Chelmsford Historical Society
Outline of Interview Mar 11, 1975 Viola Byam Nickerson
06-born in South Chelmsford, 1902
13-lived in the Byam House at the corner of Acton and Robin Hill Road
21-Lyman A.Byam was her father
28-grandfather was Frank C. Byam, first station agent in South Chelmsford, His son Lyman later took this position
33-Lyman remained station agent until the station closed
43-father then worked in the Lowell Bleachery for two years
46-then became agent at Center Station
55-Station in South Chelmsford was near the present Agway Building
67-Viola attended school beginning in 1907 at the South Chelmsford District,where the fire station is today
75-then went to the school on the hill,which is now the Grange Hall. Spent six years here, 1908-1914 there were two rooms with four grades in each
85-skipped one grade to go to the High school in the Center
91-Ruth Crawford was a teacher
93-Miss Heggerty taught crocheting after school
106-skipped to the High School at age 12
114-she and friends were nicknamed the"South Chelmsford Infants" and the "Kids from Squaddy Hollow"
122-in those days it was easy to skip grades
127-attended Chelmsford High School on North Road for three years
130-then went to new High School on Billerica Street for last year
132-member of fisrt graduating class, 1918
135-it was the first year students from North joined with students from the rest of Chelmsford
140-graduations alternated between the North and Center for years
142-probably for ease of access
150-there were sixteen graduates in the Class of 1918
162-South Chelmsford was very small
165-life centered around the First Baptist Church
176-Church activities included services on Sunday, Sunday school, "Christian Endeavor", Evening services
188-there were weekday prayer meetings which were really social events
196-school day was 9-12 and 1-3
216-games played at school, outdoors
254-transportation to school was by Barge, open vehicle drawn by two horses. In winter the Barge was on runners
270-it was operated by the Paignon family
281-Mrs. Nickerson attended Boston University
307-commuted by train,New York,New Haven ,Hartford
320-received A.B. Degree, then taught French
324-taught in Westford and New York
335-began new job in January, 1925 in Lebanon, Conn,"there was nothing closer"
339-all jobs were procured through teachers agencies, which always received 5% of the first years salary for the service
344-taught in Bristol, Conn., for seven years
345-taight French, Latin and English
345-Career in teaching lasted eleven years
348-married in 1934
364-in 1927 spent the summer at Middlebury, Vermont French School
365-1928, studied at the Sorbonne in Paris
375-women's wages were$1300.00 per year in New York
382-in Lebanon it was$1900.00 per year
390-there were no married teachers, women had to give up their careers when they married. It was the depression and jobs were reserved for single women
408-after marriage; bought house on Sunset Ave.
412-cost, $3800.00, $1000.00 down, $3000.00 mortgage and 30 years to pay
423-husband was a printer, son of the South Chelmsford Minister
434-worked for Hatch printing, then Cleghorn's which was bought out by Princes
468-the Byams had a summer home on Baptist Pond
474-recreation at Baptist
500-cost of living was much less then

515-Mr. Holbrook was the principal
538-Coasttng on double runners
554-sports,boys and girls
569-Pung, sort of sled
581-May Baskets Custom
594-mischief at Halloween
603-Fourth of July fun, rang Church bell at midnight
617-fireworks display over Baptist Pond
620-Ice Houses of the Boston Ice Company
622-Gage's Ice Company
643-trips to Revere Beach by boat and narrow guage train
658-Barnum and Bailey in Lowell
668-Circus Train across Baptist Pond
670-Christmas and Thanksgiving
688-Grandfather's barn

05-card games
16-Karem Board
24-no games or recreation allowed on Sunday
34-no homework in primary grades
89-washing machine "Molar" 1917
97-wooden pegs,had to be revolved by hand
106-so strenuous it was nicknamed the "mankiller"
127-previously, houses were lighted by batteries
142-street lights, taken care of by Herbert Penniman who carried a little ladder and lit one light at a time
156-they were kerosene lamps
162-Penniman had charge only in South Chelmsford
168-Stavely's Blacksmith Shop
179-only transportation to Lowell was horse and wagon
185-no electric car to South Chelmsford
199-stores in South Chelmsford, father ran a small grocery

End of interview
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