The Pond – Barneveld, New York – Photo signed by J.L.C – 1931
The Lodge shown in a previous post overlooks this pond, which had been dug by hand by 60 men who had arrived in Utica from Italy. This spot was a natural basin for a spring on higher ground, which still runs pure and clean today. My brother utilzes the spring for his water running to the Cottage (a Wicks home).
According to the story repeated to me by my mother (Kitty McCartney) for many, many years, this all took place during the Depression – which seems to be correct by the date recorded by the photographer,,,, she was 11 years old at the time. She also told me that the men stayed on the property throughout the summer in an encampment. Tenting, cooking, working and sleeping throughout the summer until the work was completed – it was the Depression – the work and a place to stay – even in a little wild town like Barneveld was appreciated and embraced … at least that is my perception.
Recreating such a scene in todays world, here and now seems unimaginable, impossible.
What is also curious to me, it that this historical event is a storyline found in Wicks book “Rabbitwild” as the boys go into the Adirondacks with their father’s plans to build a cabin …. using only what they bring with them, the land, and the plans to complete the project over summer break.
My Grandmother, (Ruth Wicks McCartney) inherited this property and must have overseen the “Pond Project” according to her Father’s (Wicks) plans as Wicks died in 1917 … the Pond seems to have been completed fourteen years after his death.
Wicks did not have two sons, he had two daughters, and I adore the fact that my Grandmother Ruth loved, managed and steadfast to hold on to the Trout Hatchery, Lodge, Cottage and working farm on 30 acres throughout the Depression and her life time – in a mans world!
And I love the memory of her, when I was just a small, spit of a girl, tucked in, with the Buffalo blanket, in a sleeping nook of the Farmhouse, when my parents went away to New York City for fun … it was safe and good.
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