Hiscock House Provincial Historic Site
Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador

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The Hiscock House: The Tale of an Entrepreneurial Woman




FLORENCE: Now I'm going to fix that and write all the names down. We knew them all.

MARILYN: All the names of what?

FLORENCE: Of this, what I'll show you now, under my arm. Our Sunday School in Trinity.

MARILYN: Oh my goodness.

FLORENCE: Canon Smart.

MARILYN: Oh yes, look at that.

FLORENCE: My oldest brother, and there's my next brother, where is he, there he is look, and my sister, the one's that dead, that's three, and Moll and Floss. We're dressed alike, look.

MARILYN: Yes I noticed that.

FLORENCE: and Dick. See my new boots.

(Mary laughs)

MARILYN: Aren't they sweet, hey. Showing off the new boots, that's why she sat in the front row.

FLORENCE: Yeah, no doubt they placed us, in Sunday School. That's eighty-two years ago.

MARILYN: My that's a lovely picture.

FLORENCE: Isn't it.

MARILYN: There's a lot of people in Trinity there.

MARY: I would say that there's more than that there. More than that there.

MARILYN: That's a very large group of children.

FLORENCE: I probably would be, how old would I be? Five, six?

MARY: You would probably be about five.

MARILYN: And so you have listed all the people.

FLORENCE: I've listed all the people and I am going to put it on the back.

MARILYN: Well, just, maybe you could put it underneath the board there.

FLORENCE: I'm going to paste it on.

MARILYN: Are you? I don't know if you should do that because it might hurt the frame.

FLORENCE: No, just put a bit of glue and stick it in.

MARILYN: Don't glue it too much, because then it would be hard to get off.

MARY: Don't glue down the edges.

MARILYN: Yeah, just tack it. That's very nice though.

MARY: That's a nice Sunday School, isn't it?

MARILYN: Yeah, quite a large group.

FLORENCE: Perhaps I will put it inside the board, the boards, Mol.

MARILYN: Yeah, it might be better.

FLORENCE: Yeah, it's an idea. I'll take the tacks out and I'll leave up enough, for them to know that it's there. Yeah that's an idea look.

MARILYN: Because it might, once you stick something on, it might you know be hard to get off.

MARY: I said just put Trinity Sunday School, 18

FLORENCE: But I want the names to be there.

MARY: 1897.

MARILYN: Oh sure you did. Yeah

FLORENCE: And there's only a

MARILYN: Because people who go in, you know, if say that ends up being in the house, people can go into the house and can say look there's my great grandmother, you know little children.

FLORENCE: There's only two or three alive.

MARILYN: Yeah, but people got to take the time. Oh, I'm sure.

FLORENCE: Katie Tate is there, Canon Smart brought her up, look. Minnie Hefferton, you and myself, and Bess Green, that's five.

MARILYN: But that's something that

MARY: I was starting to think, that's about all.

FLORENCE: Only about five alive.

MARILYN: But you know people from Trinity if they go into the house they can say look there's my great-grandmother and probably have never seen a picture of her before and its good for children and good for young people to see and you can really relate to the past when you see stuff like that.

FLORENCE: And there's the Jenkin's children, go in to see and say there's my Aunt Floss and there's Molly there, my Aunt Molly.

(Mary and Florence laugh)

MARILYN: Sure they could. I get right excited like when I look through my mother's photographs just to see what my great-grandmother looked like. You can see similarities.

MARY: Yeah, that's right

MARILYN: It's very interesting. The Bartlett's, lots of Bartlett's up there, isn't there.

MARY: A lot of the names in Trinity are gone. A lot of Trinity names.

MARILYN: But people will be going back there. Maidment now I've heard that name before.

MARY: Mary Maidment is alive Floss.


MARY: Mary Maidment is alive.

MARILYN: My mother knows Maidment's.

MARY: Does she?

MARILYN: Yeah, you know in the comings and goings, and I have heard her talk about some of them.

MARY: She's been very sick. She's in the care room now.

MARILYN: Umm. Look at that eh. That's a great idea, a really good idea to do that.

FLORENCE: And there's some. That's our house.

MARILYN: That's the house. Oh good, it's nice to see it after hearing about it so much. And this is the shop on the side here that used to be a Post Office, was it?

MARY: One time.

MARILYN: One time. Because your mother ran the Post Office?

MARY: Yes.

MARILYN: After the Post Office. The Post Office was there first I imagined was it?

MARY: No. Shop.

FLORENCE: She had a big shop.

MARILYN: She had a store. Grocery store, everything in there I suppose.

FLORENCE: Then she had the Post Office so she partitioned off the shop and made the Post Office out there.

MARILYN: Did she still keep the shop?

FLORENCE: Shop's there. They have a craft shop made of that now.

MARILYN: The shop. The shop. She had a shop and a Post Office at the same time.

FLORENCE: Yes, yes.

MARILYN: Oh they didn't replace. The Post Office didn't take over all the shop.

FLORENCE: No a partition, divided the shop.

MARY: She built on an outside office.

FLORENCE: Put on an outside office, see it there.

MARILYN: Yep, so this is the house and this is the shop.

FLORENCE: Now you turn over and you'll see all the otherThese are old books that were in the house, my algebras

MARILYN: Oh great stuff. And this is your brother.

FLORENCE: William Hiscock, 1895.

MARILYN: And this is pictures of the inside of the house.

MARY: 1895? He was ten.

MARILYN: Boards are nice. Quite a complex isn't it?

MARY: Yeah.

FLORENCE: Clarence Hiscock.

MARILYN: Quite a complex.

FLORENCE: Algebra. No uglea. Did I ever learn uglea.

MARILYN: Is that the colors that it's painted now?

MARY: Its cream with green.

MARILYN: With green. That's very attractive isn't it especially with the red roof on it.

MARY: It was always a red roof. Their going to put cedar shingles on now I think he told me.

MARILYN: They'll paint them red I suppose.

FLORENCE: Mrs. Dawe. And there was a dormer window in the centre.

MARILYN: Right in the centre.

FLORENCE: And their going to put that in. He has the photograph with the old house.

MARY: Did you see it.

MARILYN: No I didn't see that. Lovely doors and door facings. In the house my mother is living in now they have exactly the same door frames.

MARY: Old panel doors.

MARILYN: Nice large entrance way. The roof didYou did have problems with your roof they were saying one time. Is that why you took out the dormer? You were having problems with it?

FLORENCE: There's another chimney there and they took the chimney down when we put the new roof on.

MARILYN: That's what it is.

FLORENCE: Took the chimney down.

MARILYN: You can see that there was a change in it.

MARY: Down through the roof.

MARILYN: All you have to do is stick it up again through the roof.

MARY: Are they?

MARILYN: They probably will.

FLORENCE: Yes, yes they won't need it. Just to stick it up to make it look like it was.
I'll have them dishes Mol, there we go, thank you, now we have more room.

MARILYN: It's a lovely house.

FLORENCE: Yes, it's a lovely home.

MARILYN: What kind of Captain was your grandfather?

MARY: Marine.

MARILYN: But did he go on like schooners

MARY: Steamers.

FLORENCE: My brother, my brother, George, was a Captain and had an English and a States ticket. If that's interesting to you.

MARILYN: Brother George.

FLORENCE: A States and English ticket.

MARILYN: And was he like not going around not a he wasn't a fishing Captain, but steamer.

MARY: He used to run the court around, in the

MARILYN: This is your brother?

MARY: No, my grandfather.

MARILYN: Your grandfather.

FLORENCE: What's the name of the boat, they used to run the court around. The Fiona?

MARILYN: What's the name court around

FLORENCE: Court would come to Trinity or court would go somewhere here or somewhere there and he was Captain on her.

MARILYN: Oh I see.

MARY: This may not be. She'll find that out in perhaps in the

MARILYN: Is that right.

MARY: Master Mariner.

MARILYN: That's what your grandfather did.

MARY: Yes. He went to sea you see and grandma did not want her son to go to sea.

MARILYN: Go to sea.


MARILYN: And you say your brother George was a Captain too.

MARY: Captain too.

MARILYN: And what types of boats did he, steamers as well.

FLORENCE: He was running from New York to Scotland and these places.

MARILYN: And that's where the connection came with Scotland.

FLORENCE: Yes, that's right. He had an English certificate and an American.

MARILYN: So he ran ships

FLORENCE: Steamers fromHe was torpedoed once.

MARY: Yes.

FLORENCE: He was torpedoed.

MARILYN: Is that right? What war was that?

FLORENCE: When the war was on.

MARILYN: Is that right?

FLORENCE: Off of Halifax. Wasn't it Mol?

MARY: Yes, there somewhere.

FLORENCE: Did you see all the pictures?

MARILYN: Yes, I did.

FLORENCE: Did you see my brother?

MARILYN: Yes, that's nice.

FLORENCE: That organ, that organ was given Mom when she was a little girl. We gave it to my cousin. Just as good as when it was given to her.

MARILYN: Is that right. Still uses one. You said your father was a blacksmith what about your mother's family, what were they, the Pittman's.

FLORENCE: Oh, Aunt Soph was a Telegraph Operator.

MARY: Well now sure I can give her the letter.

FLORENCE: What letter.

MARY: The one that Mr. Mills gave us.

FLORENCE: Didn't say that Aunt Soph was a Telegraph Operator did I?

MARY: Oh, the sisters, I thought she meant her father.

FLORENCE: No, Mom's sisters and brothers and what were they doing.

MARY: Oh, Aunt Soph

FLORENCE: The first one, the first one would be Uncle Kelson.

MARILYN: I was just wondering what type of business.

MARY: Business.

FLORENCE: telegraph operators.

MARY: Yeah, but Mom was the oldest. She was in the shop with business.

FLORENCE: Oh yes, Mom was business.

MARILYN: Now, was she in running shops and things like that before she was married.

FLORENCE: Yes. Business. Business right from the head to her toes.

MARILYN: Is that right?

FLORENCE: Yep. That's the only way to describe Mom.

MARILYN: What type of shop did she run before she was married.

FLORENCE: Her mother's.

MARILYN: Her mother had a shop.


MARILYN: Ahhh. Now that's interesting. And that was in Trinity too.


MARILYN: Ran another shop. So she had background in shops before she was married.

FLORENCE: Oh yes, that's right, that's right. Kelson Warr was a Telegraph Operator.

MARILYN: Was a Telegraph Operator.

FLORENCE: He was next to Mom.

MARILYN: Right. That's funny because Mrs. Theresa McCovern she was a Telegraph Operator as well.

FLORENCE: She was.

MARILYN: That's right.

FLORENCE: Aunt Soph. Aunt Fan. No Uncle Harry.

MARILYN: Uncle Henry.

FLORENCE: Uncle Henry was a clergyman.

MARILYN: Yeah we got him and know what he was.

FLORENCE: Aunt Soph was a Telegraph Operator.

MARILYN: She was a Telegraph Operator too.


MARILYN: That was real big business then wasn't it?

FLORENCE: Oh yeah.

MARY: Well see there was no telephones or anything.

MARILYN: No that's right. So it was very important.

MARY: No phones or anything at that time.

FLORENCE: So Aunt Fan was business.

MARILYN: Did she run a shop too?

FLORENCE: She had a big shop in Trinity. A big store. Now whose next.

MARILYN: They weren't just housewives, most of the women, they all did something too.

FLORENCE: Whose next to Aunt Fan?

MARILYN: That's unusual. Ralph. Ralph?

FLORENCE: Uncle Ralph's a blacksmith. He learned his trade from my father. You can put that down.

MARILYN: Is that right?

FLORENCE: Yep, learned his blacksmith trade, from his brother-in-law.

MARILYN: From Richard.

FLORENCE: That's right. Uncle Ralph. Aunt Floss was a

MARY: No, Uncle Charlie, was a schoolteacher.

FLORENCE: Charles, Uncle Charlie, schoolteacher.

MARILYN: Did he teach in Trinity?


FLORENCE. No. Tilt Cove.

MARY: Yes, then he was on the railway.

FLORENCE: And then afterwards he was an Operator too I think.

MARY: Station Agent.

FLORENCE: Station Agent.

MARILYN: Railway.

FLORENCE: Well anyways, teacher will do wouldn't it. And Florence was a pianist.

MARILYN: Pianist.

FLORENCE: Yes, that's right.

MARILYN: Professional did she travel around

FLORENCE: Learned her trade from, learned music you know in Halifax.

MARY: She taught here up at Methodist College.

MARILYN: And she taught music?

MARY: Yes, she taught music at Methodist College.

MARILYN: Now somebody, somebody asked me about that if there I don't know what it was about but somebody said that was talking about, who was it down at work, said that there was a lady who taught music. I don't know who it was.

FLORENCE: Yes she taught at Methodist College.

MARILYN: Did she, she married?

FLORENCE: Our family

MARILYN: She married a Mews right?

FLORENCE: First cousin.

MARILYN: She married Mews.

FLORENCE: First cousin, Alec Mews. Now that's her son I just showed you.

MARY: And her son is a Doctor of Music.

FLORENCE: Her son is Dr. Douglas. Dr. Douglas Mews

MARILYN: Yeah right. United Junior High well what was Methodist College and is now United Junior High.

FLORENCE: Her son.

MARILYN: And her son you said has a Doctor of Music.

FLORENCE: Our family was full of music.

MARILYN: Yes it really was by the sounds of it. And did all of your family play.

FLORENCE: Yes. Yes, all of them.

MARILYN: Is that right, and her family too.

FLORENCE: A wonderful family, that family.

(Mary laughs)

MARILYN: But you had a lot of contact with this group of people.

FLORENCE: We did. We grew up with them.

MARY: We grew up with them see.

FLORENCE: We were the only children and you can imagine what they thought about us.


FLORENCE: Especially after losing our father. At thirty-nine, at thirty-four.

MARILYN: But all these people had their own families.

FLORENCE: They did afterwards.

MARILYN: Afterwards. But where you were the oldest.

FLORENCE: I was fourteen when the children came along.

MARILYN: Oh that's right. So you were the first grandchildren.

FLORENCE: First grandchildren. And we were the only grandchildren of the Hiscock's.

MARILYN: And for a long while the only grandchildren.


MARILYN: Yeah, I mean the Pittman family.

FLORENCE: Oh yes, until I was fourteen what ever date that was. Until I was fourteen, I went to the wedding of Aunt Soph. I was fifteen I suppose.

MARILYN: You were much older than your cousins.

FLORENCE: Yes, I was fifteen really. Yes I was fifteen.

MARY: Katherine's only sixty-four.


FLORENCE: I was fifteen, you can put fifteen down. Because see I was fourteen when they were married.

MARILYN: Who was that?

FLORENCE: Aunt Soph and Aunt Fan.

MARY: Mom was married young.

MARILYN: Aunt Soph and Aunt Fan.

MARY: Mom was married young.

MARILYN: How old was your mother when she?

MARY: Mom was twenty four.

MARILYN: That was young.

MARY: Aunt Soph was thirty-nine.


MARY: Aunt Fan, Aunt Floss was thirty-six and Aunt Fan was in her thirties. So the other children are younger.

FLORENCE: They just managed to get a man.

MARILYN: Thirty-six. So she was thirty-six and Aunt Soph was thirty-nine when they were married.

FLORENCE: Good thing their not back, to come back, to read it all.

MARY: That shows that the children are younger, much younger then we are.

FLORENCE: You got the truth from us, of everything.

MARILYN: Yes. So, they were married, sure your mother, your mother wasn't married until she was twenty-four but the other sisters were married.

MARY: Younger.

MARILYN: Older and that's why there's such a difference.

MARY: It is such a difference. We got a first cousin only sixty.

MARILYN: Yeah, you know.

MARY: That's nearly thirty years. We're nearly thirty years older.

MARILYN: Amazing. That's right, yeah. It's really strange. Because usually people get married as their ages progressed. But it didn't work that way here.

MARY: Yes, that's right, no.

FLORENCE: If you write her be sure and tell her won't ya.

MARILYN: Oh I well, definately. I'll just drop her a note in the mail now in an envelope.

FLORENCE: Tell her that her brother boarded with us for ten years.

MARILYN: I wrote her. I found out something about, I found a relative of hers down in the States, a Richard White, who was a way gone along cousin of another employee of Avondale going to contact him to see what he knew about the family.

FLORENCE: Now their mother was a Ryan.

MARILYN: That's right, Margaret Ryan.

MARY: Margaret. That's Ryan Brothers.


MARY: She's a brother to

FLORENCE: That's the shop that their fixing up now.

MARY: Yeah. That was the first one

FLORENCE: That's Walter White's estate. See according to about work

MARILYN: According too.

FLORENCE: And speaking of Theresa you found about, all about Ryan's Shop didn't you?

MARILYN: Well I found out so much, she wasn't, she knew Walter worked there, didn't know a real lot because she left home at quite an early age.

MARY: She didn't know much about, she didn't know much about Trinity.

MARILYN: She left Bonavista fairly young.

MARY: She was at Bonavista.

MARILYN: Yeah, she moved from Bonavista to Bishop's as a Telegraph Operator.

MARY: That's right.

MARILYN: And so that was bit of a

FLORENCE: I suppose she is the only one alive now is she?

MARILYN: Yep, of the whole family. She was really young.

MARY: She was the youngest.

MARILYN: But she had a fine memory. I couldn't believe it. The stuff she could tell me. Really amazing, really, a fine lady. So now, I'm trying to think what else. Your father is a blacksmith. So your father, now did your father run, now see you wouldn't know that would ya.

FLORENCE: Blacksmith yeah.

MARILYN: He had a blacksmith shop, but was that

FLORENCE: Blacksmith shop behind the house.

MARILYN: But he died when he was very young though.

MARY: Thirty-nine.

FLORENCE: Yeah, but he had a blacksmith shop. Worked there.

MARILYN: But can you remember.

FLORENCE: No, I was only a year.

MARILYN: No, you were only just born.

FLORENCE: My brother told us all about it.

MARILYN: Oh is that right.

FLORENCE: They said he worked night time and he'd come in from the blacksmith and sit by the great fire. George on one side and Will on the other.

MARILYN: Is that right? So he worked late at night.

FLORENCE: Late at night. And Mom said that not one of the boys would be a blacksmith. Cause he would come in with the sleeves of his shirt burnt from the sparks of the blacksmith.

MARILYN: Yeah. And the shop. Did you ever go out into the shop?

FLORENCE: Oh my I served there. I was there working in the shop, after my mother died.

MARILYN: Did your mother have the shop when he had, when he was alive, when he was a blacksmith.

FLORENCE: Yes, yes.

MARILYN: So they both were working.

FLORENCE: Yes, yes and she had two girls always didn't she Mol.

MARY: Yes.

FLORENCE: Always had two maids to tend for us, to do for us.

MARILYN: So she had maids to take care of you.

FLORENCE: To take care of the house and everything, to take care of us.

MARY: One was with us for nine years.

MARILYN: You must have gotten very close to the maids.

FLORENCE: We must have been wonderful children. For to keep a girl nine years. (Florence laughs)

MARILYN: That's right. Who were these people, were the girls from Trinity or were they from somewhere else?

FLORENCE: Yes, Emma Hayter and Fanny?

MARY: Sophie.

FLORENCE: Sophie Hayter, two sisters.

MARILYN: So they worked in the house. They didn't work in the store.

FLORENCE: Yes. No. Mom worked in the store. And after she died I took it over. Didn't we Mol? Mol and I took it over.

MARY: And then she got Postmistress.

FLORENCE: Yes, then she got Postmistress.

MARILYN: And did she work the store and the Post Office at the same time.

FLORENCE: Well we were there see. We were in the shop, weren't we, we did both, we'd help in both Post Office and shop. We helped in both didn't we, Post Office and shop?

MARY: We lived at home but worked.


MARILYN: Yeah right. So you did a lot of work. I'm surprised that they had the shop and the blacksmith at the same time.

MARY: Mom when she was, before she was married had a business see, and when she got married she was lonely and she wanted a business.

MARILYN: That's right.

FLORENCE: And the blacksmith was built there on our land next to the house only over further, the barn is there now.

MARILYN: So there was a blacksmith shop there, and you had a barn.

FLORENCE: The barn is there now.

MARILYN: What kind of animals did you keep in the barn.

FLORENCE: Five cows.

MARILYN: Five cows!

MARY: I had five cows when I was there.

FLORENCE: And pigs.

MARILYN: And Pigs.


MARILYN: Did you have chickens?


FLORENCE: Oh my we had lovely eggs. We, my we don't get good food here.

MARILYN: What about the

FLORENCE: Depending on the amount of milk and cream.

MARY: I'd send away for my hens.

MARILYN: Any goats?


MARILYN: Never had goats.

MARY: Or sheep.

MARILYN: Or sheep. Horse?

MARY: Nope.

FLORENCE: Mom didn't have a horse did she? No, grandma did, grandma Pittman had a horse.

MARILYN: That was in her own house. So they had

FLORENCE: Two cats, always.

MARILYN: Two cats. Any dogs?

FLORENCE: Yes, not for long, we had a Newfoundland dog.

MARILYN: Did you? I have a Newfoundland dog now.

FLORENCE: Not for long. My brother brought it home, and sent it home, and it frightened the customers in the shop out of their life so Mom had to send it back again.

MARILYN: So where did he send it from?

FLORENCE: Grand Falls.

MARILYN: Which brother was this, William or?



MARY: I think that there was a law maybe that you weren't allowed to keep dogs in Grand Falls at that time.

FLORENCE: And he sent it home you see.

MARY: Sent it home.

MARILYN: Is that right. I never heard that.

FLORENCE: Big dog. Knock us down. Lovely dog though. But we had Jack too though didn't we. We had two dogs.

MARILYN: Did you keep Jack?

FLORENCE: Yes, he perished and we buried him.

MARY: He perished.

FLORENCE: We were fond of animals.

MARILYN: So she sent the dog, the Newfoundlander back to Grand Falls.

FLORENCE: Yes, the Newfoundland dog. Now will you write all this down?

MARILYN: Well I'm gonna. I don't know what I 'm going to do with it yet. It's going to take a little while

FLORENCE: Your not taping anything now are you?

MARILYN: Oh yes, that's just on, that doesn't make any difference, this is the interesting stuff, this is stuff that we want really, it makes, you know can interpret it and make it more interesting.

FLORENCE: I know but we would have to be a little bit more decided in our remarks if it was going to be taped.

MARILYN: For someone else to hear.

FLORENCE: For someone else to hear as we are both speaking now.

MARILYN: Naturally. What's interesting about it. What I will probably do with this is just type it up for our own information, for interpreting.

FLORENCE: Pick it out, what you want to type up.

MARILYN: What I'll probably do after I get some of the notes done up, I might, if I can get it done up in a short length of time, bring it up to you and you can look over it and see if there is anything you can see is wrong there, or any impression that you think is not quite accurate.

FLORENCE: Nothing wrong on there.

MARY: Nothing wrong.

MARILYN: Anything that I might see something different than you might feel about it, we can change that.

FLORENCE: There's lots that you haven't asked us about you know.

MARILYN: So you had dogs, that's interesting. And you had another dog, Jack. What kind of dog was that, just a mutt was it?

FLORENCE: It was a lovely dog.

MARY: I think it was half Labrador.

FLORENCE: Yes, so do I.

MARY: I'm not sure.

MARILYN: And you had him for a long while.

FLORENCE: Long while.

MARY: Long while and he perished. Dick was young and he went out one day and when we came home Dick had this little puppy on his lap.

FLORENCE: And Mom wasn't going to keep him was she?

MARY: No, Mom wasn't going to keep him.

FLORENCE: But he stayed there all night.

MARILYN: Yes, I can imagine a young boy with his dog and he didn't want to get rid of that.

FLORENCE: There's a slide home now, you know. We had the house, down in the kitchen, parlor and everything, and there's a back stairs and then you, there's a nice back hall and a lovely bathroom, best room in the house. And then near the back stairs is a loft and in that loft is a slide that my brother made.

MARILYN: Is that right?


MARILYN: Did he use it with his dog or anything.

FLORENCE: No just for sliding.

MARY: For tobogganing.

FLORENCE: Iron round runners on it.

MARILYN: Is that right?

FLORENCE: Iron round runners.

MARY: What's not in that loft?


MARY: What's not in that loft?

FLORENCE: What's not in that loft?

MARILYN: Yeah a loft is a great place to keep everything.

FLORENCE: I couldn't do as I would have liked to have done to our house because see Mol was too sick and I couldn't stay down there.

MARILYN: No, there's only so much one can do.

FLORENCE: I would have liked to have done a lot more but Mr. Button said that was alright the men would see to it. I would have thrown away a lot of things.

MARILYN: Oh it's good you didn't.

(Florence laughs)

MARILYN: Probably the stuff that you know would have thrown away would have been interesting, might be very useful.


MARY: If we had a bit of board or anything, Mom was a very kind of you know a carpenter.

FLORENCE: Yes, cutting a hole there

MARY: I would put it up in the shop loft.

FLORENCE: That loft is full of everything.

MARILYN: I got an impression that there was a carpenter somewhere in your family, your grandfather.

MARY: Oh well.

MARILYN: Was there any carpenters? Pittman's? Was it the Pittman family? What were they? Like your mother, grandmother and grandfather.

MARY: Grandmother was married young you see, she was a

FLORENCE: I don't know. I don't remember any carpenter's, Mom was as good a carpenter as there was in Trinity.

MARY: In the Pittman's, it's in that letter you see.


MARY: What Mrs. Willows gave us, their tradesmen or something.

MARILYN: The Kelson's, the Kelson's what would they be?

MARY: Accountants.

FLORENCE: Oh they could be anything.

MARY: Is that right?

FLORENCE: Yes, yes.

MARY: I tell you her great uncle, her father, was drowned. Now I think it's her great uncle or uncle, I'm not sure, he was an accountant see way back in Slade's somewhere.

MARILYN: I see, so Emma's uncle was an accountant for Slade's.

MARY: That's a little too far back for me.

FLORENCE: I must show her my watch Mol. There's ah

MARY: It might have been her great uncle, I don't know, it was a Kelson, William Kelson.

FLORENCE: My brother Will won that playing cricket in Grand Falls.

MARILYN: Is that right?

MARY: That's not the one is it Floss? That's mine isn't it?

FLORENCE: What's marked on that?

MARILYN: Grand Falls cricket, 1920.

MARY: I thought that was mine you had on there. The one Will gave me.

FLORENCE: That's the one he gave you.

MARY: Oh I see, I'm so

MARILYN: My, my, my, this is which brother, Richard?

MARY: Will. Will

MARILYN: Will. What was he doing in Grand Falls?

MARY: He worked there for twenty years. Operator.

MARILYN: What kind of operator was he?

MARY: Telegraph.

MARILYN: He was a Telegraph Operator in Grand Falls.

MARY: He came here to go to work in the Post Office when he was fifteen.

MARILYN: I don't think that I have that written in my stuff on this now. You had a very large family didn't you?

MARY: Yeah, there were seven children.

MARILYN: George was a Captain.

MARY: Yes.

MARILYN: William was a Telegraph Operator.

MARY: Yes. He was here and then he was transferred to Grand Falls and he lived in Grand Falls for twenty years.

MARILYN: So he was in St. John's and then Grand Falls.

MARY: That's where he kicked the football.

MARILYN: And what else did he do? He came back into St. John's again then didn't he?

MARY: In St. John's and was Inspector.

MARILYN: Inspector of what?

MARY: Post Office. Travel. Inspecting the Post Office's.

MARILYN: Oh yeah, he had to travel around to different places.

MARY: He had been all over Newfoundland.

MARILYN: Is that right? What about Netta? Did she have a trade of any sort?

MARY: No she was

FLORENCE: She was sent away at seven years of age with a sore arm. She was sent away and put in charge of a stewardess on a steamer and sent to New York, with a sore arm, she was in the hospital for two years. Came back and was able to use her arm. The doctors in Newfoundland said that nothing could be done for her.

MARILYN: Is that right?

FLORENCE: That's what we heard.

MARILYN: And what did she do afterwards? Did she marry or anything?

FLORENCE: She kept house. My brother opened up a house in St. John's and came to work at fifteen, Post Office, Will, and he opened up a house and my sister came, Will must have been older then fifteen, Net was fifteen, he must have been seventeen, Net came up at fifteen and kept house for him and as we got old enough we came up and went to Spencer College.

MARILYN: Oh you went to Spencer.


MARILYN: Ah I see. I didn't know that before.

FLORENCE: No, well now I didn't think about mentioning that, you know. Kept house for her brother and for us to attend school at Spencer College as we got old enough. My brother, Dick, went to St. Bon's.

MARILYN: That's strange. Why did he go to St. Bon's?

FLORENCE: We thought, Mom thought that St. Bon's was

MARILYN: Was a better school then Field was it?

FLORENCE: Well I suppose so.

MARY: More disciplined.

FLORENCE: More disciplined.

MARILYN: What, what did he end up doing after?

FLORENCE: He was kind of inspired by his aunts.

MARILYN: What did he end up doing after, Richard?

FLORENCE: He was in business.

MARY: Business.

FLORENCE: He was Assistant Manager with Goodyear and House. That's right isn't it?

MARY: Yeah.

FLORENCE: In Corner Brook. Was it? Assistant Manager.

MARY: Oh, that's right.

FLORENCE: As you get it we give it to you.

MARILYN: Yeah, right. What ahh

FLORENCE: Ask us questions and we will answer.

MARILYN: What ahh

FLORENCE: My brother was in the Post Office for forty-five years, Will.

MARILYN: Telegraph Operator.

MARY: He finished off Inspector.

FLORENCE: He reached, he was Inspector when he retired after being there for forty-five years. How's that?

MARILYN: That's a long while isn't it?


MARILYN: So that's Will at the Post Office.

FLORENCE: For forty-five years.

MARILYN: And yourself and the both of you were more working in the store.

FLORENCE: And home.

MARY: We were what you called jack of all trades.

MARILYN: Right. And your brother Richard was in Corner Brook.

FLORENCE: Yes, he was Assistant Manager, Goodyear and House. That's right isn't it?

MARY: Umm.

FLORENCE: And he retired, I don't know how old Will was, Dick was when he retired.

MARILYN: And George was a Captain?

FLORENCE: Captain.

MARILYN: So you all had your trades and your businesses didn't you?

FLORENCE: We had to work Mrs. Dawe.

MARILYN: Yes, you did.

FLORENCE: We were brought up better then the people that are brought up with money.

MARILYN: But you had respect for it.

FLORENCE: But it's not that. But we were brought up in a nice atmosphere in Trinity. Can you understand?

MARILYN: Yeah, a nice time to grow up.

FLORENCE: Grand Falls, you can put that down if you like, cricket. He gave me that and I put my initials on it.

MARILYN: Those are very nice medals aren't they?


MARILYN: My husband is a great athlete and spends most of his time playing games, but not cricket, they don't play cricket anymore. Their just starting a new cricket association here in town now.

MARY: Yeah I heard that.

FLORENCE: That's why I brought that up. My brother, Will was an excellent card player too, good card player.

MARILYN: Is that right?

FLORENCE: Everything he did was perfect. I mean he puts his best into everything that he had to do. Is that a good way to describe him. And there's a watch that Grandma Kelson, my great grandmother.


FLORENCE: Was a little girl, seven years old when that was given to her. Her father?

MARY: Umm.

FLORENCE: Her father went to the war of Napoleon and he was in prison for seven years and this little girl wasn't born and when he came back she was seven years old, the first time he saw her was she was in the garden when he came and he asked this little girl where was her mother and she said in the house.

MARILYN: And this was his daughter?

FLORENCE: And that was my great grandmother Kelson. I showed you the lady.


FLORENCE: And as a little girl, seven years old, he brought her that watch.

MARILYN: My goodness.

FLORENCE: Her initials are on it.

MARILYN: Are they?

FLORENCE: Yes, E.A. Ash. Elizabeth Ash.

MARY: On the centre of the back.

MARILYN: Oh yes look at that.

FLORENCE: Now is that little girl, that I showed you the photograph of, was a little girl seven years old when she first saw her father.

MARILYN: Does that open up somehow?

FLORENCE: Yes that opens.

MARILYN: How does it open up?

FLORENCE: At the back. I don't open it. You can do it yourself.

MARILYN: I don't know how or why. There's no picture in it or anything.

FLORENCE: No. She was seven years old.

MARILYN: My goodness.

FLORENCE: That little girl, she was a little girl seven years old when she first saw her father.

MARY: He asked her name.

FLORENCE: He asked her name and she said Elizabeth Ash, you know her mother might have been married again but see she wasn't. My that was a wonderful thing wasn't it?

MARILYN: Yes, that's amazing. That's very old.

FLORENCE: Well she was a little girl that's very old, about 200 or 300 years old.


FLORENCE: About 150 or 200.

MARY: Yeah about that. When was Napoleon's war, 1814 - 18?

FLORENCE: 1815 I think it was.

MARILYN: Yeah around there.

MARY: Around there.

FLORENCE: Well there you go, now that's a history isn't it?

MARILYN: Yes and you said he was in jail or something.

FLORENCE: In prison.

MARILYN: In prison.

FLORENCE: For seven years and while he was there his little girl was born and the first time he saw her he brought the little watch to her and you saw the lady, I showed it to you.


FLORENCE: I wish that picture was plainer but I can't help that.

MARY: There was no telephones, no war news or anything at that time was there.

MARILYN: No, no one knew what was going on.

MARY: No, no one knew what was going on.

MARILYN: That's amazing.

FLORENCE: Isn't that amazing. There's not many that's got the history of things like that, have they.


FLORENCE: To put in their house.

MARILYN: That's what's interesting you know. Like people in the Commissariat House in giving tours, children will say is that the man who lived here, is that his jacket, did he sleep in that bed, did he do this, did he do that and when you got to say to them no this is the type of stuff he would have had, the types of things he would have had. But you can't very well say yes, they relate to it much more.

FLORENCE: Mrs. Dawe the bed is down there with birds on it, head and bottom.

MARILYN: Is that right?

MARY: Iron bed.

FLORENCE: Iron bed with birds on it. It's down the house. You'll see it when you go down. Now we were all born in that bed.

(Mary laughs)

MARILYN: That's amazing.

FLORENCE: It was lathes then and of course Mom had the lathes taken out and had springs put in our beds. There's a bed up in the attic with lathes in it.

MARILYN: There is, that's great.

FLORENCE: And two feather beds, feather pillows.

MARY: Do you remember lathes?

MARILYN: No, no I can't even remember feather beds.

FLORENCE: I know, we can go back, we can go back very good, but as I told you, anything that, we're not young and you know that now.

MARILYN: Surprises me.

FLORENCE: That's why we think sometimes that we should go in the home. If one of us should die now how hard is it going to be for the other.

MARILYN: Yes, that's true, very hard, you would be very lonely.

FLORENCE: Not that, we can stay here, but we have to see to as they are not taking everything from the house. Their not taking the television, and their not taking the radio, and we have electric flat irons, we have two, and we have two electric kettles and lots of items that we really should be rid of.

MARILYN: That need to be taken care of. Yeah. But you know. You don't seem old enough to me to be in a home.

FLORENCE: No, we don't feel it.

MARILYN: No, you don't feel it either.

FLORENCE: We don't feel it.

MARILYN: But you feel like you should.

FLORENCE: But if a person should slip we haven't got the strength that we had, have we.

MARILYN: No to take care of it all. It's a lot of work.

FLORENCE: To go through it, you know. And Mol couldn't do a thing if I should die.

MARY: I told Floss, I told Floss I picked up the paper the other day and in Bonavista there was a man who was 103 and working, working, she said that's alright.

MARILYN: 103 is not bad, not bad at all, still working. I think that I have taken up enough of your morning now.


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