Audrey Mae SpencerSpencer Historical CemeteryHenry Straight / William Spencer Family Cemetery
Vaughn Historical CemeterySpencers of East Greenwich, RI

Posts Tagged 742 Washington Street

13 November 2002

Heather: How did you get to the Anthony Library building?

Postcard of Audrey and her mother standing in front of their home on Washington Street in Coventry, RI

Audrey: The trolley train went by the front yard (at 742 Washington Street). You could not park a car there because of the trolley. Two houses down was the stop for the Trolley. The trolley went from Knotty Oak to Arctic and turned around and came back. Maisie, I and her mother went to Rocky Point on the trolley car. The side was opened in summer. The gate was closed so the people would not fall out. My mother did not care much for walking around.

My Mother was as tall as Aunt Edith (Audrey’s older sister). I was taller.

Heather: Mother, in those days, a tall woman was not considered as pretty as a shorter woman. But you were pretty. You just happened to get the tall gene. Your mother and your sister didn’t. That is why you did not think you were pretty. You were pretty, but you were tall. Standing next to your mother and Edith, you are a head taller than them, but still you were much shorter than Grampa. I could never understand why you said you were not pretty. Now I know why!

19 February 2003

Heather: Hello, Mother, I hear you have a lot of snow in New England!

MaryJane Vaughn Spencer and William J.B. Spencer at their home at 742 Washington Street, Coventry, Rhode Island

John Edward Spencer

Audrey: Yes, this is the first snow like this since I was a little child. It’s the first bad snow storm since I’ve grown up. The snow is twelve inches high next to the wall, but the streets are all right. Ernie shoveled by the door and Buddy went out and got stuck—he hopped and wiggled a little. (Laughter)

When we lived on the farm, we had to shovel a path to the outhouse. When we moved to Anthony (742 Washington St. in Coventry), we had a bathroom in the house! I was twelve years old and I moved from the country to the town! The Anthony house had one acre of land, I think. We had a garage, a barn, a hen yard and little building and shops. Spencer was a baby then and I can remember uncle Ed come down and took a bath and steam would come out of the bathroom.

Mother, she never would run down anybody. Mother was a very peaceful person. She, unfortunately, let everybody run all over her. She was a quiet woman, never opened her mouth. She liked to be called MaryJane, not Mary or Jane. She was a sweet, gentle person who was friends with all ladies around, even Annie Mertz and Lizzie.

Now Father was quiet but stern. Nobody got away with anything. He led a quiet life. He joined the Sons of Veterans and was busy doing things with Freddie Arnold. I never heard him holler at anybody. He had a nice quiet life. Once a week he played cards. He would milk the cow every day and a Mr. Smith came daily to get a quart of milk. They would talk for about an hour.

As for me, when I was a child, I would sit there and draw from the funnies in the newspaper. I drew Lillie the toiler*. She was so pretty.

Audrey: When are you coming out here again?

(Heather: I plan to be in R.I., for your birthday, March 19th.)

* (Crystal’s explanation of Tillie the Toiler: Tilly the Toiler is the name of the lady that Mom designed outfits for. She  found Tilly in a magazine or newspaper.  It may have been an advertisement for ladies clothes or a cartoon. I’m not aware of any paper or magazine around in 1924 to validate where Tilly the Toiler came from.)

10 January 2004

Heather: What do you remember about your family house on 742 Washington Street in Coventry?

Spencer, Dawn, Douglas, Heather, Deardra and Vaughn MacDonald

Audrey: The front door was never used. It was just to look at. It was beautiful. I can always see that front door of that big house. That door was beautiful. Grampa (William J.B. Spencer) sold the homestead in East Greenwich and we bought the house in Coventry with the money.

I lived there since I was twelve years old until I married and we moved to a small house. We went back to live at 742 Washington Street until we bought the house on East Greenwich Avenue in West Warwick. You (Heather) were nine months old when we moved.

I got by. I had the children there. I was making up things all the time. We would go out and play and pick daisies. The field was full of daisies. But I enjoyed you kids. It was all I needed—my seven masterpieces as I call you.

3 April 2004

Heather: How did you feel when you moved from the farm to 742 Washington Street in Anthony?

Audrey: I liked it better. I had a church, Knotty Oak Church, to go to.  Mr. Buecker, the minister, had twin sons who went to Africa as missionaries. The twins were both handsome

Beatrice and I were baptized at the same time.  We were dunked in the water. The minister told me to close eyes and hold breath. Grandma and Mrs. Shippee and Beatrice and I were always in Church.

22 May 2004

Heather: What was life like for your parents when they sold the homestead and bought the house on 742 Washington Street?

Audrey: Grandpa was thrilled to give the horse a vacation and get an auto. A man wanted to buy the horse. I can not remember if we had a horse in Anthony or not? I can’t remember if and how long we had the horse in Anthony.
I remember when we had a trolley go right by the house. In one ice storm, it skidded off the tracks into Grandma’s front door. There was little damage.