I Remember When… Days of our Youth

Welcome to the first in our series “I Remember When…”  This will be an ongoing feature on the Clyde River Website, and we look forward to you sending us your entertaining stories. We would like to collect little snippets of memories from Clyde River folks of living in Clyde River or, in some cases, other communities that they were raised. There may be a bit of an overlap with those featured in the History and Stories of Clyde River, but we are especially looking for new stories.

The stories could be as far back as anyone can remember, have been told to you by an elder in the community, or from more recent times, which in our fast paced world already seem like olden times. This series was inspired by Victoria MacPhail who as part of a history course a few years ago interviewed elders in and around the community and carefully transcribed her notes which are a great treasure to launch the series.

Submit your recollections to vivian@eastlink.ca, add to the comments section below, or tell me a story at a future community event. We hope you enjoy this feature and send in your stories. Here are few rememberings to inspire your own memories. Contributors and the characters involved will remain anonymous to protect the innocent and those slightly less than innocent.

I remember when…

I walked to Clyde River school when it was a one room school and it held about 40 kids. Winnie MacMillan was the teacher for a few years and she was quite a good teacher. Then there was another teacher. He could get a bit cross, and if you weren’t doing a good job of reading while in front of the class, he would come up and knock the book out of your hands.


I hated math and I hated school. I was happier to be home on the farm doing things. My sisters went on to become teachers though. At the time, I didn’t think I needed an education, but now I think that having more education wouldn’t really hurt anyone.


Christmas concerts were the highlight of the year. I always ended up with a recitation which I hated to do. There were dialogues, but I always had to do a recitation. There would usually be a big turnout for the concert, although there wouldn’t be any outsiders, just the people from the district.


I never really played hockey, just played or skated with friends on the pond, either Cameron’s, Christie’s or the Mill pond. We also went to Cornwall rink quite a bit in Winter.


One Saturday morning, on our way home from the rink, the horse ran away from me and my sisters. We didn’t get hurt, but it was quite a time. We were still in the sleigh when the horse took off. Luckily we were travelling in the field, so we didn’t run into any posts, but it still was a terrifying experience.


All the family on my Dad’s side always took turns to hold Christmas each year. They usually had a goose for Christmas Dinner, rather than a turkey. It would be a goose raised on the farm. We exchanged presents. I got an expansion bracelet from my aunt once which was my mother’s; it was one of my favourite gifts.


I had to hold the lantern for my father while he was finishing up the farm chores in the evening and hopefully my homework was done before it went out, as I would be out with my father for a while.


We often went to lawn parties such as one up in New Haven. There would be a tent set up with a wooden dance floor, and you’d dance to music provided by the locals, likely a fiddler or a guy who could play a guitar and sometimes a mouth organ. There would be some drinking going on and there would be an odd fight.


A guy in Montague would come up and put movies on in the old hall in the summertime over in Canoe Cove…that was a long while ago. These movies would cost about 25 cents. The movies were usually Westerns. Often you’d take turns driving the car over. You’d put two dollars worth of gas in the car and go.


Until next time, remember when…

(from the transcripts of interviews provided by Victoria MacPhail)

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  1. Doreen Beer Pound on October 17, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Love the new banner photos!!

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