(From Ted Braun’s book “The Barkers of Branford: Activity in America Through a Local Lens” attainable for $30 at the Blackstone Library in Branford–includes donation to Branford Historical Society)
Amidst the abbreviate dark, algid winter days, abounding New Englanders of today daydream about a mid-winter escape basking in the Florida sun for a well-deserved break. But Llewellyn in 1894 was not gluttonous a vacation. The boutique breadth he formed was beneath blackmail of actuality sold, a 20% allowance cut had been instituted, and the atmosphere was, in his words, “little beneath than a prison”. He was attractive for a way out. A bi-weekly ad for acreage in the Sarasota/Bradenton breadth for bake-apple assembly bent his attention. The afterward accord was begin bankrupt in Llewellyn’s diary.
“Mr. Barker It seems to me with the activity you allege you care to accomplish actuality on these ache lands. The anticipation looks ablaze for a acceptable community. I accept 120 acreage (that) could be disconnected up into 8 or 10 homesteads giving anniversary a river advanced and anniversary aerial low acreage ill-fitted to bake-apple vegetables for arctic markets as able-bodied as rice & sugarcane. The orange, lemon, beasts and Chinese guavas, grape bake-apple and grapes … are the money crops. The altitude is delightful. … ….Our busline is the best as the river and bay affix by baptize to the accomplished alfresco world. I.M. DePew”
More belletrist were exchanged. This from his diary.
“I got a letter from I M DePew Fla Dell got a letter from Mrs I M Depew She wants me to go bottomward there” 2/8/1894
On June 29th, he was on his way.
“Sat, June 30, 1894 Hot Hotter Hottest NC SC Ga The country we are casual through is a abhorrent one for a Northerner Scrub blah & affection arena is red and white adobe shanties after shade”
“Sun, July 1, 1894 Hot with thundershowers I awoke aboriginal got up & done & dressed we chock-full at Plant City Tampa at 9 oclock saw Plants abundant auberge & breadth Evening I went to an Adventist affair with two advisers I sang in the old way the man approved to prove there was a Devil.”
Only attainable by river, Llewellyn fabricated the eight mile cruise up the Braden River to the DePew property. The afterward offers a glimpse of the breadth at the time. “Think ‘frontier.’ There were no banks, abandoned a few board stores, beasts roamed the streets, no baptize or avenue pipes and the Braden River was the aback of beyond,”
“Tues July 3, 1894 Clear & balmy I went about Mr DePew’s bracken saw his bake-apple best bananas plumbs grapes & mellons His abode is affable if it was acclimatized about It is too abandoned to accompany my children.”
In 1900, back Branford had two hundred bodies per aboveboard mile, Manatee had abandoned five. This accomplishment abandoned provides abrupt contrast.
On the heels of this trip, Llewellyn alternate to assignment at the Branford Lock Works and supplemented assets whenever accessible including, as back a boy for Harvey Beach, acid ice on the millpond, this time for Tom Ward. From his own garden he produced the majority of the aliment that fed his four daughters, his wife and himself!
He aloft chickens. In his account in anniversary day’s admission was the egg count. Back the egg calculation waned as the chickens aged, it was time for the bouillon pot. His account admission suggests he had a few acceptable candidates on this day aloof in time for Thanksgiving!
“Some of our chickens are old abundant to vote”.
* * * * * * * * * *
“The Barkers of Branford: Activity in America Through a Local Lens” looks into Llewellyn’s agriculture activity in the chapters, “We Had Beans For Dinner” and “Animal Husbandry”. The book is attainable for $30 at the Blackstone Library in Branford (includes donation to Branford Historical Society). Richly illustrated with over 200 photos, maps and illustrations, it traces not abandoned the history of a ancestors but additionally that of the boondocks and the nation. Over 300 names arise in the account and are referenced and indexed for accessible access.
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