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Letter from Ruth Beagle to Celine Gaussiun in 1975

A Letter from Ruth Beagle to Celine Gaussiun

From the Canadice Chronicle, April 1990, p6

My Dear Celine,

You first better believe that I remember Canadice!

We spent many happy vacations there. From the time I was six years old we went to the same cottage for twelve years. It must have been about 1905.

In these picnic grounds there was this large cottage. It was owned by Elwood and Carrie Barringer who had a lovely young hired girl named Zaidy Crooks. Some of you probably knew her.

Also they had a wonderful hired man named Jack Lahey. He was like one of their family. In fact they thought so much of him that when finally Carrie died, they left farm and everything to Jack.

Zaidy used to come in to Formans (in Rochester) to see me. They were more like relatives than friends.

My father and mother never did things half way. There would be Father, Mother, my sister and four brothers and myself (five years old) would go, and Mother never had to do anything but enjoy herself.

We lived in the cottage and Mrs. Barringer and Zadie would come down and clean the cottage and we went up the lake to the homestead for all our meals. It was great.

Now my family are all gone except me I’m alone except for Roberta and her son Tom. I live with Roberta. She is a busy person, President of the Brighton Historical Society, President of the Susan B. Anthony Club, Secretary of the Real Estate Board of Rochester and Treasurer of one of the chapters of the Eastern Star.

Now about the merry-go-round. Yes, indeed I remember!

It was at the end of the lake, owned by the Hoppough family. And when they had large picnics they always ran the merry-go-round and they had a long dance hall where there would be music and dancing all hours of the night.

We used to row up the inlet where it was so narrow and so wild. In fact we always called it Africa.

Across from our cottage Mrs. Barringer’s father had a little store. It was always closed unless we wanted to buy candy or peanuts. Always open during picnics.

In later years Mr. Barringer built a lovely smaller cottage across the creek from the one we had used and as our family got smaller (my older brothers had other interests and had to stay home to take care of the business) so we rented the new cottage.

When it rained I remember Jack used to come down the lane and carry us cross the creek so we could go up to the house for meals.

I don’t know who owns the big house now. Jack sold it to a doctor from Rochester. But the lane and big apple orchard are all blocked off now and one can’t get to where the cottage used to be. The City of Rochester has planted so many pine trees that it’s hard to find where anything was.

We made many fast friends up there.

I hope you will not be too tired reading this long letter, and I do hope I have helped you some.


Ruth Beagle

Editor’s Note: This letter was written by Ruth A. Beagle (1889-1978) in 1975 when she was 86 years old, to Miss Celine Gaussian of Springwater. It recounts old days on Canadice Lake, when cottages ringed its shores. The letter was kept in the files of Beverly Deats, the town clerk of Canadice NY.