Caledonia - Along
the Grand River
by O. T. Scott, 1956
I can’t go back one hundred years
And from my memory bring
Fond pictures of our Village then,
I cannot tell a thing.
My earliest recollections start
In eighteen eighty-five,
I lived up on the Catholic Hill
A little boy of five.
The hill is not as steep to-day,
In winter time my sleigh
Would scoot across the sidewalk
And on the Square away.
The Priest, he had an Orchard,
The picket fence a hole,
Sometimes we asked, sometimes we failed,
He was a kindly soul.
We all kept cows, they roamed the streets,
From School we had to roam
The Village o’er before we found
And brought those bovine home.
The streets were mud, the Plank Road gone,
But in the springtime rain
Those planks got resurrection hopes
And up they came again.
The sidewalks all were made of Plank,
The ladies’ skirts were long,
The nails worked up and tore those skirts,
The Council got in wrong.
We had a dandy swimmin’ hole,
Straight down from the Town Hall,
The kid that swam out to THE ROCK
Was champion of all.
The fishing at the Dam was great,
The Slab Piles lined the shore,
We bobbed for Bass and trolled for Pike,
Then waded out for more.
In winter time the River froze
Quite thick from shore to shore,
The Farmers used it as a Road
For several months and more,
They cut their Ice above the Dam
To last the summer through,
While we boys played our Shinny Game
And watched the process through,
To "Hang on Bobs" was one great sport
We practised far and wide,
We’d ride the Farmers’ sleighs for miles
Then catch a homeward ride.
At Trotter’s we got Licorice Root,
And Roper’s sold us Pills,
While Doctor Forbes and Doctor Burns
Cured all our childhood ills.
I well recall our first Gas Well,
Behind Fred Avery’s shop,
And what it did to our Cook Stove
In twisting up its top.
They charged a Dollar every month
For each Stove we did burn,
Boy — when I get my Gas Bills now
For those good days I yearn.
I went each day to Seldon’s Store
To get our daily bread,
It smelled so good I nibbled some,
You guess what Mother said.
I can’t forget that Blacksmith Shop
Where Billy S held sway,
He fixed my broken toys and tools,
And always yelled "Good Day"
The Village Square was much the same,
The Cows mowed long grass short,
We had our Baseball, Cricket too,
Our days were filled with sport.
These golden days have passed away,
Old friends are leaving me,
And yet I do not wish them back,
The best is yet to be.
Life’s day brought joys and sorrow,
My maker planned it so;
But early morning’s beauties
Can’t match the Sunset’s glow.
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