the school bus morning and night. Does the girls scouts. In fact I guess that's material she had here, I don't know.

JB   I just find it amazing that your mother was taking pictures then.

RB   She had to develop them herself because there was no. That was all a part of the photography business. And you didn't send out your prints to get them done. [3:00] She had what she called a developer, then she had the hypo. I think she put that in the seal them or (RB-Like fixer.) Then she had a little rack. When she'd bring them out, somewhere upstairs I still got the trays that she had, trays with the zig-zag bottom in them. Then she had a rack that she apparently concocted of a cloth stretched over like a quilting frame, small size. She'd lay them on that to dry.

JB   What kind of photographs did she take? Where they mostly scenes? Or did she take life around the farm at all?

RB   She took a lot of pictures for people. [4:03] Well as if you go to a studio now. Those glass prints aren't here now. I might have some pictures upstairs that she took. [Rupert leaves the mic. 4:27] returns. Looking through photographs. 4:43] I have some of my aunt, which is Will's mother

JB   So will was related to you.

RB   Will was a cousin. My mother's first cousin. There's a book that they put things into that I think should of been preserved rather than.

JB   They would just stick the newspaper clippings.

RB   If one needed to they could just. [pause. 5:27]

JB   Death of Jessie McAllister.

RB   Here's some pictures she took. There's a picture of her.

JB   Who do you suppose took that?

RB   She got somebody, she had a timer on it.

JB   Did she? So that she take her own photograph.

RB   I expect she got it all set up and had somebody. There's a picture of her mother, and couple of her aunts.

JB   Now this is the grandmother that was born in 1845.

RB   That's right, that's my grandmother.

JB   And who's this? Her sister maybe?

RB   I would suspect that's one of my grandfather's sisters, but I can't tell you which one. I would guess it would be Mrs. Mary Stevens, not Mary, [pause. 7:00] There's another picture of her with her cousin.

JB   And her name was?

RB   Minnie. She was daughter of Nathanial. She stayed home and took care of the old folks. Her brothers thought they had it made too, a couple of bachelors. But she married and left at 40. The unfortunate part of that was she had a son and she passed away at the birth. And __________is one of the brothers. I told her she was making a mistake. There is Mary and Thayer. [8:02]

JB   Would this be your grandparents?

RB   No, this is my grandfather's sister. Thayer was I think. When you speak to __________ he probably got some of those. Another picture of Warren, post cards.

JB   Did she ever sell any of her photographs for post cards? Post cards probably weren't even

RB   And that's a picture she took of me quite some time ago.

JB   I would say. Do you remember it?

RB   I have to confess that I didn't remember it.

JB   You must of been about 6 months old.

RB   There's a picture she took. This the barn right raising. That's just below here.

JB   Now where was this? [8:55]

RB   As you came up by you came by a garage with a lot of machinery. That barn stood right there. And she was standing in the road or above the road. I guess she probably was standing about in front of the trailer up there.

JB   Now who's barn was that?

RB   That was VanDeusen. A. VanDeusen built it in 1912 I think it was. There's a picture of Will's work. That is George. (RB-George Blair?) Ya, George. He was one of the brothers, one I said he told her she was making a mistake. That picture's taken right across from the Top Gas. __________ is there now. That was there original Will Blair's original home place. [10:00] Here's one I have no idea who took that one.

JB   This is what?

RB   That's, you drove right by it.

JB   I saw it out on the road out here.

RB   As you come up through Warren village you turn, it's on the left just before you turn to go to the school house. That's as I remember it. I remember

JB   There's no hedge there now.

RB   No, I remember the hedge. That was Kit Freeman that used to run the Freeman store. And he was also a teamster. I remember the hedge, I remember the wooden walk that went up to the house. When they put the blacktop road in they encroached on it. Making a wider road is a great thing, but it didn't do much for the looks of the valley.

JB   Are there any of the old store owners around that ran the general store in town? [11:10]

RB   This is Neal, Velma Neal. Lives right there by the church. She and her husband ran, picture of the store here a minute ago, it went by.

JB   They ran Spaulding store, right?

RB   That's right. That one I have no idea. That's preceded her picture taking. There's another one of her pictures.

JB   That's her, right?

RB   Ya. There's a picture of David, that's Will father.

JB   These are great. Now did she take this do you think?

RB   I suspect perhaps Will did. Ya, W.A. Blair.

JB   And this is your grandmother? And Will's aunt.

RB   There's a great aunt. That's Mary Jane Blair. That was my aunt. When they lived up on the hill across from Kenny's, I think she was 7 years old, she fell down the cellar stairs, brain concussion, killed her. [pause. 13:17] That's the picture she took, but right at the moment it escapes me who it is. It might come to me a little later, might not. Probably not. There's my grandmother and her 2 sisters. That's sister Sara, and that's I called her aunt Lucy, Will Blair's mother. [14:10] Sara Ravenbird. And Mariette Blair was my grandmother. There's another picture of her. [pause. 14:52] I think this is Will's work. And I think that is his father and his uncle Russ I think.

JB   With beards of the time, very much. [pause while looking at pictures. 15:55] Jenny Thayer.

RB   She was a daughter of Mary I think, or a granddaughter. There is again George (Blair) and his sister Minnie (Who was your grandmother) No, sister Minnie, that was another one that's taken, my mother's cousin. And there's her mother Betsy Bettis originally, which is related to Alden, and there is Nathanial Blair. There's another brother, they never catch him the picture Skip. Skipped the pictures! He's the one that tell her she made a mistake. George. But nobody every got a hold of Skip. So far as I know nobody ever get a picture of Skip. There was me when I got a little older. [17:01]

JB   You were pretty cute.

RB   Then I got a tricycle.

JB   I bet you remember that well.

RB   I remember the tricycle. In fact I remember this partition didn't use to be a partition, used to go through here. And the kitchen was outside, a little drop there like there is now. That door was always open. And it was quite the thing to go out there and ride in a circle, tricycling mania, I'd ride around, the stove set there where the chair is. There's my son. Her husband of the girl was just here. This fellow and I hadn't got along too well. [18:00] Well he got on to my tricycle, ride in there. If you went kitty corner across that dip it would flip you. God, I was tickled to death to see him (flip!) It hurt him a little. There is Will's wife and his daughter, __________ and Laurel. Here's another one the same one with Sara Ravenbird.

JB   That looks like an old one.

RB   That's an old tin type. Think the name is __________ .

JB   Were they relations?

RB   Ya, my grandfather's mother was an Alger I believe, Nancy Alger. [19:08] There's a Sunday School picnic somewhere I guess. There's Sara Ravenbird. (That's the sister again. Sister in law.) She's my grandmother's sister. Her married name was Ravenbird, and there's another sister. And here's Willy, here's Ida Preston. She's mother of the Foley. There's Willy Preston. He lived on the old home farm __________ . Alonzo Preston. [20:10] And there's Ida Foley again.

JB   I'm sure you were a favorite subject. [pause. 20:55]

RB   That's Will Preston's granddaughter. This was taken back probably 40 years ago.

JB   Look, with the links.

RB   That's Willy Preston was my grandmother's brother, and that's his daughter. I picked that up at the yard sale. I got to show it to you. People in Waitsfield. Told them I never could have it. Here's some things my mother cut out. There's one they captured me up to farm show one time. (that's nice.) [22:04] Here's the history of Ella DeVoe who lived in Warren village. She was 103 I think when she died.

JB   In 1957. Think what she must of seen.

RB   I've heard the rumor that when she was a girl they thought she wasn't healthy, she'd never live to grow up. She was interested in history all along the way. She picked things out of the paper and cut them out.

JB   Did any of the members of your family keep diaries at all? [23:00]

RB   Nathanial kept a diary for a time. You saw a picture of him. He was a great uncle of mine. There's Ella DeVoe again. [pause; 24:11] A lot of years she cut things out of the paper. [pause; 25:00] There is part of the history of the creamery of Warren. There was a cooperative creamery. There's George and his dog again.

JB   He's a little older in this one. No, it's Nathanial Blair and dog, King. [pause; 26:05]

RB   There's the whole family.

JB   That's neat. Now tell me who they are.

RB   It's on the back.

JB   Alma Stevens and Lucy Ann Stevens. And then James Blair is this one.

RB   That's Anna Stevens. That's Thayer. That's David, that's Nathanial.

JB   Now are these all brothers?

RB   These are brothers, this is brother in law.

JB   These all look alike. At least two have the same nose in this one.

RB   I'm sorry, that one there is Thayer. Those are brothers in law.

JB   But look, they all three have the same nose. [27:07]

RB   There's my grandmother again. There's Aunt Lucy. I think that's Betsy. Darn if I know those other 2 for sure.

JB   It says David Blair and

RB   Rustus Thayer, Mary Thayer, OK. Mary and Jeannette Macallister and Lucy Ann Stevens, OK. I was wrong on the Betsy I guess.

JB   That's a nice photograph.

RB   That probably was Will's work. There's the church in the background, I think. [28:04]

JB   What's that? Lincoln Brook. Parsons Mill, __________ Mill? [pause.] That might be what I have that rhyme about.

RB   There's better pictures of that. There's the original one that one.

JB   That's a nice one. What's that?

RB   That's Nathanial standing in front of a mill just at the south end of Warren village, there's a trailer setting there now. Trailer and a new house. The trailer sits almost where the mill was. As you leave the Warren village. And there's another one of the grist mill and the old clapboard mill. [29:10]

JB   Parker and Slayton's. So it wasn't Parson. Is this by the covered bridge?

RB   No, there aren't a cement bridge there now. That was the old grist mill. And there was a mill on the other side that was, I'm not quite sure how they called it. There's the mill anyway, board mill. That's the same mill you saw the other side of. That tells who was in the picture. [30:08]

JB   This would be Slayton picture taken around 1910, owned by Plina. (Pline property.) "Pline Parker previous to this Pline Parker and Dr. E.W. Slayton owned the mill, and formed the Parker and Slayton Lumber Co. And the employees are Joe Pierce, Orvey Jones, Charles Parker, Bub Minor, Audry Hubbard, Pete Luce, George Walden, and Plina Parker, owner of oxen and mill." So that must of been what this piece was written about.

RB   There's a pretty good picture of the town of Warren. [pause. 31:20]

JB   Now where's this?

RB   That's taken right down in Warren village. There's the house where the town hall is right over here. The school house is right behind it. That is David and Lucy. This is the road that goes by the end of their house it goes to the town hall. [End of tape 2, side A] [Tape 2, side B] There's Stevens and their son in law. That's just south of Warren village. The house has since burned.

JB   Is this the swimming hole you were talking about?

RB   No. That was a picture my mother took. Right out in front of the house here. (JB-Is that you?) No, no, no, I never drove a Stanley Steamer. Here's the original, one of the covered bridge we had taken from. [1:05] There's a logging operation. That's Parkers I presume. Another picture of my mother. There was a cousin Another picture of Warren village. [pause 1:44] That's just a history of a piece of land (The common boundaries.) There's a picture of the mountain before Sugar Bush started in. It's taken in '46 I think. There's the new slide, we call the new slide. And there's the old slide I guess.

JB   Now the old slide was the one where, what was the name, I can't think, that Earl talked about.

RB   The new slide was in '38. That's right where I think the Castle Rock, one of those trails. And there's the scene looking north from the 4 corners here, in '46.

JB   Who took these?

RB   Thelma Ricketts had some __________ that came up. I had a bad time here, they all told me I was crazy. But I did manage to. [3:00] I got the picture somewhere here of Willis Bride, Judge Bride, skiing at the Warren ski tow.

JB   You're going to curse me when I leave with this mess.

RB   This I got from soil conversation service. I got one that's got some marks on it, makes more sense. Here's a couple pictures of Allen Tinker copied. He had on his back porch, he had a chair like that. I showed him the picture, that was in color. [4:09]

JB   Chair parade. Now that was the chair that he bought with the house that he had to leave out.

RB   Ya. Here's an aerial photo that shows where the ski tow went. Here's the original. [pause.]

JB   "I use antique equipment because I'm an antique farmer." RB [pause; 5:38] I kept that under wrap quite awhile, everybody is dead now that was involved in it.

JB   The yellow painted hack. This is what you were telling me about. One Sunday morning, early. Biddy Egan and Alvin Foley.

RB   Walt __________ Tom and his dog Jack. (a friend of theirs) from Haverill, and Albie Wilson, Haverill.

JB   All went out riding in the yellow painted hack. Chorus Then it's woe me dandy go along Napoleon,

RB   He is the pacer, the finest on the track, He can pace to 40 __________ Wilson Haverill's hack.

JB   The road was rough and muddy, and Biddie corked quite ruddy, and Diddy looked quite ruddy, As Alvin, Walt and Thomas for whiskey had no lack.

RB   Tom Egan, that was Biddie Egan's father, or husband I mean.

JB   The reverend, he is something, as though his friends beguiling as something they went riding in the yellow painted hack. As they drove to neighbor Estes to see his good boy Charlie, And have him hitch the (ponies) while they all went out back.

RB   To trample down the clover, and look the schoolhouse over, they all

JB   ride home together in the yellow painted hack.

RB   [7:42] That was this E. Warren schoolhouse, there was some question about when they built it, the relative or somebody skinned off a little.

JB   This is great. Who did you tell me made this up?

RB   It was Art Hartshorn, which was I think brother to Frank I think. And this Jessie Macallister, and there was 2 or 3 others involved in this thing. And they had several little ditties. [8:35]

JB   Earl made up some ditties too I think.

RB   Ya, he might have. I think he was able to.

JB   "They looked the schoolhouse over, and sweetly talked together, Till someone said no matter, to funds we have no lack."

RB   Cost $1,100 to build that building. They over spent their budget by $100.

JB   "We will build another story before his hair gets hoary And raising house up to glory in the yellow painted __________ hack. And work hard to pay our taxes while others grind their __________ axes, But if their hold relaxes we will get our money back. $10,000 feet of lumber or more has gone to thunder, It's gone to by old plunder, like the yellow painted __________ hack." [9:49]

RB   Wilson Averil was on the school board when they built that schoolhouse. The yellow painted hack was his buggy.

JB   "But Albert thinks it's funny as long as he has money, He went up to see old Biddie to get his good dog Jack. He at the door did meet her, he asked to see good Peter" Who's Peter? [10:23]

RB   That must be Moriary, lives next house over.

JB   "But did not kindly greet her in the yellow painted hack. Some say the row is ended, but if it is extended, And Biddie is defended, we think twill clear the track. For the reverend's leg is broken, and then is left no __________ token, Of loving words once spoken in the yellow painted hack. [11:11] Biddie she is waiting while Albert he is __________ sweating, Eat Heath and Martin"

RB   Eat Heath was, did you tell me somebody making baskets?

JB   Right, yes, that's exactly right. "Eaton Heath and Martin are filling up on jack," That's whiskey,

RB   I assume, or some __________ .

JB   "The people are hurried and the jury they are worried For fear the case will settle in the yellow painted __________ hack."

RB   There's more to that. There's more background. I never was privy to all of it, and some of it I've forgotten.

JB   When was this written? [12:16]

RB   The schoolhouse was built in 1896 I think.

JB   And who wrote this down, your mother?

RB   My mother copied off something.

JB   It's wonderful. "Old Biddie broke her ankle and Estes dog is dead."

RB   Este lived right on the corner there, but I think he was a preacher.

JB   "Wallace married Nelly as soon as she got back."

RB   I've heard them tell a story that this Nelly, she had something to do with the church, whether she was a daughter or the wife of one of the ministers, I don't know. She came there anyway. She sang in the choir. And it seems that I think it was Foley, it might of been Este, that went to church in the evening session. She sang, this fellow got himself all in the mood to go to church and receive religion and any other thing he could get. [13:35] He set up in the back, and after she had sung, said "Sing, Nelly, sing, I like to hear ya!"

JB   So that was Wallace?

RB   I don't know if it was Wallace or not. I thought it was one of the Foleys. But it might of been Wallace.

JB   "And Wallace married Nelly as soon as she got back, They think they are right in clover, [trouble reading] __________ and the honeymoon just over. They took their wedding journey in the yellow painted __________ hack.

JB   "They had a wedding supper of oysters, beans and ginger Of coffee, wine and cider minced pies and hard tack.

RB   They whooped it up till morning,

JB   They left just at the dawning, And all rode home together in the yellow painted hack. Then Davis from the college of scientific knowledge"

RB   Now you're getting into the row in Warren that the Lovetts. Davis came in, the man school teacher. The Lovetts daughter was going to school and they became very attracted to each other, that they discussed John and Ellen. [15:29] It goes on to tell the whole story.

JB   "With all the lovely ladies for flirting had great knack You ought to hear the (yelling) of Buzzle John and Ellen As Redsford (He was the minister.) drove for (Godfrey) __________ in the yellow painted hack. They gave them a reception, it was grand beyond __________ conception. The buck saw orchestra was there, it was Art Hartshorn __________ and (just back.) The music it was thrilling, and Noah came near spilling If her lovely ladies (they're riding) in the yellow __________ painted hack." [16:35]

RB   Art Hartshorn and Jess MacCallister was the one I was telling you that were involved in it along with some others.

JB   And that actually took part in writing this, right?

RB   They might not have written that, they might have.

JB   "We hope their trouble is ended and the differences mended, for Davis and his better half to Essex have gone back. May all their troubles brighten, their future prospects lightened, as onward they go riding in the yellow painted hack." This was written in the late 1890s, supposedly by Art Hartshorn, Jessie McAllister and Jessie Greensly. The schoolhouse mentioned was built in 1895 at E. Warren Corner. The one now in use, 1962. [17:39] Gosh, now are these all songs your mother wrote?

RB   She wrote them down. There's another one somewhere, {The Riot in Warren". It tells about, she copies something too. These have nothing to do, I think that's just something she wrote down (JB-Maybe she was interested in.) It's her writing I think. No, I'm not sure it is either. [pause.] I'm boring you with

JB   No, I find this. The thing is that these songs and stuff, they're fascinating I think for the stories they tell. [18:34]

RB   Margaret McArthur was through here. She got a hold of that somewhere. We had control of that for a time. Ruth Cota got it. We sort of protected it and kept it until everybody was dead and gone that was involved in it. Somewhere there's a "Riot in Warren" that goes with that. I don't know if it's in the same book or not.

JB   This is I think the story of the Holy Grail. Names of authors, John Greenly Whittier. These must be songs she liked? Quotations. [looking through] Vermont. The Wreck of the Hesperess, I'll be darn.

RB   I think things that sort of attracted her __________ . I can see myself in a lot the same situation, whatever I'm attracted by different __________ . [20:00; pause. 20:12]

JB   "The Captain's Daughter" We were crowded in the cabin.

RB   Another poem that __________ (she liked.) [looking for Riot in Warren.]

JB   "The Old Squire" 1816. Is that here?

RB   No, the Old Squire was announcer for radio. You must of seen the works of the Old Squire?

JB   Autographs. These must be autograph __________ . [20:50] "Riot in Warren". As I come before the people with a story which I will tell, of a damsel fair and pretty, and a man that loved her well. She played with his affections, but her love she did not give. Then she left him quite heart broken, and he little cared to live. Then he lingered sad and weary on this earth for many a day, till consumption fastened on him, and from earth he passed away. Then this damsel's smiled so sweetly and looked for other hearts to break. Cold and cruel and inhuman she for meanness took the cake." Who's this?

RB   I'm not quite sure here.

JB   [21:55] "Then young Buck Bickford came to Warren to keep the school of No. 2. She was smitten, he didn't love her, then she knew not what to do. Now I will change my humble story and tell of a riot that occurred in this same quite peaceful valley, and I'll tell it word for word."

RB   Now this Bickford was a minister that came in here to preach in E. Warren church, when there was a church here in E. Warren, we pictures of it. __________ then they jumped to a different subject.

JB   "Then young Davis came from Essex." (OK, there we go again.) "The school of No. 2 to keep." (This was No. 2 school here.) And then something about Edith. "He fell in love with Grace."

RB   Grace and Edith were __________ daughters. Sister to this Fremont that I was. [23:30]

JB   "So he fell in love with Grace, not Edith. Then Edith in jealousy did weep. When her parents found out the racket, they saved and swore and tore around, bound that she should give up Davis right then and there, and marry Brown."

RB   Well she did marry Brown, I remember. Edith has several grandchildren. One was [pause] she had a daughter Hannah that married [pause]

JB   She must of been pretty young. She must of been what, 15 or so at this point? [24:05]

RB   I suspect she's a little older than Grace, but I wouldn't say for sure. In following up to history or the story of it, Grace, she didn't live with Davis too long.

JB   Did they end up by getting married?

RB   Oh ya, they moved to Essex. But she lost her mind, became crazy. And she was in WateRBury hospital for years. (Grace.) Yes.

JB   Because it says here "Grace refused to do their bidding, saying she did not love Brown. But she should stand by Davis and go with him to Essex town. Then they raised a bigger racket, took their children out of school. Grace they locked up quite securely, Davis they called a worthless fool. Then Grace watched her chances and away from there did flee, closely followed by old Ellen." Is that her mother? [25:07] (Ya, John Miller.) "Down to school her Frank to see. Then old Ellen went to raving around the schoolhouse, round and round. Sent for Eldridge and for Averill, then she called on Edgar Town."

RB   Edgar Town was a neighbor who lived up the top of the hill.

JB   "But they all refused to help her, knowing that her cause was bad. All their sympathy was given to poor Grace and her brave lad. Then Ellen started homeward, raving, howling, cursing wild. Sent good Lunna (that's another daughter) to the mountain for John to come and get his child."

RB   John was probably cutting wood up on, was their mountain lot up on the mountain. Lunna was a younger daughter, a little older than my mother, I've heard her tell about her. [26:09]

JB   "Then sponge old Spahn?"

RB   Spines they called him. He was the minister.

JB   "Then sponge old Spahn they called him, came out from his lair, where there (swearing, cursing, fighting) tearing dresses, pulling hair. There this good old (advent Christian.)" Now I think Earl talks about this Advent Christian, who preached in the church for a year, is that right?

RB   I think so. I'm not quite sure what he said, but who he's referring to it sounds like it might be.

JB   Earl used to like to go for the entertainment. "There this good old Advent Christian clucked above (howled) howled above the awful din. [27:07]

RB   "Hallelujah! Smash the door down!"

JB   "Bring out the worthless cuss of sin! Then Sponge set them on the harder" (tell them just what to do,) saying we are Advents, we're Christians! Tear the house down, let's go through! For we know we are God's people and we can do most anything, lying and steal and cheat our neighbors, and it will not be no sin. But they fought a little longer, then they quit it one by one. Patched it up, shook hands together, sweetly smiling all went home. But, one more thing in conclusion, and I truly think it is so, that if Advents go to Heaven, it's a place I don't want to go. If I ever see that Kingdom and meet old Ellen face to face, I will hastily pack my bundle, and leave that land in vile disgrace." [28:33] This was written about 1896 or 7. It is thought (Jule Severy), Jessie Greenslit and Art Hartshorn were the authors. John and Ellen were Mr. and Mrs. Lovett, the daughter Edith, Grace and Lunna. Old Sponge was Mr. Bickford. So was that the Advent minister?

RB   I expect it was. My mother tells the story that she went to one of the Wednesday night Vesper service I think it was. And there was a lady down here, Ida Brown. I remember her. Maybe Earl has mentioned her. She was I guess she probably lost some of her maRBles as they would say. I should build up more fire, you're freezing to death. [29:48] She was attracted to the minister. (This same Advent.) No, no, this was probably one later. In fact I've heard this story from both sides. At one time the Montpelier Seminary, Vermont College or Norwich University, Vermont College now, I went up there when I was boarding high school in the early 30's. The story went then that, and I think the Boston Theological Seminary grew out of the Methodist seed sowed up here in Montpelier. [30:27] But anyhow they for a time they did a theological seminary, or assisted ministers who or young fellows who had that thought. He came from up there, I heard the story from that end too. He came out here and preached. And Ida was very much taken by him. So got up, it was a common thing for them to get up in church and tell of their thoughts and their expressions and their feelings. So she got up, and he claimed he didn't hear it. My mother was there so she heard the whole thing, she sat a little farther back, had a ring side seat you might say! [31:18] She got up and she told him that the Lord had told her that he had been sent to be her husband. That every time she opened the Bible she could see his face. She insisted [End of tape 2, side B.

RB   This was the story that they

JB   The guy said he didn't hear it?

RB   Ya, he didn't hear what she was saying. What else could you say in a time like that!

JB   But your mother did.

RB   She heard it, everybody else in church.

JB   And this was,

RB   Ida Brown. She lived just down here. There's a picture of Clarence Brown and his family. It was her brother. It was a big family and not too well to do. They tell a lot of stories about Wilson Brown. He raised quite a big family. I've heard them tell too, he was not known as a good provider or a provident man I guess was the way they called it back in those days. Her family was a very respectable family up in Waitsfield. How she ever mixed up with him, heavens only knows. Perhaps he was different when he was younger. [1:04] Sometimes the true colors don't show through. But anyhow, he was a very pious man, and Advent I presume. He went off to one of the camp meetings. There wasn't much food left in the house, but he went off anyway. And he said Em, the Lord, Em I think her name, the Lord will provide, and he went. Well the family thought they got rid of that old scoundrel, they'd bring out some feed for their sister and her children. While he was gone they wouldn't have to feed him. Well he came back just as they were sitting down to meal, he came back earlier than they had expected. He came in and there was all the food, he said See Em, I told you the Lord would provide!

JB   She probably never live that one down! [2:08]

RB   He was one of the first ones to get a telephone. There was Andrew Bell I think it was from Northfield that put the first telephone line over the mountain here. And they had the central station was at McLaughlins. I think probably it was on the corner, it might of been, McLaughlin lived on both corners so I don't know which was which. But anyhow, they put a line up to Brown. He couldn't recognize his own ring. Back in those days you had a separate ring for each number. So every time the telephone rang he would get up and answer hello, this is Brown, you want Browns? And I heard __________ Lovett say that the telephone rang several times, she said guess Browns aren't there! This was Orin Lovett. [3:02] I heard him make that statement. Won't give Brown time to eat his dinner. Telephone would ring a different ring.

JB   And he'd pick up every single time.

RB   More often than was his own I guess. They tell too, back in those days people came around selling phonographs, cause they were the new thing. Brown bought himself a phonograph, a few records, he was enjoying immensely. He thought it would be nice if he could __________ the rest of the world. So he'd get his phonograph right up and puts the horn right up next to the microphone (telephone.) and took his receiver down so that he was on the line. Well, he ran it most all afternoon. And finally this Andrews, he called up the central, he says will somebody go up and get that damn fool off the telephone! [4:04]

JB   There must of been some funny things that went on.

RB   I pass these on because I get a big kick out of hearing them. Maybe sometimes somebody else will.

JB   Absolutely. It's the humor that's lost too, I think. Books don't tend to carry on the humor as well as the spoken word. And the expressions. That's one of the things I've been noticing with Earl. He was full of expressions.

RB   Ya he was. He was actually a great speaker.

JB   Now was Lauren as good as he was? Did he have that knack?

RB   It wasn't cultivated to the extent. Of course Lauren stayed at home and looked after the farm more until his latter years. [5:02] Earl got out earlier. He delighted in entertaining the public. Betty, you have to see her __________ , get her stories. She got me into this.

JB   Don't worry, I told her after the first of the year she's top of my list!

RB   She tell a good story if you could get her at it. She's a little shy about coming forward with it.

JB   How much younger was she than Ruth?

RB   Eight years I think. I think Ruth was born 1911, she was born in 1919, first day of September. She always tells me I'm much older than she is. I was born in May!

JB   [6:07] Well did you know Lauren at all or ever see him?

RB   Oh yes, yes. We were neighbors. We became very close, particularly after my mother died.

JB   Because he got married when he was about 40 I guess.

RB   He married Thelma Neal ran the store, it was her husband was Gertrude's son. He and Gertrude were married 1928 I think it was. At that time Albert was 18-20, something like that. They run the farm up on Cider Hill. Later they sold the farm and moved down, Albert and Thelma ran the store.

JB   Earl wasn't too complimentary about Lauren's wife.

RB   [pause 7:12] Little jealousy there perhaps. Lauren stayed on the farm and enjoyed the favor of the parents. Earl left and went on his own. There was another brother, Claren.

JB   He totally left didn't he? He was down in Windsor or somewhere like that.

RB   Ya, he traveled about southern New England.

JB   What did he do? Earl never mentioned him much at all. He talks quite a bit about Lauren. And Lauren was a great ox man I gather. [8:03]

RB   But he stayed home on the farm and enjoyed the benefits of the farm. I guess he bought out the farm. But Earl took care of his parents in the latter years. I think that probably where some of the jealousy, where the feeling toward Gertrude came in.

JB   That was because his father didn't like Gertrude I think, according to Earl.

RB   There comes a time when anybody who takes his son away from has got to have a darn good reason.

JB   It was interesting, reading Earl's account of his getting married. His parents weren't very nice about it. He went off and got married and brought his wife back, and it was a little sticky there. [9:03]

RB   I think Earl after he was married came back home and stayed for a time. But things didn't go smoothly. Earl's mother was a very strong person. There again, she was the community midwife, as we would say it today. When somebody was sick she would go and take care of them. And they tell me she was extremely good.

JB   Earl probably got some of his horse remedies from,

RB   He got those from his father, but I don't know how. Of course __________ they were both very clever people.

JB   It sounds like they were. Now did you know both of them pretty well, growing up as a kid? Or did you keep your distance? [10:09]

RB   Well I kept my distance as was necessary, particularly when everybody was alive. I never spoke to HeRBert once.

JB   And she was aware of it.

RB   Oh yes, there's no question. Blamed for part of it. But they had a anniversary, it might of been 25th anniversary for Earl and Kate. And it might of been some anniversary for them. I don't remember. But I do remember going through the receiving line, the devil made me do it! [11:02] He got a big chuckle out of it. She was pretty stiff!

JB   He sounds like a pretty good guy.

RB   Again I'm prejudice, but I think so too.

JB   From everything Earl says. They were good people.

RB   There was 2 or 3 other brothers in Ellen's family I believe.

JB   Brothers of Elijah. I think there were Earl said 5. I've forgotten who they all were.

RB   There was one lived down on the Cardell place I guess. He had a son that was killed with a load of logs. There was a road that goes from what we call the Cardell place or Ann Burns road, went down and comes out on route 100, it follows the brook down. [12:03] (I know where that is.) Probably see it on the map.

JB   In fact I've seen a truck in the river there, I think. Doesn't it come down across the brook?

RB   I don't think that you would seen a truck there. There's a road comes down. Actually it went to the Cardell place, and it followed the brook down. Well some where he went off the bridge and the load of logs came on to him and it killed him. (With horses?) With horses, ya. I don't remember it. I heard my uncle tell about it. I don't remember the fellow's name. It was one of the brother's sons I think. There was another brother lived down in, Hosie lived down in Granville, up on the hill. [13:00] But that road went actually from, it isn't very far from there down to the main road. Comes out to right across from Warren Falls actually, the famous Warren Falls. You must of heard about that.

JB   Just a little. Tell me about the famous Warren Falls.

RB   That's almost as famous as the Huntington Gorge.

JB   For swimming then.

RB   I got into a ruckus with the Valley reporter. They were reporting about the conditions of swimming, places to swim in the valley. I told them look; we don't need this publicity. Enough people go there anyway. [14:03] It is off limits. We have barred people from going in there because of the safety factor. The lady working in the office, she agreed. She worked on the ambulance, and she'd been up there to pick 2 or 3 people.

JB   You always see cars parked along there in the summertime, where people go in.

RB   Tremendous swimming hole, if you like to take chances. Only gets one out of 1,000 probably!

JB   You're awful! You send some of your friends there!

RB   Some I might be tempted to! All depending on what they done to me! [15:04] Friends like that it's easy to love your enemies! [looking through box.] I don't know if I got anything more here that relates to what you're. [poking around. 15:30] Here's some clippings. I don't know if they refer to anything that might. Goldy Taylor was an older lady that, those were some my aunt cut out.

JB   These are, 1913.

RB   That was back about the days of her living here in town and enjoying life. She got the greatest kick out of reading those. [pause 16:06] Here's Devoe, she died 106.

JB   Oh my gosh! So she lived another 2 or 3 years.

RB   That was the account of her funeral. [pause; 16:22] And here's Clarence Hartshorn's obituary. If these things are not of interest to you, don't let me. [pause; 16:46]

JB   Lucy Blair, she was 89, September 13, 1937. [long pause; RB [18:31] Here's some more of the same. [sorting through.]

JB   Mostly weddings and deaths and events.

RB   That was the only important things that happened. Of course I'll tell you this yarn I told before, it's a woman's world. Child is born, the first question, that was the mother. As the years go on he marries, the only comment what a beautiful bride. And when he dies, what did he leave the widow! [19:15]

JB   So your mother was a school teacher. (Um hum.) And did she teach for a long time?

RB   Only for a couple years I guess.

JB   1905 here.

RB   There's some pictures she took. That's my uncle, my grandfather. There's a picture of E. Warren church. [pause; 20:22] You was talking about Parker and Slayton mill, here's his horses. That's taken up on what's now the school common.

JB   And these were all people that worked for Parker and Slayton?

RB   They was Parkers teams. I guess I started to tell you one time I wandered off as I often do, about this old fellow down to Waitsfield that ran the trucking business. That's E. Warren school, when my son was going. [21:03] Here is Mrs. __________ .

JB   Is she the one that was the great shot? Yes?

RB   No, no, no.

JB   The one that Earl was talking about, Ruth.

RB   Ruth was her husband's aunt. There's the same picture. Seems as this Cy Smith had a trucking business or a teaming business. He'd get his help out in the morning, 4 o'clock or so and he'd feed the horse and have breakfast and let the horses have a chance to eat while they were eating. They'd try to be on the road by. [22:06] Those are some recent pictures. Those are aerial photos of here. (of the farm.) There's the Warren schoolhouse as it was back a long time ago. And he hired this man to drive horses for him. He went through that process for a couple weeks. He'd get up in the morning at 4 o'clock, get his horses. Some times he didn't get in until 7 or 8 o'clock at night. After little while he went to Mr. Smith. [pause.] It had nothing to do with it. Jean Thayer, it's a son of the Thayer that Mary Thayer. He went to Mr. Smith and he said Mr. Smith? I can't work for you anymore. You haven't done as you agreed. What haven't I done as I agreed? He said well, when [picture of Rupert's great grandfather] I came here to work for you, you promised me steady work. Been 2 or 3 hours every night didn't have anything to do! [23:42] There's another blow up of Warren village.

JB   This is a wonderful photograph, this is your great grandfather? (Ya.) James S. Blair. When do you suppose that was taken? Because he must of been born, now if your grandfather was born in 1839, this guy must of been born in 18

RB   10 maybe at the latest.

JB   He's a wonderful looking guy, isn't he. Look at his hands. He died when? You remember him?

RB   No. He died 1800's I think. He bought a place, you'll see on the map, James S. Blair, and James Blair. They lived side by side. He and his wife bought a piece of land, a farm, a house near to my grandfather. He didn't live a year or two after he bought it. [24:52]

JB   And he came from Bolton you told me?

RB   Ya, Richmond. I think it was his father I think came down from Canada, married, raised a family. Here's a picture of the grist mill, which was the other building we saw on that picture looking under the bridge. Here's an old __________ , lived in Warren village. There's another picture of my grandmother. [continue sorting through pictures. 25:42]

JB   Were you pretty close to your grandmother?

RB   Yes. I was 10 years old when she died. But I lived right here with her.

JB   Did she tell you stories?

RB   Ya. There was something, I think you ought to talk to Marlene. She has a tremendous memory of things. She grew up in Peacham I think it was or Groton. There was my grandmother's father.

JB   Marlene Defrese? She's where?

RB   She lives just out here to E. Warren. She just built a new house over on Defrese farm. She and David just built a new house. [26:54] She came down with her husband to selectman's meeting, came to pick him up or something. We were just closing up. I said I know by the moonlight it's almost midnight, time __________ home an hour and a half ago. And that's an old story that my grandmother told.

JB   Could you say that slower?

RB   I know by the moonlight it's almost midnight, time Peg and I were home an hour and a half ago. And that was part of a little verse, a little ditty. It goes on like the House that Jack Built. [27:33] I thought nothing more about it. I didn't know the rest of it anyway. And she went on and told me the whole story on that. And now my grandmother grew up in Bolton or Richmond. She grew up in Groton. Those had to be some stories that were brought up from England or Scotland or Ireland or wherever they came from.

JB   Ya, I'm fascinated by that.

RB   In fact Scotland, a lot of Scotch settled over in Groton. And I suspect that

JB   And she knows the whole thing.

RB   She knows the whole thing.

JB   As her grandmother told her?

RB   Probably. Come as kind of shock to me! [28:19]

JB   Is she elderly? How old is she?

RB   Oh no, she's young, she's no more than 60. She's pulling it a little bit! However, she has a host of things like that. I can remember my grandmother telling me this story, I suspect this is before television, I'm not sure. It was a lot better than television. [can't understand], particularly lately. [29:05] This fellow was courting a girl, Soukie. [picture of Warren] And he went to see this girl one night. [End of tape 3, side A] [Tape 3, side B] Should marry Soukie. And that they had a fair haired little boy, and he was running around there. Back in those days they used to hang up their button on hooks. They were thinking that if they had a fair haired little boy and he was running around, one of those leg of lambs should fall down and hit him and kill him how bad they would all feel. And he said he wouldn't never marry her until she found 3 others just big darn fool as they were. So he went out traveling seeking his fortune as I guess they used to say. He came to a place where the fellow was trying to get his cow up on the roof. He was trying to get it to go up the ladder on the roof. [1:07] He stopped and inquired what he could do to help him. He said why don't you go up and shovel that moth off the roof and I'll try to get the cow up there to eat it off. So he showed him to go up on the roof and shovel the moss off, let the old cow eat it. He traveled awhile later, he put up at a hotel, tavern they called it those days. Along about 2 o'clock in the morning he heard thump, thump, thump. Wondered if something was wrong, so he rapped on the door. He said is everything all right in there? __________ yes, he said he was all right. He said when he was a boy, he'd hold his pants out and jump right in to them, no problem. But as he got older and the rheumatism bothered him he had to start jumping early, so he got up 2 o'clock and started jumping to get his pants on! [2:12] He showed him he would sit down on his bed and pull them on, there'd be no problem! The third one he came to, some time later. The fellow got up, same time before daylight, and took a leather bag and started for the mountain. Said why do you do that? Well he said he had taken over the job from his father. Every morning he'd gone beyond the mountain get a bag of daylight and brought it back down into the valley! He finally persuaded that if he would just sit there and wait, that the daylight would come to the valley anyway. So he went back and married Soukie, they all lived happily ever after I presume. [3:02]

JB   And this is what your grandmother told you?

RB   Yes, that's one of my grandmother's told me. There was another one about the fellow that, maybe Marlene would know this one too, this fellow went to stay at the tavern, or inn, whatever it was. This family, they had the hatchel, cards. He got up in the night, wandered around, probably headed for the out house. He ran into the hatchel. Then he ran into the card they had there. Next morning he said he got up in the night and the dog bit him and the cat scratched him. Wondered what he went through. [4:07] That's incomplete, it was more to it than that. That's the only part I can remember.

JB   Story telling was a much bigger part of life in those days. No television, no radio.

RB   No, you couldn't get up and push the button and have instant sex and violence!

JB   Great way to put it! We've been having our share this last week.

RB   Hadn't been for the desert storm and the Thomas and the Smith thing, there wouldn't been anything on television at all. [4:50 End of interview.]

Dublin Core

Title

Interview with Blair, Rupert -- TC1991-0034

Source

VFC1991-0004 Mad River Valley Collection. Vermont Folklife Center Archive, Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury, Vermont, United States of America.

Date

Rights

Copyright (c) Vermont Folklife Center

Language

English

Type

Identifier

vfc1991-0004_tc1991-0034

Spatial Coverage

Vermont (state)
Washington (county)
East Warren (inhabited place)

Temporal Coverage

1849-1991

Sound Item Type Metadata

Transcription

Vermont Folklife Center Archive

Mad River Valley Project/VFC1991.0004

Rupert Blair/TC1991.0034

 

JB   Jane Beck

RB   Rupert Blair

Place   E. Warren, Vermont

Date   December 12, 1991

 

JB   We were talking about the Allen Fuller place.

RB   The house, we have the picture here is, I would say it was torn down in the late 30's. It went through several hands from the time that Allen Fuller had it. It went to Amosy Fuller which was the son who stayed there on the farm, and he built the house that is there now. It has been moved in the last few years. It wasn't substantially changed. When Fremont Lovitt came up here to look after his parents in the 30's he hired a family to live in and look after them. [1:03] Then he became interested in farming the old place. The Fuller place became available, he bought that. He fixed up the house. And in doing that that house, it was further run down than it there. That picture there must go back to perhaps there is a date on the back.

JB   Allen Fuller house. He settled on Fuller Hill about 1844.

RB   Those according to Ruth Dakota's figures I think. It think that's one of her pictures.

JB   Earl's father had a house as well that was a different farm. [2:00]

RB   Next farm below.

JB   Is there a house there now?

RB   The house is there now, it has very little resemblance to the house that I remember being there. There's a picture down in the town hall of the house with probably Earl is in the wagon. You go to the town hall, not the municipal building. And I'm very proud of the fact that they were people here who had these big pictures enlarged and put up around the hall, which is similar to the ones, there's a couple in the municipal building in the stairs there. There is a picture of the old house with Earl's family, sitting in a wagon. I would presume probably Earl was one of the kids in the wagon, but I wouldn't say for sure. [3:10] I've seen the picture, but I don't remember. I do not have photographic memory!

JB   I don't either, but all those kind of pictures really help you realize the changes have been so great.

RB   In I think 19, I should remember, 1908 it seems like was the date on the barn. There was a big barn down across the road.

JB   Well his father built one in 1912.

RB   So what, I only missed it by 4 years.

JB   That's close enough! And I only know this because I was just reading all of this.

RB   I remember they had a date on it, a beautiful big barn. [4:03] There's some wonderful stone work down there too. There's a fellow who bought it, George Gardner, has preserved that stone wall according to his restrictions can't be removed. Strange things happen. But it is preserved as far as anybody at the moment is able to do. If you drive by on the road, you can see the foundation walls, beautiful straight walls up there, built by someone in the family I guess. There was an old stone mason, I guess they called them stone mason that they would now anyway, Riley Lovitt that lived down over the hill. There's a house they call the Blair house where he lived, the Lovitt place. Earl's mother referred to Riley Lovitt, Riley and Jim. Riley was the old, they were two bachelors lived there. [5:08] Riley went out and build these stone walls. In fact he built a lot of them in the area. And whether he took part of that or whether that was done by some of the Fuller family, I don't know. I sort of think what I can hear it was built by some member of the Fuller family. (RB-I think that's right.) Earl probably-

JB   I think he's told me, I looked through. I don't know whether you're interested in reading some of the transcripts or not. But if you're interested.

RB   Yes I would be interested. This is just all history that I'm interested. I don't know why, because.

JB   He's a wonderful, wonderful story teller. Not only that, he gives you a lot of details that help you picture. And he's funny.

RB   As you say he's a good story teller. He'd show you the picture. [6:03]

JB   His father I guess was a great horseman.

RB   Yes. In fact his, Elijah. I think I've heard that his father's name was Squire Elijah. But his wife said she wasn't going go to call him to dinner, stand there on the porch, holler "Squire!" I think I've heard that story! So she calls him Elijah. And I think that's the name that's on the stone. I think that was eventually dropped. Now this may or may not be true. But some where along the way I've heard that little yarn. [7:00] I don't know from whom they bought that farm. As families often do, the boys go out with the encouragement of the parents, buy a farm near by.

JB   I think originally it was part, it was the end of part of the property of his father? (RB-It could be.) And then he as I understand it bought another farm as it became available, or some more acreage became available.

RB   There were two Cardell places. In fact there's still, I guess this foundation is still there, as you go over the hill and beyond the barn you come to a crest of the hill, beautiful view of the valley. And they're some rose bushes. And I think they old foundation is still there unless the recent improvements, if you put improvements in parenthesis, they have erased it.

JB   [8:07] Now how far was this place, the Allen Fuller place from you, about a mile, 2 miles?

RB   It's about a mile up over the hill here.

JB   And the house was going up over the hill on the right.

RB   No, that house, actually on a road by itself. I have an aerial photo of the whole thing, I can show you where the road is. I'll bring it out here, cover some things. I think it's here still. Sometimes somebody borrows it. [gets the photo out. shows Fuller Hill Road. 9:50]

JB   So Mr. Lovitt is sort of where the road bends there.

RB   The old house was connected I think perhaps on the you can see where it goes to the barn.

JB   It looked like it was all connected barn. [10:10] Now what was this road then down in here?

RB   This is the road going to Warren village.

JB   This is still Fuller Hill Road?

RB   That's the Fuller Hill Road. And there's Elijah's place, there's a picture of the barn and the buildings that were there.

JB   So that could of been at the end of the other Fuller place.

RB   It could of. There's that road, bunch of rose bushes I was telling you about. An old foundation. That's the Cardell place, I can't tell you which it was Fred. And there's another Cardell place.

JB   And this was the barn that was built in (RB-1912.) Now when was this aerial photo taken?

RB   This was taken 1962. [11:03]

JB   So it's grown up to bush and trees much more.

RB   Yes, you wouldn't recognize it now. I have a picture that was taken out here by my mother in 1910, looking north. I've just recently got 2 or 3 other pictures taken of the same area now. The telephone company is working on it. I suggested perhaps they'd like to do a comparison.

JB   How many negatives did your mother leave?

RB   Probably there's 25 good ones.

JB   Have they all been printed?

RB   There again I have conned the telephone company into doing it. Supported all the peace proposition. But they have the money and the interest. Now there's a piece of land here. [12:00] Now I think that is a piece that belonged to Lauren that was given to him by his uncle Amosy. I know there was an island out there right in the middle of that piece of property that Amosy gave to Lauren. And it was attached to this. And originally the land went, maybe I can see, there's a sugar house down here that's still standing that Lauren tells about sugaring there when he was just a boy. He went over there and stayed there all day. I got a tape of that he told me about.

JB   I thought I'd go and definitely talk with him.

RB   I do have a tape here. I had two of them. I think my son has one, he was listening to it. [13:05]

JB   I'd love to borrow it. There's going to be plenty of time. [He looks for the tape. [13:36]

RB   I'm not sure if that's the one or not. Floyd told about his working for gas and electric company, in Massachusetts when he was a young fellow. On the television awhile back, a couple years ago G.E. was one of their promotional bluRBs showed a picture of the first lights that were put up in Lynn for a baseball field. He was at that time foreman of the pole crew. And he told about [can't hear.] It may be on that. [14:35] There was a picture of that field came on, it was 1923 I think it was. This gives you an idea where the lines came about.

JB   This is a big help. So it was a big piece of property that the grandfather originally settled on.

RB   Here's where he settled.

JB   And according to Earl he squatted, he didn't buy it. It was squatters rights, and he cleared the necessary land.

RB   I'll have to take his word for it. So far as hemlock, I would guess probably that might be, __________ somewhere in here. Of course you can't tell by looking at the map. You've probably run into this before. As you look on the mountains or in the landscape in this area anyway, you will see squares of spruce. [15:37] The reason for that is, this is my observation, I don't think I'm __________, but people clear a piece of land and it'll grow to brush. The cows will eat off all of the hardwood. And you'd have perfect squares of spruce.

JB   From the pastures, ya.

RB   If you look at a pasture, here you see that same thing. Up on the mountain here there used to be perfect squares, you don't see any hard wood.

JB   Where is prickly mountain? Is prickly mountain the mountain as you go over to Roxbury? [16:21]

RB   [can't understand.] Here's the 4 corners. Come over here about half a mile and turn right. And this was before Prickly Mountain.

JB   So it's over toward Granville.

RB   You go to Granville this way. But this is the old back road that goes out through. My grandparents lived over there farther. And strangely enough Kenny and his wife

JB   Kenny's your son?

RB   Ya, he was on Across the Fence with the deer farming. It was 10 days ago. She married previously they had built a dome over there. As time went on, her husband she decided to go their separate ways and Kenny come into the picture. [17:29] But the house is on what was my grandfather's old sheep pasture. Right across the brook, no farther than here than to the main road from where my mother was born. The brook the goes down by their house I've heard her tell about playing in it as a little girl. They came here when she was 10.

JB   Now she was born when, your mother?

RB   1886. (JB-And her name was) Mary May.

JB   Now was your uncle, was that Will Blair?

RB   No, my uncle was HeRBert. Sometimes he signed it H.B. He was blind from about 1928. Will Blair was in Moretown. A family that came into the valley was James Blair Sr. He [18:39] had my grandfather I guess was the oldest, James, Nathanial and David. David lived in Warren village. Nathanial lived up the river as we refer to it, south of Warren. The 3 daughters, Jeannette married McAllister, who was a carpenter and fox hunter, carpenter in the summertime, fox in the winter. One that married Stevens, he lived in Warren village. Mary had died a Thayer. [19:43] They came originally from around the Richmond area. I don't know the dates. They tell me that he came in to Richmond area, came in a boat to the United States from Canada. I expect probably from Scotland by the name. He taught school there, married and raised a family, lost track of them. But I understand that he was buried in Bradford. [20:24] Some one of those things that some day I'm going to do. And Some days never come, unless by accident. Prickly Mountain actually was a development that was done by a group of architects who came out of Yale. [20:54]

JB   Is that Peter Sellers? David Sellers?

RB   David Sellers. There is a difference. There's David Sellers, (JB-Louis Makell) Louis Makell, ya, he was one of them. Didn't he teach at __________ ? Taught art at the university. There was a Renicke, Bill Renicke. At the same time there was Randy __________ , he still lives up here, runs a business, one of the selectman in town.

JB   And he was an architect too. I didn't realize that.

RB   I assume that he finished the course. I think one of the requirement is to design a house was one of the things that they were each doing. Had some pretty wild designs there too. [22:00]

JB   I heard that. I never been up there I don't think.

RB   He built the tack house originally to live in. As Barry Simpson who is chairman of the planning commission has been for years, runs the dirt roads, I started to say toy factory, but no it's not necessarily. It's a woodworking business. He produces some beautiful pieces too. They had a design similar to window quilts at one time. They __________ toys. They developed a folding child's table, you fold it up inside of the suitcase, unfold it and then nice little child's table. And they've done rocking horses, all sorts of toys and they do a wonderful job. Recently they had an idea that I thought had a lot of merit. [23:17] By using Seran Wrap, they had a frame you put the Seran Wrap over, just put the roll in and draw it down over a piece of clear plastic. And back a little ways, you could adjust it, was a pin hole. And you see anything at a distance, you look through that pin hole, and trace it on the Seran Wrap, wonderful thing for children. You could draw exact pictures of it. Then when you were done, just rip off the Seran Wrap. I thought that had a lot of merit. I saw it about a year ago. Some really clever fellows. He had developed into a-

JB   Is this the other side of 100? Or is it this side of 100?

RB   No, it's just over here. My nearest neighbor. Instead of turning right you come up. If you turn left you gone over here and turn right again. I was involved in that a little bit in their coming in here. I was listing. We had our town clerks office was a small building right where the gazebo is in town now. These 2 fellows came in looking for Wards properties. They were looking for some place to start a development like that. [24:50] It was Art Clipful and Peter Gluck came with Dave Sellers and Bill Renicke. Those the 4 of the young fellows. I thought they were loggers when they came in, looking for Ward property. They wanted to know if we knew of any place that was for sale that they could do that on. Well I had a piece of property over here I sold Gluck and Clipful I think 60 acres, just below the Fuller farm. [look on the map. 25:50] An interesting thing about this, Cardell, used to be a common thing. People living in the village would have a wood lot. So Mr. Cardell's daughter was married. And he gave them a wood lot. So they would have their place there. That was a part of it. I rather assume that this is the Cardell place. They referred to it as the Fred place, Fred Cardell. There was another house over here, which was, I don't remember the detail. There used to a barn there, in fact you can still see the barn now, rather see the foundation of the thing. There was a set of buildings there. [26:54]

JB   Is this barn still here?

RB   No, that was torn down I would say probably shortly after that.

JB   Tell me a little about Earl. Was he as great a horse runner as he says he was? What kind of a, just let me sort of put him in perspective. I'll ask Floyd too.

RB   Floyd was __________ floating horses teeth now. Still does. Yes, I think perhaps that Earl was as good as, probably he was almost as good as he claimed! His father used to be the one one would call if they had a sick horse or sick cow. And he had a formula for medicine for colic that was incredible. [28:00] Floyd complains he never shared it with his sons. But his father never shared his secret with his sons. However, I will give Earl credit, being a clever fellow, and he probably (JB- Figured it out?) acquired that some way!

JB   How did Elijah learn something like that? Did he pick it up?

RB   He probably got it from doing. They raised horses for a business. Of course this was back before everybody went to dairying. I've heard the story told that this Cardell lived over on the road in back, what we call the Burns Road now. He came over one time and he was talking with Elijah about a colt he had just bought, paid $100 for it. He was pretty proud of his colt. Elijah apparently didn't share his enthusiasm about the quality of the colt. He was always quite a man for a colt. Elijah said well I was always quite a man for $100 too. [29:32] I think he probably grew into this thing, picked up information wherever he could. Raising horses apparently was quite a, well it had to be quite a business when everybody used them. I've heard them tell the story about Mr. Cardell, I don't know if he was related, probably out of the same family lived down where Warren Antiques is now. In fact the barn where Warren Antiques was a horse barn, the carriage room was almost like a ballroom, all done up, matched planed lumber. [30:12] Rather a showplace. The old fellow used to work with horses more or less. In the course of working with a horse once and a while a tooth had to be extracted. And he had the forceps to take a horse's tooth out. And upon occasion if anybody had a bad toothache they could persuade him to pull it, if they had the courage. And my uncle tells this, somebody told the name of the fellow lived up here in E. Warren, he had a toothache it was driving him crazy. Thought he'd go down see if he could get old man Cardell to pull it. All the way down he was worrying what if he slips off? Well he got down there and sit down, and the old fellow got his forceps, he got a hold of the tooth. He said the only hope he had in his life was he would slip off!

JB   I would think that would be the most excruciating.

RB   [31:11] Dr. Shaw used to live down here to Waitsfield. He was a big man, powerful man. The nearest dentist some of the time there was a dentist down there. Novocain wasn't a common thing back 20's. If you had a tooth to pull you'd go down and see Dr. Shaw. [End of tape 1, side A]

JB   [Tape 1, side B] when he was pulling a tooth, he wouldn't charge you. And only 50 cents if he hollers!

RB   I had a young kid, well he's still alive in WateRBury now, I had a tractor. It was 1940-41. It was an attractive thing for kids. They used to like to come up and help work on the farm, let them drive the tractor when he could. Well it seems I had 2 of them, the boys were shoveling with the dung fork. They got a little carried away. One of them, the fork went through into his hand. I took him down to Dr. Shaw. [1:00] He looked at it. He had his little rod with a ball on the end of it, poke and probe. He poked in. This kid was trying to impress the world with a brave and strong soul he was. Doc probed around to be sure there wasn't any dirt, and then poke out anything that was. He had right a hold of his hands so he couldn't get away. He said it hurt? Stop, quit it hurts! He bandaged it up with a salve. It looked for all the world like tar. But it healed up. But I said when he got ready to go, said doc, how much do I owe you? Aw, give me half a dollar. If I have to cut his hand off I'll charge you a little more! [2:03]

JB   Earl talks about, I forget who he treats, but there's some guy that has hemorrhoids. And he just laces him with iodine. And he comes back, the poor guy's sitting in a pan of water. But he claims the next day he's fine. If he could stand the pain.

RB   This a Dr. Sia to Waitsfield, he ran the medical center He was there for a time in Waitsfield. I think he later went down to Burlington, I'm not sure, I went down for some minor thing. [3:05] I saw he had a propane torch setting up on his shelf. I says what in the world would you use a propane torch for? Says oh, treating piles. Never had one come back! Then he went on to explain! Said he never had one come back! Then he explained to me that if anybody pinches a fingernail, he had a needle or a pin, hold it in the torch and get it red hot and just touch it, it would melt the nail and relieve the pressure, no pain involved. He was pulling my leg at the time! [4:00]

JB   I guess Earl went to veterinary school, he said out in Chicago. I couldn't figure out what kind of a veterinary school. But a lot of it he got from his father I guess.

RB   I would put more credence in the last part of the statement.

JB   He was out in Chicago for awhile. I could never understand what kind of school, or what he actually did.

RB   I'll make no comment on that. However, he was very good farm nurse. [5:01] I remember one time my uncle had a horse that was sick and he called Earl and he came up. Earl went in and looked at the horse and gave him some of his medicine. My uncle said think he going to die? Earl said I'm sure of it, but I don't think now!

JB   He sounds like he was quite a humorous guy. Was he generally liked?

RB   Ya, the whole world liked him. This is a funny little thing. He lived up in Fayston at the time. I went down to a minstrel show. __________said you see that sign down there, Earl Fuller veterinary? It's got a picture of a bird on it. He said ya, bird on it, duck, quack, quack! [6:15] To tell on Earl I though was the whole story, and I've heard this before. In fact I heard it from a man, Joslin, over the feed mill down to Waitsfield. He told his side of it, I've heard the other side too. Earl lived up in Fayston, ran a farm up there and he bought grain from Joslin. He had a feeling that Joslin was charging him more than he ought to for the grain. Joslin came up, he had a few cows in the village. In fact he lives just as you go into Waitsville village from here. [7:05] The mill that he ran was where the ski club is in Waitsfield now, it burned I guess in the early 50's. Was rebuilt. Joslin died before then.

JB   Which Joslin was this?

RB   Steven, S.P. He sold grain. In order to speed the collection of his bill he went up and he was going to buy a cow from Earl. Earl said well she isn't in now, but I got one that's real good milker. She Steve went up the next day and there the cow was in the barn just as Earl told him it would be. She had a beautiful big bag. Well, Steve led her home, set down to milk her. As he milked all he was getting was air. Earl used to have, milk fever was one of the things that he treated quite well. [8:10] The treatment they had then was to inflate the udder with air so that produce and stop the production of milk. He had taken his instrument, he built this up. He figured that would kind of even out the score.

JB   So did the guy keep the cow?

RB   Ya, he bought her! It was that or nothing. Well it went on for, I was a kid going down to grange at this time. Mrs. Summerville, Thelma Rickett's mother, she was down to the grange. One of the staunch patrons of the grange. I use the word matron, describing a lady rather than the office. [9:03] At that time they ran the fair which Warren Grange ran a fair on the flat behind our Lady of the Snows church now. There's a big flat. They had a nice little fair there. Well, in running the fair and having the shows they naturally had to buy some hay and grain, probably grain from Joslin. Somebody complained that Joslin had charged them more for the grain that they had got than they thought he should have. Mrs. Summerville got up, and she said perhaps if Joslin had beat the grange that they ought to have brother Fuller sell him another cow! [Jane asks him to repeat. 10:02]

JB   I gather he was quite a dealer.

RB   He was. A lot of the things that were attributed to him as being crooked or dishonest was either retaliation, or a game. He played life a lot like a game of checkers.

JB   With some humor as well.

RB   If he could outsmart somebody. But he was a clever horseman, there's no question about it. I heard my neighbor up here, Casey Jones we called him. He lived over here one time on the hill just on the other side. He broke horses from a early manhood. Casey tells that one morning he was going out to get his cows. And Earl apparently had taken a horse out to break early in the morning before there was any traffic on the road. [11:09] Seems that he was up somewhere near where Casey could see him by the road, and the horse got away from him. Said he caught the horse, but he never saw a man run so in his life! So he was really under pressure. Cause he was something like this book, Real Vermonters Don't Milk Goats. I noticed there's one page that particularly amused me. Said real Vermonters don't jog. But will run is pressed. When the old fellow had a swarm of bees chasing him! So Earl was pressed.

JB   He was a little slight guy I guess.

RB   Ya, he was. [pause 12:10] I don't know call him slight. He wasn't a big man.

JB   I just knew him, and by that time he was not getting around well in the days I interviewed him, which was in the early 80's. When did he die, '83 4?

RB   I think he was close to 100 when he died. I would say somewhere along in there.

JB   And his wife must be dead now too, Nan?

RB   She died a year or so ago.

JB   She must of been right up there too.

RB   They weren't very far, but I guess she was a little younger than he was. I never knew her that much. I knew his first wife much better.

JB   And she died of cancer. [13:13] (RB-This was quite awhile ago.) And then he said he sold his farm and went to blacksmithing.

RB   He went blacksmithing I think previous to his wife died. They lived there in the village and he ran a blacksmith shop. He rented it from Blake I guess. Floyd Blake. Frank Blake was, his wife was granddaughter of Ned McAllister. I told you that she married Bill McAllister who was a part time fox hunter and part time carpenter. [14:14] I have a little story to tell about him. He took pride in being a good carpenter. Somebody wanted him to hang a door. He insisted it was not the right way to do it, but if they wanted it hung that way, fine, he would hang it. But if you ever tell anybody what damn fool hung that, I'll punch you in the nose! Well it seems that somebody inquired that. He fulfilled his I could tell you the name, come up to me sometime. It's the first house up on the Lincoln Gap road. [15:00]

JB   Earl told a number of stories of people up there. I guess the Hartshorns lived up there.

RB   Frank Hartshorn. His daughter in law is Kit Hartshorn. His grandson is chief of the fire department here. His oldest son Paul drives a log truck. He has a farm down below Waitsfield and his son took it over. But I started to say Frank Blake's wife Wilmine was a granddaughter of Ned McAllister. They had a son and a daughter. Jessie McAllister and Wilmine. Well Jessie never really got into hard work if he could help it. And Frank was a prosperous, hard working man. [16:15] One time he said to Wilmine I'll give you $100 if you get your brother's recipe for living without working! That was back in the days when $100 was a $100. Since added a zero on to it to keep it up, and the government's going to put a couple more on if we don't watch them. When they put the blacktop road through Warren they eliminated the blacksmith shop.

JB   Where was it?

RB   As you go down to Warren and turn to go north, as you get into the village, there is I guess you can still see a piece of the cement foundation almost tight to the road. [17:15] Originally the road was narrower. The shop stood right tight to the road. So they had to buy the shop, I think the road went through there, mid 50's. The interesting thing about this road, Roy Long was one of the businessmen in town. And there was HeRB Wheeler and Clayton Neal ran a little garage farther down, since burned. The town owns the land now, it's just on the west side of the road just as you come through the bridge, which is in the north end of town. [18:13] There's a little area there the town owns now. They used to have telephone booth there. It's a turn out. There was some opposition to building the road around the town because these fellows doing business thought it going to take the traffic away from them. It was all planned in the late 40's, or very early 50's to relocate the road. And there was some opposition. They went up to the highway department and voiced their concern. They accommodated them. Some of those fellows up there in the highway department had camps up in Calais, N. Montpelier. So they obliged them to pave the road up through there. [19:09] It was 5 years or more after that before we got a road! That was the center of the activity of town back when the town was depended upon horses and transportation. In fact going over the mountain on slippery days in the winter they might come in early in the morning and get the corks sharpened up at the blacksmith shop. He'd go in, take off the shoe and sharpen the corks before the days of or whatever they had that you could remove the corks and change them. They had to take the shoe off, put it in the forge, and hammer them on the corking vice, get a new cutting edge so they could walk on the ice before the days of sand to salt. [20:13]

JB   Earl says that his father, I guess his grandfather had a blacksmith shop on the place. [Rupert gets up] Did you have a blacksmith shop here?

RB   No. There was a blacksmith shop on the airport road. Joe Drew I think it was, ran a blacksmith shop, served the center of E. Warren. E. Warren at one time was a center. [Shows Jane a picture.]

JB   Now that must be gone too.

RB   Yup. I remember when that building was there. In fact my memory goes back into the 20's. [21:02]

JB   How did your mother happen to become a photographer? Or take these glass plate negatives?

RB   Well this Will Blair that you spoke about, it seems that the Blair family always went off and tried to find some easy way to make a living, in addition to their farming operation. Will took pictures, tinkered watches, fixed harnesses, fixed shoes. He had a few cows to fall back on, which ever way it was. It was a cottage industry actually as we see it now. He went around taking pictures, took pictures for people.

JB   What happened to his photographs? [22:00]

RB   So far as I know, they were destroyed some time along the way. There was a Ern Chase from Waitsfield, you probably have run across him? Not him but his photographs. He had oodles of plates. Malcolm Reese bought all of those. I don't know if you ever see the World, Judy Reese? It's her husband. If you met him on the street you'd think you met Abraham Lincoln. I don't mean that in a derogatory way. But there is a striking resemblance.

JB   And so he has a lot of these photographs?

RB   He has a lot of those glass negatives that Ern Chase did. Ern was pretty much the same thing but in a bigger way. In fact I think he had a business in Montpelier.

JB   Now is Malcolm Reese in Waitsfield? [23:04]

RB   Ya, he's instead of turning left at the Maple Lane farm, you're going down to Waitsfield village you go straight through. It's probably a mile, just beyond Donny Joslin's, house on the right. I don't know if the telephone company has acquired any of those or not. I think they did.

JB   Who's the person to talk with at the telephone company?

RB   Susan Simms or Dana Haskin. You must of seen their telephone directory? You see the '78 one they had too?

JB   I'm not sure which one I've seen. They have little histories?

RB   There's a recent one, and then there was one that they did, I think they did one in '78. [24:00] It was a history of the telephone. I won't bother to look it up now but I will get it. [Rupert goes to find it. 24:55]

JB   It's interesting that the telephone company is interested in doing this. It's great.

RB   I suspect some of those negatives probably came from Ern Chase's collection. I also suspect that perhaps that Dana and Mrs. Haskins, Eleanor have acquired most of the things that Malcolm had in addition to a lot of other ones.

JB   Malcolm was Malcolm Reese. So you say he has

RB   He originally got them from the Chase's. Mrs. Chase who outlived her husband by quite a bit. Alden Bettis who lives below Waitsfield. [26:06] He has a very good memory. In fact there's a picture of him. His mother died and he went to live with his aunt, which grew up here in western part of Warren up on the ledge. [Rupert walks away from mic.] There's a picture of him as a young fellow driving a milk truck. One of these.

JB   Who's this guy? [looking through photos.]

RB   I have no recollection. See that's in Waitsfield. I could deny any knowledge of it. [27:07] without admitting I forgot. There was kind of an interesting little anecdote. I heard about a Mrs. Smith that was down, trucking teaming business. There's a picture of Alden when he was a young fellow. I think you'd be interested to talk with Alden. He probably would remember quite a lot more than I would. He's a year older than I am.

JB   And he grew up in Warren?

RB   Yes, Warren and Waitsfield. But he mostly grew up in on the west hill in Warren. [pause; 28:10] He and I graduated grammar school 1932 together. He graduated from Warren grammar school, I was up here in E. Warren. All in the same town. I remember this Clarence Hartshorn had a truck, big body truck. The teachers in Warren hired him to take a group, probably was close to 20 of us, maybe not that many, graduated the 8th grade. They took us down to North Beach down to Burlington for a celebration. I hate to say this, I could swim except the first time I ever wore a bathing suit! [29:02] I had to rent that one!

JB   Did you mostly swim in the brooks and stream here? (RB- Ya.) Was there a particular good swimming hole around?

RB   There was one big enough to swim in not too far from here. When they put the blacktop road in they ruined it for the kids. Up on the brook coming up this way you can still see where the water ran down over. They ruined it by moving the road over they ruined the swimming hole. But there was brush growing along side the road there, very good place to go swimming, not to far from here.

JB   I didn't mean to interrupt you. I side tracked you from talking about your mother starting to take pictures. But you said it was Will Blair? [30:06]

RB   I suspect. But it seems to be something in the genes I guess. Tinker, do other things. It's the same, she became interested in the history of the town. That's intrigued her. And she complained because I came along to confuse the thing later. When she first started taking pictures they got their chemicals from Germany. When Germany went to war, couldn't get the chemicals and they weren't as good, she had trouble. My daughter gave me a book, Progress of [gets up to find book. 31:27] And in that book it told, I couldn't find it now, but it told the same thing that she did, that the chemicals came from Germany. And there was a time when picture taking was very difficult.

JB   And she started what, about 1910 you said?

RB   Probably a little previous to that. [End of Tape 1.]

RB   And there's a trap door in the back with frosty glass in it. She had a little lock on the shutter. She'd leave the shutter open, and she'd look through the glass and focus forward and back until she got a clear picture. I never could understand it, it was almost was wrong side up, on the glass. When she got ready to take a picture she had a little frame, you drop the glass negative in with a black front and back on it. There was a slot in the camera. When she got everything all set to take the picture, it took a minute, then she had this shawl she through over her head so that the light wouldn't bother her. It was a 20 year old deal by the time I remember it. [1:09] She'd close the back door, close her shutter, then she'd pull up the little piece of black cardboard in front of the film, trip it, put it back in. Then she'd go upstairs. She had a dark room as such, it was a closet up there that was shut and she had a lock on the door so that the kid or anybody else wouldn't open the door on her. She had a little kerosene light with a red lens in it. And she developed her own negatives. Did her own prints. She did contact prints.

JB   And those are the ones that are down at the library, the contact prints.

RB   Copies of them. I probably have some here up in the attic. I remember seeing her do it. [2:07] She had 2 or 3 jugs set in there. She put some chemicals into [someone comes in. tape shut off.] Very energetic person. She drives the school bus morning and night. Does the girls scouts. In fact I guess that's material she had here, I don't know.

JB   I just find it amazing that your mother was taking pictures then.

RB   She had to develop them herself because there was no. That was all a part of the photography business. And you didn't send out your prints to get them done. [3:00] She had what she called a developer, then she had the hypo. I think she put that in the seal them or (RB-Like fixer.) Then she had a little rack. When she'd bring them out, somewhere upstairs I still got the trays that she had, trays with the zig-zag bottom in them. Then she had a rack that she apparently concocted of a cloth stretched over like a quilting frame, small size. She'd lay them on that to dry.

JB   What kind of photographs did she take? Where they mostly scenes? Or did she take life around the farm at all?

RB   She took a lot of pictures for people. [4:03] Well as if you go to a studio now. Those glass prints aren't here now. I might have some pictures upstairs that she took. [Rupert leaves the mic. 4:27] returns. Looking through photographs. 4:43] I have some of my aunt, which is Will's mother

JB   So will was related to you.

RB   Will was a cousin. My mother's first cousin. There's a book that they put things into that I think should of been preserved rather than.

JB   They would just stick the newspaper clippings.

RB   If one needed to they could just. [pause. 5:27]

JB   Death of Jessie McAllister.

RB   Here's some pictures she took. There's a picture of her.

JB   Who do you suppose took that?

RB   She got somebody, she had a timer on it.

JB   Did she? So that she take her own photograph.

RB   I expect she got it all set up and had somebody. There's a picture of her mother, and couple of her aunts.

JB   Now this is the grandmother that was born in 1845.

RB   That's right, that's my grandmother.

JB   And who's this? Her sister maybe?

RB   I would suspect that's one of my grandfather's sisters, but I can't tell you which one. I would guess it would be Mrs. Mary Stevens, not Mary, [pause. 7:00] There's another picture of her with her cousin.

JB   And her name was?

RB   Minnie. She was daughter of Nathanial. She stayed home and took care of the old folks. Her brothers thought they had it made too, a couple of bachelors. But she married and left at 40. The unfortunate part of that was she had a son and she passed away at the birth. And __________is one of the brothers. I told her she was making a mistake. There is Mary and Thayer. [8:02]

JB   Would this be your grandparents?

RB   No, this is my grandfather's sister. Thayer was I think. When you speak to __________ he probably got some of those. Another picture of Warren, post cards.

JB   Did she ever sell any of her photographs for post cards? Post cards probably weren't even

RB   And that's a picture she took of me quite some time ago.

JB   I would say. Do you remember it?

RB   I have to confess that I didn't remember it.

JB   You must of been about 6 months old.

RB   There's a picture she took. This the barn right raising. That's just below here.

JB   Now where was this? [8:55]

RB   As you came up by you came by a garage with a lot of machinery. That barn stood right there. And she was standing in the road or above the road. I guess she probably was standing about in front of the trailer up there.

JB   Now who's barn was that?

RB   That was VanDeusen. A. VanDeusen built it in 1912 I think it was. There's a picture of Will's work. That is George. (RB-George Blair?) Ya, George. He was one of the brothers, one I said he told her she was making a mistake. That picture's taken right across from the Top Gas. __________ is there now. That was there original Will Blair's original home place. [10:00] Here's one I have no idea who took that one.

JB   This is what?

RB   That's, you drove right by it.

JB   I saw it out on the road out here.

RB   As you come up through Warren village you turn, it's on the left just before you turn to go to the school house. That's as I remember it. I remember

JB   There's no hedge there now.

RB   No, I remember the hedge. That was Kit Freeman that used to run the Freeman store. And he was also a teamster. I remember the hedge, I remember the wooden walk that went up to the house. When they put the blacktop road in they encroached on it. Making a wider road is a great thing, but it didn't do much for the looks of the valley.

JB   Are there any of the old store owners around that ran the general store in town? [11:10]

RB   This is Neal, Velma Neal. Lives right there by the church. She and her husband ran, picture of the store here a minute ago, it went by.

JB   They ran Spaulding store, right?

RB   That's right. That one I have no idea. That's preceded her picture taking. There's another one of her pictures.

JB   That's her, right?

RB   Ya. There's a picture of David, that's Will father.

JB   These are great. Now did she take this do you think?

RB   I suspect perhaps Will did. Ya, W.A. Blair.

JB   And this is your grandmother? And Will's aunt.

RB   There's a great aunt. That's Mary Jane Blair. That was my aunt. When they lived up on the hill across from Kenny's, I think she was 7 years old, she fell down the cellar stairs, brain concussion, killed her. [pause. 13:17] That's the picture she took, but right at the moment it escapes me who it is. It might come to me a little later, might not. Probably not. There's my grandmother and her 2 sisters. That's sister Sara, and that's I called her aunt Lucy, Will Blair's mother. [14:10] Sara Ravenbird. And Mariette Blair was my grandmother. There's another picture of her. [pause. 14:52] I think this is Will's work. And I think that is his father and his uncle Russ I think.

JB   With beards of the time, very much. [pause while looking at pictures. 15:55] Jenny Thayer.

RB   She was a daughter of Mary I think, or a granddaughter. There is again George (Blair) and his sister Minnie (Who was your grandmother) No, sister Minnie, that was another one that's taken, my mother's cousin. And there's her mother Betsy Bettis originally, which is related to Alden, and there is Nathanial Blair. There's another brother, they never catch him the picture Skip. Skipped the pictures! He's the one that tell her she made a mistake. George. But nobody every got a hold of Skip. So far as I know nobody ever get a picture of Skip. There was me when I got a little older. [17:01]

JB   You were pretty cute.

RB   Then I got a tricycle.

JB   I bet you remember that well.

RB   I remember the tricycle. In fact I remember this partition didn't use to be a partition, used to go through here. And the kitchen was outside, a little drop there like there is now. That door was always open. And it was quite the thing to go out there and ride in a circle, tricycling mania, I'd ride around, the stove set there where the chair is. There's my son. Her husband of the girl was just here. This fellow and I hadn't got along too well. [18:00] Well he got on to my tricycle, ride in there. If you went kitty corner across that dip it would flip you. God, I was tickled to death to see him (flip!) It hurt him a little. There is Will's wife and his daughter, __________ and Laurel. Here's another one the same one with Sara Ravenbird.

JB   That looks like an old one.

RB   That's an old tin type. Think the name is __________ .

JB   Were they relations?

RB   Ya, my grandfather's mother was an Alger I believe, Nancy Alger. [19:08] There's a Sunday School picnic somewhere I guess. There's Sara Ravenbird. (That's the sister again. Sister in law.) She's my grandmother's sister. Her married name was Ravenbird, and there's another sister. And here's Willy, here's Ida Preston. She's mother of the Foley. There's Willy Preston. He lived on the old home farm __________ . Alonzo Preston. [20:10] And there's Ida Foley again.

JB   I'm sure you were a favorite subject. [pause. 20:55]

RB   That's Will Preston's granddaughter. This was taken back probably 40 years ago.

JB   Look, with the links.

RB   That's Willy Preston was my grandmother's brother, and that's his daughter. I picked that up at the yard sale. I got to show it to you. People in Waitsfield. Told them I never could have it. Here's some things my mother cut out. There's one they captured me up to farm show one time. (that's nice.) [22:04] Here's the history of Ella DeVoe who lived in Warren village. She was 103 I think when she died.

JB   In 1957. Think what she must of seen.

RB   I've heard the rumor that when she was a girl they thought she wasn't healthy, she'd never live to grow up. She was interested in history all along the way. She picked things out of the paper and cut them out.

JB   Did any of the members of your family keep diaries at all? [23:00]

RB   Nathanial kept a diary for a time. You saw a picture of him. He was a great uncle of mine. There's Ella DeVoe again. [pause; 24:11] A lot of years she cut things out of the paper. [pause; 25:00] There is part of the history of the creamery of Warren. There was a cooperative creamery. There's George and his dog again.

JB   He's a little older in this one. No, it's Nathanial Blair and dog, King. [pause; 26:05]

RB   There's the whole family.

JB   That's neat. Now tell me who they are.

RB   It's on the back.

JB   Alma Stevens and Lucy Ann Stevens. And then James Blair is this one.

RB   That's Anna Stevens. That's Thayer. That's David, that's Nathanial.

JB   Now are these all brothers?

RB   These are brothers, this is brother in law.

JB   These all look alike. At least two have the same nose in this one.

RB   I'm sorry, that one there is Thayer. Those are brothers in law.

JB   But look, they all three have the same nose. [27:07]

RB   There's my grandmother again. There's Aunt Lucy. I think that's Betsy. Darn if I know those other 2 for sure.

JB   It says David Blair and

RB   Rustus Thayer, Mary Thayer, OK. Mary and Jeannette Macallister and Lucy Ann Stevens, OK. I was wrong on the Betsy I guess.

JB   That's a nice photograph.

RB   That probably was Will's work. There's the church in the background, I think. [28:04]

JB   What's that? Lincoln Brook. Parsons Mill, __________ Mill? [pause.] That might be what I have that rhyme about.

RB   There's better pictures of that. There's the original one that one.

JB   That's a nice one. What's that?

RB   That's Nathanial standing in front of a mill just at the south end of Warren village, there's a trailer setting there now. Trailer and a new house. The trailer sits almost where the mill was. As you leave the Warren village. And there's another one of the grist mill and the old clapboard mill. [29:10]

JB   Parker and Slayton's. So it wasn't Parson. Is this by the covered bridge?

RB   No, there aren't a cement bridge there now. That was the old grist mill. And there was a mill on the other side that was, I'm not quite sure how they called it. There's the mill anyway, board mill. That's the same mill you saw the other side of. That tells who was in the picture. [30:08]

JB   This would be Slayton picture taken around 1910, owned by Plina. (Pline property.) "Pline Parker previous to this Pline Parker and Dr. E.W. Slayton owned the mill, and formed the Parker and Slayton Lumber Co. And the employees are Joe Pierce, Orvey Jones, Charles Parker, Bub Minor, Audry Hubbard, Pete Luce, George Walden, and Plina Parker, owner of oxen and mill." So that must of been what this piece was written about.

RB   There's a pretty good picture of the town of Warren. [pause. 31:20]

JB   Now where's this?

RB   That's taken right down in Warren village. There's the house where the town hall is right over here. The school house is right behind it. That is David and Lucy. This is the road that goes by the end of their house it goes to the town hall. [End of tape 2, side A] [Tape 2, side B] There's Stevens and their son in law. That's just south of Warren village. The house has since burned.

JB   Is this the swimming hole you were talking about?

RB   No. That was a picture my mother took. Right out in front of the house here. (JB-Is that you?) No, no, no, I never drove a Stanley Steamer. Here's the original, one of the covered bridge we had taken from. [1:05] There's a logging operation. That's Parkers I presume. Another picture of my mother. There was a cousin Another picture of Warren village. [pause 1:44] That's just a history of a piece of land (The common boundaries.) There's a picture of the mountain before Sugar Bush started in. It's taken in '46 I think. There's the new slide, we call the new slide. And there's the old slide I guess.

JB   Now the old slide was the one where, what was the name, I can't think, that Earl talked about.

RB   The new slide was in '38. That's right where I think the Castle Rock, one of those trails. And there's the scene looking north from the 4 corners here, in '46.

JB   Who took these?

RB   Thelma Ricketts had some __________ that came up. I had a bad time here, they all told me I was crazy. But I did manage to. [3:00] I got the picture somewhere here of Willis Bride, Judge Bride, skiing at the Warren ski tow.

JB   You're going to curse me when I leave with this mess.

RB   This I got from soil conversation service. I got one that's got some marks on it, makes more sense. Here's a couple pictures of Allen Tinker copied. He had on his back porch, he had a chair like that. I showed him the picture, that was in color. [4:09]

JB   Chair parade. Now that was the chair that he bought with the house that he had to leave out.

RB   Ya. Here's an aerial photo that shows where the ski tow went. Here's the original. [pause.]

JB   "I use antique equipment because I'm an antique farmer." RB [pause; 5:38] I kept that under wrap quite awhile, everybody is dead now that was involved in it.

JB   The yellow painted hack. This is what you were telling me about. One Sunday morning, early. Biddy Egan and Alvin Foley.

RB   Walt __________ Tom and his dog Jack. (a friend of theirs) from Haverill, and Albie Wilson, Haverill.

JB   All went out riding in the yellow painted hack. Chorus Then it's woe me dandy go along Napoleon,

RB   He is the pacer, the finest on the track, He can pace to 40 __________ Wilson Haverill's hack.

JB   The road was rough and muddy, and Biddie corked quite ruddy, and Diddy looked quite ruddy, As Alvin, Walt and Thomas for whiskey had no lack.

RB   Tom Egan, that was Biddie Egan's father, or husband I mean.

JB   The reverend, he is something, as though his friends beguiling as something they went riding in the yellow painted hack. As they drove to neighbor Estes to see his good boy Charlie, And have him hitch the (ponies) while they all went out back.

RB   To trample down the clover, and look the schoolhouse over, they all

JB   ride home together in the yellow painted hack.

RB   [7:42] That was this E. Warren schoolhouse, there was some question about when they built it, the relative or somebody skinned off a little.

JB   This is great. Who did you tell me made this up?

RB   It was Art Hartshorn, which was I think brother to Frank I think. And this Jessie Macallister, and there was 2 or 3 others involved in this thing. And they had several little ditties. [8:35]

JB   Earl made up some ditties too I think.

RB   Ya, he might have. I think he was able to.

JB   "They looked the schoolhouse over, and sweetly talked together, Till someone said no matter, to funds we have no lack."

RB   Cost $1,100 to build that building. They over spent their budget by $100.

JB   "We will build another story before his hair gets hoary And raising house up to glory in the yellow painted __________ hack. And work hard to pay our taxes while others grind their __________ axes, But if their hold relaxes we will get our money back. $10,000 feet of lumber or more has gone to thunder, It's gone to by old plunder, like the yellow painted __________ hack." [9:49]

RB   Wilson Averil was on the school board when they built that schoolhouse. The yellow painted hack was his buggy.

JB   "But Albert thinks it's funny as long as he has money, He went up to see old Biddie to get his good dog Jack. He at the door did meet her, he asked to see good Peter" Who's Peter? [10:23]

RB   That must be Moriary, lives next house over.

JB   "But did not kindly greet her in the yellow painted hack. Some say the row is ended, but if it is extended, And Biddie is defended, we think twill clear the track. For the reverend's leg is broken, and then is left no __________ token, Of loving words once spoken in the yellow painted hack. [11:11] Biddie she is waiting while Albert he is __________ sweating, Eat Heath and Martin"

RB   Eat Heath was, did you tell me somebody making baskets?

JB   Right, yes, that's exactly right. "Eaton Heath and Martin are filling up on jack," That's whiskey,

RB   I assume, or some __________ .

JB   "The people are hurried and the jury they are worried For fear the case will settle in the yellow painted __________ hack."

RB   There's more to that. There's more background. I never was privy to all of it, and some of it I've forgotten.

JB   When was this written? [12:16]

RB   The schoolhouse was built in 1896 I think.

JB   And who wrote this down, your mother?

RB   My mother copied off something.

JB   It's wonderful. "Old Biddie broke her ankle and Estes dog is dead."

RB   Este lived right on the corner there, but I think he was a preacher.

JB   "Wallace married Nelly as soon as she got back."

RB   I've heard them tell a story that this Nelly, she had something to do with the church, whether she was a daughter or the wife of one of the ministers, I don't know. She came there anyway. She sang in the choir. And it seems that I think it was Foley, it might of been Este, that went to church in the evening session. She sang, this fellow got himself all in the mood to go to church and receive religion and any other thing he could get. [13:35] He set up in the back, and after she had sung, said "Sing, Nelly, sing, I like to hear ya!"

JB   So that was Wallace?

RB   I don't know if it was Wallace or not. I thought it was one of the Foleys. But it might of been Wallace.

JB   "And Wallace married Nelly as soon as she got back, They think they are right in clover, [trouble reading] __________ and the honeymoon just over. They took their wedding journey in the yellow painted __________ hack.

JB   "They had a wedding supper of oysters, beans and ginger Of coffee, wine and cider minced pies and hard tack.

RB   They whooped it up till morning,

JB   They left just at the dawning, And all rode home together in the yellow painted hack. Then Davis from the college of scientific knowledge"

RB   Now you're getting into the row in Warren that the Lovetts. Davis came in, the man school teacher. The Lovetts daughter was going to school and they became very attracted to each other, that they discussed John and Ellen. [15:29] It goes on to tell the whole story.

JB   "With all the lovely ladies for flirting had great knack You ought to hear the (yelling) of Buzzle John and Ellen As Redsford (He was the minister.) drove for (Godfrey) __________ in the yellow painted hack. They gave them a reception, it was grand beyond __________ conception. The buck saw orchestra was there, it was Art Hartshorn __________ and (just back.) The music it was thrilling, and Noah came near spilling If her lovely ladies (they're riding) in the yellow __________ painted hack." [16:35]

RB   Art Hartshorn and Jess MacCallister was the one I was telling you that were involved in it along with some others.

JB   And that actually took part in writing this, right?

RB   They might not have written that, they might have.

JB   "We hope their trouble is ended and the differences mended, for Davis and his better half to Essex have gone back. May all their troubles brighten, their future prospects lightened, as onward they go riding in the yellow painted hack." This was written in the late 1890s, supposedly by Art Hartshorn, Jessie McAllister and Jessie Greensly. The schoolhouse mentioned was built in 1895 at E. Warren Corner. The one now in use, 1962. [17:39] Gosh, now are these all songs your mother wrote?

RB   She wrote them down. There's another one somewhere, {The Riot in Warren". It tells about, she copies something too. These have nothing to do, I think that's just something she wrote down (JB-Maybe she was interested in.) It's her writing I think. No, I'm not sure it is either. [pause.] I'm boring you with

JB   No, I find this. The thing is that these songs and stuff, they're fascinating I think for the stories they tell. [18:34]

RB   Margaret McArthur was through here. She got a hold of that somewhere. We had control of that for a time. Ruth Cota got it. We sort of protected it and kept it until everybody was dead and gone that was involved in it. Somewhere there's a "Riot in Warren" that goes with that. I don't know if it's in the same book or not.

JB   This is I think the story of the Holy Grail. Names of authors, John Greenly Whittier. These must be songs she liked? Quotations. [looking through] Vermont. The Wreck of the Hesperess, I'll be darn.

RB   I think things that sort of attracted her __________ . I can see myself in a lot the same situation, whatever I'm attracted by different __________ . [20:00; pause. 20:12]

JB   "The Captain's Daughter" We were crowded in the cabin.

RB   Another poem that __________ (she liked.) [looking for Riot in Warren.]

JB   "The Old Squire" 1816. Is that here?

RB   No, the Old Squire was announcer for radio. You must of seen the works of the Old Squire?

JB   Autographs. These must be autograph __________ . [20:50] "Riot in Warren". As I come before the people with a story which I will tell, of a damsel fair and pretty, and a man that loved her well. She played with his affections, but her love she did not give. Then she left him quite heart broken, and he little cared to live. Then he lingered sad and weary on this earth for many a day, till consumption fastened on him, and from earth he passed away. Then this damsel's smiled so sweetly and looked for other hearts to break. Cold and cruel and inhuman she for meanness took the cake." Who's this?

RB   I'm not quite sure here.

JB   [21:55] "Then young Buck Bickford came to Warren to keep the school of No. 2. She was smitten, he didn't love her, then she knew not what to do. Now I will change my humble story and tell of a riot that occurred in this same quite peaceful valley, and I'll tell it word for word."

RB   Now this Bickford was a minister that came in here to preach in E. Warren church, when there was a church here in E. Warren, we pictures of it. __________ then they jumped to a different subject.

JB   "Then young Davis came from Essex." (OK, there we go again.) "The school of No. 2 to keep." (This was No. 2 school here.) And then something about Edith. "He fell in love with Grace."

RB   Grace and Edith were __________ daughters. Sister to this Fremont that I was. [23:30]

JB   "So he fell in love with Grace, not Edith. Then Edith in jealousy did weep. When her parents found out the racket, they saved and swore and tore around, bound that she should give up Davis right then and there, and marry Brown."

RB   Well she did marry Brown, I remember. Edith has several grandchildren. One was [pause] she had a daughter Hannah that married [pause]

JB   She must of been pretty young. She must of been what, 15 or so at this point? [24:05]

RB   I suspect she's a little older than Grace, but I wouldn't say for sure. In following up to history or the story of it, Grace, she didn't live with Davis too long.

JB   Did they end up by getting married?

RB   Oh ya, they moved to Essex. But she lost her mind, became crazy. And she was in WateRBury hospital for years. (Grace.) Yes.

JB   Because it says here "Grace refused to do their bidding, saying she did not love Brown. But she should stand by Davis and go with him to Essex town. Then they raised a bigger racket, took their children out of school. Grace they locked up quite securely, Davis they called a worthless fool. Then Grace watched her chances and away from there did flee, closely followed by old Ellen." Is that her mother? [25:07] (Ya, John Miller.) "Down to school her Frank to see. Then old Ellen went to raving around the schoolhouse, round and round. Sent for Eldridge and for Averill, then she called on Edgar Town."

RB   Edgar Town was a neighbor who lived up the top of the hill.

JB   "But they all refused to help her, knowing that her cause was bad. All their sympathy was given to poor Grace and her brave lad. Then Ellen started homeward, raving, howling, cursing wild. Sent good Lunna (that's another daughter) to the mountain for John to come and get his child."

RB   John was probably cutting wood up on, was their mountain lot up on the mountain. Lunna was a younger daughter, a little older than my mother, I've heard her tell about her. [26:09]

JB   "Then sponge old Spahn?"

RB   Spines they called him. He was the minister.

JB   "Then sponge old Spahn they called him, came out from his lair, where there (swearing, cursing, fighting) tearing dresses, pulling hair. There this good old (advent Christian.)" Now I think Earl talks about this Advent Christian, who preached in the church for a year, is that right?

RB   I think so. I'm not quite sure what he said, but who he's referring to it sounds like it might be.

JB   Earl used to like to go for the entertainment. "There this good old Advent Christian clucked above (howled) howled above the awful din. [27:07]

RB   "Hallelujah! Smash the door down!"

JB   "Bring out the worthless cuss of sin! Then Sponge set them on the harder" (tell them just what to do,) saying we are Advents, we're Christians! Tear the house down, let's go through! For we know we are God's people and we can do most anything, lying and steal and cheat our neighbors, and it will not be no sin. But they fought a little longer, then they quit it one by one. Patched it up, shook hands together, sweetly smiling all went home. But, one more thing in conclusion, and I truly think it is so, that if Advents go to Heaven, it's a place I don't want to go. If I ever see that Kingdom and meet old Ellen face to face, I will hastily pack my bundle, and leave that land in vile disgrace." [28:33] This was written about 1896 or 7. It is thought (Jule Severy), Jessie Greenslit and Art Hartshorn were the authors. John and Ellen were Mr. and Mrs. Lovett, the daughter Edith, Grace and Lunna. Old Sponge was Mr. Bickford. So was that the Advent minister?

RB   I expect it was. My mother tells the story that she went to one of the Wednesday night Vesper service I think it was. And there was a lady down here, Ida Brown. I remember her. Maybe Earl has mentioned her. She was I guess she probably lost some of her maRBles as they would say. I should build up more fire, you're freezing to death. [29:48] She was attracted to the minister. (This same Advent.) No, no, this was probably one later. In fact I've heard this story from both sides. At one time the Montpelier Seminary, Vermont College or Norwich University, Vermont College now, I went up there when I was boarding high school in the early 30's. The story went then that, and I think the Boston Theological Seminary grew out of the Methodist seed sowed up here in Montpelier. [30:27] But anyhow they for a time they did a theological seminary, or assisted ministers who or young fellows who had that thought. He came from up there, I heard the story from that end too. He came out here and preached. And Ida was very much taken by him. So got up, it was a common thing for them to get up in church and tell of their thoughts and their expressions and their feelings. So she got up, and he claimed he didn't hear it. My mother was there so she heard the whole thing, she sat a little farther back, had a ring side seat you might say! [31:18] She got up and she told him that the Lord had told her that he had been sent to be her husband. That every time she opened the Bible she could see his face. She insisted [End of tape 2, side B.

RB   This was the story that they

JB   The guy said he didn't hear it?

RB   Ya, he didn't hear what she was saying. What else could you say in a time like that!

JB   But your mother did.

RB   She heard it, everybody else in church.

JB   And this was,

RB   Ida Brown. She lived just down here. There's a picture of Clarence Brown and his family. It was her brother. It was a big family and not too well to do. They tell a lot of stories about Wilson Brown. He raised quite a big family. I've heard them tell too, he was not known as a good provider or a provident man I guess was the way they called it back in those days. Her family was a very respectable family up in Waitsfield. How she ever mixed up with him, heavens only knows. Perhaps he was different when he was younger. [1:04] Sometimes the true colors don't show through. But anyhow, he was a very pious man, and Advent I presume. He went off to one of the camp meetings. There wasn't much food left in the house, but he went off anyway. And he said Em, the Lord, Em I think her name, the Lord will provide, and he went. Well the family thought they got rid of that old scoundrel, they'd bring out some feed for their sister and her children. While he was gone they wouldn't have to feed him. Well he came back just as they were sitting down to meal, he came back earlier than they had expected. He came in and there was all the food, he said See Em, I told you the Lord would provide!

JB   She probably never live that one down! [2:08]

RB   He was one of the first ones to get a telephone. There was Andrew Bell I think it was from Northfield that put the first telephone line over the mountain here. And they had the central station was at McLaughlins. I think probably it was on the corner, it might of been, McLaughlin lived on both corners so I don't know which was which. But anyhow, they put a line up to Brown. He couldn't recognize his own ring. Back in those days you had a separate ring for each number. So every time the telephone rang he would get up and answer hello, this is Brown, you want Browns? And I heard __________ Lovett say that the telephone rang several times, she said guess Browns aren't there! This was Orin Lovett. [3:02] I heard him make that statement. Won't give Brown time to eat his dinner. Telephone would ring a different ring.

JB   And he'd pick up every single time.

RB   More often than was his own I guess. They tell too, back in those days people came around selling phonographs, cause they were the new thing. Brown bought himself a phonograph, a few records, he was enjoying immensely. He thought it would be nice if he could __________ the rest of the world. So he'd get his phonograph right up and puts the horn right up next to the microphone (telephone.) and took his receiver down so that he was on the line. Well, he ran it most all afternoon. And finally this Andrews, he called up the central, he says will somebody go up and get that damn fool off the telephone! [4:04]

JB   There must of been some funny things that went on.

RB   I pass these on because I get a big kick out of hearing them. Maybe sometimes somebody else will.

JB   Absolutely. It's the humor that's lost too, I think. Books don't tend to carry on the humor as well as the spoken word. And the expressions. That's one of the things I've been noticing with Earl. He was full of expressions.

RB   Ya he was. He was actually a great speaker.

JB   Now was Lauren as good as he was? Did he have that knack?

RB   It wasn't cultivated to the extent. Of course Lauren stayed at home and looked after the farm more until his latter years. [5:02] Earl got out earlier. He delighted in entertaining the public. Betty, you have to see her __________ , get her stories. She got me into this.

JB   Don't worry, I told her after the first of the year she's top of my list!

RB   She tell a good story if you could get her at it. She's a little shy about coming forward with it.

JB   How much younger was she than Ruth?

RB   Eight years I think. I think Ruth was born 1911, she was born in 1919, first day of September. She always tells me I'm much older than she is. I was born in May!

JB   [6:07] Well did you know Lauren at all or ever see him?

RB   Oh yes, yes. We were neighbors. We became very close, particularly after my mother died.

JB   Because he got married when he was about 40 I guess.

RB   He married Thelma Neal ran the store, it was her husband was Gertrude's son. He and Gertrude were married 1928 I think it was. At that time Albert was 18-20, something like that. They run the farm up on Cider Hill. Later they sold the farm and moved down, Albert and Thelma ran the store.

JB   Earl wasn't too complimentary about Lauren's wife.

RB   [pause 7:12] Little jealousy there perhaps. Lauren stayed on the farm and enjoyed the favor of the parents. Earl left and went on his own. There was another brother, Claren.

JB   He totally left didn't he? He was down in Windsor or somewhere like that.

RB   Ya, he traveled about southern New England.

JB   What did he do? Earl never mentioned him much at all. He talks quite a bit about Lauren. And Lauren was a great ox man I gather. [8:03]

RB   But he stayed home on the farm and enjoyed the benefits of the farm. I guess he bought out the farm. But Earl took care of his parents in the latter years. I think that probably where some of the jealousy, where the feeling toward Gertrude came in.

JB   That was because his father didn't like Gertrude I think, according to Earl.

RB   There comes a time when anybody who takes his son away from has got to have a darn good reason.

JB   It was interesting, reading Earl's account of his getting married. His parents weren't very nice about it. He went off and got married and brought his wife back, and it was a little sticky there. [9:03]

RB   I think Earl after he was married came back home and stayed for a time. But things didn't go smoothly. Earl's mother was a very strong person. There again, she was the community midwife, as we would say it today. When somebody was sick she would go and take care of them. And they tell me she was extremely good.

JB   Earl probably got some of his horse remedies from,

RB   He got those from his father, but I don't know how. Of course __________ they were both very clever people.

JB   It sounds like they were. Now did you know both of them pretty well, growing up as a kid? Or did you keep your distance? [10:09]

RB   Well I kept my distance as was necessary, particularly when everybody was alive. I never spoke to HeRBert once.

JB   And she was aware of it.

RB   Oh yes, there's no question. Blamed for part of it. But they had a anniversary, it might of been 25th anniversary for Earl and Kate. And it might of been some anniversary for them. I don't remember. But I do remember going through the receiving line, the devil made me do it! [11:02] He got a big chuckle out of it. She was pretty stiff!

JB   He sounds like a pretty good guy.

RB   Again I'm prejudice, but I think so too.

JB   From everything Earl says. They were good people.

RB   There was 2 or 3 other brothers in Ellen's family I believe.

JB   Brothers of Elijah. I think there were Earl said 5. I've forgotten who they all were.

RB   There was one lived down on the Cardell place I guess. He had a son that was killed with a load of logs. There was a road that goes from what we call the Cardell place or Ann Burns road, went down and comes out on route 100, it follows the brook down. [12:03] (I know where that is.) Probably see it on the map.

JB   In fact I've seen a truck in the river there, I think. Doesn't it come down across the brook?

RB   I don't think that you would seen a truck there. There's a road comes down. Actually it went to the Cardell place, and it followed the brook down. Well some where he went off the bridge and the load of logs came on to him and it killed him. (With horses?) With horses, ya. I don't remember it. I heard my uncle tell about it. I don't remember the fellow's name. It was one of the brother's sons I think. There was another brother lived down in, Hosie lived down in Granville, up on the hill. [13:00] But that road went actually from, it isn't very far from there down to the main road. Comes out to right across from Warren Falls actually, the famous Warren Falls. You must of heard about that.

JB   Just a little. Tell me about the famous Warren Falls.

RB   That's almost as famous as the Huntington Gorge.

JB   For swimming then.

RB   I got into a ruckus with the Valley reporter. They were reporting about the conditions of swimming, places to swim in the valley. I told them look; we don't need this publicity. Enough people go there anyway. [14:03] It is off limits. We have barred people from going in there because of the safety factor. The lady working in the office, she agreed. She worked on the ambulance, and she'd been up there to pick 2 or 3 people.

JB   You always see cars parked along there in the summertime, where people go in.

RB   Tremendous swimming hole, if you like to take chances. Only gets one out of 1,000 probably!

JB   You're awful! You send some of your friends there!

RB   Some I might be tempted to! All depending on what they done to me! [15:04] Friends like that it's easy to love your enemies! [looking through box.] I don't know if I got anything more here that relates to what you're. [poking around. 15:30] Here's some clippings. I don't know if they refer to anything that might. Goldy Taylor was an older lady that, those were some my aunt cut out.

JB   These are, 1913.

RB   That was back about the days of her living here in town and enjoying life. She got the greatest kick out of reading those. [pause 16:06] Here's Devoe, she died 106.

JB   Oh my gosh! So she lived another 2 or 3 years.

RB   That was the account of her funeral. [pause; 16:22] And here's Clarence Hartshorn's obituary. If these things are not of interest to you, don't let me. [pause; 16:46]

JB   Lucy Blair, she was 89, September 13, 1937. [long pause; RB [18:31] Here's some more of the same. [sorting through.]

JB   Mostly weddings and deaths and events.

RB   That was the only important things that happened. Of course I'll tell you this yarn I told before, it's a woman's world. Child is born, the first question, that was the mother. As the years go on he marries, the only comment what a beautiful bride. And when he dies, what did he leave the widow! [19:15]

JB   So your mother was a school teacher. (Um hum.) And did she teach for a long time?

RB   Only for a couple years I guess.

JB   1905 here.

RB   There's some pictures she took. That's my uncle, my grandfather. There's a picture of E. Warren church. [pause; 20:22] You was talking about Parker and Slayton mill, here's his horses. That's taken up on what's now the school common.

JB   And these were all people that worked for Parker and Slayton?

RB   They was Parkers teams. I guess I started to tell you one time I wandered off as I often do, about this old fellow down to Waitsfield that ran the trucking business. That's E. Warren school, when my son was going. [21:03] Here is Mrs. __________ .

JB   Is she the one that was the great shot? Yes?

RB   No, no, no.

JB   The one that Earl was talking about, Ruth.

RB   Ruth was her husband's aunt. There's the same picture. Seems as this Cy Smith had a trucking business or a teaming business. He'd get his help out in the morning, 4 o'clock or so and he'd feed the horse and have breakfast and let the horses have a chance to eat while they were eating. They'd try to be on the road by. [22:06] Those are some recent pictures. Those are aerial photos of here. (of the farm.) There's the Warren schoolhouse as it was back a long time ago. And he hired this man to drive horses for him. He went through that process for a couple weeks. He'd get up in the morning at 4 o'clock, get his horses. Some times he didn't get in until 7 or 8 o'clock at night. After little while he went to Mr. Smith. [pause.] It had nothing to do with it. Jean Thayer, it's a son of the Thayer that Mary Thayer. He went to Mr. Smith and he said Mr. Smith? I can't work for you anymore. You haven't done as you agreed. What haven't I done as I agreed? He said well, when [picture of Rupert's great grandfather] I came here to work for you, you promised me steady work. Been 2 or 3 hours every night didn't have anything to do! [23:42] There's another blow up of Warren village.

JB   This is a wonderful photograph, this is your great grandfather? (Ya.) James S. Blair. When do you suppose that was taken? Because he must of been born, now if your grandfather was born in 1839, this guy must of been born in 18

RB   10 maybe at the latest.

JB   He's a wonderful looking guy, isn't he. Look at his hands. He died when? You remember him?

RB   No. He died 1800's I think. He bought a place, you'll see on the map, James S. Blair, and James Blair. They lived side by side. He and his wife bought a piece of land, a farm, a house near to my grandfather. He didn't live a year or two after he bought it. [24:52]

JB   And he came from Bolton you told me?

RB   Ya, Richmond. I think it was his father I think came down from Canada, married, raised a family. Here's a picture of the grist mill, which was the other building we saw on that picture looking under the bridge. Here's an old __________ , lived in Warren village. There's another picture of my grandmother. [continue sorting through pictures. 25:42]

JB   Were you pretty close to your grandmother?

RB   Yes. I was 10 years old when she died. But I lived right here with her.

JB   Did she tell you stories?

RB   Ya. There was something, I think you ought to talk to Marlene. She has a tremendous memory of things. She grew up in Peacham I think it was or Groton. There was my grandmother's father.

JB   Marlene Defrese? She's where?

RB   She lives just out here to E. Warren. She just built a new house over on Defrese farm. She and David just built a new house. [26:54] She came down with her husband to selectman's meeting, came to pick him up or something. We were just closing up. I said I know by the moonlight it's almost midnight, time __________ home an hour and a half ago. And that's an old story that my grandmother told.

JB   Could you say that slower?

RB   I know by the moonlight it's almost midnight, time Peg and I were home an hour and a half ago. And that was part of a little verse, a little ditty. It goes on like the House that Jack Built. [27:33] I thought nothing more about it. I didn't know the rest of it anyway. And she went on and told me the whole story on that. And now my grandmother grew up in Bolton or Richmond. She grew up in Groton. Those had to be some stories that were brought up from England or Scotland or Ireland or wherever they came from.

JB   Ya, I'm fascinated by that.

RB   In fact Scotland, a lot of Scotch settled over in Groton. And I suspect that

JB   And she knows the whole thing.

RB   She knows the whole thing.

JB   As her grandmother told her?

RB   Probably. Come as kind of shock to me! [28:19]

JB   Is she elderly? How old is she?

RB   Oh no, she's young, she's no more than 60. She's pulling it a little bit! However, she has a host of things like that. I can remember my grandmother telling me this story, I suspect this is before television, I'm not sure. It was a lot better than television. [can't understand], particularly lately. [29:05] This fellow was courting a girl, Soukie. [picture of Warren] And he went to see this girl one night. [End of tape 3, side A] [Tape 3, side B] Should marry Soukie. And that they had a fair haired little boy, and he was running around there. Back in those days they used to hang up their button on hooks. They were thinking that if they had a fair haired little boy and he was running around, one of those leg of lambs should fall down and hit him and kill him how bad they would all feel. And he said he wouldn't never marry her until she found 3 others just big darn fool as they were. So he went out traveling seeking his fortune as I guess they used to say. He came to a place where the fellow was trying to get his cow up on the roof. He was trying to get it to go up the ladder on the roof. [1:07] He stopped and inquired what he could do to help him. He said why don't you go up and shovel that moth off the roof and I'll try to get the cow up there to eat it off. So he showed him to go up on the roof and shovel the moss off, let the old cow eat it. He traveled awhile later, he put up at a hotel, tavern they called it those days. Along about 2 o'clock in the morning he heard thump, thump, thump. Wondered if something was wrong, so he rapped on the door. He said is everything all right in there? __________ yes, he said he was all right. He said when he was a boy, he'd hold his pants out and jump right in to them, no problem. But as he got older and the rheumatism bothered him he had to start jumping early, so he got up 2 o'clock and started jumping to get his pants on! [2:12] He showed him he would sit down on his bed and pull them on, there'd be no problem! The third one he came to, some time later. The fellow got up, same time before daylight, and took a leather bag and started for the mountain. Said why do you do that? Well he said he had taken over the job from his father. Every morning he'd gone beyond the mountain get a bag of daylight and brought it back down into the valley! He finally persuaded that if he would just sit there and wait, that the daylight would come to the valley anyway. So he went back and married Soukie, they all lived happily ever after I presume. [3:02]

JB   And this is what your grandmother told you?

RB   Yes, that's one of my grandmother's told me. There was another one about the fellow that, maybe Marlene would know this one too, this fellow went to stay at the tavern, or inn, whatever it was. This family, they had the hatchel, cards. He got up in the night, wandered around, probably headed for the out house. He ran into the hatchel. Then he ran into the card they had there. Next morning he said he got up in the night and the dog bit him and the cat scratched him. Wondered what he went through. [4:07] That's incomplete, it was more to it than that. That's the only part I can remember.

JB   Story telling was a much bigger part of life in those days. No television, no radio.

RB   No, you couldn't get up and push the button and have instant sex and violence!

JB   Great way to put it! We've been having our share this last week.

RB   Hadn't been for the desert storm and the Thomas and the Smith thing, there wouldn't been anything on television at all. [4:50 End of interview.]

Citation

Blair, Rupert and Fuller, Earl, “Interview with Blair, Rupert -- TC1991-0034,” Vermont Folklife Center Digital Collections, accessed July 13, 2020, http://explore.vermontfolklifecenter.org/digital-archive/collections/items/show/1537.