Chelmsford Historical Society
Outline of Interview Mar 24, 1975 Mrs Jesse Stewart
00-born in 1891
30-moved to Chelmsford, May 1, 1893
37-Chelmsford was a good farming community at that time
47-father had a fruit and berry farm, with chickens and cows
56-drank raw milk
60-Paul Dutton came out from S.W. Parkhurst's Store once a week to take grocery order. He would deliver requested products that afternoon
65-took extra eggs from farm to sell
72-kerosene lamps
73-no phones
76-"berry pickers"
78-were paid two cents a box (quart boxes)
80-raspberries were put in pint boxes for 1.5 cents each
84-all day picking
92-temporary shack in berry patch for crating
100-berries were delivered on a Democrat wagon. It had two seats one of which could be removed for loading purposes
106-Goddard Buggy had one seat and a top. This was the "Go to Meeting Buggy"
111-the big blue wagon, larger than the others, was kept in the barn cellar l used for heavy loads
115-garden surplus was taken to Lowell to be sold
121-pickers had to be summoned by a person on horseback there were no phones, televisions or autimobiles
128-"everything was primitive"
131-sometimes pickers would come without lunch so mother would cook beans and bread to keep them from leaving. Once they left it was hard to get them back
141-Mr. Stanley was a clock fixer who visited occasionally
153-home made cottage cheese
159-hasty pudding, corn meal mush
172-walked to school and home to lunch
177-school on North Road
181-all the girls wore black cotton stockings and high laced shoes, long undies in winter and fleece lined leggings
189-there was a one horse snowplow for the sidewalks
192-all grades from one through high school were in the Center School
196-it was the same in North which was a much larger town with mills
198-the Center was mostly residential
201-a "roller" was used to flatten the ruts when the roads were muddy
206-gas lights, a man in a high seated wagon with a horse lit each light individually
218-school day was 9-12 and 1-3:30
224-high school was in the front two rooms of the building
228-there were nine grades and four years of high school
233-Miss Chase taught English, Miss Potter taught French
241-Susy McFarlin was "exceptional"
248-Herbie was a hired man who drove Miss McFarlin to and from school every day
257-"she knew a great deal for those days"
259-she maintained good discipline
267-Mr. Kendall was Superintendent of Schools
273-Miss MoFarlin had her own ideas about punishment
279-school mischief
291-spelling bees, two captains who chose sides
301-music teacher Marion Adams, taught once a week
306-outlying schools, North and South Row
308-Hazel Knowlton, graduate of Lowell Normal School received approximately $320.00 for the year; she always walked to school
314-Mrs. Stewart attended Massachusetts Normal Art School then worked in Chelmsford. Hired a wagon to drive to the schools
320-to get to North Chelmsford had to take a trolley to Lowell and then one to North. "It was the only way to get there"
330-Mrs. Stewart taught art
332-Bertha Bartlett
333-Susy McFarlin encouraged Jesse to attend art school
343-Mass. Art School was at the corner of Newbury and Exeter Streest
348-Elizabeth Warren also from Chelmsford went to Mass. Normal Art
350-working her way through school Jesse was a social worker at the North Bennet Street School evenings, this provided room and board
354-supervised recreation in the "all Italian" district, checked on truants
359-worked throughout the North End
363-winter recreation, often snowed in
367-Arthur Dutton's cows
372-snowshoed to Dutton farm for milk
376-sliding on streets
379-Bartlett Hill, slid from top of hill to middle of town on a double runner
383-sometimes they slid as far as Parkhurst's Store (Site of the bookstore today)
385-six people could ride on a double runner at a time flexible flyers were another type sled
388-no automobiles but sledders had to be careful of horses
390-good sledding from Robin's hill onto High Street
395-Mill Pond
403-ran off into Beaver Brook
407-favorite skating place, there were several benches around played "snap the Whip"
412-remembers activities and fun that "didn't require anything but your companions"
415-at school played on old pipe on the steps
423-played on the Common, opposite the High School
426-There was an Elm tree with a metal seat around it
430-the Chelmsford Band played on the Bandstand on the Common
434-Congregational Church
440-amateur plays, Children's Sunday
447-after rehearsals a group rode the trolley into Lowell for a nickel
448-went to the Chinese Restaurant, bought a big plate of chop suey for twenty five cents
452-this was around 1910
457-home built in 1921(52 High Street)
460-it was important to pick berries as soon as they were ripe
469-spent summer at Grandma Davidson's in Stowe
472-drove hay rake
476-drove horse for hayfork operatopn
483-"people used to be quite self sufficient"
484-Billy Clinton stopped once a week with his fish wagon the cat always met the wagon
495-Ice man, chest was in the laundry, it held two one hundred pound cakes of ice
504-Gage Ice Houses on Baptist Pond (Here Mrs. Stawart refers to Marion Gage, but the Ice Company owner was Martina Gage)
507-men out the ice on the pond, assisted by big horses
515-ice was packed with hay and straw
518-Clarence Nicklaus (spelling?) was the ice delivery man, he lived in the center
520-train ran competition with the trolley trolley ran every half hour, there were two trains daily from Concord Junction to Lowell
526-some Chelmsford residents who worked in Lowell near the station took the train to work
534-Graduated from Normal School 1914, diploma
537-tuition was five dollars a semester,there were two semestars in one year
546-immediately employed in Chelmsford schools, stayed there four years
547-married in 1918
549-moved to Michigan for three years, then to Pennsylvania for a year
552-returned to Chelmsford
554-husband worked for Factory Mutual Fire Insurance Company after their return to Massachusetts he was a safety engineer
558-inspected company plants for safety
560-lived in copper country in Michigan
562-while traveling husband had worked for Atlas Powder Co.
564-Sanitary Civil Engineer
569-while in Michigan, tented on the shore of Lake Superior
574-learned to ski
598-back in Chelmsford in the early twenties
602-Chelmsford has changed tremendously over the years "it's not such a nice place anymore, it's too big" at that time people knew everyone in town
610-town politics "least of my problems"
615-Town Meetings were "red hot" there were always a few who monopolized
619-John Eaton for example
623-meetings didn't last as long as today
630-selectmen were always important men
640-E.T. Adams Grocery ran competition with S.W. Parkhurst story of sugar shortage
644-Chelmsford Bottling Works owned by C.G. Armstrong, used spring water pumped from Robbins Hill during the sugar shortage Armstrong had an abundance and Adams had none
653-Armstrong gave Adams a barrel so he could sell sugar to his customers
655-every home had a barrel of sugar, a barrel of pastry flour and a barrel of all purpose flour
659-Welcome Soap, a yellow soap kept in the attic
663-barrel of russet cider in the cellar
666-butter came in five pound wooden boxes
670-molasses could be purchased in gallon stone jugs from S.W. Parkhurst
677-North Chelmsford was quite different, mills owned strings of houses
681-there were woolen mills, the wool came in on the train
684-"Mill workers we felt, were different from we people who were farmers. Maybe their aesthetic values were a little different. I suppose it was the idea of everyone going to work with a lunch pail, working early, late and regular hours while we were footloose and fancy free in a certain sense."
695-East and West Chelmsford were small
698-there were always mills in the North

29-memories must be passed on somehow
44-reference to High School Time Capsule project
54-didn't go to Lowell much
62-clothes were bought in Lowell, this was usually the only reason for going there
98-life was very primitive, horse & buggys and bikes
103-the house was heated by a steam boiler
105-coal deliveries were made to the Center Railroad station
118-first telephone in town was at Knowlton's, everyone was on the same line "very primitive"
131-Town Farm, Poor Farm, "don't know too much about it"
145-in place of Rest Home
146-most families cared for their own elderly
155-opening of Pine Ridge Cemetery
169-two hundred and fiftieth Anniversary of Chelmsford
172-Memorial Day Parades, school children
182-lemonade on the Common
200-Campfire girls
205-Scoboria family was active
214-two hundred and fiftieth Anniversary
221-Free Band Concerts, Tom Parkhurst played the Cornet

End of interview
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