ALEXANDER & CAROLINE TAYLOR FAMILY
The middle of November 2006 I drove by Alexander and Carrie's house on Talbot North and found it sadly abandoned. The following year it was gone down with a new house in it's place.
When I first saw the house nearing its end, memories came flooding back and I realized how important it is to write down the memories of the Taylor's and the house my great grandparents lived in.
Alexander Taylor, born May 10th 1855 and Carrie McCreery born November 24th 1858, were married May 28th 1878.
They started their married life on a farm in Gosfield North where they remained for 34 years before moving to the Talbot Road home which was the McCreery Farm and the home of Carrie and her sister Louise and the place that I remember and always called their home.
Alexander and Carrie had nine children. Susie Bell, Louise May, Wilbert B., John Franklin, Dewar, Scott, Gayton, Cary Maud, and W. Raymond Carrie had a sister who was ensconced into the family life of Alexander and Carrie. Louise McCreery was affectionately known as tiny Aunt Louise. She spent a great deal of time at the farm when she was not at her job in Detroit. Louise was the maiden aunt of the family and loved by all her nieces and nephews and her great nieces and nephews as well. It was Louise who left us a great legacy with all the photos she took at family functions.
I remember the circular drive with the large spirea bushes in the centre and the pear trees in the back yard. On the back porch was a cistern for collecting and storing water and I remember my great grandmother telling us not to go near for fear of us falling in and drowning
The parlour was the centre of the house. If you came through the front door to the back of the room on the right was the entrance to the kitchen, to the left at the front of the room was the entrance to the living room or parlour as great grandmother Taylor called it. In the centre of the room on the left was the entry to the stairs to the second floor, and at the back of the dining room on the left side was the entrance to the boys bedroom which was later to become my grandmothers bedroom after the boys left home. The second floor had a small bedroom to the right of the landing which was Tiny Aunt Louise McCreery's room, across from her room was the girls room. First there was Susie Belle and Louise in the room then Louise and Maud shared the room. Further down the hallway was my Great grandparents bedroom which was converted into a large bathroom after the boys got married and the parents moved into the boys room off the dining room on the main floor. I still remember the old privy in the backyard. I guess it stood there for many a year as the reminder of days gone by.
Entering by way of the back door (which is the usual place farm folks entered the house) on your left was the old wooden hand cranked telephone hanging on the wall and further to the left was the parlour with a piano taking the place of honour in the room.
The kitchen had a wood fire stove with a holding compartment where water was kept hot for various housekeeping and cooking needs, The sink was near the back door and boasted a hand pump with a dipper and water nearby to prime the pump to get water for the house. I am sure this was considered a great luxury compared to hauling water from the cistern with a bucket which my great grandmother was doing every washday in the 1940's.
The cupboard built into the wall of the kitchen housed all the dishes and serving bowls and opened onto the kitchen side of the wall as well as the dinning room side. In the dining room a large round table and chairs sat with a glass china cabinet in the corner by the front door.
During the early years Alex and Carrie were gracious hosts to both family and friends. According to my great uncle Ray Taylor, the Parlour was the place where friends and family would gather and you would often see the rug rolled up with singing and dancing at the many family gatherings and many of the teen socials.
One famous person who visited the Alexander Taylor farm often was Henry Ford Sr. who was the employer and friend of my Great Aunt Susie Bell who was the cook for the Ford family and his Dearborn Farm,. There are photos of Henry Ford with Alexander and Susie Bell at the farm house on Talbot Rd. Ford tried to talk Alexander into investing in the new automobile company but Alexander could not envision the horseless carriage taking over the horse for travel or farm work. I guess the love of animals during the turn of the century superseded the love of machinery. In retrospect wouldn't it that have been a good investment for Alexander and Carrie had they had the privilege of seeing into the future?
Henry Ford must have been close to the Taylor's because he paid for Great Aunt Susie Bell Wolfe nee Taylor and her niece Maud Taylor later Maud Sadler to go on a vacation to Washington for the Cherry festival. We have photos of Great Aunt Belle and Aunt Maud in the capital during the early 1920's.
Susan Belle and William Albert Wolfe left Canada March 12, 1908 and moved to Michigan listing Henry Ford as a friend. William Albert Wolfe would work the Employment Office at Fords by 1920.and was mentioned a a family friend in the Book:
"The People's Tycoon", Henry Ford and the American Century, by Steven Watts.page 405
Ford himself often took a hand in the purchases. He would drop into antique stores and, according to an associate, "would walk around and say, "I want this, I want that," And before he got through, we'd have a carload out of that doggone place with no reference to price at all" When something caught his fancy, he would habitually say, "Pack it up and sent it." Not surprisingly, Ford felt particular sympathy for the small shopowner, who would often bring out his wife and line up his children to meet the famous visitor, who would buy out his whole stock. H elike to traverse the Michigan countryside looking for old engines and farm machinery. A.G. Wolfe, (Albert Gerald Wolfe) a family friend, occasionally went with Ford on these jaunts an witnessed his enthusiasm. Once Ford speid a rusted old steam engine lying in the weeks in a rural area near Big Bay. He had operated one as a youth, an so decided to buy it. " I think he paid $500.00 for it. H should have got it for $50.00, but I think he wanted to help the fellow out a little bit," Wolfe reorted. "It took us about three days to get the thing back on the truck; it was heavy.
Aunt Belle's Lemon Pie Filling
Light lemon flavour - receipe of Susa Belle Taylor who married Albert Wolfe then Dan Duggan. Belle was the cook for Henry Ford Sr. of Ford Motor Co. Dearnborn, Mi.
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
4 level tablespoons of corn starch
3 egg yokes (save the whites for meringue)
Add grated rind to your personal preference 2-3 tspn.
In a pot add:
Water, sugar, corn starch, lemon juice and lemon rind. Bring to a boil Mixture should be thick and smooth. Lightly whisk egg yolks in a small bowl. Continue whisking while pouring 1/4 cup hot mixture over yolks; return yolk mixture to pot and cook one minute longer.
Number Of Servings:2 8in pies
Preparation Time:20 minutes