Sunday, February 21, 2016

Furnace Street Neighbors

This week's topic for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (hosted by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings) is remembering where we lived as children and who our neighbors were.  He invited us to tell a story about one or more of our neighbors.

During all of my youth I lived at 16 Furnace Street (later 1433) in Mineral Ridge, a small village on the southern border of Trumbull County, Ohio.  Furnace Street runs east from Main Street/Route 46.  Our house was the first on the north side of the street.


The Youngs (I think their last name was Young) lived in the house on Main Street at the corner of Main and Furnace Streets.  Their back yard abutted our side yard.  They were an older couple without children, but they kept a dog in their yard with a doghouse for protection.  A few times they asked me to take care of their dog when they needed to be away from home for a few days or a week.  One morning I went out to feed the dog and give him fresh water and found him just lying there.  It was alarming.  He had died during the night.  I was not responsible for his death -- I had given him the care required -- but I felt terrible.  The Youngs were very kind when they returned and assured me that the dog was old.

They also had a rock that to my childhood eyes seemed huge.  It was in the shape of a triangle with the point at the top.  We kids loved climbing up on the rock and jumping to the ground, arms extended, yelling "Geronimo!" as we jumped.

The Youngs had Rose of Sharon trees in their year.  I never liked Rose of Sharon trees.  I don't know why except that it wasn't from any particular association with the Youngs.  

The Yosts lived in the Methodist parsonage across Furnace Street from the Youngs and cattycorner from our house.  Needless to say, the father in the family was the minister at the church.  They had a son named Charles who was about my age and a younger daughter, Mary Jane.  We played together at least occasionally.  As you can see, there was a dirt hill behind their house between the parsonage and the church.  I remember playing there more because of this photo than from any actual memory.  Charles also had a wonderful tricycle -- even larger than mine and with an attached basket -- which we sometimes rode.  It's possible that I was at least a little envious of that trike.  I think the Yosts moved before I started school. 

The Stephens (or Stevens) lived beside the parsonage and across from our house.  There were the parents and two boys, both older than me by a few years.  The Stephens operated the Isaly Dairy shop on Main Street where they sold ice cream, popsicles, candy bars, penny candy, pop, and sandwiches.  A single scoop of ice cream in a pointed cone cost 5 cents;  a double scoop in a flat-bottomed cone cost 7 cents (until it went up to 10 cents).  How they ever kept their patience with us indecisive little kids buying penny candy I don't know.  Their yard was a haven for violets which they gave me permission to pick.

When I was very young our family's water supply was not public water but was purchased and hauled by the truckload and poured into a cistern near our house.  Mom was more than careful about water usage -- there was little waste in our home.  One day one of the Stephens boys told my sister he'd thrown a cat into the cistern.  What an awful thing to do!  After draining the water from the cistern my father lowered a ladder, climbed down with cleaning supplies, and found no cat.  That boy!

The Stonestreets lived in the other side of our duplex for a number of years.  There were the parents and two boys in the family:  Billy and -- I can't remember the other boy's name.  Billy was my age and we often played together on my swing set or in the sandbox.  We pulled each other in my wagon or rode my trike.  I think the family moved before I started school because I don't remember him being in school with me.  Strangely enough, I have more childhood photos with Billy than any other children.

The Brocks lived in a house on Main Street  beside the Youngs.  Their back yard was fairly long and met ours at the corner.  Frankie was a year or two older than me but we often played together, too -- the usual sandbox, swings, trike, wagon.  He lived there longer than any of the other children in our neighborhood and I think, when we were a little older, we played cowboys and Indians. 

The Hancoxes were a sweet older couple who lived alone in the house next to ours across Merchant Street.  Their house sat back from the street, toward the rear of their lot.  They had a tall cherry tree in their front yard and grew petunias in a flower bed near their porch.  (I don't favor the fragrance of petunias, but not because of the Hancoxes.) 

They had both been married before and each had a child from the previous marriage.  When they remarried they had a son who lived in nearby Niles and he and his wife had a daughter named Linda, about two years older than me.  Linda visited in the summer for several weeks at a time.  She went to bed very late and didn't get up till noon.  I would have done the same had my parents let me but they didn't and her sleeping late was a frustration to me.  I'm sure her grandparents got tire of me checking to see if she was awake every hour or so from 9 a.m. till noon.

The Bakers lived across the street from my grandparents.  My memory tells me there were just Mrs. Baker and her adult daughter, Jean.  Mrs. Baker loved to bake and often shared her baked goods with my grandmother.  She introduced us to no-bake cookies, but not knowing their name, we called them Mrs. Baker's Cookies.  (Don't you love our creative name for them?)

When I was a little older, perhaps 10 or so, there were several children who lived in my grandparent's triplex for brief periods of time.  Other children lived streets away so it took a little more effort to arrange playtime than when I was younger and the kids lived next door.  From about the time I was 8 or 9, riding bikes probably took up more of our time in the summer than any other activity.  We also played cards -- war, rummy -- and a few board games. 

Thanks to Randy Seaver for creating Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and for inventing the fun topics.

--Nancy.

Copyright © 2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved. .

12 comments:

  1. I remember Islay's, we would get a cone after church on Sunday mornings.

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    1. Hi, Claudia. What a fun family memory. I think Isaly's started in your area, right, somewhere near Pittsburgh? I wish they were still in business, but I wonder what a cone would cost these days!

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  2. Did you know that the Stonestreets moved to McDonald and that Bill married Phyllis Hermison?

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    1. I knew the Stonestreets moved to McDonald, Jim, but I didn't know who Bill married. (Do I know Phyllis Hermison?) I remember seeing Bill when we were in high school and reminding him who I was but he didn't remember and ignored me. (Do men's memories not go so far back women's?)

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    2. Phyllis graduated the year before us at the Ridge. I don't know how memories work but I think they (men and women) remember different things. One of the things I miss most about my next younger sister was what each of us remembered about the same event.

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    3. You're probably right, Jim, because men and women seem to be sensitive or aware of different things (inherent to maleness and femaleness). My siblings and I are 6 years and 11 years apart, both older than me. Our memories of specific experiences mostly don't overlap at all because of the age difference. (Although I've noticed that my sisters seems to not have any memory at all of some of the things we experienced together.) It would be interesting to have a sibling close in age and discuss memories. I'm sorry your younger sister is gone, Jim.

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  3. Another great post! Growing up in a town neighborhood must have been so different than my rural experience on a farm. We didn't have close neighbors. My aunt and uncle lived a little more than 8 telephone poles down the dirt road. I would count them as I walked to their house. I guess it would have been about a mile or so. My playmates were my brother and sister and a few cousins until I was a teenager and then my social life expanded a bit.

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen. It would be very different to live on a farm (for me) or in a town (for you). I suppose you and your siblings became good friends, or at least good playmates.

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  4. I have written several posts about my childhood and neighbors. I think we could have fit right in on Furnace Street.

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    1. I can't remember if you came from a small town, Wendy, but we would have welcomed you in our neighborhood!

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