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Interview with Anna Jewell

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Jewell, Anna ; Wood, Wanda


Anna Jewell discusses her childhood living on the Honey Bee Dairy Farm owned by S. Mills Ely in Port Dickinson. This farm also was the site of a pickle factory. She talks about her local education, getting married, her husband's business selling motorcycles, the homes they lived in and taking care of them, her grandchildren and her jobs. She describes working as a typist for the City of Binghamton Treasurer's Office assisting with typing tax bills and later as a secretary at the North Presbyterian Church for several years.




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Is Part Of

Broome County Oral History Project


47:48 Minutes


Broome County Oral History Collection

Interview with: Mrs. Anna Jewell

Interviewed by: Wanda Wood

Date of interview: 27 December 1977

Wanda: This is Wanda Wood, interviewing Anna Jewell of 171 Robinson Street, Binghamton. The date is December 27, 1977. Mrs. Jewell, you have lived around—

Anna: That was when we lived over on the other side of the river. I told you over the phone - I was just a little bit of a girl, but I remember when we went to school. We lived over there about eight years on that farm, and that was owned by—then—by E.W. Conklin. And,, my father superintended that farm. 'Course there was no Sunrise Terrace then—that was all farmland through there. And, uh, then he fell into a better job—the same kind of job—with Mr. Ely, who was a wholesale grocer.

Wanda: Was that Mills Ely?

Anna: S. Mills Ely. Here in Binghamton. And he owned that Honey Bee Farm—what was then the Honey Bee Farm. 'Course he's dead years ago...and we lived there - as I said, I lived there, I guess about eleven years—ten or eleven—then I got married. Ah. [clears throat]

Wanda: That was quite a showplace, wasn't it?

Anna: We lived in that big house up there and that—the house—there used to be a water tank there between the two houses, but I guess that's gone now. I think I didn't remember seeing it the last time I was up that way. And there was—let's see—one, two, three, four, five—five houses that belong on that farm. The big one where we lived and then the hired men, then in the—a what used to be the old pickle factory—years—'course I—it wasn't when I was up there. It was before that—ah—my father had a man—married man living in there—a hired man and he lived in one end of that. The other end was the creamery where they made—they made the first pasteurized milk that was ever sold in Binghamton. And—um—I think he sold it for something like ten cents a quart and people thought that was terrible—(laughter)—imagine buying a quart of milk today for ten cents. 

Wanda: That was in the building down over the hill there that's gone, wasn't it?

Anna: That was what?

Wanda: That was in that building that was down over the edge of the hill?

Anna: Yes—yes—that used to be—the end toward Chenango Street used to be a pickle factory.

Wanda: Oh.

Anna: They made pickles there, in fact there was some there when we first moved there—big vats of them—and uh—but it wasn't running when we moved there. And he had a man that did the creamery work. Made—churned butter and pasteurized the milk and bottled it and everything like that—milk and cream. And they ran two milk wagons and they had a lot of customers in Binghamton that bought it. They used to sell mostly to the lawyers and doctors and professional men. And uh—oh they used to think it was a terrible price—ten cents a quart.

Wanda: Delivered.

Anna: An awful price.

Wanda: How long did you live there?

Anna: My folks lived there—um—lemme see—gee I don’t remember—oh my father bought a—he lived there in a—oh I can't tell you the year now—and uh he went down to what was then called Union—it's West Endicott today—and bought a farm. And he didn't know anything but farming. He farmed it all his life. Come from a family of farmers. He had four brothers and they were all farmers. And uh—good ones, too, I might add.

Wanda: They must have been.

Anna: And uh well, he used to help in the creamery some himself but they had all kinds of machinery there to—in those days you know it was really quite something ya know, ‘cause you didn’t find that very many places. 

Wanda: The machinery, you mean?

Anna: Yeah, to bottle the milk and all of that. Oh, I don't know as there's anything else of any great interest. This Mr. Ely—they used to be a tower up on uh, I think they called it Mount Prospect in those days. You know the big tall tower up there that he owned. It was—they called it Ely tower and now they have converted it into a—places to rent—they have apartments and I guess maybe some people have bought places there but it was quite a job to get up there. I have a granddaughter that's living there—she just moved there a few months ago and she likes it.

Wanda: That's what became Ely Park later?

Anna: Yes. That was—it's called Ely Park now—her address is—ah—apartment something or other, Ely Park—Ely Park Apartments and uh I think the government owns some of them. I just don't understand about it but uh—I know she did live over at Chenango Bridge and she had quite a nice apartment there but she had to move because—the man wouldn’t do anything. He kept raising the rent, he wouldn't do anything and uh the toilet was 'bout ready to go through the floor and the water leaked and oh my she had an awful time, so she got a place up there.

Wanda: Well this Mr. Ely was quite an influential man in Binghamton at that time, wasn't he? Didn't he own lots of—

Anna: He had a big wholesale store—groceries. He was a wholesaler in addition to owning this farm and I guess—he lived on Henry Street. I don't know whether he owned any property in Binghamton or not. I never did know about that, but my father liked him very much. He was awful good to him.

Wanda: What was it like growing up on a farm when you were a little girl? What did you have to do?

Anna: Well, I didn’t know anything else then. I wouldn't want to go back to it today but—uh—I liked it. When we lived on the other side of the river I was just a little bit of a kid. I was only two and a half when my people come here and of course I—later on when I got old enough to go to school I went to Oak Street School. The kids today, ya know, think they're killed if they can’t—can't have a bus to ride on. If they have to go half a mile or so they have to get on a bus, but—

Wanda: How did you get to school?

Anna: I walked it.

Wanda: To Oak Street?

Anna: Except when it was stormy and bad weather my father would take me because—uh—and you spoke about that hotel on the corner of Prospect Street. It's still there as far as I know but it's a gas station today. But in those days it was a—a—a saloon. And uh—I used to be scared to death to go by there when I was afoot and alone, 'cause I was the only one—well they was a boy that lived about a half mile below me that used to go to school, but uh—he didn't very often go with me. Once in a while he would, but uh—most of the time I walked it and I remember one night I was goin' home and I always was delighted to get by that place because if there was anything that I was deathly afraid of it was a drunken man. And this one night—that's the only time I ever knew it to happen—he came out and uh—he saw me coming and he started for me and I—didn't know a soul there, not—well I did when I got up a little farther—I knew a couple of people then, but I thought if I'd just make that house up there I'll run in there until he gets out of sight but he saw me go the other way and he was so drunk he couldn't hardly stand up, so he didn't bother me at all. But you know when they're drunk like that you never know what they will do and uh I thought now if I can just get up to that house I knew the people that lived there. My uncle and aunt lived there in one side of it and uh—two elderly ladies lived in the other part but—uh finally I guess he decided he'd go on and wouldn't molest me. So I waited 'til he got pretty near out of sight and then I started home. I had another half mile to go.

Wanda: Boy that's scary.

Anna: I don't know what ever become of him but I didn't see any more of him.

Wanda: Remember that pond that was Cutler's Pond? That was part of the Conklin farm, wasn't it?

Anna: What—

Wanda: The pond that became Cutler's Pond?

Anna: Oh Cutler's—that was on the Cutler property.

Wanda: Oh that wasn't part of your farm?

Anna: That was just above where we lived there—the next farm. Yes, I used to a—I think it was John Cutler that lived up there. Ah—and he had a brother that lived across the street and um kids used to skate on that pond. ‘Course I was never allowed to skate. My mother was afraid the ice would break and I'd drown. She almost drowned when she was a little young girl and she was—never—she would never let my sister or I swim or skate or be around the water at all. So—we never knew what those pleasures were. I used to love to watch other people do it.

Wanda: Then—a—you finished your schooling at Oak Street, did you?

Anna: I went to Oak Street fo—’til I was in the fifth grade I think about—well they didn't have any kindergarten in those days, you know. It was calls the first grade when you started. I was probably six when I started because I was sick a lot when I was a little youngster and I think I was around six when I was there. And they called it the baby class—no kindergarten—baby class—and uh—I think I can remember the teacher I had—I think her name was—what was her name? What was it? But a—the Principal of the school, her name was Morey and they were—she was very very—she was a stickler to have everybody vaccinated in the school and my father would not have my sister or I vaccinated. He just, I don't know why, but he just wouldn't have it. So she came in about once a—every week or two—wanted to know if I'd been vaccinated. I said, “I've told ya every time you've been in here that I'm not vaccinated and I probably won't be,” but she'd still come and ask me.

Wanda: Did you ever get vaccinated?

Anna: Oh yes, yes, when I got to be a teenager. Then my sister and I both—oh and did mine work—oh I had the sorest arm and I was sicker'n a dog, but it sure did work, but 'course that was—I was all through at Oak Street then. I was probably about 13 or 14 and I was living in Port Dick and uh going to Port Dick School.

Wanda: Where was the school then in Port Dick?

Anna: Up on a—I believe it was River Street. You know I don't know how long you've been—

Wanda: Toward the mill? Anna: Down toward the Mill Street—that way?

Anna: Yeah. Yeah. The first street this side of the mill. The other side from here—is called Grant. And uh—the school was just about at the head of that street—off to that direction—school was at that time and uh—it was just two rooms was all there was of the school—one big room and a smaller room where the primary children went but of course I went into the fifth or sixth grade when I got up there because I'd already done—I would think I was in the fifth grade when I left Oak Street and went there.

Wanda: Do you remember what you studied then?

Anna: In Port Dick? History—physiology—they call it “hygiene” today but in those days it was physiology and I hated it. English—arithmetic ah—ah—that was about it, I guess. I don't

remember anything else. I love arithmetic. I was never any good in it but I loved it—oh it was my favorite subject, but I hated physiology. I hated history. Oh geography—yes I loved that. I was always good in geography. Geography and English were—and spelling—were my best subjects. I could spell anything. Still can. (chuckles).

Wanda: Good for you.

Anna: I think it's worth quite a bit to be a good speller. A lot of people are smart otherwise but can't spell.

Anna: That's true. So you got married when you were living in Port Dick?

Anna: I was about—oh past twenty-one when I got married and my people still live up there in Port Dick and uh—we got married and lived—we went to housekeeping up on what is now Blanchard Avenue above here. It was called Fremont in those days. That's seventy-some years ago.

Wanda: Were there many houses around there then?

Anna: Not near as many as there are now. There was—that big house on the corner was there. And there was a—three or four on the side. We lived on the side toward town but they've built up an awful lot since we were here. That—we only lived there about three months. We didn't like it—so we got an—you could get an apartment in those days. But today you can't hardly find one, but we heard of this one on Green Street. We moved down there and we lived there 3 years and probably would have lived there a lot longer, but the man that owned it wanted the rooms for his son. And uh—he waited ‘til I got my housecleaning all done (laugh) and then he come over and told me one day he wanted me—he wanted to—he would like to have the rooms. I said, "Thanks a lot. That’s very nice of you." (laughter). Oh I never—I never was so provoked with anybody in my life. He knew I had cleaned that house. We had a garden too—we had a garden growing. We had that partly planted. And uh—then we moved over on Sturges Street.

Wanda: What did your husband do then?

Anna: Hmm?

Wanda: What did your husband do when you were married?

Anna: He worked in a—let me see—when we were married he worked to Babcock’s then late in years he went in business for himself—motor—outboard motor business. He had a store and uh—had a store up here on Chenango Street for a long time and they outgrew that and they moved over up here on Upper Court and that's where they were when he died in ‘61.

Wanda: He was connected with Babcock's for many years, wasn't he? I think Al told that.

Anna: Yes quite a few—I can't tell you just how many now. I don't remember, but he worked there quite a while before we were married. And then after we were married he was there quite a while—probably seven, eight, nine years something like that—I guess—before he went in business for himself. Oh—he sold motorcycles first. He went in a—had a motorcycle store in State Street right across from the old Bennett Hotel and 'course they kinda went out, you know—not so many people were riding them. Then he got into this motor and boat business. He did pretty good with that—sold Johnson motors and boats.

Wanda: Do you remember the old motorcycles? Did you ride with him?

Anna: There was a man—a guy by the name of Carver that sold another type of motorcycle and if he could knife my husband he'd do it, every time. He'd get around people, you know, and tell them just how much better his machine was and oh he was—he'd even lie to sell something. He was that type. And then he got in the boat and motor business and there was another guy did the same thing to him. They seemed to be after him for some reason. But he did pretty good with that. Oh I don't know—we lived in several different places before we finally bought a place on Judson Street and we lived there forty, forty-one, let's see—we moved there in, ah, ‘21. In 1921 we moved there and I left there a year after my husband died and he died in ‘61 and I stayed 'til the following July in ‘62. And then I went up on Bevier Street and my, ah, this son—and—uh—three—three of his children.

Wanda: Well let's see what can we—uh oh I was wondering if you would ah—if you can remember contrasts about keeping house and keeping your—cooking and doing your household duties. What was it like?

Anna: Well I kept it just like anybody else would, I guess.

Wanda: What did you have to work with when you were young?

Anna: Oh you mean machinery? Not much of anything at first. Ah—'course that was—ah—when I was first married, we never heard of electric cleaners, you know, we didn't have such things. But I finally had one of those—wore one out and got another one. And uh I guess that's about it. I never had anything like an electric dishwasher or…I washed my dishes by hand all my life and still am. Ah—I can't think of anything else. I got tired of sweeping—oh I swept with a broom a good many years, before I got a sweeper. We didn't have too much money, you know. And I had to go kinda easy. But soon's we could afford it we got a cleaner. In fact I had two or three. I'd wear one out 'n’ have to get another one.

Wanda: How many children did you have?

Anna: Just two. Two boys. The one that lives in Florida and this one here.

Wanda: Well I imagine Binghamton has changed quite bit since you used to shop downtown—I say I imagine Binghamton's changed quite a bit downtown?

Anna: Oh yes. You know I don't know where I am—I haven't been down—I couldn't tell you when I've been downtown. I can't remember. But anytime I have been down I didn't know where I was. It's all so different where the Arena is there and the Marine Midland Bank and all those buildings. It looks so different some way to me. It don't look natural. And I s’pose when they get this—uh—mall—if they ever do—it'll look very different then than what it does now. I think it'd be a fine thing. Just because I'm old I can't have a—I try to keep up with the times. I don't let my brain wither away. (laughter). 

Wanda: Good. good. You don't live in the past, do you?

Anna: No. No. What good does it do to live in the past? The past is gone. I have very pleasant memories, but a, other than that I—I had a very good husband. He was always very good to me. They wasn't anything he wouldn't get for me, and trouble with him he couldn't always afford it. (chuckle). We had to do without.

Wanda: Well that doesn't hurt sometimes, does it?

Anna: His people lived up at Chenango Bridge.

Wanda: Now that was the Jewell that lived in the old Macomber house, right?

Anna: No. Brick. The old brick house that used to be up there. I don't know how long you've lived up around there, but—

Wanda: All my life.

Anna: Oh, have you?

Wanda: Most of it, yeah.

Anna: Well do you remember the brick house then just this side the railroad bridges there?

Wanda: Oh yes yes.

Anna: That's where they lived.

Wanda: Oh yes.

Anna: They used to come down 'n’ get my older son, he was their first grandchild and did they worship him. Oh boy he could do no harm now I'm telling you. But this one they never—well his grandfather died when he was only—he don't even remember him. He say he can faintly remember him, but I doubt that he would—just a little past two when he died but the other boy was three years older and he of course remembers him. And uh—his grandfather used to come down and get him, take him up there. He was the only grandchild they had, the first and only, and boy you think they didn't worship and adore him. And he was so good—he was an awful good kid so—ah—he used to have—used to drive a wagon. They called it “Pickle Wagon.” I don't know where they ever got that name for it, but the seat was high and he'd get that little fella, he was about three at the time. I didn't—I didn't like to have him come up and go up there but—uh—his grandfather and grandmother wanted him—so I couldn’t be mean, you know. I'd let him go. So they'd be driving out the street and he was such a little fellow and my father-in-law was big—he weighed 280-some pounds before he was sick, and you can imagine, and the seat was high like this, you know, and that little fellow sittin' beside him—now if that wasn't a picture.

Wanda: What was your maiden name?

Anna: Haney, H-A-N-E-Y. That—you don't hear it very often. I guess there's one or two here in town, I don't know whether they're related, if they are I don't know, very distantly. My relatives all lived in Pennsylvania. 'Course I don't have many left anymore. I've got two cousins that live up in Elizabeth Church Manor. I've got another cousin that lives on the south side—on Park Ave—and I've got one in Vestal and one in Ithaca and that's the extent of my relatives. So I'm glad I've got a big family.

Wanda: Yes, it's a blessing.

Anna: That kind of keeps me going, ya know, I'd probably if I didn't have anybody like that around I'd probably just lay down and die. (laughs).

Wanda: They keep you sharp, don't they?

Anna: Oh—I love to have them come. And those kids are such good kids—awful good kids.That little Chrissy is something. Boy am I crazy about him. He talks to me over the phone once in a while.

Wanda: He talks like an old man.

Anna: And Allan, if Allan’s home, and if he isn't Sandy usually gets him, and the last time I called up I think I talked to Allan and he said, “Wait a minute, Gram,” he said, “You wanna talk to Chrissy?” 

I said, “I'd love to.” 

So he came to the phone and he said ah, “Hello Grandma.” 

I said, “Hi, Chrissy,How are you?'

“Fine.” So just before he left the phone he said, “I love you,Grandma.”

I said, “Well that's nice to know. I love you, too.” (chuckle). I think his father put him up to it. (laughter).

Wanda: He's so smart.

Anna: Aw he's a cute little thing.

Wanda: Did you ever work before you were married?

Anna: Hmm?

Wanda: Did you ever work before you were married?

Anna: Yes—I worked in a—oh I worked in Barrett Brothers’ music store for about 2 or 3 years and every winter I worked in the City Treasurer's office in getting out the tax bills. Typing them. I worked there fourteen years. Just a couple of weeks in the wintertime when the—January, you know. Coldest part of the year of course, always.

Wanda: That was where? In the courthouse?

Anna: That was about it, I guess. Oh, I worked in the church office up here. I'm a member of the North Presbyterian Church and I worked there in the office about 8 years, I think. Just afternoons, but that was it. And—my father and mother came and lived with us after—oh—after we bought the place on Judson Street. So of course I had a place to leave my two boys. But they were quite a good size by that time. And a—I'd go down and take—the minister lived on the same street—he lived there on Judson Street and I'd stop in there and take dictation and then I'd go down and get out the letters or whatever he had for me to do.

Wanda: Well you were a secretary then? Where did you learn to do that?

Anna: Oh, I took a course in Lowell Business School years ago.

Wanda: Oh.

Anna: When I was about eighteen, I guess I was then. And that's a long time ago.

Wanda: That's something that's changed a lot over the years, isn't it?

Anna: Oh yes, 'course there's none of them alive that was in there then. Mr.—the Bloomer—Mr. Bloomer was the Principal or whatever you call him. And a—his daughter was one of the teachers—and seems to me he had a son that was in it too in some—he had quite a family. He had two or three daughters and a couple or three sons. Five or six children he had. They're all dead and gone, I guess.

Wanda: What kind of typewriters did you have then?

Anna: Remington.

Wanda: Big—tall things?

Anna: Yeah. Remington mostly. That's what they had mostly there in the school. And—um—I think maybe a few Royals and—a—what's that other one? Ah—it begins with “S”—can't think of the name of it now. That's an old make. They had some of those but I never—I always worked on a Remington because I was—they were easier to operate and I got used to them and I liked them.

Wanda: Did you do—a—bookkeeping? Or anything else?

Anna: No, I never had any bookkeeping. I just did the—I took shorthand and typing, was all I took. I was always kinda sorry I didn't take bookkeeping because in those days you could get a better job. I mean more money if you could do both, but I never took it up.

Wanda: Do you remember how much you worked for in those days?

Anna: How much what?

Wanda: How much your pay was, the week or a month.

Anna: I think in Barrett's—I think it was—ah, something like twelve dollars a week. And—a—when I was at the church—ah—I was paid by the hour. I don't remember what I got there.

Wanda: But that was a pretty good wage for a woman, wasn't it—then?

Anna: Well it was—nothing today. It'd be nothing today—you couldn't even live on it and when I—when I typed tax bills ah—'course I never was the speediest of them, but I tried to be accurate and not make too many mistakes, because that's really what counts in that business, y'know. Those tax bills have to be absolutely all right. And mine were. I made very few mistakes because they put me in Checking. The last two or three years I was there. They have—all have to be checked to make sure they're absolutely correct 'fore they're ever mailed out. ‘Course now they have—a—machines, I guess that—uh—put them out. They don't have the extra help anymore.

Wanda: Was that—did you work in the old courthouse then?

Anna: No, I worked at City Hall up—ah—up on the second floor it was. Yeah. Oh I loved it there. I used to look forward to that—just like a party to me. Got me out, ya know, and away from home and I'd go to lunch with the girls and—which I couldn't do when I was home. And it was a change 'n’ I really looked forward to it every year. The only part I didn't like was getting out so early in the morning and waitin' around for streetcars. I've forgot what year I went there. I had a niece that worked there, and she had a steady job there. She worked there quite some time. But I think I was there before she was. I think I—I had a friend that had charge of the typists and the checking and all that kind of work and so she got—uh—put in a good word for me and I got in there. I worked there fourteen years so I guess my work was all right.

Wanda: I guess so.

Anna: 'Bout two or three weeks every winter. Coldest part of the winter—in January—uh—no it was in December 'cause they had to get their taxes out by the first of January, you see.

Wanda: And that was the County tax office?

Anna: No, the City. It was all City. Then—uh—I think the last couple years I was there I checked. So that give me a little longer job. I was there an extra week or so in that. They put me in that. I love typing. I just used to love it. I couldn't—I'd—today I'd have to do what they call the hunt and peck system. (laughter). Hy son's got a typewriter here and—I—well, haven't tried it but I know I wouldn't have any speed. I haven't touched a typewriter in years.

Wanda: Well, if you were accurate once you probably would still be just as accurate.

Anna: Well I couldn't do any other way. I can't do anything slipshod when I know figures, ya know, have to be accurate. Tax bills had to be right to the penny. And—uh—filing—I did filing too. And if you think that isn't something—the First Ward over there on Clinton Street, names this long, ohhh—what names—terrible—and they've got to be alphabetically filed and let me tell you, you've got to stop to study—you've got to know your alphabet good. (laughs). Oh I used to love—I used to love it down there. I hated to—I hated to see the time come when I was through and didn't have any more work ’til next year. It would only be about two or three weeks. Well, when I checked and filed and did that I had more work to do. I was there maybe a week or two longer then, but just typing—we were all through in a couple of weeks. 'Course they'd have about—probably eight girls typing all the same time, and let me tell you it was something to hear those typewriters all buzzing around there.

Wanda: Then your work at the music store was secretarial stuff too—writing letters and that?

Anna: Well I guess that was what you'd call it. The church work was more on that order. And they got out a letter every once a month. They used to have a big men's class up there. They had about a hundred members in those days. That’s back in the twenties—and uh—I had all those letters to mail out. I got the—oh they had a mimeograph—so it wasn't so bad to get the letters out, 'cause I'd put them right through that in no time. But I had the envelope to address and that took quite a while. But I liked it—I—was very happy with it, I worked for two different ministers. The one man left or got another charge somewhere else, or didn't he retire? I've forgotten which now. Then this other younger man came, I worked for him a while too.

Wanda: Did you help with your husband's business too?

Anna: Yes. I used to write letters for him, but at home—I had one of those little folding typewriters at home he bought me, and uh—I used to write his letters quite often for him.

Wanda: Well you were quite a career girl, weren't you?

Anna: Well I don't know as you'd call me a career girl. We moved around a lot until we bought that place on Judson Street. We were married in 1908 and we didn't buy that place till ‘21. And in those thirteen years I wanna tell you, we moved a few times. Oh my—I never got so sick and tired of moving in my life. We lived on—well as I told you—started on Fremont Ave., Green Street, and then Sturges, and Ogden. Then we moved on Chenango Street. My uncle bought a two-family house up there on Chenango Street and we lived downstairs there when my boys were small. And uh—let's see, I don't know where else we lived—oh Moffitt Ave., two years. Oh my—I tell you I was glad to get a place where I could stay and I stayed there 41 years on Judson Street. And I probably would still a’ been there, but they took the street, you know, and put an overhead through there. And why they took that street I'll never know, because Sturges Street is a much older street. The houses on that street are all—almost all old. Cary Street is old. But no, they had to take Judson.

Wanda: So you had to sell then?

Anna: Hmmm?

Wanda: Is that why you had to sell your house?

Anna: Did I what?

Wanda: You had to sell your house because of the road?

Anna: Ahm—they took the—they take you for your property. The State. Or whoever put the road through, or overhead. But ah—I said I don't know why they had to go through this street. Oh dear I hated to leave there. After you live in a place forty years, ya know, it begins to seem like home. That's the longest I ever lived anywhere. Went right straight through from 1921 to 1962, and that's 41 years. Oh I loved it and I knew everybody there and they's lovely people. I— awful nice ones—over here you—I don't know a living human being to speak to except my landlady on the other side. There’s nobody around here. They don't neighbor—this is a bridal shop on this side—a dentist across the street—church on this corner 'n’ the chicken house and the shoe repair shop down here. Now there's nothing around here, it's really a business section and I said to somebody not long ago, I said, “I never lived in a place where I just couldn't neighbor with people and didn't know anybody, as this place.” There used to be a lady that lived next door here that was very friendly—very nice—but she got—uh—I think she developed arthritis or something and doctor told her she'd have to go where she didn’t have to go up and down stairs. But she had the duplex—she's on the second floor over here. But she lived there. Now—now they rent the two top floors. There’s two floors up there. And uh—the downstairs is all the wedding shop. I guess they cater more to bridal gowns than anything.

Wanda: How old are you now, Mrs. Jewell?

Anna: How?

Wanda: How old are you now?

Anna: How old am I? I was 91 last October.

Wanda: Yeah? Well you've had quite a life so far, haven't you?

Anna: Oh I—well I—I can't tell.

Streaming Audio

Date of Interview



Wood, Wanda


Jewell, Anna


47:48 Minutes

Date of Digitization



Broome County Oral History Project

Subject LCSH

Jewell, Anna -- Interviews; Broome County (N.Y.) -- History; Binghamton (N.Y.); Farmers -- Interviews; Farms -- Interviews; Motorcycle industry; Typists; Port Dickinson (N.Y.); S. Mills Ely; Dairy Farms; Pickle factory; Honey Bee Dairy Farm

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This audio file and digital image may only be used for educational purposes. Please cite as: Broome County Oral History Project, Special Collections, Binghamton University Libraries, Binghamton University, State University of New York. For usage beyond fair use please contact the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections for more information.



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The Broome County Oral History Project was conceived and administered by the Senior Services Unit of the Office for the Aging. Funding for this project was provided by the Broome County Office of Employment and Training (C.E.T.A.), with additional funding from the Senior Service Unit of the National Council on Aging and Broome… More

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“Interview with Anna Jewell,” Digital Collections, accessed December 5, 2023,