Chester Chatter: Skating down the Black River

By Ruthie Douglas
©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

As a young couple, my grandparents left Three Rivers, Canada to start a new life in Springfield. They bought a newly built apartment building on Union Street, which grandmother turned into a boarding house.

They soon got jobs and met new people. A group those new friends would gather every February when the moon was out and when the Black River had frozen solid. Some would carry lanterns.

They would start out at Gould’s Mills and would skate to the Charlestown Railroad Station. As they skated along, the would sing. Once they made it to the station, they would board the trolley for the trip back to Main Street in Springfield. If the river held solid during those Februaries, you can be sure that they would skate to Charlestown several more times.

I so enjoyed spending time with my grandmother. She was a storyteller who regaled me with tales of long ago Springfield. How simple their life was then.

Scene and heard

Several members of the American Legion Post 67 attended the Winter Conference in Burlington this past weekend.

Shirley Waldo is recovering nicely after a serious fall. She would love to hear from you. Drop her a  line at the Davis home in Windsor.

Happy birthday to Kim Austin.

Longtime kindergarten teacher Laura Dudek has died. We are thinking of her and her family.

Congratulations to Jordan Stewart of Chester who has made the Dean’s List at the University of Vermont.

I enjoyed getting together recently for a lunch with my friends Pat Griffin, Pat Hardy and Judy Henning. We went to the Black Rock restaurant.

Mr. Peanut, the symbol of Planter Peanuts since the early 1900s, has been put to rest.

Street Talk

Are you glad to have some snow?

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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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