Former postmaster marks 90 years

SILVERBAY-Ninety years ago on April 27, 1921, Ethel Andrus will tell you, "I was born and raised in Silver Bay on Watts Hill, the lovely knoll my father bought and cleared to build our homestead."

There she lived all the days of her life, not counting the months from June 1946 to May 1947. She had become the wife of Bill Andrus on June 1 and the newlyweds moved to Louisiana. But Ethel became so homesick that before the year was up, the couple returned to Watts Hill. Bill and Ethel fixed-up living quarters over the garage that had served as her father's office before his death in 1943. Captain Walter G. Watts had been known as one of the ablest surveyors in northern New York.

Ethel entered the world as the second youngest of the seven children of Ethel Mary Shattuck (for whom she's named) and Captain Walter G. Watts. She talks about her parents with pride.

"My mother, Ethel Shattuck, was 15 when she married my father. He was 35. My parents were a very independent couple. They had to be-it was subsistence living. What we couldn't grown, preserve, or make, we ordered from Montgomery Ward-parcel post." Her father, she told, "...would go across the lake by boat. In winter he'd carry his transit on his back and walk across on the ice to the opposite shore and go over the mountain all the way to Whitehall. Transportation was scarce in those days." Ethel's husband, Bill Andrus, when the couple returned to Silver Bay for good, went to work at Hague's Trout House Garage. Ethel became postmaster of Silver Bay in the little building on 9N at the head of Pudding Island Road, just a little north of Watts Hill. Many a resident, including some writers, became acquainted with Ethel at the post office. The well-read and knowledgeable Ethe helped document facts from fancies about her hometown.

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