TexasEscapes.com Texas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1600 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
  Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Wash day on the farm
always fell on Monday

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
Down through time, as sure as death and taxes, Monday was wash day. Like the Ten Commandments, the event was carved in stone and postponed only by funerals or bad weather.

Though family wash day routines varied, Mondays on the Trew farm proceeded as follows.

A black, cast-iron pot was set upright on bricks with a fire started underneath. Wooden benches were aligned to hold four galvanized wash tubs, a hand-cranked wringer attached to No. 1 tub along with a regular rub-board. The pot and three tubs were filled with fresh water.

A laundry basket containing a poke stick, a bottle of Mrs. Stewart's Bluing, a box of Faultless Starch, starch pan, a bag of clothes pins and several cakes of lye soap was fetched from the back porch. While the water was heating, bluing was added to No. 4 tub, and the clothes line wire wiped with a damp cloth.

With the pot water hot, a portion was dipped into the No. 1 tub and more into the starch pan. A pocket knife shaved slivers of lye soap into the hot water with a mild mixture made in the tub and a strong mixture made in the pot.

Dirty laundry was sorted, soft into the pot, light whites into the tub. Work clothes and rags were left until last to boil in the pot. Light whites were scrubbed on the rub-board before being wrung and rinsed. Pot items were stirred and poked until clean. Eventually, all items were stirred, poked, wrung and rinsed before hanging on the line. Some items were rinsed in the bluing tub and others were dipped in the starch pan.

After finishing the washing chore, all rinse was carried to pour on flowers and shrubs. The pot and tub of lye water was poured on goat-heads and grass-burrs in the driveway. Once dried by sun and breeze, the clothes were gathered and sorted on the dining room table. Work clothes were shaken out and hung on nails. Bedding was placed back on the beds. Few families had excess bedding or clothes. Most homes had no closets, with all clothing hung behind bedroom doors.

Hold on, it's not over yet. All ironing was dumped on a bed with an ironing board standing nearby. Each piece was spread on the ironing board, sprinkled with a water bottle and made into a tight ball with all ends tucked in tight. With all items watered down and packed into the laundry basket, a damp towel was placed over the top to prevent evaporation.

Just as Monday was designated as wash day, Tuesday was ironing day. I have never heard any practical reasoning why these days were chosen, but the routine never varied at the Trews.
Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew"
- July 22, 2005 column
 
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES
Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South |
West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII |
History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books | MEXICO
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters |
Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators |
Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Corner Stones | Pitted Dates |
Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us
Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2007. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: July 2, 2007