The Feeling of the Era

The Blacksmith Shop

It’s plenty warm at the forge, but the blacksmith has a nice cylinder stove to keep him warm at home.

“its gettin so’f you take a horse down to mark’s blacksmith shop you might’s well take some dinner along and figger on makin a day of it. Mark always was pretty moderate, and now that emery fay’s livin up over the shop, he and mark get to tellin stories, and mark don’t average to shoe more’n two or three horses a day.
Mark says he’s got to do somethin about emery pretty soon, though. Says the cockroaches are comin downstairs and haulin off all his scrap-iron.”

After Church

Nice to be hanging around the stoop and chattin after service, but in the winter, you can bet everyone stays inside where the potbelly stove keeps everyone comfy.

“Meetin’ seems kinder slow since old abijah spinney passed on. ‘bije, he livened things up a lot, specially when he got to readin’ from scripture. He never could read very well anyhow, and along to the last he got pretty near-sighted, but he’d plug right along and the less sense he made the louder he’d beller.
I mind one time he come to a place where it said “and he saw abram afar off, with lazarus in his bosom. ” old ‘bije read it “and he saw a broom afar off, with leather ears in boston. “
‘nother place the book read “scribes, pharisees; and hypocrites. ” ‘bije hollers out “scraps, cabbage leaves and hoppin’ crickets! ” “

The Portland Fancy

They’re going to have to damp down the baseburner stove when these dancers start generating heat.

“the henderson family all turned out for the dance last week. Clesson most always comes, and once in a while the girls show up, but last saturday old dan’l and the hired man decided to go too. Well, they never have nothin to do with up there, and there wa’nt no rig they could all get into; but they hitched the old horse into the buggy for the girls, and the men walked it – good four miles ’tis, too.
After the dance was over the girls come out first and started walkin. Guess they figgered the old man needed the ride home more’n they did – he’d got pretty well polluted durin the evenin. A little later dan’l come out and plugged along towards home. Clesson and the hired man was sparkin some girls down on the lower road, so they walked home with ’em and cut up over the ridge – and pretty soon there they was, all home in bed and the horse and buggy still down to the village in the church horse shed.”

Town meeting

Sometimes at town meeting, the tempers get almost as hot as the old wood stove.

“jim whitcomb’s runnin for moderator of town meetin this year. Old cassius taylor’s been moderator for pretty near twenty years without no opposition, and he’s pretty riled up about it.
“jim ain’t no man for that job, ” cash says. “in the first place, he ain’t got the learnin for it. Why” says he, “that feller’s so dummed ignorant he spells jesus with a small g! “”

Saturday night

The wood-fired cooking range does double duty as room warmer and bath water heater.

“met cassius taylor drivin down to the village saturday night. Said his cow was sick and he was goin after the vet’nary. He was cussin away to beat four of a kind.
“last saturday night my wife was ailin with a quinzey throat, ” says he. “and the one before that the durnmed cat knocked my kittle of hot water to hell’n gone off’n the stove. Makes three weeks in a row somethin’s come up so’t i can’t get a bath! “”

Sawing wood

You don’t go into winter without a good supply of firewood for the old stove.

“old dan’l henderson and his son worked all one winter tryin to get their wood sawed by horse power. They took an old mowin machine and laid it over on its side, with a long belt runnin out to the saw rig, and a pole stickin out of the mowin machine to hitch the horse to. When they fin’ly tried it out, they found that to run it fast enough for the saw to cut, the horse’d have to go round the mowin machine at a dead gallop, and jump the belt every time
round. They couldn’t get the old horse to jump, so they give it up.”