Helen F. Snow | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Helen F. Snow

Location of Interview
Collection Name
Interviewer
Date of Interview
11-15-1977
Audio
Biographical Sketch

Mrs. Snow was born in Orleans in 1896.  She is a Mayflower descendant from Nicholas Snow who came on the ship Ann to Plymouth in 1623 and who married ConstanceHopkins who came on the Mayflower as a child. In 1644, Nicholas, his wife and six children settled in Eastham.  Her great grandfather Giles was a seacaptain.  Her paternal Grandfather,Freeman Maker worked on cranberry bogs all his life.   Her maternal Grandparents Warren Emmerson Pierce and Anna Hopkins Pierce were born in Wellfleet.  He was a paymaster on aship and she was nurse.  She worked at the Crowell Mansion in Wellfleet.  She remembers her Grandmother Pierce had a table in the kitchen which always had a white cloth on it.  It would have a set of dishes and covered by mosquito netting.  Her grandmother would stay in a shed in the summer so the house would stay clean.  There was no refrigeration and food would be kept cold in the basement or put in a bucket and lowered into a well.  She would travel to Boston from Wellfleet by packet that would hold six passengers.  Mrs. Snow’s father, Arthur Freeman Maker was a fisherman who fished off the Grand Banks and Cape Cod Bay, substituted at the Coast Guard station and worked for the Cummings Parts Factory in Orleans.  Her mother, Nellie Emerson Pierce was born in Wellfleet.  She baked twice a week, made all the family’s clothing.  She also made soap in the summer and stored it in the “porch chamber” a chest that men would bring to sea.  Mrs. Snow describes the chores her mother had.  She also describes how her father would catch cod fish, clean them and hang them outside on a line to dry.  She also recalls her mother making pies in the winter from dried apples.  She describes a typical week of choresactivities during the week.   She describes the Christmas holidays at the church and receiving fresh oranges donated by Captain Baker who sent a crate of orange to all the local churches.  She married her husband Isaiah Snow in 1918.  The house she lives in was built in 1835.  She refers to the bayside as the “shore” and the ocean as the “backside.”  Mrs. Snow recalls Mr. Hopkins and Mrs. Hopkins who owned an livery stable and boarding house.  Mr. Hopkins would pick her up at the railroad depot and bring her to the town square.  She also recalls seeing drummers (salesmen) and peddlers selling their wares from wagons. She also remembers seeing gypsies and medicine shows.  She describes some of the Truro landmarks.

Notes: The Tales of Cape Cod Oral History Collection is housed at the William Brewster Nickerson Archives in the Wilkens Library at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable, Massachusetts. For more information about the collection, please contact the Nickerson Archives, http://www.nickersonarchives.org/.


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