I Remember When: Reverand T.R. Easterday came to the Sault and first taught school.

In 1923, The Sault Evening News put together a booklet of recollections by its readers. I will be sharing some of these from time to time. I did take the liberty to correct some of the grammar and spelling to make it easier for you to read.  

– Laurie Davis

I remember when there were no lamps, and when our mother used to work at night with a torch made out of a piece of rag on a stick. At that time there was no soap. The Indian women used to take their clothes and pound them with stones. They used clay for soap. I also remember when Antoine Piquette and John Bouoha carried mail from the Soo to Saginaw and made the trip in six days. We used to catch Pike and Suckers out on Shunk Road, in the little creek, this side of George Tardiff’s. I also remember when there wasn’t a canal. Antoine Piquette caught many of the fish used by the In­dians. When he would come in he would throw the fish down at his door, and everyone could help themselves. It isn’t like that nowadays. – (Mrs. Gabriel Shawano, Mrs. Charlotte Gob, 1094 Maple Street)

I remember when “Our Boys” as we were so pleased to call them, came home from the Spanish-American War. Oh, what a glad and glorious day for the dear old Soo. Everybody, young and old, laid aside their work to go to meet the train. At that time the depot was at the head of West Spruce Street. The crowd was gathered along both sides of the street, eagerly awaiting the train’s arrival. Everyone cried and shouted when the train pulled in, and the “boys” alighted. Some of our loyal citizens hoisted the “late Colonel Welch, then Captain, upon their shoulders and put him in a gig. They paraded triumphantly up and down the streets, singing “There’s a hot time in the old town tonight,” at the top of their voices. Oh Boy! Those were the good old days when youth was served. Folks were not as suave as they are today, and our celebrations were numerous and accompanied by noise and fun for all. (Mrs. M. Renshaw, 125 Eureka Street)

In the wintertime, the steward in Old Fort Brady used to take the weather observation at nine o’clock at night. The lowest recorded was 50 degrees below zero for one night. The average temperature was from 30 to 45 degrees below zero. Men could not work outside. The snow was very deep. Sometimes the twenty-second infantry would have to walk across the river to make a path so people could go back and forth. (James Shannon, 425 Cedar Street)

When the first boom struck the Sault, I was coming from St. Ignace, and we reached the Sault in time for supper. We could get plenty to eat but no beds. I paid one dollar to lay on the floor (not sleep) in the Chippewa House, and it was crowded at that. (D.B. Smith, Port Huron, MI)

When Frank Lessard, Village Marshal, and Judge Ashmun were the officials here, an old building on Plank Alley, was used for an ice house in the summer and a jail in the winter. The lawbreakers were prisoners for a short time, as it was a log building and there were spaces between the logs that captives could climb and easily make an escape, through a window that was fastened from the inside. The building was in the back of the Strand Theatre location then. (Mrs. B.J.M McKerchie, 302 Easterday )

On crisp, cold winter mornings, when I was a boy, I could distinctly hear the thunderous sound of the rapids at our old farm home at the foot of Ashmun Street hill. In fact, this was one method we had of judging the temperature. For the colder it was, the louder came the sound. That muffled roar has now been silenced forever by the hand of man. Some change! (John N. Adams, 114 Easterday)

Reverand T.R. Easterday came to the Sault and first taught school. Many a good licking he gave me. I guess I was the pick of the bad boys in the Sault at that time. (George Hopkins, 720 Ashmun Street)

The first ferry boats were two sailboats and they were owned and ran by Charles and Louis Mirron, of the Canadian Sault. The first big ferry named the “Dime” was owned by E. Parr of Sault, Ontario. Sam Bernier was the Captain of her. The next ferry was the Nellie Banton owned by Mr. Banton of the Canadian Sault. I ran the Banton. This was 26 years ago. (Sam Pryor, 1090 Cedar Street)

Laurie Davis, Columnist
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One Comment

  1. I really enjoy the recollections you have posted. Looking forward to reading more soon.

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