by Elinor Amee
Memories of East Eliot in the 1940s
In East Eliot lies Rosemary Hill, part of Great Hill which slopes down to Sturgeon Creek, just before Rte 236. On snowy evenings in the 1940’s, Bob Wiggin, John Sullivan, Annie Sullivan, David Wilson and I would drag our old wooden bob-sled out of the big red barn. Some nights we were joined by others from South Eliot. There was room enough on the two part sled for at least six people. At the top of the hill we would make sure there was no traffic coming up Depot Road as far down as the John and Rose Staples home, which was the last one we could see.
If the road had a really good coating of ice and snow, it was possible to go all the way from the top of the hill to Sturgeon Creek. Three or four rides a night were usually enough and we’d take turns pulling the 60 pound sled back the one-half mile to the top of the hill.
If we were lucky, the town snow plow would make one trip to the top of the hill without dropping any sand, then park the plow and slide with us. In the 1940’s we could slide for two or three hours before any traffic came from either direction.
It was especially nice on moonlit nights when we could see where we were going. At that time the only lights were at the two farms between Goodwin Road and the railroad track.
One night when we were using our regular individual sleds I remember going down the hill and I always kept to the high side of the corner at the bottom. Vehicles had a habit of sliding into the ditch on the other side because of the way it was banked. (They still do.) Just as I reached the corner, I met a car coming up on the other side. I don’t know which one of us was more frightened.