Saturday, March 27, 2010
The Olden Days
When I was a kid, I would go to my grandmother (Grace Parsons Cole) or my Aunt Marion (Marion Parsons) and ask them to tell me a story "out of their think." That was code for tell me a story about the olden days.
My grandmother and Aunt Marion are pictured here as they were in the olden days. The elder girl is my grandmother, the younger, Marion Parsons. Marion became known to most of the followers of this blog as Miss Parsons. But long before that, she attended a one-room schoolhouse, long before she would go on to found Cherry Road School.
As a matter of fact, records show there were 2 one-room school houses in the area, the Onondaga Hill School (1846) and the Terry Road School (1847). The Parsons girls and their cousins and neighbors attended the Terry Road School, donated by Guy Parsons who also served as a "Trustee" of the school.
When Aunt Marion told stories about the olden days, there were often events at the school--the day the farm burned and they saw the flames from the school window; rides in the buggy; playing with cousins in nearby orchards.
If anyone has any information about the history of either school, the Onondaga Hill School or the Terry Road School, we would love to hear what you may have to share. The Parsons girls, their Parsons and Jerome cousins, and other neighbors and friends attended the Terry Road School (also known at some point as the Geddes District One School) in the late 1800s.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
The Milk Door
Many long-time Westvale residents remember the old milk doors. Van Jerome or one of the other Jerome Dairy folks would come whistling up the walk in the morning with fresh milk in glass bottles. You could hear the bottles rattling in the metal racks. In the early days it may have been ladled right from the milk can in the truck into the bottle, fresh from the dairy.
The pictures here are not from Westvale, but depict images that will remind those who can remember or who may have been wondering what that little door from the outside into the kitchen might be for. Well, though they were used for many years to deliver milk to homes in Westvale and in other parts of the country too, they had other, less obvious functions. For example, many Cherry Road School alumni from the days when Miss Parsons was principal will remember that she was hard of hearing, that she wore a hearing aid. Oftentimes when my dad and I would stop by for a visit, and if her door was locked, she wouldn't hear us knocking. Dad would boost me up and I'd climb through the milk door and run get Aunt Marion.
As I talk to people in Westvale about their memories of this unique and enduring community, many have stories about the Jerome Dairy milk doors. Some of the doors are still in place, some have been sealed up, some are gone. If you have pictures or stories about your milk door, please contact the Solvay-Geddes Historical Society. (The link to their website is on this page.)