Haag, Rita / If you look back, it's not that far: memories of Mary Stella Sutter Haag recorded at age 103
Part I: Growing up in Perry, pp. -30 PDF (9.0 MB)
After the addition was put on, Mary and her sister Rose shared one of the upstairs bedrooms and her brothers shared the other in which there were two beds along the wall. "There was plenty of room. They were big enough rooms but we didn't each have our own bed. Two in a bed..sometimes three. We had no closets, so dad...took boards (about a foot wide) and put shelves in. So we laid our clothes in there. We had hooks along the wall. Then we'd usually put a curtain over it...to keep the dust out. We had some dressers then too. But that was just plain." The bed frames were purchased. Mary recalls that such things weren't expensive and for three or four dollars you could buy a bed. "We had no mattresses, we just had boards across, then we had a big bag and we filled that with straw, either straw or corn husks. The last years we had corn husks. "In the winter we used to have flannel blankets instead of sheets. Then we got featherbeds to cover up. Everybody had ducks--we pulled the feathers out and mother washed them. They made pillows and featherbeds. It took quite a few feathers. I know we had two of them. The boys had one at our place and the girls. Featherbeds were warm. That's all you'd need, you didn't need half a dozen spreads or anything--soft, they weren't heavy." Today down pillows are considered a luxury but years ago, even poor families with geese in the yard rested their heads on them. "We had geese and we took the fine feathers and the long feathers and we pulled the down off. Oh it was lotta work." Mary's father worked on the addition and remodeling, but hi::ed most of it done. "Well he helped, but he had different builders. He wasn't a carpenter, he was just a farmer at that time... we didn't have the tools. My dad didn't have a workshop but he had a barn and then there was a lean-to put on later and that's where he had all his tools. He done a lot of things, what he needed for fencing and all that stuff." Time was a big factor too, since every farm chore had to be done by hand or with horses. A farmer didn't have the luxury of free time to work on a building project. By the same token, a builder who learned the trade spent most of his time building because that also took a lot longer. When they started something, often they had to work quite awhile on it.
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