Mary Almy Wing Sowle (1898-1981) 


Mary Almy Wing Sowle (July 23, 1898-September 12, 1981) 

 A helper and carer 

 1881 Main Road, Westport Point 


A remembrance by Glenda Broadbent 

In order to distinguish Mary A.W. from other Mary Sowles she was affectionately referred to as “Mary Til” or” Mary up the road” referring to her father or her home. 

She was born when her family lived at Macy’s on Main Road up on the little hill almost to Cornell Road. (East side of the road). 

We remember that she and her sister Florence were living at the family home in the 1920’s. Her Aunt Lydia, Grandfather Til, and father Til were there also. It was across from the Point School. 

Mary was a helper. She helped her Aunt Lydia take in summer vacationers, school teachers, and older people who needed a home. 

She helped her Uncle Harry run his store which was next door to her home. She helped get homes ready for summer people to use. She often took care of children. 

For several years she was janitor at the Point School where she often took over recess duties and was helpful to children who needed an older person’s attention and love. 

For many years she rode the “mail wagon” every day. During the school year she got off at “Stevenson’s Poultry Farm”, corner of Cornell road, to care for and feed Mr. Stevenson and his workers while Mrs. Stevenson taught school in New Bedford. 

In the summer months the mail wagon took her to Hix Bridge road at Central Village. From there she walked down to “Remington’s ” at Hix Bridge. There she helped prepare the clambake and served as a waitress. 

Mary really kept the Point Church alive. She served on the committees, cooked for the suppers and fairs, and manned the booths at the bazaars. She made sure the new ministers and their families were welcomed and made comfortable in a clean, well-stocked parsonage. Mary Sowle influenced so many lives as a Sunday School teacher. 

As a charter member of the Central Village Grange she found many ways to make happier lives for her family, friends and strangers. 

Clambakes by Mary A.W. Sowle 


As I sit here thinking of times gone by, my mind goes back to Remington’s with dishes piled up high. I first worked there in 1918 and continued to around 1933. 

The first thing I helped with was preparing fish and sausage. The fish was dipped in salt and pepper and then packed onto trays quite neatly then covered with paper tied on tightly. Then to the barn we went where we husked the corn part way and packed that on trays with the paper put on to stay. 

While this was being done another group set the tables proper. Each place was measured off so that everyone had room to move and not disturb his neighbor. The head waitress was very neat and she would stand at the head of each table and look down to see that the glasses were in a line. The knives, forks, and spoons also had to agree. They were measured to be just one inch from the edge of the table. We thought she was fussy, but it surely did not look messy. 
When the table setting was done we had an hour to have some fun. To the summer house we would go where some would knit and some would sew. There was a gift shop next to the pavilion where we sometimes went to see what was new and sometimes purchased a thing or two. 

A lady down here named Grace and myself’ rode on the mail truck to the top of Handy Hill and then strolled down to work with a will. We sometimes got a ride with a lady who in the kitchen worked. She made the coffee strong and crushed an egg into it to make it clear. She also had butter to slice and brown bread to cut in slices quite thin. When we got hungry before the bake was done we made sandwiches of brown bread and plenty of butter. When the feast was over we had our turn to eat, and eat we did, you can be sure. 

On Saturday it was a sunset bake with something special- a half lobster for each person. They were tricky to serve- if you had ladies with large hats it took quite a nerve. I remember one time I had the right number but one slipped into a man’s coat pocket. I pondered in my mind, should I tell the Boss or tell the man? I decided I’d better let the man know so to the Boss he would not go. So I went to him and did say, I’m sorry, but I think in your pocket you will find a lobster. It slipped away and in the pocket did stay. He said, “Do not let that bother. When you come back I’ll have another.” This is really not a joke, but I had to laugh or else choke. 

One time the woman I was working with stubbed her toe with a tray of water melon. Away she did go!! We had plenty of good times as you can see. 

When Mr. Remington passed away our head waitress requested we attend his service in our white dresses. This we did. After he had passed away his sister-in-law carried sway. 

I don’t think a bake has ever been that was as neat and also so very complete. 

Editor’s note: Mary Sowle is a rare person. A lifelong resident, Mary has spent her years helping others. In her delightful rhyming prose, Mary shares her reminiscences of her younger days