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The speaker is a 78-year-old White woman with a grade school education from Delphi, Indiana; she was recorded in 1968.



County: Carroll
State: IN

Commentary:
Located in north central Indiana, with a current population of around 3,000, Delphi is the county seat of Carroll County. The town was once an important port on the now-defunct Wabash and Erie Canal, a partially man-made canal that served as a link between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River, giving traders of the region access to the Gulf of Mexico. In this segment the speaker details early memories of helping her father take their cane sorghum crop to the mill.
Inf: I r-, I, I like to tell about uh, when uh, we used to have uh, my father uh, used to have cane patch, sorghum, for sorghum molasses [FW: Hmm]. And we used to uh, it was a great big patch, and he???d make us long paddles, so we???d strip the uh, blades off of the uh, stalks, of cane, and we???d strip all of that off, and ???course on above would be the uh, seed, brown seed would, would bloom, you know, and then when that was brown like that, why the cane was ready to strip and get ready to take the sorghum mill to (xx), have sorghum molasses made. And we would strip that cane and uh, and uh, then my father would take a corn knife and he???d chop all that cane down and he???d lay it in a pile. And uh, uh, pile it up, and then he would load it in the big wagon, up as high as the boards would be, you know, up high. And then uh, it was ready to be taken to the sorghum mill where they made uh, oh gallons and gallons of sorghum molasses.

And be maybe four, five of us children would go along and set up on top of the wagon, uh, on top of the cane, and we???d go to the cane mill with him, and watch him grind up this cane stalks and then they???d make it into juice, and then it was ready to put into big vats and to be made into molasses [FW: Huh]. And I remember one time there was my uncle and his three children went uh, to the mill with their load of cane and my father had a load of cane, and they was uh, three of us girls went along. They was six of us children.

Well, when we got to the cane mill, why, of course we got out and moseyed around in the barn lot. And they, the people that had the cane mill, why a lady, she brought out a dish, a great big dish with sorghum molasses in it. There was a big stump in the, m-, b-barn lot, and she brought out that dish of uh, sorghum. It was already made, you know. And she put six spoons in it. Six spoons in it for each one of us children, and she told us now to help ourselves and, and we could eat all the molasses we wanted. Well, we were kind of bashful a little bit, and we didn???t go and uh, uh, eat any of it for a good little bit, ???til uh, we finally took a notion in uh, we didn???t have no bread or anything to eat with it. We just went and took the spoons and eat uh, sorghum molasses.

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