Days Gone By - stories from the past

Over the river and through the wood – Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day! Here is the origin of this old poem


Do you remember driving down little trails to visit relatives in the country on Thanksgiving? Whenever we crossed a stream, I always worried that our tires wouldn’t stay on the wooden bridge tracks and we would fall through. Some pieces are missing on this bridge, but it reminded me of how wide these small bridges were.

I miss sipping cool clear water from the old tin or gourd dipper by the well when we reached our destination. I don’t think there was any better tasting water. 

wooden bridge

Many Thanksgiving Days were spent with our relatives in the country where we all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving feast. Often we traveled on one-lane dirt roads with narrow bridges similar to the ruins of the picture above. Whenever we crossed a stream, I always worried that our tires wouldn’t stay on the wooden bridge tracks and we would fall through. Some pieces are missing on this bridge, but the picture reveals the how narrow they were.  On those precious memories from the past, I remember repeating the Thanksgiving poem below and I discovered that it actually originated around 1845.


Thanksgiving 1845 New England boy's song (Library of Congress)

Thanksgiving boys song2

New England Boys Song about Thanksgiving Day Illus. in: Flowers for Children by Lydia Maria Child (Boston, 1845), p. 25. (Library of Congress)


“We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.” Herman Melville


Would you like to know Thomas Jefferson’s recipe for Vinegar of the Four Thieves or how to make Ox Tail Soup? Discover this recipe as well as many household tips from the past in 

VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the past   Now in paperback, makes a great gift


Vinegar of the Four Thieves: Recipes & Curious Tips from the Past (Paperback)

By (author):  Donna R Causey
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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Patricia Coffee Decker

    So many wonderful memories of going to my Granny and Grandpa Cook’s farms in Clermont and Roswell. Drinking water from the well and filling gallon jars with spring water in Roswell. On our trips to Melbourne,Ark. we crossed a wooden bridge like that to get to Pa’s Grandparents church.

  2. I hear my mother’s voice reciting the poem each holiday, to my children. When she was a child she did live over the river from her Grandfather McCray’s home and yes, the family did congregate there with Great Grandmother and Great Grandpa. Huge family full of love . I miss those days of yore. So happy to be part of such an old and spreading family of old Alabama.

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