Chapter 16. What Defined Mountaindale

What defined Mountaindale was what was not there. First of all, Mountaindale was a hamlet, not an incorporated village. There were no banks, so we had to go to the next town to do our banking. There were no businesses in town that would be of use to out of towners.

We had no insurance agency or farmers' cooperative. All Mountaindale business was done for consumers in Mountaindale. There was no movie house or bowling alley. People from Mountaindale had to go to other places for entertainment. There were no fine jewelry stores or fine dress shops at that time. Almost everybody was poor and did not have money to buy jewelry or expensive clothing. There was no library in town. There were no bookstores in town or places that sold books. The nearest public library was ten miles away in Monticello.

There was not even a liquor store. For example, my grandmother made her own brandy, getting her drinking alcohol from the pharmacist, and berries which where picked by the children. By 1940 we already had an attorney. His name was William Gerstman. Even so, Mountaindale remained relatively isolated.