Denis Mericer 8/1/72 Mary Adams
Agnes Lancak’s mother or grandmother was a midwife. How they were selected is unknown.
Mary had her children at home. The doctor came and attended. He’d sleep on a feather tick until the baby started to come. He was called at the first signs of labor. The husband was usually present at the birth of the babies. Doctors would not attend if a midwife came to assist at birth.
She never went for a checkup until the eighth month. Mary paid the doctor only ?? (c. 1936).
Mining families though the birth of children were reasonably pleasant “nice enough,” because children were blessings from God, especially if healthy.
If you had glasses (eye) “in the old days,” you were considered “fancy” and “putting on airs.”
Doctors were called only in emergency situations. There were no “preventative checkups” mostly because of finance.
All kids were raised in home. One kid helped raise the others. Breast feeding was the rule not the exception. Mary’s child was weaned at nine months. Rooms with sick children were sprayed with disinfectant, and the house were quarantined. Children with childhood diseases were confined to their rooms. Peroxide, alcohol, and iodine were the main remedies for cuts and abrasions.
When Mary grew up, she was bilingual. Her parents spoke the “old language”. Kids learned English mainly at school. At play mostly English was used. Mary was considered a “young American.” She was the first in her family to speak primarily English.
There were no organizations of kids’ groups in Mary’s day. All kids had complete run of the town, even “upper class town”.
Games included sleigh riding behind Margaret Maloney’s house, hide and seek, kick the can with four bases, nipsies, ring around the rosie, and softball. Mary played with the notches on the nipsies and hopscotch, too. The yards and streets were used for games, mostly the street. There was very little traffic, only hucksters and bakers.
Kids used to go to a small building near the wash shandy to buy candy that was usually sold to the men before and after work. Many times the working miners would buy their kids candy from there on payday.
Huckleberries were picked by kids for school clothes money. Buckets in back and front – 4 cents a quart.
Mary’s father and mother slept downstairs in the parlor of the Back Street home. Mary and her six siblings slept in the one bedroom. When it was hot, they would bring the feather tick downstairs and sleep on the floor.
They usually slept on regular beds with feather ticks on top. Most that Mary remembers had regular beds. Feathers were homemade. They raised their own ducks and geese.
There were no provisions for privacy. Primping was done in front of the mirror by the sink. The bedroom was like a giant barracks with boys on one side and girls on the other.
In the summer the kids went to a cave where there were natural ice, sulfur water. The cave was by #5 at Buck Mountain. Ice was brought up by wagons, cans, or anything. The ice cave was “right in the hollow”, kids had a path worn down to the cave.
D. Mercier Mary Adams – page 1 8/1/72 #134 3:30-5:00 Children (circled)
Midwives – Agnes Kaslan’s mother or grandmother was one How they were selected was unknown-
Mary had her children at home – Dr. came and attended – he’d sleep on feather tick until baby started to come. Was called at 1st signs of labor.
Husband was usually present at the birth of the babies.
Never went for checkups until 8th months!
Doctors wouldn’t attend if midwife was going to assist at birth.
Many paid Dr. only $25.00 – c. 1936
Mining families thought birth of children was reasonably pleasant- “nice enough”- children were blessings from God – especially if healthy
If you had glasses (eye) in “the Old Days” you were considered “fancy” and “putting on airs” Doctors were called only in emergency situations-no “preventive checkups,” mostly because of finances.
All kids raised in home – one kid would help raise the others –
Breastfeeding was the rule, not the exception Mary’s child was weaned at 9 mo.
D. Mercier Mary Adams – page 2 Children(circled)
Rooms with sick children sprayed with disinfectant and house was quarantined. Children with childhood diseases were confined to other rooms.
Peroxide, alcohol, and iodine were the main remedies for cuts & abrasions.
When Mary grow up, she was Bilingual parents spoke “Old Language” – kids learning English at school, mainly at play; lang uages used were mostly English. Mary was considered a “Yank American”- was first in family to speak English primarily.
No family organiztion of kids’ groups All kids in Mary’s days had complete run of the town – even “upper class Down”
Games – sleigh riding – behind Margaret Madley’s house, hide & seek, kick the can tag ( 4 bases) nipsies – ring around rosie, softball, etc. Mary played w/ the notches? in the nipsies – hopscotch, too!
Yards and street used for games – mostly in the street – very little traffic (only hucksters & bakers)
Kids used to go a small bldg. near the wash shandy to buy the candy but usually was sold to the men before & after work. Many times the working miners would buy their kids candy from there on pay day!
D. Mercier Mary Adams – page 3 #134
Sleeping Arrangements (circled)
Mary’s Fr. & Mr. slept downstairs in parlor – in the one bedroom (backstreet house) Mary and her 6 siblings slept in the one room –
When hot, would bring feather tick down – stairs & sleep on the floor
Pastimes/Amusements: In summer, kids went to cave where there was natural ice(sulphur water) – cave was by #8 Buck Mtn. Ice brought up by wagons, pans, anything. The ice cave was “right in the hollow” – the kids had a path worn down to the cave.
Huckleberries were picked by kids for school clothes money. Buckets in back & front – 4 cents a quart.
Slept on regular beds w/ feather ticks on top usually – most that Mary remembers had regular beds – feather ticks were homemade – raised own ducks & geese.
No provisions for privacy – primping Done in front of mirror by sink – Bedroom like Gant barracks – boys on one side, girls on other.
Mary Adams #134 June 3, 8:30-9:50 AM.
Should be excellent informant for30’s, 40’s and 50’s era of Eckley
Didn’t reveal much of what she knows, but looks to be a great potential source.
Uses “Ain’t it.”
Daryl Bojarcik, Barbara Olsav-Hudock, Camille Westmont, Avery Ohliger, Wendy Henry, Guest User, Sophia Higgs, Melanie Akren-Dickson, Grete Floryshak and Grace Parkhill