Grace wrote down some of their family story in a small notebook and here is what she had to say:
History of the Lawrence & Grace Broersma family
Apr. 4, 1926 Lawrence & Grace were married on Easter Sun. in the Ireton Chr. Ref. Church. Rev. Edw. van Farrowa was the Pastor. It was very cold and a lot of snow on the ground.
We lived in Ireton the first year then we moved out to the country for a while on the yard by a farmer. Then we moved on a farm by Maurice, Iowa and farmed with Grace's brother Garret Wichers for a while. We wanted to start farming on our own but the rent was so high in Sioux County, Iowa. So we rented a farm in Minnesota (1930), about 80 miles north. That farm was full of quack grass. We stayed there only one year. Then we rented a farm east of Ruthton. We stayed there a number of years. Those were hard years, the depression years. But the nice part was we were all in the same boat, so we had a lot in common.
But the winters were so bad, Lawrence couldn't stand it. The Pr. told Grace if you don't want to be a widow, we best move to a warmer climate. So in Oct. 1938 we had sale and went by train to the Yakima Valley in Wash. That was a good move for the whole family. Lawrence worked for fruit ranchers pruning trees in the winter. He got ony 25 cts an hour the first year. That wasn't much. By that time we had 8 children, but we could get all the fruit we could use or can, and also spuds. And we raised a good garden so we made out ok. We joined the Zillah Church and those people were so good to us. They had a fruit & veg. shower right away as soon as we were in our first home and spuds and apples. It was wonderful.
At that time we could go to town and buy quite a box of groceries for $5. We got to town once a week. Lawrence had steady work in the orchards and Grace was busy at home. We lived by Zillah for 3 years. In 1941 we moved to Lynden, WA in Oct. Here we lived in town one year, then moved out in the country, which was much better for the children. Lawrence worked for farmers and the older boys started to work in berries etc. In the fall the men would pick spuds. In the fall of 1943 we bought the old farm on the Central Road & Lunde Rd. That was a good place for the fam. We moved there in Feb. 1944. We lived there for about 14 years. The whole fam. worked together on that place. We all enjoy it there.
Then Pop went in the Duraclean business. Marv bought the farm an we moved to town. That was a hard move for the fam. We had 4 boys and 2 girls still home. By that time we had 12 children. Not easy to live in town after being on the farm so long.
We bought an old house on 1709 C St. in Lynden, Mr. Ben Hendricks borrow us the money for the down payment. Lloyd & Marv did a lot of work on the house to make it liveable. We enjoyed it there. The house was small but we made do. We were in the Duraclean cleaning business. By this time the fam. were mostly out doing their own thing, had their own jobs etc. but lived at home off & on. Some went to Mich. Some would travel back and forth.
Then in 1963 Lawrence was poisoned by some spot remover he used. He had a stroke and Dr. said we should go where we would have more sun shine. So back to Zillah in the fruit trees working out in the sun sure was the right thing. We also did the janitor work in the Zillah Chr. Ref. Church. Grace did housework for a couple different fam. that way we had money coming in in the bad weather too. By this time Ken was the only child home any more. All the others were married. Ken was in the 7th grade. It was Jan 1, 1964 when we moved back to Zillah. We stayed there 3 1/2 years. Ken was in high school, but the people that rented our house bought a house of their own. Then we moved back to Lynden June 2, 1967. Then we got the job as janitor of 3rd Chr. Ref. Ch. in Lynden.
We held that job 9 and 1/2 years. By that time Ken was also married. Then we did the cleaning in the senior center in Lynden. And finally decided we were old enough to retire. Now we sold our house to Copeland yards, but we can live here as long as we are able. In 1968 we sold the house on 1709 C St. and bought this house at 306 Liberty St. This was closer to church, and worked out much better. We move in here in Nov. 1968 and have been here since. We sold this house Aug of 1981, at least that is when the papers were signed. We enjoy it here. God has been very good to us all through the years. He was always near.