Tag Archives: Brimfield

February 28, 1913 “Lest We Forget”

Now, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: This diary can be excruciatlingly BORING!! Aside from the nostalgic value to me or maybe it’s the historical value from a family history standpoint, it’s interesting. Interesting enough to take the time to post these blogs, anyway!! Clem died in 1955 at age 67. I was only about 2 1/2 at the time and my memory of him is more from the pictures that I’ve seen of him with my grandmother, or the picture of him holding me outside the house at 32-34 Tyler Street in Springfield, Massahcusetts. (That reminds me, I should track that one down and scan it for the blog) And, of course, this diary which is 100 years old this year! So for me, that’s where he lives…in the photos and this diary. In that respect, this diary is important to me, and I hope that some of the readers can get at least a little something out of it!

"LEST WE FORGET" February 28, 1913

“LEST WE FORGET” February 28, 1913

Weather a little colder with a little snow. Cullerne and Steve went to town on the 1:30 AM. Steve left for Seattle.

I stay in the car and over in the office all day.

More “Clem” news on the Grand Trunk Pacific—January 4, 1913

From “Lest We Forget”, here’s my grandfather’s entry in his diary from Tuesday, January 4, 1913:

The weather is about the same 20 [degrees] below. We did not go out to work today because we had run out of coal and Steve and I had to look around for wood. Cullerne went to Carval and told us to get some wood. We asked he sec. man where we could get some and he told us he had some already cut. We went over and got it and told Cullerne that we had a hard time getting the wood.

First, telling his boss he had a hard time getting the wood strikes me as my grandfather’s wry sense of humor. Instead of being tasked with chopping down trees with Steve, they just had to walk a little and pick it up from a pile of wood ready to burn!

Second, I have to tell you that I couldn’t find the HDMI cable to hook up Karen’s laptop to the flat screen. I was a little cranked about that. I finally tracked it down. Someone (me) had wrapped it up and put it in my carrying case to take with me to the next class at the Hitchcock Free Academy in Brimfield, MA. More on that later…I’ll only have 4 or 5 students this go-around… No problem with that, I like small “cozy” classes! But when I read that my grandfather couldn’t work because they didn’t have any coal, it was too cold to work and their boss told them to go out and “get some wood”…kinda put things into perspective for me!

At least I haven’t lost the remote in the past few days…

This old wagon at the Carvel General Store in Carvel may have been around when Clem was up there 100 years ago!

This old wagon may have been around at the Carvel General Store when Clem was up there 100 years ago!

Here’s a link to the Carvel General Store: http://www.carvelgeneralstore.ca/about-us.html

Introduction to Genealogy—Becoming a Genealogy Detective!

Anyone near Wilbraham, MA tonight is welcome to stop at the Wilbraham Public Library tonight.  It’s the 3rd in a 4 part series “Introduction to Genealogy”.  Each week there have been more and more participants so feel free to call the library at 413-596-6141 to make sure there’ll be room!  Based on the popularity, I can see that there just might be some future programs.  The last in this series will be held February 11th where we’ll work on individual pedigree charts and whatever other subjects may come up.

This series is “sponsored” by the Western Massachusetts Genealogy Society (WMGS) in an effort to help people who are interested in family research and encourage them to take part in courses such as these and introduce them to WMGS.  Annual membership is only $20 and includes 10 monthly meetings held locally.

Over the full 4 sessions, we cover the basics of research, web sites (free and low-cost), definitions (soundex, vital records, etc), specific resources, naturalization, immigration, Ellis Island, name changes, spelling variations and “myth busting”!

Hopefully, some of you can make it tonight!  See you there.

Hitchcock Free Academy

This starts out with some friends of ours asking us to head up to Brimfield, MA to a concert on the village green. The “FLAMINGOS” were playing music from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. The Flamingos, you should know, is a band of women…about 14, I think… who mostly play horns: clarinet, trombone, sax… Great show! The weather was perfect and we all had a great time.

During the intermission, a woman with a very official look about her, took the mike and thanked everyone for coming and spoke of other programs that were coming to Brimfield.  And that got me thinking: “I’ve got a program I could bring to Brimfield!”

So when the show got started again and she returned to her seat, I decided to approach her and introduce myself.   As it turns out, she’s the Executive Director of the Hitchcock Free Academy!  I asked her, “Would you have any interest in having me conduct a class on genealogy and family research?”  I was pleasantly surprised at her reaction which was basically “Yes”….

So, we talked about what I had been doing in Springfield, Chicopee and Ludlow which, I explained could be tailored for whatever the folks in the Brimfield area might enjoy.  She explained what the academy was all about.  Here’s their mission statement directly from their web site: Mission: Hitchcock Free Academy is working to enrich the lives of our community members by providing educational, recreational, and cultural programs to residents of all ages from Brimfield, Holland, Sturbridge, Wales, and the surrounding communities.

After that conversation and another on the phone a day or so later, we decided that a program consisting of 4 classes could be run in October.  We’re shooting for a late afternoon session and another early in the evening.   Whether we run 1 a day or 2 would depend entirely on the response from the community.

But here’s the part that I find most interesting: I visited their web site and learned that the Academy had been originally established by a local businessman named Samuel Austin Hitchcock in 1855.  Well, I have plenty of HITCHCOCKs in my ancestry which intrigued me.  After a little research, it turns out that Samuel Austin Hitchcock (1794-1873) is a 4th cousin 4 times removed.  Our common ancestor is John Calvin Hitchcock (1642-1711).   Who knows who else I’ll find in Brimfield!  I just may end up with more cousins right there in one of the classes!

Almost forgot…Here’s a link to a video that will tell you all about the Academy and what they do….it’s really nothing short of incredible for a small New England town in central Massachusetts! Click here for the video of Hitchcock Free Academy.