By Sheila Mason Gale
Adelard and Angelina LaFramboise met while working in the mills in Providence, RI. Adelard always wanted to be a farmer, but he didn't have any experience. In 1916 they came to Canterbury, bought a farm on Route 169 and started a family. Angelina had grown up on a farm in Canada and helped her husband learn about farming. Angelina gave birth to eleven children. The youngest was Alice LaFramboise Raymond born in 1931. She was six and half years younger than her brother Eddie. Her oldest sister Helen and her brother Francis became her Godparents. She feels lucky still having her Godparents living today.
Her neighborhood pals were the Johnson sisters: Adeline, Mary and Elsie. Also, Aili and Arnold Hakkila. They liked to ride their bikes around the neighborhood including Route 169, Wauregan Road and Buck Hill Road. They would often go swimming in Blackwell Brook and ice skate on the Hakkila's pond in the winter.
The farm was located near the Canterbury/Brooklyn line on Route 169 which was the main road between Worcester Massachusetts and New London, Connecticut. Sometimes they would sit out on their front wall and see how many out-of-state license plates they could count.
Adelard became very adept at growing potatoes and sold them door-to-door, and to produce markets in Providence, Danielson and Norwich. He also sold them to the government during the war. Some of their potato fields were just east of the Wauregan Road Bridge. One day, during harvesting, Alice's brother drove the loaded truck over the bridge. The bridge was pretty rickety and he had just crossed the bridge when it collapsed behind him. The family was then forced to bring all the other potatoes loads all the way around through Wauregan to get them home and finally, the Town was forced to rebuild the bridge.
Alice didn't have any Grandparents, but she had a surrogate Grandfather in Andrew Clark who lived down the road. At Christmas time, he would bring a basket of apples and oranges to the LaFramboise family. That gift was very much appreciated in such a big family and oranges were a wonderful treat. Andrew Clark's sister, Florence, lived well into her 90's. She was a cousin to Bertha Davis who was the mother to Addison (a former mail carrier), Ellsworth Davis and Kenneth Davis. Alice felt very grown up when she was allowed to walk all the way to Mr. Clark's house with a container of strawberries picked out of the LaFramboise' garden.
In First grade, Alice attended the Green school and throughout her school years attended several different one-room schools: North Society, Frost and Packerville. When she was older, her teacher at the Green school was Georgeanna Wellinghausen. Mrs. Wellinghausen would let the children take turns and walk down to the Frink & Wright store (across the street from Better Value) to get some penny candy.