August 19th, 1942

Berwick Register, August 19th, 1942

In 101st Year And Still Active

One Hundred Year Old North Mountain Woman and Two Daughters Maintain Farm.

Healthful and bracing seashore and mountain air – there’s nothing like it in the opinion of Mrs. Sophia Russell, grand old lady of Kings County’s Bay of Fundy, who resides at Chipman Brook. And no one is better qualified to know, for Mrs. Russell, born at Dover on the South Shore, and a citizen of this district for three quarters of a century is now in her 101st year of life, spent entirely by the salt water and on the mountain side.

Still Keeps Busy

This remarkable old lady, who in slightly more than 100 years of life has known much privation and hardship, is now taking things easy, thanks to her two daughters, Melinda and Alice. No longer active in doing the farm and house chores, due to her limbs being a bit shaky, Mrs. Russell nevertheless keeps busy with her sewing and knitting. From early morning until early evening, when she retires, she is almost continually knitting, and she also spins the wool for her work on a 150 year old spinning wheel. Though quite "hard of hearing", Mrs. Russell has never worn glasses, this despite the fact that her homes have had only oil lamps for lighting.

A daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Meisner, she was born in a log cabin at Dover on Feb. 19, 1842. Before her twentieth birthday she was married to Thomas Russell, New Ross. Not long after their marriage they moved to the Fundy shore. Since the death of her husband some 35 years ago, Mrs. Russell, with the help of her daughters, Melinda and Alice, has maintained the farm and small house. For many years she did much of the farm work and up until last December always milked the cows.

Never Complained

While she has never known what it is to have a radio, telephone, electric pumper or a car, and despite the fact she has never had any of the so-called comforts of life. Mrs. Russell, it is said, has never complained, and in her own way has thoroughly enjoyed herself.

In these days when many women are working on farms to help out while the men are serving in Canada’s armed forces, the three Russell women are unique, for they have been farming all their lives. Ever since Mr. Russell’s death, the two girls and mother have carried on the small farm, cutting the hay, looking after the stock, planting the crops, chopping the wood, and in fact doing all the other duties generally regarded as solely for men.

The house in which they live at Chipman Brook is old – a great deal older than Mrs. Russell. While it is to say the least, unpretentious, it has one striking feature, that is, its extreme cleanliness. The once heavy pine board kitchen floor has been scrubbed and scrubbed every day down through the years until it has been worn through in some places and patched over. If there is such a thing as "shining white" the floors of the Russell home are constantly in that condition.