Back in the day…

May 11, 2010 | 3 comments

Espy Children on Danny, 1913

     There are no longer any horses in Oysterville.  In fact, there aren’t any barns anymore.  In my childhood almost every household that included children also included a horse or two.  Without out them, our landscape seems incomplete – especially the lonely looking meadows between the houses and the bay.
     In my mother’s childhood, of course, horses were absolutely necessary – there were no automobiles yet in Oysterville.  My Uncle Edwin said that the family had 16 horses “maximum” – one for each of the seven children by the time they were school age; one or two for Mama’s phaeton; the best, most spirited horse for Papa; the rest, work horses for the farm.  And, to accommodate the horses, as well as the dairy cows, there were three barns.  When I think of all the other families and their horses and barns I’m sure there wasn’t a lonely looking field or meadow in sight!
     My grandfather didn’t believe in children using saddles; he thought they were dangerous.  Even so, there were mishaps that became family stories.  One involved Edwin:  a horse he was riding swerved under the branch of a spruce tree.  Ed ducked, but the branch caught him by the straps of his overalls and left him hanging in mid-air, arms and legs flailing, yelling at the top of his lungs.  Fortunately, not too much time went by before a passing neighbor heard him and came to his rescue. 


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    What a funny story, Sydney! I can see it in my mind. We drove friends out to Oysterville this past weekend. I think it the sweetest place on the Peninsula, which means on Earth.

    For Mother’s Day my oldest son gave me two postcards he found in a junk shop in Tacoma. They are of the Peninsula, including one showing the railroad tracks going through Long Beach. One has a cancellation stamp that we think is 1907. I will scan them for you.

  2. Brigid

    Good story about the overalls. Horses can be brats like that.

  3. Cindy Downer

    Sydney, we are not technically in Oysterville, but we still have 2 of Christy’s horses……..And our home is 100 years old!!!!!!


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