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Who Once Lived Here?

I have been neglectful in keeping up this blog. For this I apologize. It’s summer, which means more time at Squabetty. I spend a lot of my time thinking about the people who once lived here. As I grow older, I become more reflective of the old stone walls, the cellar holes and stone wells. I wander along them, wondering about the lives of the farmers and families who lived here on the mountain side. I touch a rock wall and wonder about who put that rock there. What was his life like 100, 150 years ago? I find the old apple trees, out of place in a forest of maples, ash and beech trees. What were the people like who ate these apples so many years ago? Did they make jelly or pie? I go to the town offices and search back in the land records. I love small town Vermont records. There are books of handwritten entries about the people who lived and died here. Gazetteers tell of livelihoods and census data tell about who lived in the house. We know that in 1887 John Flynn, his wife Ann and their 5 children were living in the house when a 2 mile long landslide came “within a few rods of John Flynn’s house.” In 1900, Fred Shanley lived in the house with his wife, 4 children and 6 other relatives or laborers. I know the rock which sits at the base of the stone steps leading up to the front door has carvings in it. I can make out the name Redmond. The town records tell me that Rufus Redmond bought the place in 1913. I continue to search for stories, journals – something more personal and robust than dates and ages and names. The search is long and so far I have found very little of flavor. But that doesn’t really matter. The more I learn, even simple dates, the more inquisitive I get. Answers beget more questions. And search continues.

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