|Date of birth||June 1, 1914|
- 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 Joanne Vamos and Duane Brandow interviewing Evelyn Chandler at her home in Oakland, Ontario, June 25, 1980.
Joanne: Could you tell us where and when you were born?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, I was born in Oakland. Right here in Oakland, in 1914.
Joanne: Would you be able to tell us anything about the event of your birth?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, not particularly, except that I might say that my father came out, I think in 1908 from England and my mother came in 1911. They were supposed to be married as soon as she arrived but she changed her mind on the way and decided she hadn't seen him for quite a while, she'd wait. So the result was although she was brought here to Oakland, that first day she arrived here in Canada she just stayed with friends. People that my father worked with. That was in the big stone house at the top of the hill, the Roberts family that my father worked for. Then she found a position in Brantford and they were later married in 1913. Lived in Brantford. Moved back to Oakland to the house where I was born. They came in March 1914—I was born in June 1914. Then in 1915 my father enlisted with a Brantford regiment, the 84th Battalion and went overseas in June 1916 and was killed in France, in October of that year.
Joanne: So you didn't really know your father.
Mrs. Chandler: No.
Joanne: So, you grew up with your mother then?
Mrs. Chandler: Yes.
Joanne: Where did you live?
Mrs. Chandler: Right in the house which she just sold. She's lived in it since 1914.
Joanne: What did she do for a living then?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, of course she had a very small pension from the government. She raised chickens and she used to raise about 2,000 chickens a year.
Joanne: Do you have any brothers and sisters?
Mrs. Chandler: No. I was the only child.
Joanne: What school did you go to?
Mrs. Chandler: Oh, the Oakland, SS. #2, the old brick school that was up here, that you know about.
Joanne: What was it like?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, it was a one room school. We had two entrances, one on each side. There was a big stove, like a big fummace almost, in one corner and the pipe went right across the ceiling from one end to the other. With a good strong wind it blew back and forth. There was a platform at the front.
We had a teacher at that time, I don't know whether anybody has told you about the teacher that we had. Miss Gignac. Well, this was quite important I think for Oakland History because Miss Gignac came here in 1912 as a teacher. I'm not sure whether this was her first school or not, but I think she must have been quite young at the time. Well she left for one year and she came back and she stayed here until 1925 teaching in that school. She was an excellent teacher. Everybody loved her that is most of them. (laugh) There are always a few who don't. And she stayed on till the year I tried my Entrance, in 1925. I only had one teacher the whole time. We had eight grades all in one room.
Joanne: How far did you have to walk to school?
Mrs. Chandler: Oh, that would be not quite a mile.
Joanne: That's not too far.
Mrs. Chandler: No, no.
Joanne: How far did you go in school?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, I went to grade thirteen, but I went to Scotland Continuation school for four years and I walked that. (laughs) Back and forth and the roads weren't like they are now. It was pretty windy in the winter time. I froze my legs more than once going to school there. Then I took the L.E.&.N. Rail to go to Brantford for Grade thirteen.
Joanne: What was it like at the Continuation School?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, at that time the Continuation School had just moved over into the same building as the public school and we had the two front rooms. So, you had your grade nine and ten—as you call it now—in one room and eleven and twelve in the other room.
Joanne: What was it like growing up...was that like a farm?
Mrs. Chandler: No, we only had a small acreage, about an acre-a little better than an acre. But my mother had a large garden and we grew all our own vegetables, including bangles for the chickens; we used to lug up into the house and put them in the cellar. Course in those days the house was not too good. I can remember when I was a youngster, it was so terrible cold. Mother and I would sit most days with our sweaters on and our feet in the oven, too keep warm in the winter time. When they came there was no indoor plumbing. There was no indoor plumbing in that house until 1952.
Joanne: What about electricity?
Mrs. Chandler: I think it was 1927. I know I was going to highschool, And we had it as soon as it camethrough here.
Joanne: Did you have telephone?
Mrs. Chandler: Yes. We had telephone. Now we didn't have it at the very beginning because I know that when my father was killed the word came to the post-office. And the post master relayed the message to us.
Joanne: How did you spend Christmas when you were younger?
Mrs. Chandler: Oh, those were good tines. We always had very good Christmas. My Uncle was my father's brother, was not able to go overseas and he stayed and made his home with us and he was a great one for Christmases. He would look after getting the turkey. Mother always made cakes and pies and Christmas pudding and so on. We always had a very good time. One of the memories I have of Christmas and I always sort of wish we could have done it. We haven't carried on, not to the degree. But, I always woke up on the Christmas morning to the sound of Christmas carols. We had a phonograph with a lot of good records, a lot of classical records. And my uncle would get up early and always put some Christmas carols on. I always woke up to the sound of Christmas carols on the Christmas morning. It's a memory I cherish.
Here in Oakland, it was the custom—I don't know whether anyone has told you this or not. But on Christmas Eve, there was a Sunday School Christmas Concert that was held in the hall up here—where Anders Store is now. Everybody went to the Christmas concert on Christmas Eve which was a little hard on our parents. I know my mother used to go to market usually day and then come home and then have to get the last minute things ready. I know, she didn't get to bed till way after midnight on Christmas because of it. But, it was quite an exciting thing and quite the centre of the community.
Joanne: What were Halloweens like?
Mrs. Chandler: Oh yes. We used to go out and my mother went out.
Used to dress-up and go out and we visited around and it was quite fun that way. Boys did all sorts of things, the things they always have. Take famous wagons and put them somewhere else and this sort of thing. I remember Mr. McIntyre telling about—this, of course, was before my time—and they lived down East here. That uh, they took a farmers wagon apart and put all the wheels on the cross arms of the telephone poles (laughs) I mean, the work!!! Another neighbour of ours told about taking the minister's horse and putting it up on the roof. (laughs) You know, this sort of thing. So the things the kids do today, you know are not that much different. We did all sorts of things. Another story I heard was—talking about what boys used to do—Mr. Baldwin, the Baldwin Store, maybe you've heard about this, but Baldwins's had a store. And Mr. Lewis Baldwin was telling—oh, he loved to tell stories about what he did with the boys. They were having supper. Some sort of a chicken supper or something at the church. And he and some other boys crawled in the window and stole the pies...(laughs) Kids were kids then, and they're still kids.
Joanne: What were Thanksgivings like?
Mrs. Chandler: We didn't do much about—at least, in my memory, Thanksgiving wasn't what it is today. I don't think we did much on Thanksgiving when I was younger. It sort of developed and I think that's been an off shoot of the United States. No, I can't remember as a youngster, anything about Thanksgiving. That's years later.
Joanne: May 24th. Did you celebrate it at all?
Mrs. Chandler: Oh, that was a big day! That WAS A BIG DAY!!! That was the Oakland Garden Party. I'm sure you've heard about that. I know my mother used to go up in the morning and they'd make sandwiches. We used to bag peanuts and that used to be one of the things I used to help with. And then they had the supper at night. The first garden party I cam ever remember was up where the Rammages live now—that was the Vivian farm. But, I know they've had them other places. They had them up—the house on the hill here. Used to be the Albert Wesbrook farm. Then later they had them in the church yard. And they continued until...well, it was when television came out and you could see better shows on television. There's one thing about our garden parties. Some of the people like that here. I can't tell you the names of them but, but I do know that some of it later became top playing artists. So we got good shows. Always looked forward to garden parties.
I remember one time—I was visiting with some friends and the lady said "Oh, Lyle, I can hardly wait until the 24th of May!" And at that time I didn't connect the 24th of May with the garden party. All I could think of was that the 24th of May was house-cleaning and I couldn't see why he was so exited about house-cleaning!! I wasn't!! (laughing) Because house-cleaning in those days are quite different from now. We took the rugs out and beat them on the line.
Joanne: Was there anything special about Easter?
Mrs. Chandler: No, just Easter Sunday in particular. And of course people wore their good clothes. I remember one time. I was very embarrassed, I was in Brant...! must have been about twelve or thirteen. And I had a new coat for Easter. At least a new spring coat and a new spring hat. The day before it poured with rain and poured and my winter coat got soaked. I came home on the L.E.&.N, a and walked up—and I was SOAKED RIGHT THROUGH!! My coat was still wet on Sunday morning and although it was cold I had to wear my new spring coat. I felt very embarrassed cause I thought people'd think I was showing off. But it was the custom to wear your new bonnet and clothes on Easter Sunday.
Joanne: How about Dominion Day?
Mrs. Chandler: I don't remember that we celebrated it a great deal. The one Dominion Day I do remember—my mother used to pick strawberries at Reg McIntyres—that would be 1927. That was the year that the Carillon was open at the Parliament Buildings. We had a radio in those days and I know that they rushed to pick strawberries and get home by two o'clock in time to hear this program on the radio. I think we had the second radio in the community.
Joanne: What congregation do you belong to?
Mrs. Chandler: The United Church. It was Methodist. When I was younger and certainly when my mother first came here this church and Wilsonville and Bealton were combined. So we used to alternate church service with Bealton in the morning. So this was the way it was done and we had Sunday School at 9:30 AM and then church at eleven on the Oakland Sundays. On the Sunday that we didn't have church service in the morning we had it at night and they had it. That's what we used to do and then later we changed so that now our ministers has three services in the morning. But that was Methodist and then—I don't know whether anyone's told you who the ministers were in this church.
Joanne: We have a few but you could tell us.
Mrs. Chandler: Well, uh, my memory goes back to Mr. Springer, he baptized me. And then umm, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Dowlen, Mr. Wilson...those are the ones that go way back.
Joanne: What kinds of organizations or clubs were there to belong to when you were younger?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, uh. We had what we called the Epworth League and the Young Peoples. Oh, before that you had a group for younger kids. I remember when I went to school— that was when Mr. Dowlen was the minister here—uh, we had a junior league and we used to come from school on Friday afternoon to the church and he conducted this group. It was Friday night that we used to have the Epworth League and we became with the United Church with Young Peoples. Most of the young people in the community belong. We had CGIT, I belonged to that. In the Sunday School we had classes and had activities in the classes weekly and so and so. There were classes for most age groups at that time.
Then we did have a Community Club here in the community. The Community Club bought this property over here where Mrs. Phillips lives now. You've seen the brick posts-the gate, that was all built up and it's a community park over across from it. There was a lot of activities going on there. You asked me about Dominion Day...now I remember. On Dominion Day we used to have a big fair here in the park. Yes we did, I'd forgotten about that, it was such a long time ago. But the Community Club had all sorts of activities during the winter as well as the summer.
But we had a ball team. I don't know if anybody's told you about our Softball team. But, EVERYBODY WENT TO THE GAMES!! Saturday night, it was the only time I knew my mother would leave her dishes unwashed. But she went to the ball games and if it was somewhere else... Like our team was playing in Mt. Pleasant or Mt. Vernon or Burford or wherever Vivians had their truck at the mill and we'd load up in the truck everybody'd go— those who didn't take their cars—and we'd go to the game where ever it was played. This was like REAL activity in the summer time. There was also a girls soft-ball team and they did quite well.
Joanne: What kind of music did you listen to when you were younger?
Mrs. Chandler: Well! I can remember some of the...we had popular jazz, rag time type of music. That was quite ah popular I know. When I went to high school some of the songs we sang at that time. But they weren't quite so jazzy as some. At that time in the twenties there was real craze on Hawaiian music...and ukuleles.. .people had ukuleles. I remember a concert we put on at the Scotland... We used to do that every year in high school. We'd put on a concert in the Masonic Hall. I remember being dressed up at one time with a grass, supposed to be a grass skirt you know. The boys wore white pants and playing their ukuleles and song. This was very popular at that time.
Joanne: What were the fashions like back then? There must have been a lot of different styles back you went through?
Mrs. Chandler: Oh yes. Thinking back. I'm thinking about the twenties particularly, we some wore short skirts then. Quite short. It was the late twenties when the bobs came in. Boyish cuts, close cuts. I didn't have that, but my hair was pretty straight. (laughs) Looked pretty nondescript when I looked at pictures of myself. Yes, we went through various stages. Well, in my life time there has been a great many changes. But the things that I realty remember are the twenties. Of course that was when I was a teenager.
Joanne: Were they as "Roaring" as they say?
Mrs. Chandler: Yes, they really were. Although not here at Oakland. Things were very quiet out here. Even in the twenties there wasn't much activity in the winter, the roads were closed pretty well. I don't know whether anybody's told you about the sleighing we used to do in the winter time. Before the old 24 was graded the roads were like this you know—down this way, cross by the creek and up sharp the other way. And so, we had these old fashioned bobsleighs—big ones—and adults and young people and children were on them. You'd start up here at the top, right up here at the corner and go down—it'd take you right across the creek and then, often times, we'd go up the other hill and some back the other way. But all adults,—my mother, everybody went out and we had a hay good time. There was a lot of skating going on too, skating on both ponds. And swimming. Oh, I forgot about the swimming. We used to swim up here in the upper pond and my mother was one of the few people around here that swam. I remember as a youngster, kids would come and knock on the door and say "Mrs. Cunningham, Mama says I can go swimming if you're going?" So Mother'd go down the back hill-back of her place with this whole tribe of keds and we'd go to the swimming hole and I (laugh) everybody would swim.
Joanne: When you were at the dating age what kinds of things were there to do around here?
Mrs. Chandler: Golly. Well, we didn't do very many exciting things, I must say. But, I think our Young Peoples was the centre. Of course, at that dating age was during the Depression and we didn't have much money to do things. So really, the Young Peoples Union was the centre of most activity. (pause) There were house parties. We went to the show; they didn't cost too much.
Joanne: In Brantford?
Mrs. Chandler: In Brantford?
Joanne: Did they ever have any shows around here in Oakland?
Mrs. Chandler: No. Waterford usually. But they didn't last long. But I know we did. But we went to Brantford if we went anywhere.
Joanne: During the Depression did that affect you a lot? Your family?
Mrs. Chandler: Not to much to us for the simple reason we didn't have much to begin with. (laughs) But I do know that mother was selling eggs at 10¢ a dozen. Chickens were...I can't really remember what they were a pound, but I know she didn't get very much for them. I know many times her whole cheque would go out for feed, for the chicken and we'd have to live on what we got, which wasn't very much. So we lived pretty much on what we grew and that sort of thing. Also, I can remember that she would maybe get a roast of beef on Saturday in Town when she went to market and that cost around 75¢. And that would last us a whole week. We'd finish up with a meat pie oh Saturday (laughs) That was really good. We lived fairly carefully. But my husband had come out from England in 1925 and worked as a farmhand on the farm. And he was out of work during the Depression.
Joanne: What year were you married, in?
Mrs. Chandler: 1936.
Joanne: Where were you married?
Mrs. Chandler: Here, in the Oakland Church.
Joanne: What was you wedding like?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, I thought it was sort of nice. I decided not to have white because I thought, well, I wouldn't be able to make use of a white dress afterwards. So I wore sort of a burgundy colored velvet and my bridesmaids wore blue velvet. And I haven't worn my wedding dress since. My daughter wore it there for something. I still have it but I haven't worn it. I was going to have it cut short during the war and the lady I took it to refused to cut it because she said it was such a beautiful piece of velvet. But uh, I think I had about sixty guests. I was a graduate nurse so all my classmates were there and our friends. And, it was the first time we had ever had a reception in the basement of the church. And also, it was the first time the church was used for a community shower. But both George and I had been active in the church and the community and we had such a small house we couldn't have had it in the house. Before that, most people had it in the home. But they thought they would since we didn't have room ehough. It was a very nice wedding and Dr. Mortimore was the minister. And uh, [it was] very very, nice. It was in November. Not too nice a day.
Joanne: What was your husband like when you were first married? Could you describe him physically?
Mrs. Chandler: Yes!! He was very, very tall! And very thin. And had a shock of auburn hair that stood right up and very curly (laughs) I think those are the main things. But he too was active in the community and the church. In fact he won a prize for public speaking in the Brantford Presbytery Young Peoples.
Joanne: Where did you settle down after you were married?
Mrs. Chandler: We lived in Brantford. My husband was working in the Kirby House Hotel at the time. They said we could have a room. One room! But we had to fix it up ourselves. And it hadn't been decorated for at least thirty or forty years. Filthy dirty. But we papered and painted and fixed it up and I got my own meals in my room. He got his meals in the hotel. But we were there for over two years.
Joanne: When did you have your first child?
Mrs. Chandler: In 1940. January 1940.
Joanne: Which was that.
Mrs. Chandler: That was David.
Joanne: How many other children?
Mrs. Chandler: I have two others. Norman and Joan.
Joanne: Do they live around here?
Mrs. Chandler: No, David is a professor of Chemistry. In fact he's head of the Chemistry department, University of Regina. And Norman is with Mutual Life and the State Planning in Winnipeg. And the daughter Joan is now Mrs. Coburn. Her husband is an obstetrician and gynecologist in Burlington. So, they're scattered.
Duane: I understand your son won quite a few awards.
Mrs. Chandler: Yes he did.
Duane: Could you tell us some of the awards he won.
Mrs. Chandler: Oh, I couldn't begin, I've got them all upstairs. But he won quite a number when he graduated from high school at Waterford. Which, actually that first year put him through university. Then each year he received scholarships and he stayed in Kingston. He went to Queens University. He stayed there and got his PHD there. And then got a NATO scholarship to go to Penn State university, where he stayed for one year because the professor he was working with moved to ———- University, New Jersey, He had to move along too. His NATO scholarship carried him there. So that ran for two years. And that's when he went right out to Regina. He's been in Regina ever since 1967. I think he's the youngest professor on record who received his_ professorship earlier than most because many stay as associate professors, assistant professors for years and years and years. Because it was a new campus I think he stepped up quite quickly.
Joanne: Did all your children go to Waterford High School?
Mrs. Chandler: Yes. That was the high school. And they all went to the school up here that's jist been closed, the public school up here that's just been closed. Then they went to Waterford. Then David and Joanne went to Queen's (University) and Norman went to McMaster (University)
Joanne: You remember the wars. Did the war affect you in any ways?
Mrs. Chandler: Oh, very much. To begin with my father was killed in the first World War. I have not much recollection. I have a very vague recollection. I remember a dream, dreaming that a German was coming after me and my mother shut the door and wouldn't let me in. I remember... so I have that sort of thing. I remember afterwards going to some things that they had for veterans and for veterans dependants and for those who were killed in the War.
But of course, the Second World War—my husband was in it. He enlisted in 1940 and he was in the army until 1945. So, of course, that affected me very much. And we were living in Brantford at the time and I had one boy, David. After he enlisted I found out I was pregnant and Norman was born. We were living in an apartment at that time and they had fixed the apartment up. It was connected to the hotel. When Norman was born I was very ill and the first time I was out of bed was to see George off. Then, he was worried about me and he thought I should go out and stay with my mother for awhile which I didn't want to do but I did. I had only been out here two weeks with her when the people at the hotel said they wanted the apartment. So I had to pack up all my stuff—store it. I tried to find someplace to live but it was very difficult. So I moved in with my mother with two little boys. Which was not ideal. But never the less, we did. So I stayed there until George came back from overseas. He stayed there too, for awhile. He found work. We were looking for a home and eventually found this place. Although we had no trouble getting it. We had to go to court and so on. We moved in here on May 23, 1947. And Joan was born May 24th (laughs) So that's 33 years we've been in this house.
Joanne: She was born May 24th?
Mrs. Chandler: Yes. Garden party day! And the boys said "Oh, wasn't Joan lucky. She'd never have to go to school on her birthday." May 24th was always a holiday and then the government went and changed it, (laughs) So, as I said we've been in this house 33 years. I remember when it was built by the way. The people who built the house—the man had lived out west. That's why we had so many trees around here. Because he had originally been from Ontario. He lived in the West—came back and married this lady, a widow here and built this place eventually. They had lived in Hamilton for awhile. They came back and he had wanted trees. And he planted trees all over the place including a lot of Manitoba Maples which we*?e still trying to get rid of and there's one very large one. But when we moved down here we cut down eight trees. And we've still got eight maple trees around the house. (laughs) But they did plant all those trees themselves when they built this house.
Joanne: You belong to the United Church. In what ways are you involved in the Church?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, right at the moment I'm chairman of the church council... I've always been quite active in one way or another. And my husband also, he is chairman of Word and Worship. And he's been on church council. Well, I guess I'm always into it one way or another. I've been President of the UCW. In fact, I was the Charter-President of the UCW. I'm the one who brought in the Christian Education committee here in our church. So I've been active in one way or another.
Duane: Does the church hold any special events?
Mrs. Chandler: Oh yes. Now let me think. We've had all sorts of things that have gone on. Oh, of course, the garden parties. And we used to have chicken suppers which we don't have anymore. We have our bazaar now which has taken the place of that in November. Oh goodness, I can't think of anything apart from the garden parties—the garden party was the big event. But we certainly had lots of things that went on. The church was changed in 1961. That' s the year that the new addition put on. Maybe you've seen some of the pictures of the old part and the new. Our son and his wife, his wife just lives down the road here Vera Abbot. They were married in the Church and had the reception there. And theirs was the first marriage and reception after the church was finished—changed.
Joanne: Always first!
Mrs. Chandler: (laughs) sounds like it, doesn't it. Just accidents, coincidental.
Joanne: Is the Women's Institute part of the church?
Mrs. Chandler: Not part of the church but a very active part of the Community. I was President in 1950-1951. Well, I was away from it for a number of years. But when I moved back to Oakland I joined and I have been a part of it, in some way or another, except I went back to work in 1969. Worked with handicapped children. I was coordinator of the Landsdown Childrens' Centre in Brantford. And so I gave up my job or anything I had to do with Institute, When I could get to a meeting I went to it, but other than that.
Joanne: What kinds of things does the Women's Institute do?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, their program of course is models for home and country and their idea is adult education. This is what it was founded on. So there's always short courses and our programs are generally educational. In years gone by they have helped with earning parcels for overseas in the First World War, made jams. And the Second World War were very active making jams and sending over and knitting. But I know they had big Bees and made jams and I think you'll find that in the Tweedsmuir History. Uh, they helped with school fairs in the early days. We always used to have school fairs when we were younger.
Duane: Could you tell us what happened when you were in the school fairs?
Mrs. Chandler: Well. The school fairs would be held at different places and different people in the schools would take displays. I remember, I had displays of fungi and leaves and seeds. I remember my mother sitting on books pressing the leaves (laughs) so they'd be all right for the displays. Displays of grain, vegetables. You had, your own little garden, that you'd get seeds and grow your own little garden and then take the produce and show at the fair. We had drills. Our teachers would train and drill us and we were dressed up in all sorts of things. Mini dresses were popular when I went to public school. And I can remember one when we were in mini dresses. And we carried flags. We did some sort of patriotic drill. And then those were competitions. We competed with other schools.
Joanne: Did you ever win?
Mrs. Chandler: Oh yeah! Oh yes, we did.
Duane: What other schools were there involved?
Mrs. Chandler: Oh goodness! Mount Pleasant, Scotland, Oh yes. I can't tell you now. It was Brant County. We had a good time. I don't know how long, when those stopped I really have no idea...
Joanne: I went, when I was in grade one. They still had them... In Keg Lane.
Mrs. Chandler: In Keg Lane. Well, I think that's the only place, not for the whole county though.
Joanne: Are there any sort of crafts or hobbies that you are really involved in?
Mrs. Chandler: Not me. I'm not a crafty person. My hobby is reading, I would say. Music, I'm very fond of music.
Joanne: Were there any other newspapers around here besides the Brantford Expositor. Or how were they delivered?
Mrs. Chandler: The Brantford Expositor? Ay-yi-yi! It used to come out by mail. Came by mail and we got it the next day. Course we didn't have television then to watch the news. We did have radios. But the paper was delivered by mail in Oakland and I don't know when the boys started to deliver. I have no idea. It was going when we were down here—in 1947—but I can't tell you when. Because I know that Norman delivered the paper not too long after we moved here.
Joanne: When did you have your first television?
Mrs. Chandler: Us? Well, our first television we got in the fall of 1958. The boys were not happy that we did not have television but we didn't have it!! And I must say that David did much better than the other two did because I think television broke in on the homework. I don't think they did that well only they might have if they hadn't gar it.
Joanne: I didn't ask you before. What kinds of toys did you used to play with?
Mrs. Chandler: When I was smaller? Well, up in our house we had a landing which was made over when I was quite small and it was a play-room for me. And my uncle made a very large dollhouse for me. It was a lovely doll house. In fact I gave it to the Thistledown Childrens Hospital later. I had lots of dolls, but I preferred to climb trees. I had a special tree, a pear tree outside the back door. It was easy to climb and I had a nice perch where I could go up there and read books. My mother'd come out and call me to do dishes and I'd be up there some place.
Yes, I remember one time when my mother had a friend in the city that she had known when she lived in the city. And she had a young boy about, I'd guess about my age. He was a real sissy. His mother bragged she could send him down town to buy material for her. She was a dressmaker and she could send him to go and get material and I just thought EEYAHH!! (laughs) Well, I know my uncle was building a barn on the property at that time. So I took this kid out and had him crawling all over the barn and he wasn't used to that sort of thing.
I played him right out. We also had green apples there and I fed him green apples. He had the worst stomach ache (laughs) That wasn't very nice of me but I remember doing it. (still laughing) Oh, dear.
Of course in the winter there was sleighing and right behind my mother's house was a hill. Right now they're covered with all kinds of shrubs and trees that's growing wild. But there was beautiful sleigh riding and 1 used to just have the time of my life. Our house was built on a hill at that time and we'd go down there and slide very nicely. I have pictures of my uncle making an ice-house, like an igloo one year and I thought it was so marvelous. We had bees and I remember I used to help my uncle with bees. When I was in my early teens I got the money from it. I had to help with it and I had to take the honey to market and sell it.
Joanne: Do you remember what the roads were like and what the cars were like?
Mrs. Chandler: Yes, very much. The roads were very poor and I remember, I started going up to Scotland to high school in 1925 and the road then was rutty, terrible. They started to fix it and they were putting gravel on that road that first year when I was going to high school. I used to get rides on the grater and on these gravel-trucks or gravel-wagon! They didn't have trucks. They draw it by horse and wagon. And up there where the creek runs across—you know in Scotland where you come down where the creek is—that was all "corduroy road" and they wore covering that up. But I remember seeing the old logs there. The village roads were just wagon tracks mostly you know.
Well, that road that came up from my mother's home... that was closed in the winter. The snow just blew across and just walked all over the snow! (laughter) You, know, packed down you walked over it. I remember, people that lived in the one house over there. They had diphtheria one winter and they wanted the doctor. He couldn't get in there and he had to leave his horse and cutter at our place and then climb over the snow banks. One time, when I wasn't very old, our stove caught fire and my mother had to climb over the snow banks to go to that house to call the fire department—we didn't have a phone then.
Joanne: Was it a bad fire?
Mrs. Chandler: No. It was a chimney fire. She had actually put it out herself I think before they got there. I remember that house had to be cleaned up and (laughs) that was quite an experience.
Joanne: How have the stores changed around here?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, when I was young and when my mother first lived here there was this post-office store which is still the post-office store. It hasn't changed an awful lot— some in the interior. But it's very much the same as it was when I was a girl. And then Baldwin's store which is where Manner's live. They had that for years and years and years and that was quite a centre. It was a general store. I mean, you could buy overalls, you could buy shoes and boots and all sorts of things and groceries.
Carm Baldwin, Lewis Baldwin's son, who was in the business with him, used to deliver groceries with horse and wagon and then he got a truck. I remember that. That was in the twenties...in the summer of 1925—the year that I tried my entrance and started high school. I went around with him that summer. He used to go all the way up the Pleasant Ridge Road and that's my first memory of looking over the valley, from Pleasant Ridge. He would stop at the farm with groceries, they would phone, you see and tell him what they wanted and then he would take eggs from them—eggs and butter and that sort of thing. Barter—even in 1925 you know.
Carm died, Ifm not too sure. Was in 1927. (pause) Either 1926 or 1927 that Carm died. So they didn't do anymore deliveries after that. But the store went on for quite a long time. And the old man and Carm's wife carried on the store. Ahh, it was before the Second World War that the Schaeffer's bought it up on the corner and then started a service station and so on. Then they started a small store. He's stayed pretty much the same since then. After, the Baldwin's sold, they sold to... right on the tip of my tongue and I can't think of it. Anyway; they stayed there for awhile and then the Woodards bought it. After the Woodards it was the Orchards. And the Orchards sold out. I can't think of the last [owner] They sold and then the township office took over. It was the township office for a while there.
Joanne: Do you remember anything about the Town Hall?
Mrs. Chandler: Oh yes. The old Town Hall up on the hill. Yes, I do. It was quite a sight to see. Because, it stood upon that hill and of course when we came—we just lived down the road from it a way and we could see this. Now, I never was inside it. I don't think it was being used at all in my time. Maybe it was. I can't recall that it was.
Duane: Do you remember when it was torn down?
Mrs. Chandler: Yes, I remember that, being torn down.
Duane: Do you know around what year?
Mrs. Chandler: Oh, glory. No I can't remember.
Duane: How old were you?
Mrs. Chandler: I guess it would be in my late teens or twenties Oh yes, at least. I can't remember—I just remember it being torn down but I can't remember any more of the details.
But I do remember the story, maybe you've heard, of why it was built there.
Joanne: Not really.
Mrs. Chandler: Well, there was an argument between Oakland and Scotland about where the Town Hall should be built. So it was finally decided to build up on the hill where it could be seen from either place. That's what was heard. I know in the Tweedsmuir History there is a lot of information about it and there's a picture there.
Joanne: Do you remember the Township Centennial in 1950?
Mrs. Chandler: Yes. Very well, very well! I remember it VERY WELL! Because I was president of the Institute at that time. The three Institutes: Scotland, Maple Grove and Oakland went together to look after the selling...we sold food and drinks and so on and so forth. So I convened that committee.
On the night before, we were making pies. I think. I had seven pies to make. Something like that for it. And I was standing around. We had black raspberries growing wild out here and I had sent Norman out to pick raspberries. But he came in and he says to me "Thare weren't any black raspberries." I said "Look!" and I went stomping out and stepped into a hole that he had dug in a woodchuck hole out there and sprained my ankle unmercifully. So how I ever managed through the day. I was making pies when my mother came in and I was in tears. So she took over the pies but I stood on that leg all day up there in the church barn where we had served all the food and that. I spent several days afterwards in bed. But, I remember that and I also remember Norman dressed himself up as a hobo and I had nothing whatever to do with it. And he got the prize for the comic costume and he was so funny and I could just see him— so excited and showed me the three dollars he won as the prize (laughter) But I didn't see the parade because I was too busy up in the hall in the church barn.
Joanne: Were there any other changes that we haven't mentioned that maybe you could think of?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, I would also say that the thing that has struck me more than anything else, I used to know everybody in the community. Absolutely everybody! But I don't know now. A lot of strangers have moved in. The big homes and the big homes and the big farms have been sold. There are still very few people who remain in the homes that they originally had. And my mother was one of the few remaining people that was in their original homes. Mrs. Jim Allan, that was her home as a girl. The Edy home is still the same, of course, Mrs. Edy lives there. That wasn't her original home. But very few people arc living in the same home as they did as I remember as a girl.
There have been a lot of changes. The farms have been taken over. It used to be that the church was the centre of the community. But it isn't any longer for the simple reason that so many people who... Roman Catholics have moved in, you see, for instance and they go to the Catholic Church and various places. Most of the tobacco farmers are being run by people who'd from other origins. So it has made quite a change in the community. Where at one time the church was definitely the centre of the community.
Oh! You asked me about some of the special things. Church. The annual meeting. The church dinners at noon. And people came: wagons, cutters, whatever. It was in the winter time so they usually came in cutters and bobsleighs. They got their chores done in the morning and came ten o'clock you had your meeting, you had your big dinner and in the afternoon you got home in time for chores. But people went because it was a big event, you see. You didn't go to town that often.
Joanne: Was there a library here that you could go to?
Mrs. Chandler: No. We had a very small library in the school. It was very antique sort of (laughter) Antiquated. I can remember it quite well. It was an old wooden book case and in one corner and that had the books and that was the extent of the library... When I was a girl I belonged to the Brantford library. We went on Saturday to Market and I'd go and get books. But we certainly didn't have one here.
Joanne: What about parks around here?
Mrs. Chandler: Well, there was the Community Park that I told you was down here. There wasn't anything else until the Lions put in the park down here. But, what we used to do was go on picnics down at the swimming hole and this sort of thing. When I was writing my departmental exams in high school, I remember that one day Mother and I packed a picnic lunch and went down to the—and I was supposed to study—fell asleep and got sunburned. But anyway this was the sort of thing. The L.E.&.N. ran through here and we went down to Port Dover. That was quite the thing to do. And we'd go into Mohawk Park and Places like that.
Sunday School Picnics were a big deal and we used to have those. Some of the picnics were in local places around. I can remember going to Sunday School picnics up along the Pond and up on the McKuen farm back in their bush. Then we went to places like Mohawk Park and out to Port Dover and we went to Woodstock to South Side Park and different places. Those were big affairs. Everybody went to the Sunday School picnic.