Thursday, February 17, 2011

Those Places Thursday: Sigford Home on Matney Way, circa 1919 to 1923

Outside the house on Matney Way, circa 1924
Uncle David Keyes, Gail Sigford, Ruth Sigford
Although I grew up less than a half mile from the house on Matney Way, I never knew that my mother, Ruth,  and my aunt Gail were born in that house.  In fact,  I didn't even know they lived there until I was an adult.  Years later when one my mother's twin sisters, Loise, talked about the place on Matney Way, she was very disparaging about the house and land. She would almost spit out the words,  "Just an old shack on an alkali flat."   My mother's feelings of reticence about this house were undoubtedly influenced by her sister who was 14 years older.

The house on Matney Road burned to the ground in about 1923;  my mother was just 4 years old at the time. Nearly seventy years later, she shared her memories of that old house :

"The house on Matney Way burned to the ground, probably in late summer  or early autmn of 1923, when Gail [her younger sister] was a baby, well perhaps more of a toddler.  I remember my mother carrying a baby out of the house in her arms while the house was burning.  We lost almost everything in this fire.  My mother saved her round topped trunk where she kept all of her treasures.  No one was died in the fire and we still had our cows, car, buggy and Nell [the horse].  That was the only house that my parents ever owned."

Even though I never saw this house, it looms large in my memory for many of the treasured family pictures of my mother's family were taken when they lived there.

Ruth Sigford, 1 year old
late summer, 1920

Sigford twins, Loise and Joyce with brother Clemmon
in the buggy behind beloved Nell, circa 1922
Lone Pine School in the background

1920, Sigford children at the Matney Way property
Clemmon, Joyce holding baby Ruth, and Loise
and dog


  1. How sad the house burned. I'm glad she saved her treasures, though, and that no one was hurt. I love your pictures!


  2. Astrid, Thanks for stopping by and reading. I really love the pictures that were taken at that "old shack in the alkali flat."

  3. Love the photos Joan, that last one is particularly lovely, and as always, your story, wonderfully written.

  4. I love the photos also! I think the first one is my favorite, it isn't a posed photo. Love your blog Joan! Thank you for commenting on my blog too. As a crafter we can relate to homemade items!