A Visitor Remembers: Working for Mr. Strawbridge
On June 14, 2014 we had a visitor who worked for Mr. Strawbridge in 1954 — he shared the following memories with us:
Mr. Strawbridge was in his 70s and the visitor was 15 at the time of his employment. He was paid $1/hour and his job was to sweep out the fireplaces in the Keith House, which were brick lined and “sand” would come down into them. They would cool off in the springhouse under the caretaker’s cottage after working on the grounds. Mrs. Strawbridge would take him into the house with her skeleton key attached to a big piece of wood and introduce him to all of the people. The state wanted to buy the paneling from the Strawbridges to put into another home. Mrs. Strawbridge got a new Buick every year and Mr. Strawbridge drove a 1951 Pontiac with a different color fender on each corner because he was always getting into accidents. He’d drive for a mile in first gear and then when he could smell burning he’d remember to take off the emergency brake.