Remembrances of Betty Hartley

When we first came to Cranberry in the twenties, there were three cars, three telephones and no electricity and NO DEER.  We boarded at Mamie Burllham's, now the Moss' house.  After two years we rented during July and August Carlie Brooks' house.  It belonged to his great grandmother, Gaga Spurling.  My mother asked where she sat during the winter for the view.  She replied, "I never sit."

During the summer Mrs. Spurling and her invalid husband lived in the store, now the Glaser house.  As I remember the store sold needles and thread, bolts of material and chewing gum.  Over the mantle in our house was a handsome half clipper ship which Mr. Spurling had made on a sea voyage, using the hair from his beard for a paint brush.

During our stay we ate out all three meals.  First we ate on the second floor of the tower behind Eva Bracy's house, called Mountain View Inn.  Three or four families ate at separate tables.  All the cooking was done on the first floor and came up by dumb waiter.  The tower was owned and managed by Mrs. Annie Spurling.  When she died we had our meals at Rachel and Lloyd Hayes, now the Rome home.  After the Hayes stopped serving meals, we went to Velma Teel's, now David Bunker's, for breakfast, dinner and supper.  The only reason I can think of for walking a mile and a half for breakfast other than it was delicious was we lacked refrigeration.

In the twenties there were three or four times as many year round inhabitants as summer folk.  There were Spurlings, Stanleys, Bulgers, and Bunkers.

With no meals to cook, my mother spent her mornings trimming the oil lamps.  The mantles were very fragile; so one had to take care not to break them.  The lamps gave a wonderful light under which my grandmother read to my cousin and me and the neighborhood children much of Dickens and many other classics, long before Great Books.

It was a wonderful childhood, playing baseball, tap the ice box, a form of hide and seek on the lawn in front of Charlie's house.

The most fun of all was stamping hay.  It happened once a summer.  The hay was used by the few horses and it covered great hunks of ice which were stored in an ice house.  It was pitched into wagons with wooden sides and drawn by horses.  We children stomped it down to make room for more hay.  It took all of an afternoon.  Why it was so wonderful I don't know.  I just know it was the best of times on this enchanted island.

Betty Eversman Hartley June 2000