Thanks to Laurie Yuill for transcribing it.
Ken Manson, Interview with Helen & Jimmie Dodds, Side 1
Ken Manson: This is January the 5th, 1986, a very, very mild day. 39 degrees Fahrenheit, quite windy and balmy. The snow is melting and the roads are wet. Lyle (Manson, Ken’s oldest son, born June 18, 1952 – died May 25, 1994) was away fishing this morning on Dalhousie Lake. They got one small pickerel. Lyle and Dale Bowes have built a fishing hut, insulated and all, I haven’t seen it yet, but they’ve been getting a few pretty good pickerel, four pounders, and they taste real good at this time of the year out of the cold water. He has some time off now, He works for Tomlinson crushing and gravel, driving a Euclid. And they have shut down for some time during the winter and colder weather. So this gives him an opportunity to get at the fishing which he sure likes.
We had a two week deer hunting season this past fall. Not too many people were too happy about it, but it didn’t prove out too bad I guess, on the deer herd because it was very, very wet weather. I seen quite a few dear, but I didn’t see my buck. So I guess I got my share last year. Kevin (Manson, Ken’s youngest son, born February 16, 1957), he got a dandy buck, fourteen pointer. And Bill (King, Ken’s son-in-law, born November 20, 1944 – died May 15, 2017), he got one, and Daryl (King, Ken’s Grandson and Bill’s son, born December 19, 1969), so they had some pretty good luck this year even though it was wet weather. And Laurie (Manson, Ken’s middle son, born June 25, 1954), he hasn’t had any luck for a good many years, the last one, he shot, was at the Whipple Tree Runway, in back of Mickie Penman’s old place. But this year he shot two of them, and he was hunting up with his father-in-law, Joe Lalonde’s gang. They got three, Willie shot one, and Keith, he had a bow and arrow license and he got one with the bow, a doe, the week before hunting season.
But there sure is a lot of deer trailing around through the snow here not too far out of the village. I stopped yesterday and showed Veryl (Manson, nee Foster, Ken’s wife, born August 5, 1925) a trail that goes down over the hill heading down to Addie Somerville’s (nee Munro, born August 19, 1914 – died December 25, 1987, wife to Matthew Ernest Somerville. They lived South West at 438 Wolfgrove Road, just outside of Middleville) house. They apparently are coming up and feeding at night in the fields I guess, over in John Borrowman’s. There has been quite a number killed with cars, and boy, they sure make a wreck of some of these cars when they get hit with a deer like that. Alice McKay down here, she hit one, one morning down at Maggie Baird’s (1046 Herron Mill’s Road) place there, or the old place there where Karl Thompson used to live. This street here has experienced a couple of deaths this winter and fall. On the fourth of October, Bower Cameron passed away in his sleep in bed, Audrey (Cameron, nee Wert, Bower’s daughter-in-law. They lived at 2055 Concession Road 6 in Middleville) found him there in the morning. He was 83. And then I was coming home from my walk on a Saturday, December 28th, (1985) when I came in sight of the house here, I could see an ambulance, at Harry Mitchell’s (2052 Concession Road 6, in Middleville). And they loaded Harry up and took him to the Hospital in Perth, but he died there about 8:00 that evening. And we think he was in his 82nd year.
I have been taking my holidays in the last three weeks of June for the last few years and have enjoyed the company of these two men at that time and boy, we are sure going to miss them. Because they were always out yacking and talking away to you. So, the only ones left now on this street is Agnes Yuill, and Archie Yuill and Margaret (Agnes, born April 3, 1895 – died August 31, 1992, and Archie, born February 10, 1902 – died October 16, 1990, were sister and brother. Margaret nee McIntyre, born February 15, 1904 – died February 1, 1993, was Archie’s wife. They lived at 2048 Concession Road 6, in Middleville) and Mrs. Harry Mitchell (Ethel nee Barr) and Bill Croft (born 1902 – died 1986) I guess will be the oldest ones now. Jimmie Dodds in the other end of the town is still living and he is 91. Willie Creighton is in the Hospital right now recovering real well from a bypass heart operation. He has had a problem now with his heart for a couple of years anyway. So he’s got in and had his operation and is doing real well. Daryl King has turned 16 of lately and got his driver’s license the first test, so he is keeping the loose change gathered up now very well. It costs money to drive these cars now with our no lead gas 54.7 a litre, that is.
Hi, I want to come in and have a chat with yous and take your picture… Yes, sure…. Just because I’m interested in people that are older than I am, and their stories. I have a tape recorder here to I want… Oh Yes
Helen Powers: This fellow came to us.
Ken Manson: Oh really…. Oh, somebody just dropped it… Oh yes, yes.
Helen Powers: Oh dear, I remember I got something….
Ken Manson: Have you, good for you. Well I just wanted to, I’m up here to talk to Jimmie Dodds (born December 8, 1894 – died April 29, 1990) and his sister Helen (Jacklin, wife of deceased John M. Jacklin, and wife of ? Powers. She was born 1901 – died 2000). This thing recording our voices here. And, oh, you’re having a birthday again Jimmie.
Jimmie Dodds: Well, I had one in December
Ken Manson: December
Jimmie Dodds: December 8th, I was 91 years of age.
Ken Manson: Isn’t that great. And you have good health too.
Jimmie Dodds: Well, I guess, I’m not able to do any hard work though.
Ken Manson: Well no, you’re not going to the bush at all.
Jimmie Dodds: No, no, I couldn’t, I did years ago.
Ken Manson: Yes, you’ve done lots of bush work. How old would Harold be if he was living now? (Harold Dodds, Jimmie’s brother)
Jimmie Dodds: He was a little less than two years older than me.
Ken Manson: Oh, he was?
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah, his birthday is in March. Yeah, he was about 18 or 19 months older than me. Something like that.
Ken Manson: And can I ask how old you are Helen?
Helen Powers: 84
Ken Manson: You’re 84. So, you’re a year younger than my mother.
Helen Powers: What year was she born?
Ken Manson: She was born in 1900.
Helen Powers: Mrs. Harry Stead and I were born in 1901.
Ken Manson: Oh, really? So, the farm that you came from Jimmie, was that your father and mother lived there all their life?
Jimmie Dodds: Well, my father was born over there, I think. Yes, I think most of his family, brothers and sisters were born there.
Ken Manson: What was his name? I’ve forgotten now.
Jimmie Dodds: My father was Jim Dodds too.
Ken Manson: Oh, it was Jimmie Dodds?
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah
Ken Manson: And what about your Great Grandfather
Jimmie Dodds: Well, ah, his father?
Ken Manson: Yeah
Jimmie Dodds: Well, his father’s name was Crawford and his son’s that you know about, Crawford Dodds.
Ken Manson: Yeah
Jimmie Dodds: He lived on the farm there up until 1900. And we come up and …..
Ken Manson: Is that where you were born?
Jimmie Dodds: Harold and I and Jennie were born there and Helen was born of course… Helen and the younger girls were born over there.
Ken Manson: Oh, and yous came up from Tom Whelan’s old place?
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah, Tom Whelan’s, at that time there were two places…. near the river and the other where Tom Whelan’s lived. I think there had been a, did you ever hear a song about a Whelan’s that drowned in the Mississippi?
Ken Manson: No
Jimmie Dodds: You usually hear that song sung. Jim Whelan was drowned in the Mississippi.
Ken Manson: Oh, and somebody made a song about it.
Jimmie Dodds: They made a song. I remember I was at Calabogie at the dams there and …. good singers sang these old songs at night, and that was one of the songs. Harold and I, we knew about the … we come from where father and I lived.
Ken Manson: Well, I was just interested… where did you go to school?
Jimmie Dodds: Well, I gone over to the school in Middleville
Ken Manson: Oh, you did.
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah. Harold went one year to, there was an older school down below Lanark on the road t…
Ken Manson: Knowles’
Jimmie Dodds: Knowles’, yeah, maybe you know where it is. Maybe there’s an old building there yet. Where Mac Knowles lived.
Ken Manson: Well, I’ve been wanting to get up here and have a wee chat with you because I thought likely you’d have some stories of bygone days.
Jimmie Dodds: Did you ever hear the story about the fellow who was shot up Bob Pretty’s there….
Ken Manson: No
Jimmie Dodds: There’s an old man that, I forget the old man that lived there. I forget what his name was, but…
Helen Powers: Not Jack Virgin?
Jimmie Dodds: No, no, no, the man that lived up at Pretty’s there long ago, that’s way over a hundred years ago, I don’t think….but this man, he, a girl went out to Hopetown and…there was a young fellow over near Hornes Lake, he walked home with this girl. Well apparently the old man was mad about that and he shot…I don’t know, he didn’t shoot the fellow, not that night, no, but he threatened him pretty bad, and the fellow got up a gang and came back again at night. And the old man got out his gun and you know, they were breaking into his house. And of course he had to…and he shot the young man, well he didn’t die just there. They carried him out to where Lloyd Pretty lives there and he died there. He was a young man over by Horns Lake there. And that was the story, and of course in those days they didn’t do anything about this man murdering a fellow…defend his own house.
Ken Manson: Well, now, isn’t that, I’ve never heard that before. Now that is interesting.
Jimmie Dodds: Well Lloyd Stewart, he knew about it…his father wasn’t supposed to go over, he took down an upstairs window and went with the gang. Anyway, that young fellow, he took sick and died. I think they carried him home, he lived a little while. But I know……
Ken Manson: Yes. Well, they’d likely have a little trial among themselves.
Jimmie Dodds: Well, you’d think so.
Ken Manson: Well, isn’t that something. And another thing I was talking about one day, somebody asked me was, was this road always here? Was that a forced road always there, Jimmie, do you remember?
Jimmie Dodds: Well now, I can’t tell you about that.
Ken Manson: Or did you have to go down to the Seventh Line corner and go up the Seventh Line to go to Harold’s?
Jimmie Dodds: Well, I think there’s always been a road because….
Ken Manson: Yeah, I suppose eh. And you worked on, you and Harold worked on the hydro dam, was it?
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah, I worked there on the…
Ken Manson: Would that be right at Calabogie?
Jimmie Dodds: Well, just a little down below where the power….
Ken Manson: What year would that be, Jimmie, would you have any idea?
Jimmie Dodds: I think it was, the 1st World War was at an end because….
Ken Manson: That’d be 1914’s.
Jimmie Dodds: Somewhere, yeah, somewhere in the teens. Oh, I tell you, I was about sixteen or seventeen. Not long before there was a band of soldiers that marched down from Calabogie and camped at Middleville overnight. Maybe you’ve heard of the time the soldiers camped in the fairgrounds here.
Ken Manson: Yes
Jimmie Dodds: That was in the 1st World War, in 1917 or there abouts.
Ken Manson: Didn’t they put one in jail that time.
Jimmie Dodds: There was some story, yes….
Ken Manson: And they put this guy in jail.
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah, he spent one night there and they had to march down the back road….
Ken Manson: How are you getting the winter in, pretty good?
Jimmie Dodds: Oh yeah.
Ken Manson: You’ve missed the flu?
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah, so far. Although, I wouldn’t like to go to the bush and do anything.
Ken Manson: Do you still go down to the store once in a while?
Jimmie Dodds: Oh, I go down to the store every morning.
Ken Manson: Every morning?
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah
Ken Manson: Gosh, that’s great.
Jimmie Dodds: Of course, this morning there was no mail.
Ken Manson: No.
Jimmie Dodds: Oh I miss Harry Mitchell and Bower Cameron. They were always around.
Ken Manson: Oh, by gosh yeah. That’s for sure.
Jimmie Dodds: We got to know the Mitchell’s when Harold bought that place up there….
Ken Manson: How many years was Harold Reeve?
Jimmie Dodds: Well, I don’t, I couldn’t say off hand. Oh, I imagine two or three anyway.
Ken Manson: Yes.
Jimmie Dodds: Well I don’t,….
Helen Powers: Harold died in ’70. Just before Pioneer Days
Jimmie Dodds: He was getting ready to….
Ken Manson: By gosh, that’s right.
Jimmie Dodds: He came down a week before. He was unloading stuff and brought it down here a few days before.
Ken Manson: Your memory’s better than mine.
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah, and he told me something, he said you’ve got some old stuff over at the farm you could bring over too. Look at the picture of him and Lorne Stewart around here just a few days before the fair.
Ken Manson: Oh yes.
Helen Powers: …..trauma, that if she lives through it in July, she’ll be 102…Uncle John Dodds and Aunt Tenee, they used to live with Grandpa, they’re twins…..I have it somewhere.
Ken Manson: No, that’s fine Helen. By golly.
Jimmie Dodds: Well, I can remember her father’s mother there….1900 but…I knew a lady, I heard her talking in Gallic tongue. There was an old….minister come to Middleville. He was an Irishman. He had her reading out of her own bible in Gallic. And then…..
Helen Dodds: I remember Mary…saying one time she was down at…when she heard somebody shouting up….
Ken Manson: Yeah, you’re doing good Jimmie. You just look the same every year. You never change a bit.
Jimmie Dodds: I would have liked to go out and gather sap in the deep snow.
Ken Manson: Oh golly, you’d better forget about that. Well the snow’s not that deep this winter.
Jimmie Dodds: No, it’s not, it’s not really deep, no.
Ken Manson: No, but there’ll be a bit of a crust on it now, I guess.
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah, I guess.
Ken Manson: With that ice we had. Did you make syrup when you were at, over on…
Jimmie Dodds: We had about 75 trees there…..we used to make enough to do ourselves, you know….and Wilfred had a big bush, Wilfred had a really big bush too. One time Wilfred took a, one of those…
Ken Manson: When did you get your first car Jimmie?
Jimmie Dodds: Well, I can’t remember the year, but it was about a 1910 Chev ah Ford, Model T Ford.
Ken Manson: Yes.
Jimmie Dodds: So I drove it for twenty years, then I guess later on I gotta say I had a Chev.
Ken Manson: Yes.
Jimmie Dodds: I didn’t drive very much I guess. I drove, I don’t know…then Helen had a car…I quit driving.
Ken Manson: Oh yeah, right. Well sir Donnie’s got quite a setup thee for making syrup now.
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah, it’s good, yeah.
Ken Manson: You’ve been up there to have a look at it?
Jimmie Dodds: Oh I’ve been, oh yeah…..
Ken Manson: It’s pretty complete.
Jimmie Dodds: Yeah. Well, I worked with Harold for quite a few years in the bush there. I boiled most of the time.
Ken Manson: Oh yes.
Helen Powers: There’s that…picture at 100 years of age. Isn’t she beautiful there.
Ken Manson: Gosh, she sure is. And this is when she was a hundred?
Helen Powers: Yeah, it says on the back. July the 11th, 83….
Ken Manson: She’s a young looking woman there, isn’t she?
Helen Powers: And this is when she was in ’85, that’s last year, a year ago, last summer. And this was taken there to.
Ken Manson: At the same time.
Helen Powers: But that’s her only child, Frank…And this is the class reunion we had two years ago. 28th of April, we had it two years ago. We’re all there but Eva…She was upstairs talking to a teacher or somebody.
Ken Manson: Oh yeah, and who took those pictures? They done a good job.
Helen Powers: Well, that was off my wee camera, but it was enlarged.
Ken Manson: Oh yeah, that’s good…..
Helen Powers: I’m sorry Eva’s not there. The teacher and Eva are upstairs talking. That’s at the school. Albert’s there.
Ken Manson: Albert?
Helen Powers: Yeah we made sure that, we made it early on account that he was suffering…
Ken Manson: Yeah, right. Now this was your school class.
Helen Powers: Yes. Eva was the only one out of the room.
Ken Manson: This guy?
Helen Powers: Harold Moyer.
Ken Manson: Harold Moyer.
Helen Powers: He’s the first cousin of Bill’s.
Ken Manson: He’s the first cousin of Bill….I seen him with Bill last summer…Who’s this? I can’t see who this is.
Helen Powers: Tina…
Ken Manson: Oh, that’s Tina…I should maybe write that name down on the back before I forget.
Helen Powers: And these are the pictures of Johnny’s son. Ryan.
Ken Manson: Oh yes….Golly that’s good.
Stay tuned for side 2
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun Screamin’ Mamas (USA) and The Sherbrooke Record