Oral History of Dorothea Stuart

Interviewed by Charlotte Wangrin, February 9, 2002

Well, I really don't know how to start. I had a brother and four sisters, one married to Karl. And we had a great family. We lived on a farm and talking in regard to the hills and the snow- and stuff we used to have a hill by our barn that we would get on a sled and slide down onto a pond. That had frozen over. My Dad ice skated and he'd shove the sled with my brother and us girls on it. We had a ball!

C. And you weren't afraid of falling in?

We'd only have got wet. It wasn't that deep. No, it wasn't a river. I was just a pond.

C. Was this on the island (where you lived recently)?

No. It was on the Crawfis College Road.

C. And where was that?

Putnam County. My father graduated from Crawfis College. We had four grades in one room and I had my first man teacher in the fifth grade. We'd go outside at noon and play. We really had a good time. I don't think now the kids know how to play like we did. They have to have everything bought and given to them while we'd take a box and build and everything and make our own toys.

My Mother's brothers had motorcycles so we were allowed to ride motorcycles with our uncles and had a good time and we'd go down to K College and it was great. In fact my Mother's family all lived on that road. We'd get together every week. It was just a lot of fun.

C. Dorothea, I understand you lived on an island?

Yes. I lived on Liebs Island at Buckeye Lake. We had our own boat. It slept four. It was a 22-foot cabin cruiser. We had an icebox and a stove. It was like being home away from. I couldn't swim but I'd walk around the boat. I never fell. But you always wondered whether you would or not. There were a lot people that swam so there was always someone who could get you out.

C Well now did you live on that boat all the time?

Oh no. We lived in the house on the island. Well we had the boat up on Lake Erie at Carl's.

C. How'd you get it from Buckeye Lake to Lake Erie?

Pulled it on a trailer. Course I was afraid of Lake Erie but I wasn't on Buckeye Lake. That lake is 8 miles long but there was always someone around. We spent a lot of time working on the property, you know--keeping it neat 'n all the leaves raked, all the ice when the branches broke off the trees.

C. How big was your island?

Well there was about 97 houses. We had one of the largest houses and they were all around us. We had good neighbors. You never had to worry if you needed a ride into town or anything. We lived right outside of Millersport, Ohio and I walked in there many a time. And we had a bank and a Post Office and I walked there many a time.

C. That was on the island?

No It was in Millersport.

C. How did you get there through the water?

There was a little causeway there but you could go in your boat too. You could tie up right outside the restaurant and go in. They had dances and parties going on, and dinners too, of course. There was never a dull moment. We had a good time.

We had a pony on our farm. We rode that pony. We could ride in a cart behind him. My one sister Mary could break bones easy and I know one time she was getting in the pony cart and she slipped and broke her knee. But she didn't complain. We loved that pony. We used to put a sled behind it and we'd go out in the wheat field. In the winter he'd take us out on the ice.

C. Wasn't he afraid of slipping?

Oh no, he'd walk right along. The pony had been I guess in the circus and it had been in a fire It had been burnt on the hips but that had healed. But it was never nasty with us kids Of course we was always loveable and we loved the pony and the pony loved us.