The Knister House – Adele’s Letter Part One
Written by Mrs. W. G. (Adele Knister) Taylor
February 4, 1966
Written to the Ayearst Family shortly after they bought Adele’s childhood home.
You’ll be surprised hearing from me, but as I am the only one left who lived in my old home, I thought I’d better tell you a little about the house. I washed the dishes for the carpenters, painters etc in 1901, as we of course boarded them. After the painters had 8 quarts of varnish and rub downs on woodwork, the architect would not accept it and 3 more were put on, making 11 in all.
Of course, the quarter cut oak doors and wainscotting and 2 floors came off our “other place”. Many times the dog and I went for the cows in the woods across the creek. I gathered mushrooms there on this side of the creek (Ruscom River October 62). While Shirley loved the place it was my home over 60 years, while (sister) Ethel and I each owned the farm on the 6th concession. (I sold 50 acres to Russel Simon for much less than he got for freeway (ed note: Highway 401).
It went on Shirley’s* tuition at Alma College where she graduated in Interior Decoration in 1944 at age 18, and afterward at Texas University. I gave the other 50 acres to my sister Ethel (married name Pembleton) where the barn burned. Some one was kind enough to throw a cigarette on the straw stack while the threshing was in progress, so burnt the barns, stock and all.
Ethel sold her farm about 10 years ago with the stand of oak wood walnut. My cousin Dr. Charles Knister said they sold $12,000 of timber off it.
My mother and brother died in 1917, then my father had housekeepers and alwasy hired men. My father died in 1930.
Tomorrow: the opulent furniture in the house, and the not so opulent green and gold dresser.
* Shirley was Adele’s daughter, who eventually married and stayed in Texas. Adele moved down to Texas to live with her daughter, which is where the letter was written.