In 1800 the average Maine home burned 20 cords of wood each year. Some homes used twice that and still if you stepped away from the fireplace you would be cold. Harriet Beecher Stowe said in her book Oldtown Folks “Aunt Lois standing with her back so near the blaze as to be uncomfortably warm, yet found her dish towel freezing in her hand”.
Candle boxes
Colonial homes often had wooden candle boxes with sliding lids and a hole for hanging on a mantel or wall. Early candles were made of tallow and rodents loved to eat them. These boxes kept candles safe.


I Remember Christmas


Christmas was an exciting time. Dad went for the tree sometimes a week before Christmas to dry off in the wood shed. It was brought in the day before, plans for trimming were well advanced, popcorn and
cranberries carefully strung, paper stars cut out and mother made an angel for the top. Our gifts were hung on the tree unwrapped; with eight in the family, it was loaded. My father’s sister, Aunt Fan, made our Christmas memorable. They (she and her husband Uncle Brad Tibbetts) had a store and at Christmas, our
stockings always had fresh oranges and chocolates as well as small gifts. I remember beautiful French bisque dolls with lovely faces and hair, kid bodies, which Aunt Fan gave us. Colored strings of beads and sewing boxes (I still have mine), books were high on our list; we were encouraged to read. Uncle Brad was
fond of children and if we went into his store, he always treated us. One Christmas was especially remembered when after our tree in the morning, we each took one gift and went to our Grandmother Higgins; later in the afternoon we came home and were told to warm ourselves by the fire and go in to see our new baby sister [Beatrice Morris (Henderson) born December 25th 1914]. - Written in 1985 by Catherine
Morris Andrews (1908-1999)