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La Farma - the Farm Moundsville WV

 
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Barbara Alonso Novellino



Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 324
Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:30 am    Post subject: La Farma - the Farm Moundsville WV Reply with quote

Hi All,

I would like to give you a little History on picture posted...the houses at La Farma in Moundsville, West Virginia.



My cousin found this picture in his photo album.

Its a picture of the houses in what was called The Spanish Farm in Moundsville, West Virginia...they were houses built by the Smelter and rented to those who worked there.

My Grandparents lived in the second house...as you can imagine they look very different today.

I am not sure when this picture was taken.

There were about 25 houses in rows of 5 with a few odd ones. When the Workers first moved in the rent was $7.00/month. I know they really look like something out of Tobacco Road but as the people moved in they started papering and painting the walls. I seem to remember them as all being painted grey.

They had 2 Bedrooms, Living Room and Kitchen on the first floor. The bathroom was in the basement. There was also a large room in the basement that was used for various things...whatever the families needed it for. Most homes had no Bathtub...I can remember taking a bath in a very large pail...my Grandfather was one of the first to own a Bathtub...so the story goes.

This particular group of houses were on Purdy Avenue and there was a row of 5 houses across the street. If you walk straight down that road and make a left (now its a Highway) there were two more rows of houses on each side of the road. I think that road is called Lafayette Avenue and Xose's Great Grandparents, my Aunt Tomasa and Uncle Cuesta lived on this street.

These homes were outside of town. However, town wasn't that far away and we could walk into town. As I remember, all the people living there were Spanish and worked the Smelter. It was a close knit communiity...everyone knew each other and all spoke Spanish...they also did their grocery shopping at a local grocery store owned by, I think his name was Salvio. I can remember going their with my Grandmother.

My Mother and her siblings attended the schools in town. As I remember there was 1 school that went from 1 to 12 Grade. She told me that there were times when the children made fun of her, even though she was born in Clarksburg...she and some of the other children were called garlic eaters, etc.

The Farm...why was it called that? It has been called that for years, and still is by the few Spanards living there. Probably because...in the back of most of the houses they raised vegetables. My Grandmother had a large area where she grew all kinds of vegetables, potatoes, cabbage, beans, etc...which she used all year long. She would go out there during the day, with a big hat on, and weed and take care of them. Also in the backyard she had a chomito (spelling) where she smoked her chorizos...then they were hung in the basement to dry, I guess. I have many a fond memory of her wonderful soup and how the house smelled when she baked bread...Oh for the good old days.

My Mother and Father...Angelina Montes and Julius Garcia Alonso married in 1934...my father left Moundsville/Clarksburg as a young man and went to Bliss Electrical School in Washington DC and got a job with Con Edison in New York...So, when they married they moved to Brooklyn, New York. However, my Mother would go to Moundsville for the entire summer with me...then my Dad would come down in August stay awhile and then we would all go home. So, I spent summers there until 1942 when my Grandfather died. Still having family there I visit on occasion...in fact still do.

Moundsville and La Farma are very different now...but in an odd way the same. Now across from the houses on the Highway there is a strip mall and Motel. The Smelter was down the road and behind...so you can see it was really close to the homes.

I just loved going there and spending time with friends and relatives...but everything changes. When I look back it gave me so many fond memories that I still carry with me.

Barbara Alonso Novellino

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Traducido por Leto

Hola a todos:
Me gustaría contaros una pequena historia sobre la foto que he enviado… las casas La Farma, en Moundsville, Virginia Oeste.



Mi primo encontró esta foto en su álbum.


Es una foto de las casas que se llamaban “Granja Espanola” en Moundsville, Viriginia Oeste… Fueron contruídas por la fundidora y se alquilaban a aquellos que trabajaban allí.

Mis abuelos vivían en la segunda casa… como os podeís imaginar son muy diferentes hoy en día.

No estoy segura de cuándo se tomó esta foto.

Había unas 25 casas en hileras de cinco con algunas impares. Cuando los primeros trabajadores llegaron allí, la renta era de $7.00 al mes. Ya sé que parecen como casas a pie de carretera, pero a medida que la gente las iba ocupando, empezaron a empapelarlas y pintar las paredes. Creo recordar que se pintaron todas de girs.

Tienen dos dormitorios, un salón y una cocina en la planta. El baño estaba en el semisótano. Había también una habitación grande en el semisótano que se usaba para diversas cosas… para aquello que las familias la necesitaran. La mayoría de las casas no tenían bañera… Recuerdo bañarme en un cubo muy grande… mi abuelo fue uno de los primeros en tener bañera… o eso dice la historia.

Este grupo de casas estaba en Prudy Avenue y había otra fila de cinco casas al otro lado de la calle. Bajando esta carretera a la izquierda (ahora es una autopista) había dos filas de casas a cada lado de la carretera. Creo que se llama La Fayette Avenue y los bisabuelos de Xose, mi tía Tomasa y el tío Cuesta vivían en esta calle.

Estas casas estaban fuera de la ciudad. Sin embargo, no estaban tan lejos, así que podíamos caminar al centro. Tal y como recuerdo, todos los que allí vivían eran españoles y trabajaban en la fundidora. Era una comunidad muy unida… todo el mundo conocía a todo el mundo y todos hablaban español… incluso compraban todos en la misma tienda propiedad de Salvio, creo que era su nombre. Recuerdo haber ido allí con mi abuela.

Mi madre y sus hermanos fueron allí a la escuela. Tal y como recuerdo, había una escuela que abarcaba desde primero, hasta doceavo grado. Me contaba que a veces los niños se reían de ella, a pesar de que había nacido en Clarksburg… la llamaban a ella y a otros niños “comedores de ajo”, etc.

La granja… ?por qué se llamaba así? Siempre ha tenido ese nombre y todavía se usa así para los españoles que aún viven allí. Posiblemente porque en la parte de atrás de sus casas, cultivaban verduras. Mi abuela tenía una parcela grande donde cultivaba todo tipo de verduras, patatas, repollo, habas, etc., que luego usaba durante todo el año. Salía para allá durante el día, con su pequeño sombrero, para cuidar de ellas.En el patio de atrás, también tenía un chamizo donde ahumaba los chorizos… depués se colgaban en el sótano para secar, supongo. Tengo muchos recuedos de su sopa maravillosa y cómo olía la casa cuando cocía el pan… hummmm aquellos maravillosos años.

Mi madre y mi padre… Angelina Montes y Julius García Alonso, se casaron en 1934. Mi padre se fue de Moundsville/Clarksburg cuando era joven; fue a la Escuela de Electricidad Blissen Wasington DC y consiguió trabajo en Con Edison en Nueva York... Así que cuando se casaron se mudaron a Brooklyn, Nueva York. Sim embargo, mi madre iba conmigo el verano entero a Moundsville... mi padre vendría en Agosto para quedarse un poco y luego nos volvíamos todos a casa. Así que me pasé los veranos allí desde 1942 hasta que mi abuelo murió. Todavía tengo familia por allí que visito ocasionalmente.

Moundsville y La Granja son muy diferentes ahora… pero no han cambiado tanto. Ahora, al otro lado de la carretera hay un club y un Motel. La fundidora estaba al final de la calle y por detrás, así que como veis estaba muy cerca de las casas.

Me encanta ir allí y pasar el tiempo con amigos y familia… pero todo cambia. Cuando miro atrás, tengo tantos recuerdos de infancia que todavía llevo conmigo…
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Mafalda



Joined: 04 Nov 2005
Posts: 257
Location: España

PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gracias Barbara, por la historia y gracias a Leto por la traducción.

Cada vez me convenzo mas de que habia muchas similitudes entre el modo de vida de los asturianos en USA y los asturianos en Asturias, al menos en el entorno de las fábricas.

Quizás fuera que alli donde pudiera establecerse una colonia de asturianos, viviendo cerca unos de otros, lo que hacian era una réplica de su modo de vida en Asturias.

¿Sonaba una sirena en la fábrica a las hora de entrada y salida, y a las de comer?
_________________
"Comienza tu día con una sonrisa, verás lo divertido que es ir por ahí desentonando con todo el mundo."
Mi amiguita Libertad ________


Last edited by Mafalda on Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1715
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The town in which my family eventually settled for some years, Spelter (Ziezing) West Virgina, was made up primarily of Asturian immigrants. They probably did keep their culture intact, and certainly did so with the language. Quite a few of them moved to Niagara Falls.

When one moved to a new town a found work, they would write to people in Asturias and in whatever American town they had most recently lived in and bring new Asturian workers to the new place of employment.

I don't know anything about whistles or sirens to start work hours or lunch hours, but I will ask my father, who still remembers taking lunch to his father in the zinc factory. My grandfather always described his work as "finish - go home." He would work until his job for the day was completed. It wasn't a matter of working a certain number of hours, it was simply a matter of getting the job done. Needless to say, everyone tried to finish early.
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Barbara Alonso Novellino



Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 324
Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't remember any whistles or sirens either...except for about 3:00 PM. They would blow a siren because they would release black smoke from the smelter. At that time everyone had their windows and doors closed until it passed. You had better not be caught in the street during that time. I was once...and I can tell you the smell was awful and the smoke was thick.

I asked my 94 year old mother if she remembered anything at the start or end of the day. She doesn't remember anything like that. If there was a whistle at lunch time it was heard in the plant. I remember as a child taking my Grandfather his lunch with my Grandmother. She had an ( I think it was) aluminum container. In the botom she would put a sandwich or soup...then there was a small cup that would fit on top where she would put his coffee...then the cover...it had a handle around the top which she would carry. We would walk down Purdy Avenue, cross the now highway and go into the Smelter. I remember on the left side the burning furnaces which gave out so much heat...we would walk to the back and it was an extremely large area and the ceiling would be so very high. We would meet my Grandfather there and give him his lunch. Those are some memories that happened more than 55/60 years ago.

Sweet memories...
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Trad. Terechu

Yo tampoco recuerdo pitos ni sirenas...salvo el de las 3 de la tarde. Tocaban la sirena porque era cuando soltaban el humo negro del horno de fundición. En ese momento todo el mundo cerraba sus puertas y ventanas hasta que pasaba. Era mejor que no te pillara en la calle. A mí me pasó una vez... y os puedo asegurar que el olor era horrible y el humo espeso.

Pregunté a mi abuela de 94 años si se acordaba de algo al empezar o acabar el día. No recuerda nada de este tipo. Si había un pito a la hora de comer se oiría en la factoría. Me acuerdo siendo niña de llevarle con mi abuela la comida a mi abuelo. Tenía una fiambrera de aluminio (creo). En el fondo le ponía un sandwich o sopa... luego venía un taza que se ponía encima y en la que le echaba el café...luego la tapa...tenía un asa en la parte de arriba. Bajábamos por la avenida Purdy, cruzábamos lo que ahora es la autovía y entrábamos en la fundición. Recuerdos los hornos a la izquierda que despedían tanto calor ... íbamos hasta la parte de atrás que era un área inmensa y el techo era altísimo. Allí nos encontrábamos con mi abuelo y le dábamos el almuerzo. Estos son recuerdos de hace 55-60 años.

Dulces recuerdos...
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1715
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great memories Barbara. Thanks for sharing them. They remind me of some of the things my dad has told me.
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Ron Gonzalez



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 377

PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can tell you at Spelter(Ziesing) there were four whistles , one at 7 AM (starting time) , one at 12 noon (lunch) , one at 1230 ( back to work ) , and one at 330 (quitting time). On Friday there would be a special whistle, different sounding from all the others , fire whistle . The fire whistle would blow for a fire in the plant , or in the town site . As a young boy I can remember the fire whistle blowing in the middle of the night , when my father was working , a fear ran through you till you knew he was safe.

I haven't thought about the whistles for a long time something to remember from the passed.
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Trad. Terechu

Os puedo asegurar que en Spelter (Ziesing) había cuatro señales de pito, uno a las 7 de la mañana (comienzo), otro a las 12 del mediodía, otro a las 12.30 (vuelta al trabajo) y otro a las 3.30 de la tarde (fin de jornada). Los viernes había un pitido especial, que sonaba de manera distinta: la alarma de incendios. Esta pito se accionaba en caso de incendio en la factoría o en el pueblo. Recuerdo cuando era pequeño, si el pito sonaba en mitad de la noche cuando mi padre estaba trabajando, te entraba un miedo que no se quitaba hasta que no sabías que estaba a salvo.

Hacía mucho que no pensaba en los pitos, algo del pasado que recordar.
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Mafalda



Joined: 04 Nov 2005
Posts: 257
Location: España

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Veo que si, que algo habia leido yo de sirenas. En Arnao, creo recordar que sonaban a las 8, a las 12, a las 13 y a las 16. Mi padre no solia comer en la fábrica, salvo en contadas ocasiones, puesto que viviamos a dos pasos, y cuando sonaba la sirena de las 12, yo sabia que tenia que irme a casa corriendo puesto que Papa estaba a punto de llegar a comer....

Bob: El modo de trabajo que mencionas, aqui se llama "destajo", creo que el vocablo es una reminiscencia del argot minero, y lo utilizan las empresas para motivar a los trabajadores con el fin de conseguir que una determinada tarea se termine en el menor tiempo posible, asi acuerdan pargar una cantidad por un trabajo, independientemente del tiempo que se emplee en realizarlo (se suele hacer con las horas extraordinarias).
_________________
"Comienza tu día con una sonrisa, verás lo divertido que es ir por ahí desentonando con todo el mundo."
Mi amiguita Libertad ________
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1715
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mafalda: Thanks for the information. I had never heard "destajo" before, but I think that "piecework" or "taskwork" would be the closest English equivalents.
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Mafalda



Joined: 04 Nov 2005
Posts: 257
Location: España

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

De hecho, mi diccionario traduce "piecework" como "trabajo a destajo"
_________________
"Comienza tu día con una sonrisa, verás lo divertido que es ir por ahí desentonando con todo el mundo."
Mi amiguita Libertad ________
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