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Gardens & Train Tracks

Many people cultivated small gardens for growing fruit and vegetables in their back yards. They also used the available green spaces of Brightside, for example along the streetcar and train tracks behind the houses on the south side of Burlington Street. Some of these fruit trees still stand today.  

Listen: Stealing Coal To Heat Houses. Click the play circle below.

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Speaker 1:    

Rob says, how did you heat your house, Ernie? Do you remember the heating days? 

How did you heat your house? 

Speaker 2:    

With, eh, coal… 

Furnace, coal furnace. 

Pretty well everybody had coal furnaces. 

Speaker 3:    

We had coal, right there. 

Speaker 2:    

And, um, on Main Street were on the railway tracks; they used to park the coal trucks, right in front, to go to [  ], eh, and we jump on the coal, the engine coal, we took it, and we’d shove the coal over into the grass and see the next day we’d come by and get the coal.  

We never bought it. 

Speaker 3:    

I remember that. 

But then you had no place but the start buying it from Acme, remember? The Acme Coal Company? 

He would deliver coal. 

I mean we used to steal a certain amount of coal… 

Speaker 5:    

So, for a while you could find ways of getting coal without having to pay… 

Speaker 3:    


Speaker 5:    

… how much did it make a big difference? At home? 

Speaker 1:    

Oh yeah. 

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