When we think of pioneers, we generally picture the vast reaches of the Old West. However, there are many other parts of our country which have as glorious and colorful a past as the sections west of the Mississippi. It is one of these little-known lands of Northern New York on the Canadian border that Florence Kelly writes about in this absorbing and memorable book containing stories from and around Cook's Corners, NY.
Florence Kelly (1888-1979) was the daughter of Lewis and Ella Ellsworth Kelly. Born in North Bangor, NY, she lived most of her life in the Cook's Corners area. Besides a bout with diphtheria, Florence enjoyed a quiet, simple life growing up in the days when families went to church every Sunday in their horse and buggy, churned their own butter, lived by the sweat of the brow, and "horseless carriages" were only for the rich.
In the early 1900s, when less than 10 percent of America's boys and girls attended high school, Florence boarded with a family in Moira, NY, to attend school. She graduated from Brushton Training Class, Houghton College, Oberlin College in Ohio, where she obtained her BA Degree, and the University of Michigan, where she received her Masters Degree. She received a Library Degree from Albany State University College. She taught three years at Beacon, was a history teacher in Chateaugay, NY, for five years, and librarian at Franklin Academy in Malone, NY from 1931 to 1953. After retiring, she wrote her story, Our Covered Bridge.
Our Covered Bridge is an admirable volume which will linger in the memory of the reader long after the last page has been turned.