‘It was the most luxurious bath we ever had’

From our January 2013 issue

By Mary Seerey Kratz – Whitefish, Montana

My mother was always trying to make things more convenient and organized for life on the farm without electricity and running water.

Every day, but especially for Monday laundry day, we hauled water from the barn to the house, put it in a copper boiler, and heated it on our wood cook stove.

We heated a couple of boilers for the gas powered wringer washer.

Mother had heard about an apparatus that attached to our kitchen stove that would heat a barrel of water. We could have hot water without the copper boiler taking up all the stove space.

The barrel was four times larger than the boiler, just like the reservoir at the other end of the stove.

She and dad set up the barrel and it worked really well. It was such a luxury. Even if we had to haul water daily, it heated up in no time.

She saved her dimes

Then mom noticed in the Eaton’s catalogue, beautiful white, shiny bathtubs. They would ship one from Winnipeg by train – but it cost $97.50 which was a unbelievable price.

Mom decided to save up her dimes so she could have the tub. She collected the dimes in a cigar tube and the whole family helped to reach her goal.

She placed the order and about a week later the tub arrived at the train station.

With much anticipation the shiny white, spotless tub arrived in our yard. We had a bathtub with hot water and privacy.

Before that, we took turns bathing in the washtub in front of the kitchen stove. We were all so proud of our parents. It was the most luxurious bath we ever had.

It was such a great way to grow up. My siblings and I are so grateful to our parents.