Mary Deer enjoys looking at old family photos, especially from her youth. (Courtesy Mary Deer)
This photo, posted by Mary Deer, is of her grandfather’s farm during the summer of 1949. Deer’s grandfather, Mitchell Bush, had his farm where he grew many kinds of crops “off the 207 about a mile past Mohawk Hills Golf Club. There used to be a few families that lived back there,” said Deer. “That was the road we always took to go back to the farm.”
She recounted a time when the land was much more rural than it is now. Then the Lafleur Golf Club was built “back in the 70s or 80s and it blocked access to the roads that went to these little farms.” Many farmers relocated after that.
“The girl in the light outfit on the left is my oldest sister. Her name is Elizabeth Bush. Then there’s my sister Suzanne (woman holding the child). The little girl, I think she was two years old or so, her name is Gail. She was a cousin. The one standing behind the little girl in the chair is myself,” Deer said.
Deer was six at the time the picture was taken. “The girl sitting in the chair is my little sister Irene.”
Deer lived with her parents, her three sisters, and her grandparents in the “little cabin.”
Even though she was a young seven-year-old girl at the time her family sold the farm, Deer remembers the happy memories of her stay there, especially in the summertime.
“My father was an ironworker, so he was away a lot. When we lived at the farm he used to take time off in the summer to help my grandfather with farm chores that had to be done for the winter, like cutting hay and harvesting vegetables.
“We weren’t rich, but that didn’t bother us. We had good food and we had a roof over our head. My mother saw to it that we were all well-dressed and my father provided for us,” Deer said.
Deer recalls times when the family was together. She remembers a little tradition her family used to do around the holidays. “My sisters were older so they were the ones that arranged everything. They used to go cut a tree out somewhere in the woods,” she said.
Deer’s family relocated and her father had purchased the old school on Route 207 however, she did not forget her childhood home. When she left her parent’s home after she got married, her and husband “purchased an old farm on the 207. We did some planting and it’s something that I remember watching as a little girl.”