Sarah Jane Roundy Smith 1889 – 1986

Aunt Sadie 1968 edit 3

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.

32 Beacon Street  edit

 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).

  1. Howard Standley Smith     September 13, 1887 – January 5, 1962. He married Bessie G. (Elizabeth) Whitmore in 1915.
  2. Sarah Jane Roundy Smith    March 25, 1889 – March 22, 1986. Single
  3. Henry Nelson Smith     January 16, 1891 – April 14, 1942. He married Helen Reynolds Trefry in 1920.
  4. Elsie May Smith   July 31, 1892 – September 21, 1928. She married William B. Ball in 1920
  5. Stewart Smith      December 7, 1895 – June 6, 1985. He married Helen Williams Merrill in 1924.
  6. Charles Emery Smith   September 29, 1900 – August 6, 1942. He married Emma Woodfin Foss in 1923. These were my grandparents
  7. Ruth Blaney Smith    March 7, 1909 – June 30, 2002. She remained single and worked at Stowaway Sweets.

CAndy box  edit

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13 thoughts on “Sarah Jane Roundy Smith 1889 – 1986

  1. Not living in the Grace Oliver’s Beach area, I went with my neighbors, the Creightons, there to swim for several summers, and Sadies fudge was a big part of the day for us kids. You are right, after swimming all morning, diving off the big rock up a ways from the beach.. etc., we’d wrap our towels around our shoulders and go, barefoot, up the street and into that door on the left in the Sadie’s house, up the old stairs, and into that magical candy shop… in the back. And we’d get our sugar fixes there. So good, too. What great memories.

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  2. I had the chance to crawl through the entire house when aunt Ruth was thinking of moving, quite a while before she actually did. The lone bathroom was upstairs, behind a bedroom. There was also an unfinished space between the kitchen and the shop which I guess was used for storage. And of course, the kitchen ceiling was so low that anyone taller than Ruth or Sadie would hit their heads.
    I also remember visiting in the ’70s before they had central heat. They heated the house with a parlor stove in, of course, the parlor (I was allowed in there, but it was probably just after aunt Sadie died. The house had been insulated by that time, and I remember aunt Ruth telling me how, when she was a child, the rugs would lift off the floor from the drafts coming through the windows during nor’easters.

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  3. Loved this Marge! Sadie’s is a favorite memory from my childhood too! Mum would work until 2:00 and then pack us up in the car for a couple of hours at Grace Oliver’s…Sadies was always a big part of those afternoons. We’d each get a nickel and a nickel for a piece of fudge for mum…Keep up the good work!

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  4. While spending the summers with our Aunt and Grandmother, we went to Grace Oliver’s almost daily. A trip to Sadie’s was a treat. Our Aunt would give us each 25 cents and see what we would come back with. And yes, we could return our soda bottles there for a refund; or more candy.

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  5. This was a very cool portrait of your Aunt Sadie! It’s so funny, her name popped out INSTANTLY to me, and I remember seeing it in my family tree! Her Uncle, Benjamin Franklin Smith, married my Great Great Grandmother, Ida Dow. My dad knew him as “Grampy Smith” and absolutely loved him. My dad has such warm and loving memories of his Grampy Smith. He was so loved by the family that his stepdaughter, Edna May Upton, gave her son his name as a middle name (Curtis Smith Hamilton). I’m thrilled to know about her, and thanks for writing this fabulous blog!

    Courtney Hamilton
    Los Angeles, California

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      1. You’re absolutely right, thank you! It was Pond Street! 10 Guernsey is where Edna Toft lived w/ my Grandfather. 41 Pond street was the address for Benjamin & Ida. We took a walk by the house when we visited last August, and my dad recognized it from the slope of the backyard.

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  6. Yes, Sadie used to take in soda bottles. One time I had some bottles stashed under the US Mail relay box that was just outside of her house. Went off to find a couple more, and when I came back my stash was missing. Studie was in the window upstairs and pointed across the street to Mrs. Jacque’s house. Some teenager was doing yardwork for her. I told him to give me my bottles back, successfully.
    It might have been October 1965, when I was in 6th grade. I wound up in the Mary Alley at a time when Sadie’s sister in law, Helen was also in the hospital. Sadie saw me there one day, and the next day brought me some candy. Being out of season, some of it was stale, but I didn’t care!

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