Abstract

This is Helyn Toth's second interview, a follow-up to her interview about growing up on the Hunt Farm in Everett, Ohio. In this interview, Helyn focuses on the nearby Point Farm, (now called the Point-Biro Farm), that was started in the early 1880s by her great-grandfather Nathanial Point. On the Point Farm, the Point family mainly raise dairy cattle and shipped the unprocessed milk to milk companies in Akron.

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Interviewee

Toth, Helyn Fiedler (interviewee)

Interviewer

Conklin, Carolyn (interviewer)

Transcript

Transcription sponsored by Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Helyn Toth [00:00:00] Farms our great grandfather had. At that time, the 1870 census, which was kind of early in his farming career, he had only three milk cows and he had other cattle. I don't know what that was, maybe an ox and I don't know. He had 35 sheep and six swine. He raised six hundred bushels of Indian corn. He had 200 bushels of oats, 130 of wheat and 60 pounds of wool from the sheep.

Carolyn Conklin [00:00:32] Who is that?

Helyn Toth [00:00:34] He was considered a successful farmer.

Carolyn Conklin [00:00:37] Who is this? Your grandfather?

Helyn Toth [00:00:39] My great... My great grandfather.

Carolyn Conklin [00:00:43] And that's Nathanial Point?

Helyn Toth [00:00:45] Pardon me?

Carolyn Conklin [00:00:46] Is that Nathanial Point?

Helyn Toth [00:00:48] Nathanial Point Sr.

Carolyn Conklin [00:00:49] Okay. [laughs].

Helyn Toth [00:00:50] Yes. Yes. Then I mean, you're welcome to look over any of this because I made it for you, but it's mine to keep. This shows again where my house was. You come across Bolanz Road, cross the river, and here's the Point Farm. And it was on either side of the road. At that time they used to build the houses on one side and the barns on the other side, I think for sanitary purposes, practically.

Carolyn Conklin [00:01:26] Okay.

Helyn Toth [00:01:26] This shows the Point. Great-great grandparents. And I've gone to the cemetery and hunted up his grave. I've been there three or four times and I found it right away and his children and then we come down to... That was great-great grandfather's. Great grandfather. He's the one that built the house.

Carolyn Conklin [00:01:51] Okay.

Helyn Toth [00:01:52] Or had it built or whatever he did. And this was my mom. And my dad. This is me. This is my husband. These are my... I have two sons that are both married and then it shows my brother and his wife and their kids. And we have... Go on down here. So there aren't too many of these people in my generation that are left. Some of these people didn't have children. And of course, they're all gone because they'd be in the hundreds. And then we come down to some of the people from Nathanial Point Jr. and he had a lot of kids. And about the only one that's left, I think, is—you've talked, I think, with Jean Call, have you not?

Carolyn Conklin [00:02:45] No.

Helyn Toth [00:02:46] No? Well, she would... She would've been a Point. She was the daughter of Archie Point, who was my mother's cousin. So she did have the Point name. This is a well that my great grandfather had. These are the little girls. [laughs] I love these. This was Martha who was married to Frank Stewart, and she died when she was only 28 years old and they just had one little girl who's been dead a long time.

Carolyn Conklin [00:03:21] How are they related to you?

Helyn Toth [00:03:23] Pardon me?

Carolyn Conklin [00:03:23] How are they related to you?

Helyn Toth [00:03:26] Alright. These are the children of Nathanial Point Sr. And this is my grandmother.

Carolyn Conklin [00:03:33] What's her name?

Helyn Toth [00:03:35] Manda. Her name was... See they all began with M's. [laughs] But they called her Mandy. And some people called her Amanda, but her name was Manda. And that was my grandmother. And this was a younger girl. And then they had another daughter but she was born after these pictures were taken. I think these were all taken at the same time. But I knew her the best because she lived to 1954 and I was already an adult so I remember her very... She was like my grandma because she died before I was born, before my parents were even married. She didn't live very long. She was 53 and then my grandma when she was a young adult, this and this is the same person. Then they had this one little boy at the last moment, and that's Nathanial Point Jr. when he was just, I don't know, maybe about 18 months, I'm thinking. This shows the Point house. This is their Point barnyard and this tells about great grandfather Point. He died when he was 76, so he was kind of old for back in those days and it tells that he, of course, had outlived his wife and he left five children, the four girls that were still surviving and the son. They used to have funerals at the house. This is my uncle when he was little. This is my grandma. This is my grandmother. That's her sister. We called her Manie. Her name was Mary. This is one of the first daughters. My grandma ended up being like almost 300 pounds. She was enormous. And I asked my mother why, and she said because she was a good cook. They didn't have refrigeration and she didn't like to throw things away, so she ate what was left. So my mother always weighed about one hundred and twelve. And this shows the one barn and it shows a man over on the swing. And there's a road right in between there. This is like the front yard. What do we have here? This is actually the well, I'm sorry, that was something else over there. This is my mom. This is her brother. And that's another picture of the house. It's my mom and this shows another view of the barn. They're sitting on the opposite side of the house by the barns. Excuse me. This is my mother. This is her brother. These two girls are the Southwick girls, and they were from Cleveland. I don't know these men. Evidently, they were maybe boyfriends or something, I don't know. This is my mom. These people are all Points. This was Bertha who was about my mom's age, and she was the daughter of Nathanial Point Jr. These two girls are sisters. This is Bessie and Audrey. And this one is about the same age as my mother and she's younger. And they all hated my mom because she had like a 20-inch waist. They used to tell me about this when I was growing up. We didn't like your mom. [laughs] She had the best figure. This shows all the children that were living of the Nathanial Point family. This is my mom's Uncle Nate. This is my Aunt Ed, my mom's Aunt Ed. This is Aunt Nell, his wife, holding one of the children. This is Aunt Manie or Aunt Mary. This Aunt Millie. This is Cousin Frances. This one is one of this girl and this girl are her daughters. This is my grandma. And she's holding one of their little girls who is Mary. And I got to know Mary very well. And she was my fav... She was the favorite of my grandma's. And again, I don't really know for sure about these men. I knew all these husbands when they were older, but I'm not too sure about those right there. This was something that the park put out about the design. It was typical and everything. This is my brother when he was about five, and that's in the front. He's standing in the front yard of the Point Farm and it shows that there used to be two big barns. And I think there's only just one there. And that's the way kids used to dress and I kept this because it doesn't relate to down there, but it shows back in 1860, how the typical American... 58 percent were engaged in farming as opposed to today, two percent. So people back in those days were either farmers or carpenters or professional men. Those were the occupations that were popular at that time. and it tells us about the work week. Used to be 62 hours a week. Now the average is 34. And about the different heights, my mom said she used to be the tallest girl in Everett, and she she wasn't tall because I was a lot taller. [laughs] My dad was six foot and my mom was about maybe like five-five or five-six, and she said that was tall at that time, and it was because every type was five, three and a half inches. And they used to have more children. Average was five. Now it's two. And the life expectancy used to only be like 43 years old and 77. Of course, it even... Obviously, I'm more than 77. And the black live even less. And then this tells about my grandma when she died, and this was the... For her grave, my mom tells that she was in Everett on the farm. She was the daughter of Nathanial Point, Jr., and that's the warranty deed for that. And I just saved these because it just tells about Nathanial Point Sr. and then Jr. And Junior ironically, Nathanial Point and his wife had children almost the age of my mother, and then their last child was my age. It was strange. This was... I called him my cousin, but he was only like my second cousin, you know. He was actually my mom's cousin. And he was killed in an automobile accident on a Akron-Peninsula Road when he was only 19. And that isn't so much, it's my mom and my dad and a couple other people. And this shows something that the park put out and they didn't even realize what it was, but that's my dad. [laughs] I had given this picture to so many people, I think I gave it to Wendy, the volunteer down there, and I'd also given it to Randy, the librarian, head librarian here and also Jeff Winstall and so it got no acknowledgment, but that's my picture. And this is my dad and his calf, and that's my aunt. And this shows the cornfield behind the house. And this shows what used to be a corn crib. It's no longer there. But I showed it to my kids and I said, Do you do know who this is? Oh, that's grandpa. [laughs] And the crazy thing is my older son lives on a small farm and he raises a... He used to raise sheep and he kind of changed over to raising miniature horses, which are kind of in fashion now. And so he has about a dozen miniature horses and about four little young ones. And I wanted to show you the Point Farm. Here we go. This is what the National Park tells about.

Carolyn Conklin [00:12:47] Okay, I do have this at my desk, so I will be able to look through this.

Helyn Toth [00:13:03] Okay. Yes, and see, this is what happened when it got all the Point hands and became over to the Biros, they broke it all up in pieces and then they sold topsoil and sand and gravel. They raped the farm. I'm sorry to say that, but that's what they did. And then they made homes... homesites for all their kids. And so it's not anything like... The house is pretty much like it was. it's been improved a little bit, but I was there a couple of years ago and went through it. The woman was kind enough to let me go through. But...

Carolyn Conklin [00:13:46] I have... We have the list of questions that was sent to you, but I kind of just want to go through those and have you say whatever you remember or were told, even if you weren't there.

Helyn Toth [00:13:59] Well, I think my body is getting bad, but my mind, I think it's still alright. [laughs]

Carolyn Conklin [00:14:09] Well, first, today is July 13, 2011. I'm Carolyn Conklin from Cleveland State University. And Helyn, can you introduce yourself?

Helyn Toth [00:14:19] And Helyn Toth. I live in Seven Hills. I used to be... I was born in the Point Farm in Everett.

Carolyn Conklin [00:14:26] When were you born again?

Helyn Toth [00:14:27] I was born in 1920.

Carolyn Conklin [00:14:33] Okay, the first question is just to explain your relationship to the Point family.

Helyn Toth [00:14:38] It goes way, way back. Although I didn't know my great-great grandparents—they had died before I came along—but I have records of the great-great grandparents, the great grandparents, my grandparents, and of course my parents. And they all have originated from the Points.

Carolyn Conklin [00:14:59] And how was the farm started?

Helyn Toth [00:15:05] That would be hard to tell because that was back in the early 1800s and I don't know why. I think they just probably came here from someplace, maybe east. I haven't really found out where great-great grandfather came from.

Carolyn Conklin [00:15:19] Do you know his name?

Helyn Toth [00:15:25] I should know this. I was at his grave not too long ago. Great grandfather was Nathanial Sr. Great-great grandparents were Steven, who was born in 1791, died in 1833, and his wife was Mary who was born in 1790 and died in 1860. So obviously I didn't know them.

Carolyn Conklin [00:16:15] And Stephen, is it spelled...

Helyn Toth [00:16:18] S-T-E-P-H-E-N. "Steffan" like some people may say.

Carolyn Conklin [00:16:28] Did you ever hear anything about what your great-great grandparents were like, any stories about them?

Helyn Toth [00:16:36] Well, my great-great grandparents were gone before my mother was born, so I don't know too much about them. But I have been to the grave. It's in Irish cemetery opposite Hale Farm.

Carolyn Conklin [00:16:54] And how about your great grandparents?

Helyn Toth [00:16:57] Oh, I've heard lots of stories about them. Of course they lived, especially Nathanial Point Sr., lived until my mother was a young adult, so I have stories about him. And he and his brothers were evidently adventurers because she used to tell me that they had all gone out to the California gold rush when they were young fellows. And a couple of them on the way back homesteaded in Iowa, Newell, Iowa. But apparently great grandfather decided to come back to Ohio.

Carolyn Conklin [00:17:36] And what else do you know about him?

Helyn Toth [00:17:38] Well, I heard from some other relatives that he was very strict and very proud, and he always wanted to be the first in the town to have practically everything that was new. [laughs] He bought a big square piano and decided that someone in the family had to be an expert and really be very good at piano, so the lucky subject turned out to my mother, who naturally had musical abilities, and she became a classical pianist and an excellent one.

Carolyn Conklin [00:18:16] Anything else about him?

Helyn Toth [00:18:21] Well, he became ill the last years of his life, and my grandmother had to take care of him. I guess he became quite crabby. [laughs]

Carolyn Conklin [00:18:31] And what was your great grandmother's name?

Helyn Toth [00:18:35] Her name was Betsy. And she had died in 1888 and great grandpa had lived until 1902. So I'm sure my mother doesn't remember her or her grandmother too much.

Carolyn Conklin [00:18:57] Do you know what kind of farm they had or what they grew?

Helyn Toth [00:19:01] Well, it was considered a dairy farm, but they also raised sheep and a few pigs, or swine as they're called. And I think they raised mostly grains. According to statistics, their farm was above average in success.

Carolyn Conklin [00:19:32] Were dairy farms popular then? Or did a lot of people have dairy farms?

Helyn Toth [00:19:39] I think dairy farms were quite popular because when you're talking about that era, the late 1700s and the early 1800s, there wasn't much transportation. People relied on horses. And I think that when the canal came along and some of these other better facilities, the railroad and everything, I think the trend to have farms was changed a little bit. But I think a lot of cheese factories became popular down in the Valley. There were maybe half a dozen and I think that's why dairy farming became popular. It was a matter of transportation.

Carolyn Conklin [00:20:21] Were the cheese factories around in your lifetime or did they all go away?

Helyn Toth [00:20:26] They had disappeared before that. [laughs]

Carolyn Conklin [00:20:31] Can you describe the dairy farm operation a little more? Do you know anything about what it took to have a dairy farm?

Helyn Toth [00:20:41] I would rely on what I know today. I remember all the barns and all the equipment and all the various tools and things they had at the Point Farm, but I wasn't too much involved with that. And we raised more of a truck farm with vegetables and fruits. But I do know that there used to have a stone-built, what they called a milk house, and this is where they were able to keep the milk cool. You remember there was no refrigeration, there was no electricity at that time. So I think they just had routines. And it was... They had to milk them. They had to feed them. And I think early in the game, they had to really raise all their own feed.

Carolyn Conklin [00:21:32] Do you know how the Points sold their farm products or their dairy products?

Helyn Toth [00:21:39] I think they must have sold them primarily to cheese factories, and then when the railroad came along, I do remember my Uncle Nate who was like Nathanial Point Jr. going past our house with a horse-drawn wagon with milk cans, and then they used to take it over to the depot and they would ship them to Akron.

Carolyn Conklin [00:22:05] So was your Uncle Nathanial a milk hauler then? Was that a job he had?

Helyn Toth [00:22:12] No.

Carolyn Conklin [00:22:14] Oh, he wasn't the one driving the milk?

Helyn Toth [00:22:16] Well, he would take these milk cans over to the depot and then they would be shipped to Akron. Now, what they did in Akron, I don't know. [laughs]

Carolyn Conklin [00:22:28] Was there a farm stand, or did they go to farmer's markets, do you know?

Helyn Toth [00:22:33] They weren't that kind of farmer.

Carolyn Conklin [00:22:39] And then you've already said that they had a successful farm, but could you speak a little more to that? Do you how do you know they had a success farm?

Helyn Toth [00:22:48] I have statistics that were obtained from old records that were at the county courthouse. And I think this shows that they mostly just raised to support themselves and to support their cows or dairy farm. And they were not in the market to only grow vegetables and things for their own use primarily.

Carolyn Conklin [00:23:14] So did the family members have to get other jobs to support the family?

Helyn Toth [00:23:21] I don't think they needed other jobs at this early age, things were so inexpensive that you could live quite well and still be frugal. But I think when Nathanial Jr. came back on the farm, he had moved to Akron when he married and had his first children. But he moved back to the farm and he had been a musician. He was an excellent musician. He played several instruments very, very well. And he also had a job at the rubber company in Akron. He should have stayed there because he was not a good farmer. I hate to say that.

Carolyn Conklin [00:24:03] Why do you say that? What happened?

Helyn Toth [00:24:05] He just didn't have his heart in and it's hard work and you have to have a routine and you have to really love to be a farmer. My dad loved to be out in the in the garden and working with animals, but he was a musician. He was a city boy. And it was unfortunate that he thought that would be nice with his.... He had a large family. He thought would be nice to be out in the country back again. His horse would die, his cow would die, the crops would fail. It's all I want to say.

Carolyn Conklin [00:24:45] And that was your great grandfather you were talking about?

Helyn Toth [00:24:48] No I'm talking about my mother's uncle. He would've... He would not have been only just my second uncle or great uncle. He was the son of my great grandparents.

Carolyn Conklin [00:25:09] What was his name? Was that Nathanial?

Helyn Toth [00:25:09] This man that moved back to farm is Nathanial Point Jr.

Carolyn Conklin [00:25:15] I may have to make a copy of the family tree. [laughs]

Helyn Toth [00:25:17] Okay! I think that... That's why I want to explain it to you. [laughs] There are so many Points that get confused.

Carolyn Conklin [00:25:32] Okay, so we've talked about your great-great grandparents and your great grandparents. What about your grandparents, so your mother's mother?

Helyn Toth [00:25:44] My... I only knew my grandfather briefly when I was six years old, and then he was... He committed suicide. My grandmother was... had been a Point and she married Calvin Stall. He came from Akron and his parents had owned a hotel. He moved out to Everett. He and Frank Stewart, who was his brother in law, went into business and they were very popular and apparently successful in the canal days. They sold almost everything. They had an inn, they sold groceries and provisions and country produce, and they were horse breeders and dealers. It also said they had cigars and wine and beer and liquor. [laughs] Basically, my grandfather was a horse trainer and he... Eventually that's what he ended up being at North Randall Park. And Manda Stall died before my parents were married. Unfortunately, I have pictures of her and stories of her, but I don't have any memory because I never saw her. We shared the same month, the birthday, October. I kind of think I'm a reincarnation. [laughs]

Carolyn Conklin [00:27:15] And what stories do you have about her?

Helyn Toth [00:27:18] She was an excellent cook. Everybody loved her, but she was heavy. She ate all the leftovers. And I don't think it bothered her. But she was... My dad worked as a hired man on her farm for a time. And he said that she was very kind and he really loved her.

Carolyn Conklin [00:27:42] And your mother was born on the Point Farm too?

Helyn Toth [00:27:46] I'm not sure if she was born there. I know she was... I know she lived there. Her mother and father were married in Everett and lived in Everett. But I'm not sure if they lived in another home for a couple of years before her father moved on. I just know that she lived on the Point Farm most of her life.

Carolyn Conklin [00:28:16] Did she share any stories about her experiences on the Point Farm?

Helyn Toth [00:28:21] She used to have to milk the cows [laughs] and she didn't like that because she thought it made her nuckles large and she was very conscious of her hands because she was a pianist. And I think she liked being on the farm but she also liked the city life and she had many friends in Akron and in Cleveland.

Carolyn Conklin [00:28:47] Was the Point Farm still in the dairy business at that... during your mother's time?

Helyn Toth [00:28:52] Yes.

Carolyn Conklin [00:28:54] Did they ever change operations? Or did...

Helyn Toth [00:28:56] I don't believe so.

Carolyn Conklin [00:29:00] Do you know how many cows they had?

Helyn Toth [00:29:02] I think back in 1870, they had only three or four, but that was when he first started to farm. [laughs]

Carolyn Conklin [00:29:13] And then how do you know how many they had by your mother's time?

Helyn Toth [00:29:17] I know it was more because I do have a picture where some cows are roaming around in the barnyard. [laughs]

Carolyn Conklin [00:29:24] Can you give me a general description of what the farm looks like, the layout?

Helyn Toth [00:29:30] I always loved the Point Farm, and I think one of the reasons is because we had a collection of Indian relics and up on the hilltop I used to dream about the Indians that used to live there many, many years before I came along. I'm a dreamer and I can imagine them being on this higher ground out there looking or maybe having some kind of a smoke signal or something and looking out because they could see the river and you could see the flat land and it was very fertile soil at one time. Unfortunately, the new buyers of the Point Farm broke it in pieces and much of the fertile land was destroyed because they sold topsoil and they sold gravel and they sold sand by the truckload. So the value of much of the farmland is not there anymore.

Carolyn Conklin [00:30:29] So when when did the Points sell the farm? What's the kind of trail of acquisition of the farm?

Helyn Toth [00:30:42] Nathanial Point Jr., my mother's uncle, died when he was... in 1937. And his widow and youngest son, who was my age, still lived there the following year. In 1938, Nathanial Point III, or Junior Junior, was killed and he was only 18 or 19 years old. And so the farm had to be sold. There was no one to take care of it anymore.

Carolyn Conklin [00:31:21] And were you living at the farm at this point?

Helyn Toth [00:31:27] Yes.

Carolyn Conklin [00:31:29] Who sold, or do you know who the Points sold the farm to?

Helyn Toth [00:31:35] It ultimately was sold to the Biro family who had lived further down north on Akron-Peninsula Road. Ironically, I have to tell you, we never called it that Akron-Peninsula Road. We just called it the road. And then when it was built, we called it the boulevard. [laughs]

Carolyn Conklin [00:31:59] Going back a little bit, do you know how... How did either your great grandparents or the first, the earlier generations, how did they know how to farm or know how to start a dairy business?

Helyn Toth [00:32:12] I think in the 1800s, you were either a farmer or a carpenter or a professional person, perhaps a lawyer or something like, or a doctor, but I think that this is just something that they thought they were more talented in. I don't think they had to go to college to be a farmer in those days.

Carolyn Conklin [00:32:35] And did the farm remain successful over time?

Helyn Toth [00:32:43] What do I say? I think Nathanial Point Sr. was the successful farmer.

Carolyn Conklin [00:32:58] And what have been the biggest changes to the farm over time?

Helyn Toth [00:33:04] I think the biggest and saddest change was after the Biros purchased it, and I'm not... I don't mean to be nasty about the Biros because I knew them and I liked them, but they had three sons and a daughter, and the first thing they did was cut it up in different sections. And two of the sons built homes just to the north of the farmhouse. And another son built a house on the other side of the road on the barn side, just to the north of the barns. And by cutting it up, this was not good as far as the whole size of the farm and then by having the topsoil and the sand and gravel sold this really, to my way of thinking, spoiled the farming. The house remains quite a bit the same. It has some improvements, but I went into it just a few years ago and all my dreams and all my memories came back.

Carolyn Conklin [00:34:23] Part of our project is to talk about changes in technology and transportation, and I know you were either very young or not born yet during when the canal was here and then and the introduction of the railroads, but have you heard anything in your family's history about how the canal and railroads really impacted their lives?

Helyn Toth [00:34:51] Because I'm as old as I am, I really think back in canal days, and I think that was a big revelation and I think it really... what it did not only for the farmers, it gave them an opportunity to sell their merchandise. But I think the main thing it did, it made Akron and Cleveland the cities that they are. I don't think anybody understands what the canal meant. It meant so much for the popularity and the success of the cities. However, that was rather archaic and it changed a lot when the railroads came and then the railroads were faster and probably cheaper and that became very popular. And I do remember the railroads when they ran because we used to go back and forth to Akron on the railroad. The roads were so bad they were not navigable sometimes by car. I think after the railroads came, the popularity of cars and then trucking and then planes and so transportation has changed. And remarkably, I remember all these things except the canal, but the canal was right at the edge of our property. So I walked on the towpath when I was just a little, little girl.

Carolyn Conklin [00:36:14] As far as the Point Farm, what... Are there any of the old historic structures? Are they still standing? What's left, I guess?

Helyn Toth [00:36:25] Well, to go back even further, my mother's older cousin that one time, and a couple other relatives have told me, at one time before the house was built, there was a log cabin in the back of there. Now, who lived in there, I cannot verify, but I'm kind of assuming it might have been my great-great grandparents. Then my mother told me just briefly one time that the original Point Farm house burned down and was replaced. So I can't put a date on those accurately. I would just be guessing. I don't know what else you...

Carolyn Conklin [00:37:09] What other structures or buildings?

Helyn Toth [00:37:11] Oh, there are many structures across the street. It was the popular thing at that time to build the house on one side of a road and all the barns and equipment things across the street. And that's the way it was at the Point Farm. And I do remember two big barns. I think one one barn was for the cattle, the other barn was for the equipment, the wagons and carts and buggies. And I remember a milk house. And then I think there were a couple of other buildings over there. But the only thing that I see that's remaining there now is the one large barn.

Carolyn Conklin [00:37:53] And what does that barn look like?

Helyn Toth [00:37:55] Pardon me?

Carolyn Conklin [00:37:56] What does the barn look like?

Helyn Toth [00:37:58] The barn is a typical, typical barn for a successful farm. It's still standing and looks pretty good. And of course, there's a couple there farming the farm now and they're raising fainting goats and turkeys. And I hear they have some pigs now and a special breed of chickens. I've been down there, and they've welcomed me in and I've been in the house and in their barn.

Carolyn Conklin [00:38:35] Well, I am out of questions. So do you have any other memorable stories or anything else you would like to have on record here to share about the Point Farm?

Helyn Toth [00:38:43] I have a lot of happy memories. I visited there often. The younger Point, Nathanial, who was called Junior by people his age and who was called Sonny by his mother and his brothers and sisters, was my age. And we played together and sat on the porch. The thing I really remember of the Point Farm so much, especially the house, was the porch. The porch was sort of an L shaped. And at one end there was a two-person swing and it was, of course, anchored by the ceiling. And Junior and I used to sit there a lot talking about school and talking to other friends and eating cookies. My mom's Aunt Nell was an excellent baker and she always made this huge sugar cookies. And not only did they have sugar on the top, but they always had a big seeded raisin in the middle and they were just so yummy. After I was married, I wrote her a note and asked her if she'd send me the recipe for her sugar cookies. And she sent it to me, but it was so vague I never made them. [laughs] I think she just tossed things in the bowl and mixed 'em up, but they sure were good. We often were invited over there for holiday dinners. They had a large family. They ranged, as I said, from age... almost my mother's age to my age. And so we had a lot in common to go over there. I came from just a small family with only a younger brother.

Carolyn Conklin [00:40:32] Any other memories?

Helyn Toth [00:40:36] We probably have a lot that I can't think of just at the moment. I think of them all the time. I still keep in touch with [inaudible] Point families, the grandchildren of my mom's Uncle Nate. See them occasionally.

Carolyn Conklin [00:40:59] So how old were you when the Point, the Point Farm was sold to the Biros or somebody else and you said 1930, I think, so for you about...

Helyn Toth [00:41:08] I think it must have been around maybe 1940. I know it was after the two men died.

Carolyn Conklin [00:41:19] So you were about 20 years old, I think?

Helyn Toth [00:41:21] Mmm. But don't forget, I was fully occupied. I had a job and a boyfriend. [laughs] And Junior was dead, so there wasn't quite the connection for a while.

Carolyn Conklin [00:41:39] What's your kind of last big memory about being on the Point Farm?

Helyn Toth [00:41:54] It's hard to say because all the memories are still encased in my brain and Aunt Nell did stay in town. She moved to a rental place and lived by herself because she was a widow. And so I used to see her occasionally, but I had moved to the Cleveland area by that time.

Carolyn Conklin [00:42:20] Anything else? Anything?

Helyn Toth [00:42:23] I can't think of anything right now. [laughs]

Carolyn Conklin [00:42:25] Okay, I'll turn this off.

Project

Cuyahoga Valley Project

Date

7-13-2011

Document Type

Oral History

Duration

42 minutes

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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