Chelmsford Historical Society
Outline of Interview Mar 12, 1975 Minnie Penniman Brown
05-born in Chelmsford, on Robin Hill road
21-life in early Chelmsford
32-Lennon-Mansfield House on Barton Hill Road
42-attended school first on Littleton Road o site of a gas station today
61-this was too long a walk, transferred to South Chelmsford school where the fire station is today
65-then to the School on North Road
70-attended one year of High School
74-home chores
88-no heat in school except for pot bellied stove
99-rode barge to school, horse drawn bus operated by Benjamin Bogdenoff
106-Mrs. Brown's brother was Herbert Penniman
110-he plowed the sidewalks
114-and he was always prompt
117-kerosene street lights were cared for by her father George Penniman
122-the task was difficult on a windy night
128-there were only a few lights in the centers of town
130-"center" here refers to South Chelmsford
140-hours involved in father's job
144-filled lights with a specific amount of kerosene
148-had to take globes home daily to wash and fill them with enough fuel so they would go out around midnight
154-he had a special container which measured the necessary amount of kerosene
159-if a light went out before it should have, Mr. Penniman was called out to relight it
173-describes lights
184-no problem with breakage through vandalism
200-First United Baptist Church
206-heating in the Church was provided by wood furnaces
210-Church held "chopping Bees" to get wood supply
216-when the trees were cut, someone brought in a gasoline saw rig to cut the wood into smaller sections
226-Baptist services
233-Baptisms at Baptist Pond, formerly Hart Pond
241-called "Baptist" because of so many Baptisms at the lake
244-Baptism ceremony, October
250-baptized at age 20
254-face had to be submerged to wash away sins
267-there was singing as the person to be baptized walked into the water with the pastor
271-the person wore a robe, weighted down so it wouldn't float on top of the water; it was weighted with lead in the hem
279-the robe was black
303-in the past all day Sunday was spent in Church
312-Church suppers
320-husband came to Chelmsford looking for work, worked at Wright's Nursery t then was a custodian in Chelmsford Schools for twenty five years
332-no spare time for recreations
338-made soap in the home
363-everything was used in those days, nobody threw anything away
366-had to be careful because home-made soap could go rancid
371-butter making
387-everything was made in the home
398-only staples were purchased
403-people lived off the land and canned the produce
406-"lived from the cellar all winter"
416-sleighs and pungs
421-Church had horse sheds to keep the horses warm during services
425-Surry was a two seated wagon with fringe around the top
431-traveled to Lowell by horse and buggy or by an electric car from the Center
436-went to Lowell for things which couldn't be made in the home, such as shoes and underclothes
450-Keith's Theatre
456-traveled by train to New York City for wedding trip
460-notes sharp contrasts between Chelmsford and N.Y.
468-finds Chelmsford a very quiet town
480-Poor Farm(very little information)
500-(Viola referred to here is Viola Nickerson)
511-Robbin Hill Fire Tower
515-there was once a restaurant and concession stand there
524-people were always so busy working that there was little time for social activity
539-George A. Penniman

End of interview
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