"The Old Days"
1915-1923Lake Michigan Sidewheeler Boat Trips These were usually overnight trips from
1916-1925Model T Trips to Saugatuck, Michigan The family would usually get up early andleave Chicago's South Side about 4 or 5 a.m. Dad had spare tubes and tires,spare parts, too, on the running board or in a huge trunk attached on thedriver's side. Blowouts and flat tires required much time and trouble. First,jacking up the wheel, removing the tire, taking out the inner tube, patchingit, then putting it all together again and finally, pumping up the tire withthe hand pump. Besides all this, sometimes the car had to be helped out ofsandy places by everyone pushing. There was a close call once or twice fromfast moving trains at the many high crossings over the railroad tracks. Therewere no warning gates to be lowered and visibility was bad. In the 160 miletrip, we usually arrived late in the day, about 10 hours on the road. BrotherEd and I would begin the trip sleeping on the back seat, or on the floorbetween the seats. I remember the meals in country school yards. We would driveoff the road, find a shady spat and enjoy our picnic. There was always goodwater and there were outhouses there too.
1919Childhood Memories My Uncle Joe Woodall had a very important job in Saugatuck.He actually drove a big rawboned team of mules that pulled a big round watertank wagon, used for sprinkling the dry, dusty dirt streets of the village.Everyone knew Joe.
1922 AlmostDrowning at the
We had been wading and swimming, justhaving fun. The water became very deep in just two or three steps from the sandhill. Cousin Bill Woodall was there but he couldn't swim. When he stepped out toofar, he slipped on the loose sand underfoot and began struggling. Since I was ayear or two older and nearby I hurried over to reach out to help him. With mylong arm stretched out, he grabbed my arm and then, before I realized it, myneck too. We were both in deep trouble. I didn't panic too much but didn't knowwhat to do except stretch for sand under my feet. Finally, after kicking hardand trying to swim back to shore, I touched enough sand to stand up and finishthe job. All of this probably took only a minute or two but to two gasping,choking kids, it seemed like a long, long time.
1922 My Mother at the Wheel of the ModelT The family was in
1921-1930 Living in
Mr. Felt was the inventor of the Felt& Tarrant Comptometer in Chicago and only visited the farm a few weeks at atime. Roads were made through the thick woods for about a mile to LakeMichigan. His property ran almost a mile along the beautiful sandy beach justbelow a huge row of dunes, topped by the wooded hills.
On thisfarm there was - you name it - cherry orchards, apple orchards and the BoyceFarm peach orchard was missing a little of their crop too. I remember the pondwhere we would catch the small green frogs to sell to fishermen. then therewere a lot of other interesting places to enjoy. The ice house, where blocks ofice were covered with sawdust for insulation from the heat. The private zoo,with a bear cage and den, also eagles in a big cage nearby. all around the bigFelt house, one could see, if not hear their unearthly cries, peacocks andguinea hens. I don't recall being inside the big house. Mr. Felt usually hadfriends or family visiting there in the summer.
There was also a large concretereservoir for water, but growing in it was water lilies and plants of allkinds. since it was up on a hill behind the house, maybe it was there for fireprotection and water supply. No, that may be wrong. There was a large tank highon a higher hill that had water pumped up to it from a separate pump house.
These memories are from a history ofthe Woodall family compiled by PamelaJo (Woodall) Ellington of Rockledge, Florida, who kindly sent a copy to theHistorical Society.