June 17 • 02:07 AM

Old account book a window to price tags long gone

October 29, 2008
An old account book had been rattling around the old farm house ever since I could remember. Since I cannot throw anything away, it arrived with me back in Almont. I always assumed it was my Father's. As I began thumbing through it today, I realized it must have belonged to my Grandfather Park. The handwriting is not my Father's and the business transactions are from Dryden. My parents were married in 1900 and went to live and farm with my Grandparents, Jim and Gertie Miller on Glover Road east of Almont. Mansfield and Lucy Park farmed on the corner of Hollow Corners and Rochester Rd., now owned by cousin Bill and wife Addie Thorman.

On Sept. 14, 1904 Grandfather sowed a field north of the orchard to golden chaff wheat. On Sept. 16 and 17, west of grainery. Planted corn May 24, 1905. Grain threshed by Jim Rob in 1907. Wheat 180 bushel, oats 348 bushel. Wheat was 3 cents a bushel, oats, 2 cents a bushel, total $12.36. Grandfather had some cows bred to Daley's bull. Dark Jersey, Big Jersey, Jersey Daisy, Brown Cow, Grey Cow and Red Heiffer (we spell it heifer, maybe it has been shortened since the early 1900s).

Evidently Grandfather and Grandmother Park separated milk and made butter. H. Tucker must have had a store in 1900 and my Grandparents traded butter at .15 a pound for store goods. Such as, 2 pair of socks for 20 cents, 3 spools thread for 15 cents, 7-3/4 yards linen for $1.24, elastic 17 cents, 2 lbs. coffee 30 cents, one box salmon 15 cents, 1/2 doz. lemons 10 cents, one gal. molasses 40 cents, six tumblers 18 cents, one package soda 7 cents and one shirt for 50 cents.

Evidently my older brothers and I found the account book at one time and wrote in it. One of them wrote, "home scout 7, 13 year old boy can be a boy scout, 7 year old boy can be a home scout.'' Down lower I have written my name, Gertrude Park.

On another 1900 page, Grandfather sold a 1040 lb.beef for 3 cents a lb. bringing $31.20...WOW! And what did I pay for a steak to fix on my George Forman recently??? To R. Booth for grinding feed 20 cents, 1/2 lb. tea 20 cents, one lamp chimney 7 cents, railroad fare to Oxford and return 80 cents, for setting one horseshoe at F. Burnett's 25 cents, suit of clothes for Roy (my Father's brother) of C. Walker $8.20, one wash basin of M. Heenan (no bathroom back then) 20 cents, one notebook for Libbie (my Father's sister who married Howard Emmons of Romeo's Shoe Store) 5 cents, postage stamps at Post Office 10 cents, to J. Matthews for thrashing beans $4. And on it went in 1900.

But, would we want to 'visit Mrs. Jones' in the outside privy, get supper, do the dishes and read by kerosene lamps, heat the downstairs by wood stoves and freeze upstairs, heat the laundry water on the old cook stove and scrub on a scrubbing board in a washtub then take our Saturday night bath in the same tub?? Been there, done that.

— Country Cousin

Castle Creek
06 - 17 - 19
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