Board and Dress 455
full of joy and living, reared according to standards of the best social life of
Virginia, her presence inspired each person of the company to do the best that he
was capable of. Alas ! that after a few happy years she should have been removed
from the life here to the life above.18
There is other evidence than that just given that the quality of the
board was excellent; tradition says that it was generally so. It was
probably as good as was obtainable in a country village like Wake
Forest, which before the War had scarcely a dozen dwellings, and was
accessible in the winter season only by poor roads, except for the
railroad of which the nearest station was at Forestville. For provisions
the town had to depend for the most part on the country round about,
which brought in an abundance of chickens and eggs, pork, beef and
mutton. For vegetables and boarding houses seem to have depended
on their own gardens. The following from the pen of Mr. D. R.
Creecy, a student of the first years of the College, will give some
further indication of the character of the board:
We had everything to eat in the meat line: eggs, five cents a dozen; mutton and
beef, six to eight cents a pound; flour, eight to ten dollars a barrel; meal, one dollar
per bushel; sweet potatoes, one dollar per bushel; fat turkeys, seventy-five cents
apiece; spring chickens, ten to fifteen cents apiece; geese, thirty to fifty cents each;
no fish (Creecy had come from Perquimans, a county where fish and oysters are
plentiful); no oysters, because there was no water to produce them, and at that time
no railroad to bring them. Provisions were brought there in large two-horse wagons,
but these were never more than one-fourth full on account of the miserable roads.
Did you ever hear of eggs selling by the peck and half-bushel? Well, such is a fact.
A man came there one day with his load nearly all sold out, and insisted on the
landlord's buying the balance of his eggs. The latter did not want them, but the
farmer begged and pleaded, saying that they were all he had for sale and that he
wanted to start home, a distance of some fifty miles, through mud and mire, so the
landlord concluded to strike a bargain, and the latter bought the half bushel of eggs
for one dollar. My opinion is that the average landlord made six dollars a month out
of each boarder.19
18 Wake Forest Student, XXVIII, 339.
19 Wake Forest Student, XXVIII, 311 f. Mr. Creecy, a student of 1839-41, says
that board was twelve dollars a month. In view of the other printed in-
Previous Page Next Page