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Recalling Charlton Street School area adventures with Horseback riding - "Champ"
May 8, 2010


Charlton St School area with Cemetary at bottom of image (Bing Maps image)

Back when there still was a big dirt baseball field in the old front schoolyard of Charlton  Street School-on the Guelphwood road side, when there was a summer camp behind the school,
 before they built the new fields- there by the cemetery,  the road in front of the cemetery ended and the "woods behind the school" began.

This was a wonderland to me, with tales of a "witches well" and old cart paths that ran along the old stone walls that are probably still there.  There was a great path that ran from behind Charlton Street School- probably just the old road into town from the old dump area farms that ran along a stone wall.

My friend Nancy and I used to ride double on her horse  Champ up from the school all the way to "the barn" as we called it.  Or , we'd ride up by Paquin's farm to see Stormy.

Nancy and I would run Champ (with no helmets or protective gear on) riding double up that dirt path till the cows came home.  Nancy liked to go fast and all I remember is branches flying by us so fast it was like a dream....the path came out by the old dump as I said.

Those were great, lazy days of summer back then, when sitting out by the barn or walking the horse down Charlton Street was about the most exciting thing we did as young girls.
Not all kids had horses in the 60's but there certainly were more than there are now, and it was not unusual to see horse- hoof prints in the sand along road beneath the ledges up Charlton near Harrington Street.

I have to admit I fell off Champ a few times riding in the field that is now covered over by the big yellow oil company building - and my Dad helped a lot of the neighborhood kids learn to play baseball up in that field back in the day too.

Southbridge was a wonderful place to grow up in.  It's too bad more of us didn't realize it when we spent a little too much time complaining, like a lot of kids, that there wasn't much to do here. Personally, when I was younger- I had plenty to do.

Doreen Boulanger

Another Recollection by Doreen... Woodstock Fair and Southbridge

Recollection of Southbridge

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Dick Whitney
Last update Sept 8, 2010