James Eaton - canal boats ( more details)
MS. ROSS: Where did you live in the wintertime ?
MR. EATON: On the boat.
MS. ROSS: On the boat?
MR. EATON: Oh yeah.
MS. ROSS: Docked here at Cumberland.
MR. EATON: Oh, yeah. We was the first boat, right above the wharf where they loaded them. That was our quarters there. Yeah, it was a regular favorite tying up place, otherwise.
MS. ROSS: How did you keep it warm in the wintertime?
MR. EATON: Oh, we had a stove.
MS. ROSS: Coal fire?
MR. EATON: Yeah, we had a stove in there, yeah. Yeah. That didn't take too much because
the cabin was pretty small. It didn't take too much to warm it up in there. It was - well, I think it was - let's see, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, I think it was seven of us, yeah, and dad and mother, that made nine. And the Captain, they had their quarters in the cabin, they had their cabin where they slept. The bed was on what they called the berm side. They had a bed running this way that could sleep two or three very good but uncomfortable for three. But they generally - whoever was the baby or something like that, why, they generally slept with their mother and daddy, you know what I mean.
And down underneath of it, what I mean, it was a space in there about five or six foot, why, they would put a straw tick under there. And that would sleep about three, see and then over where we ate at, well, there - well, if you want to call it the dining room, it's all right with me, but over in there, why, it had a little bunk running across this way over towards the towpath side, running crosswise to the boat, you know what I mean.
MS. ROSS: Uh-huh.
MR. EATON: Well, -
MS. ROSS: That's right in the bow?
MR. EATON: No, it was in the stern.
MS. ROSS: In the stern.
MR. EATON: Yeah, yeah.
MS. ROSS: Oh, that's right, the bow is the stable.
MR. EATON: Yeah. And they had one running across this way, it was something like a day bed, you know what I mean, if you want to call it that, a small-sized day bed. Well, two could sleep on that but it was very uncomfortable, you know what I mean. Even the place back under the stern, where the quarter deck was, we stood on the steerer boat, where they had - the place went in off the kitchen floor, they had a door on it and I guess, oh, two and a half feet high, but you had to just about crawl in. Why, you could even put a bed in there. It was nice and cool, you got that coolness from the water, you know what I mean? And they had those portholes open, you know what I mean? You'd be surprised how cool, and that was my favorite sleeping spot, what I mean.
James Easton, Marsha
C&O National Historic Park
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (Md.); Washington County (Md.), History