History ... as it should be ..
by FRANK AND ANTOINETTE BARCZAK
We began building our house on Little York Road in March of 1924. While I helped buid the house my wife and two children stayed at her mother's. When the house was partially finished around April 15 of that year she joined me. We set up two cribs, a stove and a table and lived in one room until completion. There were many mud holes in the road hampering travel. Lumber for the house could only be delived a portion of the way onto Little York. I had to bring in the balance of the way with a team of horses. The holes were so bad at one time that they had to fill them witih gravel and stones to allow a funeral procession to pass. Our school tax that year $42 and some change.
We had a herd of about 29 cows on 147 acres of land, 11 acres of which were black dirt. We raised onions, potatoes and carrots. On Aug. 15th of that year heavy rains caused a flood that ravised our entire crop. We had just hauled a load of oninon sets up to the yard before the rains came. It was sold for $1.35 per cwt.
Floods hit us again that year, during June. We had no sets that year, just regualar onion seed. We paid the Lust girls $4 dollars per day to help us with the weeding but lost the entire crop in the flood. Frank took sick in
August and was unable to work. I took care of the dairy with a hired man and hung on until Jan., 1929. We sold the dairy and some hay, managed to pay the taxes and lived on the $4,400 we realized from the sale. We also had chicken, pigs, ducks and geese and kept two cows for milk. Frank began to improve around 1930 and borrowed $3,000 and went to Owego with George Feagles and Bill Janiak and bought 27 cows. They were delivered to Pine Island by train. With the stock market crash of 1929 milk was cheap. We sold it for 89 cents per cwt. Complaits came in that the farmer's milk was of poor quality at that time so we had to drain off the poorer milk from the bottom of the milk cans with a special pipe. We fed that to the the pigs. Standards were set on the milk by the Dariymen's League that regulated the price. For 30,000 lbs.of milk our check was not enough to pay our way around. We needed about $75, so we renewed our note at the bank, paid the interest and borrowed on our life insurance policy to buy 4 tons of fertilizer for the black dirt. The cows took care of the fertilizer for the corn and hay fields. The Florida National Bank closed on Mar.3,1933 and we had $89 in our checking account that was frozen. It was reopened in November of that year. We sold our onions for $1.35 per cwt. that year. We lost our onion crop in July 1942 to the floods again. We fell back on the dairy.
All the work was done by hand on the black dirt and on the dairy farm. We gathered and raked hay by hand. Then in 1935 or 1936 we purchased a Bolens tactor, a hay tether and a set planter in 1937 and a hay loader in 1941. It was in 1937 witih the Rural Electritification Act that we received electricity. With the help of the Farm Bureau who prodded Orange & Rockland we were able to get the electricity and then get a milk cooler. Before that kept the cans of milk in a nearby spring to keep it cold. It was a thrill to get electricity, we can remember going from room to room putting on light switches.
We carried our milk to the Big Island creamery with horse and wagon. When my husband was sick I took the milk in myself. I can still remember one bad mud hole on the way that I thought I would never get through. After that creamery burned down we hauled it to one in Edenville and then to the one in Pine Island. The creamery in Edenville was closed when the Dairymen's League bought it. On our trip to town, it was a thrill to watch the locomotives turn completely around on the turnstyle in Pine Island which was located next to where the Pine Island Liquor Store is located today.
A total eclipse of the sun stands out in our minds that appeared on a cold January morning about 9:30 either in 1925 or 1926, we can't remember which year. It was beautiful, it was very cold, the snow crunched as you walked. My husband took the milk to the creamery with the horse and sleigh at the time. The corona was beautiful and it was like dusk. It was the only one we have ever seen.
We can still remember the taxpayers' meeting, with people complaining about the closing of the Mt. Eve School around 1938. It had been built around 1928. We took our horses for shoes to Felix Aelaskowski in Pine Island. The blacksmith shop was run by Pete and Stanley Majek before Mr. Zelaskowski operated it. We also took them to Mr. Ruszkiewicz in Florida. Life was simple in those days, we don't regret a day of it. The kids were home and were good. As parents we didn't have as much worry about as parents do today.
Many of the transcriptions found here are now in published form. They have been published by the Orange County Genealogical Society (in Goshen, New York). Volume 3 includes my Volume 3 and Volume 5. Volume 4 includes my four parts of New Milford history. There is a planned Volume 5, which will include my Volumes 6, 7, and 8, Part 1, which is about 250 transcriptions. They can be purchase through the Genealogical Society. Just Google them and print out the order form. Or they can be purchased from the Warwick Historical Society. They are also on sale at the gift shop at Baird's Tavern. I would like to thank the Genealogical Society and Dan Burrows for their efforts. Started a new blog for images of Warwick. Go to: www.imagesofwarwicknewyork.blogspot.com.