I loved being at my grandparents' home on the Bloomingdale Road and lived there during the winter of 1928-29 while our new farm property in Vermontville was being renovated. Grandfather, Sylvanus, and his wife, Aurilla, had purchased their home from a Mr. Moxley about 1926 during their later years after selling their old homestead in Vermontville to Mr. Cannon of Cannon Towels for a summer home.
I could not appreciate then at my young age of five years the beauty of the Moxley property. It was patterned after early Vermont homes with the glass door at the front of the house extended between two narrow side windows. When opened this led to an open staircase beside which sat the "hall tree" for hanging coats and hats. On the right a door opened into what was called the "parlor", a cold, carpeted room decorated with large portraits of ancestors looking down at me. A stand stood in front of the large windows on which had been placed a Bible.
If I pushed back the heavy drapes in the archway a smaller, cozier room appeared where a pot-bellied stove gave off plenty of heat. This less formal room is where we spent most of our time other than the adjoining kitchen where Grandma cooked her meals. A large pantry then led into what was known as a "summer kitchen", unused in cold weather but lined with cupboards and shelves and a stone floor. From here I could slip out to the latticed back porch and follow the path to the barn and my grandfather's garden plot where he would be hoeing. Attached to the barn was a small chicken coop and yard enclosed with wire just right for me to peek through.
Inside the house I helped Grandma to water the geraniums on her window sill or went down the cellar stairs with her to bring up eggs from a barrel filled with oats which kept the eggs fresh. Then she would offer me one of her cream cookies stored in an earthen jar. A very narrow door and staircase opened at one side of the kitchen which led to some very plain bedrooms upstairs. Now I realize this was where the servants stayed. Down the hall from the bedrooms was what Grandma called the "Trumprey Hole". The word trumpery, not often heard (perhaps old English) is another word for junk . Certainly lots of trivia was stored there, plus a complete cobbler's bench which Grandpa often used to repair shoes.
Vaguely I knew there was a private well-hidden cemetery somewhere on the South side of the property and also heard them refer to a man they called "Old Moxley". In fact I was fascinated by a picture of a yawning baby in an oval frame which Grandma told me must have belonged to him since it was there when they moved into the house.
In 1933 my Grandfather passed away and a few years later, in 1939, my grandmother followed him. The house was sold to a Loretta Ryan with whom I became acquainted and who invited me to visit her at any time. She had turned the house into apartments so nothing seemed quite the same to me any more but I noticed Grandma's peony bushes beside the front porch still thriving. She told me I was welcome to dig any one of them up but sadly they never did blossom again even though I fertilized and pruned them.
Providently, in the year of 1976 I was again a visitor to the property when my husband and I became involved in our local genealogical society. At that time a census of cemeteries was being launched and we were happy to take part in it. With our group we worked through the Vermontville Union Cemetery, St. Paul's Catholic Cemetery in Bloomingdale and some of Pine Ridge in Saranac Lake which was the largest on our list. Then one day I happened to remember the old abandoned cemetery which I believed might still be on the property where my grandparents once lived. It was so long ago I wondered if I had dreamed it. After all I had never actually set eyes on it but if we could still locate this it would be a nice addition to our census records.
According to my notes, sometime during the month of August, Frank and I drove down Bloomingdale Road, thinking it should be easy to find the long-forgotten cemetery. Our six-year-old daughter, Alison was with us. I had a general idea of where it would be as we climbed up a knoll, now heavily wooded, on the Southern end of the former Paye place. Still we found nothing. About ready to give up the whole idea, Alison suddenly discovered an iron fence. Surely this was the place. So we boosted her over and she discovered tombstones on the other side. Following the fence along we came to a gate leading to the unkept gravesites. So I hadn't dreamed it after all!
We read the inscriptions on each tombstone, including the beautiful but very sad epitaphs. Here were the Chubb names; here were the Moxley names. Now we see that George W. Chubb, born in 1819, was a soldier in the Civil War and his wife, dying after him, lived to the age of 85 years. The Chubb son, George Lott, was also in the war and died at the young age of sixteen years. Their daughter, Ellen E. is also buried there. Last of all I note the grave of Darwin E. Moxley, who died in 1925. This would have been the seller when my grandparents bought their house. His wife, Kate had already died in 1919, but who was Kate and how were the Moxleys connected to the Chubbs?
Doing some research I discovered that both George W. Chubb and his son, George L., Were members of the 118th (Adirondack) Regiment so I immediately sent for military records and learn that George W. enlisted as a "wagoner" at the age of 42 years in 1862. His son enlisted on the same day but was discharged not too long afterward and died a few months later in December. One wonders if it was from battle wounds.
From these records I went on to search the 1860 Census, Town of St. Armand in Essex County. Here George W. Chubb, 40 years old, is listed as head of his family with his wife, Anna, who was the same age. Their four children are Emily, 15, Seth, 13, Ellen, 9 and Kate who is just 5. His occupation was listed as "farmer" and his place of birth Vermont.
Reading one day through the "History of Essex County" by H.F. Smith, I find this interesting tidbit: "Chubb, George W., P.O. Bloomingdale, was born in Vermont in 1819 and came to this town in 1855; is a farmer; has been Justice of the Peace in his town for 16 years; also Commissioner of Highways; Excise Commissioner and Inspector of Elections; was married in 1841 to Anna Wilcox and they have five children."
In September of 1976, still trying to learn more about the family, I decided to call on Agnes (Mrs. Hugh) McKillip, who was a neighbor of my grandparents for many years. I was hoping she would remember something about these people. More than that it develops that all her property as well once belonged to the Chubbs and she graciously brought out her deeds for me to look at.
The first warranty deed is dated in January, 1874, grantor being George W. Chubb and Anna Chubb to grantee, Ellen E. McDermid and "her children". This would be the Chubb's fourth child who apparently married Samuel S. McDermid and died in 1890.
Another deed dated in 1900 runs from Emily, Ellen's sister, and the second child of George and Anna who is now married to a George W. Carr, to her sister, Kate, who is the wife of Darwin Moxley. It is most interesting that the deeds contain the following exception:
"Excepting and Reserving a strip of land 80 ft. North and South, adjoining the West line and 40 ft. East and West, now used for a burying ground".
In order for me to better understand all of the above I obtained a copy of the Will of George W. Chubb from Essex County which was probated in January, 1891 shortly after his death the year before. The excerpt from the Will I was looking for is as follows:
"Upon the decease of my wife, Anna, I give and bequeath to my five children, Mary Jane Reed, Emily J. Carr, Ellen E. McDermid, Kate L. Moxley and Scott W. Chubb, my household furniture" etc and further bequeaths his property in "Lot 67 in Township No. 11, Old Military Tract," etc.,(the same description contained in all the deeds from then on) to all to his children and grandchildren.
Witnesses to the Will were Herbert W. Town and William J. Gillespie of Bloomingdale, N.Y.
Scott W. Chubb is described in the Will as the youngest child and is to receive "all the rest, residue and remainder" of the property, real and personal. It further states: " If my son, Scott W. Chubb, should die, leaving no male heirs then this property shall be divided between my grandchildren."
Scott W. Chubb was married to a May L. Miller and I believe May would have been the elderly "Mrs. Chubb" with the parrot that I used to visit at the little store and gas station on the Northern edge of the property. I think perhaps the "Baby Lila", whose grave we found, dead at 5 months, must have been theirs. Later they were parents of George.
According to the deeds in possession of Agnes McKillip, Scott W. Chubb and May L. Chubb deeded to Darwin E. Moxley and Kate L. Moxley in 1903. Kate Chubb Moxley died in 1919. In 1928 Scott W. Chubb, widower and George Chubb, his son and Regina Chubb his wife of Detroit, Michigan deeded a portion to Ambrose McKillip, the father of the McKillip neighbor, Hugh. We found proof that Scott W. Chubb's wife, May actually had died the year before (1927) when we found both their graves in the Brookside Cemetery, Bloomingdale.
Kate and Darwin E. Moxley apparently had a child named Anna who died in 1889 at the age of six months which I made note of when we discovered the old burying ground. Kate's tombstone showed us that she had died in 1919 but Darwin outlived her until 1925, the same year he sold the beautiful original house, undoubtedly built by Kate's father, George W. Chubb, to my grandparents, Aurilla and Sylvanus.
Note: I found a postcard from California, dated 1909 among my grandmother's collection addressed to "Mrs. D. E. Moxley, Recreation Cottage, Saranac Lake", on which was written, "Dear Aunt- Wish you were here. It's beautiful. We go horseback riding on long trips and the other day climbed to the top of a mountain. Something doing all the time. Love, Kit" --- Another mystery?
Died Oct. 12, 1890
Age 71 years
" Rest soldier, erstwhile the waters of the Saranac flow at thy feet and these mountains stand sentinel."
(Note-Geo. W. Chubb was born in 1819 and is listed as a member of the 118th Regiment. He enlisted at 42 yrs. on July 23, 1862, Company C. -Wagoner.)
Died Apr. 19, 1905
85 years old
"Gone But Not Forgotten"
Son of George and Anna Chubb
Died Dec. 13, 1862
In his 16th year
Of Company C. 118th Regiment, N.I.S.V.
(Note-Geo. L. (Lott) Chubb is listed in the 118th Regiment as having enlisted July 23, 1862, at St. Armand. Discharged in 1862 at Ft. Ethan Alien. Listed-Died Dec. 13, 1862. )
Infant Daughter of G.W. & M.L. Chubb
Died April 25, 1896"
Age 5 Mos. 17 days
Son of George W & Emily J. Carr
d. March 11, 1876 1 Mo 4 days
"Darling baby how we miss you we are so lonely now"
May 15, 1839 October 21, 1922
Wife of Samuel S. McDermid
Died July 30. 1890
"Sweetly she sleeps in Jesus"
(Note-Ellen Chubb? Born in 1851 accord-Aged 39 yrs & 10 Mos. ing to 1860 Census )
Died August 30, 1891 Age 19 yrs 7 Mos.
"Be at Rest"
Died Aug. 16, 1889
Age 6 Mos.