2013, Sahalie Publishing

2013, Sahalie Publishing
256 pages, over 100 pictures

Limited edition...

The Brass Bell can be purchased online at Sahalie Publishing and Amazon.com.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Many of us who had relationships with Miss Parsons, as students, teachers, staff, nieces and nephews, neighbors, friends, had some occasion throughout the years to visit this house on Cherry Road. This is the house Miss Parsons built on her father's farm, on the other side of the property donated for the purpose of the school.

When visiting the house, there were many fond memories, plates of cookies, tea--sometimes demitasse coffee. I remember BLT sandwiches cut in triangular shapes on the side porch. In the wintertime, there would be fires in the fireplace. And after she retired, a slideshow of her travels and popcorn in the livingroom. Her parlor retained a certain pleasure of a brief visit to another time, the old clock ticking time on the mantle, hand-carved chairs, a pump organ.

My cousin Barbara, also one of Marion's nieces, reminded me last week about Aunt Marion's molasses cookies. Oh they were good, and though I helped her make them in the kitchen over-looking the garden many times, I can't remember exactly the recipe.

So I add this request to the previous request for Cherry Road recipes. Not only were many tasty casseroles shared when mothers brought lunch to school for fundraising purposes, there are the many recipes of local families, the Parsons included. Please, if anyone has Marion's molasses cookie recipe, or any recipes from local families, a famous apple pie, or perhaps an oatmeal cookie that can't be beat, passed down from generation to generation of Westvale families, please share and we'll have a section of local recipes as an addendum for the book.

I thank everyone for their generous contributions.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The picture you see here is the home of Jim and Susan Jerome, once the home of Edwin and Julia Parsons, our great great grandparents and the grandparents of Miss Marion Parsons. This picture was taken many years ago and they have done lots of work to restore the home and to make it the lovely place it is today and a nature-friendly greenspot. Wouldn't Edwin and Julia be proud and amazed?

When Marion and her sisters, Grace and Martha, and her many cousins (too many to list here) attended school, it was at the Geddes District One School on Terry Road. They called it the Terry Road School. Education was a top priority to these and other farm families in the area and when the day came, in the early 1900s, that the little building could no longer serve the education needs of the children of the Westvale community, some families opened their living rooms for classes. There was a group of younger children that met in the parlor of Willis Parsons, Marion's father, and they were called the Tiny Tots. The Willis Parsons home was just up the road from the house pictured here, on the other side of Genesee Street. (See earlier posts.)

It's likely that classes where also held at the home pictured above. Jim Jerome, the current owner and my cousin, has told me about a group of older kids who would meet to study what we would now call "industrial arts," though it was called something else then.

I'm wondering if any of you know anything about these classes and would be willing to share? I can be reached at 503.344.4434, and am keen to find out more about how community members supported school for kids in the community until the new school was built circa 1926.

You input for the book, The Brass Bell, is much appreciated.

Warm regards,
Nancy "Camille" Cole

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Work on "the book" has Begun

Dear Friends and Followers:

Work on the book has begun! The working title is "The Brass Bell." The book will chronicle the history of a 19th century farming settlement that came to be known as Westvale, a one-room schoolhouse and the children who grew up there; a chicken coop, a cherry orchard, the new schoolhouse, a brass bell, and the woman who rang the bell every day and influenced many lives. Her name was Marion Parsons. Her family came by oxcarts from Massachusetts to New York in the early 1800s. They planted fruit trees, grew a dairy farm, and eventually established a community of cousins and neighbors that, if you look closely are still residents of of the Westvale community today. If they've moved away, they stay in touch. People in their 60s, 70s, and 80s meet regularly to reminisce about their days at Cherry Road School.

If you are one of those people, and would like to share information or stories or pictures for the book, please contact me by phone or email:


Your contribution will be greatly appreciated.

Now that the book is in production, I will resume posting regularly on this blog.

Wishing you all the best of New Years,
Nancy "Camille" Cole