Endangered Species of Country Life takes the reader on a very special journey. For those of
the younger generation, who have grown up with the Internet, the iPad and the smartphone,
this book will lead you on a fascinating voyage of discovery. For those who are a bit longer
in the tooth, the book will usher you on an odyssey of nostalgia and reminiscence. But
regardless of whether your years are fourteen, forty or fourscore and ten, you are sure to
enjoy the sights that await you at every stop along your journey. Your eyes will feast upon
a smorgasbord of species of country life — all of them endangered and some of them
already extinct. Not only will your emotions be kindled, but your every sense will be
touched by the images that you encounter.
You will read by the flickering flame of a kerosene lamp, you will be guided by the faithful
light of a lonely lighthouse, and you will watch time slowly and silently pass into history
on the expressionless face of the grandfather clock. You will hear the scratchy melodies of
the old gramophone, the babbled chant of the country auctioneer and the deafening clatter
of the threshing machine. You will feel the bumps of the rumble seat ride, the warmth of
the fire in the pot-bellied stove and the cold of the hoarfrost crystals in the hayloft.
You will savour the aroma of freshly baked bread from the outdoor bake oven, you will
remember the smell of hot dogs and fried onions at the county fair, and you will experience
the foreboding fragrance of the venerable outhouse. You will taste maple taffy served on a
wooden paddle, eat turkey roasted on a wood stove and devour fresh strawberries topped
with whipped cream at a church-sponsored Strawberry Social.
This book is not intended to present an exhaustive portrayal of every aspect of country life
of yesteryear. Nor is it intended to be an authoritative compendium of North American
antiques. Rather it offers a selective but significant sampling of more than a hundred
images to illustrate important elements of life in rural North America during the past couple
The endangered species that this book highlights are organized into the following subspecies:
-Tools and Trappings
-Furniture and Fixings
-Crafts and Trades
-Fun and Games
-Odds and Ends
Endangered Species of Country Life will entertain you, inform you and amuse you. Perhaps
it will also sensitize and motivate its readers to preserve and protect the treasures that have
been passed on by previous generations. Maybe it will encourage some to support their
local historical society, others to learn a classic pioneer craft and still others to take some
action to rescue an endangered species of country life from likely extinction. If this book
has accomplished any of the above, then it has achieved its purpose.
So, sit back, fasten your seat belt and begin your journey back in time. Bon voyage!