Recently, ICG received a message from a member of the community with a touching story about the Ontario St. garden:
I watch in awe of the garden’s development and how beautifully maintained it is. I have a story to share regarding that location.
My mother, Helen Hausman, lived in the yellow, two-story house with the white vinyl fence next to the Ontario St. garden. She was a very special lady who loved to garden. She was one of 10 children, and she lived through the Great Depression. Because she was always concerned about another depression causing a food shortage, she would can her vegetables and fruits by the bushel. We called her our “city farmer.”
The Chapel was another true love of Helen’s. She attended services for close to 50 years. Every Sunday, Helen and an elderly friend drove to the old Chapel for services, and then made a day of it by visiting family and going out for lunch. She loved Rev. Andrews and found Rev. Gillis to be amazing. Helen sat with Pastor George’s mother-in-law in the new building. He would deliver the eulogy at her funeral. Marie Wolf was Helen’s Chapel guardian angel and would drive to Lockport every Sunday to pick her up for church. Two years before she died, Helen ended up in a nursing home and was unable to attend services at the Chapel. However, Marie, a true Chapel ambassador, continued to visit her, and to this day calls me to say hello.
Helen lived in that yellow house with the white vinyl fence for 70 years. She passed away in March 2012, at the age of 91 (two weeks short of her 92nd birthday).
I write this with tears in my eyes because our family wishes she had lived long enough to see the garden. Helen would have been so happy and proud and so enjoyed being a part of it. She would have wanted a gate put in to her property for easy access in helping to maintain the garden. It’s wonderful that the property has been converted into a beautiful garden and that the Chapel is one of the churches involved with its upkeep. Helen loved gardening and she loved the Chapel. God has touched her and us even beyond death.
Thank you for doing something wonderful for this neighborhood.
Thank you, Janice, for sharing this touching story about your mother.
May God watch over you and your family,
Your friends at Imagine Community Gardens