It is difficult to believe that 23 years have passed since Madge Cook came to a meeting of the Madera County Historical Society and shared some of her memories of early Madera. This presentation, which was videotaped and transcribed, is a treasure trove of local history, as Madge described life in Madera as it was in 1912.
For the next two weeks, Pieces of the Past will revisit Madge and allow her to speak again about the town into which she was born 108 years ago. She begins by talking about her days in the old Lincoln School.
“When Lincoln Grammar School was finished in 1912, both the Eastside and Westside schools moved to the new location. I was in the second grade at the time. I took my lunch in a little tin bucket with a lid. Lard was sold in these buckets in five and 10 pound sizes.
“The main part of town was about three blocks long on Yosemite Avenue, with a few businesses scattered on the side streets. Before the avenue was paved in 1912, it was very dusty in the summer — full of chuckholes. In winter, it was muddy and sloppy. The sidewalks were of board or just dirt — both quite uneven...