By David Schleper
According to Florence Kelm, granddaughter of Charles A. Manaige, “You see that big building over there,” as Florence pointed to the sprawling structure on the adjoining property across the road, known as the Mill Pond, “That is a tavern, and at night it gets very noisy, and people came outside and make nuisances of themselves.”
“People used to come over on our land and lie on the grass. They broke bottles against our trees and threw things at our house,” said Florence. “They called us ‘Indians’ and did many things to taunt us. We are Indians, you know, that is, we have Indian blood.”
Florence remembered her grandfather, Charles A. Manaige put a fence up, but “the people broke it down each time he put it up. Grandfather went to the village authorities, and asked if we couldn’t have some protection, as there were little children at his house, and he did not wish them to see or hear some of the things they were being forced to see and hear; but because we were Indians—we didn’t get any help!”
Charles decided, “So, I will take the law into my own hands! I am not going to have those drunken bums lying on my green, green grass; I’m not going to have those drunken bums leaning against my beautiful trees; I’m not going to have them polluting the pure water of our creek; they are going to keep off our property!”
And so Charles used to sit under the tree with a shotgun across his knees, and threaten anyone who came near from the tavern-side of the property!
(Some information from Marian Winter story for the Sibley House Historic Site.)