Cora Bardwell

Cora Bardwell
Bernardston, MA

Cora was born in 1913 and grew up on a farm in West Dover, one of ten children. Her father died suddenly in the winter of 1919 of influenza leaving his wife to bring up 9 children, with a tenth on the way. His dying wishes were that she keep the family together. She had a difficult time of it, but all of her children remember her as an extraordinary mother. She was a fine story teller and had a wealth of stories told in rhyme as recitations. These she used to tell to her children and later her grandchildren, as they performed different chores around the house or in the evening as they were quieting down. Cora learned many of these recitations and has continued the tradition in her family. As a young girl she worked out in the summer or after school, often for summer people. Eventually she married Roger Bardwell, a logger who she had known in school. Together they
had 5 children and at this point, fifteen grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren, all who have had the pleasure of hearing Cora's recitations and in turn beg for her to recite their particular favorite.


Cora and her sister, Ethel Heyland describe the impact of their father's death

Cora recites an extended version of the poem, "There Was an Old Woman."