This history appeared in the Clontarf anniversary booklet from 1978. It contains a great story about when it was all about hay in Clontarf.
Edward Boutain, Sr. Family History
Edward Sr. was born in 1852 in Quebec Province, Canada. He married Belsimire Mercier and came to Clontarf in 1900. The family operated the Clontarf Hotel with their sons helping with the livery stable while the daughters worked in the restaurant. The children born to Edward Boutain, Sr. and Belsimire were: Delvina, Georgiana, Thomas, Edward Jr. who married Mary O’Brien (Leona, William, Maire, Lucille, and Edward), Rosie, Leona, Clara, and Annie.
Edward Boutain, Jr. and his brother Thomas were engaged in the hay business at Clontarf during the early 1900s when Clontarf was the Hay Capital of the World. Leona remembers how the farmers would squabble (fight) for the railroad cars as they came into Clontarf to pick up hay with many farmers running out to meet the train as it neared Clontarf – and climbing into the cars while on the move to claim them for their hay.
Everyone in Clontarf during this time was involved in the hay business. If you weren’t growing hay, then you were buying and selling it. I am sure my great-grandfather was not the only one in Clontarf to lose the “fortune” he made in hay nearly as quick as he made it.
I think I have mentioned before that we have quite a large collection of photographs which roughly date from 1900-1910. Most of the photographs are formal and feature men and women who are well-groomed and in their Sunday best, bright-eyed and ready for the camera. But there are a couple of the photos where the mood is much more relaxed – hats are askew, suits are sloppy, and posture is slouched. I have a hunch that it isn’t a coincidence that these are all-male group photos. We have heard plenty of stories of farmers who went into town after a good harvest or market and didn’t come home for a week…maybe they stopped off at Brandmo’s for a photo so they would remember it when the week was up?
The man seated on the left is my great-grandmother’s brother Tim Foley, and the man standing on the right is my great-grandfather’s brother Jack Regan. I am not sure about the other two guys. Maybe they are Boutains? Any guesses?
I’ve always kind of liked this one.
Four Guys from Clontarf