While growing up, my twin brother and I spent a lot of time at the home of our grandmother Perkins in Loudon Village. We never knew our grandfather Perkins—he died before we were born. I can attest to the fact that he was an active real estate dealer as I have many of his original deeds and because Nana Perkins told me that he would purchase a house, she’d turn it into a home, he’d sell the home, and the cycle would begin all over again. When I asked her why he’d not sold the present house that she’d lived in for years, she told me that when he put the “For Sale” sign in the front yard, she yanked the sign out of the ground. He got the message.
The acreage on which the house sat was above the roadbed by several feet. In addition to the house there was a large garage with attached shed and a separate hen house (rarely occupied). The shingled house stood on the island formed by the semi-circular dirt drive around the house.
The house had seven rooms (four down and three up) with an attached shed area that contained an additional three rooms of non-living space. The back door of the house opened into the first shed area where the laundry apparatus and icebox were located. My first memories are of the galvanized tubs and washboards that were used to do the family laundry. A big electric washtub with agitator and attached wringer comprised of two wooden rollers later replaced these laundry tools. Mr. Rogers and his team hauling huge blocks of ice stopped twice a week to refurbish the ice in the icebox. A truck with wooden bed later replaced the team of horses and the wagon. The other parts of the attached shed where used for storage.
The best food ever was cooked on the wood stove in the kitchen—when I close my eyes I can see and almost smell the aroma from those beautiful fruit pies. Other furnishings in the kitchen were a corner cupboard, a Hoosier cabinet, a large table with lots of chairs and a rocking chair. And, oh yes, there was a contraption that was connected to the stove that served as a water heater. Water from this would be used to wash the dishes in the long soap sink in the pantry located between the kitchen and the dinning room.
One of the two front rooms was used as a sitting room and the second as an office. The latter contained a big desk with rickety old typewriter. Nana Perkins served as the elected town clerk for the town of Loudon for many years and this room served as the Town Clerk’s Office. Nana was, also, a local correspondent for the Concord Monitor, and the weekly newspapers published in Pittsfield and Laconia. It seemed like that old typewriter was continually clattering. This was also the room where Nana Perkins taught me to sew. I remember sitting at her old Singer treadle machine when I was about ten years old making my very first outfit—a pair of shorts and halter-top constructed from a blue calico print.
The house in the village will always bring me wonderful memories and happy smiles.
© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved