Interview with Mr. and Mrs. Loveless conducted on 14 August 1978.
Mr. and Mrs. Loveless moved to St. George in 1941. They have very active in both farming and the community life. Since 1971, they have been living in the Adelaide Hunter-Hoodless Homestead. In this interview, they tell us of farming, and Organizations in St. George. Mr. Loveless was Warden of the County in 1969.
Interviewer: When did you come to St. George?
Mrs. Loveless: July 25, 1941.
Interviewer: You moved right to the farm?
Mrs. Loveless: Yes.
Interviewer: Who did you buy the farm from?
Mrs. Loveless: Mrs. Edith Kitchen.
Interviewer: Do you know much about the history of the farm?
Mrs. Loveless: Yes, I know it right back. Well, it belonged to the Jonah Howells. Actually, it was people by the name of Smith who had it first and they gave that little Presbyterian cemetery off the corner of our farm. They were the people that gave it. The little church stood in Alec Howell’s garden there. But then the Jonah Howells. Then Alec’s people bought it. Frank Howell’s father was Jonah. Alec’s grandfather bought it. And he bought it for them and his father Clark and Alec came down there to live. He had four sons, you see. One of them had where the Waters are and the other had where Jim lives. One was Fred and the other was Arthur. He bought the farm down here for Clark and Alec. Well, Alec never married, and Clark only had the two children, Alec that’s here now and his sister, Edith. Well, they sold the farm in 1914, at the time of the outbreak of the First World War. They sold it to Mr. Chelcraft, who had been a butter maker at the Malcolms plant. And in 1926, Mr. Chelcraft was killed. He never really knew the whole ins and outs of that story. So then Mrs. Chelcraft had a sale, and sold off her pretty good herd of Holstein cattle to a man by the name of Smith and apparently they came in there just on a shoestring and they had it about a year, when, without Mrs. Chelcraft knowing it, they packed up and moved out in the night and took the carpets out of the house and they were Just gone. They hadn’t any money to pay up, so instead of facing that, they took what they could and left. Mrs. Chelcraft at that time was living in London. So then she sold it to Mr. Umphrey. Really what she did, Mr. Umphrey was & builder in Toronto, and she traded that farm in St. George for two $9,000 houses in Toronto. It was Mrs. Umphrey who landscaped all around the place, see, when we came there, there was more landscaping than there is now. So he also did quite a lot of selling, he sold off the woods, anyway. He sold it for quite a lot of money. Then they sold it to a man by the name of McAlpine, who was a tailor in London, and his wife was a semi-invalid and they went into chickens pretty strongly and had the buildings all fitted out for chickens. I don t know exactly how long it was they had it, but not that long. They sold it to Mrs. Kitchen. Mrs. Kitchen had two sons, and she thought they wanted to farm. She also had a farm down near Lake Erie that her people had left her and she asked the advice of her banker, and he advised her not to touch this farm, because she had fifty acres down there, and if her sons wanted to farm, it would be enough for them to try out on. However she went ahead and bought the farm, she had a garage in St. George. She hadn't had the farm very long and one of her sons went driving an Imperial Oil truck and the other was a mechanic so they didn't stay with her. So you see the farm had, from the time of the Chelcrafts, had just gone down and down, because a lot of the people didn't understand farming. As old Mr. Scott said, the place had been bedevilled. The fences were gone and the stones hadn't been picked and the buildings had gone down, because the Bowell's had been very strong in beef and others in chickens. All kinds of different things.
Interviewer: So when you came in 1941, there was a lot of work to do on the farm.
Mrs. Loveless: Yes, it was in very bad condition.
Interviewer: How many acres are on the farm?
Mrs. Loveless: 186.
Interviewer: What crops etc. did you have? What kinds of cows?
Mr. Loveless: At first, we didn't have Ayrshires, We went into them in 1942.
Interviewer: Well, what did you have at first?
Mr. Loveless: Oh, just a mixed herd.
Mrs. Loveless: But we moved the whole farm from Scarborough.
Mr. Loveless: The equipment, too.
Mrs. Loveless: The implements and cattle. We were to get possession of the farm on the 25th of July, but Mrs. Kitchen gave us permission to have the stable all overhauled and it was all ready for the cattle. So the morning that we moved, we milked the cows in the morning in Scarborough and took down the milking machine and shipped the cattle to St. George and set up the machine and milked the cows on the same machine in the barn in St. George.
Interviewer: How many cows did you have then?
Mr. Loveless: Oh, I don't know, I suppose 25.
Interviewer: What made you move to St. George?
Mrs. Loveless: Well, this group of men from Silverwood’s Dairy, wanted to buy several farms in Scarborough with the idea of putting a hundred cattle on every farm. And they bought 5 farms along one concession. At the time we gave them five years and they were washed up in three. They brought cattle from all over- Nova Scotia, (they had Guernsey cattle). When some of them came, they had slipping fever, and brucelosis and it was partly poor management. They sold our farm to another chap.
Mr. Loveless: They sold the one farm to a Construction man. Our farm went to a man by the name of Silver for market gardening.
Mrs. Loveless: He grew cucumbers. You know- he was a friend of the Bick's pickle people. They had a farm a few miles east and they had a contract with Silver for cucumbers. And when their cucumbers were just about ready, Silver informed them he didn't need them, that they had plenty. So Bicks said okay, they secured the old German recipes and Walter Bick went around on his bicycle taking orders for pickles and that was the start of the Bick’s pickles.
Interviewer: So you switched to Ayrshires in 1942. What crops did you grow?
Mrs. Loveless: Just mixed grain crops- oats, barley, wheat and hay.
Interviewer: Did you have a lot of hired hands to help during harvesting?
Mr. Loveless: We had two hired men. You remember Joe!
Mrs. Loveless: We had- all I remember is one year at silo-filling when we had 22 men. It was the year the corn was right up at the concession right above us. So I think we had seven teams.
Mr. Loveless: I think it was 8 teams of horses hauling the wheat down.
Mrs. Loveless: So that was 8 men, and then the workers in the field and men in the silo, and that was 22 men altogether along with the family for 2-3 days to feed. And we had two silos.
Interviewer: What was it like moving to St. George? What was the Community like?
Mrs. Loveless: Some people said St. George was never the same again! I know one thing, we brought our tractor and it was the only one between St. George and the two mile corner. There wasn't another tractor. Owen and 3Low were excellent Ploughmen and some of the stories around the hotel, the men said if you wanted to see some real ploughing, to go up and look down on the "New Farm". I always had the feeling that they sort of put some new ideas into the farmers after they came here. One man said we would never maintain our herd of cattle on that farm. What was that, Owen?
Mr. Loveless: Well, this chap lived down on the German School road and he shipped milk with the same man who drew our milk and he came up to borrow a thrashing belt, and he told the milkman that we'd never grow enough feed on that farm t o feed the herd of cattle that we had.
Interviewer: Where did you ship the milk?
Mr. Loveless: We shipped it to Silverwoods in Toronto for 2 ½ years. After that we shipped it over to Royal Oak Dairy in Hamilton.
Mrs. Loveless: Because Royal Oak wanted richer milk. At that time people weren't using skimmed milk. So because we had Ayrshire cattle, we got a contract with Royal Oak.
Mr. Loveless: It’s still there, but it's a pool- it all goes to the Milk Marketing Board.
Interviewer: When you came, what organizations did you get involved with? Where there any farming clubs?
Mr. Loveless: The first year or £ we were too busy getting ourselves established. But then I got into the Brant County Ploughmen's association and the Paris .agricultural Society. I never was involved in the Federation of Agriculture to any degree, but your grandmother, she got involved with the Institute.
Mrs. Loveless: And the Church.
Interviewer: What about the Lion’s Club.
Mr. Loveless: It started in 1945. I was the Charter Secretary. Mr. Taylor was Charter President and you Grandpa Nixon was the first vice President and Mr. Errol Mayberry was treasurer. (He was superintendent at Malcolms in the 40’s).
Mrs. Loveless: Actually, I brought it out in the Institute history-it was actually the Institute that started the Lions’ Club. Indirectly, there was nothing for the children to skate on, so the institute started to inquire about making a rink in the open air. They said there was too much water at the school- so finally the men decided if they had a Service Club that they would do something about the rink. So they went down. At that time there was a Lion's Club at Unionville and as a result the men started the Club.
Mr. Loveless: Bill Taylor was the instigator.
Mrs. Loveless: Nellie was the Institute president at the time, and it was through a few of us who got the men to start the Lion’s club.
Mr. Loveless: There, was a big parade after the Second World War. And the arena here presently was actually sparked by the Lion’s Club, who gave $ 50,000 towards the erection of it.
Mrs. Loveless: Our institute gave $3,000.
Interviewer: What about the Homestead, when did you move here?
Mr. Loveless: In 1971. We're going on 8 years.
Interviewer: How did you come to be chosen for the Job of curator?
Mr. Loveless: Well, Mrs. Lockman had to give it up on account of her health. When we came back from the South at the end of January, Mrs. Lockman was in the hospital and there was none at the Homestead. So they had to get someone else. I hadn’t really given it much thought, until one or two people said they thought it would be a good job for me. So I applied, and I was the only written application, so I got it.
Interviewer: How many visitors come here in a year, approximately?
Mrs. Loveless: Roughly speaking, around 2500. But it varies- same years more than others.
Interviewer: What are your duties?
Mrs. Loveless: My duties are to have this home open seven days a week from 2 till 5 in the afternoon, other times by appointment. And it is to be ready for visitors at all times. I get a month holidays during March, when the house is closed. So that about sums it up, doesn’t it?
Interviewer: How old is the house?
Mrs. Loveless: We haven’t a record. Some say about 1830-5. We do know Mrs. Hoodless was born here in 1857.
Interviewer: Is everything donated?
Mrs. Loveless: All we have that's original is a set of pink dishes and a quilt that belonged to Mrs. Hoodless when she was a Hunter. We have things that belonged to Mrs. Hoodless after she was married. Her husband in Hamilton was a successful businessman. Asked to become mayor and declined. We have a portrait of Mrs. Hoodless and Mr. Hoodless’ jewel box. We also have her silver flatware and silver tea service left from Mrs. Poster, the last surviving granddaughter of Mrs. Hoodless. We also have a miniature of Mrs. Hoodless.
Interviewer: Thank you very much, Mr. & Mrs. Loveless.