Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Can You Can?

I canned some garlic dill pickle slices today and I couldn't help thinking that some of my female ancestors likely did the same. Many of “my people” lived on farms so I think it's not too much of a stretch to suspect they preserved some of their harvests once home canning techniques were developed.

I know for sure that at least one relative did some canning because it actually turned up in her divorce papers. Cora (Taylor) Saward Arnold Shellfish and her soon-to-be ex-husband were slinging accusations at one another in the divorce papers. He described some items that Cora took with her. She admitted that, among other things, she took “a small quantity of canned fruit which [she] had done up herself and which she thought she was justly entitled to.” [1]

You might find it kind of odd that canning products earned a mention in a divorce proceeding, but if you've ever done any canning you how much time and effort it takes.

1. Kalamazoo County, Michigan, Circuit Court in Chancery, divorce case no. 614, docket 17 (1919), Cora B. Arnold vs. Frank Arnold, Testimony of Cora Arnold (answer to the crossbill, p. 2), filed 2 Jun 1919, Circuit Clerk's Office, Kalamazoo.

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