The Knister House – Adele’s Letter Part 3

(This part of the letter begins by Adella talking about her life in Texas, where she moved to be with her daughter, Shirley Brueggerhoff. Music is the theme of this part of the letter, and her beloved piano)

“They both (Shirley and her husband) both sing in the Presbyterian Choir and Gary in the junior choir. She (Shirley? Not specific) brought my mother’s organ (1875), solid walnut and not high, and wants my parlour grand. I don’t play and sing too much any more but would be lost without it. I must tell you about my piano. It’s no ordinary piano and was maybe tuned only once or twice but the copper strings brot from Germany are long as a baby grand. That’s why it’s so high and was built for the Toronto Ex and came directly to me as present from my father in 1902. Mine is a Knabe but I’ve never played on a better one than it.

The dining room suite cost $1200 and is beautiful. When Shirley and I went home in ’64, my grandpa Thompson’s large bible was all to pieces upstairs in the hall .. I took out two pages (where it was written) where they were married in ’37 in Muddy York (Toronto). They had 7 children. Ma was the youngest and born in 1856, so she got a lot of furniture when grandma (Thompson) died in 1892 and Grandpa came to live with us. The front page, I left .. (where it was written) “Given to John Thompson in 1846”.

By last spring (1965), ALL had been taken, also my sister’s huge hope chest, tall lamps and many things. We gave the new washer to Sherwood (Simon), but one of the other two is a real museum piece.

The walnut cupboard with glass doors in the dining room and 2 walnut drop leaf table came from Langton Norfolk Co. My mother’s old home. We brought the cherry chairs, Grandma’s, with the original cane seats and numerous things. My grandpa made the trunk in then front hall upstairs. Maybe in Ireland.

There was so much to be done and I am glad to hear you are repairing things, papering, painting etc. Shirley put some stoneware, English, in the top of the cupboard (glass) in the kitchen thinking she’d go up when she sold, but it happened at the same time she was moving so she was too busy. The big white potato dish is over 80 years old as are the other dishes.

I have my Grandma’s paisley shawl that my grandfather’s brother bot in Paisley, Scotland in 1847 and cost $37.00. My grandparents (Thompson) came from Armah and Enniskillen, Ireland. When built in 1901, our house was the finest home between London and Windsor.

Hope your not too bord reading this.

Yours most sincerely,
Adele Taylor (Knister)

(ed note: There are another couple of pages in the letter about the politics in Texas. The letter contains some very spicy comments about Lyndon Johnson’s family. I’m not going to repeat them here because our story is not about either LBJ or American politics. Okay, there’s one line I can’t resist “I hate LBJ like poison but I’m a Democrat so I’ll vote for him”. And “With our Socialist Commy government I don’t know how long he will last.” And also because I don’t know how libel laws pertain to people who are dead, I won’t repeat what she said about LBJ’s sister. Many of the women of Ruscomb had very definite opinions about politics. Adele was one of them.

Thanks to Barb Ayearst for sharing this wonderful letter).

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Posted on February 10, 2013, in Essex County Families and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I just came across your blog by accident. It’s excellent!
    I’m currently researching a few branches of my family (Theobald, Scarlett, Brown, Hall & Skidmore) who settled in different parts of Essex & Kent Counties.
    I’m especially interested in the Skidmore’s who originally settled in Willoughby Twp, Welland County, in the 1850’s. Part of the family eventually settled in Ruscomb. I’m curious if you or anyone else knows anything about the Ruscomb Skidmore’s. I think there’s a fascinating story behind this family.
    Thank you
    Ken Theobald
    Toronto

    • Hi Ken and thanks for your note. The Ruscomb Skidmores were neighbours and friends. My parents bought their first farm from Dave Skidmore. One of the Skidmore girls was a childhood friend. I don’t know much about their history but I know I’ve seen some of it in my grandmother’s books. There are still Skidmores living in Ruscomb … they wouldn’t be hard to track down since Ruscomb is still a very small place (it’s spelled without the “b” now … for some reason it got dropped in recent years).

      Love to hear the fascinating story! Email me privately if you don’t want to post publicly and don’t mind sharing it — vlfenner@gmail.com

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