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Former Clay supervisor remembers growing up in Clay

Earl Butterfield, now 97, was the 49th supervisor of the town of Clay. He is a lifelong town resident.

Earl Butterfield, now 97, was the 49th supervisor of the town of Clay. He is a lifelong town resident.

— “Most of the farms were run with horsepower, but a few had tractors. Hafner Brothers had a Cletract Crawler and Jake Kaestle had a Fordson. George Hafner, Chuck’s father, could mark the straightest rows with his horse of anyone around.

“As soon as I was old enough, I started to peddle the Syracuse Journal on Fayetteville Road. One of my favorite customers was Hinerwadel’s. They are the only people I can think of that are in the same business now as they were then. The papers came on the trolley and they were dropped off at stop 6 at the intersection of Fayetteville and Brewerton roads. If the trolley didn’t have to stop for passengers, the motorman kicked the bundle of papers out the door. Occasionally, they would get sucked under the car and spread papers everywhere. There was a footpath from Brewerton Road to the trolley shelter, as Taft Road wasn’t cut through then. I later expanded my route to include Pleasant Avenue and Melrose Drive.

“When we moved to the farm, Buckley Road north of Fayetteville and Taft (Vine Street) west of Buckley were plain dirt roads, muddy in the spring. A road improvement project was begun on Buckley to make an all-weather gravel road. Some of the teamsters on the project stayed at our house. Not long after that, Vine Street was paved with concrete. Because of the Depression, Caughdenoy Road was paved with concrete on one side only and for year; it was called the Half Road.”

*As printed in the North Syracuse Star-News, June 5, 2002, 175th Clay anniversary edition. Published by Eagle Newspapers.

Dorothy Heller is the historian for the town of Clay. She can be reached at historian@townofclay.org.

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