Diane Miller Duncan – Glen Tay Memories – My Story

Posted by on January 17, 2018 in Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 5 comments

My Story

Diane Miller Duncan – about 3 months

I have committed to getting family stories written this year and am using prompts from a variety of websites to get started. They all seem to suggest starting with ‘your’ story so here goes. I am publishing this ‘stream of consciousness’ rambling in the hope that I can convince others to write about their life story as well. I’m hoping that my relatives from the various families of my tree will take up the challenge and forward their story for inclusion in ‘the family story’.

Part 1

Who Am I? More than you want to Know!

While browsing through some old notebooks this morning I stumbled on some jottings from 2005. Apparently, I was reading the book “Do What You Are” (Tieger & Tieger) at that time. It seems that according to the Briggs Myers test I did, I qualified as an INTJ.

For those of you who are not versed in this language, I = Introversion, how I interact and direct my energy; N = Intuition, the information that I ‘note’ or pay attention to versus my feelings (or the feelings of others); T = Thinking, how I make decisions; and J = Judging, evaluation provides a point of reference for making decisions versus spontaneity, or going with the flow, with the popular thinking of the moment.

As a result, I am described as independent, I work well on my own; I am driven to acquire knowledge, and I am curious about the world around me; I set lofty standards for myself and others; I can see opposite or multiple sides to an issue; and I can see possibilities; and understand complexities and can design solutions to problems!

On the other hand, my explanations are often hard to understand because they are complex and sometimes overlook details others need to follow the train of thought, I am frequently skeptical of what I read and hear, I challenge rules, assumptions and customs, sometimes putting me at odds with those in authority. I am often unaware of how my words and actions affect others, I can be fiercely competitive and may avoid an activity or project if I don’t think I will excel at it. I can be remote and live in a world of my own.

That ‘pretty well’ sums me up! And with that insight in mind, I begin.

My Entry into the World

I was born, the eldest of four children, to parents Ernie and Evelyn Miller, at the Great War Memorial Hospital in Perth, Ontario, Canada. Apparently, I was trouble from the beginning. My six-foot one-inch father and my five-foot two-inch mother created a baby that was deemed large enough that a caesarian delivery was necessary.

As a result, I was born a ‘Saturday child’ (the day the doctor had access to the operating room). As a result, I lived under the adage ‘Saturday’s child works for a living’. All my life I thought this was a negative ‘sentence’ and that I would have challenging times, but a little research reveals that, according to meaning when the poem was written (1838), it meant that I would be passionate about my work and any ventures I would undertake and that I would make a lasting contribution to the world.

My First Home

My first home was at Tayside Farms located on the edge of the village of Glen Tay located about three miles west of the town of Perth in Bathurst township. At that time the Glen Tay sideroad was a ‘stub’ road, maintained only as far as the farm and continuing to the Scotch Line as only a seasonal trail through the swamp to Grants Creek where another ‘stub’ road was maintained serving the residences, one a former mill or blacksmith shop. It was the mid to late 1950’s before the road would be upgraded and opened for year-round travel.

Glen Tay Road Closure

The Glen Tay Sideroad Annual Closure – I think this was the year they rebuilt the Grant’s Creek Bridge so closed later in the season

Grants Creek Bridge c 1915 looking towards Glen Tay. Notice the new growth trees in the swamp/bush.

The village of Glen Tay was earlier called Adamsville, a once thriving village with a variety of mills. I am now discovering that it was full of relatives! The bridge across the Tay River was our link to the outside world and for many years was the boundary for my childhood roaming. Going beyond the bridge required specific permission and a defined mission! As a result, there was an aura of mystery about the houses ‘below the hill’.

Our House

Our board-and-batten clad house faced north towards the end of the Tay River bridge, affording a prime view of the village. It was built in 1859 by Ralph Dodds my great grandfather. In later years, a ‘worker house’ from South Street in the village was added to one end and the expanded house provided living quarters for two families for multiple generations.

When I was born, Dad and Mom had the worker house extension which functioned as their kitchen and dining room, with a hired man’s room above, and the use of the main house ‘dining room’ to use as their ‘living room’. They had the use of one bedroom in the main section of the house. As the family expanded, they utilized a second bedroom and when I was twelve, my grandparents who lived in the other part of the house, moved to Perth. The family had expanded, and space was at a premium.


  1. Really enjoyed reading this. We have lived in Glen Tay for 40 years this May. Your Mom, Ruth, John and Karen were all clients at my salon at one time or another. I love reading about others memories, so keep it going.

    • Debi, I think you cut my hair this past summer!

  2. Enjoyed your story Diane. It brought back many memories!

  3. Wonderful. Loved it, keep going!

    • And how about you adding some stories?

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