A Bit of Personal History

 

A bit of North Road history is seen in these photographs taken by my uncle,
photographer – Alfred Gescheidt, in the mid fifties (1950s) unless otherwise noted.

Read or listen to Cyndy Bittinger’s Mini-Blog about my mother, Malvine Cole, on VPR.net.

03/19/2013

Malvine Cole
This is the Cole Cabin being built in the late 40’s. Notice the adz lying on the right. This tool was used to trim the logs so they would fit together. This log cabin was made the old fashioned way.
This is a photograph taken directly in front of the cabin looking up North Road. Notice the horse up on the left. The barn and the house belonged to Harold Field, his wife Natalie and son Dana, my childhood buddy and daughters, Gretchen and Barbara. Though the houses are gone, the two Field daughters still own the land the homestead was built on.

Harold ran a small farm with chickens, a cow, some horses and a large garden.

My brother and I in the summer of 1952 sitting on the stone wall below what is now the Offenbacher place. It didn’t exist when this picture was taken. My mother, Malvine Cole, brought my brother and I to live here, first in the Cabin and then in the House. When we arrived, there was no electricity and no running water. You had to use a hand pump.The Federal Rural Electrification Act paid for the running of the lines to our rural area.
This is a photograph taken in the middle of winter looking down at the Field place. The Stratton Ski area did not exist yet. We used to ski down the hill from where this photograph was taken. The hill was completely open. Now trees pretty much cover it.

The Fields along with a lot of other folks, journeyed to Vermont in the 40’s to be with Scott Nearing of Living the Good Life fame. When he moved up to Maine to get further away from so-called civilization, the community broke up.

And here is a photo taken in March of 1961 of a ski lesson taking place on the hill. The instructor was provided by the new ski area that just opened with help of my mother, Malvine Cole, considered the “Mother of Stratton”. (photograph by Malvine Cole)
And looking back up the hill at the skiers. Now you may ask, how did we get up the hill? We got up the hill the old fashioned way, by side stepping up the hill with our skis on. Took a little work, but it was great fun coming down. Skis were measured by raising your hand up into the air and then measuring from the tips of your fingers to the ground. (photograph by Malvine Cole)
April 1958, taken looking up the road from the cabin. North Road doesn’t look that much different now in the winter; a lovely time of year.