The family name Carver is represented by a unique and beautiful Coat of Arms, created many hundreds of years ago, when knights wore armour, and required identification on the field of battle.
The ancient name Carver is one of the oldest names in English history, and is believed to be of Saxon origin. One of the first records of the name was in Norfolk in the 1203, and six years later Gerard Le Carver was recorded as holding estates in Essex. The name was mostly spelt with a “K” at that time. The family flourished for many cneturies and branched to Devonshire, Lincolnshire, and northward to Lancashire in 1275, and continued to acquire many more estates until the advent of the religious conflicts of the middle ages, when some of the family sailed across the Atlantic to the New World. The family name Coat of Arms has a silver background, with a black chevron, on which there is a gold fleur de lis. The family Crest is a Saracen’s head emerging from a gold crown. Authority for the Arms is Burke’s General Armory, one of the foremost authorities on heraldry today.
Christopher Carver born in England 1799 died 1885 He came from England, lived and died in Baker Settlement, Nova Scotia.
Children: Sophie – never married; Mina Married & lived in Liverpool, N.S.; Cardine Lived in Baker Settlement and Caledonia married Ben Seamone; Mannel lived in West Caledonia and had a big family ; Rueben lived in Caledonia married a Miss Sullivan; Daniel married a fancy girl and lived in Medville, N.S.. He had 4 boys &; 1 girl, ( Don’t make the mistake I did. I had always heard how one of the Carvers married a fancy girl. That sounded so exciting I just had to research the family tree to see who this fancy girl was but was very disappointed to find It was a Miss Fancy. That was her name not her actions.She was the daughter of John Fancy of Baker Settlement, Lunenburg, N.S.) They had four boys and 1 girl, Hattie. They lived in Medville, N.S. until mother died them moved to Stanley Section.; Benjamin Lived in Midville, N.S. married Lucy Welde had 2 boys and 1 girl.; Hiram born March 1, 1841, died July, 23, 1910. He married Mary Ann Baker. This is where our story begins.
Hiram Carver married Mary Ann Baker. She was the eldest daughter of Mary Ellen Gillmore born in 1822. I had her sampler made when she was 12 years old and the christing bowl that the family brought from England when they moved to Nova Scota. These have been handed down to the eldest daught for seven generations – Mary Ellen Gillmore made the sampler, gave it to Mary Ann Baker Carver, who gave it to Grace Carver Brown, who gave it to Doris Helen Brown Thayer, who gave it to Carol Thayer Petts (myself) , I gave it to Katherine Petts Bourbonniere Gosney, who gave it to Celina Bourbonniere Juliano. Celina is married but has no daughter and only time will tell who will get it in the next generation, my vote is to skip a generation and give it to Celina’s grand daughter if there is such a person. Anyways back to Mary Ann Baker, it was always felt she married beneath her since the Bakers were among the first settlers of Baker Settlement and Hiram was just a good man. But she proved them all wrong and everyone in the family loved and respected Hiram in the end. The following story was writen by Hiram’s grandson, Hiram Carver in 1989 and recently given to me for the family history.
This is Hiram Carver on the right with his sons Frank and Bert.
Hiram Carver born April 1, 1841 died July 23, 1910
Mary Ann Baker born September 25, 1848 died september 2. 1907
Hiram, the son of Christopher, a woodsman, fell in love with Mary Baker. The Bakers were sort of the “in people in the selltement while Hiram, the woodsman, was not so privileged.
However, he and Mary went ahead with marriage and as a result we are all here. Our mother always said Hiram was a great man in her eye. He must have been a great person as few daughters-in-law have the same feeling for their father-in-law.
Anyway, he knew who to marry and as a result inherited all the Baker property – our homestead where we all roamed, played, and had a great upbringing. Me thinks Hiram was a great example to follow. With Hiram and Grand-dad Howard’s connection we have a colorful background.
Here are some pictures of the Baker/Carver farm.
This is “over home” the Carver farm.
Howard Wentzel born October 2, 1858 died October 10, 1944
Minnie Haines born February 27, 1863 died February 6, 1950
Grand-dad married Minnie and bought a place in behind the meadow at Midville Branch where most people predicted he would starve. He and Minnie brought up six children and prospered.
He was a great man. He was a good religious man but made lots of wine and drank and shared it at meals with temperance. What he was not, is easier to describe than what he was. He was a cobbler and made all the children’s shoes. He was a tanner and made all his leather. He was a blacksmith and had a lovely blacksmith shop. He even pulled people’s teeth.
He was an orchardist with a great orchard. His strawberry pippin was a delight to eat. He had a smoke house and smoked fish. He was also a good woodsman cutting a tree right down in the roots to get vessel timber. That gave him one dollar more per thousand. He was a great farmer. He was above and beyond a gentle person and a gentleman but with that black beard we, as kids, were scared to death of him!
Grand-dad also taught us something about living and dying. When he was 86, Uncle Stephen dug a huge well up on the hill. Grand-dad took upon himself to dig the trench through the worst areas – the rock pile. When he finished he was played out. He went to bed with old people’s pneumonia. On Sunday he took a turn for the worse. All the family got excited and tried in vain to get Dr. Rowter, who was at his summer cottage.
Grand-dad summoned his family to his bed and said, “Listen, I’m an old man. I have lived a good life. I’m tired. I want to go to sleep. I want to die. Just see that I am comfortable and let me die in peace.” He did and even though we were heartbroken to have Grand-dad go it was not a sad funeral. A little lesson is left with us.
These two stories were told to us by Hiram Carver, grandson of the first Hiram Carver. Howard Wentzel is not a blood relation of mine. He is to my mother’s family what Web was to my father’s family. They both were very important in shaping our nature and love of the land. They were both anchors that had much to teach us.
Now I would like to trace the family line and the line of ownership of the farm.
I Joh George Becker was born Dec. 24, 1698 In Rodau, Germany He married Maria Dor Schumayer of Baihing, Wurttemberg, Ger. She died July 4, 1777 in Rodau. He died March 3, 1763 in Rodau.
II. Johannes Becker was born Dec. 18, 1724 and died March 25, 1797 in Rodau, Germany. He married Maria Elisabeth Kegler who was born March 6, 1732 and died Dec. 9, 1791 in Germany.
III Johann Georg Becker born July 22, 1753 in Zwingenberg Hessen, Germany and died about 1841 in Bakersettlement, Nova Scotia, Canada. He married Anna Magdalene Wolfe born about 1753 in Lunenburg Nova Scotia, Canada. She died Nov. 7, 1826 in Baker Settlement, Nova Scotia.
IV John Andrew( or Andreas) Baker born June 20, 1785 Lunenburg Nova Scotia and died in 1874 in Pleasant River Road New Dublin Township, Canada. He married Anna Maria Francy born March 26, 1793 Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and died Aug. of 1889 in Bakersettlement, Nova Scotia. They had 15 children.
V. Joseph Baker born Feb. 11, 1815 in Nova Scotia. Canada and died April 4, 1904 . He married Mary Ellen Gilmore later know to the family as “The Good Marm” born Aug. 11, 1823 . Mary Ellen was the daughter of Mary Hayward and Paul Gillmore, both from Irland. He was much older than she and had two sons from a form marriage. Her people did not approve of the marriage so they ran away to Scotland where the were married and then to London where they booked passage to America. They were ship wrecked off the coast of Nova Scotia and not having the money to continue on the America on another ship they settled in Liverpool, NS and raised their family there. I don’t know when The Good Marm” died. They had five children. The eldest was Amanda who was Cora Smith’s grand mother and Ida Hutt’s mother. They lived in Troy, NH and I knew them as part of the family. #4 was Josephine. I knew her as Aunt Joe, who lived in NH and I have told stories about her.
VI. Mary Ann Baker born Sept. 25, 1848 died September 2, 1907 married Hiram Carver and he inherited the Baker property when Mary died and we take up the story from here with the Carver line.
I. Hiram Carver and Mary Ann Baker had 6 children. 1. Joseph who married Lillian Starkey, they had no children but you will hear the Starkey name later in the Brown History. 2. Grace, my grand mother see II 3. Frank who married Mae Wentzel and lived on the family farm. 4. Waldo who married Florence Hale and moved to Troy, NH 5. Bert who married first Florence Clark and 2nd Florence Chandler and moved to Troy, NH 6. Harold who married Rovonna Shaggs Quimby. Hiram lived to be 79 years old and had lost one eye in an accident. Here are some of the family pictures taken on the farm.
Hiram and Mary’s oldest son was Joseph. He married Lillian Starkey. they had no children. This is Uncle Joe Carver, Mary Carver(Frank’s oldest daughter), Dad ( Frank, Hiram’s oldest son and third child) and Uncle Bert, Hiram’s fifth child. These pictures were sent to my cousin Nancy and all explainations are from Frank’s son Hiram, who was named for his grand father.
Hiram’s second child was Grace. She was my grandmother. She had TB so could not sleep in the house with her family and Grampa Brown did not want her to be in a hospital or to sleep alone so he had a special room built for her. Her father also built a room for her when she came to visit. This picture is of Mary Carver and in the background you can see the room at the end of the house that looks like a corn crib. That is the room where Grace and her family slept when
they visited in Nova Scota. This is Grace’s oldest daughter, Doris Helen Brown, my mother. In Troy, NH they had a room just like that where they slept summer and winter. Mother tells of sleeping out there with her mother, they had three beds in that room, one for each girl and one for the parents. Grampa would get up first and go into the house, build a fire to heat up the kitchen and start breakfast, then he would go out and brush the snow off thier beds and get them up and rush them into the kitchen near the fire.
This is my grand mother Grace Carver Brown. You will read more about her when I get the Brown family tree done. I traced her line all the way back to England and the Norman Kings.
Frank was the third child and I will come back to him since it is his line that kept the family farm and we are following that line.
The fourth child was Waldo who married Florence Hale and lived in Troy, NH This is Waldo.
This is Aunt Florance, Waldo’s wife. I met her when I was little in Troy. I remember her house better than I remember her as I was very young.
This is Uncle Bert, Frank (Dad) and a hired hand taken a few years after the other picture.
The last and sixth child was Harold. He married Ravonna Shaggs Quimby and they had two children but I don’t have any pictures of them.
The story is carried on with Frank’s line. They are the ones that stayed and worked the family farm.
This is Frank’s family, Grace is named for Frank’s sister Grace (my grand mother) Frank and Mae had seven children.
This is the family; Dad (Frank) Uncle Bert, Mom (Mae) Harold (the only picture I have of him; Aunt Florence (Bert’s wife); Aunt Lilliam ( Joe’s wife) and Mary Frank’s daughter.
Last but by no means least this is Frankie, son of Frank and Mae Carver. He was the fourth child in the family and was a bachelor all his life. He was the one child that stayed behind and kept the farm running. After his father died he took care of his mother and ran the farm for her. My mother always told me Frankie was a hard working man but quiet a drinker. She said he always got the work done before he would start to drink and was always there to work the next day. I don’t think anyone in the family really knew Frankie until after he died, then they found out what they had been missing all those years.
Frankie died December 14, 1988 and the following account was in the local paper.
Frank Junior Carver
Baker Settlement –
Relatives and friends were shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Frank Junior Carver of Baker Settlement on December 14, 1988.
Born June 20 1921, the elder son of the late Frank and Elva Mae (Wentzell) Carver, he spent his entire life in the community where he operated the family farm and conducted a Christmas tree business. He was interested in community affairs and served as Municipal Councillor for District No. 9 from 1955-1958.
He is survived by five sister: Mary (Mrs. Phares Judge), New Germany; Myrtle (Mrs. MacLean Taylor), Barss Corner; Barbara ( Mrs. Jacob Penney), New Germany;( there is more about each of these to follow>) Grace (Mrs. Palph Corkum), Bridgewater; and Mrs. Catherine Alford, Ottoawa; a brother, Hiram, New Germany; and a number of nieces and nephews.
The largely attended funeral, conducted by the Rev. Ruth Anne Brown, was held on Saturday, December 17th at the Union Church, Baker Settlement. his niece, Janet Carver, read from Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3:1-14. Rev. Brown spoke very fittingly to family and friends as well as reading a poem composed in memory of her late Uncle by his niece, Audra Alford. Mr Lester Semon, organist, led the choir and congregation in singing ” What a Friend We Have in Jesus, ” “All the Way My Saviour Leads Me” and “Abide With Me”.
Pallbearers were Ernes Carver, Mervyn Ritcey, Wane Meisner, Wayne Keddy, Carroll Fancy and Grant Mason.
Interment was in the family plot in the Baker Settlement Cemetery. ”
December 14, 1989 Frankie’s younger brother wrote the following so all of us would know Frankie as others knew him.
“In the Last Will and Testament of Frank Junior Carver the following clause appears:
“I hereby direct my said Executor to distribute all those pictures and photographs formerly the property of my father and /or my mother in the manner he, in his absolute discretion, deems best.” By paragraph two he nominated me, Hiram, to be this sole Executor.
Our brother, valued those photos and guarded them jealously. He was greatly concerned with their distribution and preservation. To have distributed some to each of his sisters and me, his brother, would have meant the scattering of all the pictures in different places, thus fracturing the whole. These pictures are like gold to a family.
After much thought and consultation it was decided to have each photo copied. From the negative would be produced nineteen prints. These would then be placed in nineteen albums together with a limited genealogy which would serve to identify all the persons in the photographs and their position in the two families.
I don’t know if he would have envisioned such a project to distribute the pictures but I feel confident that after some careful thought, he would have smiled and said, “That’s a good idea. I’m pleased – in a way!”
We owe a debt of gratitude to our brother for keeping the home place going and keeping everything together, particularly these pictures that gave him great concern. Without his concern our family heritage would have been seriously shattered.
This gift is to be a lasting memory of our brother, Frank, who in his own right, though totally independent was a colorful individual with many friends such that it was difficult to pick his pallbearers from the many people who called and asked to so serve.
On the outside Frankie appeared to have a certain roughness and it was there sometimes to our displeasure but the true person was not that way at all. He had a host of friends as to this day there are many people saying how they miss him. I know to Catherine and me he meant a great deal. When Dad died, he and Mother stood between us having and not having our education. He totally lived up to his commitment.
He and I differed by times and strongly at that but neither he nor I ever engaged in any great undertaking without going to the other one to discuss it or for advice. Those times there were never differences but straight talk.
I think Catherine summed up the other side of him when she told me that when she was a little girl that Frankie came to her bedside every night and tucked her in. He was a bigger brother than I was or could have been and we all miss him. ”
In the 1970’s my husband took us to Nova Scota for a vacation and we went to visit Aunt Mae. I had heard stories about her and the farm for years and was so thrilled to met her. This is the picture I got of Aunt Mae at her stove in the kitchen of her home in Baker Settlement. That is Frankie in the right hand corner, he was sitting talking to Norman. I wish I had know more about the family then and had the presence of mind to ask all the questions that have come to mind since, but hind sight is always 20-20. ***
This is the only other picture I have of our visit.
After Aunt Mae died Frankie had a woman and her two children move in with him. I know nothing about them or the story about them, all I know is he left the farm to the two children. Wayne and Carolyn Bolivar. No one contested the will as these were as close to children as Frankie had, and this is what Frankie wanted, so everyone agreed.
“You will note in this photo a picture of a quantity of fifty cent pieces and also one fifty cent piece in each album. You may wonder the significance. After the 1st World War Papa saw the tremendous increase in $20.00 bills only to be followed by the Great Depression during which paper money lost its value.
During the 2nd World War Papa made certain he would never again be caught without silver. As a result he started to save fifty cent pieces. I remember one night when we were going over to Grand-dad Wentzell’s, shortly before Grand-dad’s death, Papa told me to go to the barn where the big oat boxes stood, roll back a bag of grain and bring him that chest Not knowing what it was, I rolled back the bag of grain and almost tore my arms from their sockets. he had them stored in a chedar chest like the one Grace got full of chocolates that Catherine and I swiped a few at a time from the back room. The cedar chest has gone but this many of the fifty cent pieces remained. Dad never again wanted to be at the mercy of the merchants in town where he had to enter into a barter of his butter for goods on their shelves.
He valued the ability to stand equal. This coin stands for his belief.
Myrtle Carver Taylor “It doesn’t seem possible that people lived that way back then, when you look at how people live today.” says Myrtle Tayor. She’ll be ninety-six this year. She has seen a lot of changes.
Myrtle was born in Baker’s Settlement on October 22, 1915, the second child of Frank Tennyson Carver and Elva Mae (Wentzell) Carver. Their first four children were girls – Mary, Myrtle, Barbara and Grace; then Frank was born. The girls were expected to help their father as well as their mother with all the farm chores. Myrtle often worked with Barbara, who preferred the outdoors. “We did chores together,” she says. “We milked cows, cheaned barns, threw down hay, jumped in the piles of hay. When we had finished, we’d head out to play.” Myrtle smiles. “We made our own fun in those days.”
“We worked but we didn’t mind the work. That’s a big difference from today. We never had to be told. We’d come home from school, get a lunch, change our clothes and go do what we had to do. I can’t remember Father ever telling us that we had to.” Her father didn’t need to discipline them. he used other ways. “I can remember I had a calf,” she says. ” And she got with calf before she should have and she was just a little bit of a cow. Of course, I wanted to milk that cow, so he bought me a tiny little pail and I learned to milk that cow. That is how he started me milking.”
Frank, her father, had sixteen dairy cows. They made their money from selling butter. Every Saturday, Myrtle’s mother went to Bridgewater by horse and wagon or sleigh to sell fifty to sixty pounds of butter at 25 cents a pound. Myrtle often went with her. Sometimes they took eggs and curd to their customers. The children drank some of the buttermilk on the days their mum made butter, but most of it went to the pigs. apart from their dairy cows, the Carvers had cattle, hens, a pair of oxen and “a nice little driving horse.” And they had the pigs. they kept a sow for piglets that sold for two dollars and fifty cents apiece. It was the 1920s and there was always money about, but they didn’t spend it much. They grew all their own food and made most of their own clothes. he also cut a few logs to take out to the mill in Bridgewater. Frank hired one man to help and bought his oxen already trained but that was all. They didn’t need to spend much money.
The children worked hard, but they found time for fun. “We went coasting, played horse, hide-and-seek, hopscotch, tag and somethimes Parcheesi and checkers. Father wouldn’t let us go swimming. He was afraid we would drown, but my younger sisters would sneak off and they learned to swim, but I never did, ” she says. “But I did a lot of reading. I spent most of my time reading. We had a library in our school; it wasn’t a big one. And we had a lot of books at home. A distant relative moved to the States and the boy had a lot of Alger books, and I fell heir to those. And there were magazines.” After her chores were done, Myrtle would find a quiet corner and get lost in her book.
She enjoyed school. The early teachers were men, but eventually they had a young woman. Myrtle liked her best. The girls wore homemade dresses to school. They had two each; one to wear while the other was in the wash. Wash day was once a week as was both day. The water was warmed in a big kettle on the woodstove, then placed in a washtub. The children were washed in the tub. there was no indoor plumbing or running water. the toilet was an outhouse. Footwear was simple–in the warm weather they went barefoot and in the cold they wore lumberman’s rubbers.
Myrtle wore a snow suit made of Melton cloth for skating and coasting in the winter. Mary, her older sister, often wore knickers and golf socks for outdoor activities. However, for chores the girls wore homemade dresses. Myrtles’s father was a firm believer in education. his mother had been a teacher, and he saw nothing wrong with his girls following her example. Girls had very few choices in those days. They could be maids, secretaries, nurses or teacher. Teacher garnered the most respect. Myrtle just assumed she would become a teacher, as had her sister Mary. The Baker’s Settlement school went as far as Grade Eleven. For Grade Twelve, Myrtle had to board in Bridgewater. However, when she had completed her exams, she was not yet eighteen —too young for the one-year teaching course at the Normal college in Truro. she completed the course the following year.
In 1934, she took up her first teaching job in Union Square, Lunenburg County. The one-room school had less than twenty students. She boarded with Grace and Freeman Ernst, not far from the school. The teacher had to live very close to the schoolhouse, as school was rarely closed. On the week-ends, Myrtle walked out to New Germany to visit Mary, who taught there, or she would catch a train in Pinehurst for a trip to Bridgewater. Most people walked then: to school, the stores, the train and church.
Myrtle enjoyed teaching and she enjoyed her independence. Her wages were $250 per year, paid every three months. Some teachers did not get their pay, as the Great Depression was at its peak in 1934; but Myrtle was always paid. She gave Grace and Freeman Ernst $100 for room and board. That left her a little money to buy her clothes, for now she needed shoes and boots, silk and wool stockings and underwear. She was expected to be clean and neat and to behave in moral fashion. And so she did.
Myrtle met her first husband, Clarence Mackay, while in Union Square. They married shortly before the outbreak of WWII. Clarence joined the Army and left for the War in Europe. He never came home; he died in France August 10, 1944. Myrtle carried on teaching. Teachers could not leave the profession during the war. They could change schools, however. She taught in UpperNorthfield, Barss Corner, and eventually North Rosedale School in New Germany, where she was Principal. Women teachers were expected to give their jobs to the men returning from War, but Myrtle did not have to. She remarried and left teaching before Murray Ward needed the Principal’s job back.
In 1946, she married Robert McLearn Taylor, a widower with two young boys. Robert, or “Mac” as he was known, was a farmer. He made his money from hens, chickens and blueberries. They also had cattle and pigs. Myrtle stayed home and turned her hand to pretty well everything. She gave birth to their only child, Ruth.
Mac died in 1974, leaving the farm to Myrtle. the boys were a help to her, but still, she had to scale back. She changed the blueberry operation to a U-pick, which continues to this day. At the age of 95, she will forego the pruning, but as long as there are berries, pickers are welcome.
Many things have changed during Myrtles’s lifetime. Born during WWI, she was a child in the Roaring Twenties, a young teacher during the Great Depression and a widow by the end of WWII. She remembers the day her Mum dressed in a suit and hat to go out to vote for the first time —the provincial elections of 1920.
Myrtle’s parents had two more children later in life. Hiram, the older, is fifteen years younger than Myrtle. “Hiram and Catherine are the two younger ones”, she says. “I tell them, ‘You had an altogether different life from us.’ We had the time when you put so much in the cellar and that was it. They had the time when mother canned, bought more, and lived a different life. We had an outhouse and we had oil lamps. We studied by the little oil lamps, and they had electricity and indoor plumbing.” Electricity, phones, canning of foods and pasteurised milk came in after the WWII, long after Myrtle had left home. She joined the Women’s Institute of Nova Scotia, that worked to improve the lives of rural families. She is very proud of her contribution.
After the Second World War, people had cars and trucks, power, phones, better roads and bigger schools. The country children were bussed from their homes to the big central schools in the towns, as they are now. The one-room school houses closed for good in 1964. Myrtle had gone back to teaching on and off. She taught in the High School in New Germany, a school of many classrooms and many teachers.
“When they closed the one-room schools completely,” she says, “they took the heart out of the communities. That’s what ruined our communities. The parents were more intersted in the children’s doings (before the closures). They walked to school and they walked home and they knew the teachrs, and the teachers knew all the kids. Usually the teacher visited the parents or was invited to supper. There was more communication between parents and the teacher at that time. The schools were too far away in more ways than one. ”
Myrtle does not see this change as a positive one. The community no longer know the child in the same way. discipline problems have become the norm, sonething not noticed as a concern in earlier days. “We just grew up. We just did, in those days. People were responsible. Kids of fourteen or fifteen years old were responsible. There was no such a ting as saying, ‘Well, your only a kid so you don’t know what your’ve been doing.’ They don’t fool me, ” She laughs. “They know what the’re doing.”
Myrtle is a keen observer of life and its dynamics. She has used her knowledge and experience to teach the generations that have followed hers, and she is still teaching.
Today we give thanks to God and celebrate the Life of Barbara Helen Penney.
On behalf of all of us at Rosedale, I wish to extend our heartfelt Love and prayers to you, her family members.
Last February Barbara Penney came to Rosedale. Personally speaking I can’t say that I knew her very well at the time but I certainly knew who she was. Mrs. Jacob Penney or simply Mrs. Penney would do, and she lived in the house that was pretty much situated in the center of the village. I always ascribed her as the Penny matriarch. I’d thought of her as the woman who ruled the family clan, a highly respected woman. Another definition for matriarch is ‘a feisty older woman’. A fitting analogy don’t you think?
Within the first few days of Barbara’s arrival to Rosedale, the oldest son Frank and his wife Ruth visited. I laugh every time I think about that day….and her comment to Frank as their visit came to an end. He’d said something like, “I’ll be down to visit with you agin’…her reply, ‘Next time, bring me some ice cream!’ I have to say rarely did any of the children arrive without some sort of treat for mother. Whether it was tomatoes, plums, grapes…smoked mackerel…
Barbara loved food didn’t she? Avan remebers how much she appreciated Meals on Wheels when she was still at home, so getting accustomed to the Rosedale menu was not going to be a chore for her. The day she arrived she smiled at Avan as she said, ‘Now I’ll be able to get more of your good meals’. I think her remark to the dietitian was large portions with a glass of milk! She sure loved when we had homemade ice cream; her task was ensuring the dasher was suitably cleaned off!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the excursions in the van…lunch at DeLong’s, eating KFC at shipyard Landing, the July 1st parade, a BBQ at my house, the Dalhousie Fair, the Ladies trip to Kentville and Coldbrook, Chinese food, the Penny Auction. There were a great number of these outings that ended the same way..with a drive to the farm on the hill, to simply enjoy the view. Believe me, it is indeed spectacular, isn’t it Annette! Barbara said that the fall of the year was her favourite time to just sit for hours…looking out over the landscape….simply watching as the leaves fell from the trees…said she could see all the way to Wentzell’s Lake.
Then there was the Watford School Reunion. She had such a wonderful time…Annette said there was an overwhelming number of comments, all basically the sme; Mrs. Penney was a wonderful teacher! Just the other day while at the hospital Dr. Edmonds overheard someone say they read Barbara’s obituary…for this person it immediately prompted school day memories of being in Mrs. Penney’s primary class. She remembered at the beginning of the school year Mrs. Penney set everyone straight regarding her rules and expectations. One important rule was that every student was to come to school every day with an orange in their luch box. And if they didn’t…she always supplied one!
Barbara Penney had a wonderful zest for Life, she knew what she liked and liked what she knew. She was proud of her children; it was evident in her voice as she spoke of them. She often spoke of the grandchildren as well and loved each and every card and letter she’d ever received.
Last October after recovering from one of her low spells, Barbara smiled brightly and with that twinkle in her bright blue eyes said, ‘I guess the good Lord’s just not ready for the likes of me yet!’
I learned a lot about Babara over the last 10 months…some of which was her love for reading. She had a little book of poetry that she kept close by. She enjoyed reading about the Royal Family…read the Chronicle Herald each morning and of course completed the Friday Lexicon. She joined our club for a few weeks but soon chose to drop out. For her, completing the puzzle so quickly took a lot of the fun and challenge out of it. Of course for us it’s generally a race…get it finished and out in the mailbox all before the mail car arriveds! Our hope is to win someday; Barbara didn’t though, no chance of that because she told me she’d never mailed hers. It was just for fun she said…worked on it with her sister Myrtle via the telephone. Barbara became our ‘go to friend’ which we always utilized before the ‘phone a friend’ option. We only used the Thesaurus and Google as a last resort!
Barbara had a natural talent and love for painting. Rosemary faithfully rotated the paintings ensuring a pleasant change of scenery. it gave Barbara a chance to share the story behind the painting to anyone who took the time to ask.
Thinking back, I can’t help but wonder…how many hours did Barbara actually spend sitting out on the front deck? Remember how she would pull her pant legs up to her knees and just bask in the sun? She truly enjoyed the outdoors. We talked about so many things while sitting outside…making hay, how long to keep a bull before getting a new one, raising turkeys, Women’s Institute, traveling, the United church bell….We heard stories of her trip to Europe with her sister Myrtle…about her Swiss watch. How could anyone go to Switzerland and leave without purchasing an authentic Swiss watch?
Along with everything I learned was the fact that if I had a question all I needed to do was ask Barbara…if she didn’t have the answer, she knew who did!
Well on Junuary 13, just a few short days ago, Babara’s room in heaven was finally made ready; and with her task on earth finished so she made one last journey. she travelled to the Promised Land.
Barbara Helen Penney made her mark, touching so many lives. Each one here today has memories, some the same, some quite different. Some are memories of a sister and friend, some of a mother and grandmother, there are those too who remember her from the classroom. She had an effect on so many young children.
Just as Barbara made her mark in this community, with family, friends and church, she made an impact on all of us at Rosedale and just as you her family remember her, so too shall we.