Vol. 2-Interview-Marshlik


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik 8/21/72 Tape 28-1

 MM: This is the floor plan of the upstairs…

 AV: The Back Street house?

 MM: Our Back Street house.

 AV: What number was that?

 MM: 41.

 AV: Um-hmm, And what was in the living room?

 MM: In the living room? Wait a minute, I have it here…ah…this is the upstairs. I have it, like we had one bed here, a bed here, and a bed here, and there was a trunk here and a chest of drawers here…

 AV: This was the upstairs?

 MM: This was the upsatirs. And there was an entrance over here to that storage space, there was another entrance there and then there was the stairway. This is the stairway going down. And then there was a window over here. Now, this, ah, this is that little room, like I have made over here, the little room…

 AV: The shed.

 MM: That shed-like, yeah.

 AV: How big was it?

 MM: It wasn’t very big, as you can see by the drawing, it was small.

 AV: How many feet, would you say?

 MM: Well, the rooms were smaller than these. So I would judge maybe they were about ten feet wide, maybe about ten by ten. The kitchen was small. The living room was a bit larger. Now see, here’s the kitchen and here’s the living room. The living room I would say was about 12 by 12.

 AV: Twelve by Twelve.

 MM: Yes.

 AV: Okay. And then…

 MM: And this would have been maybe about ten, ten by twelve, or something like that.

 AV: And then this…

 MM: And that was even smaller, and that, that, I would say maybe it was about, ah, let me see. It could have been maybe six, seven feet this way…

 AV: Um-hmm. And this way…

 MM: And, ah, well it was a square, so it was about… that’s about the size of that

 AV: Six square feet.

 MM: Yeah, uh-huh

 AV: Yeah. Now what is this over here?

 MM: And that, that was the shanty. That we called a shanty.

 AV: This, over here?

 MM: That, no, no. This is where, then there was a porch in between goin’ in[underlined] here, and then this was the shanty, and there was the doorway…

 AV: How big was the shanty?

 MM: The shanty[underlined] was, oh, I would say about a twelve by twelve.

 AV: You have it more rectangular here.

 MM: Yeah, I know I do, I made a, but it’s a twelve by twelve, uh-huh.

 AV: And then the storage shed…

 MM: My father[underlined] had that added on. He put that on himself. That was only about four feet wide.

 AV: Um-hmm. When did he add on the storage shed?

 MM: Mm, I might have been maybe about seven years old…

 AV: So that would be…

 MM: Uh, that was about in the, uh, I was born in 1913, so that would be about 1920 or something like that when he added that on.


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik (#41 Back St) 8/21/72 Tape 28-1

 AV: Now, in the living room [underlined], what did you use it for, as a bedroom?

 MM: My- no, my father, yeah, that was used as a bedroom, my faather’s and mother’s bedroom. And they, they had their bed here, and usually there was either a cradle here, or if not it was here, and there was a little crib, because there was always a small baby, all the time.

 AV: How many in your family?

 MM: There were, my mother had nine children, but two died, so there were seven children, and my mother and father, plus a boarder or two. Off and on we always had a boarder [underlined]. So, ah, right here in a corner she had a side-board.

 AV: Yeah. And what did she store in that?

 MM: The clothing. Her linens.

 AV: Whose clothing?

 MM: Linens, ah, bed linens and towels, and then some of the children’s clothes and ah, then she had a little square table over here and there were chairs where I have, see, that’s chairs.

 AV:What was that table used for?

 MM: It was just ah, she had a lamp, because at one time my father used to, ah, sell gas lamps, before electricity came in, and they were gas lamps [underlined], and they had mantles on them, and ah, you, when you put the gas in, into the bottom, well like kerosene lamps, kerosene lamps you put kerosene in, but this you put gas in. And then, you’d have to pump the air in, and then the air would push up the gas, ah, to the top, and then it would come into the mantle. It was just like, long time ago, when they had the gas lights in the cities, and you had to have a mantle burning to show light, so those were the kind of lamps my father sold. I know that there were two mantles on there. And so, usually she has a lamp on the table. If she didn’t have gas lamp on she had a kerosene lamp on there.

 AV: So that’s how the room was lit, from a lamp on this table.

 MM: Yes. Yes. Um-hmm.

 AV: Now, what was on the floor.

 MM: First, it was just a bare floor. There wasn’t anything. And then, later, it was just a carpet woven like this.

 AV: Carpet. Bag Carpet [underlined].

 MM: Bag carpet, yes.

 AV: Where was it running?

 MM: The carpet was running this way.

 AV: Was [it] tacked all over the floor?

 MM: It was nailed to the floor, yes.

 AV: All over it.

 MM: Yes, she’d have the whole floor covered with it, yes.

 AV: What was this in front [underlined] here?

 MM: This is a porch [underlined]. This is the dorr, and there was just a little square, like the one that’s out here, just a little porch. There were two steps down.

 AV: Was this entrance-way [underlined] used?

 MM: No, it, we’d, that entrance was rarely used.

 AV: What was on the windows?

 MM: Ah, well, curtains [underlined] and [a] window shade [underlined]. (Living Room.)

 AV: What kind of curtains.

 MM: Dark green.

 AV: Print?

 MM: No, the window shade was a dark green and the curtains would be, at that time they called them ecru color.

 AV: What kind of material.

 MM: They would be lace.


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik 8/21/72 Tape 28-1

 AV: Lace. Do you mean like this kind…

 MM: No, they would have like a floral design over them, and then there would be a border on the center part where the two panels would meet. There would be the main pattern. And then the edges were different, so then the flow-ered pattern was in the center, and you hang two panels on.

 AV: And it was made of really like lace material…

 MM: It was cotton, it was made of cotton, and it was lace material.

 AV: Knitted in a lace style…

 MM: In fact, I have a pair of curtains (underlined) like that. (she gets them out)

 AV: Explain about these curtains here. How old would they be?

 MM: Oh, I know that these are, these must be about twenty-five years old, at least.

 AV: And where were they used? Curtains like this in your house?

 MM: In the living room (underlined). You’d find them in the living room, mostly. Or, in the bigger houses, in the larger houses, they had them in the dining room (underlined).

 AV: Would they be used in the kitchen at all?

 MM: No, in the kitchen (underlined) you’d more or less find home-made curtains, and they came by the yard, and it would be something similiar (pronounced to rhyme with ‘familiar’) to this, but it would come by the yard, and then, ah, my mother would take and put a hem on top and the bottom, and, as I said, there were no curtain rods, so there would be three nails, ah, one on each end of the frame and then one in the center. And then you’d draw a string through them and then you would wrap the string around the center nail and bring it over to the other end, and that way it would hold it tight, that the curtain hung straight.

 AV: So you would tie the string to each nail in the corner, draw the curtains on it, and then wrap it around the center nail…

 MM: No, you put the string through the curtain first, you’d use a safety pin and then you’d ah, then you’d pull it through them hem in the curtain. And then you would take and you would tie one end to the, one end of the string to one of the nails on the edge. And then you would take and pull that tight and then wrap the string around a couple of times around the nail in the center, and then put the other half on…

 AV: Oh, I see…

 MM: Other half, ah, other side, and then hang panel curtain, hang it, and then you’d wrap it around the other nail and bring it as tight as possible so that your curtains would hang straight.

 AV: And then tie it…

 MM: And then tie it, so that way your curtains hung straight.

 AV: How often would you change that, in your house?

 MM: Well, ah, usually about four or five times a year.

 AV: On special occasions?

 MM: On special – Christmas, Easter, spring cleaning, fall cleaning, they’d be taken down and they’d be washed and hung up again.

 AV: The same ones.

 MM: Yes, because there weren’t others to replace them. It was usually the same ones. And, the window shades were a dark green, then later on, they came out with a different kind of window shades, white on the outside and dark green on the inside.

 AV: And they were better?

 MM: Well, the reason for that is that the white looked nice from the outside, and the dark green on the inside still didn’t let the light in. You still had more or less had privacy and then the sun wouldn’t come in so it wouldn’t get so hot in the summer time.


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik 8/21/72 Tape 28-1

 AV: What was the purpose of putting up curtains like this? Page 4

 MM: Well, it was just to make it look nicer, to make it look a little homier.

 AV: And these curtains be found up in the bedroom?

 MM: Yes, there were curtains, I know that my mother had them on all of the windows.

 AV: This kind.

 MM: Uh, sometimes they were that and then sometimes they were just made from a piece of muslin.

 AV: Yeah. Where would the muslin curtains be located?

 MM: Usually in the bedroom [underlined], the muslin would be.

 AV: What would you put in the kitchen [underlined]? What kind of curtains?

 MM: In the kitchen it would be, it would be a cotton, sometimes there would be a little, a little print in it, or sometimes there’d be just like a little dot, a little polka dot, and ah, but that came by the yard and you’d make it just as long as you needed it, and hem it, put a hem on top and bottom.

 AV: Would it be on the order of that stuff in your windows?

 MM: Something like that, yes, except that it was cotton.

 AV: That kind of veil material with little raised pieces of puff in it.

 MM: Yes. Either that, or if not there would be a-jist a like-a-squares, little squares. Jist a little heavier thread would run through to make a square design.

 AV: Something like dotted Swiss.

 MM: Yes. Yes, uh-huh.

 AV: I forgot the name of what they call it, is it marquisette.

 MM: Now it’s marquisette, at that time it wasn’t.

 AV: They called it something else.

 MM: It was, I think the did call it dotted Swiss, but now, in later years they gave the name of marquisette, but at that time it wasn’t marquisette.

 AV: Do you remember what name they used for it, beside dotted Swiss?

 MM: No, no I can’t remember the name.

 AV: Was there a Slavic name for it, maybe?

 MM: No, not that I can remember that there was a Slavic name to it.

 AV: And so, to get back to the living room [underlined] here, that’s what you had on the windows, this kind of stuff.

 MM: Yes. And there was only one window, there was one window, and that was, ah, a double window, like there’d be twelve panes of glass. And in the kitchen there’d be one window but jist a small one, jist with six panes of glass. That would be jist a half-sash.

 AV: Now, did most houses that you know of have similar stuff in their living rooms? Most living rooms were used as bedrooms that you know of?

 MM: People had big families, so they jist naturally used the living room for a bedroom. But some of them did have some living room furniture in them. Some of them would have either some kind of couch or piece of stuffed fur-niture or something, but ah you couldn’t put too much in because the living even though the living room was larger than the kitchen you still couldn’t get too much in because if you had a bed in there, well the bed took up a lot of space. And then like in our house like I said we had a cradle of if not a crib, because there were always small children, and then the boarders and the children used to sleep upstairs. And my mother kept boarders, ah, the reason for keeping boarders [underlined] was because it was a little bit more money coming in. And ah. I remember that they paid forty dollars a month. That was- she did their laundry, she did their cooking, and ah, their food was furnished, everything. Their sleeping quarters, everything was forty dollars a month. So that, that made a little extra money for her.

 AV: Did she ever have trouble with them?


A. Maresano interviewing Mary Marshlik 8/21/72 Tape 28-1

 MM: Only with one that I can remember. He was a young man, he was a single man. And ah, he lived with us for, I think for about a year and a half. He was a young man, and he liked my sister’s girlfriend. And he got drunk one night. And ah, my sister’s girlfriend just lived one house up from us but on the other side of the street. And she had two older brothers. And one of the boys heard some kind of noise on the outside. And he woke the other one up and said, “I hear something. Just listen.” And he said “What is it?” He said, “I don’ know, some kind of a bump on the outside wall.” And John said “Aww,” he said, “You go to sleep,” he said, “You’re imagining things.” And Andrew said “No, you jist listen, listen.” And then they hear like a scuffling noise, and so they went to the window to see, and there this man, climbing up the ladder. And he didn’t know that the boys were home! Well, the got a-hold of him and they gave him a beating right on that ladder up at the window! So the girl’s mother came down to my mother the next morning, and she thold her what had happened. So when that man came home from work, all his bags were packed, his clothes and everything, my mother had everything outside and she, she let him come and she let him wash, and dress, and change his clothes and she gave him his supper, but she told him that she didn’t care where he goes but she didn’t want him any more. So that is the only one that she ever had trouble with! And she has boarders as far back as I could remember, she kept boarders right along until about a year and a half before she died, no about a year before she died.

 AV: They never bothered you girls?

 MM: No, they were very nice. Well, my older sister [underlined] mostly slept downstairs to help my mother, because of the babies [underlined]. My father [underlined] would never get up to the children when they were small, and being that my mother [underlined] was sick a lot, so my oldest sister slept downstairs most of the time, And ah, many times my father would come upstairs to sleep, so that my sister could sleep with my mother downstairs. But, no, they were very nice. We, we never had any problems to that effect.

 AV: So your parents slept in this room, mostly. Now, those living rooms that you know of that had living room suites [underlined] in them.…

 MM: Overstuffed furniture! Ha ha!

 AV: Yeah! Did they hae beds in there, too?

 MM: No. No.

 AV: No beds. And these were people that were what?

 MM: These people didn’t have as large a family. If they had maybe four children, well then they all slept upstairs, because there was enough room upstairs for three beds, three double beds.

 AV: Now, did most people have their living rooms carpeted with these carpet rags [underlined]?

 MM: Yes.

 AV: Did most people have them tacked all over the floor like yours?

 MM: Yes, they did.

 AV: What was the purpose of that?

 MM: Well, the reason for that is that the carpet wouldn’t, as the children walked, or the people walked, that they wouldn’t get pushed up and wrinkled, and another thing, it was easier to sweep, because you didn’t have a vacuum cleaner, you had to use a broom. So, it was easier to sweep with a broom [underlined] over them when they were nailed down.

 AV: What’s the purpose of putting down carpets in the first place?

 MM: Ah, to make it look nicer [underlined], and it was warmer [underlined]. It made them warmer. Because in those houses on the back street there were no cellars. The only place there was a cellar, now, ah, in one place here I think I have where we had a cellar, now where was it? Oh, right here, this little square. That was in the floor in the kitchen. There was a piece cut out, and then there was


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik 8/21/72 Tape 28-1

a little round ring on there, and you raised that up and it was on hinges; and then, finally, my father put in board stairs, stairs to go down. There must have been four or five steps to go down, he dug more dirt out from there. It was just a little hollow in there. But my mother [mother underlined] used to do canning, and ah, instead of putting it into the outside cellar, it was easier for her to go into the cellar there, so ah, you’d, he dug more dirt out and made it larger, it was just plain dirt, there was no floor in there or anything, it was all just dirt. And the things just stayed, ah, you’d put them down in the cellar [cellar underlined], you’d either put them on, if you happened to have newspaper you laid newspaper down there, if you had cardboard box you laid cardboard box there. At that time wooden crates, a lot of things came in wooden crates, so you’d store the jar, the canned food [canned food underlined] in the wooden crates, and we kept the potatoes down there.

 AV: On what?

 MM: In the bags, in burlap bags.

 AV: Now, how large was that hollow under the floor [hollow under the floor underlined], about?

 MM: Ah, I would say maybe, um, it might have been about three foot square, out out. But then my father had more of a dug-out underneath. He had it that you weren’t able to stand up, it was so low, that you weren’t able to stand up, but he dug out more of the dirt outa there, and he extended out further in all directions.

 AV: And how big was it when he got through?

 MM: Well, maybe it was ’bouta, about a four or, four foot square.

 AV: And how deep was it?

 MM: I would say maybe ’bout four feet. I know when I was small I would stand in it, and as I got older I wasn’t able to stand in it, I had to bend.

 AV: What was the original way of getting down?

 MM: That was the original way of getting down, is raising that part of the floor up, it was on hinges, and at first there were the, whoever lived there before we did, they only had like little marks made in there, little holes dug out that you could get your foot in.

 AV: In the dirt?

 MM: In the dirt. But then my father put wooden steps [my father put wooden steps underlined] in there, that it was easier to get in and out.

 AV: Regular steps like stairways?

 MM: Yeah, jist a little stairway, jist, he, he, ah, put a few boards together and he made a little stairway.

 AV: And did most people on Back Street [Back Street underlined] have an ouside cellar [outside cellar underlined]?

 MM: No, not everybody, not very many.

 AV: Who did, do you remember?

 MM: Well, I know we had one, and our neighbor had one.

 AV: And where was it located?

 MM: Ah, it was right back of the shanty.

 AV: Right outside the shanty door?

 MM: No, not outside the door, out right behind the shanty. The door to the shanty came in off the porch as you came out of the shed, and then there was a window facing from the back of the shanty, so in that area. They either have it on that part, you’d have that ah, that cellar. . . .

 AV: How far back from the shanty was it?

 MM: Jist a few feet, jist a few feet.

 AV: About five feet?

 MM: No, maybe not even that. And then some, some people had them over on the other side of the house, on the other side of the garden. And ah, now Mrs. Petu. . . .


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik 8/21/72 Tape 28-1

 AV: You mean, way back in the back of the…

 MM: Now Mrs. Fatula lived next door to us, she lived in House Number 43, and so she lived in the corner house, so she had her outside celler along the fence, ah, it used to be an alleyway before, but which is the street now that goes to Wetherly. So, her outside cellar was up, up in that, up against the fence there. So she’d have to walk ], when she’d come out of her house, she hadda walk across the garden and go to her outside cellar. Now, when we had ours, we had it right behind the shanty. It wasn’t very big, ah, it might have been maybe about four-and-a-half, five feet high, and ah, maybe jist about a four foot square, I don’t think it was any more than that.

 AV: Was it round, or square?

 MM: Square. And it was made of, ah, my father would get trees, and they would be the corner posts, and then on there he would nail boards, jist enough boards, and then the whole thing was covered with dirt. And ah,

 AV: Then, it’s look like a mound…

 MM: It’d look like a mound, yes, and then it would, he’d have dirt built in out further, then the door was like recessed, that way the cold wouldn’t hit the door.

 AV: Was it like Mrs. Timko’s cellar?

 MM: well, I don’t know, I guess it was, if she still has the outside cellar, well, then, that’s how it was.

 AV: That’s how they all were like?

 MM: Yes.

 AV: And who else besides you and your neighbor had one?

 MM: Um, in our area, Timkos that lied acroos the street, Mrs. Timko’s in-laws, they had one, and ah, I think the people that lived across the garden from us, Molmers [Molo???? #39]. I believe they had one. But ah, then there was another family that lived up further, Midliks, they had one, I knew that. But other than that I can’t remember.

 AV: Now, when people lived in a double house in the Back Street, they were double houses where you were living?

 MM: Yes, they were all double houses.

 AV: Did you share one outside cellar [underlined]?

 MM: Ah, no, everybody had their own.

 AV: Each one built their own?t

 MM: Ah, I remember next door to Mrs. Timko’s, Yerkos, They had theirs in the living room. And now I knew that they did because I was friends with the one girl, and ah, I used to go in there, and I know that they had, it was almost in the doorway, and they’s have to raise their carpet up and everything to raise the door up whenever they wanted to go to the cellar.

 AV: Do you know any reason for having it in the living room part?

 MM: I don’t know the reason for that. It was when they were building the houses, I guess, when they were building them, whoever was building them, what they just thought were if they probably had the floor already in or something, and then all of a sudden they thought, well, they forgot to


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik 8/21/72 Tape 28-1 put an opening in for a cellar, and maybe for that reason, I don’t knowwhat the reason was for that in some places, in some houses it was in the kitchen and some houses it was in the living room.

 AV: I see. To get back to the living room [underlined], what were/what was on the walls?

 MM: Ah, holy pictures [underlined]! And you’d be surprised how many of them.…

 AV: Wait a minute (laughs), on wallpaper?

 MM: Well, no, now the Back Street houses were made different than these houses. These on Main Street [underlined] had plaster on the walls. The Back Street [underlined] houses had no plaster. They were just double boards. And then they were, ah, white washed [underlined], and after the white wash, then they were wall-papered [underlined]. When people started to wall-paper, then they started to wall-paper. But ah, there wasn’t any plaster at all on the walls in those houses. Those houses were cold.

 AV: And was your house wall-papered?

 MM: Later it was. From the beginning, it wasn’t. From the beginning it was white-washed.

 AV: Did it have that bluing in it?

 MM: Yes. Yes. Um-hmm.

 AV: Um. Then, you say-a, what was on the ceilings [underlined] at first, do you remember?

 MM: At first there was jist, you’d see the bare beams. And then later they would ah, I don’t know who thought up the idea of putting cloth [underlined]…

 AV: Did they white-wash [underlined] them first?

 MM: Ah, yes, they used to white-wash them…

 AV: With bluing…

 MM: Yes, ’bout twice a year they used to do it.

 AV: With the bluing color.

 MM: Right. And then they ah, someone started by ah, I don’t know where they saw it or where they heard it, but then they started to ah, they got enough material and they ah, sewed the pieces together to make it the whole width of the ceiling, and the length of the ceiling. And then they would start, it took maybe two or three to put the ceiling up.…

 AV: Women, or men, did that work?

 MM: Women, mostly. Sometimes some men would help their wives, but at that time men didn’t help the women too much. And ah, you had to take and you had to start nailing in the corner, and then you would stretch, you’d pull on the material as much as you possibly could, and you’d get one corner in, and then you’d pull it across as tight as you could and keep nailing it, all along the one end first til you’d come to the other corner. And then, ah, as you were going, you were, one would be on one side, another one would be on the other side, and they’d be pulling and nailing at the same time, and the nails were quite close together, and they used carpet tacks for that. And ah, that’s how they would, ah, nail it up, and it would be real tight, very tight. But after it would be up for a length of time, then you would see it sagging, because of the cooking in the house, you know, and the dust that would settle in there and everything, then that would start to sag. And, well, it would be up for a few years, and ah, then someone got the idea that maybe instead of cloth, if they used a table oil cloth [underlined], then they could wash it, it wouldn’t, if, if it did get soiled you’d be able to wash it. Because I know we had, in our kitchen [underlined] on the ceiling we had a table oil cloth, and I can remember it was a red background with a little black print.

 AV: UM-hmm. How about the one in the living room [underlined]?

 MM: Well, in there my mother always had, it would be a white background with either a little tiny flower, a little rose or something or another thing


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik 8/21/72 Tape 28-1 there would give it a little bit of color, and it wasn’t anything gaudy. It was ah, she always had nice material in there, she always put nice ceiling up.

 AV: Did she use oil cloth in the living room (underlined)?

 MM: Not in the living room. But in the kitchen (underlined) she did because of the cooking and ah, all, it was easier to keep clean. So that’s how it was in there. But now, when you’d come into the shed well, there were just bare walls.

 AV: When was the first time she put up a cloth ceiling (1913 xxx)

 MM: As far back as I can remember. My sister, my sister remembered, my sister is ah, sixty-two, and she remembers my mother white-washing the walls. But as far back as I could remember, I can remember just a little (underlined) bit about having the beams, seeing the beams in the living room and in the kitchen. But I can barely but remember.

 AV: Do you know when the rest of the people started putting up the cloth ceilings (underlined)?

 MM: Well, I know that my mother must have been one of the later people, because my father was very, was very strict in the sense where, where the money would be spent. And he thought that it was a waste of money.

 AV: Was it very expensive to put up cloth ceilings?

 MM: Well, at that time, I would say yes, because even though the material was cheap it took quite a few yards of material to ah, because material was only about thirty-six inches wide, I think that was the widest it came.

 AV: Then how much, about, would it cost?

 MM: Well, if you had a room that was, well, sometimes the material you could get it for eight cents a yard, ten cents a yard, but still when you figure out how much you would, how many yards you needed for the room, it amounted to a few dollars, and ah, that seemed like a lot of money.

 AV:Um-hmm. Was that a big chunk out of the income (underlined)?

 MM: It was. That’s the reason why my mother kept boarders (underlined), because she wanted certain things and it helped her.

 AV: How much did those boarders pay her?

 MM: Well, like I said, forty dollars a month. And, she did all the work, and she packed their lunches: that was their food, their lodging, everything.

 AV: Now, when these women put up the ceiling, or helped your mother, did they get paid at all?

 MM: No! One helped the other (underlined). They all, whenever one would say, well, I’m gonna put a ceiling up, will you come and help me?, yeah, sure, so they all came, and they would come in and they would help us, that’s the same way like in the fall (underlined), everybody would put up a barrel of saurkraut (underlined). Well, when you’d get your cabbage in, you’d oder so many heads of cabbage, it was anywhere from fifty to a hundred heads and maybe even more, and ah, maybe there was ah, one, I know this one man in particular had a nice cutter, a cabbage cutter, and he would loan it out to different people, and a few of the men (underlined) would get together and they’d take turns shredding this cabbage on the shredder and they’d have this big barrel, scrubbed out, my mother would have it scrubbed and she’d have it, she’d pur boiling water in it, and have that ah, sort of sterilized or something, and then spill it out, and ah, the men would get together and when they’d make the sauerkraut, to make the sauerkraut, one would be shredding, another would be putting the cabbage into the barrel, and then hey’s have a man would wash his feet, and he’d step on a clean towel, and then he’d step into the barrel, and then with his feet he’d tamp that cabbage, and ah, then when he’d get tired, he’d get out and someone else would take his place because it would tire you out if you’d put a hundred heads of cabbage in a barrel and, in between my mother would have whole heads of cabbage and xxxx them in, and then for that she used to make stuffed cabbage, because you couldn’t buy fresh


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik 8/21/72 Tape 28-1 cabbage in the wintertime. So then she used the heads of cabbage, she’d dig out a head of cabbage from the sauerkraut and use that for making stuffed cabbage (underlined).

 AV: And was there any prayer (underlined) said while this process was in action?

 MM: Oh, usually they did! Usually they’d start out, they’d start out with a prayer, and then, oh it was a big thing whenever annything would go on like that, there would be so many who’d get together, then there’d be a little party.

 AV: Afterwards?

 MM: Yes, and, oh, the children really enjoyed it because you wouldn’t get a scolding!

 AV: Well, what kind of prayers (underlined) did they say and when would they say it?

 MM: Uusally, the prayer that they would say is the Our Father amd Hial Mary, and Glory Be, and a prayer of thanksgiving . That was usually the prayer that they would say. And, then, they’d make a toast, and start working. But now, with the women, when they would work, ah, some women did like to take a drink of whiskey, but ah, most of the women that came to our house that were friends of my mother’s, most of them didn’t. One did that I know. The rest of them, maybe they would take one (underlined).

 AV: Was that considered improper?

 MM: Well, for women to drink? Oh, yes! They thought it wasn’t nice for a woman to drink, but they didn’t frown on it if you took just one glass. They didn’t frown on it, they they didn’t think it was anything wrong. Or, if therewas a toast being made, they didn’t think there was anything wrong with that. But, ah, if they thought that a woman was drinking a little more and thatshe’d start feeling good, well they looked down on that. The women didn’t have as much respect.

 AV: Was this on the part of other women toward her or men toward her, or both?

 MM: Both. Both, yes.

 AV: Was she ostracized in any way?

 MM: No, no, no. No, she wasn’t ostracized. The only thing is that they didn’t have the respect that they would have for one that didn’t.

 AV: When was it proper for women to take a drink? What circumstances? Toasts (Underlined)?

 MM: If there was a toast, if there was a wedding, or a christening, or it was Christmas or Easter, or some special oocasion. Christening, or when a baby was born, just when the baby would be born.

 AV: And people would have a toast…

 MM: Yes, well, ah…

 AV: Or, when else…

 MM: Or, if there was a gathering, if they would have like a little party, they’d have a gathering, well, then they’d, they didn’t frown on the woman if she took a drink or even a glass of beer or two, they didn’t think anything much of it, but they didn’t like to see a woman get drunk.

 AV: When was it improper for a woman to drink?

 MM: Especially if she had small children. They didn’t think that she should drink in front of the children, or even come by the children when she would have a drink in her, they didn’t think that it was good for the children.

 AV: And during these gatherings, the children would not be around to see her drinking, is that it?

 MM: Oh, yes, the children were around, the children were around, but it was, it was an affair that noone frowned on it, noone looked at it, because every-one more or less came from like say in the same part of the country, one seemed to know another, and they all probably brought the custom from


A. Varensano interviewing Mark Marshlik 8/21/72 Tape 28-1 Europe, how they did things at home. How they saw their parents do things at home. And they brought that here, and I think that’s how they worked it, how they got along.

 AV: During the gatherings, even if a woman had small children, she could drink?

 MM: Yes, they didn’t say anything about it, not too much. They didn’t mind it if she drank a little, but if she drank a little more and she had children, they didn’t like that.

 AV: And like when she was home during work or alone, it was improper to drink?

 MM: Well, that they frowned on. That they didn’t like, because you would hear neighbors get together and talk. Because I know I heard it myself, I heard them talk about different ones, They’d say, you know that so-and-so got herself a bottle of whiskey, and ah, they knew that she was the one that was drinking it.

 AV: Did they recognize the fact that some women might have drank to ease some of their problems?

 MM: I don’t think they realized that at that time. I don’t think they realized that sometimes, because the men didn’t think that a woman had any problems.

 AV: Really?

 MM: They didn’t think a woman had problems. They had problems because they worked awfully hard, and they didn’t consider that a woman had problems. Mot as far as I was growing up, the men didn’t think that women had problems. There were very, very, very few men that were considerate of their wives toknow all the work that they put in. Now, my mother had nine children, she was thirty-five years old when she died. And, my oldest sister wasn’t quite sixteen when my mother died, and our youngest was a year and a half. And, um, she had the nine children, and she also kept boarders. And there was work because there was no washing machine. She had to do everything by hand, and to wash miner clothes by hand, you had to do it really – I did it, because I had no washing machine when I got married, and I know what kind of work it was, because you didn’t wash the men’s working clothes, especi-ally the top clothes, you didn’t wash them on the wash board. You spread it out on the washboard and you used a scrub brush to wash them. And then, most of the time you had to wring them out by hand. And that was very, very hard work. And, like my mother had seven children, and she and my father made nine, and then she had one of two boarders, and just to wash clothes alone from so many people, it was work. And then, she did iron. She used to starch our thing, because even like our underpants she used to make from flour bags, and put lace on and all, and she, those were starched. And we wore two, three slips, and they were all starched.

 AV: Made from flour bags?

 MM: Yes, but then the top one wasn’t. The top one would be made from muslin with a nice lace on it, and that was only for Sundays or for special occa-sions that you wore that one. And, but they were all starched and ironed out very nicely, and she made, my mother made all of our clothes, and she kept, we had a cow, as long as my mother lived, we had a cow, and even after she died we had that cow- my mother died on the first of July,and my father kept the cow until that following winter, and then he had her butchered for meat.

 AV: Was this family milk, or selling, too?

 MM: Well, it was, we didn’t get too much milk because it was sold. A lot of it was sold. I can remember drinking milk, but not that I would drink milk any time I wanted it. We drank coffee with milk in it.

 AV: How much did you sell it for, do you know?

 MM: Well, Mrs. Cox would pay for the milk, it usually was for three dollars a month.


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik 8/21/72 Tape 28-1

 AV: What did Mrs. Cox have to do with it?

 MM: Well, see there were people, like widows, and they had children, and the woman couldn’t afford to keep a cow, because you had to buy hay, you had to buy feed for the cow, so she wasn’t able to afford to keep a cow, and she had to have milk for her children, so should go to Mrs. Cox, and talk to Mrs. Cox, and Mrs. Cox would find someone in town that had a cow, and would sell milk, and they would sell, and so if Mrs. Cox paid for it, it was three dollars a month. But, ordinarily they charged four dollars a month. And that was a quart of milk a day.

 AV: A quart a day!

 MM: A quart a day. And, I can remember we took milk in the morning, we took to one…

 AV: Who’s “we”, the kids?

 MM: My brother and I. My older brother. That’s my brother Mike, up here. My brother and I, we used to deliver the milk. And in the morning I know we sold three quarts of milk and in the evening we sold four.

 AV: How did you sell it?

 MM: Ah, my mother had cans, some of them held two quarts, Some of them held a quart. And they were regular milk pails, with the lid that went on and it was a quary measure, or two quart measure, and ah, then sometimes if someone would come for milk and she, they used, bring a can of lard, lard came in three, five, and ten pound cans. And the three pound can, well, they used t call ankles in the can, and that would be where the handle of the can came, and where that was welded in, well it wasn’t welded, it was soldered in, there’d be like a little round mark on the inside, so up to the ankle, that would be called one quart. And everybody liked to come to our house, because my mother gave a little over the ankle, so she gave a little extra measure.

 AV: Was the round mark painted into the can?

 MM: No, no, no, it was fromthe tin, it was a tin, but there was a mark on the inside where the outside had, it was like a little round knob, with a little hole in the center, and then there was a wire, a bent wire, and it would go into this hold and on one side and on the other side, and then that would be the handle on the can. So that’s what they called ankle. And then where the lid came down onthe can, then there was also a rim on the inside,so , well, they called that a rim, there was mark just on, just where went you put the lid on, the lid would sit on there and it wouldn’t go any further. So then that was called a rim. And I know we used to used those cans to go for huckleberries, so anyone who asked “how much have you got”, “Well, I’m up to the ankles” or “I’m halfway past the ankles”, or “I’m up the rim”. But I remember that my mother used to say that a quart was up to the ankles.

 AV: How deep was the can, how many inches tall, do you think?

 MM: Oh, I don’t know, I think it was about that high, and that would be a quart and a pint can. That would be a three pint can.

 AV: About then inches high or so?

 MM: I don’t know, maybe about that, something like that.

 AV: And how big in diameter was it, across?

 MM: No it was bigger than that. About that. Something like that. Maybe about…

 AV: Six or seven inches in diameter?

 MM: No, the three pound can would be a little bit smaller, it would be maybe about five inches in diameter, I think.

 AV: How far from the bottom of the can was that ankle? How many inches up?

 MM: I would say about three quarters of the way up.

 AV: So it was what, eight inches high?

 MM: Well, the ankle part would be about three quarters of the way up. And see,


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -13- 8/21/72 Tape 28-1 478 just where the bottom part of the ankle was, well that’s where you’d say it was a quart. Up from there to make is level was a pint, so it would be a quart and a pint It held a quart and a pint.

 AV: And then the rim, how far off the bottom was that, how many inches up?

 MM: Well, it was a quite a distance from the bottom, because it was only about a half an inch from the top down, where the lid came down on the rim, only about a half inch. But on larger cans, it maybe was about three quarters of an inch.

 AV: I see. And then, the men didn’t realize that the women had problems!

 MM: No! And then, there were chickens to take care of, and there were geese, and 486 then, because my mother always had a flock of geese.

 AV: And she had to take care of them?

 MM: The geese had to be taken care or and then also in the summertime at a certain time when you had to watch the geese woule wtart to molt, and you would have to pluck the eathers, and then that, I used to help my mother pluck the feathers off the geese, and you had to know which feathers to pluck, and many of the times the poor geese hollered, I can understand why, you get your hair pulled and it hurts!

 AV: How else did you have to take care of the geese, what did you have to feed them?

 MM: Well, there was a lot of times, you’d go out and you’d cut grass down, they liked grass. And the mornings, mostly there was, they called it a chop, there would be a ground grain, it was like puverized, and you have them that, and then for the rest of the day you woul take them out, I know that I had to do that many, many times, just about every day if the weather was nice, and sco we’d take them out, out towards the woods where the grass was nice, and everybody knew their own flock of geese, and you’d go and they would feed on the grass, and then when you’d go hoe, you’ have either a litte switch or a little, you take and break a litle branch off a tree or something and try to herd them in and you’e bring them back home and then they’d be fed again in the evening. But that, when the geese would come, when they’d start laying, for laying eggs, well they they weren’t left out to go, because my mother used to set these to hatch young ones. So at this time the geese would be laying eggs, they weren’t left out, there’d be a closed in, I have in one place here an enclosure and that’s where the chickens would be in an enclosure, 513 See, I have a “wire enclosure”. There would be a hen house and the geese, they would be in the same one, except that there would be a partition there, and then there was a wire enclosure, so you’d keep them in there in the day time, and then at night time they’d go in, or if not, if they wanted to lay an egg, they would go in and they would lay an egg in the nest.

 AV: And that was quite a lot of duties for one woman to do. MK: Right. That’s right!

 AV: Did the children help feed the geese and the cow? MK: Oh yes! We had to help., because my mother just couldn’t do everything alone. My father wasn’t much help to her. He worked in the mines, he provided 523 for us. We never went hungry!

 AV: And yet it was thought proper for a man to drink. They were allowed to drink.

 MM: Oh, yes, there was beer men comin’ around, I don’t know how many beer men, 525 came around through the town. Once a week, but there was so many of them came around. Every week a case of beer would be brought into the house and maybe a bottle of whiskey. And there wasn’t anything wrong in that, the men didn’t think there was anything wrong with that. But for a woman to spend money for something else, that was different story.

 AV: So men could drink anytime they wanted to, in a company or alone, as much


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -14- 8/21/72 Tape 28-1

as they wanted.

MM: Right.

AV: And if they got loaded or a little happy, or whatever, they weren’t ostracized for it?

MM: No. Well, those that beat their wives up, well naturally the women looked down on them, and even some of the men didn’t like the idea, because there was a lot of men that would drink, but they never beat[?]their wives. But some of the men that really abused their wives, why ah, they were talked about.

AV: So, abusing the wives was not considered a mark of masculinity.

MM: No, it wasn’t. The man himself thought he was a man, because he was able to beat up a woman, but there were some men that didn’t, they didn’t approve of it.

AV: It didn’t take much strength, it didn’t prove much!

MM: No.

AV: That’s interesting, that’s quite a contrast there. Well! To get back to the home, here! Anyway, that’s interesting what you say about the living room, that it was generally of this nature when it was used as a bedroom, most homes had the same kind of stuff in it, beds, cradles, maybe a side board to put clothes in . . .

MM: Yes, just about every one had a side board [underline side board].

AV: What did the side board look like, what kind of thing was it?

MM: Ah, the bottom part was made sort[?] of like a dresser. It would have two small drawers under the table top of the dresser, and then there would be one long drawer, and then down below there were two doors that opened on hinges, and inside was a shelf, and then ah, standing on the top would be, oh, a high board, like ah, there’d be a mirror [underline mirror] on it, now this mirror that I have about the telephone is from a side board. This is the side . . . except that it was around this way (horizontal). There’s quite a bit cut off it, because I had my husband cut this off. These edges were the same that these are, but now these edges were wider. So I had him cut off a little bit – they were much wider because the one part set right down on the top of the dresser part, and it extended up oh I would say maybe about six feet to seven feet high, and about a foot from the top there was a shelf run right across, and then there was like scroll work to hold up that shelf coming down to the table top of the dresser, of that side board. And about the center there were two little round shelves, one on each side, and my mother would have either little trinkets [underline little trinkets] or something like that. I remember that she had little glass baskets [underline little glass baskets] like this, and then she would have something in them. And to decorate it, to make it look nice.

AV: Now then, tell me what was on the walls!

MM: Well, on the walls, in the living room especially, alsmost every house you went to, there were pictures [underline pictures] of all different kind of things.

AV: Any particular ones on your walls, especially?

MM: There was one that we had that I admired very much, it was the picture of Saint Nicholas [underline Saint Nicholas], and he had a crown on his head. And, the way that picture was painted, no matter what direction you stood, it seemed like the eyes followed you. Because I brought that attention to my mother, and she said, now I’ve been lookin’ at that picture so many years, she said, I bought it and I hung it up and I never noticed it. And I remember one time when our priest came in, and my mother said to him, she said, Father, she said, you know what Mary noticed about Saint Nicholas, every place she goes he looks at her! And, so he did the same thing, and he said yes, the eyes do seem to follow you, but that’s the way the painting was. And then there were other saints.


A Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -15- 8/21/72 Tape 28-1

AV: Where abouts was Saint Nicholas [underline Saint Nicholas]?

MM: Saint Nicholas had the honor of being right in the middle of the wall.

AV: Which wall?

MM: The wall to the neighbor, on the neighbor’s side.

AV: Which would be the side the bed was on . . .

MM: No, no, it would be this side here. So he would be right in the center. And then there would be pictures right one by another, whereever there was space there was a picture of a saint, of some saint or another. There would be St. Francis, St. Anthony, St. Rita …

AV: Smaller ones?

MM: More or less they tried to get them all the same size.

AV: Any significance to these saints? Was there special family significance to having them, or . . .

MM: I think it was just what appealed to them when they’d see the picture, and what appealed to them. But now, St. Nicholas [underline Nicholas] was more or less the patron saint of the Slavic people [underline saint of the Salvic people], so St. Nicholas was in just about all the Slovak homes.

AV: Why was that?

MM: Well, I don’t know, would they consider him a patron saint of the Slavs, or what, but anyway, if you went into a Slovak home, you would find a picture of St. Nicholas. And you wouldn’t find a crucifix, that would be a wooden cross [underline wooden cross], but you would find a picture of a crucifix [underline picture of a crucifix] in just about every house.

AV: Why was that, why not the crucifix?

MM: I don’t know, I don’t think they were making crucifixes at that time that they would make them and hang them on the wall, not that early. There would be just pictures.

AV: When did crucifixes start coming in?

MM: Oh, I don’t know about how old I was when my mother bought a crucifix [underline crucifix]. My mother is dead forty-seven years, and she had one maybe about six, seven years before she died, that was the first one.

AV: So it was about 1915, or?

MM: No. I was born in 1913, so it could have been around 1920 or something like that, that I remember that she first had a crucifix. Before that there was a picture of a crucifixion.

AV: What kind of holy pictures used to have appeal, I mean, what in a holy picture used to appeal to people?

MM: Well, I remember my father always would stand in front of, when he’d say his prayers, my father always stood saying his prayers, and he’d stand either in front of the picture of the crucifixion or the picture of Saint Nicholas.

AV: Which was located on the wall where the side board was?

MM: Well, the one with the crucifix was on the other wall, it was over here.

AV: The wall with the door.

MM: The window, on the side of the window.

AV: And then . . .

MM: Well, of course St. Nicholas was always [underline St. Nicholas was always] in the center, and then there would be others wherever there was space. Now the sideboard usually stood catty-corner in the corner, so that took up some space there. And in the kitchen maybe there would be about two pictures . . . .

AV: Were there any over the bed, anything? Pictures in that corner of the room?

MM: Yes, there was a picture of Our Lord, of Jesus, that would be over the bed [underline over the bed], always.

AV: Doing what? I mean, what was he doing in the picture?

MM: It would be, it was either, he was with the [underline with the] children like when he’d be


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -16 8/21/72 Tape 28-1

taking children to himself, I think they would say, Suffer the little children. Come unto [underline Suffer the little children. Come unto] Me, a Picture like that, or, if not, it would be Jesus knocking on the door [underline Jesus knocking on the door], it would be a picture of something like that.

AV: And, any on this wall:

MM: No, there wasn’t any on that wall. And now this, there was, it was from the living room side where the stairway went up, there was just under the stairs, now see, like our stairs goes up and then we have a cellar door. Well, the stairway used to go up and it used take a part of the living room. It went up through the living room. So, ah, then there was a little place closed up under the stairway, and there we had a little closet, there was no door on there, where we kept our shoes and things like that in there. It was more or less like a little closet for storage [underline closet for storage]. But it wasn’t very big.

AV: How was it closed off, with boards?

MM: There was no close, ah, my mother would have a curtain on there, either like a drapery material, a print of some sort, or something or another, and she’d have it with that on there.

AV: So, there was like a board parallel to the wall, and in front just a curtain?

MM: Right.

AV: And where else did you keep clothes [underline clothes] in this bedroom?

MM: Well, on the back of the door [underline back of the door], and then there’d be nails on the wall, like you saw, always whereever, there was nails on every door . . .

AV: And they were like, if the door, what way did the door open . . . .

MM: The door opened this way.

AV: And the clothes would be hung here, like on the back of the door . . .

MM: Yeah . . . and then on the wall, on that wall there, yes . . .

AV: On this board that was in the wall.

MM: Yes, right.

AV: Would it be on hangers, or nails?

MM: No, just on nails. There were no hangers. The only thing that would ever have a hanger is my father’s [underline hanger is my father’s] suit!

AV: Whose clothes were in this area here, your father’s or your mother’s, or both?

MM: All. All, that would be the good clothes [underline good clothes]. And then the clothes that we wore for every day, they would be hung upstairs on the wall on the nails.

AV: Now, in the kitchen, you have . . .

MM: Well, in the kitchen there, like in this space right in here there also would be nails, and that’s where we hung our coats and things over there.

AV: Was this on a board that extended across the wall, like this beam?

MM: There was nobeam there.

AV: What would the clothes be hung on?

MM: Just on the wall, right on the wall.

AV: On nails stuck . . . how high were the nails?

MM: Well, I would say, maybe about five feet up, six feet up, about that far. And then, see, we had a table under the indow, there’s the window, we had a table [underline table] under there, and there would be chairs [underline chairs] around there, and we also, then in the one corner there we’d have a bench. The stove was over here.

AV: What was the bench used for?

MM: To sit on. And then this was the door, and the door opened this way again, and now, back here, by father made, it was to keep dishes, it was just shelves, boards nailed together, and just shelves.

AV: How many shelves?

MM: Oh, there must have been about six shelves.

AV: They were tacked right onto the wall?

MM: Yes. And there might have been six, seven shelves, because we kept our


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -17 8/21/72 Tape 28-1

dishes on there and then on the lower ones we kept pots and pans.

AV: On the stove area, was there any space to dry wet clothing [underline dry wet clothing]?

MM: Ah, just back of the stove [underline just back of the stove] there were nails, nailed right into wall, and then you’d just . . .

AV: About five feet off the ground . . .

MM: No, no, they were closer, they were maybe about three feet, just about three feet.

AV: And then over here, was what? The trap door [underline trap door]?

MM: This was the trap door to go into the cellar.

AV: Now, what was on the walls here, paper, it was papered again?

MM: Ah, from the beginning, it was whitewashed [underline whatewashed], then later it was papered.

AV: And what was on the floor?

MM: Ah, at first there wasn’t anything, it was just bare [underline bare] floors, and a piece of burlap bag [underline burlap bag] washed out as you’d come into the door. And then later my mother had pieces of carpet [underline pieces of carpet], and then later on she got linoleum [underline linoleum].

AV: And these carpets were tacked on?

MM: No, not in the kitchen.

AV: How about the burlap bag, was that tacked on?

MM: The burlap bag was tacked on because there was no linoleum. But once my mother got linoleum, it would make holes in the linoleum, so nothing was nailed down.

AV: Now, what was on the walls, any holy pictures [underline holy pictures]?

MM: Just about two.

AV: Where were they located?

MM: There would be one just about here, and then maybe there’d be one on the wall over here.

AV: So, one above the bench, and then one on the wall opposite the door.

MM: Yes, just about there.

AV: Do you remember which ones they were?

MM: That I don’t remember, I can’t remember.

AV: Now what is this here?

MM: Now this is the shed [underline shed]. This was the shed. And this is what my father had built. Well before, ah, after the water came in, after they put a water line in, then that’s where we had our sink, but along this wall, like towards the neighbor’s side, there was a dry sink [underline dry sink]. Do you know what a dry sink is?

AV: It drains?

MM: No, no. It was just sort of like a cupboard [underline cupboard], and it had, how can I describe it, I would say maybe it was about three feet high, maybe about three and a half, and then there was a recessed bottom, about a foot deep. And then there was a shelf . . .

AV: Yeah, above that?

MM: No, there was a back on it, and on that, at the top there were two or three little drawers in there, and then underneath then there was one shelf, that if you had spices or salt and pepper shakers and things, that you could put on there. Then down underneath, there were two doors that opened up, and there were two shelves in there. And you either kept bread or other [underline kept bread or other] food, or dishes or something like that in there. And I can remember, they called it a dry sink because that was recessed, and about a foot deep, and whenever we had left, like food my mother would cook and if there was anything left over, well then she set it in there, and keep it over, you know, for leftovers like for the next day to eat or something like that.

AV: Would that store the food [underline store the food]?

MM: Well, it was out in the shed, it was cold in there.

AV: Oh, didn’t they use it like to wash dishes in?


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MM: No, my mother never used that for washing dishes. We used to wash dishes [underline wash dishes] in the dishpan on the table. Two dishpans, one for washing, one for rinsing.

AV: Did most people use their dry sink for that purpose? Storage of leftovers?

MM: Yes. Yes.

AV: Not to wash dishes in.

MM: No, I have never seen anyone wash dishes in them. And yest they called that a dry sink!

AV: Yeah, right! Oh!

MM: And then there was a bench [underline bench]. That was when we’d bring water in, in pails, because we had right outside of our house, right in front of the fence, there was a pump [underline pump] there, and we’d get our water. But many of the times, the pressure was so low that we couldn’t get the water there. We’d have to come up the street, about half a block up, and bring pump water. And then we’d have the pails of water on that bench in there. And then there would be another, well, it would be either one long bench or maybe two benches, and then my mother would keep milk in the crock [underline keep milk in the crock]. Ah, you saw the crocks that they have down there, down at the store. Well, those are the kind of crocks, only some were larger, some were much bigger. And she’d have them covered with if she had lids that fit pots, you know from pots, that would fit on the top of these crocks, she’d have the milk covered so that no dirt would get into it. Or, if not, she’d have a cloth over it, covered. But she always had the milk covered so that nothing would fall in. And then sometimes we had a meal with mashed potatoes and the sour milk. Especially in the summer time, oh, it went good. And if there was more sour milk, that we would use up, she would make cottage cheese [underline cottage cheese] out of it.

AV: Would she make it sour intentionally?

MM: Yes if we needed the cottage cheese, then she’d let one crock of milk, or two stand, until it soured, and then she’d make the cottage cheese. And we used to like cottage cheese very much. I know my father often took it to work because he liked it.

AV: And then, what was on the walls in your shed [underline shed]?

MM: Nothing. It was just plain board, and then even I think when we moved from there, we still left it that way, there wasn’t anything on it, it was just plain boards [underline plain board].

AV: What was on the floor?

MM: Nothing. Just boards.

AV: And exposed beams in the walls.

MM: Yes.

AV: Were there any holy pictures in the shed?

MM: No, not in there. And then there was a porch [underline porch], a port would go across . . . Where we lived, just like here we were in a higher section, it was more elevated than it was down in the lower part of the town. And on our side, we had about four steps to go down from down the shed to get down to the porch. On the neighbor’s side there were only about two. Because our house was up higher off the ground than the neighbor’s. Well, now this would be the shanty [underline shanty]. And we had a cupboard [underline cupboard] over here, and it was just more


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there, and in the summertime we had our winter clothes in there, because it was awfully crowded in the house.

AV: Did you store them in boxes?

MM: No, hang them on nails. There’d be nails all around, and then . . .

AV: On hangers?

MM: No, just on the nails, just hang them on the nails.

AV: And then, what did the wall look like?

MM: The wall was just plain boards, and every spring [underline every spring], you would take everything out of there that was moveable, everything except the stove you would take out of there, and then you would take and have a tub of hot water, soapy water, and with the broom, you would scrub [underline scrub] down these walls. And you would, after you would scrub down the walls, then you would take pails and pails of water and rinse the soapy water down, and then you’d scrub the floor, and you would have such a nice, fresh smell then to go, when it was time to move in in the summertime, in there. But you did that every spring.

AV: You never kept anything on the floors in there?

MM: From the beginning there wasn’t. Later we did. Ah, what carpets got old [underline carpets got old] and were used already in the house, well then we would put one strip or two strips of carpet in there.

AV: What was this table used for?

MM: We ate on it.

AV: In the summertime.

MM: Yes.

AV: About what month would this room be in use?

MM: About in May. From May til about October.

AV: Did you move the stove from the kitchen to the summer kitchen [underline summer kitchen], or not?

MM: No, my mother had two stoves. Now, when we went housekeeping, we only had the one stove, so we used to move our stove.

AV: Your father moved it . . .

MM: No, no, when I got married [underline married], well we only had the one stove, and so we used to move the stove, inthe spring move it from the house into the shanty, and in the fall bring it in Couple of men would come and help my husband, and they’d move it in.

AV: They’d pick it up, and push it?

MM: Well, you’d take it all apart, anything that you could take apart, you took off. You took all the lids off, you took all the doors off, and it came off in three sections: the base, and then the stove part, and then the cabinet part. So you took all that apart, and then they’d reassemble it when they’d bring it in.

AV: Now this passageway from the shed to the shanty, what was it like, how big was it, how wide?

MM: Well, it was the width of the house, as wide as the house was.

AV: So did it go like from here to here, all the way here, like this?

MM: Yeah, it would go all the way across.

AV: And it was made of boards . . .

MM: All boards, yes.

AV: And, any roof over it at all?

MM: No, there was no roof [underline no roof]. Now see, I have a little bit . . . now, just this is how we had fences. There was a fence in from of the house, and it was a board fence, the boards would run cross-ways . . . .

AV: Wait a minute, let’s do the bedrooms upstairs first, do you think we could?

MM: Now there’s the bedroom on the plan. This is the living room and the kitchen and this is the bedroom, upstairs. So this is the floor, and then this is the window on the wall. And the stair is, when you come up the stairs, and the window is right, just above the stairs. You had to be very careful, if


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you were looking out the window or something, because you could very easily fall down the stairs. And where the stairs were, there was no bannister, as I said, and you had to watch where you had your bed that your bed wouldn’t roll, because they had rollers, and you always had to watch that your bed [underline bed] was far enough away so that it wouldn’t roll off the floor! And the upstairs the roof was (pitched?), yes it was pitched on both sides. Well, from the front to the street side, well it came right down to the floor, the ceiling did. But the other side that come down over the kitchen, because the two rooms downstairs were completely under the roof. So the bedroom upstairs was as big as both the kitchen and the living room, that’s in floor space. But it wasn’t in height. So this one part where the roof slanted down over the kitchen [underline where the roof slanted down over the kitchen], a part of that was cut off and there was a wall put in, there was just boards. And then, just over the stairway, just where the stairway was, there was an opening, and you, there was just enough space that you could get on one foot, you stepped in to get into that entrance, to go in there, and then there was another entrance at the other end, and my father had a part of it with boards, he didn’t have the boards nailed, he just had the boards laid in there that we could walk on. But the rest of it was beams you had to be careful, because you’d go through the floor and you’d go right through the beams and everything and go down into the kitchen! So that was for storage.

AV: What did you store back there?

MM: In the summertime, usually because we had feather covers [underline feather covers], during the wintertime because it was cold, so those would be folded up and put into some other kind of cloth, you know, something old, either an old sheet or something or another, and it would be put inthere to keep there. And also, if there were clothes [underline clothes] that weren’t being used, or old boots or something or another that the men didn’t use, the boarders or somebody, or if the boarders had clothes, my mother had boarders [underline boarders], well then they kept some of their clothes in there. So it was more or less like a closet and a storage and just about whatever, you needed, if you didn’t have it downstairs, you had it upstairs, in that storage space.

AV: Now let me get this, this part indicates the walls sticking up. And then, how did you get into here, this is how you got in there?

MM: You went up the stairs. No, this was the closet in the living room under the stairs, that I talked about.

AV: Oh, I see, this was floor space, I’ll just put that down.

MM: And then this is the stairs that went up.

AV: And that thing, that storage would be like . . . .

MM: Here’s the storage [underline storage], the storage would be this way, because this is the back of the house, this is the front of the house, so your living room was here and your kitchen was here, and the storage was over the kitchen [underline storage over the kitchen].

AV: Now, what were in these upstairs bedroom? Who slept there and everything?

MM: Well, the children [underline children] and the boarders [underline boarders] usually slept up there. The bigger children. Well, not only the bigger ones. Usually the babies [underline babies] slept downstairs with my mother and father, and then like I said, sometimes if the baby was bad, or cranky or sick or something, then my father said, “I have to go to work in the morning, I can’t be up all night, so then my older sister would go down. We would take turns, sometimes my sister would go, sometimes I would go down, and well, sometimes if my father didn’t want to go upstairs, we slept on the floor. My mother would put a feather tick [underline feather tick] on the floor [underline the floor] and we’d sleep on the floor. And then we’d help her with the babies. Because she had twins [underline twins], and when she had twins it was pretty hard, and so, I know, for a period there after the twins were born, my father


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slept upstairs, because there were two babies, and if one was sleeping, the other one was awake! So, he said he had to go to work, so then he would sleep upstairs, so for quite a while he slept upstairs, and my sister and I slept downstairs. Now, upstairs, on…there would be two beds. There would be one bed right from the front here as you come up the stairs, on this side of the window. There was one bed right from the wall over this way. You couldn’t put it too far here, because the roof came right down. So the one bed would be here, and then there’d be another bed right below it, there’d be a space in between, just enough to walk through. And then down at the end towards the neighbor’s side there was a big trunk where my mother kept all things that she, well some of her personal possessions and things that she didn’t want touched or anything, well, she kept in that trunk. And then there would be another just above the stairs…

 AV: Who slept in those two beds?

 MM: Well, the children used to sleep in these beds…my brothers and sisters…and then in this bed on this side where the stairway was, well it was the boarders that would sleep in there.

 AV: But there was no paertition between…

 MM: No partition. Nothing. There wasn’t anything.

 AV: So, the kids used to sleep in the bedroom over the living room, and the boarders in the bedroom over the kitchen.

 MM: Right.

 AV: How many beds in that section over the kitchen?

 MM: One, just this one bed. And if we had two boarders, they both slept together. And if there was one boarder, well then, my brother would sleep with him.

 AV: How many kids of what age and such slept in this bedroom over the living room?

 MM: Over the living room, well, there were, up until, between my sister Helen and me there was six years difference because two children died in between there, so that there were three of us sleeping upstairs at one time, and then when my mother had the twins, then Helen came upstairs to sleep, so then there were four, and then when my sister Ronnie was born, well, then the twins came upstairs to sleep, so, but by that time my mother would only keep on boarder, by the time my youngest sister was born.

 AV: So your brother slept with the boarder.

 MM: Yes. Sometimes there were two of them, sometimes my older brother and one of the twins would sleep with the boarder. He didn’t seem to mind, he was a very nice man. He just died recently, and he was a very nice man, and he didn’t mind having the children sleep with him.

 AV: These twins were male twins?

 MM: Yes. So that’s how we slept. My sister Anna and I, and then when Helen came up to sleep, we three slept on one bed. And sometimes, if there was there were less of us upstairs, well then maybe there were only two of us on a bed. And then at one time, my mother had her neice from New York, she was sick. It was a dangerous thing to do, now when I think about it, I don’t know if my mother realized how dangerous it was. My cousin had TB, and the doctor told my aunt that she should come to Pennsylvania, that the air is better, because they lived in Brooklyn. And my grandmother lived in Light Haven at the time, and when Julia came, and she didn’t like to stay my grandmother’s because there weren’t any small children. So my grandmother asked my mother is she would take her to our place. So I slept with Julia for quite a long time. And Julia was fifteen and a half years old when she died with TB. So, now when I think about it, they didn’t realize how dangerous it was, but you know, one of us could have gotten TB from her, and


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik

yet thank God we didn’t. But, like I said, for about six months I slept with her!

 AV: Wow! At what age was your brother given a separate bed and no longer allowed to sleep with the girls?

MM: Well, I think from about, my brother Mike started to sleep with one of the boarders I think when he was about ten.

AV: And the other one?

MM: And the twins, well, of course, by the time they got a little older we already were living up here on this street.

AV: I see. What was on the walls, was it papered?

MM: Later it was papered. But the upstairs was whitewashed.

AV: The ceilings, too…

MM: Yes.

AV: And what was on the floor?

MM: Upstairs, nothing. It was too hard to clean because there between the beds and then there was a chest of drawers and a trunk and all, there wasn’t enough room to move around in, so that’s why there wasn’t any carpet or anything on the floor upstairs.

AV: Were there any windows?

MM: Upstairs? Only one, just at the top of the stairs. Just a single sash, that’s all.

AV: And on that was kept what, muslin curtains?

MM: Yes, and a window shade. Well, in the summertime that window was opened all night and all day.

AV: How did you light these bedrooms, what was the source of light?

MM: We had a lantern for the nighttime. That was kept on the floor, close to the stairway, so that we could see if we had to go downstairs.

AV: What was the source of light in the kitchen?

MM: We had a lamp on the wall, right there. There were two of them, but, there was one on one side and one on the other side, but then my mother changed, she mostly used the other one.

AV: Did most people have this kind of lamp?

MM: Yes, most everybody had lamps on the wall, and then they had the reflectors that it would give more light. And then like I said, on this table from the beginning my mother had a kerosene lamp, and it was one of those with the stand.

AV: Did most people’s kitchens look like this, and was furnished in the same way?

MM: Yes, about the same way, yes. (And the shed?) About the same thing, just about the same thing.

AV: Dry sinks, too?

MM: No, they would have some sort of cupboard in there, but I know that ours was a dry sink. And then like in the wintertime, whenever we would have, like I said my father would have a barrel of sauerkraut, it would be in this corner.

AV: And was the flour bin kept in the shed, too?

MM: Yes, it would be kept in the other corner, right in there. And that was only in the wintertime. Now, in the summertime it was kept in the shanty, by the cupboard somewhere.

AV: Then upstairs again, did you have any holy pictures on the walls, or crucifixes or anything?

MM: There was only one picture up above the stairway, but I don’t remember what it was. I know that there was only one picture, because there really wasn’t any way to hang pictures, because the way the ceiling sloped.


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AV: Yeah, I see. And was there any other kind of decoration up in the bedroom?

MM: No, nothing.

AV: What did you have, just beds, that’s it? No tables, side tables, chairs?

MM: There was one little table, all the way here in the corner. Just a little table, a little square table [underline little square table].

AV: And what was it used for?

MM: Well, sometimes if we didn’t have a lantern on it, we had a lamp, well the lamp would be on that table. Or sometimes maybe there would be a little statue [underline statue] of some sort, or something or another, that’s about all. There really wasn’t anything much.

AV: Hmm. Gee. That’s great.

MM: And then, like, on the . . . I still have, I can show you a dresser scarf that must be close to sixty years old.

AV: . . . an outside bake oven [underline outside bake oven], right?

MM: Yes.

AV: And they took a mound of dirt . . .

MM: Yes, and they first had it level, and then in the center of it they put four bricks.

AV: How high was this mound?

MM: Oh, it was quite high. It was all of six, seven feet high, the whole thing after it was finished. But, well, the mound of dirt was about waist high. And then they had the bricks in there, and then they either had stone or bricks up and made a square out of it, or if not they’d have that all, and I don’t know what they used, didn’t they use a clay, make a cement of clay and water or something to put in between the bricks and the stones. And then, on top of all this, then they would take and they’d put some more dirt (she takes time to chase a moth that has got in the house). They’d sort of round it off, and then on the front, they’d go to a blacksmith, and they’d have the blacksmith make a door, an iron door, and underneath they would have a hole made and in there they would build a fire.

AV: Underneath the door?

MM: Yeah, after they’d have it packed down real good, then they’d make a hole underneath, and then underneath is where they would put logs of wood, you know, big thick ones, and they would take and they would build a fire in there, and that would get the stones and the bricks real hot, and you baked your bread in there.

AV: And the door was not hinged in any way, it was just propped up there?

MM: No, no, it was on hinges somehow or another they had it on hinges, but, see there was a blacksmith working at the colliery [underline blacksmith working at the colliery]. They would tell him just what they wanted and how they wanted it, and they would have a hinge on there.

AV: Did they pay him for that?

MM: No, he would do it, more or less as a favor. If they’d bring him the piece of iron, most of the times it would be maybe from an old coal car, and they’d bring a piece of iron and then he’d shape it and he knew just what they wanted and would shape it for them and make it for them.

AV: And how big was the entire structure, how many feet would you say?

MM: Well, I would say it would be about six feet high, maybe a little bit more than six feet high. It was quite wide. It was, I would say, maybe about four, five feet wide, and in depth, about, well I know that when they would bake bread, they could easily bake ten loaves of bread at one time in there, so it was quite big inside, it was a couple of feet inward, because you could reach in with your hand all the way to the back that you’d turn your


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loaves around. My mother-in-law described that to me.

AV: Was it, do you think, maybe four or five feet.

MM: About four feet, I would say, yes easily four feet.

AV: And where was it located, what part of the yard.

MM: Now this one that I’m talking about was up here at this corner house, No. 65.

AV: And who’s living there now?

MM: My neice [sp. niece], G?uyrko?[spelling unreadable] Mary G?yr??ko [spelling unreadable]. And that was back of the shanty, a few feet back of the shanty, about eight feet back of the shanty. I can still remember the mound of earth there.

AV: Who else had that kind of structure, do you remember?

MM: I can’t remember. I know there were more people had it, but I can’t remember anyone else, but this one I remember because I asked my mother-in-law about it, and then she started describing it to me. My mother-in-law had a marvelous memory. It’s too bad that she’s dead, because she had a marvelous memory.

AV: Did she tell of any other bake ovens [underline bake ovens] on Main Street [underline Main Street]?

MM: She talked about others, that other people had them, but there weren’t very many. She talked of others that were lower down the street here. I guess some were down there near the clubhouse, across the street from where the clubhouse is, I believe that [underline or strikeout that] she said that there was one down there somewhere. I think she said either Mrs. Cushner. Well, Mrs. Yenshaw is living, there where used to be family by the name of Cernak (sp?). And then, where that that’s all leveled off across from Mrs. Yenshaw coming up, there was a house there, and Mrs. Cushner lived there, she was the mother of Mrs. H_ _ _ _ _ _ _. and I believe she had one.

AV: And was it in the same place, in back of the shanty?

MM: It was back of the shanty, it was outside someplace. It was back of the shanty, but they had it not too far away from the shanty. It wasn’t too, too far . . .

AV: Maybe eight or ten feet . . .

MM: Yeah, something like that.

AV: And anyone else down on Main Street that you heard?

MM: No. I know there was a lot of people had smoke houses [underline smoke houses] where, when they’d kill either a cow or kill a pig or something like that, then they would smoke sausage and smoke hams and things like that. We had a smoke house.

AV: When were these torn down, these bake ovens, do you know?

MM: Oh, as far back as I can remember, I don’t remember anyone baking in them except the one that my mother-in-law talked about, so it must have been quite a number of years back that they were torn down, it could be easily fifty years or more.

AV: Do you remember anyone else on Back Street having this bake oven?

MM: No, not on Back Street, I don’t remember.

AV: How about on Shanty Street [underline Shanty Street]?

MM: Well, I didn’t know Shanty Street because we didn’t/the town too much.

AV: How about on that Fourth Street [underline Fourth Street], down in back of the rectory?

MM: Oh, well that was a long, long time ago, even my husband barely remembers that street back there. My mother-in-law knew about it, she said those houses were very, very poor, she said they were very cold in the wintertime, and she said they weren’t made as good as the houses on the Back Street, the small houses.

AV: Did she describe what style they were?

MM: They were something on the order of these houses that are here, except she said that they didn’t have any shingles on the outside, there was just boards, just real wide boards.


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AV: Would you say the style was like your house, minus all this addition? Two rooms downstairs, two upstairs.

MM: That’s about all. And they didn’t even, from what she said they didn’t even have sheds on.

AV: And it wasn’t the style of Mrs. Timko’s house?

MM: No, it was like this, double homes. I don’t know how many there were. There were more than two, from the way my mother-in-law talked, there were more than two houses there.

AV: How many do you think, from what she said?

MM: I know she said there were some Russian people, not ??? that’s the real Russian people, that were living there, because she said she can remember them coming on New Year’s Day, there was no water down there, they had to come up where the rectory was, and there was a pump outside, and they had to come up there for water, so they had quite a little distance to go to get their water. And always on New Year’s Day, she said these people used to come, and Greek New Year’s [underline Greek New Year’s] came up on the fourteenth of January [underline fourteeth of January]. I think, thirteenth or fourteenth, fourteenth of January. And on that day they would come up, and they would have silver money, a few coins, and they would wash with that, when they washed themselves they used that silver, because it was supposed to bring you luck! But she said that people didn’t want to live there, though, because it was very, very cold and it was very, very inconvenient.

AV: It wasn’t painted, those homes? No shed, no shanty, just a summer kitchen?

MM: No, no. I don’t even know if they had a summer kitchen or not. They had outhouses, double outhouses [underline double outhouses].

AV: Located probably about what, twenty feet away from the back door?

MM: Easily that.

AV: And what else did they have in their yards, do you know? Did she mention . . .

MM: No, she didn’t mention anything about the yards. They had garden, they planted. Everybody had a garden.

AV: Did she say anything else about the homes down there, in the way that people lived?

MM: Well, the only thing, when she would describe the houses she said that they were like double board, but she said that boards were real, real wide, and there weren’t any shingles on, and she said that they looked so terrible, she said you’d see them, you’d think it was a cow stable instead of a house, she said, that’s how they looked. She said they weren’t built up like thise houses at all.

AV: And what class of people lived there?

MM: Well, two families I know that were Russian.

AV: Do you remember their names?

MM: No, I don’t remember.

AV: Were they considered like poorer class [underline poorer class] or . . .

MM: Very poor, very poor class of people. And there was also a Polish family there. Now let me see if I can remember the name of that family that lived there. I think it was Colishinsky, I believe there was a family by the name of Colashinsky [spelled differently than in beginning of sentence Coli or Cola] that lived there, my mother-in-law mentioned them.

AV: And is there any other detail on those houses that you can think of that she mentioned? The people ostracized them, did they consider them a lower kind of people?

MM: She said they didn’t mingle with the people in town. She said they more or less stayed just right there, they didn’t come up this way into town.

AV: Yet they worked here?

MM: Oh, yes, they worked in the mines. Yes, they worked. Well, it was the same way even before. I lived on the Back Street. I never came over on this


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street, because the children on this street would stone you! You’d have to go back!

AV: Why?

MM: Because they didn’t want you! They thought that they were better because we were a poorer class [underline poorer class] than they were, because we lived in smaller houses [underline smaller houses] than they did.

AV: And was that true?

MM: Ye . . . . well, I don’t know, but that’s the way they treated us.

AV: Was it a racial difference?

MM: No, no, not the racial difference, because they were the same kind of people.

AV: Slavic.

MM: Yes.

AV: Just because they lived on Main Street [underline Main Street].

MM: Yes, just because they lived on Main Street they thought they were a better people because they had bigger houses [underline bigger houses] and they looked down on us.

AV: And was there any other kind of thing, like, any other sections of town that were rivals against each other?

MM: Oh, yes! Down lower [underline Down lower], like [underline like], on the Main Street [underline on the Main Street] here, down about as far as the club house where the club house is now, well, it was all right, but if you went a little bit farther than that, that was more or less taboo territory, because down there there was more Dutch, Protestant [underline Dutch, Protestant] people, and they looked down on the Catholics something awful.

AV: What was the cut-off point, what house?

MM: Well, like I said, just about where the club house was, some place in that area.

AV: And what about like Shanty Street and Main Street or Back Street? What about the Shanty Street people, what did you think of them:

MM: Well, Shanty Street [underline Shanty Street] mostly there were Polish and Slavs that alived back there. That was the type of people that lived there. They were, that I could remember, as far back as I could remember, I think there were only three houses back there, and then when people moved out, one house was torn down, there were only two.

AV: Were those people rivals?

MM: No, they didn’t seem to be rivals in there. Well, even when the kids came to school, there didn’t seem to be that rivalry. I think once they built the school [underline school] up here, and once the children all started to come to school up here, I think that’s where the rivalry stopped, because the children all mingled together, and it seems that that’s when the people in the town started to become a little more friendly from both ends. But as long as the school was down at the other end [underline school was down at the other end] of town, there was a lot of rivalry [underline rivalry] among the people.

AV: What about adults? Did Back Street adults rival with Main Street adults?

MM: No, no it was just children!

AV: And was there any other kind of rivalry that you remember, between adults?

MM: The only thing that I remember about the adults [underline adults] is about the Catholics [underline Catholics] and the Protestants [underline Protestants].

AV: The Upper End [underline Upper End] against the Lower End [underline Lower End]?

MM: Yes, because my mother-in-law said that her mother-in-law lived down, you know where the Fairchilds lived? Down that corner? Well, her mother-in-law lived there first, and . . .


Mary Marshlik #75 A. Veresano 8/22/72 Tape 28-2 10:30-12pm Floor Plan: Hartz’s Back Street House [#41]

sketch of Back Street house floor plan


Mary Marshlik #75 A. Varesano 8/22/72 10:30-12pm Back St. Home #41 (Hartz) Upstairs

illustration of upstairs floor plan


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik [underline Marshlik] -1 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

MM: My husband’s grandmother lived in that first house there, and it was, she was the only one of the Polish and Slav families [underline Polish and Slav families] that lived down there. All the rest were Protestant and Irish [underline Irish]. They made life really [underline really] miserable for her.

AV: What did they do?

MM: Not any of them would speak to her, and – she was a midwife [underline midwife] – and whenever she would pass by they would make some slurring remarks about the Polish and about the Slavs and things like that. And she didn’t like it all, because now some of her relatives lived up at this end of the town and she wanted to come up here. And then finally . . .

AV: What kind of slurring remarks [underline slurring remarks]?

MM: Well, they called her, every time they’d see her they’d call her a “dirty Polack” [underline “dirty Polack”]. That was one of the things they called Polish people: the “dirty Slovak” or “the stinking Greek” [underline “the stinking Greek”], or something like that. So then, she understood English pretty well, because she was a midwife and she went around to quite a few places, because she didn’t only deliver babies here in town but she even went to [blank space] and to [blank space] and to [blank space], different places she went. So then when her daughter Frances died, she cried an awful lot and she didn’t want to live down there, and then there was a house empty right here on the corner where, then she moved up here where I said she had that outside oven. Well, when that house was empty, my father-in-law was working in the mines at the time, and he asked for that house, and the company didn’t want to give him that house, and he said , explained to them why he wanted it. And they, they paid no attention, they said that was no reason for wanting a house up here. So he said, “All right,” he said, “if you don’t give me that house,” he said, “I’m going to work to Jeddo.” And at that time men were scarce to work in the mine. So he said, “I’m tellin’ you,” he said, “that house is empty. If you let anybody else move into that house,” he said, “the day that you let somebody move in that house, that’s the day,” he said, “I’m gonna go to work in Jeddo.” So they did give him the house, and she was happy then when she come up here because she was among her own kind.

AV: Now, did you know of any other instances of, like, rivalry of the Slavic with the people in the other end of town? Was this common?

MM: Well, it was quite common in those days, because I can even remember how the Irish looked down [underline Irish looked down] on us.

AV: About when would you say this happened?

MM: Well, it even happened in my time. It happened . . .

AV: When did this incident with your mother-in-law happen?

MM: With my mother-in-law . . .

AV: Could it be about 1910?

MM: Maybe it was even later than that, because, now Aunt Amanda is seventy-four, and I think she said that she was two years old or three years old when they moved up here. Pretty early in the 1900’s when that happened.

AV: So then even in your time you remember the Protestants, what was it you were going to say?

MM: The Protestants and the Irish looked down on us.

AV: Why? What was the reason?

MM: They thought that we were inferior. They really did. They thought that they were a better race than we were, they thought that they were a better people than we were.

AV: In what way?

MM: Well, even as far as work goes, ah, you didn’t hear of the Protestants or the Irish [underline Irish] that would be miners or would be doing work like that. They were either foremen [underline foremen], or they’d have work around the colliery [underline colliery]. They didn’t have


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -3 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

to go into the mines to work. Where it was the Slovaks and the Greeks [underline Slovaks and the Greeks], ah, the Poles [underline Poles], that used to go down to work into the mines. Then, there were a few Italian families [underline Italian families], and they also worked in the mines.

AV: Were the Slavic against the Italians?

MM: No.

AV: How about the Dutch?

MM: That I don’t know, because the Italians lived down at the other end of town. My mother-in-law said that there was one Italian family lived right here in this next house, and she said they were the nicest people, she said they got along very, very well.

AV: Where did the Italians live, mostly?

MM: Well, they seemed scattered. There was the one family lived on the Back Street [underline Back Street]. That man was a shoe cobbler [underline shoe cobbler], because my mother-in-law said she remembers taking shoes over to have him fix shoes. He worked in the mine, but he also fixed shoes. And then there was this family that lived right over here. Then there was another family someplace down in the next block, and there were some that lived all the way down near the store. So there were, and two families that lived down near the store, [blank space] and B[blank space]. So they were here and there, and they got along very well together.

AV: So would you say that the basic rivalry here, or class differences, or I mean, like racial rivalry, was between the Slavic and Greek Catholic, and the Protestant, Irish, and Welsh . . .

MM: Right. There was also a rivalry between Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic.

AV: Oh, there was? How was that expressed?

MM: Because the Roman Catholics [underline Roman Catholics] thought that the Greek Catholic [underline Greek Catholic] people, that their church wasn’t the right church, because they were ignorant, they didn’t know that they were all under the one Pope. They were ignorant of the fact that they were all under the one Pope at that time . . . . . And because when you’d go to church the Mass was different, because in the Roman Catholic the Mass was in Latin. You’d go into the Greek Catholic Church, it was in the Byzantine rite and tongue, and so they thought that that wasn’t right, they thought that there was too much of a difference, because now even by mother-in-law held that against me, because am a Greek Catholic and my husband is Roman Catholic. So she didn’t like the idea very much of my husband marrying me, because she thought that maybe I would have him go to church with me, and, she didn’t have anything to worry about as far as that goes, because I always felt the husband is the head of the house, and where he goes, I go, so she didn’t have anything to worry on that score. But even to that point now, that’s forty-three years ago when we were married, and even she still had that feeling about it, although she changed her mind because she saw, it didn’t take to long after that she changed her mind she saw that things weren’t the way she expected them to be.

AV: Was marriages between rites frowned upon?

MM: Yes! Yes, very much. And it didn’t matter if a Roman Catholic married a Roman Catholic, or a Ukrainian married a Ukrainian or a Greek Catholic married a Greek Catholic, that was good. But is a Roman Catholic married a Greek Catholic [underline Roman Catholic married a Greek Catholic], well, for a while there was a friction between both families. But, before you knew it all the differences were ironed out and the people got along well! You found out people were people.

AV: What about the parents, did they prohibit marriages between rites?

MM: Sometimes they did.


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -3 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

AV: And did that have effect, I mean, did the kids listen to them?

MM: Well, there were sometimes when marriages were, the children didn’t like the idea of getting married, but yet the parents arranged the marriage [underline parents arranged the marriage] and the marriage took place.

AV: And sometimes were the parents able to break up marriages between rites?

MM: Yes, there were. Now even in my mother-in-law’s case, my mother-in-law didn’t want to marry my father-in-law, although she said later, later, but when she first married him, there was another man that she liked very, very much. But between her mother and her mother-in-law, the arrangements were made, and then her father, her father liked my father-in-law very much, they got along so well together, so she wasn’t very keen on marrying my father-in-law, but my father-in-law was very, very good to her, and when he died she missed him terribly because he was really good to her, and it turned to be a very good husband, and she said, she often talked to me, because she lived with us for twenty-three years, and she often talked and she said, “I really did learn to love Andrew”, and she said, “I don’t think I could have loved the other man as much as I loved Andrew.” So, in this case it turned out good.

AV: Yeah. What about marriages [underline marriages] between Protestants [underline Protestants] and Catholics [underline Catholics]?

MM: Well, there were some instances where a Catholic married a Protestant and the Catholic parents just disowned that child. They (son or daughter?) either one, they just disowned them. I know there was an Irish girl here from town, she married a Protestant fellow from [blank space], and I know that her mother was heart-broken, but I know that Mary didn’t come to the house for a long, long time. Afterwards, they did make up. I think after Mary had about two or three children, then they did make up. But right in the beginning they wouldn’t have anything to do with either Mary or her husband.

AV: What about marriages between different nationalities, like English and Slavic or Irish and Slavic?

MM: Well, they didn’t like the idea, but I don’t think they were quite as much objection to an Irish marrying a Slav or a Pole, because of the Roman Catholic faith. I don’t think there was quite as much objection to that as there was to the Greek Catholic.

AV: So it was better for a Roman Catholic to marry a Protestant . . . .

MM: No . . . a Greek Catholic than the Protestant, yes.

AV: Did it work vice versa, too?

MM: Yes.

[At this point there is a larger gap after the MM: Yes. and then the remaining lines. The lines below do not follow the same Q & A topic as above.]

MM: . . . and the Slav people, they made, they called them [blank space represented by an underline], but there the three-cornered dough [underline three-cornered dough] rolled out and cut in squares, and then you put a filling in, either a cottage cheese, or mashed potatoes, or prunes, cabbage, and then you fold it over into three, make it three corners, and then you cook that for a few minutes and then you drain them and then you put brown butter over them. But on Christmas Eve [underline Christmas Eve] we didn’t have anything with butter [underline butter]. It was all with salad oil, Mazola Oil or something like that, and you’d fry an onion, with that, brown the onion, and pour that over. On Christmas Eve you didn’t use anything with milk [underline milk] or with butter or with lard, any kind of fat except the salad oil.

AV: What kinds of foods did you serve?

MM: Well, one was mushroom [underline mushroom] soup made with a little bit of, they were dried mushrooms, wild mushrooms, that they picked and dried, and then they were cooked and chopped, and then there was a soup made with mushrooms and some


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -4 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

diced potatoes and a little bit of rice, and then sauerkraut juice, and for, ah, to make a litte tart, and then a little of the oil with the browned onion in there for flavor, and, or if not sometimes if there wasn’t any rice, sometimes without rice, to make a thickening you’d brown some flour in the oil and put that in for a thickening, and some chopped parsley would be put in there, and if you didn’t have the fresh parsley you had dry parsley, because we always used to dry parsley and have dry parsley put in there. And then another one also was with the wild mushrooms, dried, and they were soaked overnight in water and then the next day they were, you had to wash them pretty thoroughly, because when they dried the dirt sort of stays in them. And you washed them out in several waters, rinsed them out, and then put them on to boil, and then when they’re cooked you put them through a grinder, and, a coarse grinder, and you cook sauerkraut on a side and, you just cook the sauerkraut for a little while, and then drain it, and drain it well and then put the mushrooms in there, and then you brown the onion in the oil and put salt and pepper and a little bit of sugar, and then just mix this up. That is very, very tasty.

AV: What else did you have?

MM: We had fish [underline fish], and we had herring [underline herring], and then . . .

AV: How was that cooked?

MM: The herring? Well, it was just pickled herring [underline pickled herring]. And the fish was usually fried. And then like, our people, the Greek Catholic people [underline Greek Catholic people], didn’t have that Opopik , the Christmas Wafer, but my mother used to bake bread, and from that dough she would make just little tiny balls, she’d roll out and make little tiny balls, and put the pan with flour, it wasn’t greased, it was just floured, and you’d but these little tiny balls of dough side by side and let them raise for a while. This dough was made only with flour, salt, and sugar and yeast. And then, when it would raise then you’d put them in the oven and you let them bake pretty crisp. Then they were, you could bake these even the day before or two days before, and then before they were served you would take and scald them with hot water, just for a few seconds, and you would have some of sauerkraut, either fried or just plain raw sauerkraut and mix in, my mother liked it better that the sauerkraut was fried, and mix it with, they called the Bobolke [underline Bobolke], and then she’d make, in a different pot she’d make some with ground poppy seed [underline ground poppy seed], mixed with honey [underline mixed with honey], and we used to have that, and then also with the same type of dough she’d make one loaf of bread, and she’d flatten it out, it would be, I would say maybe about two inches thick, and she’d bake it right on the floor of the oven. It was round. It would be maybe about fourteen fifteen inches in diameter, because so everybody would have a piece of that bread, and it would still be warm, and it would be spread with honey, and it was cut in wedges and everybody got a piece of that bread. And that was like at the breaking of bread, that signified the breaking of bread [underline signified the breaking of bread], Holy Supper.

AV: Now, how did you begin to eat this Holy Supper [underline Holy Supper]?

MM: Oh, well, it was a great preparation [underline great preparation]. In the morning, there was seemed like there was a lot of excitement, a lot of activity goin’ on, everyone was willing to help, the children all wanted to do something. One was grinding mushrooms [underline grinding mushrooms], another was doing something else, and there was so much dishes to wash [underline dishes to wash], and then we were busy washing dishes and we were helping my mother, and it seemed that as the day went on, and it was a fast day, you tried to fast as much as you could. I couldn’t because every time I fasted I got sick. By the time it came time to east supper I would be sick. The priest told my mother, don’t let her fast. You give


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -5 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

her, if she has coffee, you give her milk in her coffee, and you put butter on her bread, and because I always used to, ah, every time it was time to eat supper I got sick, so he said that I had an exemption from that fast [underline exemption from that fast]. Then, everybody had to have a bath [underline bath], and had to have their hair washed [underline hair washed] and combed and you were all shiny clean and all, and then there was a clean table cloth put on the table, and some people used to put a little bit of bay underneath the table [underline bay underneath the table] cloth, and that signified that Christ was [underline signified that Christ was] born and He was laid in a manger. And we used to have just a little layer of it, right in the very center, but otherwise we didn’t have, some of the people used to cover the whole table. We didn’t, we just had a little bit right in the center. And it would start out first with a prayer, it would be Our Father and Hail Mary and Glory Be, and then my father would make, for a toast [underline toast] we would have, he’d take garlic and fry in oil and he sliced the garlic and have that brown, and he’d put whiskey [underline whiskey] into this, a bottle of whiskey he’d pour into that, and let that heat up to a certain point, and then he’d put honey [underline honey] in, and then each of us got a little bit in a glass, just a little bit, but everybody at the table got a little bit of it.

AV: What was it called?

MM: There was no name for it, it’s just that my father made this, and he said that they did this in Europe [underline did this in Europe] where he came from, that his mother and father used to have that at their table, so, and my mother came from the same part of the country, my father and mother both came from Austria-Hungary [underline Austria-Hungary], except that my father came more from the Hungarian side, and my mother came more from the Czechoslovakian section.

AV: What was the rest of the supper like, how did you eat it?

MM: Well, nobody was in a hurry, everyone took their time [underline everyone took their time], and it was one time that my father wasn’t mad, and it was a happy occasion. And we’d start with the toast first, with drinking that whiskey with the honey . . .

AV: Did he say a toast [underline toast]?

MM: Yes, he would say something, I can’t remember, couldn’t say exactly how he said it, but he would say that, “We’re all here together, and we pray and ask God that we will be here together next year, and we ask Him for health and His Blessing,” and then, so that was the toast, and then . . .

AV: Was there any prayer before?

MM: Yes, we would start with the Our Father, the Hail Mary and Glory Be first and then at the end there was a prayer of Thanksgiving. We all bowed our heads and we thanked in our, just to ourselves we thanked God for everything, and then as children, well, you’d wish Santa Claus would bring something for you, and, which, we hung our stockings, we knew we’d get something in the stockings [underline stockings], but whether we’d ever get a Christmas gift, we never knew, and we very rarely did.

AV: Where did you hang them?

MM: At the foot of the bed, or back of the stove, or someplace like that. Most of the times it was back of the stove, on the nail behind the stove.

AV: What was the explanation when you didn’t get any?

MM: Well, we knew that, from the beginning when we were smaller, well, we just took for granted that Santa Claus didn’t have enough to [underline Santa Claus didn’t have enough to] go around, that there was lots of children, that there wasn’t enough to go around. As we got older we understood that there wasn’t enough money to buy things. If we did get anything, it was something to wear, it was either a pair of rubbers or a cap or gloves or something like that. But then, not matter how much friction there was, no matter how mad my father would be, but on that day everything would go so nice, and then right after supper, sometimes you wouldn’t even have the dishes finished, and there used to be a few men, maybe about five, six of them used to come around singing Christmas


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -6- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

Carols. and they used to sing, the men, in Slovak, and be dressed…

 AV: Were these the Kuba players?

 MM: Yes. But to get back to the dinner, what did you do after the toast, how

 AV: did you eat it?

 MM: Well, then my father would cut the bread, that was my father’s part, he would cut the bread and he would cut it in so many wedges, and he’d pass a wedge to each piece – to each person! and there was always one empty dish on the table, that was, if anyone would come in, there was a place set for them. Then, we, well, the dishes were all passed, everyone helped themselves to what they wanted, how much the wanted…

 AV: What did you call the bread that you used?

 MM: Kiritchen.

 AV: And then, this empty plate on the table, did you put a little bit of each food in it?

 MM: No, that was just there, that was set there, that if anyone would come there was a place for them to eat.

 AV: Did you have a certain amout of dishes, certain number of dishes to serve?

 MM: Well, there was supposed at least seven (why?), I don’t know. That is something that I don’t know, there would have to be an odd number. And theat I don’t know why. Is it because of the apostles, you know there were twelve apostles but of course Judas betrayed Christ. Whether it was that reason or what it was, but an odd number.

 AV: And did you usually have seven foods? What were they? The bread…

 MM: Oh, yes. Well, each one, well the bread and then the bobolke that we used to have, oh the ones with the sauerkraut, the poppy seeds…

 AV: That was a different dish…

 MM: Yes, that was slready different, because they were in seperate bowls. And then there was the soup, and then the sauerkraut with the mushrooms, and then there would be the herring, and always a bowl of cooked prunes.

 AV: What did they mean?

 MM: I don’t know why, but my mother always had a bowl of cooked prunes on Christmas Eve, that I don’t know, but there was always a bowl of cooked prunes.

 AV: Did the other kinds of food mean different things, too, or not?

 MM: Not that I know, it’s just I think a tradition, a family tradition of what they had in Europe and what they came with over here.

 AV: And then, how did you end up the meal.

 MM: By singing! We used to sing carols in our own language.

 AV: Do you remember any?

 MM: Oh, I do remember, if I had the book here, I could, I still have a book, I have my mother’s prayer book and a lot of them are inthere, that I remember them, if you ever would hear a Greek Catholic hymn…I have Polish hymns, I have a record of Polish hymns that they sing in church.

 AV: What did you do after you’d sing the carols?

 MM: Well, then it was a hurry-scurry to get the dishes done because the men that used to come around, they were called Kuby (Cuh’-bee). And one would carry a little replica of a church, and inside was the manger, and there was a little bell in there, and they came, on it they had a stick and then there was a little cross on the top of the stick and there would be two little bells.

 AV: Now what did this guy carry the church look like, what did he dress in?

 MM: They had, like, the white that the priest wears, well there would be something like that, something made of white, and they would have, each one would have in a different color ribbon, a ribbon maybe about two,


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -7- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

three inches wide, and they’d have them cross-ways.

 AV: Two?

 MM: Yes, two ribbons, they would hae them cross-ways. And from cardboard, they would have like big hats fashioned, and they’d have them covered with white, and then they would have tinsel on them, and in between they’d have little pictures of the Nativity Scene, here and there they’d have pasted on. Because they would prepare these things long before Christmas, or if not they saved them from one year to another.

 AV: Who used to make those?

 MM: Sometimes it was the mothers of hte men that came around, sometimes it was the men themselves. Usually it was the same group of men. I know one of them that was, ah, came around a lot was Andrew Polatko, Berth’s brother, and he was the one that would carry this little church. And so there usually used to be three or four that were dressed like that.

 AV: Who do you remember else besides Andrew?

 MM: Oh, gosh I don’t remember. After the singing was done, they would come in and they would sing they would make the greeting. As they came in they woudl say in our way, they would say “Slava es Jesu Christu”, that means praise be Jesus Christ. And then you would answer them, “Slava Naviki”, that would be Praise Him Forever. Then they would come in and they’d start tossing. They would start with the Christmas Carols, but in the Slovak, not in the English, the Slovak. But usually they sang Silent Night in English. And then you’d give them a little donation, and they used to…well it would be fifty cents, or whatever you had, if you didn’t have too much monty to spare, and fifty cents was quite, if you gave them a dollar, well that was a lot. This money they would take and they would, after they’d get it, then they’d divide it, and give a donation to each church form this money, and then naturally they were offered a drink, and on the end, sometimes there were two, sometimes it was only one, sometimes there would be, they used to call him the Madikuba, and he would be dressed more like a peasant, and he’d have pants made our of a burlap bag, and he would have a little bit of straw on, and he’d have a hat that was old, and the wouldn’t have a mask on his face. He would come in just like that; but then when the Al Man came in, well they would have those pants suffed so much with straw, and he woudl always come in, he had a wooden hatchet, and he scared the life out of the children! Because he’d come in and “Which one of the children were bad?”, “Which one of the children were good?”, and, well if they were good, well, then, he wouldn’t go near them. And he always was masked, and he would come in, and he would go to the children, you know, and “Were you good? Were you good all year?”, and he’d go from one to another. But when he’d first come in, he’d come in and he’d fall on the floor, and he would hollar, and he’d say “Ha! Ha! Ha! So here you are !” he would say, and oh, it was something. And we used to wait for that. That was one thing that we waited for after supper, because we enjoyed having him come!

 AV: What did you call him, that guy?

 MM: He was the Spadykuba.

 AV: What kind of a mask did he have on his face?

 MM: Just like a Halloween mask, ah, something just to cover his face, the whole face.

 AV: In the shape of what? An old man?

 MM: An old man, yes. And then he’d have an old, a real old hat on his head and all. There’d be a beard on it, attached right to the mask, and then after everything was all over, well then he’d take his mask and take his hat off, and well you’d see them, they’d be perspiring because they were so covered


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up, and then every place they went, naturally they were toasting! By the time they were finished with the town, they were toasted pretty good!

 AV: Did they wear clothes under that costume?

 MM: Yes, because it was cold. It was really something that everyone looked forward to. But I know that a few times my father would give them something at the door, but he wouldn’t let them in because, my brother was, one of my brothers got so frightened that my mother thought that he would go into convulsions, so until they got a little bit bigger, then my father explained to them the reason why. They understood. He’d given them a donation, and then they would go their way.

 AV: What else happened on Christmas, after that?

 MM: Oh, by that time, then you were tired and you were ready to go to bed, and my father would be getting ready to go to church for midnight mass, and sometimes he would take us older children, one of us, with him, because already at that time you would take the bus, but in the daytime you walked to church, because there wasn’t enough money for everyone to ride the bus, in fact, when there were no buses, everybody walked to church.

 AV: Oh Christmas Day, what happened?

 MM: Well, Christmas Day, the first thing you got up, you went to look for your stocking to see what you got, and in the bottom of the stocking was an orange, always there was an orange, and then there was popcorn, and we never had a Christmas tree. I would see Christmas trees in other windows, and I would stand and watch them because I admired them so much, but we never had a Christmas tree, for one thing there wasn’t room for it. The house was small and with a big family there wasn’t room to put a tree, and then another thing, to buy the decorations, why it cost money, and my father said, well they didn’t have it in Old Country and he wasn’t gonna put one up here either. So we never did have a Christmas tree.

 AV: I see. Well, then what else did you do?

 MM: Well, on Christmas Day, was a day, you had, all the food for Christmas Day you had to cook the day before, or two days before. You had all that done. On Christmas, you did not cook. You did no sweeping, you did no cleaning, it was a very big Holy Day, and some people didn’t even wash their dishes, until the following day, they just put them on the side. It was really a Holy Day. You kept it as a Holy Day, did nothing at all. You went to church and you went visiting, neighbors visited neighbors, and they would go, one neighbor would call on another one, and then they’d go visit another neighbor, and so on. They’d go around wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. It was really happy time, a very happy time.

 MM: It’s a very small diagram I made here.

 AV: This shows your house in the Back Street, and the garden layout, right?

 MM: Yes. This was the front fence. It was wooden, and it was with the boards went horizontal.

 AV: And it had like little spaces in between.

 MM: Yes. But now, the fences that came down the side and in through the garden and all the way down, now they had boards that were up and down.

 AV: They weren’t picket boards?

 MM: No, no, just flat boards, some were narrow, soem were wide, just so long as they were up, one was higher than another, it was just that there was a fence up. Sometimes they’d more or less try to keep them even, but sometimes if the board didn’t reach quite as high, then they just let it go, whatever you had.

 AV: And then, this fence around the edge of the property, was what that like?


A. Verasano interviewing Mary Marshlik -9- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

MM: That was a seperation of your garden from the neighbor’s. It was the same as the others, with the boards up and down.

 AV: And this fence in the middle of the garden was the same, with boards up and down?

 MM: That’s right. And then we had, my father had a porch made off the boardwalk, he had a porch made in here. There was a willow tree in the center, a great big willow tree, and he built that porch in around there.

 AV: What kind of porch was it?

 MM: Wooden, just wooden. Like a platform.

 AV: How big was it? How many feet around?

 MM: Oh, I would say it could have been every bit of about eight, ten feet square. It was quite big. My father used to cut hair, so in the summertime that’s where he did his barboring.

 AV: What else did you do on there?

 MM: Well, we used to play a lot, because under the tree it was shady. And then we used to keep our coal-oil can in the corner, and if we cleaned vegetables or did anything like that, that’s where we did it?

 AV: Why did you keep the coal-oil can in the corner over there?

 MM: It was in the corner, right in here.

 AV: Why did you store it there?

 MM: So it was away from the children, that the smaller children didn’t go to it.

 AV: What about this fence around this end of the…

 MM: Now that was, this part was, I have this wrong right here, but this would be the house, and the fence would go from here down. So from the weather shanty and down there was a fence to seperate it from the neighbor’s. It was whereever the gardens met, so that would be a seperation, like a boundary line.

 AV: So that this house was right over near the edge of the property.

 MM: Right. The house was, and the house and the shanty and all were on, an even line, and then the fence from teh shanty down was in between our house and the neighbor’s side.

 AV: This was a single house…

 MM: No, that was a double home, that was a double home.

 AV: So this is the whole home, the whole double home.

 MM: No, this is the half of the house.

 AV: Oh, your half.

 MM: This is our house. And then the other side would be simular (similar) to this. Except that they didn’t have a porch in here, the other side.

 AV: Now the fence on the back part here, bordering onthe alley, what was that like?

 MM: Well, that was made of wood and that was closed in tight. There weren’t any spaces between it, because people used to let their geese, and also that other people’s chickens or geese could not get into your garden.

 AV: How high was this fence in front, made of horizontal boards?

 MM: Oh, I would say, maybe about three, four feet high, about four feet high.

 AV: And this fence through the garden, how high was that?

 MM: Well, that was about the same height, just about the same height.

 AV: And the fence in the back here…

 MM: Well, that was higher, that was maybe about six feet, because I know that you could hardly see over it, you’d have to stand up on something to look over the fence.

 AV: What was the gate like?

 MM: It was a wooden gate, just on hinges, and it would swing open, and then to close it there was just a little piece of wood to turn, to keep it locked,


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -10- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

or if not there was a hook from the inside.

 AV: What did that door look like, was it just plain square?

 MM: Yes, that’s right.

 AV: It wasn’t fancy or…

 MM: No, no, no. It was just made out of the same kind of boards as the fence was. And the boardwalk, well, the boards were long boards going down, running down. There would be, if there were wider boards, there were the width of two, and if they were narrow, there were three.

 AV: So it was maybe about two feet wide?

 MM: About that. And that would go all the way from the front down, as far as the stable, where we would go in to the stable. The boardwalk would go.

 AV: So then, what did you have in back of the shanty here? You had a wire enclousure…

 MM: Well, right here there was an empty space, we used to play there, most of the time that’s where we played.

 AV: How big was that space?

 MM: Oh, let’s see. From the shanty to the…it might have been maybe about four, five feet. And there wasn’t amy grass growing there or anything, it was just dirt, and at one point there, there was where my brother and I would saw wood and chop wood, over on this end. And then, I said there was a wire enclosure for the hens and geese.

 AV: How big was this hen house?

 MM: Oh, I wouldn’t know just exactly just how big it was. It was quite big. It could have been anywhere around eight foot square.

 AV: Was it more square or rectangle?

 MM: Rectangle. Maybe it would be about an eight by six or something like that.

 AV: And then, this wire enclousure…

 MM: Well that was smaller, that was a little narrower.

 AV: Maybe six by four?/

 MM: About that.

 AV: And what did this hen house look like? Did it have pointed roof?

 MM: Pointed roof, yes, pointed roof, and then there were, ah, little holes cut out near the ground for the hens to come in and out (No door?), oh, yes, there was a door, and there was a window in there, but that the hens could go in freely there were little openings down on the bottom, and then when you’d want to close it if it was cold, why it was a little door made with hinges, You’d just take and drop it down and then you’d hook it. There was an iron hook.

 AV: Did this hen house look like most people’s in the Back Street?

 MM: Oh, yes. Well, the roof was a sheet iron roof, a corrugated sheet iron roof, and then later on it was tarpaper.

 AV: Why did they use corrugated sheet iron for the roof?

 MM: Because usually you were able to pick it up from around the colliery when they discarded it, and so you didn’t have to buy it, you’d be able to pick up pieces here and there, and then you’d have enough to cover.

 AV: What was this section back here that you labeled garden?

 MM: My mother had a little vegetable garden there.

 AV: What did she grow?

 MM: Peas, string beans, some carrots, and parsley, just, that was her little vegetable garden.

 AV: Did the rest of the family get any of that stuff?

 MM: Oh, yes, that was for all of us. And then, in the larger garden on this side


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -11- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

well, there was potatoes planted, just about all potatoes, well there would be maybe some other vegitables, beets, cucumbers, cabbage, because my mother canned a lot of cucumbers, so she would plant a lot of cucumbers. So that would be in the big garden, and then we always planted potatoes, we had a lot of potatoes, we had enough potatoes for the whole winter.

 AV: Did she plant this little garden in any special order?

 MM: No, just how it came to her, what she wanted to plant, where she wanted, and she’d plant a bed of one thing and a bed of another thing, and she just had those little garden, and on the edge she used to plant nasturtiums. I hated nasturtiums! They looked beautiful from a distance, but I hate the smell of them even to this day!

 AV: What was in all this area around the garden? Was it grass?

 MM: Grass, it was all just grass. Weeds.

 AV: What was this thing?

 MM: That’s the outhouse.

 AV: And in back was a cow stable and a coal pen. What did this cow stable look like? How big was it?

 MM: Well, that was pretty big. Well, I would say it was easily the size of the one the G—–‘s have back of their shanty. Every bit that big. And even bigger than that. Because it was seperated in two, you see I have a mark here, well the cows stayed in this part and then the hay was kept in here. And then this, what I have marked off over here is, there was like a slanted bin, and it just had a couple of poles across, and we put hay back there and the cow would pull the hay out and would get hay from there.

 AV: A hay rack. How wide was it, how big was it?

 MM: The rack? Oh, the whole stable, the whole stable was, well, it could have been maybe about fourteen feet inthis way, but it was shorter this way. Maybe about twelve by fourteen.

 AV: And then how tall wasit, how high?

 MM: That must have been about seven, eight feet high, because I know it was quite high.

 AV: What did the roof look like?

 MM: Well the roof was covered with, I think it was like double layer of wood, and then there was tarpaper on it to keep it warm.

 AV: And it was unpainted…

 MM: No, nothing was painted. It was boards, and even the walls were double boards, and then where the boards would meet then there were little strips nailed over them, it was to keep the wind and the cold out as much as possible in the wintertime.

 AV: Where did the people get the material to build the shanty in back, or rather the shed in back of the kitchen?

 MM: Well, sometimes you would, you could pick it up, like when they’d be building something up around the timber yard, up around the colliery, and they’d discard boards around the railroad track, and we used to bring them home, and sometimes you would ask the company for some, and maybe they would give you a few boards, so little by little you’d gather them, and by that time maybe you had enough. Or, if your fences were broken down you’d ask for boards for fences, and they would give you so much, and maybe some of the boards that wer eont eh fence were still all right that you could use, so that you would use it for something else.

 AV: Where idd they get the material for the hen house?

 MM: The same way.

 AV: And the cow stable and coal pen, too?

 MM: The coal pen, the company used to put up. And the company used to put the


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -12- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

outhouse up, yes.

 AV: This was a single outhouse…

 MM: Well, the outhouse was more over the neighbor’s, it was a double one. I put it in the wrong place.

 AV: And so most of the outbuildings that the people built were built of lumber that they got from the company in some way.

 MM: Right.

 AV: Either they stole it , or …

 MM: Right. I remember my brother and I went with, there was a group of us, a group of children went up. It was a beautiful moonlight night, a Friday night, and there was so many of them said why don’t they go up to the timberyard, it’s a good change to get boards, the moon was shining so nice. So all right, we went, and that is something that we had never done before, and my brother and I went along with the rest of them, there must have been about eight of us, and this man that was a watchman, somebody knew his schedule, they knew just how he walked with the lantern, that he walked back and forth. So we went and we hid in the woods, and we waited, and this one boy knew, he wouldsay, just wait, you are gonna see, he’s gonna pass by. Then when he’d over to the breaker, we would run up to the timber yard and we would take a board and we would bring it down into the woods. So we did, my brother and I brought six boards home that night. And we were so proud of it, that we brought them home, they were others brought more, but my brother and I brought six. And my father was working the second shift, and he came home from work, and we took him down in the moonlight to show him that we brought the boards, we were so proud of it. And, well he was proud of us, and he was glad that we brought them because he needed them. This was after my mother had died. And the next morning, at seven o’clock in the morning, there was a car stopped by our house, and the Coal and Iron Policeman come in, and with a warrant, that he was gonna search, he said that we were stealing boards. No one caught us, no one stopped us, and our neighbor next door had quite a bit of boards, she didn’t have a cow, she had a stable before her husband died, but after her husband died then she didn’t have it anymore, so her brothers were helping, and they often used to steal a few boards at a time and bring them and store them in the stable for her because they were goin gto build a shed for her, an attachement to the house, because the one that she had was rottening and it was ready to fall down, so they were gonna build a larger one for her. So she had a lot of boards, and her son was one of the boys with us, because it was boys and girls, it wasn’t just boys that went, because two of my girlfriends were with us, and so when this woman saw that this Coal and Iron Police came in and he had this search warrant, she went white, because she was scared that they would come over to her side. What reason, who told on us, we don’t know to this day who it was, because they didn’t go anywhere else. Our house was the only place they came with the search warrant. Now there were from about five different families that their were children. And, like I said, the watchman didn’t see us, the watchman didn’t even come near us; and he searched the house even under the mattresses. Because my mother-in-law said even a long, long time ago when people wanted a piece of some board or something, they would take and they would hide them under the mattress, because the police wouldcome in, they would search the house from top to bottom…

 AV: The Coal and Iron Police?

 MM: Yes! So this police came in and he started to search all around the back, and he found these six boards, naturally, they weren’t hidden, they were out in


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -13- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2 the open. And he found the six boards and then he looked all over, even under the shanty. Then he even made me light a lantern, and take him into that storage space upstairs, to see if we had any hidden upstairs. And, at one time my father used to make whiskey, but he used to make it for his own use, he never sold it. And then already he didn’t make any more whiskey, althrough he still had the still, and that’s where he had it in this storage space upstairs, and when I had to lead this Coal and Iron Policeman into search the house for these boards, and I remembered the still, and I got scared. I thought, “What will he do to my father?”, and there were some clothes and things there, and I took and threw them before he could get upstairs, and before he could get up there. I was smaller, it was easier for me to get in through that entrance, because it was small and naturally I knew the area. I knew it real well. So I quick went in there and I threw some old clothes on top of this still so that he wouldn’t see it. And my father did have boards, like I said, he didn’t have them nailed, he just had them laying down, but they were old boards. So he didn’t say anything about those boards. He did find, in a keg there was some black powder, because when the flu epidemic was in 1918, they used gunpowder for mixing, they used this black powder for mixing for something, they said it was good for flu or something or another. They didn’t know what it was, but anyway they mixed it. I know they put milk in it, what else I don’t remember, because I was only about five years old at the time. And he found this gunpowder, I mean this black powder in this keg, in an iron keg, and he asked my father what that was doing there, and my father said, “Oh, that’s there a long time,” he said, “we got that from the company during the flu.” and he said “It’s been there ever since.” He said, “Well, you better get rid of it, because it’s dangerous.” My father said, “I will, I’ll do it right away.” So he took it out of there, and the man told him, he said, “You take and pour it down the outhouse.” So my father did. But my father was arrested for those boards, and he had to pay twelve dollars and fifty cents, and that was an awful lot of money, and we cried, we cried terribly, because no one else was arrested, only we were, and twelve dollars and fifty cents was an awful lot of money. And on top of that, my brother and I had to put those boards on a wheel barrow and take them back up on the timberyard. Even after my father paid the fine, we still had to put the boards back. No one else did. And of all the boards that were taken, our house was the only one that was searched. Someone told on us.

 AV: These Coal and Iron Police, what were they like? What did the do around the colliery?

 MM: Well, they went around and they more of less kept an inventory of what the was around, and they had an idea if anything was missing, they knew. And of course when the men would come to work, they would report if something was missing, and naturally they knew that someone took it. So when they would come, well at that time already when they came searching our house, they would come with a warrant and search it. Long before that, they didn’t have to have a warrant. They would just come. Even if…you weren’t allowed to carry coal, because if they found coal in your house, why they would arrest you.

 AV: You mean picked coal?

 MM: Picked coal. You weren’t even allowed to have picked coal. And my mother-in-law said that there was a car of coal came, some if it was supposed to be for the school and some of it was supposed to be for the church, and people went and stole coal, you know, from that car. So the police just came from house to house, and the searched every house, but my mother-in-law said, one thing was good, she said, she probably would have been with the children that


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -14- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

were taking coal from that car, except that she had measles, and she said that she wasn’t with them, so she said her mother and father didn’t have to pay, but all the other people had to pay.

 AV: Well, what about the regular coal that you used in the stove, how was that different?

 MM: Because it came through the breaker, it was broken up differently. And this way when you cracked it, it was different pieces, different sizes. So you could tell the difference of the coal that came through the breaker, and coal that you cracked yourself.

 AV: Who were these people that were Coal and Iron Police?

 MM: They were just ordinary people that the company hired.

 AV: Well, yes they were. I know that one was a Protestant, a Dutch. And they used to call him a Dutchman. And what was his name, Jack, do you remember? (her husband responds in the background).

 AV: Did the people resent them very much?

 MM: They wore afraid of them, because they didn’t know where they would come or who they would ask questions. They even got to the point where they would ask children questions, and they would ask, “Does your father have new boards?” or soemthing like that, you know, they would come in. This one time they did come in to our house. Someone told them that we had new boards. I don’t know who. And the boards were laying in the – it was in the wintertime, it was cold – and the boards were in that wire enclosure for the chickens and the geese. But my father had asked for boards for a long time, for a boardwalk, because our boardwalk was very bad, and they didn’t bring the boards until late in the fall, and it was too late for him to lay the boards all in that wire enclosure. And so someone, I don’t know who it was, told that my father had new boards, and they did come in to look, and they went to the very spot that someone had told them, they went to that very same spot, and they found those boards. I know there were two piles of them. I don’t know exactly how many, because I scalded my hand and it was burning so badly that I lay on those boards and I was just shaking my hand in the cold, it was in February. And so I don’t know that there were two layers of boards, two piles of them. I don’t know about how many, because naturally there had to be quite a few because the boardwalk ran from the front all the way down to the back. But my father told them, he said, “I got those boards. The company brought them here. They brought them on the wagon and they dropped them off.” And he said, “For what reason,” and he said, “I couldn’t put them in so late in the fall, so I’m waiting for the spring to come.” So they didn’t believe him, but the went up to the office and they found out that he was telling the truth.

 AV: It seems to me there could be an awful lot of abuse by other people, informing on hated neighbors, is that true?

 MM: Right! That’s true, because my father said, those boards that my brother and I took, he had an idea who did tell, and that man’s son was with us, and this man stood further back of his house and he was watching all the proceedings as this Coal and Iron Police came, and they took my father on the car and had him arrested. And he was laughing when he was standing around the corner of the house, and my father saw him, and my father had an idea that he was the one that told, and his sone was one of the boys with us.

 AV: Well, was there an awful lot of this kind of abuse, that you heard, like from other people?

 MM: No, it was people that were, they had a queer mind and they seemed to gloat whenever anybody was in trouble. Because it seemed that they got a lot of


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -15- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

satisfaction out of seeing someone being hurt, someone in trouble.

 AV: What was that?

 MM: I don’t know.

 AV: Was it like rivalry between neighbors, they used to do this kind of stuff?

 MM: Well, we never, with a certain neighbor we never seemed to have any trouble. Well, there was, between my brother and this one boy every now and then, they were about the same age and there was a little bit of rivalry and there was a little bit of trouble come in. My brother stutters, as you know. And he, whenever he would talk, he was out with the children and he would talk, and he would get excited, he would stutter so much more. And this boy used to make a lot of fun of him. And I know there were many times that I took my brother’s part, and I would get up and I would holler and I’d tell him that he should leave my brother alone, because my brother would start to cry. He was older than I was, but he was sensitive to the fact that he stuttered. So this boy more or less was like his father. He probably saw what his father, and heard what his father had to say in the house, and he did the same things out with the children. It wasn’t only with us, it was with other children that he was that way. He was more or less a tormentor.

 AV: So then, to get back here, what did this coal pen look like? It was built by the company?

 MM: It was built by the company. It would hold maybe about three tons of coal.

 AV: And did everybody’s coal pen look like this?

 MM: Yes, everybody’s was the same. The roof would slope out towards the alley. It was more of less a flat roof and would slope towards the alley.

 AV: And how about the cow stable? Was that more or less like everybody else had?

 MM: Yes, just about everyone had the same kind.

 AV: Did many people have cow stables on Back Street?

 MM: Well, there were quite a few that had cows. Almost every other house or so I would say that there was a cow. If there wasn’t a cow there were pigs. My mother and father kept pigs just for a little while, but then they didn’t want any more because they said it was very smelly and very dirty. But our neighbor across thegarden kept pigs. And they were, it was very smelly and very dirty. Now, we’d clean the stable out as far as the cow was concerned, and we’d have manure on a pile, but then in the springtime my mother and father would spread it out on the garden, and then if there were any left over, anybody that didn’t have a cow, if the wanted, they were welcome to come and take it.

 AV: Whose duty was it to clean the stable?

 MM: My brother.

 AV: And where were the cow stables usually located?

 MM: Right against the alley, right there in the back, because some of the cows were able to come in from the back an dcome into the stable from the back. But now ours couldn’t because there were so many piles of dirt and stone and everything in our alley that they weren’t able, our cow had to come in through the front gate, and she was such a good cow that she knew even how to open the gate, and she would come in and she would walk all the way down, and when it was miling time, you didn’t have to go to look for her, she came when it was time for milking.

 AV: Now, that coal pen was right next to the cow stable?

 MM: Right.

 AV: And did most people put their coal pen right in back of the property?

 MM: Yes, it had to be right on the alley, because that’s where they’d bring the coal in. See, there was enough space for a wagon to come in, because a horse


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -16- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

would pull the wagon, and then the men would shovel the coal off, you know, and at that time they didn’t have the truck with the shutes, but the man would be shoveling with a shovel. He’d bring the coal on a wagon.

 AV: Now in front of here, you have the flower garden?

 MM: Yeah, my mother planted flowers there?

 AV: Why did you have flowers?

 MM: She liked flowers. She had asters, and geraniums, and marigolds, and then there was one flower that she used to plant, that was a perennial, that grew from year to year. I don’t know what the name of it is, it reminds you something of a hydrangea, but it’s not a hydrangea, because each stem had a flower, and they’d come in a dark pink and lighter pink and in white. And she had quite a few of those, and then she had pansies. And stawflowers. And she grew a lot of strawflowers and she dried them for the winter, to have them in the house.

 AV: Did she grow any spices, like parsley?

 MM: Parsley, and celery, and rosemary. She grew them either along the fence here, in her garden, or if not in her little garden here, down here inthe back.

 AV: What’s this area in back of the flower garden?

 MM: Well this, see, there was a, we had a big willow tree right here. We had three willow trees. One right here in front of the house, it was inside the fence. And then my father built this porch around this willow tree, and then there was another willow tree here. And then we had a drain trough, it was just a black box, a little box, over here. This was all a garden. It was down right from this willow tree, and it was just a box, I would say maybe about two feet square, and then there were nailed on an angle this way (like a v). And that would run down, and then it would empty out into the garden.

 AV: Now where’d you get the water from this?

 MM: Well, that was from washing clothes or taking baths, or dishwater or anything like that, that’s where it went.

 AV: You’d dump it into…

 MM: Into that box, and it would go down that trough…

 AV: Was the box covered with boards?

 MM: No, it was open.

 AV: So, something like an open box. (Yes). And then this vegetable garden was planted mostly with potatoes, cabbage, beets…

 MM: Yes, and what else did we keep for the winter…cucumbers. There was cucumbers planted in there.

 AV: Was it in any particular order?

 MM: No they’d arrange it from year to year. Each year it’d be planted different places. One year they’d plant potatoes maybe down in teh back. Next time they were more in the center. Another time, they were up in the front. They’d plant it in different places different years, because they say you shouldn’t plant vegetables always in the same place, because then you won’t have as good a vegetables.

 AV: How about these elderberry bushes, did you use the elderberries for anything?

 MM: Yes, for jelly.

 AV: How about wine?

 MM: No, my father never made wine from elderberries, but my mother used to make jelly. And, they were real high bushes, and in between our garden and the neighbor across the garden, there was just like a hump of stones and dirt and then the elderberry bushes grew in there, and then maybe there were sometimes blackberry bushes entwined in there, or raspberries or something like that. But everybody, just about everybody had elderberry bushes in


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -17- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

their garden.

 AV: Like, boardering on their garden.

 MM: Right.

 AV: With this hump of stone.

 MM: Some places it was level in, but between ours and the neighbors there was like a hump there. And no fence. That was so thick that it more or less provided a fence.

 AV: And did you have a smokehouse back of the garden?

 MM: Yes, we had a smokehouse, we had a smokehouse, my father would have it like in this part of the garden.

 AV: Right in back of the vegetable garden?

 MM: Yes, down towards the back.

 AV: Boardering on the fence?

 MM: No, no, it was up away from the fence, yes.

 AV: And how did that look like, now?

 MM: It was built on the order of an outhouse, except, yes, it would be about as tall as the outhouse.

 AV: So it would be what, about eight feet?

 MM: Oh yes. And it would have a flat roof, and then inside, there were no windows in it, naturally, and it would be built, there would be stone underneath, and then there was a hollow made.

 AV: Was it on a stone foundation?

 MM: Well, they had all different size stones, and not in the center. There were no stones in the center, but on the edges, and then the whole thing was, there was like a hollow made of the stones and then in there is where you put your wood and you would light the wood and then you would have a rack in here and in here, on the rack, maybe you would have two racks, you’d have your sausage and you’d have your ham, and you’d have them hanging there and smoking, and you used, the men would go into the woods and they would get hickory trees, and that’s what they used to burn to smoke it, and there was, I don’t know just how long it took to do it, but that had to go very slowly, that had to burn very slowly.

 AV: About a week?

 MM: Oh, I think about a week, maybe a week, maybe not quite a week, and I can remember the people that lived in the house right below us, but on the lower door – that would be like, we lived in 41, so that would be like about house number 37 – I can remember when their smokehouse caught on fire. And I was out at the outhouse, and I came in the house and I said to my mother, “Henchik’s smoke shanty in on fire!”, and she said, “It is!” and she ran out and she ran down to tell Mrs. Henchick, and the men were all at work, so it was the women put the fire out!

 AV: Now was this thing built over a pit?

 MM: Yes. Well, I don’t know, maybe the pit might have been maybe about two feet, three feet deep, right in the center. It was hollowed out in the ground, and there were stones placed in there.

 AV: Placed in the pit, or around the pit?

 MM: No there were stones even down, because stones held the heat, so it was lined the whole pit was lined with stones and there were stones under so that the house wouldn’t catch on fire, so there was more stones and dirt put up this way.

 AV: Yeah. Like the outhouse – er – smokehouse rested on the foundation of stone?

 MM: Yes. Stones and dirt.

 AV: In front over here, what did you say was, there was, on opening, like that?


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -18- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

MM: Yes, in the floor, there was an opening. Before you put the ham into smoke, you soaked them in salt water for a few days, and then you put them in to smoke. That much I remember! And I remember my father made sausage. I know he even bought a sausage grinder, and it even had the tube on there where you would pull the casing on, and as he would be grinding the meat and putting the seasoning inall at the same time, and then the casing would get filled up, then when it’d get to a certain point, then he would tie a string in there, as long as he wanted, and then he’d keep that up, and that saved a lot of time, because before they used to stuff it by hand, before my father found the grinder, why they used to stuff all that by hand. Well the people used to get together, men and women used to get together, and they used to prepare the mean and then they would be stuffing it. They would clean the casings and then they would stuff, so that kind of project whenever anybody did anything like that, there was a group get together and they would do it. It wasn’t just that the family alone did it, the group would get together, because sometimes not everybody had a smokehouse, so other people would bring theirs into your smokehouse, and it done in your smokehouse.

 AV: So they would help you do it?

 MM: Yes.

 AV: Now, in front of this opening, you used to stuff logs down here periodically?

 MM: Well, you had to keep acareful watch on it. I know my father even used to get up at nighttime to go and watch so that the fire wouldn’t go out completely. They would be embers there, but they were still hot. And then you would put some more logs inthere.

 AV: DId you have this closed with anything, so that the smoke wouldn’t get out through this hole?

 MM: I don’t remember just what they used to put over top, but it had to be closed so that the smoke would go up into the smokehouse.

 AV: There were holes in the floor so that the smoke would go up, or what?

 MM: Well, yes, see. there was a hole right in here, just in this part of the floor right here, there would be a piece cut out so that the smoke would go up into it.

 AV: So that like this is the door…And what is the usual place that people kept outhouses in teh garden – uh, smokehouess – in the garden?

 MM: Well, they didn’t always have them in the same place. Some of them had them closer up to the house, some of them further down in the back. Not everybody had them in the same place. Ours, I don’t know what was down there. Now, the neighbor that I said, theirs was on fire, well, theirs wasn’t too far behind the shanty.

 AV: About ten feet behind the shanty?

 MM: About ten, twelve feet behind the shanty, they had theirs. It wasn’t very far behind the shanty, their smokehouse.

 AV: What family was this?

 MM: Menchik

 AV: At what number were they?

 MM: Number 37.

 AV: And do you remember any other people on Back Street having smokehouses? And where they were located?

 MM: Well, that I wouldn’t know, I couldn’t help you on that. I know that there were people had smokehouses, but just where they would have them I don’t know. Menchik’s I remember because it was on fire. So that one I remember pretty well.

 AV: Would you say that most of them had it towards the back?


A. Varesano interviewing Mary Marshlik -19- 8/22/72 Tape 28-2

MM: Yes, towards the back?

 AV: And remember yesterday, I asked you about bake ovens. Did you remember anyone on Back Street having bake ovens.

 MM: No, not to my knowledge I don’t remember.

 AV: Somebody mentioned the Machala’s having a bake oven.

 MM: They probably did because Mrs. Machala kept a lot of boarders, so I know that she may have had one, but I didn’t go down into that section. My father never allowed us out too much out of the yard, so I didn’t get downtown so much.

 AV: And do you remember anything else about bake ovens on Main Street? Did the people at one time all have them, do you know?

 MM: No, no, because it’s just like the smoke houses, if anybody had one, and if somebody wanted to bake bread, they would ask you could they use your oven. Sometimes you’d give them permission, but it depended, because some people were very careless. If you let them use it one and then they didn’t clean it, they wouldn’t clean up after themselves, they wouldn’t get a chance to use it again, because you had to clean out all the ashes from the wood that was burning underneath, you had to clean the bricks out, all that had to be brushed out. So if you didn’t clean up after yourself, then you didn’t get a chance to use the oven again, they wouldn’t let you do it, which was only fair, because if they gave you the privilage of using it, then you should be nice enough and clean it.

 AV: So you don’t think that everybody on Main Street had bake ovens at one time?

 MM: I can only remember the two that was, my husband’s grandmother, and then I believe Mrs. Cushner. I believe they were, they were the only two that I can remember.

 AV: Where was Mrs. Cushner living then?

 MM: Well, you know where Mrs. Yenshaw lived? Well, there was a house right over across that road there, on the same side of the street, and I believe she had one.

 AV: Do you know where shehad it?

 MM: No, but I remember them say that she had one.

 AV: And they didnt’ say whether it was in back of the shanty, or back farther…

 MM: It probably was back of the shanty, because that’s where they generally had them.


Mary Marshlik #75 A. Varesano 8/23/72 10:30-12pm Smoke house Hartz #41 Back St.

illustration of smoke house. shows the floor plan, dimensions, and pit.


Mary Marshlik #75 A. Varesano 8/22/72 10:30-12pm

Cow stable: Hartz #41 Back St. house.

(front, facing back of house)


Mary Marshlik #75 A. Varesano 8/22/72 10:30-12pm

Coal shed: Hartz, #41 Back St.

illustration of coal shed including inside view, shute, and side view.


Mary Marshlik A. Varesano #75 8/22/72 10:30-12pm BACK STREET

illustration of Back Street – includes locations of house, shed, shanty, hen house, garden, smokehouse, cow shed, coal shed, boardwalk, flower garden, vegetable garden, and outhouse


Mary Marshlik A. Varesano 8/22/72 11:30-12 p.m.

Chicken + geese coup Hartz home #44, Back St. w = window

[Image depicting layout of a chicken coup] wire fence around yard [Front view of chicken coup]

[Right view of chicken coup]

Contributions Message

LY, Marisa Bozarth, Avery Ohliger, Grete Floryshak, Marie Maranki, Breanna E Esposito, Ann Kline and Camille Westmont