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Latah County Oral History Collection

Remembering Latah County and Idaho Life at the turn of the 20th century


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Helmer RINGSAGE(b. 1888)

Residence:Park, Central RidgeOccupation(s): Farmer, logger
Family Origin:Parents were Norwegian homesteaders (1890); he is Edward Swenson's nephew


Interview #1, 2/12/1976

Topics:Mother's death. Woods work in winter. Raising crops and hogs. Hard living at Park (1924-32). Serious accidents. 2-12-76 1.9 hr 49p
Duration:1:53:48Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:accidents banks cooking death families farming ferries fires harvesting illness livestock logging camps miscarriages moving rivers sawmills timber winter
Locations:Helmer Moscow Central Ridge Potlatch Park

Interview #2, 2/27/1976

Topics:Running away from home. Struggle with a bad neighbor. Family homesteading on the ridge. Country dances. 2-27-76 2.4 hr 64p
Duration:1:25:04Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:cooperatives crops dances doctors education families farming homesteads horses illness immigrants lawyers livestock moving murders neighbors plowing politics presidents suicide threshing wagons winter
Locations:Missouri Canada Gifford Avon Deary Craigmont Central Ridge Kendrick Camas Prarie Minnesota Swift Falls Spokane Norway Genesee

Interview #3, 3/5/1976

Topics:Courtship with wife. Farming for others. Sack sewing in hard times. Work as a boy. Dangerous grade to Clearwater River. Wild Indian ponies. 3-5-76 2.1 hr 56p
Duration:2:00:53Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:Native Americans churches families farming homesteads horses illness logging marriage neighbors plowing rivers roads sewing winter
Locations:Park Central Ridge Orofino Moscow Palouse

Interview #4, 4/1/1976

Topics:Father's strictness. Fighting as a boy. Education in Spokane and Moscow. Farming on Central Ridge. Division of father's estate. Moscow in the thirties. 4-1-76 1.4 hr 37p
Duration:1:26:44Interviewer:Sam Schrager
Keywords:Great Depression University of Idaho banks boardinghouses cemeteries childhood churches colleges and universities cooking dances death education families food harvesting horses logging lore music neighbors schools world wars
Locations:Park Central Ridge Moscow Portland