Oral History Interviews

“One progress to another”

The Orleans County Historical Association’s local history interviews are such a wonderful treasure trove for anyone interested in local history or daily life in the not so distant past. The Library Director plans to read all of the interviews this winter; they are housed at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library and are available for check out.

The first interview Catherine read was conducted in 1979 with the then ninety year old Mrs. Minnie Allis. She described daily life on a farm, when straw was placed under the rugs for insulation, and how her mother made mincemeat for her father’s favorite pie by grinding up the heart, tongue and other scraps of meat leftover from butchering.

She married Ray Allis, son of Jay Allis “the Peach King”, they lived on the Allis homestead on Bates Road. She helped her husband on the farm. One year they decided to use the cabbage planter to plant tomatoes. Nobody thought it would work, but it did and soon all of the farmers were planting their tomatoes similarly. As she observed, that has been how times have changed “one progress to another.” A lively lady, Mrs. Allis was also an artist who made cards, dolls, stenciled furniture and loved to paint, especially renditions of their barn.

It was a pleasure to get to know her through the interview. Make sure to stop by and read some of the other interviews today.

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