That was the middle of the years of no summer, snow every month, after the Tambora valcano eruption in Indonesia. Was a tough time for farming.
Sounds like you had a tough time for driving. Sounds as if something more fundamental than battery.
Usually one would choose to live on the top of a hill but living at the bottom has at least this one advantage.
Also, being on top of the hill they had water shortages and had to haul it form lower down. Not too efficient.
The large pond is maybe 50' below building level.
We live off 1/4 mi Bow Bog Rd which may be Bow's lowest point. There are large hills on all points of departure making biking for Beth less attractive. I suppose me too though I've not been keen on biking anyway.