Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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July 20, 2013

CANAL DISCOVERIES: Recollections from an early settler

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — “That night a terrific storm of wind and rain came on, accompanied by thunder and lightening … down came the wet blankets, flapping and fluttering into the room. The wind blew so hard we could have no light burning, which added to the general horror. The next morning a man was dispatched to Niagara Falls for window sash, doors, etc.

“The floor was made of rough boards, not fastened down … they warped until they were not unlike a cradle in shape; as one can not write a noise, it would be difficult to give an idea of the clatter made when we moved about. When this state of things became unendurable, we turned them (the boards) over, until they warped the other way. This process was repeated about twice a week.

“In the midst of it all, three men were blown up and seriously injured by a blast, and they were brought to us to be nursed and taken care of. We had no place for them but a low loft ... where two were put, the other on a cot in our common room. 

“A ladder was the only means of access to the chambers, and up that we climbed with all the appliances necessary to the sick and wounded. No servants were to be had. We could, however, get our washing done out in the country and there were several bakers for the men on the canal, where we could buy bread which was a great relief under the circumstances.

“The hearth was mended and upon it, many a winter evening before a blazing fire, stood dishes of apples, dough-nuts, mince pies, and pitchers of cider, warming for the delectation of guests gathered from the village – a social circle, that for good feeling, wit and fun, is seldom surpassed.

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