The Wright Home
411 Henson Street, Livingston
This home will be remembered as the place Carson Wright and wife Mildred Wright owned and raised their family, daughter, Barbara, sons, John Kelly and Joel Douglas. It is presently owned by their daughter, Barbara.
|This week’s journal entry
features another one of Livingston’s older homes that is not included in
the tour for the Bicentennial Celebration. This particular one will be
remembered by many as the Carson Wright and wife Mildred Wright home. It
is presently owned by their daughter, Barbara Wright McConnell, and is the
home where she, along with her older brother, John Kelly Wright, and
younger brother, Joel Douglas Wright, grew up. Barbara shared these
memories about her home at 411 Henson Street here in Livingston:
"First, the house was probably built in the 1920's. Originally, the house had a center hall with three rooms on each side of the hall, making it suitable for two families, or ideal as we know today as a "mother's suite". In the late 1940's my father remodeled the house by taking out the center hall and raising the ceilings on the upstairs portion, making two substantial bedrooms upstairs, a new kitchen downstairs, and a full-sized basement."
"Currently, the house consists of five bedrooms, LR, DR, large kitchen, backporch, standup attic and a basement with four large storage areas."
"My father and mother bought the house around 1940 from Haskel and Marie Roberts, (John Robert's parents)."
"Growing up on Henson Street was idyllic. Wonderful neighbors, children to play, and a feeling of being safe, and belonging. The children included Bill Winningham, Tom Davis, Sid Mathis (Bill's cousin); John and Carole Roberts. If we weren't in school we played all day, making up games, baseball, bicycles, scooters, roller skates - yes, the sidewalk was even in those days."
"While there was lots of time for play and being a child, there was also chores that we were expected to do. Make our beds; feed the chickens and whatever other animals we had at the time; set the table; dry the dishes at supper only; do our homework; practice the piano; help dust on Saturdays; help with simple ironing (my mother ironed everything from handkerchiefs to dishtowels!!); It seems every conversation I ever had with mother was on the backporch at the ironing board. I would sit on a stool and she would iron. I was fascinated with how she ironed sleeves, ruffles, gathers, etc. Nobody irons anymore. Where on earth do they have conversations with their mother? Or, I would sit on a kitchen stool by the stove and watch her cook. I had never cooked a meal in my life when I left home, and yet the stove and kitchen were second nature to me."
"Mother was a wonderful homemaker. The house was always sparkling, with lots of light and great smells coming from the kitchen. I can remember waking up and smelling the bacon, (a wonderful alarm clock), and on Sundays - every Sunday - we had homemade waffles - another glorious smell. During the school months, we walked home for lunch where there would be homemade rolls, soups, sandwiches, and every teacher was delighted to have us in class because mother would always fix a plate for the teacher."
"There weren't too many restrictions in those days about playing outside, going to someone's house or even playing the in the streets. The hard and fast rules were: don't go farther than it takes to hear Mother call us; be home at 12 o'clock sharp for lunch; and 5 o'clock for supper."
"Mother did all our sewing, curtains, slipcovers, as well as clothes, so the house always had something new and fresh going on. Unfortunately, she also loved to wallpaper and paint, which involved some help from her children - which we hated!"
"Christmas was exciting for us because Mother loved Christmas - the decorating, the cooking, and wrapping of presents . Most of our presents were either made by mother or daddy in his shop."
"Children and neighbors were always welcome at our house to play cards on a rainy day, sit on the front porch and drink iced tea. Oh that wonderful porch and front porch swing. I have gone a million miles in my head, daydreaming in that swing. It has been one of the many constants in my life. Its simply always there. And, it is perhaps where my memories are most likely to surface, such as being little and having a birthday party on the porch; playing games when it was raining; waiting for a boyfriend to pick me up; hoping a cute boy would drive by so I could wave from the porch; waiting for Daddy to turn the corner in his old pick up truck and me racing down the street to catch a ride on his running board; playing with our beautiful old dog, "Scott"; standing on the porch when the sheriff came and told Daddy he had shot Scott. Daddy had brought that dog home one day in his coat pocket; driving up in the driveway after I left home, seeing the front porch and swing and knowing I was home."
Thank you, Barbara, for allowing us to look back at the wonderful, carefree days of your childhood years. Reading your story was almost as good as a visit in person.