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Le Courant

Automne 2012 | 14

Market day

Market Day It is the winter of 1937-1938 and the time is 7.30h A.M. on a clear morning in January, with the temperature about 30 degrees below zero (Farenheit). The day is Friday, and this means market day for the Nichols family. Eggs, cream, butter, and generally a couple of chickens, which were ready for the oven, were taken to Sherbrooke, for delivery to customers in the old North Ward. The first thing after chores were done was to take a pan about 18” in diameter, and 4 or 5” high in to the dining room where the old box stove was. The fire in here had been lit about 5 a.m. and was now reduced to a bed of red hot coals. These were taken cut with a fire shovel, put in the pan, taken to the garage, and set under the oil pan, to warm the oil. After breakfast, both my mother and father would go out to the garage. My father would adjust both the choke and the spark, then my mother would get into the driver’s seat, and my father would go around to the front of 1929 whippet and start cranking. The car usually started, and it was my mother’s job to make sure it did not stall. If it did, more than the coals usually became hot, especially, if it would not start again. On certain occasions, the horses would be hitched up to pull it, and try to start it on compression. This usually worked, and after it was running a pail of hot water was brought out and put in the radiator, as there was no anti-freeze then. Once the produce was loaded, it was across the field to the top of Libbey Hill (about a quarter mile) because there was less snow in the field, as the wind had blown it all away. Winter roads were not planned until around 1940. At the top of Libbey Hill, it was back into the road, as there was a solid board fence about 8 feet high the entire length of the hill, and this protected the road from drifting snow. From the foot of the hill the road was much more protected as it followed the river valley, and winds were much lighter. Also the farther you went toward town, the more traffic there was to keep the road open. If you did become stuck in snow, tire chains would have to be put on and shovelling done, but there was always someone from a nearby farm who would come out to help if he saw you were in trouble. The tire chains were usually old, as this was just at the end of the depression and money was scarce but monkey links were plentiful. (A quick fix for broken cross chains). After delivery in town, it was down to the market where meat was purchased, and visiting done with friends and relatives who were selling their produce here. On the way home groceries were purchased in Huntingville, and then home, often having to walk from the foot of Libbey Hill ,get the horses and pull the car up the hill and home. Another market day was over. Russell Nichols

Le Courant

Le Courant est publié par la Société une fois par année. Membres de la société, historiens professionnels et amateurs partagent avec les lecteurs le fruit de leurs recherches. Les textes sont disponibles en français et en anglais. La publication de cette revue est rendue possible grâce au soutien de commanditaires locaux que nous remercions avec toute notre gratitude.


Société d'histoire de Coaticook

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Coaticook, Québec
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