Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lost Hikers: Sound familiar?

This article ran in the Fall River Herald in about 1915-6.  Helen is a great aunt to my generation, sister to Raymond Sr.   The article is undated but at the time of this experience she is teaching at a high school in Orleans, MA, a town just at the elbow of Cape Cod.    She graduated from Mt. Holyoke College and was a teacher until her marriage in 1917 at age 28.

Miss Helen E Nute of This City and Companion found in an exhausted state
Will suffer no serious effects from their way walking from Brewster to Orleans

Miss Helen E Nute of this city, daughter of J.E. Nute, manager of the Fall River Gas Works Co., and Miss Bertha Wilson of Thomasville, Me., assistant principals of the Orleans High School, had an extremely unpleasant experience Sunday night in the Brewster woods, in which they were wandering about from dark until after midnight.

Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Nute drove down from this city in their automobile Sunday morning to spend the day and started on their return about 3 PM.  Their daughter and Miss Wilson accompanied them as far as Brewster, intending to walk back to Orleans.

Not having arrived home after dark, Mr. and Mrs. Higgins, with whom the teachers board, became worried, and soon afterward made inquiries by telephone of Brewster residents, and ascertained that two young women had been seen entering the woods about 4 o’clock.  Fearing that the two teachers had become lost in the woods, Mr. Higgins notified the selectmen who also notified Deputy Sheriff Boland.

A general alarm was sent out about 9 o’clock by ringing the church bells, and searching parties were organized under the direction of Sheriff Boland, Dr. Lemuel Pope, Elnathan Eldredge, George Steel and others from different sections, who started out to search the various cross-roads and wooded paths.

Mr. Nute, who had arrived at home in this city, was notified by telephone about 9 o’clock, and he said the girls had spoken of taking a cross cut through the woods from Brewster to Orleans.  About midnight, one of the automobile searching parties penetrated the road leading through Roland Nickerson’s deer preserve near Cliff Pond in East Brewster woods, and learned that the young women had been there just before dark and inquired the way to the village.

The caretaker had directed them toward the Brewster road, but they had evidently become undecided again and had got lost before getting out of the woods.  This was the first clue to the young women since the search began.  The party took different paths, and Mrs. Higgins and his searchers soon found footprints.

On reaching a point about half way between Cliff pond and Baker’s pond they were overjoyed at meeting the two exhausted and frightened girls coming toward them, hardly able to speak from hoarseness, after shouting at their utmost for hours.  They reported having lost they way, owing to the density of the woods and the intense darkness which came on very early, owing to fog and cloudiness, when they left the Nickerson bungalow.

They were considerably worn out from their long tramp and the prospect of spending the entire night in the dark woods.  They had heard the bells and the tooting of automobile horns and whistles of every description, and could at times see the rays of the automobile headlights turned upward when climbing steep hills but, of course, were absolutely unable to make themselves heard by the searchers by screaming or shouting.

Every sound in the deep darkness, even after the rising moon had lightened it slightly, and every big tree seemed an object of terror, owing to their failing strength.  The searching parties had covered every road where automobiles could penetrate in that entire section between Brewster, East Harwich, and Orleans.

Meantime, Mr. Nute had become so alarmed that he and Mrs Nute started again from this city for the Cape about 11 PM, reaching Orleans about 3 o’clock Monday morning.  They were rejoiced to learn that their daughter and her companion had been found and that neither of the young ladies was in serious condition.  It is believed that they will suffer lasting effects from their experience.

Newspaper reporting is just not the same as a hundred years ago.

I think I may have inherited some of Helen’s genes.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nettie: The Other Studley

Every child needs a doting aunt, and ours was Nettie Borden Studley (1889-1990), older sister to our grandmother, Alice Packard Studley (1891-1976).  They came from working class backgrounds whose New England customs meant you had a family name passed down at birth.  

Our Nettie was named for a maternal aunt, Nettie H. Borden (1869-1923),

and Alice received her middle name from a maternal grandmother, Harriet A. Packard (1827-1893).

Nettie's and Alice's father, Sidney Elmer Studley (1863-1941), grew up in the ethnic, working class neighborhoods of Chelsea and Hyde Park, Boston, and likely did not finish high school as he was already working as an express clerk at the age of 17.  

Their mother, Martha Hathaway Borden (1863-1936), also grew up in a working class family in Fall River, Massachusetts.  Martha's father, a Civil War veteran, was a laborer, machinist, and meat salesman at various times in his life.

The couple married in Fall River in June 1887 - both were 24 years old - and  settled into a neighborhood on the hill overlooking Taunton River as it empties into Mount Hope Bay.  Sidney got into the grocery business, perhaps with help from Martha’s father, Stephen Bailey Borden, and worked his way up over the years until he was manager, then owner, of a grocery on Linden Street in Fall River.  Martha must have been a good mother as pictures of the girls indicate they were well cared for, perhaps even indulged.

The little girls' photo was likely taken in 1893, the same year Lizzie Borden was accused of the axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River.  Both Grandma Alice and Aunt Nettie vehemently denied any blood relation to Lizzie.   Uh, seems unlikely as Bordens in that area descend from two Borden brothers.  

A mid-to late 1890's photo shows a well-dressed family on a sleigh ride outing.

Alice, Martha, and Nettie

In 1900, the family was living in a rented duplex at 594 Bradford Avenue, a nicer neighborhood, and Sidney was working as a grocery clerk.

This photo of Nettie may well be around the 8th grade, but perhaps taken when she graduated from BMC Durfee High School in 1908.

By 1910, the family owned a house at 972 Maple Street, indeed a nice neighborhood.  Sidney is a grocery store manager, Alice is 18, still attending BMC Durfee, and Nettie is 21 years old, working as a bookkeeper at Small Brothers, one of the textile mills for which Fall River was known.  Nettie remained with this company for her entire career, finally retiring at age 72.  Sidney became the owner of the grocery store on Linden Street.

In 1915, Nettie's sister married a young man from Massachusetts Agricultural College, now University of Massachusetts, and left the family home to be a farmer's wife - and we have seen what an amazing farmer he was.  When I was growing up I had heard Nettie had a fiance or young man she liked very much who was killed in World War I.  For this or whatever reason, she never married and lived with her parents for the rest of their lives.

In 1921, Sidney, Martha, and Nettie moved down the street to 724 Maple Street where they remained until just before Martha died in 1936.  In 1935, the parents and Nettie moved into a house at 172 Hanover, just behind the 724 Maple Street address, and Sidney lived with Nettie until he died in 1941.

Nettie's house at 172 Hanover Street
I believe 724 Maple is the house in far left of photo
Nettie had a way of making everyone her family, and likely her co-workers at the thread factory filled in for the absence of her parents and sister.  Alice's family, children and grandchildren became the focus of her travels, and often she of theirs.  As a youngster growing up on the farm in Lewis County, we looked forward to the Christmas gift we always knew we would get from Aunt Nettie.  I can still remember the visit when she bought me a pair of red boots.  She visited there by train,

Vanceburg Station in 1940's
Alice, Nettie, and perhaps Helen Plummer
and followed us to northern Ohio.

Jeannette, Aunt Nettie, George
Ray & Kathie
Joellen, Janie, young George
No trip to New England was complete without stopping off "to see Aunt Nettie".

Aunt Nettie, Jeannette
Donald, Joellen, George "Clif"
Fall River Herald News ran an article in 1960 on her retirement at age 72,

Bookkeeper Feted by Firm after Fifty Years' Service

Small Brothers Mfg. Co. last night honored a woman who has been with the organization for 50 years.  She is Miss Nettie B. Studley, the thread-manufacturingfirm's head bookkeeper.
When Miss Studley joined Small Brothers in 1910 to begin her first job, the firm was only 25 years old and still operated by its founders, Elisha H. and Reuben C. Small. The bookkeeping department was small; in fact, she was it. 

As a retirement gift, they gave her a TransCanadian Rail trip which she took by herself - age 72 no less.

In 1968, Nettie  gave up her residence and moved into senior living at the Fall River Home for the Aged at 1172 Highland Avenue.  She loved to show off her room and the elegant setting, pointing out they took every meal with linen tablecloths, silver, and crystal glassware.  She continued to be a prolific letter writer.  She was mentally sharp and  at age 87 amazed my Ohio Republican Chairman then-husband with her command of politics over lunch.

Throughout her life, she had a hobby of needlepoint and some of the family are lucky to have beautiful pieces she gifted.    She continued to crochet and knit afghans through her later years.

Nettie at the Fall River Home for the Aged
Fall River News in November 1980 covered a ceremony with Nettie as the guest of honor in which a tree planted by Sidney in 1940 needed to be moved and replanted.

"I remember when poppa planted the tree", she said, reflecting a remarkable memory that can summon people and dates that have long since passed.  "He wanted to brighten the area around the Haffenreffer House on Hanover Street (then owned by the hospital).  So he donated a garden that he planted himself."

The article went on to say,

The nonagenarian observes the local scene with a keen eye from her present domicile.  She marveled at the prospect of a new five story patient care facility that will consolidate Union and Truesdale services at the Union site.  

"Change is welcome", she noted, "when the old is accommodated to make way for the new".

The Fall River Herald News covered her 100th birthday party, noting she supervised all the arrangements herself.  

100th Birthday Party
Nettie died in 1990 at age 101.   Her obituary noted she was acknowledged as one of the first women in the area to hold a major corporate position in the city.

Alice died in 1976 at age 84, seventeen years younger than Nettie.  Alice had a more active lifestyle on the farm, and I have long thought the longevity difference was related in part to Nettie's positive outlook, evident even in that 1893 photo.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Wednesday, 8/17/11: Glenbeigh to Cahersiveen – The Trail Starts

After a lovely breakfast (how does Anne make such fluffy eggs?), we took off for Cahersiveen, pronounced like cursive with an ine at the end, only car for the first syllable.  Here’s Kathie at the head of the trail.

We could not have asked for more beautiful weather or scenery. 
Of course, there were sheep and cattle to ogle along the way.  They ogled us; we ogled them.  No herding was necessary this time, however. 

Walking along, noticing the flora, I couldn’t help but think of leprechauns and trolls.

Pretty but treacherous – see the rocks in the trail? 
In some places, we couldn’t sidestep the rocks but rather had to plow right through them.  In others, the rocks were mixed with boot-sucking mud.  I mean, literally, in a couple of places, one or the other of my boots was sucked clean off my foot.  I took to making up haikus in my head:

Rocky flat good for legs.
Rocky up good for heart.
Rocky down good for naught.


The walkers are walking
The buzzards are circling
They say, “Look!  Tasty treats!”

As usual, I was dillydallying way behind Kathie and Kathleen.  Can you see the tiny figures way up ahead?  If you’re anything like me, you’re more focused on the spectacular view in the background…and also on the horsie moseying up to see if I have a treat to offer. 
What was supposed to be a twelve mile hike turned out to be an eighteen mile walk, due to a lack of clear directions where we left the trail.  Between the three of us, along with Mary (a Catholic University nursing major), and Bree (a Harvard pre-law student), we simply could not figure out which way we were to go to get to the Southern Sun, our B&B for the night.  After several false starts and asking directions of a couple of people, we did however arrive safely.  (That last stretch along the busy 2-laner was a little scary, eh girls?) 

Our hostess referred us to Frank’s Pub for dinner, where I had homemade vegetable soup, soda bread, and salad.  Yum!  The young waiter/bartender was very sweet.  I loved his accent!  He recommended the apple pie, so we took a slice to go and stopped by the Daniel O’Connell Catholic Church on our way out.  Supposedly, this is the only Catholic church in the world named after a person who is not a saint.  Huh.

Back in the room, I noticed blisters starting on my right heel and both big toes.  Not good.

(If you want to see a description of the hike we took, go to the Macs Adventure site here)

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Tuesday Traveling – Taxi, Train, Bus, and Feet

Our taxi pulled up at 6:45 on Tuesday morning to take us to Heuston Station for the 7 a.m. train to Limerick Junction.  There, we quickly switched over to another train to take us to Limerick, where we caught a bus to Glenbeigh.   

In Glenbeigh, we found our lodgings for the night – the Emir View House, where we were greeted by proprietress Anne and her daughter, Louise, a high school rising sophomore at the time, and Louise’s little sister.  Lovely people!  They advised us to take the 2-mile walk to Rossbeigh Beach, which we did, (getting a little lost along the way, as usual).  According to its website, “An extensive sandy beach in a rural environment, Rossbeigh is a designated natural heritage area and a Special Area of Conservation with an important habitat and flora and fauna present.” 

After hiking the 2 miles back, we stopped by Rumours Bistro for dinner.  The black, grey, and red modern interior was quite pleasing, and the food was great. 

Then back to the Emir View to ready ourselves for our next big adventure…

Monday, Our Last Day in Dublin

We took off along the canal to get to Dublin Castle, where I was fascinated by an exhibit of sand sculptures in the courtyard.

Close by the castle, we visited St. Werburgh’s Church of 1178 origin.  I thought this was a handsome little church, strangely military-ish, especially given the fact St. Werburgh was actually a woman.  The organ pipes were especially pretty.

Back on the castle grounds...

Behind the photographer who took the shot above (that would be me) sits the Chester Beatty Library.  Chester was an American mining engineer/magnate back in the first half of the last century who enjoyed traveling and collecting books, art, manuscripts, New Testament texts, etc.  He retired to Ireland and bequeathed his collection to a public trust that is supported by the Irish government.  So admission is free!  While we were there, a special exhibit of Mattise’s works was going on.  Nice.  Truly a lovely place to visit and then have lunch, which we did. 

A hop, skip, and jump from the castle is Christ Church Cathedral, an Anglican cathedral built in the 1800s on a 1171 foundation, which in turn was built on the site of a church built by a Danish king of Dublin in 1038.  Whew!  Did you get all that?  The current structure is huge, and the 12th century crypt is very cool.  Supposedly, the heart of St. Laurence O’Toole is encased in a heart-shaped box somewhere in the cathedral; I didn’t see it, did you guys?  Well, no matter – it was stolen in March of this year.  Now why would anyone want a moldy old heart from the 12th century, even if it was a saint’s?  Shocking.

From there we walked along the Liffey River to get to the train station for schedule information, then on we went – by bus – to the National Botanic Gardens in Glasvenin.  Even on a gray day, it was so beautiful.

After a quick walkthrough (it was getting late by now), we bussed back to town and had fish and chips for dinner before heading home to prepare for the next day - traveling to Glenbeigh.