Stratton House Inn :: Little Home Histories, Part 11 -- Flax-Wool-Soap Making.
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by Bundy, Dillwyn C.

See previous entry: Little Home Histories, Part 10 -- The Chalkley Bundy Home.

Every farm grew flax and almost every home had its spinning wheel and many had looms not only for weaving carpets but for making woolen cloth called "Linsey Woolsy". The boy who had a "Linsey Woolsy Wampus" had something to be proud of.

Lye for soapmaking was a part of each family's outfit. It was made by pouring water over wood ashes and collecting the liquid to be boiled down to the right consistency. Various methods were used. A common one was to set a bottomless wooden barrel on a wooden slab with four legs. The front ones being short so the lye could run into an iron or stone container by means of a groove in the slab around the barrel and to the lower side. Ashes were placed in the barrel and water poured on from time to time until the required amount was made.

One small boy mistook a saucer of lye for a saucer of molasses being cooled for taffy, and drank some with the result of having no tonsils to be removed in later years.

Ezekiel Bundy brought the first grain separator to the township. It was by Hoyle brothers at Smithfield and was kept in operation most of the winter. A black man, Jim Peterson got his arm mangled so that Ezekiel Bundy kept him and his family as pensioners. In later years, the black man spoke of it as the good old tines. They did not have money to spend but when flour, cornmeal and meat were needed these things came from Ezekiel Bundys storehouse. Each fall he would take them to the store and outfit them with warm clothing and good stout shoes.

Before the grain separator came into use the grubber, which was a cylinder mounted on a frame and operated by horsepower, was used to separate the grain from the straw. Men kept the straw pitched to one side and grain and chaff on the other. The old Robert Smith barn had a floor laid of strips and when horses tramped the grain out of the straw, it would drop to the floor below ready for the mill.

The first reaper in the neighborhood was owned by Ezekiel Bundy. The driver rode the saddle horse and the operator sat on a stool with a wooden rake to push the grain onto the platform and the bunches were pushed off to be bound by hand. Later a second man stood on the platform and bound the sheaves before they were thrown off.

The first grain drill was left in the shed for years because it caused more work for the farmers to get the ground in order to use the drill than it did to sow the grain by hand.

Source: Written by: Dillwyn C. and Elizabeth Bundy, Tacoma, Ohio.

See next entry: Little Home Histories, Part 12 -- John Bundy Homestead.

For the table of contents and first entry in this series, please see: Little Home Histories, Part 01 -- Table of Contents and Introduction.

This entry is adapted from Little Home Histories in Our Early Homes, Belmont County, Ohio, which was published in 1942. Its publication was coordinated by Robert D. and Beulah Patten McDonald. This entry has been reedited for inclusion in the Pierian Press Fulltext eBooks database, and is included on the Stratton House Inn Website by special permission. This entry is licensed for use ONLY on this Website. It may be used for educational purposes and personal pleasure under fair-use provisions via this Website. Please note that the Stratton House Inn iteration of this entry does NOT include the subject headings assigned each chapter for use in the Fulltext eBooks database.

CO-AUTHOR: Bundy, Elizabeth.

DATABASE: Fulltext eBooks: Copyright (c) 2002 The Pierian Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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