John James Mackenzie 1867-1920

Earned his living as a granite cutter and engraver
Engaged in many social activities in the community

Recollections of his daughter Winnifred
My father was a stone cutter, and cut names and flowers on monuments. He printed the Lord's Prayer each line being different. He had a long brown mustache and full beard. One night he got drinking too much and when he came home the kids didn't recognize him because his beard had been cut off. He never grew it out again. Our first home was on Seminary Street. It had a big kitchen, pantry, two bedrooms and a toilet. The kitchen was warmed by a coal burning stove. There was a cast iron heater in the living room. We had a cistern in the basement from which we had to pump all our water. We bathed in a laundry tub using water heated in a boiler pan on top of the stove. The school was behind our house. We would go out the back door into the school yard and sleigh ride down the hill in the winter We then moved to Bolster Avenue where we had electricity and running water into a tub. The cemetery was next door. In the spring we went and tapped maple trees and got syrup. We made holes in trees and hung a bucket under a little faucet in the hole. I would put the syrup on snowballs and eat it. My Sunday School teacher made syrup out of the sap. He had a big maple orchard. "oh, 'twas good. Ya know, I kin taste it yet!"
I sang in the choir and played the piano for Dad when he sang. He had a beautiful base voice and sang in all the different churches. We lived in Barre, Vermont until I was about 16. We moved to Salida, Colorado. My father could have an "open" monument shop where matter wouldn't get in his lungs so badly. [Air tools were used to cut and engrave granite in sheds or buildings. The granite dust casued many a man consumption and ultimatly took his life at the age of 53.]
BARRE DAILY TIMES June 3, 1907

BURNS CLUB FESTIVAL

Pinic Season Was Started Off Saturday WITH A FINE OCCASION
Nearly All The Members Of This Organization With Their Families Attended and Played, Sang, and Danced.

The picnic season at Calledonia park was formally opened Saturday when the members of the Burns club and their families gathered there for their annual outing. The Burns club for several years past has been the first to set the ball a rolling for the many picnics held by the different organizations in the city every summer at this park. Nearly every member of the club was out Saturday and spent a most enjoyable afternoon. The base ball game which is always one of the chief sports at the occasion was played by two teams captained by William Mackie and J.J. Mckinzie. Capt. Mackie was the slab artist for his team and he surprised himself and everyone else by striking out seven men and winning the game 7 to 3. One of the many features of the game was the pitching of Lamont, who was knocked out of the box in the first inning, after Mackie's sluggers had straightened his curves for six runs. George Mackie then took the place of Lamont, resigned. The teams were made up as follows: Capt Mackie, p. Rib Jim Anderson, Ib. Jim Booth, 2b. Little Jim Anderson, 3b. McDonald, ss. Alexander c, Inglis, Watt, Scott, Yale and Pirie, fielders. Capt Mckinzie's team, Lamont p & Ib. Mackey Ib & p. Rae 3b, Bird 2b, Alex Milne c, Anderson ss, Blake, Chessor, Patterson, Christie and A McDonald fielders. In the boys race Leslie Morrison was first, James Mackie second, John McDonald third. Mrs William Scott and Mrs. James Booth were tied for first place in the married ladies race. Throwing the hammer, Robert Inglis first, James Patterson second, ex-Alderman Milne third, Joseph Yule won the ? race, D. Blake second, Leslie Morrison third and Alex Rae fourth. Putting the shot, Robert Inglis first, J.J. Mckinzie second, J.K. Marr third. The special features of the races was a hundred yard dash between Robert Inglis and J.J. Mckinzie which Bob won and Jack declared he would have been a close second if he ? ? dropped his specks. The ? ? of the afternoon was the football game. J.J. Mckinzie was again one of the captains and Charles Campbell the other. The Hoodoo was working a third time for Jack and he lost by a score of 1 to 0. Dancing was enjoyed in the pavilion between the games, music being furnished by the Burns Club Quadrille orchestra. The party returned at seven o'clock on a special train over the Wells river. The committee which had charge of the picnic was composed of the club officers: President James Rae; Vice-president William Scott; secretary Robert Inglis; secretary; Alex Smith and James K Anderson, J.J. Mckinzie and Fred Bird.

BARRE DAILY TIMES Wednesday February 5, 1904

DALBEATTIE'S SONS HOLD REUNION

Craignair Club Meets in Miles Hall For Social Evening and Renewal of Youthful Friendship

The "Craignair club", whose membership is made up of natives of Dalbeattie, Scotland, held its first annual reunion last evening in Miles Hall, 24 couples being in attendance. The club takes its name from the quarries at Dalbeattie and was recently formed for the purpose of renewing childhood's memories of the old home and creating a stronger bond of friendship among the sons and daughters of Dalbeattie in the home of their adoption. The reunion took the form of a supper, with speeches, songs and stories and dancing. A chicken pie supper was served, which included mutton pies, a famous Dalbeattie dish, scones, oat cakes, etc., and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The evening's entertainment began with a grand march and a Scottish reel, after which all were seated at the tables to hear the welcoming remarks of the President, Samuel G. Carswell, and listen to "Bonnie Gallama, " as sung by Joseph Graham. James Rowan responded to the toast, "Craignair" and he was followed by a song by James Dawe and "The March of the Cameron Men" by Alderman John J. Mckenzie. Supper was then served and after full justice had been done to all the good things Mrs. John Buchanan sang another song and President Carswell spoke on the "Worthies of the Bit" Mr. Carswell amused his hearers to the greatest enthusiasm with his very apt remarks. "The Craignair Club" was responded to by Charles Campbell and "Co'en" by James Campbell; Alderman J.J. Mckenzie spoke for the "City of Barre," and Thomas Grahham for the ladies. The balance of the evening was given to dancing, the party breaking up about 2 o'clock this morning with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne".

Barre Daily Times April 13, 1907

Gave a Play and a Dance Ladies of Clan Gordon successfully Entertained Large Crowd Last Night

The ladies of Clan Gordon order seemed a great success with their ninth anniversary ball held last evening in Woodmen hall. Over 350 people crowded into the ball during the first part of the evening and the entertainment and sociability furnished by the ladies of the order kept most of them there until midnight. At eight o'clock the fares, "A district at Blueberry corners," was presented and furnished no aid of amusement for the large audience. This Blueberry school had a reputation far and wide as being a difficult proposition for school teachers to manage and the school directors, J.J. Mckenzie, James Coutts and Alex McCaskill, had considerable trouble in selecting a teacher from the many applicants whom they thought would be able to subdue the unruly school but they finally decided on Mr. Pendergast……….

EVENING TELEGRAM March 22, 1902

DEMANDS REFUSED

Barre Quarry Mens Association Refused Last Night To Grant DEMANDS OF EMPLOYEES There Will Proably Be a Strike. The Union Is Not Recognized

At a well attended and protracted meeting last evening the Barre Quarrymen's Association after considerable discussion refused to grant the demands of their employees as made in a letter received by Secretary Clarihew Mar IS. From John C. Wylie representing the Quarrymen's Union. Such was the result of the meeting, but there is more behind the decision than that. It is learned that the answer Mr. Wylie received today was worded in such a way as to show there was no recognition of the union whatever. It is the intention of the association to treat with the men as individuals and disregard the fact that the men belong to a union. The demand of the union as expressed in the letter sent Secretary Clarihew by John C. Wilie as chairman of the union ?? committee is for an eight hour day with nine hours pay, and time and a half for over time. This arrangement to go into effect April ??. This is a request but if it was disregarded may mean a strike. The union now numbers 900 men and included almost every quarryman on the Hill. The men claim that their demand is not an excessive he as they lose so much time by reason of bad weather that the increase in wages would be small. The reduction in the working day is what they want most of all. They say that the quarry owners can easily ???? grant them an increase of pay as ?? stock has recently seen advanced ?? 15 to 20 percent in ?? and ?? stock from 20 to 25 percent. The average wages of the men are about $1.90 a day, the lowest being $1.50 and highest $2.25, the greater number getting about $2 a day. On a account of bad weather they do not average more than 20 days work in a month.