2018-11-07 / Communities


Peg Merrill’s daughters Lori from Maryland and Janet from Nevada were home on Chambers Hollow the weekend of Oct 27. The girls decided to have a Halloween gathering and a potluck supper. Jack and Alice Kane, Loretta and James Hulbert, Jo Hoffmeister, Julian and Ginny Wilcox, Jennifer Wilcox Dove and her husband William and children Abigail and Jacob, and of course mom Peg and grandmother Alice Merrill Blackman were all there in costume for Halloween fun. After dinner, Jacob entertained the group with a card trick. Jacob too was a little amazed that it worked as he had just learned it from You Tube that day. It was fun time catching up on what everyone was doing and remembering the fun everyone had watching and being involved with Lori and Janet and Jennifer and James growing up on Chambers Hollow and MacGibbon Hollow, the county fair, and of course, going to school together and having Ginny for English, Alice for French, and Julian for music. Many thanks to Peg and the girls for such a fun Halloween party.

The hostilities of World War I were formally ended on at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. From that time, the day was observed as Armistice Day. In 1954 the holiday was renamed Veterans Day to honor those who served while in military service in the various wars. World War I affected most towns including Hamden. Private Burton John MacDonald from the MacDonald Road area attended the Hamden District #1 Schoolhouse from age seven until his father took him out of school when he was in the sixth grade. In 1882 his family had settled on a 240-acre farm at the end of Mallory Brook, and the farm remained in the family for 136 years. Burton worked along side his father and older brother Garrett caring for the livestock, picking rocks from the gardens and fields, and cutting wood for fuel. Just like other farm families, the MacDonalds were selfsupporting. They grew or raised about everything they needed to survive. They grew wheat for flour and oats and hay for the animals. They raised sheep, pigs, chickens, oxen and horses. They had a fine herd of Jersey cows to provide them with milk and butter. They tapped maple trees to make maple syrup and maple sugar for home use. The MacDonalds also had an apple orchard. The children gathered butternuts, wild blackberries, and strawberries. When Burton was 20 years old, he enlisted in the Army without telling his parents. He walked 10 miles to Walton to leave for Spartansburg, S.C., for training along with his buddies from the Hamden School William Mallory and Henry and Wallace Chambers, brothers of his teacher, Elizabeth Chambers. All three grew up on Chambers Hollow Road. This was the first time Burton had ever been out of Delaware County. Because he had worked around horses at home, Burton was assigned the job of driving a Caisson (ammunition wagon) which was pulled by a team of four large horses. He was never wounded, but Burton did suffer from the effects of mustard gas. World War I was the first time in history that poison gas was used against men in war. The men had gas masks but never knew in advance when to put them on. General Pershings’ rally cry was, “We’ll be in Heaven, Hell, or Hoboken by Christmas.” Burton wrote these words on the canvas part of his gas mask. Most of the Hamden boys made it home except for Wallace Bruce Chambers, who died from the flu while overseas. On this Veterans Day, take time to soberly remember the extreme sacrifices that our soldiers have made over the decades to ensure that we continue to enjoy the freedoms that we have. A World War I uniform, gas mask, helmet, and other artifacts can be seen at the Hamden Schoolhouse Museum when it reopens in the spring of 2019.

Church services for the Hamden, DeLancey and West Delhi churches for Sunday, Nov. 11, will be held in the Hamden Church at 11 a.m. Rev. Connie Stone will lead the services.

With election day over, it will be nice not to have to watch one politician bad-mouthing after another. If you have nothing good to say about someone, you should keep quiet.

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