Penny Proffit: Builder


We do asphalt paving and small jobs. Generally, we do driveways and tennis courts. There were always some dairy farms that had gone to subdivisions. At the old Groveton school, from the east side of the highway, there had been a dairy farm. That one was prior to my time. It was already a little subdivision.

My father was a construction worker and was in the excavating business for himself. He ran what they used to call a steam shovel. Actually, it is gasoline powered. He helped widen Route 1 to a three lane road and then a four. He built Coventry Road and part of Ross Street, and also, other roads in the area.

When we were little, we used to pick blackberries. Right where Bucknell Heights is, was an area that had been cleared for a cow pasture. We used to call that the first stump field. Then, where White Oaks is, that was the second stump field. When we really got far away from home, over where Hall in Hills is, an open area in there was the third stump field for blackberry picking. That was really traveling a long ways then.

This house and the one next door are sitting on the site of an anti-aircraft barrier, one of those guns that they used during World War II. In fact, I found a 50 caliber shell in my garden. They had four fifty caliber machine guns. They were mounted on a track that was turned to shoot practice rounds. I remember they had an anti-aircraft cannon.  I don't know the caliber, size or whatever, but it was right in my back yard.

They had one barrack built. You've seen Army barracks, but this was just one. There was nothing to do. We had the whole place covered with little paths and the edges lined with rocks. They would have them out there painting the rocks white or red just to keep them busy.

The land where the old Groveton High School was, was a gravel pit on Mr. Burt Ayres land. Right where it stands, Mr. Earl Popkins Used to have a thrashing machine. They didn't have combines like they do now. You used to have to cut it and shuck it. In the fields, there used to be little stacks of cut wheat and we'd load those old wagons and take it to the thrashing machine. There was a summer where I'd helped him on the thrashing machine. I helped shuck wheat in the field before the gravel pit was dug down to it's twenty or thirty foot level. The school was then built in the bottom of that pit. There was another gravel pit across the street where the Telephone Company building now stands.

There used to be one other central point in the community. There was a huge riding stable. They had enough stables in one barn to hold a hundred horses. Right where Bucknell Elementary School is, there was an old horse graveyard. They used to bury horses that got sick or died of old age. They also used to have horse shows over there.  They used to also hold horse shows up on Beacon Field. Horses became very popular during the War because of the gasoline shortage. Everybody around here owned one. Many of them even in their garages.

Volume Two, Table of Contents
Snake Hill to Spring Bank Homepage

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