Jessie Hunter Brown, was born at Boathouse in 1876. She was the eldest of the nine children of Archibald Brown and Christina Braid.
Jessie’s grandaughter Jenny Day once told me, ” Jessie, or Jen, was very special to me as was her father to her. Many times she spoke of her father but not so often of her mother.
She would tell me of how when the call of boat was heard, the children dashed for the lavatory to see who could get there first and then not have to row the boat across the Clyde. She told me of how the girls played shop in the riverbank. Perhaps the family shop in Main Street was operating at this time or it may have started later.”
Jen is pictured sitting outside her house at Boathouse, Blantyre (on the Clyde) around 1900.
The Brown’s were well thought of in Uddingston. Jen was referred to as Miss Brown of Boathouse. Jen went to a small school in Uddingston, a row across the Clyde each morning; likely on Bellshill Road, before going to Uddingston Grammar, as did all of her siblings from Boathouse. The ‘new’ 1875 school at Blantyre’s Glasgow Road being too far too travel each day.
Pictured also below is elderly Jessie Braid, Jessie Brown’s own grandmother, who lived in the adjacent cottage in the background, the former home of Boat Jock. If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see the long orchard ladders hung on the facade her building.