|Date of birth||June 10, 1912|
|Community||Burford, Oakland, Scotland|
- This interview is a part of the Chronicles of Oakland Township, which was compiled in the summer of 1980. Click here to read more interviews in this collection!
This is Jane Shaver and Duane Brandow interviewing Mr. Donald Eddy in his home in Scotland, Ontario, July 4, 1980.
Jane: When were you born?
Mr. Eddy: June 10, 1912.
Jane: And where were you born?
Mr. Eddy: Burford. 9th concession of Burford Township.
Jane: and how long did you live there?
Mr. Eddy: I lived there till I was 20.
Jane: And then did you move to Scotland?
Mr. Eddy: Then we moved to Scotland.
Jane: Why did you move to Scotland?
Mr. Eddy: My dad owned a farm there (Burford) and he sold it and bought a farm just across the tracks. There are two houses just across the tracks and the fertilizer place.
Duane: So what kind of farm were you brought up on?
Mr. Eddy: It was general. Mostly dairy.
Jane: So where did you go to school?
Mr. Eddy: At Burford. The public school in the South School. That's about two miles south of Burford. And then to High School in Burford.
Jane: How did you get to school? Did you walk or what?
Mr. Eddy: In the summer I rode my bike. There was a time I went to public school and somedays I would ride a horse. And turn it around facing home and give it a slap in the back and away it went. It always went home. (laughter)
Jane: That's interesting. Were there any sports? Did they place sports at school anytime? Baseball?
Mr. Eddy: Yes, they played baseball and there were a lot of gymnastics involved in high school. We were able to use the facilities also at the "Y" (YM/YWCA) in Brantford—Sometimes. I did walk to school till the winter came. Down the rail-road tracks. (laughter)
Jane: What kind of things were there to do when you were at the dating age? Did you go to movie or what did you do?
Mr. Eddy: Sometimes yes. There was quite a strong organization of young people's and I think we had some thirty or forty young people that came into the United Church here.
Jane: Okay. When were you married?
Mr. Eddy: In December 31, 1941.
Jane: And were you married in Scotland?
Mr. Eddy: Yes.
Duane: What was your wife's name?
Mr. Eddy: Kathelene Murray and she came from Saskatchewan, you see.
Jane: So where did you settle down when you got married?
Mr. Eddy: Well, I was working in Simcoe at that time so we got an apartment in Simcoe. Right on Oakland Street, Simcoe. I worked in Hamilton and London.
Jane: How many children did you have?
Mr. Eddy: Four.
Jane: Four? Could you tell us when they were born and what their names were?
Mr. Eddy: I'd probably surprise you. Larry was born August 19th, 1943; and then there was 7 years while I was overseas (laughter) no children. Then Michael was born in 1950, August-...do you want the dates of those?
Jane: No that's okay. Just years'll be fine.
Mr. Eddy: Donna was born in... Donna's birthday is Nov. 23 and we have a foster child in India whose birthday is Nov. 23rd. (laughter)
Jane: That's interesting. That's kinda neat.
Mr. Eddy: Then we had another foster child that we kept for about three years. She was multi-handicapped. You remember her?
Jane: Yes. What kind of organizations are there around that you used to belong to or you belong to?
Mr. Eddy: Well, I always played in an orchestra of some kind, somewhere. Or a band. (laughs) And I think the earliest one that I played in was in Burford and then when I went to high school. There was no music at high school so we made our own music, (name not audible) played the clarinet. We had another boy in the younger school who played the clarinet, (name not audible) was a pretty good violinist. So, I played bass in that and then I knew a girl from Burford who played cello and this was the high school orchestra. The string-bass belonged to the orchestra and another person moved from another community who played string-bass and so, they wanted to add to the orchestra... so, they said, "Well, we'll get you a cello if you would like it." And listen, I played REAL BASS (says it very low and deep) So that's how my cello playing first started off.
Duane: Did you play in the Scotland band? I don't know if it was still around.
Mr. Eddy: Yes, I played cello in it because they didn't have... there weren't very many pieces. There was band practice down at Messecar's place.
Duane: Did you ever play in the band shelter that was up here?
Mr. Eddy: No. I never did. Sorry. (laughter)
Duane: It's okay. We were just wondering.
Duane: Do you know when the band stopped? The Scotland band?
Mr. Eddy: Well, there's always been a musical organization in Scotland of some kind, in an orchestra or band, since I've been here.
Duane: Do you remember when they tore down the band shelter?
Mr. Eddy: I couldn't tell you the dates but...
Duane: Around what year or around how old were you?
Mr. Eddy: It would be somewhere around...I think 1937 or in there somewhere. I don't know the exact date on that.
Duane: So when you were in the Scotland Band do you remember the other members that were in it.
Mr. Eddy: Uh, yes.
Duane: Could you tell us their names and what instruments they played?
Mr. Eddy: Earl Messecar played the alto horn. His father played the tuba—the bass-horn and my dad played trumpet. There's a baritone player, his name excapes me. His first name is Dave. I can't remember what his last name was.
Duane: So could you tell us around what year that was, when all those guys were in the band?
Mr. Eddy: Well, it would be around 1930. And then my dad started a little orchestra in the Sunday School. There were— I think there were three violins, a tuba...I think that's all.
Duane: Was that at the United Church?
Mr. Eddy: Yes. My dad was superintendant of the Sunday School there, for quite a while. Lloyd Wilson was superintendant of the Sunday School when I first moved to Scotland.
Jane: When did you start your business?
Mr. Eddy: In 1947.
Jane: And where was it located?
Mr. Eddy: In, down by the railroad tracks and we sold coal and feed.
Duane: Was it destroyed by fire in 1947?
Mr. Eddy: That's right.
Duane: Do you remember how the fire maybe started?
Mr. Eddy: Yes. I wasn't there. There was a gasoline engine that poured metal and it ran out of gas and the man that was operating—wasn't happy that day. So, the man that was operating it and he wanted to put more gas in and he spilt some, he said, and this is what caused an explosion, in it.
Duane: So when did you start rebuilding it?
Mr. Eddy: In that same year.
Duane: Could you tell me maybe how much damage the fire caused? Was it the whole building?
Mr. Eddy: Completely burnt except some of the coal sheds were all right. It was in pretty bad shape anyway. It burned a little but then they were old and...
Duane: So when did you quit your business there and move up here?
Mr. Eddy: In 1961. In 1961 that was freezing cold that year and...
Duane: Do you still own the property that the mill was on?
Mr. Eddy: I do. It's in the process of being sold. And there was a little house that we lived in down fairly close to the Mill. It was only maybe forty or fifty feet from the mill.
Duane: Is the house still standing?
Mr. Eddy: Yes it does, but not in the same place (laughs). We bought a house up in the village and my wife was getting a lot of asthma at that time from the animals there. So we sold the house and half an acre of land and we lived in the village, where Keith Henry lives now. Then, in 1953, we built this house here. Bob was born two weeks a after we moved down here (laughter) In the meantime we'd sold the other house and we lived in an apartment up at Frank Hillier's department store. The one that's just been torn down.
Duane: Why did you buy the petroleum plant from down there? The coal plant.
Mr. Eddy: We bought it from a chap by the name of Korman, Archie Korman. Apparently the deed had never been transferred from Cliff King who was the previous owner and...
Duane: Do you know who owned it before Mr. King?
Mr. Eddy: Yes. Stewart. He lived up at the house here at the corner. And he walked back and forth to his coal yard. He also grew cabbage down there and he had an irrigation system. There was a storage building that was owned by the Onion Growers Association atone time. It was...
Duane: Where the GIL is? ( International Limited)
Mr. Eddy: Yes.
Duane: Do you remember anything about the onion growers that were down there?
Mr. Eddy: This was before we moved to Scotland. I know there were quite a lot of onions grown around Scotland at that time and I don't think I can tell you any of the names of people who grew onions around here.
Duane: When you first carne here, when you run your business, what other businesses were around Oakland Township and around the area?
Mr. Eddy: Hunter Lumber was here, but you know that story. At one time there was a box factory and it ran down here.
Duane: Do you know who ran the box factory?
Mr. Eddy: No. I couldn't tell you. There was also an apple dryer.
Duane: Where was that? At the same place?
Mr. Eddy: It was down in that area also. And the pillar that the chimney sat on was still there and...
Duane: How about the store-the Lucky Dollar that was at the corner? Did Swartz's own it when you were...?
Mr. Eddy: When we came here Charlie Fezare owned that.
Duane: And what did he run it as, a store?
Mr. Eddy: ...as a general store.
Duane: Do you know who maybe owned it after him? Was it Mr. Swartz?
Mr. Eddy: Yes. And then there was the other store. Used to belong to a man by the name of Hooker and I think, that Mr. Hooker died about 1957 and there was a harness shop where...
Duane: It's by the library? It's the white house?
Mr. Eddy: Yes, that's the one. And then that was sold. I guess Mr. Halliday died about just after we moved to Scotland and the sale of the stuff all the merchandise and all where he is now at that time.
Duane: This is your chance to tell us your opinion of the area.
Mr. Eddy: Well. I fell in love with Scotland I'll tell you. When I first came to Scotland it seemed to be a happy place, a place where people got along, mostly quite well, and fortunately there was a United Church where the...and now it's back to the Hunter's again (laughter) but the plaque that's in the church commemorating their work is not quite right, I directed it the choir myself for quite a few years and I think those years were particularily on that plaque at the Hunter's. But I never asked them to change it. (laughter) Mr. Hunter about eight or ten years—I can't just remembered, Mrs. Kaugman was the organist then, that was the old reed organ that was right at the back where the choir sits now. And in 1967 we got a new organ in the church and Michael—it was the first organist—it was something to see. Mrs. Culbert came that time to pick up my gold... The Culberts...she was going to...she worked with Michael on the organ she was going to play the first Sunday and she said to Michael, "I'm not going to play the organ on Sunday. You can play the organ. You know how to work it all right." He played it while he was in high school.
Duane: Do you have anything else you'd like to say?
Mr. Eddy: Just speaking of Scotland village itself, as I said before, I fell in love with it when I first came here and when I was overseas, I thought, "If this war ever gets over with and I can get back to Scotland, that's where I'm going to go." (laughter) So, we bought the business down by the track. At that time when I first came back from overseas, I did work for Bruce for—ten weeks. When I first came back Korman had fallen down and hurt his back....It was running under Mr. Korman's direction at that time. Maybe that's when he went into the fuel-oil business. During the course of the petrol business changed from coal over to oil.
Duane: Do you remember when that was?
Mr. Eddy: I think it was in 1952, we bought our first oil truck. Then in 1961, I think I was offered...
Duane: So when did you stop your business completely?
Mr. Eddy: We sold out to Shell in 1974.