Log Cabin Chronicles

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© 1998 Ross Murray

Farewell, Taylor Clan


MASSAWIPPI , QUEBEC | After more than 125 years on this one piece of land, the Taylor clan of Massawippi bade farewell to many of the family's possessions Saturday at a good old country auction.

Taylor family
Russell Taylor waited on his porch with daughters Nancy Hibbard and Trudy McLeod as the auction went on in the yard. All photographs © 1998 Ross Murray.

Russell Taylor and daughters Nancy Hibbard and Trudy McLeod - fourth and fifth generations to live in the house - were on hand to watch the old picture frames, harnesses, trunks, scythes, tractors, and miscellaneous whatzits fall under the gavel of auctioneer Ross Bennett.

"Every piece of furniture has a history," said Hibbard.

Auctioneer Ross Bennett (centre) and helpers Scott Bennett (right) and Danny Bousquet auction off sleds from yesteryear. .

One of those pieces was Taylor's great-grandfather Mitchell Taylor's chair, which still had the grooves where he laid his needles. "He was a Taylor by name and a tailor by trade," said Hibbard.

Mitchell Taylor came to Canada in the 1840s and settled in Massawippi in 1860. The brick house on the edge of Highway 143 is not exactly as it was, explained Russell Taylor, but the old beams of the original house still support the current one.

Through the years, a series of Taylor men took over the farm.

"I think they had big families to make sure they got a boy," laughed Taylor. "But in our line we didn't have any boys."

Now living in Place Sanborn in Ayer's Cliff since September, Taylor said there were no surprises as he and his family sorted items for Saturday's auction.

"I knew them all as soon as I saw them," he said.

As for the daughters, they had been so busy preparing for the auction, they hadn't had time to think about what it all means for their family, said Hibbard. But they did have time to carve out a chunk of beam that lists the family history. Like Mitchell Taylor's needle-scarred chair, the history was not for sale Saturday.

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Copyright © 1998 John Mahoney/Log Cabin Chronicles/10.98