Marshall Historical Society

Interview of Etta Hoag with Lorraine Price
By Dorothy McConnell, 1991

Etta is 97 and will be 98 in August. She was born in East Haddam, Connecticut. Her mother was Sarah Cone, and her father was Samuel D. Gasner. She has lived in the Town of Marshall since 1919.

During earlier days in Marshall, they farmed and had a herd of Jersey cows. The inspectors checked their cattle for tuberculosis and their herd was clean for two tests, but the third proved negative. They had to drive their cows to Franklin Springs to take them away by train. They never got over the loss.

Mrs. Hoag relates, "I met my (first) husband (S.P. VanHyning) on road construction. We had five children: Lorraine, Edgar, Vena, Grace, and Raymond."

She remembers when the O&W Railroad was running through Deansboro. The plow had to open the road for the train. "We rode the train to Utica," she said. "Some went to Clinton by riding on the Ontario and Western train." Ed Sweeney worked in the quarry and often gave Lorraine a ride home.

Etta is a Past Regent for the Skenandoa D.A.R. She was also organizing matron of the Eastern Star- Augusta Chapter, and in 1963 was District Deputy Grand Matron.

Lorraine Price, Etta's daughter, urged her mother to tell how they came to Utica. " When I lived in Connecticut," Etta said, "my husband purchased a house boat in 1916. We packed our furniture and belongings on this house boat, which was left over from a flood in Connecticut. We shipped two heating stoves by rail, which never arrived. We had to go to New London, Connecticut, to get a permit to go through Long Island Sound with the boat. We started the trip with the children on top. I was pregnant with the third girl, Grace. We came through Long Island Sound and tied up at Kingston, NY. The next day, we entered the Old Erie Canal and came through the locks. We arrived in Utica the first part of November, 1917, and the canal closed the next day!" Lorraine VanHyning Price was 6 and on December 11, a daughter Grace was born.

"My husband was working for a contractor and we lived in Utica," Mrs. Hoag recalled. "In 1919, he travelled on Route 26 to Lowell, where he worked. Then in August he was transferred to the Quarry, and in August a son was born. My husband was made superintendent of the Quarry, and we moved to Oriskany Falls."

In 1944, after Mr. VanHyning's death, Etta married a man from Vernon and moved there. She worked in the office at Eastern Rock for 30 years. She knew Chester Fuess, who worked at perfecting a tennis court mix. "Grant Russell and I are the oldest ones to have worked for Eastern Rock", she said. "Peerless Quarry was first run by Conley and then by my husband (Mr. VanHyning) in February 1922."

While Etta and her first husband were building their house and remodeling, she remembers seeing a man with a long black coat and collar. "My husband introduced him as the new owner of Peerless Quarry who asked him to stay on as manager." She wishes she had a picture of the old office of the early Quarry.

Etta Hoag passed away September 23, 1992 at the age of 99.

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