Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Slow down!

I got such a kick out this snapshot that came my way today via friends who now own and are working hard to restore the old Crozier house in northeast Chariton. As part of the process, they located a granddaughter of the builder, J.T. Crozier, and borrowed a stack of old photographs to scan.

This is Mary Crozier, something of a legend in my family at least, with an early speed limit sign that must have been located near the Crozier home since at this time it was the last house in town before motorists (and horses and buggies too) headed north into the country on what is now Highway 14. It could even be that the Croziers commissioned the sign to slow traffic down a little near their house, but that's idle speculation.

The Croziers operated a store on the southeast corner of the square that was patronized by nearly everyone. My grandparents brought eggs, sometimes produce and perhaps even cream there and took it out in trade. When my mother and her sisters boarded in Chariton so that they could attend high school, they clerked at Croziers to help pay their way. When Mary decided the family home was too big for her and sold it, my granddad, who had just built a new house and already had another big house stuffed with furniture, decided he needed some of Mary's and over the course of several visits acquired the Crozier piano, a bedroom set and a vast wing chair that two people could occupy side-by-side.

I remember the store, mostly by that time a dry-goods establishment operated by Robert, Gwen and Mary Crozier. Now it's a coffee shop. But the old desk at which J.T. Crozier stood to do his accounts is now at the museum.

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