Mom has often said that her grandfather--Bryant Waller Taylor (B.W.)—was NOT a farmer. He did not enjoy it, although of course he lived and worked on his family farm.
He DID seem to enjoy woodworking. He had a barn full of tools for the craft—lathes, planes and chisels of all types, and a skill saw for making jigsaw puzzles. And, did he use these tools!
In the winter months, when the land was not in need to tending, he would head to the barn to work. In later years, he brought his tools to Porter Street in Batavia and continued his woodworking there.
|My Heart's In the Highlands Puzzle|
He made numerous jigsaw puzzles (and yes, they are tough to put together—not as uniform as the puzzles we are used to today), small boxes with lids, lamps, candlestick holders and even games. Mom remembers his Chinese Checkers rounded game board. He would make some game pieces out of wood and paint them, but also game pieces out of cork, as they were far easier to carve! B.W. also made lazy susans, and a wooden sewing stand. Many of the boxes, games and lamps would be given as gifts to friends.
|B.W.'s second wife, Emily Carr Taylor|
Mom remembers B.W. making a large wooden ferris wheel which was placed in the front window of his son Leon’s store on Bank Street in Batavia. It had cigar boxes for cars [ minus lids] and he electrified so it rotated! Looked grand according to Mom.
My great grandfather may not have enjoyed the career of farming he had to pursue, but I am glad that he did find at least one hobby which kept his spirit enriched. As Mom and I put together a few of Bryant Waller’s puzzles, I saw him leaning over the workbench in his barn surrounded by his tools. A man of many parts, the complexity of his puzzles equals the man.