[Written by Charles E. Page in Aug. 2002]
These are old pictures from our album and short tales about them.
For a more complete story about our days at the camp, click on my story, "Tale of Town of Stockbridge and Munnsville"
[l to r] Alyce Page, Genevieve Diable, Charles Page, Darwin Diable
It was sometime in the 1930's when my parents bought me a bicycle. It was new and shiny and red. When my neighbor friend, Darwin Diable, saw it he persuaded his father to get him one. His was new and shiny and blue. Almost every day we spent time cleaning and polishing them with oily rags to keep them sparkling bright. Of course they were standard one-speed bikes with coaster brakes operated by back pedaling with your foot. This was a big improvement over the old bike our family previously had. That was one given to us by our neighbor in Oneida, Susie Field Starr. It had no brakes. It had a "fixed drive"; that is, to stop, you had to slow down the forward pedaling and try to hold back on the pedals. If a hill was very steep you might not be able to hold it back and you would have to get off and walk down the hill, or let it go wildly out of control down the hill with pedals whirling faster and faster.
When I got the new one, my sister, Alyce, took over the old bicycle. Darwin's sister, Genevieve, also had inherited a similar old bicycle. So the four of us spent a lot of time riding around the back, dirt roads, and on the cowpaths, etc. Sometimes we would pack a lunch and take a longer trip. One time we decided to ride to Hamilton to the movies. So we started out by pushing our bikes up the steep hill that crossed Oneida Creek at the beginning of the "gulley" just below the Diable farm. From there we followed Johnson Road [through the farmyard of the Ward family, later famous for the murder trial of around 1982] and Fearon Road, across Cramer Road, on to White's Corners, and the back road into Hamilton Village. In those days you would often come to a spring-fed watering trough by the side of the road. Farmers would provide these for passers by to water their horses. There was still a lot of horse and buggy/wagon travel on the back roads then. I remember one place on the White's Corners Road. Cool, clear water had been piped from a spring just off the road and was running into a wooden trough. A glass peanut butter jar was hung on the top of a post for people to use. It was a pleasant shady spot where we stopped to rest.
When we reached the Hamilton Theater we were disappointed to find we had already seen the movie, so we rode on to Bouckville, along the back road to Solsville, and on to Oriskany Falls where we were in time for the movie at that theater. Between Bouckville and Solsville at a hamlet we called Lyons Mills, [there was a water-powered sawmill there], I found a turtle in the road, a small one about an inch and a half in diameter. Disregarding his small size we named him Hercules. We took him home, but let him go at the end of the summer when had to go back to school.
After the movie we rode home by way of the Strip [Cole St., out of Solsville, over the same route my Great Grandfather took when he walked to build the Siloam Church in the Town of Smithfield. [See my story "Two Towns Linked".]
The hamlet of Siloam was formerly called Ellinwood Hollow. Some members of the Ellinwood Family are buried in the graveyard behind the Siloam Church.
"Siloam Church in 2002"
"The Old Ranch House" 1935 Alyce and Charles in windows
"Pages' Camp in Winter" Alyce and Charles on Roof
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