Happy Birthday Aunt Sadie! She was Aunt Sadie or the fudge lady to most children in the Barnegat area of Marblehead. Born Sarah Jane Roundy Smith on March 25, 1889 at 32 Beacon Street, Marblehead, MA and died at 32 Beacon Street, Marblehead, MA on March 22, 1986. Not many people can say they were born and died in the same house. She spent almost 97 years in that house never venturing very far. Aunt Sadie attended the Marblehead Public Schools and was a forelady at the Shribman Shoe Factory on Green Street for four years until the firm moved. She also took in laundry for people in town as a way to earn money. Sadie never married and lived with her sister, Ruth and her brother Stewart and his wife in the family home.
It was an interesting home for me to visit as a child. I obviously knew where the candy store was; on the left side of the house as you faced it. There was a front door, and I am not sure it that was ever used. On the right side was a path and a door that you entered to get to the kitchen. I remember it was always warm and smelled of home cooked food or candy in there. I can see the kitchen table and a stove but never remember a refrigerator; I think it may have been in a room off the candy store. I know the frozen chocolate candy ice cubes wrapped in gold foil were kept in there. From the kitchen you stepped down into a sitting room with a few chairs, a parakeet cage and a bowl with homemade caramels in them. The caramels were my favorites, buttery vanilla caramels wrapped in a white wax paper wrapper. This is the room Aunt Sadie would sit in and you could see her in the window as you drove by. What a view from that room over to Brown’s Island and beyond. Across the hall there was the formal living area, which I think I was in once. It was only opened for special occasions and probably funerals. The Christmas tree may have been in there also. My Uncle Stewart and his wife lived upstairs, and I guess Sadie and Ruth’s bedrooms were up there. I was never allowed up there. To this day I always wonder where the indoor plumbing was!!
In the early 1930’s she started making ice cream and opened the store in her home. The ice cream was in my mother’s time, I don’t remember it. She then began to make fudge, caramels, vinegar and molasses kisses and puffed rice squares. Unfortunately you won’t find the recipes in this blog because no one has them that we know of, except for Aunt Sadie. My mother, (Sadie’s niece) and another niece would go to Aunt Sadie’s, pick up some fudge and ride their bikes around town selling it. There were three squares of fudge wrapped in white waxed paper.
A day at Grace Oliver’s Beach or Brown’s Island was not complete without a visit to Sadie’s candy store. As a relative I would be entitled to a bag of “fudge scraps”. These were the pieces that were left on the paddle or in the bowl and clumped together to make a hunk of fudge, the best! She also sold all kinds of penny candy, but I had to pay for that. We would run up Beacon Street from Gracie’s in our bathing suits and probably barefoot with our nickel or dime and get a bag of candy. Sometimes, if it wasn’t a beach day and we just had a nickel we would get a bag and sit on “Old Mrs. Jacques” wall across the street, until she shooed us away. Does anyone remember, could we turn in our tonic bottles there for money for candy, I can’t remember?
Aunt Sadie retired in about 1970 but she will always be remembered as Aunt Sadie or The Fudge Lady and is still talked about today.
Aunt Sadie’s was the second child born to Charles Henry Smith (1860 – 1939) and Ruth Ann Standley (1866 – 1956).
- Howard Standley Smith September 13, 1887 – January 5, 1962. He married Bessie G. (Elizabeth) Whitmore in 1915.
- Sarah Jane Roundy Smith March 25, 1889 – March 22, 1986. Single
- Henry Nelson Smith January 16, 1891 – April 14, 1942. He married Helen Reynolds Trefry in 1920.
- Elsie May Smith July 31, 1892 – September 21, 1928. She married William B. Ball in 1920
- Stewart Smith December 7, 1895 – June 6, 1985. He married Helen Williams Merrill in 1924.
- Charles Emery Smith September 29, 1900 – August 6, 1942. He married Emma Woodfin Foss in 1923. These were my grandparents
- Ruth Blaney Smith March 7, 1909 – June 30, 2002. She remained single and worked at Stowaway Sweets.