Monday, November 2, 2009

Albert's School Days - 1863/72

Albert’s School Days - 1863/72

My (Albert here again) days at Iddles School were full of exciting events and helped expand my mind. I attended from age 5 to age 15. We used the McGuffery’s Readers, which emphasized reading, spelling, vocabulary and public speaking. When it was my turn to read aloud, I would always get very nervous. When it was recess time we just had fun. Exploring the woods while walking to and from school with Lonson, Olive and Ida was also lots of fun. Charles and Mary Ann did not attend school until after I had finished.

If Dad (Henry) needed help on the farm, my older brother Lonson and I would not go to school. We would just continue in our readers where we had left off. During my school years the farm matured. Buildings got constructed; cows, horses, pigs and chickens were added; crops planted; and orchards started. We had apple trees as far back as I can remember. In the early 1870s we started having peaches to sell off the farm. Most everyone started growing peaches for shipment to Chicago.

We always were one of the first farms in the area to add modern conveniences. This was possible thanks to Dad and Mom selling things off the farm and Dad’s carpentry jobs. In 1870 a windmill was added to pump water into a big tank in our house attic. This gave us running water to go with our Kerosene lights. We also had a steam-powered sawmill, a sorghum press and a sugarhouse for boiling down sap to make maple syrup.

In spite of all these conveniences, we all worked hard. We boys fed the animals, gathered eggs, cleaned out the barn and other buildings, and worked in the various crops. We used horses a lot for working the fields and going places. Olive and Mary Ann helped mom run the house, preserve food, prepare meals and care for Charles and Mary Ann. Meals were always great and we frequently had relatives and neighbors join us for a meal. In turn we would visit other homes and feast on chicken, roast pork, beef, venison, rabbit, squirrel or pheasant. With these meats we would have potatoes, vegetables and hot biscuits with wild honey. This would all be followed with pies. Later in my life the Church became a major gathering place for the community.

On a Monday in October 1871, the last fall I attended school, it became very dark and smoky. Later we found out the smoke was from the Chicago fire, which burned from Sunday October 8 until Tuesday. It was very windy and very dry. At that same time there were fires in Wisconsin and several places in Michigan, including Holland, Manistee, Port Huron and other places. As an adult I heard the speculation that a wide spread meteor shower may have started all these fires. To this day, I still think of those fires when I see a shooting star. Talk with you later.
Note - Above written by Martin O based on some facts and lots of speculation.

At The Farm November 2, 2009

New this year - the farm retail building will be open 11 a. m. to 5 p. m. on weekends (Sat & Sun) throughout November. So, you can stop in and stock up for the winter. Apples available from the cooler are: Cameo, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, Ida Red, Jonagold, Mutsu and Sonata.

At the farm, boxes, crates, and equipment are being stored for the winter. As soon as these fall cleanup activities are completed the annual tree trimming will begin. The kids have completed their soccer games and it is time for basketball. Your support of the farm operation this past year is greatly appreciated.

Don’t forget to eat fruit!