Chapter 3

Earliest Memories: 2. Horses and the Tractor

Dad loved horses. There is a picture of him at about twelve years old with a horse (a chestnut) that was his and that he was particularly fond of. He is in coveralls, with a wide brimmed hat, and the horse was stretched out with its back legs well back, the way they sometimes show horses.

(Illustration 3-1)

Dad about 17, just before they left Rover's Run on Hacker's Creek with Chestnut colt. By this age he had come to love horses.

My mother, Evaleen Kennedy Bond was more than eleven years younger than Dad. She rode a horse to school at Lost Creek from her parent's farm (He was Steven G. Kennedy, her mother was Jessie Stout Kennedy). She and her sister kept their horses in a barn connected with the Seventh Day Baptist parsonage when they were at school. They rode, rather than walked because of the mud roads. Lost Creek was a pretty raw frontier-like town, settled around the new railroad station. (It was Lost Creek Station in the early days.)

When I was old enough to know what was going on, we didn't have any riding horses. Aunt Lotta was teaching at West Milford and had a car, Dad had a truck, and the horses were draft animals. I remember riding them to work on the hill.

We kept the cows around the barn in winter, and fed them inside. The manure would accumulate to a foot or more deep in the barn, and the mud around the outside was that deep or more, especially since the water from the roof had no underground way to get away from the barn. There were stepping stones along a fence that ran perpendicular to the front of the barn, on the right of the door. About fifteen feet from the barn there was a gate into a smaller lot. We had stepping stones along the fence, and when I was about six, one day I was going to the barn, passing this gate. To stay on the stepping stones, I had to go uncomfortably close to the back end of one of the horses.

It wasn't a mean horse, but it didn't like this small person going so close. It kicked up with both back legs. Both hoofs hit me in the chest, knocking the wind out of me, and knocking me in the mud. I squawked, Dad came running, and I have never cared much for horses - never owned one. Shortly after that the horses were sold, because Dad bought his first rubber tired tractor, a Ford 8N. It wasn't because I was kicked - that was my fault - but because the technology was maturing.

Aside In the days of horses there were a lot of watering troughs along the road. Many people were considerate of their horses and let them stop and drink and also rest at the top of hills. I remember a few of the troughs still around in the early forties. There is one still in the turn of the road where it starts up out of Lost Creek toward Rockford that served as a water supply for the houses in that area as late as the fifties.

(Illustration 3-2)

There is still a watering trough in Lost Creek, the only one around. In my youth it served the houses in the neighborhood, too. People would stand and catch the water as it came out of the pipe. Now they have city water.

Copyright © 1998, 2006, 2008, 2011 S. Tom Bond (stombond at