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Farm Life

Black and white picture. Of women holding a cat she is standing in front of two glass roofed buildings.

Doris and her cat near the greenhouses, Mount Hermon Cemetery, Quebec, c.1881

In the spring, we would tap the maple trees on the cemetery property and boil the sap on a wood stove in a small greenhouse to make maple syrup. It was one of my favourite treats during the spring months. My dad’s workers would pour the boiling hot syrup onto the snow outside so we could have a sweet treat.  One of my favourite memories was how we all used to fight over the last drop of syrup, and as always, my sister would win. – Brian Treggett

The Barn

Around 1855, a barn was built to accommodate the horses,  carriages, a horse-drawn hearse, sleighs, snow rollers, morning coaches, and other essential equipment.

Black and white picture of a black sleigh being pulled by a dark pony in the snow.

The Black cutter and horse, Mount Hermon Cemetery, Quebec, c. 1930

A large door next to the stable allowed the horses to graze in an open space behind the barn. The upstairs of the barn used to store hay, oats, off-season equipment and old furniture. A chicken coop was located in the northeast corner to supply the eggs for our family.

I can remember an old sleigh, upstairs in the barn, which was filled with old photographs and documents from the cemetery office. -Brian Treggett 

Creature Comfort

Animals played an essential role in the life of the family. They not only provide labour and food, but they are also excellent companions. The family has many pets such as dogs, cats as well as farm animals in the barn.

Black and white picture of horse and buggy. The buggy is made out of wicker and there's a man and child in the cart.

Graham in cart with Nannie, Mount Hermon Cemetery, Quebec, c. 1918

Papa would hum and continuously talk as he would work around the horses; that could keep them calm and obedient. When he was alone in the stables, he would sing a little song, very softly, but the horses would hear it, of course. They would pick up their ears and appear to listen instantly! I often wondered if this is my imagination. He was a good judge of horses and was an expert in training and caring for them. -Graham Treggett

Jacqueline’s Memories: Animals  (captions available in both FR and ENG)   – View the video with a transcript.