Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Genealogy Findings & Family Whispers 1920'S

As we question members of the family about genealogy and heirloom items we learn some very interesting things about ourself and our beloved ancestors, somethings only whispered--This is a photo of Edwin Booth Lord born in 1878 in Fort Hunter, N.Y. the photo was taken at Pine Lake Park in the year 1924.For about a year he had been unable to go to Baily Knitting Mills to work due to a cough and inability to work in the dust filled area of the carding Machines.
His cloths show how much weight he must have been looseing.He was diagnosed with consumption and told to live in the Adirondacks-hence Pine Lake.



A hotel called "the Elms" located in our home town Nelliston was available so he leased it and in the fall opened for business-this building was located at the one and only stop light in the village on route 5 a triangle was formed by West main st and School st. you can see by the photo it has not yet been paved in 1924. You can see why they called it "the Elms" with the two beautiful elm trees in the front. [in 1932 it was moved across school st and placed next to the school where it stands today.

Some time before this my Father Edwin Lord Jr. and my mother Mary were married so my grandfather divided his home on 12 Berthood St. into a duplex this was nearing completion when he decided to lease the Elms, so when he built the stairway he had each stair tread made so the tread itself would slide forward when you pressed the head of a finishing nail under the step lip opening into a storage area about 10 x 10 30 inches wide. with some 12 steps a large load of glass bottles could be stored without discovery.

The Elms was the watering hole for the village , in 1928 a business directory list the Elms as a Soda Fountain shop and list my grandfather as Soda Fountain operator.
In 1925 a local distributor [Soda] J.C.Burns, delivered a shipment and it was delivered real late in the evening and secured in the storage area. My mother was pregnant at the time and Grampa selected one bottle and put it aside--

This was going to be opened when the baby was born [That's Me] happened 2 dec 1925 but in the confusion no one remembered to open it--So everyone agreed it would be opened when I graduated from school [its never been clear from what school] at any rate it never got opened and it is still on my shelf in the library. It was bottled in Wagners Hallow just past the old covered bridge there is a barn very near Caroga Creek, this was a Ch ease factory, but actually they brewed and bottled some of the best whiskey available all during the prohibition period.

So now comes the part that I played in all of this the bootleger, when the supply of "Soda"
[you young people reading this, sale of alcohol beverages was against the law prohibition you know]
got low at "The Elms" a message was sent to Berthood St. to take "bob" for some fresh air--My big wicker carriage was rolled out, the bottom filled with whiskey bottles and then I was placed on top [no wonder my back hurts all the time] and I got my fresh air ride to the hotel. look at the photo I am so high in the carriage its a wonder I did not fall out-there must be at least three rows of bottles.


By 1928 the pressure from the Tobacco and Firearms got so bad, with two arrest on his record, my grandfather sold out--It did not seem to affect his standing in the community he was made village Treasure, tax collector, also the Superintendent of Schools for town of Palatine. A job that I enjoyed since he took me in the model Tee with him, as he visited the small school houses all thru the town-Eventually he became bed ridden in 1934 I can just recall how sad it was when he had to sell his piano to make room for a hospital bed. he was gifted in that he could pick up any musical instrument and play any tune he heard, and never had any lessons-this did not come down in the family, my father took lessons on the piano for 7 years and the only thing he could play was "Mary had a little Lamb" Three years later My grandfather died of T.B. of the lungs.
Strange the reaction of people in the 1920's to Alcohol and how different it is today were marijuana's is the prohibited item---same actions today would have resulted in Felony arrest and jail time with children put in child custody I have never used alcohol or drugs but I wonder how right we are today.

3 comments:

Rosebud Collection said...

I really enjoy reading all your history..Some of it is so much like what I know about ours..Your family is so lucky to have you recording this..

Distressing Delilah said...

awwww..love the picture of gampy! and the baby picture of you...am laughing out loud right now!

Distressing Delilah said...

oops! misread that!