Library Tutorials
close
Font size options
Increase or decrease the font size for this website by clicking on the 'A's.
Contrast options
Choose a color combination to give the most comfortable contrast.
Historic Provo

Oral History of Camellia Denys

ORAL HISTORY TRANSCRIPTION


WINN: This is Jennifer Winn and I'm doing an interview today with Camellia Denys. Today is March 28, 1999. You were saying that your house is made out of adobe.


DENYS: This is adobe. It was just a little adobe house and they had a dairy farm here on 20 acres. When we bought the place they had moved the cattle up to Idaho. We bought a whole acre of land here. And it was in the country. There was nothing but a little gravel, country road going up and it turned around on what they called Old Willow Lane.


We hadn't been here but about two years and everything popped up into developers coming here and they cut it up into building lots. My niece bought that place where the Bartholomews are first. He was a professor from New York and they were going to come here and he was going to teach at the Y. They were paying about $1400 a year then. He said, "I can't live on that." So they left that vacant for a while until the Bartholomew's bought it. They built it. You know how small that lot is. I know every single thing.


Then we decided to stay here. Dallas is really my home. We had moved down during the war years. That was in 1942. We leased our house out in Dallas and we went down there for the simple reason that my husband was supposed to go into the war. It was during the war in 1942. But he had these two little girls. I had two little daughters born in Dallas. We went down. I said, "If you're going to the war I want to be by my people." I knew I'd be back into my Mormon settlement, with all my relatives.


I told you about the Williamson settlement. It was my great grandfather that had settled it and he was the first member of the Church converted in southeast Texas, the lower part there. He formed that settlement and that was all my uncles and aunts and then all of their children and everybody like that. As they married, they'd draw somebody else in and get a few converts. It kept on growing, but I was raised in that settlement.


We went back down there after I married my husband. He was a traveling man for the Gulf Oil Company. He had a territory. He was raised in San Antonio Texas, but he had this territory around Beaumont. That's how I met him.


I came out to Utah when I first got out of high school. My sister was living up here just for the summer, so I wanted to see Utah. I got on a train. I worked in Beaumont until I got money enough to buy my train fare and here I came all alone. I met my sister and we stayed out here for five months. As soon as school was out, about the first of May, we stayed. I was out of high school.


My sister and her husband and all of her children just loved to pick food and we were so amazed at the fruit here. We'd see it all on the ground. I'd spend my whole time picking up good peaches on the ground. People thought I was crazy. I said, "Why would we want to throw these away. They're so good." We were just amazed.


We started out with strawberries. That was the earliest crop. We went out. We were in Orem and they had nothing but cherry orchards out in Orem at that time before it all built up. We rented a little house up there and my sister and her husband and three little girls and me lived out there for five months. We picked that fruit until it started getting cold and we wanted to go back to Texas. We stayed until we picked those apples. Everything came, strawberries, cherries, apricots, peaches and apples and pears.


We went back then. I met my husband before I had gone out here. I knew him about two years before we married. He came back. He was transferred then up to Dallas. That was his center, but he took in all that territory, over to the panhandle, which is over toward New Mexico, all up to Oklahoma, all over to Louisiana and down as far as Waco, Texas. It was practically half the state. The center though was in Dallas and he was a hired man and he had to have big panel trucks to carry his equipment. He was a contractor and he had to maintain all the Gulf Oil stations and warehouses. He had to hire men and he had to have gas and they had to stay in hotels.


When the war came, they drafted all these men, so he couldn't get even a tire. They weren't selling anything out here in the war. They had just put a clamp on everything. You couldn't buy gasoline and you couldn't rent a hotel room if it was in certain towns. They had taken it all for the military.


The Gulf Oil just shut down his work. They said, "We just won't do any maintenance during these war years." Fred was subject to draft and I said, "If you're going to be drafted, I want to go back to my people." So we went back.


In the meantime, during the war, he made good wages. We didn't know that other people were in the Depression. You could just buy something for nothing. It is the little town that was six miles out of Beaumont. We went there and bought a whole strip of land on Main Street. Then we got another acre of land, because they were going to put Highway 110 that goes right through Houston, it goes right down through Beaumont into New Orleans. And so we had a whole acre there and we leased it out to oil companies because it was just the exit off of there, coming in. We built a home there. In the end what happened was that it all started being business. After we got out here I sold where my home was setting. They took it and pulled it back on the street to a Texaco service station. Right next to that I sold it to a fried chicken place.


WINN: What brought you to Provo?


DENYS: Health. Because Fred wasn't working there, they put him as a foreman in Orange, Texas. Orange, Beaumont and Port Arthur are all Ports down there right out of Houston. He was down in the shipyards in Orange, which weren't very far from Orange and from his place. He was the foreman over supervising, building these landing gears that go over Normandy beach. He was in there the whole rest of the war. A year later they were going to put them in moth balls, all these little boats. They might use them some other time. So he stayed there and worked in that.


But it was in a closure and they used this asbestos for the thing. He didn't know it but when he got out of there the doctor said, "You've got tuberculosis." He was just about dead. They said, "You should go to the mountains. You've got tuberculosis." They didn't have any proof of that, but they didn't know what else. It was just his lung. That was one thing they said.


My little daughter, Silvy was born in Dallas. From the time she was born she was allergic to everything in the world and then she had asthma. We were in Dallas and that was one reason we went down. The doctors said, "Take her to the sea shore. Take her down close to the coast, maybe it will be better." She never did lay down and sleep all of her life. I had to hold her in my lap and prop her up. It was terrible. We got her down there and for about a year she was pretty good. But then finally she got worse and worse. The doctor said, "Take her to the mountains."


I happened to have a niece whose husband had been in the Pacific war and it had got over. They gave him the GI, so he came to the BYU to go to school and they were living up here, my niece and her husband. That's the only person I knew here. When we decided to come we wanted to find a place to rent for one year, because I owned the home in Dallas. I owned the home and we really did all out.


Here we came and we stayed with Juanita and her husband for a month looking for a place to rent. The war was over and everybody had come home, all the boys. There were no places to rent, because they weren't building apartment houses. They didn't have such things as that. They didn't have basements. We went all the way down as far as Springville and up to Lehi.


I wanted to go to Salt Lake City, because at that time the bug had bit me on this genealogy so bad. I started about five years after I got back down to my people. I found out there was so much genealogy down there and I didn't know anything about my father's people at all. This was my mother's people who had joined the church. His people were up about a hundred miles up there. I had gone up there and found all kinds of interesting things. They brought a little genealogical study into our ward, into our settlement, our branch there where we were and it was the first thing I've ever known about genealogy.


There was a cousin that taught it. She was a school teacher. I didn't know anything about how to do genealogy. She said, "I'm going to teach it just like it tells it in the book." The first lesson I think she gave she said, "They've given us ten things to do this whole year. By the end of the year we'll check up and see if you've done them."


She did have some forms, pedigree charts for our family group sheet. She said, "Every one of you start with you on this pedigree chart and you go just as far as you can that you know." Nobody knew beyond their grandparents hardly.


And then one of the other things that she had us do, one of the things she said that really started it, it says, "Everybody in their family has a tradition about something. A tradition may not be true, but there is always a grain of truth in all traditions. It started from something in your family. You think about that and you write that down and in the next lesson we'll talk about traditions." When it came the next time, I thought and I thought. I thought there is a tradition bumping around in my family all this time.


I didn't know much about my father. He was killed when I was three. My mother came back to this settlement because her mother was a Williamson. She raised us there but my father was dead. I knew nothing about his people, other than I did know that he went back and I'd heard all the time that we were related to this Joseph Brigsby. I didn't know anything about it. The tradition was that he had something to do with the founding of Beaumont. I didn't know whether that was true or not. They said, "Go to the library. Go back to the oldest member. Go back to the records right there in Beaumont, which is the county seat, and see if you can find anything."


I went to the library in Beaumont and I went in and asked the librarian, "Do you have a history of Beaumont." She thought and she said, "You know, I think we do. It was written about 1927 by a lady by the name of Stratton." She looked and looked and she found way up on the shelf a little history of Beaumont. A little book like that. She brought it out and I told her what I was looking for. I said I heard that my great grandfather had something to do with the founding of Beaumont. She opened it up and it was there. That was a tradition and I found that to be true.


I said, "This man was prominent." It said he was the wealthiest man in that county when he died, and he was a representative into Austin and he went to the Republicans. He first came in 1828 into the Mexican province and received all these big Mexican land grants. And he raised the first cotton. He had a big plantation down there. This was 1828. He brought slaves from Kentucky, because his wealth was there. I found all of these things. I said, "If this man was this prominent, he would have had a will." I went to the county courthouse which was right over there. He had a will that had eighteen items. And I had no idea what the names of his children were. There I got all of his children, thirteen.


WINN: Tell me something about when you moved to Provo that you couldn't find a place to rent.


DENYS: We couldn't find a place to rent. There was no place. There was no basements. We couldn't find a place. When I wanted to go to Salt Lake City so I could be by the library, my husband had been raised in the big city of San Antonio and he had been traveling around into big cities. He loved to fish. So he went up Provo Canyon, threw his hook in and brought us a fish. He said, "I'm not going to live in that city. I've been living in the city all my life. I'm going to live here so I can go up ten miles into this canyon and get a fish."


Here is where we stayed and this is why we tried to find somebody in this area. We could not. We ended up buying this little adobe house on one acre of land in the country. We looked and we could see all the way down to the lake. There were no houses or nothing down there. We could see all the way down to the lake. There was a house right up here, it had just been built. They sold that to Dr. Fisher. Right across the street was the man who built it. He was living in it and it was half done. What he did was he'd build a house and then sell it. Then he'd go. When he built this house, he sold that.


But then that's when the developers came in. We stayed here for two years in this little place. It was right in the worst winter that Utah has ever had 1947-1948. I didn't know. I had never seen it so cold in my life. All they had to heat this little house with, this adobe is about that thick. It's so warm, it was so little, that they left a wood stove here to cook on, because they had no gas here. I could have had electricity, but I had that little stove. We would cook on that stove. I had to bring in that stuff. My fingers were just black all the time. It was so warm.


After my two older kids went to school and everything got out of the house, I would read or I'd do my genealogy and put my feet in the oven, open up the little stove like that.


We got by for two years and then we decided we wanted to live here. We had leased our home in Dallas and we hold sold the place. We also owned a commercial property in Dallas too. It was right on the edge of town on the road going to Houston, three acres out there.


That was going to be our retirement place, but Fred never wanted to go back to that place. His lung were better. Sylvia never wheezed another wheeze. She's allergic to things. She never had any more asthma. Fred gained 20 pounds. We didn't want to go back. We said, "We're going to stay here." He loved that fishing. As it went on through the winter, somebody gave him a gun and he went up and shot a deer. Here we were.


We sold that wonderful property there in Dallas because we could turn it into cash real fast and we bought this for $8,000 for this little adobe house and an acre of land right here. We had no conveniences. They had an old well out there by that tree. They had a sewer that ran out. That was their sewer. Everybody else when they put in their sewers out here, they had more problems with them because the builder tied some of them together, like he did across the street. That all caused problems. We never had any problems. That well seemed to be bottomless.


We lived here and we decided we were going to stay. It was in 1951. We said, "Alright, we're going to stay." So I went back and sold my home. The people who had leased the place had turned it into a business. They had children's clothes and children's wear. We were right on the street going from Dallas to Fort Worth and it was a main street. That just turned commercial. A big Sears Roebuck store came in and bought everything in front of it and there was things on each side. These people wanted a business. All I had to do was just sign some papers.


I had the money and we built this house next door, that big weeping mortar house. That's our house. We designed it. I designed it. Each one of my children had a room. I had my genealogy room. I had a big kitchen downstairs when Fred brought in all of his old deer meat. I didn't have to take it upstairs. He liked it fried and then bottled. We would make slaw out of it or a sandwich or anything else. It was wonderful. We didn't put any water with it. It would come that high up with juices. I canned all the food I could.


I didn't have to take any of it up there, because you can see there is an apartment now. She's made a little apartment right there on the driveway. You'll see as you see the drive way that's a little apartment. My genealogy room was right next to it. We had four bedrooms down in a full basement. We lived there for more than ten years. We moved in in the spring of 1952.


We stayed there until all of our children were married or gone. Freddy married in 1967. We were there about 15 years. We sold that to a doctor. That's his daughter. The doctor died. The doctor was going to come here and retire, because he was from Utah. He was living in California. But his daughter graduated and she taught up here at the Y. That's Susan Ream. You might know her. She teaches one of our classes in Relief Society. She's retired now and she lives there. She rents out that basement apartment and sometimes she has somebody upstairs as well.


We sold that about 1967 or 1968 and then we decided we'd enlarge this. Just my husband and I were here. We went out there and made a utility room out here, made a bedroom, and we enlarged the bathroom. That's a little study room in there.


This thing here changed. But by that time everybody had decided they were going to come out here. They dug everything up. We couldn't see the lake anymore. That house was being built when we were building the big house. I know he didn't have any electricity when he first built it. He didn't have any electricity to run his tools for a while. So he ran a line all the way through and we took this screen out and ran it right inside my kitchen. I let him use my electricity until he could get his wiring in.


The same thing happened over there across from you, right next to you, Stevens. That was built and he ran his long line over here. I was the only house up here that had any electricity. I built this big house the same time as they were building. That's my history of how we got housing.


Then the street came in. That was gravel. They came in and took off about half of my acre to make sidewalks and enlarge that street. I'm sitting back here, but I don't have much of a backyard. We had 160 feet and 100 was outlying on that big house. I just rented out this little house before we moved over here, to students. This is 60 feet in front here.


Then I sold that and my husband died. He didn't want to keep the yard when my boys were gone. I had two boys and two girls. Freddy, the youngest one, was working for an airline out in California and he got married. Sylvia married a man from Hartford, Connecticut. He got in with the state department and they lived in foreign countries for fourteen years. She was never here. He's now retired and they're living in Bethesda, Maryland. Nedra went to Samoa on a teaching mission for eighteen months.


WINN: Did your children attend the schools around here?


DENYS: Sure, when we first came, my two little boys were two and four. But then I had a girl that was eight. She went to Wasatch School. Then when she left Wasatch School, most of the people that came in here and built homes were professors. All of their children were going down to BY High. You know where that old building is. They're going to make a library out of it down there on University. That used to be BYU, one of their main buildings down there. They had a high school down there. My oldest son and Sylvia, my youngest daughter both went to BY High and graduated.


My niece married a BYU person that lived here. By that time he was a teacher. He advised me to send my oldest girl to Provo High. Nedra graduated from Provo High. Freddy, my youngest boy started at BY High, but he didn't like it because they didn't have a football team. All of his friends up here, the boys, they wanted to go to Provo High so they could play football. He graduated at Provo High. Nedra went on this mission and came back and finished her school. I had her school ready when she came back.


She met her husband on the mission. He's from Canada, Kenneth Johnson. He was a little older when he went out there. He was 21 when most of the missionaries are 19. He was made a counselor with the mission president and the man that built that house, Charlie Sampson, and his wife were sent as mission presidents, because he had filled a mission there. Fern would know all of these people I'm talking about.


They were out there about five months and then the church sent Nedra out there. They had teaching missions, because out in the bush, they wouldn't let the lady missionaries go out. The men would go out. Then what the Church did was they had a compound where they had the mission home and they built dorms for the teachers and they built a school. The missionaries would go out and persuade the parents to let the children come. It wouldn't cost them anything to stay there for five days, and then they would go back home. Then the parents would let the missionaries in the home. That's the way they did their missionary work. Nedra was a teacher there with about thirty others. They really had the whole island of American Samoa. She was there for 18 months. Men stayed two years.


Kenneth had been there about six months when she came. He came from Toronto. He was sent from Toronto Canada. He was the counselor. During the World War he was a pilot. He piloted ships. His other counselor was a pilot. He and this pilot would hope from island to island. That's the way he would visit his mission. Because around in Samoa there were small islands. Kenneth was left at the mission home to take care of all these students and all these teachers and all their problems. He met Nedra and when they came, he got off his mission at the same time she did. She was there 18 months and he was there two years. When they came back to Hawaii they were engaged. He had had two years of school in Canada. His brother was a teacher there in Engineering.


When he came off his mission he said, "I don't want to be an engineer. I want to be a lawyer." Nedra and he made it up. She said, "I can teach school now." She was teaching her first year out in Whittaker, California when our bishop called her. At the end of the school year she went out there. He came back and he entered into political science here and he got a scholarship to the University of Chicago to go to law school and Nedra went right on and taught the whole time he was there. He got done in three years and she started her family. He wound up a corporate lawyer with El Paso Gas and they were centered in Houston. They were there for 25 years.


WINN: What are some of the major changes that you've seen through the years in Provo?


DENYS: It was really a disappointment with that mall out in Orem. It was supposed to be right here in Provo. North University wasn't North University then. It was just a street. You know where all of those offices, mostly dentist are, that was the end of it. That street wasn't opened up. They wanted to use this where there is now jillions of apartments for students. All of that area going down there, they could have had all the space in the world. The city people wanted to put the mall there where it should have been. The merchants up in Provo said, "No, it will draw all the people away from us."


You can't remember but we had a department store called Firmages and there was a number of other stores, just like they are right now. Just about like it looks like now, only it had a few more stores. They kept them because they were the most prominent people here, kept them from having that mall. It went right out to Orem. That business park hasn't done anything. They have put up that NuSkin office building. The city people came in and put those planters and things down Center Street which made it pretty. Then going to some of the older buildings there at University and Center Street, they've given face lifts to those old buildings. They realized that they had to, but they never have been able to get anybody like a big department store or anything back. All of our business went out there.


For some great luck, somebody decided we'll just make this industrial park. It really is something. You've been out there to East Bay. It's just a whole city and it's laid out in beautiful streets. It's orderly and everything. They've got a real organization and a golf course out there. Now they've got everything out there. That is really our business. It's not uptown. You can't go uptown and do nothing. Maybe there's a restaurant or two. This is the saddest thing.


The church, for some reason or another, would not preserve that historic building where they are going to make that library. This year, they've decided they're going to let them make it into a library. The thing's deteriorating. They just fought over that. That's where my two children graduated at BY High right there. Nedra, when she went to BYU, she had to go all the way down there to take gym and then come back. The church wouldn't put out one penny to preserve that building and that was the first BYU. It's where they started it and nobody can understand why.


It's been Smoot. He was our stake president. It was his grandfather that started that university. He was one of the first presidents. He is the one that has got this thing rolling with a lot of the parents and people who wanted to see it not go to nothing. Now they've got the money and they're supposed to start on it. The city finally just a year ago finally gave some cents. They have to raise $6 million, but I think they've got about $4 million, in order to start it. I think the historical community is going to help them. I hope I live to see them make that into a library. Because they put the library way down there. I just hate it. It's not a place that you can go and sit down. It's not a library. Everybody recognizes it now.


I haven't really seen much change in downtown Provo, other than they are now building some nice places. It looks like it's permanent to some degree. I like to go down to East Bay. Consider now they're building River Woods, that little shopping mall. It's an industrial park too. They have lovely buildings down there, little shopping malls. They have got that new center. It's not catching on. They waited too long. Provo has gone this way and that way to enlarge. They have no way to enlarge where they are. That's a disappointment that I've had in the fifty years I've lived here it hasn't changed any on Main Street. But you can go down there in Provo. You've still got to go to the mall out here or the mall there. Everybody was going to Salt Lake until this road got torn up.


I used to belong to the League of Women Voters and we kept right up with everything. We'd go to the legislature up in Salt Lake every year and we'd keep up with everything. I like politics, but I've got so disgusted. I'm not a Democrat. I'm an Independent. I just vote the best person. I don't go and sign up for either one or the other. Because there's good people in one of them. When it's local you know the people. I just vote for the person that I want to win and I don't let no party tell me what to do.


I'm really concerned right now that everything has gone Republican in Utah. That isn't the way it's supposed to be. Brigham Young split them up and said, "You're going to be a Democrat." When they first came, because the Mormon influence was so strong, they didn't let them all be one party or the other. Most of them were Republicans. They said, "You cannot be a state until you get diversified and the Mormon Church won't influence them to vote." Way back there in a conference address he told certain ones they had to be Democrats. It's true. There are some prominent families that are Democrats today because it started right from that. That's true. You can talk to somebody that knows more than I do about it. Old families are Democrats and it stems from that very old thing. I'm not either one. I'm an independent.


WINN: Where was your husband employed while he was working in Provo?


DENYS: At Geneva Steel.


WINN: Out in Orem?


DENYS: Geneva Steel is out there. He was working when he died. He got a real chest cold and got pneumonia. He wouldn't go and he couldn't breathe. My son had to pick him up and take him to the hospital, but he was gone. He had developed this emphysema, instead of tuberculosis. I didn't know anything about emphysema. Six months before he died I didn't know. He said, "If he ever gets pneumonia, we can't save him, because he can't breathe." That's exactly what happened. He just choked to death. He didn't linger very long. It puts you out very quick. He died December 23, 1971. That was on Joseph Smith's birthday.


Here at that particular time of the year, my children are so scattered. Nedra was living in Chicago. Sylvia was in Bethesda. Hansford was in California. Only Freddy my youngest boy lived in Orem. When he died, we had his body taken out to Sunbird Mortuary in Orem. I said, "Can we have his funeral?" They said, "No, we won't open the mortuary up until after Christmas. It's a holiday." There we were sitting with a dead body. All of my kids were gone. We just shipped him out to San Antonio, back to his people. He was buried by his mother and his father and his relatives back in San Antonio. Freddy and I and Hansford flew out there. Nedra came and Sylvia and her husband.


WINN: You mentioned that you were part of a woman's group here in Provo.


DENYS: I was for several years with the League of Women Voters. We really kept up with affairs. But I haven't kept up with it too closely anymore. I went up to the legislature though this year with a couple of my lady friends. We just really enjoyed it. I did. We got to meet our representative for this year, Jordan Tanner.


WINN: Do you remember any issues that you brought before the legislature?


DENYS: It's been a long time. Vivian Hayes was the head of this group. It was really a lot of debating. I can't remember. If I had somebody to talk to about it, it would jog my memory. Nobody lives right around here that was in it. There was a doctor's wife. We used to meet in her home. It was over west, off of 1230 North.


WINN: Do you remember any major activities in Provo, such as parades?


DENYS: Yes, I remember. When I came out here, it was 1929, I told you that I came out here to pick fruit. We were in Orem and there were two girls out there that I was friends with at church. We decided that we would dress up. Helen designed it. It was really flowery, the material. Our dresses were all alike, they were flowered. It was pink and white. We dressed alike and marched out in the parade in Orem. I remember that. I have some pictures of it. I don't know where they are. I have a picture of Helen Kelin and Donna Gardener. They're both dead.


WINN: Did Provo have the same kind of activities?


DENYS: Provo always had the Fourth of July and then Salt Lake would have the 24th. We always had a big parade in Provo. We'd always go out. We'd have a big family dinner with our group. A lot of my relatives, my nieces, came out here and married and they had families. This niece I told you had a big family all over. My children came around. We always went to the parade and then came back and had a big dinner and celebrate the rest of the evening with our families. They really had some nice music. It always went down University Avenue and we'd go real early to get a seat. They used to have beautiful trees. They've taken out a lot of trees now, but we could get a shady place. They had wonderful parades.


I have gone to Saltair to dance. We went that far, before it really collapsed and went out of style. They had a lot of dances around here in the ward. It was just usual affair, like the ward and stake. We'd go out in Orem, the Sharon Stake.


WINN: Were there any activities?


DENYS: It was right after the war and people were very poor. They were just trying to struggle to get through. Utah was very, very poor. They didn't pay very high wages at that time. They didn't have very much. It was mostly rural things that we would do in our ward or stake. They had the Gold and Green ball every year. I don't think they have it anymore. They've turned it into other stake activities. That was the big thing. People would dress up.


I remember the governors. I especially liked Bracken Lee. He was controversial. He just died not long ago. He was like me. He was independent, even though he was supposed to be a Democrat. He was very, very popular. He was fair to everybody. Some people hated him because he wasn't Republican or he wasn't enough Democrat. I liked him because he seemed to be fair to everybody. I especially liked Matheson. He died. Matheson was a lawyer. He was one of the most high minded, had the most vision for Utah of any governor I've seen. He died with cancer. Then there was the other guy in St. George. He's still alive.


Have you ever seen what's called a concrete? They build a basement and bring it up and have windows in it. They put tar paper over it. There was a number of houses along here. It hasn't been too long before they tore that tar paper off and went on up with it. That's the way they lived. They had big families. Right down Center Street down there, they kept a tar roof for I don't know how long. Finally they put a nice house up there. They had ten children at least.


WINN: That was the effect of the Depression on them?


DENYS: They didn't have any money. The people right across the street over there, Peay's, they called them some kind of houses. I've never seen anything like it. It must have been terribly hot.


WINN: What about food? Was it ever hard to get any kind of food?


DENYS: No. They had plenty of food in the winter. The people were pioneers and they had cellars. That was a big cellar out there where my carport is. This was a dairy farm. They had big cellars. We put dirt in it and made us a carport. People knew how to conserve and everybody had fruit. Everybody had vegetables. When I first came here there was an old man that owned all of that. It was nothing but fruit farms. They came from Switzerland. He was an early pioneer here. He came out here and showed me how to raise celery.

Interviewee: Camellia Denys
Interviewer: Jennifer Winn
March 28, 1999



Return to Oral Histories List