The Nunda News, Nov. 8, 1973
News from Garwoods….
Our “hello Neighbor” goes out to Wayne Thompson this week and as we drive down his lane we saw 2 beautiful deer turn in a flash and head up over the hill. They stopped after a bit, and after eyeing us for a second, decided to travel on. We knocked on Wayne’s door and soon he opened it and greeted us with a hearty “hello”. I was amazed at the strength in his voice and the deliberate moves and his ability to remember facts so well. Wayne tells me he was born in 1897 and has lived most of his life in the house he is now living in. He says it has been called the Thompson house for a long time and this is because his father built it and the barn in 1902. Wayne is the youngest of a family of five and his is the only one left. His sister, Mrs. Victor Swain (Rena) passed away just last week. Sorry to hear of that, Wayne, and I trust that God will be with you in this period of mourning. Rena and her husband lived in Dansville.
Sixty years ago this area was called Thompson Hollow. His father was Sherman Thompson and he and other relatives lived all around the surrounding area casing the name to stick. Wayne says that all the old neighbors who had settled here for years have all gone with the exception of the Sam Wray family and he misses folks like the Alexander Harwood Hamiltons who lived in the area for years and raised their family here. He mentioned names of several families including the Young family and the Fred Jackman family. He said they were good neighbors. “We used to go to school in the place where Clarence Flint now lives. We had good teachers in those days and Esther Dresser’s father, George P. Gates, taught school then. We never had a better teacher.” “There were a Hazel B Lylath and Bessie Lewis and they were good teachers too.”
“My grandfather was an old soldier and fought in the Battle of Gettysburg. That was an awful battle. “My wife became ill and I lost her in 1937 she was only 38 and I was 40. My Mother died when I was about 3.” “We had an old “Home Comfort” stove and paid $131 for it. I sold it and now I wish I had it back.” Wayne had 100 acres with his farm and he can show where the lines are today. E turned the farm over to the county so he could get a better pension. Wishes now he had kept it and sold it himself.
He hasn’t farmed for the last ten years, but remembers raising potatoes and says that they used to draw them down to the old Shawmut railroad to ship by railroad car. He says that the Shawmut ran from Hornell to Olean and that they could load the car down near where Carl Phillips lives now. He says it took 600 bushels in sacks to make a carload and 1100 bushels loose for a carload.
John Dieter had a blacksmith shop near there where he got his horses shod. Wayne likes to read, catch T.V., (which he says is a great machine and he’d like to know who invented it), and he loves to visit. He also likes to munch on ginger snaps and says that he is amazed that bread is 47 cents a loaf and he told Jim, “next week it would be 50 cents.” (Jim Payne has helped Wayne get groceries for a number of years and also has helped him untiringly in getting fuel, and other necessities). “Jim you deserve a big hand… May God reward you for your efforts.” Wayne also tells me that Bill and Judith Archer have showed him lots of neighborliness in giving him homemade loaves of bread, and in visiting with him. Isn’t it wonderful to have good neighbors?
On the Washington situation Wayne says “WE’VE got a good President and he’s doing his best. MY, MY, MY, they have great times don’t they?”
Wayne, thank you for letting me do this article on you and I trust that you will continue to enjoy your T.V. and your reading and visiting. Meantime, may we say so long, for now, “Neighbor”…