‘Taigh Sarah’ in Vaul
Photograph of Sarah MacFarlane outside her house in Vaul in the 1920s.
Courtesy of Mrs Nan MacClounnan
Sarah MacFarlane (Sarah Nèill) is pictured on the right outside her house in Vaul in the 1920s. Sarah was a widow; all her family except for one son had died of tuberculosis, a disease that was prevalent in Tiree in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
After it was established in the 1880s that TB was contagious, it was made a notifiable disease, although it was not recognised until much later that the infection could also be transmitted through milk from infected cows.
Sarah’s original house was destroyed as it was thought a source of infection and a new one was built by the men of the township ‘in a day’. A porch was added in the 1930s. The felt roof was water-proofed with heated road tar which ran down the walls if put on in hot weather.
Black and white photograph of Taigh Sarah in Vaul in the 1920s.
Taigh Sarah in Vaul in the 1920s. L-R: unknown, Margaret Johnston nee Pettigrew, Margaret Doig`s mother; Sarah MacFarlane (Sarah Neill).