Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Orson Cushman, Waterford, Vermont: Sugarhouse, Family, More

The 1875 Beers map of Waterford (from the County Atlas of Caledonia County 1875) shows O. Cushman as the leading landowner in District 14 -- that is, West Waterford -- at the time. Orson Cushman also owned a sugarhouse which may then have been the oldest in town. Working with the map at the last meeting of the Waterford History Group, we decided the sugarhouse must have been roughly at the land currently owned by Pike Industries and the town of Waterford (transfer station, town garage). And it's gone.

Orson Cushman (April 2, 1820-June 13, 1904) was the son of Soule Cushman (1792-) and Esther Hendrick (1799-1879), and grandson of Waterford settlers Soule Cushman (1748-1795) and Thankful Delano (1757-1814). Orson married Julia Ann Morse (1825-1901; daughter of Oliver Morse, 1762-1841, and Betsey Morrill, 1788-1872, of the Danville Morrill and Varnum lines).

According to Child's Gazetteer of Caledonia and Orleans Counties 1764-1887 (published May 1887), Orson owned 800 sugar trees, as well as 14 cows. His brother Ezra Hendrick Cushman, who lived in Lower Waterford, owned 1000 sugar trees and 10 cows at that time, a good comparison. As another comparison, the Lower Waterford postmaster at that date, Claudius Davison, had 600 sugar trees and 40 head of cattle; Lorenzo Green, for whose family the Green School was named, showed 800 sugar tree, 12 cows, and 19 "head of other stock."

The photo here is of one of Orson and Julia's daughters: Nellie/Ella May Cushman (born Nov. 5, 1859).

More later on the links to the Cushman family cemetery on Walsh Road.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

20th-Century Restaurants Near Waterford

It was a pleasure to post the image of the Countryside Restaurant; here are two other dining spots just west of the Waterford/St. Johnsbury line where the buildings are still on the sites, but things have changed a great deal! The first is Aime's Restaurant and Motel (the local pronunciation of Aime in this case is "Amy"). Now with a dark blue exterior, it's a convenience store and gas station called Pettico Junction. When this postcard photo was taken -- maybe the 1950s? -- it was one of the popular dining spots, and for many years included wild game on the menu.

The second and third images (courtesy of Dave Kanell-- thank you!) are the front and back of a postcard of Gerard and Susan Pilette's Frosty Bar, a bit further west along Route 2 (across the road from the current Fairbanks Scales structure). I remember stopping here with my small children, maybe around 1982 or a couple of years later. Now the building is painted white, and after many years of being empty, a "P" sign has announced permitted construction taking place. Wonder what's next? And will the Holstein go back onto the roof??

Use the "Comments" button below to add your memories of these or other Waterford-area eateries.

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Modern" History: The Countryside Restaurant (Drive-In), Waterford, VT

The owners of the Countryside Restaurant in Lower Waterford were Gladys F. (Jewett) Whittemore (–1984) and her husband F. Earl Whittemore (1900–1987). Although this postcard is widely labeled "1950s" by sellers on the Internet, it seems likely to be from the early 1960s instead. Here are David Morrison's recollections on this popular business:
It started in the late '50s I think, quite small -- just gas pumps (Texaco) and ice cream window service. Gladys Whittemore was a great cook, especially known for her pies. Before the brush and trees grew up on the south side of the road, there was a good view down river.

Earl and Gladys got older. Don Douse, Barb's husband, remodeled the whole building into living quarters. ... I think what prompted the Whittemores to go into business was the passing of Mitchell Curran. He and his wife Gertrude ran a little store, gas station (Mobil), and the post office (between my grandmother and mother) on [Route] 18 at the top of the rise, leaving the village for St. J[ohnsbury].

The '50s into the '60s was a strong period for the local church. Gladys W., Elizabeth Wark, Bertha William, Hazel Morrison, and others were in their prime, church suppers were frequent; they also did the "much mourned" Town Meeting dinner.
What memories do you have of the Countryside and the Whittemores? Did you have a favorite among Gladys's pies? What else was on the menu?

Hope to hear from you soon!
The remodeled Countryside, a private home today.