The Winter Days of Sledding

I think every kid that grows up with winter snow looks forward to that storm that brings enough snow to cover their favorite hill.

I was one of those kids. There was a hill just across the street, and just enough hill for a little kid. My Dad would haul my sled up the hill, get on the sled with me in front, and away we would go!

We would whiz to the bottom in no time, time and time again, until my little legs could take no more!
“That’s enough for me too,” Dad would say.

A short walk back across Station Street, up the back stairs onto the porch to shake off the snow. Leaving my boots behind along with my snowsuit, into the kitchen I ran to sit on the radiator until I thawed!

As I got older I could go sledding alone — that is, alone with my dog Skippy. He was my companion. Up the hill dragging my sled, Skippy leaping back and forth dipping his nose into the snow. At the top, I would coax him close enough to get him into my lap, then off we would go. He would wiggle away from me, preferring to run alongside and bark!

Off the sled I went, as Skippy races back.’
We outgrew that hill. A little farther away was the old lower road that led down from Seager’s Hill. At one time it was kept in good condition. It was once used by David Seager’s farm to bring goods to the railroad to ship to Boston. In the mid 40s it was showing deterioration. A good snowfall hid all the ruts and washouts. It was a long, great ride down that old road. But it was a longer pull up!  Sometimes half way was enough.
The upper road to Seager’s farm (now Deer Hill Lane) was even better to slide on because of its good condition . . . but one would have to watch for Mr. or Mrs. Seager returning home. Only once did I encounter Mrs. Seager coming up the hill as I was going down. Up and over the banking I went as she drove slowly by with a smile and wave — phew!

Another great hill was behind Torrey Little’s Auction Barn, (formerly Hoods Milk, 575 Summer Street). This was a wide path that ran up to Canoe Tree Lane. It was steep and fast.

A long tug uphill.

Christmas and New Year’s would bring a big gathering of kids and adults from that area. There were a few times a kid we called “Ham Bone” brought the six-foot-long double runner his grandfather made. It took three or four of us to pull and push it to the top. On we would get, then shove off, and down we would go.

We would be at the speed of sound as we approached the bump at the opening in the stone wall. Into the air we would go!  Every time I can remember, we would come crashing down on the sled’s side. We always made it without a scratch!
Bill Frugoli of Summer Street remembers, “The slide started at Donald Hagar’s house and came down the path just north of the barn between a small opening in the stone wall. It stopped out in front of the barn. Before you got to this point, you would go off the embankment by the rear of the barn — it was about a three-foot jump. It knocked the hell out of your lungs and guts.” (circa 1948)
Bill said of Florence Tilden, (Harry Tilden’s wife) who also lived on Summer Street, ”She told us of stories when her kids were young, they would come down the hill on toboggans and continue to the left down Summer Street and come to a stop at about  Eddie  Hitchcock’s house (663 Summer Street).”

“Back then, Summer Street was a dirt road. The snow was packed down as hard as ice.”

“Strange—what brings these past things so vividly back to us—sometimes.”
– Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin

by Ray Freden  
Seaview/ Marshfield 70 years


One Reply to “The Winter Days of Sledding”

  1. Oh my! So many memories of sledding on that hill between Torry Little’s barn and Donald Hagar’s(my uncle) home. There was a path to my home at the bottom of the hill before the stone wall. Home was perhaps 150 yds to the left..The boy in the foreground of that picture could be me….Another frequent participant was Bruce Freeden, perhaps your younger brother?? Your description of the run and the jump over the stone wall at the bottom is perfect… Thanks for reviving these memories….Bill Hagar

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