The men, including Cliff had gone to Gram’s old homestead to cut the field of oats and have them ready for the threshing crew.
Since it was a scorching hot August day, Mum not only sent along lots of
sandwiches in a pail that could be hung down the well but three glass
gallon jars of oatmeal drink to keep the men from becoming dehydrated.
Gram and Aunt Sadie came to help Mum cut green tomatoes for chow and to make pickled beets.
The stove had been moved to the outside kitchen for the summer and a
good fire was burning as Mum had made several loaves of bread that
needed to be baked.
Everything was going just fine, lots of laughing and reminiscing when
suddenly the ladies turned pale as they heard the roar from the flu.
I rushed outside to see smoke and fire coming out the chimney, which I knew meant a flu fire.
Glen and Greta were driving down the Deacon’s Hill and spotted the problem and came to help.
Glen rushed to the barn and filled a pail with coarse salt, grabbed the
ladder, climbed to the top of the house and dumped the salt into the
roaring fire that was coming out of the flu.
There was a very long stovepipe to the kitchen stove and it was red hot -
just about ready to melt. We started filling every container we could
find with water and carried them upstairs in preparation if the pipe
Glen carried pail after pail of water to the ridge board and let it run
down to dampen the roof shingles as sparks were flying from the flu plus
he kept dumping more salt down the flu.
Way back in 1825, Mary Dewitt Nason, mother of five and another on the
way, smelled smoke and then heard the roar of the inferno as an out of
control fire jumped from tree to tree headed for her home. Since
her husband John was away, it was up to her and sons aged eleven and
nine to do battle, while seven-year-old Mary was left in charge of the
two little ones.
Mary Nason felt the greatest danger was the wind carrying the burning
sparks. She tethered the stock, started carrying water up the ladder to
soak the roof and won the battle.
Mary Phillips Tracy had the presence of mind to put the silver and gold
coins needed to pay the mill crew in a small trunk and have her young
sons carry it to the water.
Others were not so fortunate in the fire that destroyed a three mile
path of 80 acres through Hartt’s Mill until it reached the Oromocto
River and left mothers, with their little ones, taking refuge in the
water of the Mill Pond.
To go back in time, actually to the Battle of Hastings of 1066, there is
a Tracey on the Roll of the Battle Abbey. Then in 1836 a Tracy
emigrated to America, landing in Salem, Massachusetts.
In 1784-1785 Jeremiah Tracy came to settle in an area near Oromocto.
In 1985, Miriam L. Phillips compiled “Facts and Folklore” - Tracy and Little Lake Area
filled with information on the families of the area and their way of
life from taking sulphur and molasses in the Spring to wearing a bag of
camphor around the neck, newspaper clippings, memories of the ice
freshet of 1871, school days, American hunters, memories of Talmage
Tracy, John Tracy, Lottie Tracy Nason, Roy A. Nason, and Louis Jeremy.
This book delves into the lives of the people who established Tracy and
gives one a very true to life look through the window of yesteryear.
Speaking of delving into the lives of people of the past, John Wood has set up a blog at http://johnwood1946.wordpress.com/ which
will continue to grow. He has, at this time, made available to all,
seventy articles, such as Robert Rankin in New Brunswick, Nashwaak River
pictures with Stewart Family connections, an Indian Burial Ground at
Oromocto, James Glenie in New Brunswick, Elizabeth (Smith) Secord -
N.B.’s First Woman Registered Doctor, Letter of Mi’kmaq’ Chief
Pemmeenauweet to Queen Victoria – 1841 plus many photos and even copies
I was very interested in John’s research on Jeremiah Tracy, who
according to him, was not a Loyalist, but fought for the American side
against the British during the Revolutionary War. He was serving as a
soldier at Machias, Maine when, in June of 1779, the British landed 700
to 800 soldiers at Majorbagaduce at the mouth of the Penobscot River to
protect the northeastern colonies from revolutionary incursions and to
use as a base to launch attacks. Nearly half of the whole American
landing party – were killed.
This defeat soured Jeremiah on the war. In 1781, he took his wife and
family and headed north to the Saint John River in the company of the
John Morgan family, who later settled in Rusagonis.
Jeremiah Tracy was recorded in the Studholm report of 1783: “Jeremiah
Tracey has a wife and six children, been on about 2 years, from
Goldsbury, Mass., purchased the improvements of one Stephen Young and
has a log house and about 2 or 3 acres of cleared land”.
Little did these folk know that their everyday positive and negative
experiences in life would be researched and made available to those who
are interested in the people who came before us.