Interview with Ethel Jones Hayward, 1983 August 23 [audio]

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  • Daily and weekly chores; Father's role as village violin teacher; Songs and hymns
    Synopsis: Hayward discusses some of the daily chores at her family home. She then moves onto music and describes how her father was the village violin teacher. She said that she wanted to learn violin, but her father decided she should learn how to play the piano instead. She describes some of the hymns she learned how to play.
    Keywords: Abide With Me (Hymn); Brandywine Creek; Chores; Cleaning; Gardening; Henry Clay (Del.: Village); Hymns; In the Cross (Hymn); Leisure time; Music; Nearer My God to Thee (Hymn); Old Rugged Cross (Hymn); Piano; Sweet By And By (Hymn); Violin
    Transcript: Myers: Mrs. Hayward, we're interested in learning about what life was like in the small villages located near the DuPont powder mills on the Brandywine. Our primary interest concerns the late 19th century. In order to do this, we're asking people who have lived in these areas to help us complete this questionnaire. Would you be able to answer some questions that I'd like to present to you?

    Hayward: Yes.

    Myers: May I please have your full name?

    Hayward: My name is Ethel Louella Jones Hayward.

    Myers: And your address please, Mrs. Hayward.

    Hayward: 2607 Cayuga Road, Dartmouth Woods, Wilmington

    Myers: Would you mind giving us your age?

    Hayward: Not at all. I'm 83 years old.

    Myers: And your telephone number.

    Hayward: 475-5588.

    Myers: Mrs. Hayward, I'd like you to go back and remember some of your important chores during your weekly routine. What the family did through the week? Perhaps cleaning, gardening, cooking, whatever. Would you be able to give me a little information about that? Exactly who was responsible for those duties.

    Hayward: Well of course I was a very small child when I lived there. My father and mother were the responsible people for what we did in our home. My father always, every summer, had a very fine garden. We had all the garden vegetables we enjoyed. My mother took care of cleaning the house totally. Once in a while she'd have some help, but not too often. What I recall so very well was in the spring of the year, the house was entirely cleaned, which they called housecleaning. All the carpets were taken out, put on the clothesline and beaten with what they called a carpet beater at that time. My father did that. Then they were rolled, these carpets, and put in the attic for the summer. And we put down a kind of matting, which of course made the room much cooler for the summer. In the fall, there was not this extensive housecleaning. Only that the rugs were replaced then and the matting taken up. And it was put in the attic through the winter. My mother and father always cleaned the windows together after he came home from work, because the windows were taken out, inside and out, and they were washed with cloth at the time.

    Myers: Mrs. Hayward, did you sit on the front porch, did you play games or tell stories to each other. Did you swim in the Brandywine or did your father fish, perhaps. Did anyone play musical instruments or sing in your family.

    Hayward: We did have a front porch on the Charles I. du Pont home, which was a delight to all of us. Almost every evening we sat there, and my father often entertained us with different jokes he would have and different stories he'd tell of his childhood. And we always enjoyed that. My father did play the violin, and he taught my older brother how to play. Much to my regret, I didn't learn the violin. My father wanted me to play the piano, so when I was 10 years of age there was a piano bought just for me, and I was given piano lessons. What he did on Sunday evenings was to get his violin out. My brother took his violin out, and he often taught us the old hymns of the church and some of the ballads of that time. So it was a very pleasant evening.

    Myers: That must have been marvelous to have that experience. Do you remember the names of any of these songs.

    Hayward: Well I do remember NEARER MY GOD TO THEE. And ABIDE WITH ME. That was before THE OLD RUGGED CROSS became popular. There were many others. I just can't remember right now, but they were the older hymns. SWEET BY AND BY was one, and IN THE CROSS. Anyway they...

    Myers: Was AMAZING GRACE around in those days?

    Hayward: I don't remember that one.
  • Daily routine on a school day; Evening routine and bedtime
    Synopsis: Hayward describes her family's daily routine on a typical school day. She describes her father's job in the powder yards. She says that after working in the powder mills, he worked testing the quality of powder under Alfred I. du Pont. She describes her chores and activities after school. She talks about family meals and her mother's cooking. She describes what she did before bedtime and how she included her dolls and toys in that routine.
    Keywords: Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.); Bedtime; Breakfasts; Chores; Daily routines; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company; Evening routines; Hagley Yard; Quality control; School; Toys
    Transcript: Myers: Mrs. Hayward, let's go back and think about what might have been a typical day, when everyone would get up and the activities would begin. Now who would get up first. Who was the first to arise.

    Hayward: Well, suppose I speak of a school day, when maybe we'd be going to school. I did not see my father get up. He got up very early in the morning. His work day began at 7 o'clock. So he wouldn’ t leave very early. And I do remember my mother always making a large pot of oatmeal, which she kept on the back of the stove. So early in the morning he would have this hot oatmeal to start off the day with. Then she would call us and prepare us for school. We always had a nice hot breakfast. I can never remember being hungry. She would pack our lunches, and then we'd go to school. Of course during the winter months we took our lunches, but during the spring and fall we came home for lunch, and mother was always there to prepare a very nice lunch for us. And we returned. And then it was playtime after school. My father would return from work around 6:30, because he worked about 10 hours a day at that time in the mills. And we were always so happy to see him. He was a very lovable man, very amiable. And we really looked forward to his coming.

    Myers: Would you just say a little bit about your father. His work day began at what hour in the morning, and what building did he happen to work in. Do you have any knowledge of that. who was his supervisor.

    Hayward: Of course, he began with the Alexis I du Pont company. As he said, a common powder worker. And he worked in all the mills, every one. He had great experience. When I was born, he'd already worked for 10 years in the mills. He was very interested in the making of powder, so later he was appointed under Alfred I. du Pont to work with him in the laboratory, in testing the powder. I think that was really his last position, because he worked many years as that.

    Myers: Do you have any idea what his salary was?

    Hayward: No. I don’ t think it was anything compared to what...It seems to me at one time I remember something was mentioned about $60 a month.

    Myers: I'm going to get back here a little bit. After school, what did you do. Were there any duties you had to perform or chores for your mother. Did you change your clothes. Did you occasionally go roller skating. Since you were a young lady, I suppose you didn't go out with a fishing pole, but maybe you did.

    Hayward: No I never went fishing, and I was never allowed to bathe in the Brandywine. Never. I had two brothers who did, and at that time many of the boys had their special places where they bathed. And I wasn’ t even allowed to look over the wall to see them bathe. So I never did have that experience. I did not learn to swim, I guess. But when I came home from school, there were various jobs that I had to do. Mother having four children, I often had the beds to make before I could go out to play. I did have to change my dress, because mother was very particular about how I looked when I went to school. I was dressed very nicely. A beautiful green dress. A beautiful gingham dress with ribbons and so forth. I had to change my clothes when I came home. Often, when I got a little older I peeled the potatoes for the family before I was allowed to go out and play. Then another chore was to set the table. I happened to be the older girl, so those duties fell to my hands. But somehow I didn't mind. My mother was a very wonderful person to work with and I just loved being around her and watching her cook. And to this day I still love to use her recipes. She included me a very great deal in all that she did. Many times when she would be sewing on a dress she was making for me or blouses for my brother, I would have extra chores. If something was being made for me, either sweep the front porch or sweep the wooden walk out by the shed toward the coal box. Somehow I just always liked the different tasks I had.

    Myers: Let's talk about a typical weekday evening: what you had for dinner and did you actually call it dinner? Did you eat at a certain them every day? Did you eat at the same place you had your breakfast and lunch? Did all the children in your family eat at the same time as the adults? Did you say grace? That sort of thing. Was there table conversation? Did your parents say "What did you learn in school today? What did you do at recess?" Could you discuss that with us?

    Hayward: Well I early seemed to sense that my parents' world was our world. We were always included in everything that was being done. We had three meals a day. Breakfast: my mother would never allow us to go to school without our breakfast. As I said before we always had a warm breakfast of oatmeal. We never had fried eggs, because my father had trouble with his stomach. We always had soft-boiled eggs, if we had eggs at all. Always toast, which wasn't done in the toaster. My mother had some sort of long-handled toaster, and the bread would sit in between two...compartments...I would say. And only one piece of bread was toasted at one time. Then we'd go to school, and of course when we came home mother had lunch for us. Either a nice bowl of soup or sometimes we had French toast with syrup, which was very nice. And always a dessert of some sort. Of course then when we went back to school we were never hungry. We never ate much after school, but sometimes we would have a sandwich. My favorite sandwich was maybe unusual, but I loved her chili sauce. So, I had chili sauce very often between two pieces of bread. We always had suppertime. It was never called dinner. We always ate together. Always had that together. And that was where my mother and father would ask us how we enjoyed the day. I remember we always had a special place at the table. Mine was always at the left hand of my father. Then at his right hand was the high chair where my younger brother or sister might sit. Then my mother and then my brother at the end. And my younger brother alongside me. We always had grace. We would say our little grace, and sometimes my father would. After the dinner sometimes-- we didn't get a chance to be with my father during the weekday, because my father was the village violin teacher. He taught almost everyone in the village that could afford to pay for it. He wouldn't charge very much. He never faulted the time. Sometimes he would--if a child was interested--instead of the half hour, he gave him an hour. But in the early evening he had pupils, and from early childhood I remember going to sleep listening to the violin and his teaching down the hall.

    Myers: What time did you go to bed? Was that very strictly adhered to? Did all the children go to bed at a certain time? What did you sleep in? Could you tell us about that? Where were your clothes kept as far as your nightgown? Where were they kept? And perhaps you'll tell me where each family member slept in that house.

    Hayward: Well I might say this, that when I lived in the Charles du Pont home, it was a divided home. There were people on the other side of the house. It was partitioned, but it was a nice strong partition. So we only had what we called the parlor and a kitchen. But there were two large rooms. So we always ate in the kitchen and enjoyed our evenings in the parlor. Of course in summer time on the porch. We had no electricity, so our rooms were lighted by the oil lamps. Very nice oil lamps were used. When it came to bedtime, my mother and father slept in the front room, and in that room was the crib for the smallest child. Then there was a large hallway where my mother kept a chest of drawers and a trunk, and the back room was occupied by my two brothers. But I had a choice of the back attic room, which I really wanted, because I really lived with my dolls. They were my family, and I undressed them every night and saw that they were very comfortably put away in their crib. Then I usually went to bed with my teddy bear and my rag doll. And I slept up in that attic practically all my life.
  • Story about getting her father to stop smoking
    Synopsis: Hayward tells a story about how she got her father to stop smoking his pipe, a habit which upset her greatly.
    Keywords: Bedtime; Evening routines; Pipes; Smoking; Tobacco
    Transcript: Myers: And how about how before you went to bed. I suppose there was a scramble for everyone to brush their teeth and bathe. Bedtime stories? Good night kisses from your parents? Did anyone set an alarm clock or check the stove? Pull the curtains perhaps?

    Hayward: I hesitate a bit, because I have an interesting story about my father before bedtime. My father smoked a pipe in his early days, which I didn't like at all. Until when I was about five years old, I decided that when he began to smoke the pipe that I would not go near him. He always did kiss us goodnight. And I said I was sorry that I couldn't kiss him good night because I objected to his pipe. I can't tell you the feeling I would have when he would leave the dinner table, go to the get his pipe and smoke. It was a feeling of disappointment. I just wouldn't look at him. Then I decided I wouldn't kiss him any more. It went on for maybe a few nights that I went to bed without my father's kiss. And then one night I guess he couldn't stand it any longer, so he said to me, "Why aren't you kissing me when you're my only little girl and I must have a kiss goodnight?" So I decided I would confess to him that I just hated these pipes, and I just couldn't kiss him when he smoked his pipe. So he looked at me and he said, "I see. I have to make a decision here." He put me off his lap, he opened the lid of the kitchen stove. A fire was burning in it very brightly. He said, "Do you know what I'm going to do with the pipe?" I said, "No Daddy." He said, "I'm going to put it out fast. And I shall burn it." I didn't know what to say. I was speechless. But I remember that I felt a certain joy in my heart that my father was no longer going to smoke. And I stood there watching him take care of the pipe, and he actually put it in the stove. And never smoked again. I mean never smoked again!

    Myers: Probably saved his life.

    Hayward: I may have. He said, "Now will you kiss me?" I said, "Oh yes daddy. I'll give you many kisses." The next morning when he went to work, he passed through the gates. You know there is a little gatehouse, a little gatehouse at the centennial gates. My father always had to stop there. He wasn't exactly searched, but he was asked to leave his cigar and his pipe, because you certainly didn't take them into the Yard. So that morning he passed through, and he had no pipe. Mr. Cheney was the gatekeeper, and he said, "Oh George, come back. You didn't leave your pipe." He said, "Oh no. I don't ever have to leave my pipe, because I will never carry it again." "Oh. Aren't you going to smoke any more." "No. I'll never smoke again. Because my little girl wouldn't kiss me. And I decided that her kisses were of greater worth than the pipe."
  • Reading a selection from "A Valley Dear to My Heart"
    Synopsis: Hayward reads an autobiographical essay called "A Valley Dear to My Heart." In it she describes the Brandywine Valley and Her childhood. She talks about the Brandywine, Henry Clay village, her secular and religious education, father's work, and Alfred I du Pont. She writes about Alfred I.'s social activities with the du Pont workers. She talks about leisure time and contrasts it with explosions at the powder yards. She talks about her sibling that died as a child. She talks about daily routines and chores and some of her prized childhood belongings. [There is an issue with the recording and a portion of the essay is recited out of transcriptFull order.]
    Keywords: Alexis I. du Pont School (Wilmington, Del.); Brandywine Valley; Christ Church Christiana Hundred (Wilmington, Del.); Christmas; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; DuPont Experimental Station; E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company; Explosions; Free Park (Del.: Village); Hagee's tavern; Hagley Community House (Breck's Mill); Hagley Yard; Henry Clay (Del.:Village); Montchanin (Del.: Village); Mt. Salem United Methodist Church (Wilmington, Del.); Quality control; Rockford Tower (Wilmington, Del.); Rokeby (Greenville, Del. : Dwelling); Sledding; Squirrel Run (Del.: Village); St. Amour (Wilmington, Del. : Dwelling); Swamp Hall (Henry Clay, Del.: Dwelling); Tancopanican Band; Wilmington, Del.
    Transcript: Myers: We're going to depart just a bit now from the interview that we've been doing, and allow Mrs. Hayward to record for us on tape some of her memories of her life on Blacksmith Hill at the Hagley Foundation.

    Hayward: A Valley Dear to My Heart

    A valley dear to my heart is the Brandywine Valley. It is that portion of the valley beginning at the Upper Falls of the Brandywine River in the Upper Hagley Yard, and the Lower Falls near Breck's Mill. Three lanes converged at the Village of Henry Clay. The Barley Mill Lane began at Kennett Pike near St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church and extended to the Centennial Gates, the entrance to the E.I. du Pont Powder Works. The next Lane called Breck's Lane also began on Kennett Pike near the Alexis I.du Pont's school and ended in the Village of Henry Clay at Breck's Mill, and the third lane is the Rising Sun Lane which started at Kennett Pike at a point where one of the old du Pont mansions, St. Amour, once stood, and ended at what used to be the old covered bridge leading to the DuPont Experimental Station. I became a part of the Brandywine Valley on the day I was born at 1926 Rising Sun Lane on February 24, 1900. A brother had already preceded me and was 21 months older. He was born in the same house. Early that summer, my mother and father had moved to a small village called Squirrel Run. Squirrel Run is no more. It was a quiet peaceful village very close to the powder yards. A small stream, a tributary of the Brandywine River, divided the village. It was in this small stone house at Squirrel Run that I have memories of my first Christmas in 1901. I was not yet two years old. My parents had a picture taken of our Christmas tree, Christmas yard and our new toys. I have the picture now. Early in the spring of 1902, my parents moved to the Charles I. du Pont house in Henry Clay village. The house is still standing and faces the quiet Brandywine River. My entire childhood was spent in this home. Shortly after we moved there, they began building the stone wall which stretched from the centennial gate to the falls at Breck's Mill. This was a great improvement to the village and it was safer for the children of the village. This wall was built around 1904 as I recall. One of the first memories I have of this part of the river was when in the spring of the year men came and would cut the branches of the willow trees growing by the river. The branches were stripped and then burned into charcoal to be used in the making of black powder. The road from the Centennial gates to Breck's Mill was called Main Street. The address of the Charles I. du Pont House was 161 Main St. Henry Clay, De. North of our home and located further up the hill were four row houses called Pigeon Row. On the same level as the Charles I du Pont home where we lived and a little north of Pigeon Row were four row houses called Long Row. South of the Charles I. House was a two-story frame house built on the road's hillside. My impression of this part of the valley grew on me day by day, and it's beauty left an indelible imprint on my life. Directly in front of my home flowed the River. It seemed always beautiful any time of the year. From the first days of early spring, I could hear the croaking of the frogs on the river bank to the cold winter days when it was often solidly frozen over, it was always fascinating.

    The sparkling falls at Brecks Mill was always my delight. Between my home and the falls was a small niche carved out of the stone in the shape of the seat. It was really for people to step on and then descend on pieces of rock coming out of the stone wall, like a stall stone stairway in order for them to get to the river's edge to take a boat across the river in summer or to reach the river for skating in the winter. Most of the time, no one used it except myself, and I only used it as a sort of retreat when I wanted to live alone. .On the little seat of the stone wall, which incidentally is still there, is where I sat and indulged in daydreams of my prince charming and what I wanted to be when I grew up. The place itself invited fanciful or serious thinking. As the weeping willow trees so near seemed to be like bright green fountains pouring their beauty into the drowsy water below. As a little girl, a kind of sweet peace always indulged me there.

    In back of my home was a beautiful stretch of woodland called Miss Mary du Pont's woods. In the woods were sycamore and oak trees and the tall poplar trees, large gray rocks to play on and the many varieties of wildflowers. It was where I first saw the quaker lace and the brandywine bluebells and the may apple with its one blossom and the waxen white flower of the bloodroot as well as the jack-in-the pulpit and the shy white and purple violets. Beyond the woods towards Breck's Lane was Rokeby, the estate of Miss Mary du Font and her brother, Charles I. du Pont, Jr. At the back of this house was a large field which you could enter from the railroad tracks through a turnstile; Further on, another turnstile which had three wooden steps leading to a small platform on the top of the fence with convenient handrails. When you got to this platform, you descended three wooden steps on the other side of the fence leading to a pathway to Breck's Lane. I was always fascinated by these turnstiles. That field was my favorite field, because in the spring of the year, beautiful golden buttercups and large white daisy lifted their heads from their grassy beds. I reveled in picking large bunches for my mother or to take to school to my teachers.

    When I was 5 years of age, I was sent to kindergarten at the Alexis I du Pont School. Thus began enjoyable school days for us. I loved the school, with the architectural design and the imposing entrance, with the oval garden of flowering plants in the front, the lilac bushes to the side of the school and the curving wide driveway which led out. to the Kennett Pike. This was the only school I attended until I graduated from the first, four-year high school class in 19 and 18. My school days were so memorable. Under the devotion of fine teachers and Mr. Warren J. Yeger, principal of the school. He was the principal all the while I went to school there. I had great respect and admiration for Mr. Yeger. There were many pleasant and interesting routes to take to school. by favorite route was to leave my home, go down the road until I came to Breck's Mill. Then I would turn right, go up Breck's Lane, past the charming and comfortable homes of stone and frame and turn into a little lane opposite Swamp Hall, the mansion home of Mr. Alfred I.du Pont. Going down this little woodsy lane, I crossed the small bridge over my favorite brook in this area and then, went past the ruins of the old Rokeby Barley Mill, which burned in 1906. Soon I was walking the railroad ties that led to the side of the school. There was another turnstile' I went through, and then I was on the school grounds. What dear delightful school days I experienced in the valley of Alexis I du Pont School. I'm so proud of my diploma, which I received on June 25, 1918, when I graduated in the new auditorium which had just been built as an addition to the school. My diploma was signed by Mr. Warren J. Yeger, principal, Mr. John Connelly, president of the school board, Mr. W.W. Laird, clerk of the board, and Mr. Ernest du Pont, director of the board. My diploma was signed...it was a beautiful diploma, and my parents had it framed for me with the ribbon of blue and gold that was around my diploma when I received it. The picture of the school was on it. To this day it hangs in the bedroom of my home along with the framed picture of the 1918 class: 4 boys and 8 girls. One of the boys in the class was my older brother, Wilmer D. Jones.

    One of my daily trips each day, except Sunday, was when I left my home, went down the road past Breck's Mill, followed the turning in the road to the left, went past a group of humble homes with lovely little gardens in front. The back yards of these homes extended down to the banks of the Brandywine River. On the other side of the river was Walker's Mill. My grandmother, my uncle and his family lived in one of these homes. I was on my way to the post office to get our mail. The post office was in our only grocery store at the time. It was situated by Hagee's tavern, and was run by Mr. and Mrs. Cavanaugh. When I received our daily mail, I would purchase some groceries for my mother. Each Sunday my father took me to Mt. Salem Methodist Church and Sunday School. We would go through the village and then up Rising Sun Lane. Halfway up the hill we would turn to the left off the lane and went up a long flight of cement steps and reached Rockford Park, where stood the high Rockford Water Tower, majestically overlooking the park. Often after Sunday School, my father would take my brothers and me to the tower, and we would climb the wide and winding stone steps inside the tower, and finally after the long climb, suddenly passing me to the top of the stairs, we could see the huge inside of the tank, filled to the brim, looking so black and foreboding.

    We took a hasty look, fearing afraid of looking into the dark depths of the tank. Soon we were at the highest part of the tower, which was a real observatory, and we could see a portion of the city of Wilmington and all the landscape of the beautiful valley below. Mt. Salem Methodist Church is located at the edge of Rockford Park. It faces 19th St. and Mt. Salem Lane. I was baptized in this church and later at the age of 10 years joined this church. I've always felt deeply grateful that I was given early spiritual training in this church. My parents took me regularly to church and Sunday School. It was a happy period in my life, for I had ministers and teachers of sterling character who taught me. This early spiritual training, I always thought, gave me direction in my life, moral content and a sense of reverence for what was good and sacred. On Sundays I was not allowed to run and play, but there was a lot we could do: put puzzles together, and play with my ball and jacks. The Sabbath was to be observed quietly with reverence. Often on Sunday evening my father, the neighborhood violin teacher, taught my brother and me the lovely hymns of his church and other tuneful melodies.

    When I was born, my father had already worked for ten years with the DuPont Company. He began work on May 22, 1890. He said he worked as a common powderman in the Upper Yards in practically all the mills. Then he became a finisher of brown prismatic powder and took charge of the prismatic presses in the lower yards of the powder plant. Later he was assigned to the powder testing bureau and worked directly under Mr. Alfred I du Pont in the laboratory in the Lower Yards and in the Experimental Station at the bridge. He tested the black powder for moisture determination, specific gravity and gravimetric density and analysis of sporting and blasting powder. He was in the service of the DuPont Company for 37 and one half years. During his years of service with the company, my father, Mr. George W. Jones, Sr., and my uncle, Mr. Ebben T. Jones, were both charter members of the Tancopanican Orchestra. Mr. Alfred I du Pont organized and conducted this orchestra, first at the Brandywine Club at Eleutherian Mills and later at Breck's Mill. Tancopanican was an Indian name associated with the Brandyinwe.

    Many times during the summer when I was not in school I took my father to have lunch at the laboratory. I would leave home and go through the village of Squirrel Run. Soon I would cross a narrow footbridge over the fast-moving stream, and then I would climb the long hill, which at intervals had wood steps firmly tucked in the hillside. On one side there was a high board fence which separated the village from the lower Hagley powder yard. It was so high, you could not see over it. When I reached the top of the hill, I crossed an open field, which had a well-worn pathway. Soon I was within sight of the stately Christ Episcopal Church. All the du Pont families, along with the other families in Free Park, Montchanin and the surrounding countryside attended Christ Church. I would pass the church and then enter Free Park, often called Flea Park, ambling past the small but tidy homes, and then I'd turn right at Broad Meadow, and soon I saw the upper yard gates to the powder works. I remember walking past the saltpeter refinery and soon I was at the laboratory greeting my father. He was always appreciative of the long walk I'd taken to bring him a hot lunch. Often my older brother accompanied me. In autumn, my mother used to take us over the same route, but we did not go to Free Park. Instead we went to a small section off the road to a place called the Sand Hole. Here when I was a child were the chestnut trees, the walnut and hickory trees. We gathered nuts. We had great fun collecting the nuts for the cold winter days. Near the sand hole was the du Pont cemetery. Another walk I loved to take was through the village and walk through the covered bridge over the Experimental Station. When I turned left and was at Walker's Bank near Walker's Mill--it was a woolen mill at the turn of the century--many comfortable homes were on this side of the river. Each home seemed nestled into the hillside. It was so picturesque. One of my schoolteachers lived in one of the homes, and I would visit her and some of my other school friends. Only the Walker's Mill homes remain today. It was great fun in winter when the river was frozen and there was ice skating there. My father loved ice skating especially on his beloved Brandywine. My younger brother, who was born in the Charles I du Pont home in 1903, also loved the valley. One of the captivating things we often did, we climbed to the roof of our shed, which was connected to the home by a breezeway. We'd call our names loudly, and our voices going over the water would bring back our names in an echo of our names as we called them. My younger brother George said we lived in "Echo Valley." That was one of our thrilling past times.

    Intermingled with the joys of our childhood, I must record some of the shadows that would come over our lovely valley when an explosion in the mills occurred. Explosions at the powder mills were costly in lives and damage to the mills and the workers homes. I remember the tremor one would feel prior to the awful explosion, the loud noise roaring and rumbling through the valley. Large masses of black smoke would hang ominously in the sky, and one could sometimes locate the mill by the position of the black smoke. I remember when we were in school when an explosion occurred, the whole school was dismissed. I remember we all walked solemnly home, each wondering if his own dear father may have been killed. Sadly enough, we soon learned that one of our friends was without a father. A gloom soon settled over the valley when this happened, and sorrow deep and painful seemed to be felt by every family. There was an explosion when I was 15 years of age that took the lives of 31 people. My beloved father, who ran all the mills, was miraculously saved, although he had many close calls.

    My beloved family, when we lived in the Charles I. du Pont home, consisted of my mother and father, my older brother, myself, a younger brother, and for a little while, a baby sister Beatrice, who was born there in 1907. The first great sorrow of my life came when she died in the spring of 1909 in the home. The following February, one day after my 10th birthday, I had another baby sister. She was born February 25, 1910, in the Charles I. du Pont home. My parents named her Clara. This baby brought us all so much joy, and the sadness that pervaded our home after the death of Beatrice seemed to be overlain with new life once again, and there was a kind of gentle healing.

    In the house we had oil lamps, no running water, and no bathroom facilities. My mother was at home all the time. She baked about 10 delicious loaves of bread about twice a week. The flour barrel in the corner of the kitchen wasfilled to the brim every fall. Sugar came in strong cotton bags. Five pounds in a bag. When the bag was empty, my mother would bleach the letters off the bag and make me little handkerchiefs for school. They were hemmed in feather stitching around the hem in blue, pink or yellow cotton. She also embroidered the initial "E" in the corner. I prized these sugar bag handkerchiefs so much. For Christmas I would receive one or two handkerchiefs with lace around the side. These handkerchiefs were used only on Sunday. When we went sleddingon Breck's Lane, speeding under the trestle bridge, nothing gave us more joy and thrills. We would sled after school hours until dark, and always came home to a nice warm supper like hot vegetable soup or ham and dried bean soup. It was always delicious and satisfying. Coffee was ground for each meal in a little coffee grinder. My dad made my mother her first potato masher from an old railroad tie. It was a common thing and well used, and it felt the touch of loving hands for many years. To me it is replete with patience, courage, contentment and love as it hangs as a decorative piece in my kitchen today.

    Christmas time seemed the best of all seasons. There was a kind of magic about it. We had a large Christmas tree, brightly trimmed with beautifully colored balls and tinsel ice. Underneath the tree was a yard with a little home. Miniature figures of ducks on a pond. The mirror from the kitchen served as a pond with artificial grass around it. Also there was a stable with tiny horses, sheep and cows. At Christmas I always received a new doll--usually a German bisque doll. My old dolls were not discarded, but given new dresses and shoes. To this day I have my original doll coach with the doll that came with it, as well as about six other dolls I received at various Christmases. I have my little cast-iron stove, my tea table, my rocking chair and other small toys, all of which were a part of my childhood treasures.

    This story about my life in the Brandywine Valley and especially that part of it spent in the Charles I du Pont home, gives some glimpses of my happy childhood. The valley was an idealistic place to spend one's childhood. It offered a natural charm, an entrancing beauty and a tranquil way of life. I seemed always to be at peace with my surroundings. My unforgettable years in the valley stretched from 1900 to 1916 when we moved to a new home in the highlands of Wilmington, Delaware, and I began my life as a young adult. Blessings untold were mine and to this day my heart overflows with gratitude and precious memories.

    Ethel Louella Jones Hayward, August twenty-third, 1983.