Let me set the scene for what I am about to discuss: Chestnut Street and Curtis Street are a block apart and run parallel to each other and both end up at the high school, which means that entire area must have been farmland long ago when Dick Candee lived there by the lake.
“Did your phone ring off the hook after your last column came out?” Mary West wanted to know as she reminded me that Candee’s old homestead was at the end of Cedar Street and not Chestnut Street.
She also said she remembers the home of the Kush family being the last one on Chestnut Street and that there was a cow pasture next to it.
A couple of days after I had the conversation with Mary, I bumped into Tony Gorea, who said he read the column as well and told me that grew up on Chestnut Street and remembers an old man up the street who raised goats.
Then there was Henry Hudson, who stopped me in my tracks when he said: “You forgot the pigs!”
“What pigs?” I asked.
”The ones I took care of when I was a kid,” he said.
It seems his father, Dan Hudson, was a long-ago dairy farmer who made and sold ice cream. In fact, Hudson’s was the only ice cream maker in our entire area.
You could find Hudson’s ice cream in almost every store and every restaurant in town and beyond, Henry said.
The problem was, however, that skim milk was the by-product and there was a big surplus.
So one summer Mr. Hudson devised a plan to get rid of his skim milk by feeding it to the pigs, and he ordered 250 baby pigs and had them shipped in by railroad.
From the railroad car, the piglets were loaded onto trucks out on Route 176 — at the Curtis Street junction — and were taken to Candee’s farm over by the lake.
Henry’s father had rented the land from Mr. Candee; they were great friends, Henry said. A fence had been installed before the little pigs arrived. It went from about where the high school would someday be, down the hill where the athletic complex would be and stretched out a bit from there.
The pen was kind of three-sided affair with the lake making up the fourth side. “Only one pig tried to swim away,” Henry said. (This writer didn’t dare ask what happened to it!)
Henry was only 16 or 17 that year he spent his summer lugging milk cans full of skim milk to feed the little pigs. That was their mainstay diet, skim milk, day in and day out!
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