Brenda Meredith

BrendaMeredith-1_300Interviewee:  Brenda Meredith
Date of birth/age at interview:  July 6, 1918/95
Interviewers:  Kathy Stein and Jack McMillian
Interview date:  Sept. 5, 2013
Interview location:  Meredith home
Interview length:  1 hour, 36 minutes
Time span discussed:  1960s to 2013

Summary: Brenda Meredith reflects on her town, the inhabitants over the years, the changes of house and business ownership, floods, and key Carversville personalities like its artists.  If we think, in 2013 when this was recorded, that Carversville was an ideal sleepy, bucolic wayside, just listen about the not so distant days when dogs felt comfortable sleeping in the road.


Time markers:
00:00:00 – introduction; traveled through Carversville to go boating on the canal and river; story about buying house in 1966; daughter attended Solebury School
00:03:50 – flooding of the Paunacussing creek, wet basement
00:07:05 – Betty Miller closed grocery store in 1966, reopened as antiques store
00:08:20 – general store, auto body shop, gas station
00:09:17 – general store story, bison in Carversville
00:10:25 – Carversville Inn stories through the years
00:15:35 – Bob Kling’s cabinet shop
00:16:40 – quiet town, not on maps, roads flooded during rains
00:18:26 – in 1966 Kling’s only real business
00:19:00 – Raymond Barger and his wife Lilias bought Mill in the early 1960s
00:21:23 – Carversville so quiet dogs slept in road
00:23:20 – story about meeting Bill Callanan, headmaster of the Solebury School, and artist Ethel Wallace
00:26:55 – house cost $16,000; real estate prices after World War II
00:27:50 – Ranulph Bye painted scene with Brenda’s house and two others, all shabby but interesting to paint
00:30:56 – area mainly for farming in the 1960s, development followed in late 1960s
00:32:55 – many roads were dirt; Charles Ward, artist, painted scenes showing dirt roads; Carversville Road very bad; Ward family, rubber tree in house
00:35:50 – Bargers constructed courtyard wall and fountain on mill property, causing considerable change and comment, changed nature of village
00:38:17 – Odd Fellows Hall hosted quilting gathering, early on no real community spirit or activity
00:39:49 – snuff producer Atlas Blending Company in what is now Noel Barrett’s house, house initially a general store; discussion of businesses, homes, and people in the village
00:51:55 – working mill until after World War II, closed for brief time until Barger purchased
00:53:16 – apartments in inn; Rivers owned the mill and the inn
00:54:32 – post office locations, potential closing, Barney the postmaster
00:57:00 – Kennedy assassination discussed
00:59:55 – buildings in village much the same
01:01:30 – roads impassable in winter, snow removal improved in 50 years; traffic has increased greatly
01:03:38 – residents along Aquetong Road:  Stanley, Overpeck, Crooke
01:04:56 – indoor plumbing arrived for most houses after World War II
01:05:22 – the Overpeck properties, others along Aquetong; Carversville Church steeple fire
01:07:39 – story of a flooded house
01:09:06 – daily walks
01:10:37 – children on Halloween, teen-age meeting spot near Fleecydale bridge
01:12:10 – baseball diamond unused because of liability
01:13:08 – Brenda’s neighbor, teacher Miss Foster, walked to work on Wismer Rd.; Polish families lived in area, Foster helped integrate Polish children into the community
01:17:10 – 1985 Carversville Day story
01:17:56 – more stories of Polish residents
01:19:40 – wildflowers
01:21:07 – old schoolhouse moved into town
01:23:47 – parties at Robert L. Green’s farm around the pagoda; auction at his farm
01:24:36 – Toll Gate Road not a toll road
01:25:00 – other towns and their names
01:25:49 – historic designation’s impact on the town, Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) regulations
01:29:57 – changes took place slowly, traffic
01:31:45 – review of various houses, residents without names
01:32:18 – Charles Hargens, artist, 100th birthday party celebrated in town, visits
01:33:13 – more people and their houses


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