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PHILIP ASPLUND: "I'm gettin better and better everyday,11 he says. And then hesaid," Ha, ha, ha." (laughs) He's quite a character.
SAM SCHRAGER: What was the trouble with him? Why he needed these canes?
PA: He had them sores that wouldn't heal on his legs. The peat was all goneand nothin but the bone. We used to see him sit down at the creek there and wash his feet, you know. Nothin but the bone--no meat on that at all.
SAM: And he lived by himself?
PA: Oh yeah. He*^ saw his wood. Of course, the dry trees were right closeto his place there. He'd sit on a little stool, y'know, he'd go like this.
SAM: Back and forth?
PA: Yeah. He didn't make much headway, but he didn't need much wood either so. . .I imagine he had a poor saw; he probably didn't know how to fix the saw either.
PA: My brother and I offered to help him saw wood, but no--he wouldn't want nohelp. And if you brought food down to him, y'know, he wouldn't eat it unless you ate it with him because he'd be afraid it'd been poisoned. He was awful queer, oh yeah. He always thought somebody wanted to poison him, ylcnow. We got a funny guy back here. He's crippled up now so bad, shoe salesman. You've probably seen him around here.
SAM: Sure, sure.
PA: Well, he's so crippled up now he can't walk. And so I went in therethis morning to see how he was, and he said,look in the other room." I says, "What's the matter? What's in there?" So the blanket and the quilt were layin on the floor like that in front of the bed; there was nothin but a mattress on the bed. He said, "There's a woman in there." And "God I said, "you're lucky if you got a woman in the house!" He laughed and so I picked up the blankets and put 'em on the bed, and I said, "There's no woman here.How can they get Rere? You got it locked." So he must have been losing his mind.
PA: They're going to take him away I guess. The nurse was supposed to come downyesterday, but I don't think they come.
SAM Huh, going to take him to the county home?
PA: Yes, to the nursing home, I guess.Yeah,
SAM: In Moscow?
PA: Yeah. I wouldn't want to, but he's had a stroke because he said hisarm bothers him too. And that one side, he can't walk now without hangin onto a chair.
SAM: This Big Anderson—was he supposed to have been a sailor? Did you hear that?That he had been a sailor?
PA: Well, no. I don't know. I don't remember that. He used to tell us a lotof stories, but he told us he used to live out in Big Bear; he had a homestead Theft there. sold the homestead and bought one horse from my dad and then one horse someplace else. And then he went to Canada and homesteaded over there. And then he come back again. Then he was tell in us about the story when he crossed the Rocky Mountain--^ cougar was after him, followin him for miles. And pretty soon, he attacked him he said. So then he said he picked up sand and threw it at the cougar and he quit. 1 don't know^e was tellin ' But a lie or not. he had that kind of stories to tell us kids, y'know.
SAM: Did he scare the kids because he was so big?
PA: No, no, I don't think. . .Well, if they met him alone, maybe some of themweretscared, but we knew him because he lived close to our place. I imagine people that didn't know him probably got scared, but. ..
SAM: Did you know how he managed to get by without workin or anythin?
PA: Well, he had five hundred dollars in the bank had that on interest.I don't know how much the interest was at that time, but that's all he lived on. So then when he went to town, why he'd buy a sack of flour and a pail of herring or some other kind of fish. That's all he bought. Then he made that kind of bread on top of that heater he had there.
SAM: What kind of heater was this?
PA: It was one of them with two lids on top, you know. You opened the door andput it. It was a heavy cast iron stove. And now see, I was down there a few years ago. They had been loggin there and the shack was gone, but they made a road right across, and I found pieces of his stove there. So. . .
SAM: Was1 it k special kind of bread that he liked? Or just a flat bread or?
PA: Oh, he just mixed it up with water, I think, and cooked it on top of thestove. I think that's all.
SAM: You said that he made his own clothes too?
PA: Oh yeah. He made his own clothes. They made it out of denim--the overalls^were wide. They were a lot wider than ordinary overalls. And socks--that*s all he had was burlap wrapped around his legs. And shoes, he made out of big—they were big wide shoes.
SAM: Did he walk with usually one cane or. . .?
PA: No, he walked with two. He had only one there. But at that time, this wastaken quite a while ago probably, he had two canes. He's go like this, y'know.
SAM: Just hunched over and. . .
PA: Yeah. But he walked a long ways I'll tell you. He walked toTroy here. Of course, somebody'd pick him up always on the road- somebody'd come along. But he'd walk. And then he'd go into the saloon or somebody'd treat him,you know, and he was pretty stewed comin home. And then he'd talk to And he was pretty lively then. But I doubt if he spent any of the money of his own. I don't see how he could because he only had that five hundred dollars, and that's what he lived on.
SAM: Well, if he could get buy on the interest off of five hundred buck hereally had something.
PA: Just off the interest, you know. The interest wouldn't be much on fivehundred dollars.
SAM: I wonder where he got the five hundred from?
PA: Well, he sold his homestead out there on the ridge first. That was a goodhomestead there, but of course the land wasn't worth much then. Then he went to Canada and homesteaded, and I don't know if he sold that or not. He must have, but probally didn't get that much out of that one either.
SAM: Did you ever here about his machine? His perpetual motion machine?
PA: Well, he had it in the mine but nobody ever got to see it. He wouldn'tshow it to anybody. But he'd always tell it when he'd come up to out place that,"Well that machine soon be goin now and I'll be in to money." He was going to get lots of money then."I soon got it now" he says. He never got it to go. No, nobody ever got to see that thing because that was inside the mine. He had a door there. to
SAM: Sounds like him sayin I'm getting eelin better and better all the time.'
PA: Yeah, yep. You could really see the bone on his legs?
PA: Oh yea, sure. There wasn't hardly any meat left on the bone. And it smelledhigh heaven. And the only thing he used was just water-- water, washed it. And I don't think he ever had any medicine for it.
SAM: Do you remember when he died?
PA: Yeah, I remember that. They took him away. The was a bachelor lived upon the hill, back of McKenzie's place there. He took him. But he couHn't keep him so pretty soon he took him to the hospital and then he died. I imagine when they gave him a bath, he died. That kills a lot of people, you know, if they're not used to it. They cleaned up up, you know, and that probably happened to this fellah here, too. I don't think he'd had a bath since he moved in here.
SAM: Um hum.
PA: And he's got all this garbage.
SAM: All over the place.
PA: He's lived here pretty near two months and he's got it all in boxesunderneath the table.
SAM: I was in the old 0. K. Olson place not long ago. . .
PA: Oh, yeah?
SAM: Yeah, just lookin it over inside there and he's got all the old magazines,the old salesman magazines, and all that old stuff from the 1940s and 50's, it's all lyin around there.
PA: He had a lot of pictures down there; somebody stole 'em.
SAM: Oh, that I didn't know about.
PA: You know there was people that lived in there after he moved out.
SAM: Yeah, I heard that.
PA: Some of the hippies.
PA: And so I guess they told the sheriff about it in Moscow. So the sheriffwent down there, but them fellahs told the sheriff that they had permission to move in there and they wasn't going to move out. So pretty soon they said—this is just what I've heard--there was some more of the, the sheriff come down and aad they got 'em out because they wasn't supposed to be there. Of oourse, that's just hearsay, so I don't know.
SAM: Yeah. Well, they're gone that's for sure. There not there anymore.
PA: Yeah, they're gone.
SAM: There's one more thing about Big Anderson, I'm wondering: Was he ahermit or was he a friendly guy?
PA: Well, yes, he was pretty friendly. You could go there. He opened the doorfor you and let you in. He talked like everything.
SAM: He liked company then?
PA: Yeah, I think so, yeah.
SAM: Did he laugh a lot? Did he. . .?
PA: Well, he'd tell stories, you know, and then he'd laugh. Yeah he always hadthat 'ha, haj ha, ha.
SAM: Did you ever know where he came from? Did he come out here straight fromSweden?
PA: No, that I don't know. You see these Olsons, they were related to him.These Olsons here, that's Russell's grandfather there. And then he has another brother here--Jonas Olson. That's another—they were cousins or somethin*. So he was tell in that he bought a hack for this Olson here, brand new one, and he promised hin to go along to Canada,y%ee? And they were going to ride in that hack to Canada. But after he bought that hack for him Olson wouldn't go, so he didn't have no use for him anymore.
SAM: Big Anderson didn't?
PA: Yeah. No, that's what he told it, see? He didn't use for him anymorebecause he bought him that hack, and I guess that cost quite a bit at that time.
SAM: Big Anderson bought the hack for him?
PA: Yeah, because he promised to go along with him. They'd ride in that hackto Canada yi see#
SAM: Was he known to be a strong man?
PA: Oh, yeah, he must have been a powerful man in his young days. You know hewas religious too, and he'd read his Bible, no glasses. And he never had any light in his house- no lamp.
SAM: Somebody told me that he used to take big logs for his wood and haulem up to his place, just carry 'em.
P A Well, I don't know if he would do that at that time. He wasn't very wellat that time on account of his legs. Otherwise he was powerful.
SAM: You know I wanted to ask you a little bit about how your folks came tolocate out in this country.
PA: Well, when they come from Sweden--my mother come from Norway--she don'tknow her folks at all. Her mother died when she was a little baby and somebody took her and brought her to this country.to Minnesota and there's where my father married her. So she don't know what become of her father, if she had more sisters and brothers in Norway or not. But my father come from Sweden to Minnesota, and then from there out here. And he worked for this Elsie Nil son's father, you knon. He had this contract on this rail road over here, to builti the railroad from Moscow down to Lewiston.
SAM: The one that came out here through Troy and down the canyon?
PA: Yep, Yeah. So my father wanted to work. And I'm going to show you, myfather found around stone just like an egg, and I still have that.
PA: Around Genes^ee. The best land was settled already at Genesee when he come,but he said he still But then there was an Anderon that lived out here. There was three brothers settled out there close by where I was born. And they wrote to 'em and told 'em--I don't know if they wrote to »em, but anyway, they seen 'em, and they said, 'You can't live around Genes ee, there's no timber. How are you going to get along wthout timber. You can't do nothing without timber. But then he went up here to Deary, down below lUhlkwrj'i place there, about a mile, and he homesteaded a place there. But I guess that's when L*f\^i Anderson got him to go down there. Yeah, that's right. But somebody else told 'em they couldn't be out at Genesee—there was no timber. Well, they said there's better land on farther south, and of course, there was. So he gave that up, that homestead then; and took the other on pre-emption. Paid so much an acre.
SAM: And this was the ^lace out on Dry Ridge?
PA: That's the place, yeah,right below McKenzie's. We had the house right ontop of the canyon,
SAM: When he took the place there wasn't anything on t?
PA: Not one foot of land, but a lot of these places, you know, there's meadowswhen you get up around Helmer and Bovill--there're a lot of meadows there. There was no timber on that. Nver been on meadows, I don't know why, but there was no meadow land out there where we were. Everything had to be cleared. Yeah, they cut the big pines down and rolled 'em together and burned 'em up. And most of the time they burnt the stumps off even the ground, and they went over 'em. And that's the way it was until th most of *em, until they started with tractors. Then they had to get rid of them stumps in the ground.
SAM: Was is mostly big timber like that—big timber and a lot of space between 'em?
PA: Oh, boy. The biggest, nicest pine you ever saw. Tamarack, you bet. Butthere was no underbrush, no underbrtfh. You could drive any place where there wasn't too rough a ground, between the trees. And the pine grass up about that tall. My mother told me about when they first got there, they just took the scythe and cut hay around between the trees for the cow, y'know,; the horses. The Indians kept, fired it right along, and kept the brush down. Now the brush is so bad you can't walk through it. After the white man got ahold of it.
SAM: The Indians burned it on purpose?
PA: Yeah, to keep the brush down. They drove all ovei 'along there. They mostlyrode horseback, but some of *em had teams.
SAM: When your father took the pre-emption there did he have any neighborsaround him? Or was he pretty much. . .?
PA: Yeah, there was neighbors. Linus Andersons was right across the canyon,right across the canyon—straight across from our place. And August Anderson was right down at the bottom of the creek--just a quarter of a mile down there. And then there was another neighbot on the other side. Carlson's—they were all, we could see what's goin on over there everyday. If you hollered, you could hear »em across the canyon.
SAM: Did he start in to build a place right away—a home?
PA: Well, I guess he did. He built!the lean-to up on the homestead up there.That's where my sister was born—in a lean-to. So I guess he started building as soon as he could get lumber of course. And I guess they had sawmills here and there.
SAM: I wonder about that instruction of that railroad out through here. I wouldthink that it must have given a lot of jobs to people when that came through.
PA: Oh, yeah. Well, they had to. My dad worked out you know. My mother hai todo most of the work—the hayin and everything because he had to be out working because there was no income from the farm, yknow, for the family. He told he carried fifty pounds of flour from Moscow Back. That's a long ways--nine miles from here to Troy and twelve to Moscow,so I imagine that got pretty heavy before he got home.
SAM: This was before there was a Troy?This was Vollmer
PA: Yeah, oh yeah. Before VollmerJ I ion't remember when we used to say wewas going to Vollmer
SAM: Well, where would he work out?
PA: Well, he worked on the railroad and out, then in the harvest. Genesee, y'know,they got quite a bit of cultivation there almost right away because there was not hardly ngr timber there. It was all sod, I guess. Broke up and they soom got fields there. So they went out there and helped harvest. Them days, they took quite a few men around the thrashing machine. Did you ever see a horse power thrashing machine?
SAM: Just pictures, never seen one.
PA: Yeah, I got one, but it isn't in very good shape. I remember it too. Iremember when they thrashed. They had to haul water in a barrel to keep the water down for the horses goin around. Otherwise it*d get dusty, you know. I remember even whose horses they belong to that was on that thrashing machine I got here.
SAM: Well, did you have many horses on the place when you were a kid?
PA: A kid? Oh yeah. Horses--yeah. We always had three horses.
SAM: When were you born?
SAM: So by the time you were a kid, he probably had the place pretty well along.
PA: Oh, yeah, yeah. But I remember the old house, when we lived in the oldhouse. It sat way out. It was just a few feet from straight down pretty near. But then when he puilt the new house he built that further back. So I don*t remember when that was.
SAM: Do you think it would take him very long to clear up and get thefield planted?
PA: You bet. You bet. I remember when we broke a lot of that land. We didn'thave no breakin plow. He hired for that breakin. They'd break it and then they had to lay over, lay over till next spring, the brush. And then you took a grub hoe and you grubbed out the brush and piled it up and burnt it. You had to dig out every brush, and it'd come looseifhen after it was you know dead, it it didn't loose so you could pull it, you had the grub hoe and you could dug it loose. And then you pile it up in big shocks. Just like shocks of hay and you burnt that afterwards. Then you'd seed it. Oh, that was a lot of work. Now when they break ground now they got big heavy discs. They go around there and they just cut it to pieces. It's good for the soil But them days you had to pick everything up because when you come with that spike to you know, why that thing clog up with the brush right away. And they just dragged the dirt ind all. But now, brush don't bother 'em now at all with the machinery they got now. Heavy machinery just cuts it up in small pieces.
SAM: Did you ever try your hand at that? Breakin land when you were a kid?
PA: Oh, I broke land after the first year I was married I broke eight acreswhere t filed out there on the other side of Big Bear there . And I broke some land at home too when I was a kid--when I got big enough to break it. But then we had small horses, so then we had to go only one way, you can go downhill, see? Otherwise they couldn't pull it. And then of course there was too big a roots, I had to chop it with ax so they could go through. If y/ui didn't cut off all the roots, y'see, they'd grow again. And you had to have the shear sharp, otherwise they'd just slide aound the roots. Some of them roots, big sargus bushes, big as that, you know.
SAM: Big as your wrist.
PA: Oh, you bet. I had to cut them with a ax. Have you seen Troy in 1901?
SAM: Well, there were some pictures in Ann Driscoll's book that I've seen,but those are the only ones.
PA: I had a half-sister that got married and they lived in that house that'sthere now, that of course has been remodeled. They shivareed 'em there, and they hung dynamite back in the trees, you know. Knocked out all the windows for em.
SAM: It sounds like a pretty tough place, Nora.
PA: Yeah, they had a saloon there and they were pretty tough.
SAM: Are you saying that there was really a town there in those days?
PA: Oh yeah, a big sfcote and post office and saloon, blacksmith shop andbarber shop. I got a well, didn't you see Ann Driscoll's2 I went with Ann Driscoll, but of course there was nothin there. She didn't get it just right anyway. Here's my half-brother. He used to run machine-- taken on Big Bear Ridge. That's my There's our old team-- . and Florie. Boy, that was a long time ago.
SAM: Did you have them for a long time?
PA: Yep. Here's another one of my half-brother's thrashingThere he is there. And this is Olson, now he's still living in Clarkston. He's in bad shape, though. He's a uncle of Russell here.
SAM: Now this was on Big Bear?
PA: Yeah, it was taken on Big Bear Ridge. Here is old upthere, and he's on Big Bear Ridge. And there's old man now wnere (A sawmill out there, why there used to be Andeson post office here. What do you remember about that *\VW^ sawmill? Was that avery big operation?
PA: No, it was small.It was a small outfit.
SAM: What are these? Are these just sacks. . .?
PA: They're sack sewers, sewin sacks. And see this un here, this machinehasn't got no blower on it. It's elevated up. days somebody had to be out in the straw stack and take the straw and take it away. But later on they got a blower. This un here's got a blower, see, blows it up in a big pile. But this first machine didn't have no blower. And at first when you fed'em here there'd have to be two band cutters. You had to have two there to cut the bands and pS? ?n the machine.
SAM: What did your father do when he thrashed. . .?
PA: He pitched bundels. He was a good bundle pitcher.
SAM: Whose sawmill? Which sawmill this was?
PA: It was the Troy Lumber Company.
SAM: Oh, this was the Troy Lumber Company.
PA: Yeah. They had sawmills all over years ago.
SAM: Well, how would the average sawmill like this work? Work just during thewinter for some time or how?
PA: Well, yeah, they wouldn't work in the wintertime. They logged usuallyand logged in the wintertime and had a bunch of logs there so they'd run most of the summer. They'd haul it on the sleigh, youknow. They didn't log in the summertime.
SAM: What kind of board footage would one of these put out i a year? Wouldthey get a lot?
PA: Oh, yeah, You'd bet they'd get a lot.
SAM: Say half a million or something like that?
PA: And they had so many sawmills here and there, you know. They had sawmillsall over. That was a big outfit, that Troy Lumber. And up here at the factory they owned this up here, now, you know. They made everything there. All kinds of that fancy stuff to put on the houses, you know. You could get anything there. If they didn't have it they made it for you. No, that was a big outfit up here. I worked there a lot in the lumber yard.
SAM: In town here?
PA: Yeah. And when I was out on the farm we used to haul lumber for 'em.Everybody hauled lumber. Some of them hauled year round, that's all Have they done, several teams and they hauled lumber for 'em, got so much a thousand.
SAM: Where were they gettin most of their lumber from? Was it just off thehomes places? Off peoples' farms?
PA: They bought timber. Or lot of times they bought the land and all. Where therewas a lot of timber they bought the land and logged it. And then sold the land after. It was good farm land out there, you know, now. Yeah, they had sawmills all over, the Troy Lumber Company did.
SAM: That they owned themselves. They owned the sawmills. . .?
PA: Oh yeah, you bet. That's a big outfit yet—Troy Lumber Company.
SAM: There's not much trace of them ...
PA: got stock in them because his dad had some stock. When he passedaway he got some of it. And he gets pretty good dividends every year. They got that place in Moscow, you know, Troy Lumber Company, there. And then they had the big place in Leteiston where they made everything too, just like up here. But they tore down all the buildings there and built a big shopping center, and they rented out the stores and they made more money that waythey say.
SAM: Do you know who started it up in the first place around here?
PA: The BoWans. Ole BoWnan, you know, that started the bank down here, he'sthe one. And they were sawmill from Sweden, them Bojjmans. And then then when they got started here they got some more of them Swedes from Sweden, young fellahs, husky workers, you know. They worked like slaves, y'know. And boy, they didn't pay much either. They were all good workers.
SAM: Did many of them settle in around here?
PA: Oh yeah. Yeah.
SAM: They brought 'em from Sweden?
PA: Well, I don't think they'd paid the fare over. I don't thiikso, but theygot 'em to come over, you know, which most of 'em would come here anyway.
SAM: So they probably didn't even speak English at first when they came^over?
PA: Oh, heck no. I rmember when I worked in camp up here—1921. I was backof the Cherry Butte up on Wet Meadows. There was three Swedes come in there then. And they couldn't talk a wo«d of English. And they had long you know tables then, at that time, and then they had double decker—all the sweet stuff was on top. And^had to help them poor Swedes. Otherwise they wouldn't have got anything to eat because they didn't know what to ask for, you know. Some of it'd be way down the other end. So I had to help 'em because £ could talk Swede. I stillcan, but it bothers me. When I went to school I couldn't talk English.
SAM: Really? .
PA: ^1 should say not. That's all you heard around here is Swede or Norwegian orsomethin. . . (End of Side A)
PA: You been up in Canada?
PA: You hear all kinds of manguages there, don't you? I did this summer.
SAM: So you didn't hear so much English in Troy, but it was other languages, huh?
PA: NSwegians, Swedes, Danes, or whatever.
SAM: Did you learn very fast when you started school?
PA: Well, not very fast. It was bad. Then when my wife, tht's a long time, my wife was a teacher, y'know. And she taught school up here on the upper end of Bear Ridge. And I think, no, that's the second school she had. And she had two kids there that couldn't talk English. She had really a time with them because they . ornery too, she said--stubborn. They couldn't talk a little bit of English. And that's quite a few years they shouldn't later on that, you know. I don't know why, but that's all they talked at home, y'see. And then after a while, you know, my dad, he was awful poor in . My mother she talked real good English. But after we got bigger, why we never l^eard anything but English at home. My mother never talked Swede, Norwegian. She was Norwegian, but$iie talked Swe. . .;she was reaised with the Swedes so she talked pure Sewde, but we never talkedit at home. So my younger brother, he don*t know how to talk i Swede. But I can talk, but it bothers me. I can understand it, ysee.
SAM: When you say it bothers you, you mean. . .
PA: It bothers me to talk it, yeah, because I haven't talked it in so long.
SAM: Well, when you were in school were many of the other kids in the same boat,couldn't speak English?
PA: That's all you heard out on the school ground; Swede or Norwelj.lgan. That'sa fact. We'd be out there playin ball or whatever--talk Swede all the time.
SAM: Could your teacjier speak Swedish?
PA: No, no. No.
SAM: That probably made it harder for her to teach you English.
PA: Well, she was busy. If she was out there and hearin us, why she wouldget after us for doin it, you know. She was busy. She had fifty ki* and one teacher, you know. She was in there workin, correctin papers or somethin. She was hardly ever with us out playin.
SAM: Well, fifty kids in a classroom and one teacher, you probafty didn'tlearn too much.
PA: I'll say you didn't. When they called up the class, you know, they allwent in the front seat--it'd be all, well I don't remember how many, but if you didn't know the answer, why the next one he'fl probably answer it or somethin; you'd get by. (laughs) And that was only three and four month school at that time. And if you were needed at home you were home. It wasn't particular with the school. So that's the way it was.
SAM: What did you have for food mostly on the homestead?
PA: We had plenty to eat. We raised our own--had chickens and beef and pork,potatoes. Boy, we had plenty to eat, that's for sure. But, boy, I remember how hungry we were when we come back from schoo}. We'd go to the pantry and get a slice of head; we'd put bacon drippings on the bread, y'know, and then sugar on top of that. Boy, we used to like that!
SAM: Was there much wild game around?
PA: Yeah. No deer or elk, but pheasants and grouse. Grouse , oh boyj In thefall of the year just before it rained, they'd come up to the house. If you had the shotgun shoot in the bunch--you'd get three or four at a time. Boy, they had nice meat on 'em. Grouse--oh gosh, they were plentiful* And rabbits, a lot of rabbits which there isn't any now. And the grouse, they're gone. The pheasants, we had lots of pheasants, but I never cared much for them; they tasted. There weren't enough :meat on em anyway.
SAM: What about bear and cougar?
PA: No. Yeah, there was cougar, but I didn't see any bears. I a narrow escapewith a cougar one time. I went to my aunt's and this was in the wintertime, about three or four feet of snow and cold It must have been thirty below zero. And my sister was layin up there dying. She had T. B., a half-sister. She was staying with my aunt. And they had a little house to go up for her built out there. So it was up to me to see how she were because no phone in them days, you know. And it's about four miles up there. And I had to cross that canyon, and I come up the canyon, not too far from where we lived, I see there was a black kind| funny spot on the side of the road. And the horse I rode, he wouldn't go any further. He just started snortin, and I started to whip him, you know, try to make him. . . And he just reared up on his two legs so finally I decided I better not try to go by maybetthere's somethin there. So then I knew where to go to get home up to hi . Had to get up on the ridge and follow the ridge up to the house, but there was no trail. So I had to get off the horse. I couldn't ride the horse there was so much snow. So I had to get off and lead him, and the horse had to jump to get tfiough the snow. And so when I get into the house I told me dad about it and it was awful cold so lots of times people get drunk, You know. So Dad told my brother, he said, "We better go down and see." So they lit the lantern. He went down therejto see and then they seen the tracks and they heard the cougar up above. He had gone up over the hill. They heard him holler; they holler like a baby, you know, just like. So it was a good thing I didn't get off the horse. He would have probably grabbed me, so. And the horse, he was scared. He was snortin even after I got him into the barn. Y^u know, the4e afraid of animals, horses are. Yeah, there used to be cougars, but there was one over here by Avon. She was ridin horseback and the cougar jumped off the tree, you know. And ?11 she had on the horse was a ^cyyt^m^lt' • You know what that is? the It's strap around to hold a blanket on, not a saddle. And the horse missed the girl but they grabbed the neck of the horse, but they didn't kill the horse, I guess the horse got away, but ^sne 1 fell off. And the horse didn't bother her either. But she had a narrow escape. This was quite a few years ago.
Yefah, cougars, they'll sit in the tree, y'know, and the cougar will neverattack you from the front--they got to stay in the back. They grab you from the back.
Your half-sister—she died from tuberculosis?Oh, yeah, oh yeah.
Was it pretty serious—the T. B. in the country?I'll say—you bet it was.
What did they try to do when a person got it? Was there any that theytried to save people with?
PA: No, they didn't. I had a sister die in Spokane of T. B. too. But the doctorthey had there, he treated her for something else than T. B. You see, she could have been saved,you see, because they had Edgedliff Sanitarium out there in Spokane. So by the time they found out she had T. B. she was too far gone. My brother-in-law was sure mad. le wasn't going to pay that bill, but I bet he had to pay it anyway. That doctor should have been strung up you know, because that--it wouldn't have been necessary for her to die.
SAM: So was it mostly kids that got it around here?
PA: NO, myl half-sister there, she was about thirty years old. And my sister inthere Spokane, she was about the same age, I guess-thirty. Left two kids.
SAM: What about water? Did you have any trouble getting water on the place from.
PA: No, we had a spring. We had an awful good spring. We couldn't hardly emptyit. We had to clean it once and a while, you know. We had atpawful time to clean it because it come in pretfy^faf? as we took it out. We watered all the horses and cattle in there. It's still running too. I was up there about three or four years ago. The spring is still running. Of course, there's no hole—it's covered up because it was close to the creek, you know, not come far from the little creek there. And when the high water it filled it with dirt.
SAW: When you were a kid and you just were foolin around and playing, whatwould you do?
PA: Well, we made toys. We didn't have no bicycle or wagon or nothin. We justmade stuff out of anything make wheels out of. Sled, same way. No, we never did have a bicyicle, and that's too bad. If I'd known how to ride a bicycle, I'd have a bicycle now. But I can't ride it. I tried one of last summer, and I pretty near, I fell and I could have broke my leg. So I said I won't get on one again.
It takes a while and once you get the hang of it you've got it.Yeah , I know.
It takes a while to get the hang of it.I'm too old to start learning a thing like that now.
What were the winters like out there?
They were tough. They were really tough. And the mailman come from here,you know. He had, well, I don't know if you ever went around that way, well you wouldn't have because he went by the old schoolhouse where we used to go to school. And he had to cross the canyon and go on the other side and then come back again up by McKenzie's, you know. And you know all them hills, they'd be drifted. Boy, we had to break roads with the horses for him to come, otherwise he^couldn't go tbfeugh. We had to keep on with the horse in drive and we build up the road, and then when it gets soft like it is now then you go up and the horses go up. Then they'd fall down and you had to dig 'em out because they were up about three or four feet. Boy, they were tough. But we had lots of fun in wintertime. That's when we had our fun. We had so much crust them days. We'd take a hind bob off a bob sleigh, you know, one of them big sleighs, you know, the hind bob out of that and take it;on a field someplace, turn it loose, and boy, we'd go.
SAM: YOu made a sled out of it?
PA: Well, yeah, you'd uncouple that one hind part of the bob, you know. Itset on the bunk, and you just let it go. Because you couldn't guide, you know. You just turn her loose. And then there was a big family on every forty to a hundred and sixty acres, and nobody had over a hundred and sixty acres. Big families on every place; some of them had ten, twelve children. And on weekends we'd gather there and play hide and seek or somethin, you know. We had the best time. Now there's no kids out in the country.
SAM: The kids used to run together all the time then.
PA: Oh yes, you bet. And then there was dances. „ They danced ifthere was only a small room; it wasn't half as big as this they'd have dances in there. And have literary and pie social si
SAM: Pie social? What's that? They make pie3?
PA: Yeah, the women made pies and sold 'em to raise money for somethin, youthe know. And basket social. Then girls bought a basket. They'd decorate a basket, you know, with a lunch in it, and the men would bid on them and then you get to eat with the girl, probably take her home too. Some of which them would really bid on them if they knew t girl had the basket. Boy, they bid 'em up. And then we had horses. As sdor)I was years old I had a team of horses and cutter. We'd go with lots of bells on and we'd go cutter ridin in the wintertime. Take my girl out in it. No, we had lots of fun. We had lots more fun than the kids have now.
SAM: I think you're probably right because it seems like these days. . .
PA: Now they get in a car and they're gone. Them days you didn't have thecar. You walked to your neighbor's. And of course if you knew anybody else that was goin there all flock to one place and you'd all be together and you'd have a good time.
SAM: What it sounds like you're saying is that there was a heck of a lot morevisiting back and forth in the families too.
PA: Boy, I'd say. Almost every Sunday we'd been invited someplace or we'dhave 'em over someplace. And I can remember sometimes we got ' : a up there one night storm, that was up close to Deary. We stayed and made a bed on the floor and we stayed till morning. After a rain like this, you know, you'd been hauling on that road, you know, and it just turned to ice. And if you didn't have shoes on the horses, you was patty near stuck. Sb we stayed that night, I know, I remember it. The cows had to wait to get milked till morning.
SAM: Where did you stay? Somebody's house?
PA: Yeah. We stayed at the family we visited rather than go home becauseour roads were so icy we didn't dare.
SAM: Was most of the hauling done in the winters?
PA: All of it. Well, not, I wouldn't say all of it, but there was a few herein Troy, that's all they done was haul, you know. They had to haul year round. They had a wagon, but most of the hauling was done in the wintertime. Most of them had cordwood , you know. Take all around north of Troy here, you know, that's all they lived on. They made wood in the wintertime, and bunked it out someplace where they could get ahold of it. in the wintertime. And that's the way it waslwith most of the lumber too. That was hauled in the wintertime. You ought to see the lumberyard they had up here; there was lumber no matter where you looked. Up here where the tamarack is now. was lumber piles. And on the upper side of the road below the schoolhouse, there was lumber on both sides . juf^ «* Aftabu and piles on both sides.
SAM: I didn't know that this was such a big lumber town.
PA: I'll tell you. You wouldn't believe it. They used to call this thebiggest pile on earth. And I'll tell you it really was. You'd come in here on Saturday, you would have an awful time to find a place to tie your horses. There'd be horses and sleds no matter where you looked. Everything was hauled into Troy: wood, apples, grain, cordwood. That Dusty down here that run the warehouse, he bought everything. No, boy that was a busy place. Hell, there were three saloons here and two banks, two or three hardware stores. Oh, this was quite a town, I'll tell you.
SAM: Did you haul in wood from as far out as your place?
PA: No, we didn't. Well, I hauled prbably a cord or two--that's all. No wenever did. I didn't like that cordwood. It was hard work splittin them woods, boy. But a lot of them people that's all they done. I know some of them people that's all they done, was to make cordwood for a dollar a cord. And boy, I don't see how they cold make enough to live on, but they did.
SAM: Wouldn't it be pretty far for you to come from all the way out there intotown.
PA: Well, you know what you got here for a cord of wood if they're dry? Threeand half, four dollars a cord. So you can imagine, unless you had an awful big team you couldn't haul over--a cord for the small team. A cord and a half for the big team. So. . .Now a fellah wouldn't mgfe it for ten dollars a cord now.
SAM: It sounds like the farther out you'd go the harder it'd be to make a livingbringin it in to Troy because. . .
PA: Yeah, they could. But they had to. That's all the living they had. That'swhat they lived on . And of course, everybody on the farm, he had somethin to sefl when he went to town. He had butter or eggs or potatoes or—always somethin to bring in. Now they have nothin to bring in. The farmers they come in to buy and they take it out to the farm now. That's what's wrong with the country. You now that they're going to have to go back to the farm, you see, it'll never work out. Some big farmers taken over now and now you can't get back. Machinery's so high, and you can't buy the farms-- they're too high . It'll never work out.
SAM: Do you thirkit's going to go back to the old ways sometime?
PA: I think they gotta go back to the old ways. I see now where in Lewistonthey're going to have, I guess the government is going to furnish the seed for garden, and rent the pipes, so a bunch of them can go together and raise their own garden. They're gonna have to do somethin like that. That's what's the matter with the country now. The farmers haven't got a they haven't got a chicken, they buy everything here. If they raised everything they needed on the farm--of course, there isn't many out on the farm either now. That's the worst of it. Things wouldn't be so high in the stores.
SAM: When you talk about Troy and it being a real lively town, it makes me thinkabout the toughness of Troy. And they say it was a pretty tough town in the early days.
PA: Well, I think most of 'em were.Saloons and saloons andrinkin--heavydrinkin, drinkers, you know. And you know, when a person gets drunk, most of them don't know what they're doin. They get mean, some of »em. So, I don't know if it was any tougher than other towns.
SAM: What do you know about old Hayes--that marshal1 in town?
PA: No, I don't know much about him. I just remember it, that's all. I waspretty young. And then, you know, we lived out there, nine miles out of here. So somebody my age that lived here in Troy, he would know more about it than Cause we wasn't in here. We didn't come in here everyday I'll tell you--nine miles.
SAM. About how often wouldiyou come in?
PA: Oh, once a week at least. Then of course then we had ofAnderson. That was five miles away. We had to go up there to get our mail anyway. So me and my brother, we to go up there about twice a week to get our mail. Then we'd sell some eggs Or somethin to get a little coffee or sugar or somethin
SAM: Well, now Anderson, it was near thete that they had that water powersaw mill, right?
PA: No, that was down below. That was down about four milos belowYeah, Ihauled logs to that sawmill. Inever worked^thet sawmill, but I hauled logs there. I hauled logs three winters, by golly. They used to take in quite a bit of logs there. They'd have about three or four months spring run there every summe. Now they couldn't run^month, I don't think -'cause there wouldn't be enough water, just when the high water is--thats all. So it changed quite a bit.
SAM: Did you know Joe Welles at all?
PA: Oh, yes, you bet. I knew all them Welles'.
SAM: What do you remember about Joe?
PA: Well, he was apretty nice fellah except when he got drunk he gotlittle bit—I don't know what I should say
PA: No, he wasn't exactly mean, no. No, he wasn't mean. He was quite a logger.He loggel around Deary a lot. They were raised with the white people. Well, Joe did--Joe was a slave. Joe and his wife, they were slaves. The Welles bought themjiuring slavery, and then when the slaves got free Joe andjw?fe liked the people so they stayed with 'em, ancPfook their name. They got the name Welles. The people that they stayed with--they were blacksmiths. And they liked the white people because they too^caraof »em. They didn't work 'em too hard, so you can imagine when they took the name even they must have liked them.
SAM: I heard he was real close to the Welles boys that were out here--the otherWelles boys.
PA: Oh, yeah. Sure. They were just like brothers. They moved away from thereand they moved over here to the Buffalo Hill, you know, where the buffalos are now;
PA: That place on this side. That was the Welles' brothers. They died thereI believe.
SAM: I heard that they did well for themselves in Deary. Is that right?
SAM: I heard they did well in Deary with blacksmithing.PA- Oh, yeah. Then they had--Joe and his wife had three children: Chuck and Roy and Mary. And then Mary had, well Mary had, have you got that rig on? Better not say anything then. (Break)
PA: ... Anyway because I've known 'em all my life. And I used to go and seehim when he was in the nursing home up here. When he passed away I went to the funeral. So in about a week I had a letter from . He thanked me he got drunk. He'd get out there in the street and he'd say, "I'm the only white man in Deary. All the rest of Swedes." Yeah, he said that.
SAM: Did you ever here of him havin any run ins with Hayes? I've heard about that.
PA: No. No, I never did, no.
SAM: This Hayes. I'm just curious about if you heard--you see I've heard thathe was unppular. People didn't like him very much. And I never.
PA: No, I know he was unpopular. There was a woman here. She was related toSly. 1 guess. And she was going to write a book about this Hayes. She stayed around here a coupla days, ^guess, and tried to find out about everything here. And she took pictures of where he used to be and that place where he got killed up there on that side hill there. But I never heard nothin more about it. I don't think she ever done anything about it.
SAM: I've never heard of it.
PA: But there is some Slys yet, I believe it in Clarkston or I've seen theLewiston Tribune,Sly, that name. And I think that's part of them yet, that younger generation of course. I knew the brother of that Sly. He had a livery barn down here at one time. But the other fellow, I didn't know him.
SAM: Did you hear about how he got killed? How Hayes got it?
PA: Well, I heard about it, and I forget how it was. I couldn't say.
SAM: What about—did you ever hear about the Driscoll stabbing? Him getting killed?
PA: Who, Driscoll?
SAM: Driscoll. Yeah he got killed. He got stabbed by a shoemaker.
SAM: I've heard that as an early day Troy. . .(Break)
PA: There was an awful lot of that. Hardly ever. . .You know, they'd getdrunk here—four horse teams—and they'd drive home. I don't know how they made it but they made it. You know that's why we have such a wide street here because they wanted it wide enough so they could turn around with a four horse team on the street here. SAM Is that right?
PA: Yeah. And I imagine that's it because they couldn't have foreseen thatthere was going to be that much traffic, you know. So the fellow that laid it out, he wanted to have it wide enough so that he could turn around any place with his four-horse team. And you can do that here.
SAM: Well, this drinkin—do you think that it was just lumberjacks from aroundthe country or was it mostly local workin men.?
PA: Farmers. Alot of them farmers out here—heavy drinkers. They were then.Up here in Nora—almost all of 'em was drinkers, drunkards there. They all drank heavy but some of 'em was well-to-do too, besides. Even if they drank. They got drunk pretty often. Yeah, fhey were heavy drinkers up in there. SAM What do you remember Nora being like when you were over there as a kid? I m an besides the stores and stuff.
PA: We you know, there was some womendsank them days too, but nor^many. Iremember some went into the saloon but they never had very good reputations if they walked in there, now. But now anybody walk in there now and their reputation seems to be good. But there was a few that drank them days too. But not too many. My dad, he never drank. He was quite a religious man. But whenever he went to Troy here why he'd go in—he have one of them half a gallon lard pails you know. Go into the saloon and he'd buy a pail of that for fifteen cents. He got half a gallon for fifteen cents. And then he'd buy a box of crackers and some chees*, and that's what we ate. And I liked it we had too. That really went good. Cheese and crackers and then.a glass of beer. . . Just think of that--fifteen cents for half a gallon.
SAM: I can't believe it.
PA: Well, years ago you went to a saloon.
A: fti cents I think. So there were lots of people, that's all they livedon.
SAM: I've heard about in Spokane they used to have those smorgasborgs, thosespreads out there for free if you bought a schooner of beer.
PA: Yeah, they had it all over in the Sutherland And a slab of cheese,my I don't know. I don't think that was very much—ten fifteen cents for that too.
SAM: When did you start workin in the woods?
PA: Oh, I started pretty young. About fifteen, sixteen years old, I guess.I started workin for my uncle up close by Deary there. He used to haul logs to the water power milltand I used to help him cut down the trees and skid 'em. And then when Ire got a little bigger, why then he'd haul logs from Then I had a team over ther^and he hauled and I was supposed to t%ck b*m while he was go in. He'd dump his load. And then he put skids on, two skids up to the skidway, you know, like that into the groung. Then you had to have a cable to go around the log, around the log and then hook it up here. And then the horses would pull that log up there, roll 'em up there on the skids. But you had to send 'em just right. Otherwise they'd go this way or that way, you know. You had to cut.on the go so they'd go up straight. Boy, I had lots of close there. I was: nothin but a kid. It was a wonder I didn't get killed. It was a dangerous job, you know. Sometimes they come down, they pretty near caught me sometimes.
SAM: What would you be doin? What was your job on the. . .?
PA: I was deckin—that*s what they call deckin logs. And you were supposed tocut *em when they're going. They're easier to cut with a cant hook when they're travelling otherwise you can*t cut 'em. They cut easy one way or the other so they go out straight.
SAM: So you'd being trying to direct them while they were.
PA: I'd put 'em up on the skidwayhwfifle he was gettin another load.
SAM: You used a cant hook?Yeah.
PA: Alot of people don't know what acant hook is anymore. And apeavy, that'sanother thing there. You can tie loose, you know, there's a sharp edge on the end. A cant hook hasn't got that, that's what they cut logs with. Why, Idone everything in the woods: skiddin, and highline worked around lots of donkeys.
SAM: Was that what happened then? You just started workin in the woods from there?
PA: Yeah, that's what started me lumberjackin. From there on I wasn't satisfiednot to be in the woods.
SAM: Where did you go next?
PA: Well, I started at the Potlatch then. I drove team for them most of thetime. I drove team for pretty near twenty-five years for them. Skidded logs. Then Iworked on highlines and groundlines and everything.
SAM: Do you remember first started drivin ateam for them? When they firstput you on? How that happened?
PA: Well, no. Iwent to camp to hire up fortiam8tSd that's what Iwanted to do.I didn't want to do anything else but drive team. I never did like to saw logs although Idone it!°mThat's one thing Ididn't like—it was sawin logs. So always I applied for a team if I get one. And usually you did get team.
SAM: Where did $hey have you work first when you were drivin team? Whereabouts?
PA: Well, I think the first when I drove a team, thatfs when just held theline, you coidn't touch anything else. You were drivin team then you didn't do nothin else. I think that was down at Bear Creek at HoracesCamp. The Potlatch couldn't buy the timber, so the fellah name of Horace, he had a bank in Deary, Shey got him to dicker with the farmers about it so he got the timber. So they called it Ho.ace Camp, but it was Potlatch. And^ sent a whole bunch men out in the woods, and they'd make a even road to every tree. Slash a road to a tree limb the log* They had a cant hook, a peavy and roil the logs over so there were no limbs on the log at all, no place, underneath". And then when the teamsters come along then you drive up there and you have a man along and he grabs ahold of the tongs, you know, tongs fasten on the double trees. And he grabs ahold of them m the team turns around and he hooks it off the log. Or if it's more than one log, he puts chain three or four logs and chain if they're small. And if it's a big log you have tongs, you know, and they grab in like this—they hold the logs.
SAM: Yeah, on either side of it.
PA: So then when you drove a team that's all you did. You'd hang on theline—you didn't do nothin else. But they soon done away with that. And than started. And then you had to do everything yourself. There was a man and a swamper then. The teamster, he drove the horses and helped the swapper, helped limb or whatever to get the logs out. But the swamper, he was supposed to make the road*and cut the limbs off. But lots of times he couldn't keep up, you know, andjyou helped him. And then you were two men to the job, you see. You got so much a thousand for
SAM: Which way was better?
PA: yell, it was better the other way because it made more work for the men.And of course you made a little more money workin by your 0\ypP°* But you worked hard till they found out how much you could do then. That's what ruined it. Before they took ten men to do one man's job, see? After the ^\|PP«^ they found out that one man could do ten man's job. And then you were stuck. And then they started outtin the wages too. They made big money to start with because they didn't know how much you could do, you see. But then they tore in and worked, you know, to make a lot of money, and then they made too much money. The company won't stand for it. They cut the wages; cut »em down. And that's the way they kept on cuttin 'em down because the men was workin tco hard. So it was better the other way because it made work for a lot of people. They used to call Potlatch the old people's home because them old fellahs they could go out there and make roads trees. There were lots of things they could do, you know, monkey around. They didn't have to work hard. They were on their own out there workin. Makin roads and trimrain-- so they really had it nice.
SAM: So you think that really workin wages was better for the lumberjack as awhole?
PA: It was better because that contract work should never have been. That fellahthat started that, they should have strung him up right away, get rid of Km, Because that was ruination for the country. You take out in the camp now, you go out there and afterwards, you know, after I got on the cat, I'll tell you. Well, they put three men with the cat. I was the riggin man then and I had two choker setters. Well, I had to look for a road to get into the timber. Xnd tell my riggin man where to go, to get in. And then after they got the chokers on all the logs, then I hooked them chokers on the bull hook on a cat, see. That was my job. Well, pretty soon they cut down , so they got only one man with the cat. And the cat driver had to go down off a**d8et chokers. That's the way it is now. The cat drivers and the chokers are workin together now. It's against the law for a cat driver to leave the cat. Because you never know when it's going to, and one man lost his leg because the brakes let go when he was workin behind and got on his leg, and he had to cut it off. It is against the law, but they do it. They still work it that way.
SAM: How'd you feel about changin over to cats from horses?
PA: Oh, I didn't like it a bit. I thought sure I was gonna—I thought Iwas gonna quit, but I'd been workin for 'em so long, too, you know, that there wasn't very many jobs that I could tale because that*s all I about knew—farming and loggin so. . .But they worked me in on a cat, slowly, and pretty soon I got so I liked it. I didn't like it at first because we didn't have no A-frame in front there. We just had a cat, if there was a log you had to haul the logs out, and cut 'era and haul out so we could get through. But pretty soon they gave us an A-frana We let that down and it pushed everything aside—you made a road as you went. Then I liked it pretty good. Becaase all I had to do is to tell the cat driver where to go and he went in there and I had the road.
SAM: Did you know Axel Anderson?
PA: I oughta know him. I worked for him for years. I worked for him for years.Good old scout. Yeah, whenever he'd open his camp he'd always call me to come go to work.
SAM: Did he encourage you to work on cats instead of. . .?
PA: Well, he wanted me-.I broke my ankle up there above Clarkia one time, soI wasn't supposed to work in the woods anymore. So they gave me a patrol. I graded roads and watered the roads for the truck, you see, that was my job. So I had the foad in pretty good shape. And so there was some cats sittin along the road and he come along sometimes he saild, "Say, why don't you get on one of them cats and drive *em. I'd like to see you start drivin one of them cats." "Oh, Axel, I'm too old to start one of them." "Aw," he said "There's fellahs here with long whiskers drivin cats." "Yeah, " I said, "but they don't know how to drive it either. You got to start young on them. I knew I wouldn't be no good as a cat driver. No, I didn*t want to start drivin a cat." But he thought I didn't have enough to do I guess, the road was in pretty good shape, so I could set around waitin for the trucks to go by.
SAM: The idea that I had about Axel is that he expected a lot from his men,but he was pretty fair to them.
PA: Aw, he was a. . .Well he wanted you to work, sure. But he was pretty goodscout. He was pretty good.
SAM: Well, did it make a big difference how good the foreman was that youworked for?
PA: You bet it did. You bet. And a fellow like that.he always kept a prettygood crew too. Because lumberjacks, they were pretty touchy, you know, if they didn't like the boss, they didn't take it. But of course, he probably was hard on some of them—thought they worked, but they couldn't. You know there's men comin into the camp, they say they can do anything and they couldn't do nothin. They had teamsters come in there. They put the collar upside down on the horse. They didn't know any better, and they wanted to drive team. What kind a boss do with anything like that? He can't do nothin but send »em down the road. You can't have the collar upsidedown on the horse, they've gotta pull. And one time he got a fellah from Kendrick, I rememDer ne was skiddin logs not far from where I was. He hollered to everything on his horses. Just like a sheephered, you know. An old Axel come along, "Nope. Take your team to the barn, you better go herd sheep," he said, (laughs) That was the lasjr of him.
SAM: I get the idea that there were a lot of new faces in the woods all thetime, people comin and goin. Oh yeah. Yes. Lots of new faces. Lot a people come in every day lookin for work, you know. Some of them just travel from one camp to another lookin for a good job. And then they get a free meal, free lodging.
SAM: Ithink I've heard those guys. . .Did they used to call those guys campinspectors?
PA: Yeah. I'll tell you in Iworked "the otherside of Helmer, Camp Seven. There was one fellah there, he went with us to the lunchroom and made a lunch every morning. Took abig lunch and he went cut to some cabin and stayed all day and come back the next night and slept there. And he kept on that way for a long time. They finally caught upland from there on they finally clamped down on comin in and takin lunch out to the woods. You know, we had it nice there. We used to be able to go in there and take apound or two of coffee, eggs by the dozen, big slab of bacon, and anything, butter by the pound—we'd takeit out to the woods, and then we'd cook our dinner there, see. And most of time we'd get a frying pan, but if we didn't have enough frying pan we used our shovel—cook shovel, you see.*You can fry pretty good on them over a fire. So we really had it nice. Boy we had good meals there. That ham, and bacon, and eggs, you know, bojr. But they had to cut down on that because a lot of people come in there and they took it and they went. . .This fellah probably had somebo^relse stayin with him00and he just bought the food to 'em. A lot of 'em wouldn't work. They just kept on doin that. So I think most of the time they charged for meils, but of course, they never charged me,I was too well known anyway. They knew I wouldn't do this. I always got a meal.
SAM: What was the chuck like in the camp most of the. . .?
PA: Oh, it was good. Everything. All kinds of meat, and steak and cookiesand cake and pies for every meal—even breakfast. Everything was loaded with food! You can't imagine. But still a lot of the fellahs kicked on the meals. Well, the lumberjacks used to say you want to kick no matter how good it is. And that's what they did. No, we were really fed, I'll tell you. Bp^! Hotcakes in the morning, you got hot ones too. If it wasn't hot, you'd put 'em in the stove and come in and get another plate. No, there was good food in camp, that's for sue.
SAM: Whet was the like? I've heard that It was pretty tough a lot oftimes to get your scale right.
PA: Well, I know the scalers had to steal so much everyday, otherwise they don'tlast the job. Had to be so much overrun. That's the way they had it figured out. I heard that they had it figured out that it was goin to pay for the saw at the mill. The over run. j know it was an awful over run, that's for sure.
SAM: What do you mean, over run?
PA: Well, they didn't giveshould have been up to the next number, but they'd go back one, see. And that amounts to quite a bit on a day's work. But the scalers couldn't help it because they were hired to do that. And if they didn't scale that way they went down tie road because they had a check scaler come and they never knew when the check scaler'd check on 'em, see? Check scaler was in every week and maybe twice a week in the camp. Checked on 'em-on the scalers. This Eddie Anderson down here in the beer parlor, he used to be a scaler. Down here in this U*tf beer parlor. Do you know him?
SAM: Um hum.
PA: He was pretty well liked in camp,t;hou gh, I guess he'd give as good scaleas he'd dare too.
SAM: Was that commonly known? Did most of the men just know they were gettinCheated?
PA: Oh yeah, they all knew that. They all knew that. Sometimes they cheated in theoffice too. The scale come in and they had too much and they'd fix it up there so they wouldn't get so much if theyTthought you made too much money. I know that went on too. See the bosses, they were afraid of higMer ups too,if theyllet the men make too much money. In 1921-22, when they first started ^tf^m^ there, they'd started gyPf*'*J there, they didn't even have a swamper—they worked alone you know. And they made such big money they bought big cars. Gee, they had big cars sittin all around the camp there. It wasn't long till the higher ups caught up with that, boy! They clamped down on 'era, and pretty soon they didn't have no car. They didn't make enough to run that big car. Oh, they made big money there But for awhile, you see, the workin manjhe is always the fool. If he'd work slower and not made that big money, kept it down, worked at his leisure, he could have kept on havin'good wages. But instead of that he wanted to make more than the bosses. And they wouldn't stand for that, you see. And that's when they found out how much a man could do, and that was ruination.
SAM: Well, did some foremen try to help the men instead of helpfthe company?
PA: No, I don't think there was very many of them. There was a few. I knowone up there. Ed Carlson and I, we took a job makin. . .the logging shut down one winter up here. And so we stayed in camp; we lived in camp anyway. So we stayed there that winter and then my partner, he wanted to be ambitious so he took a job makin posts for the Potlatch. So I was supposed to help him, and we took that Sob. But we didn't make much money, but I guess it didn't make no difference, we didn't have anything else to do. But we wasn't satisfied, and the boss—he felt sorry for us. So he told us—he said when he came out there visiting, "Boy, I feel sorry for you fellahs. You're not makin no money." "No, " we said, "we knew that." "Well," he said, "I'll leave the open"where they kept all the food, you know. He said, "You go in there/and help yourself to what you need." But we never did. But he liked to have us there, too because him and his wife, they could go on a trip and we still looked after the camp. He got paid for stayin there and lookin after the camp, but we lived there so when he was gone we looked after the camp, see. So when we didn't go in and get anything, why he give us some stuff. He give us some bacon, and two gallons of fruit and stuff.
SAM: That's really considerate. That sounds good.
PA: Yeah, he was a real nice guy. He didn't live very long either. Either himor her. He died pretty young. But there wasn't very many bosses. They were used to havin all kinds of men; I don't think they felt sorry for anybody. They had all kinds of men to deal with, you know. Some of them were pretty hard to deal with too.
SAM: Were those guys, most of the guys that were transient lumberjacks, just cominthough? Just there for a short time?
PA: They weren't cranky comin through because they were alwaysAnice then, butwhen they got tk^c^ that's when they got cranky. But tJat's the time when the camp boss would let »em go to town—blow in. Then they were real nice when they come back. They worked like everything and they were easy to get along with. So the boss always let 'em go to town and blow in because it didn't take more than a day or two and they were broke.
SAM: Now what's the deal on that? What'd happen? A lumberjack would take allhis earnings and just go and blow 'em all right away?
PA: Well, they had a woman in every town, you know. I heard one fellah, he wasthe barn boss, I don't know whether this was true or not, but he had Ke-^ in Seattle, so he went to Seattle. And he come to the door and knocked on the door arid I guess sh e had 3omebody else in there, so he stuck the check under the door for her. But now, I don't know, that don't seem like anybody would do that, you know. He'd want more than that for the money, wouldn't he? But you know they all had a chippy someplace. They all had a woman someplace, you know. And then they'd get drunk and they'd be broke In a little while. But Cryin Gus up there, he'd work till he had four or five hundred dollars to go to town,and he was broke right away. Then he'd cry; so they called him Cryin Gus.
SMM: He cried when his money was gone?
Yeah, he cried everytime.That's funny.
You know, like him, he didn't gvet nothin for his money. When we lived inElk River, we was goin to Moscow. So he asked me if I could go along. "Well," I said, "yeah, you can go alo£g." But I was kinda leary about him because I know he was crazy. When he come to town he wanted to buy my wife everything: hat and dresses and everything. My wife wouldn't take it. But as we walked on the street, you know, and met somebody, and the girls smiled at him—and by golly he'd pull out ten dollar and give it to her. Just for smilin at her. That's the kind of a guy he was. So you see his money went. Well, he didn't get broke when I brought him back to Elk River, but he got broke that night in Elk River. How he could get broke I don't know. Some woman took all nhe money away from him, I guess.
SAM: What I can't figure out is. , .Well, I've heard this before that the menjust blew in—blew their stake and it was all gone. I still can't figure out why they had to spend all their money instead of put some of it away to save it.
PA: Oh, no. That's the way they were. And therewas one fellah, an old fellahup there, he used to be a blacksmith. His name was Johnson. He had family in Sweden. He come out here to make a stake and then he was gonna go back, you see. And sometimes he'd get a letter from one of the kids in Sweden, you know. His tears would come to his eyes when he read them letters, you know. And he'd tell me afterwards, he said, "Now I'm going to save my money. I'm going to Sweden this fall." And you know he never got there. He died here. And that's the way with most of 'em. They never got anyplace because as soon as they got to town, why they just were broke. TheyAcouldn't get by the town without goin in there and get drunk and blow . No matter what the good intentions they had.
SAM: I take it there was a big difference between the lumberjack that was asingle man and the lumberjack that was a family man and lived around here-
PA: Oh, yeah:, yeah, There was a big difference. But you know, when it comeright down to it, I was surprised, a lot of them old lumberjacks had been there at one time, had children someplace too. But they just got in the lumber camps and they forgot all about 'em. No, I was surprised. Lots times I never thought that he'd ever been married, but I found was married—had been married.
SAM: What did the lumberjacks do in camp? What was the camp ffke when theyweren't out workin?
PA: Why they'd sit there and bullshit and play cards or somethin. Tell bigstories. Lots of times you don't know if you believe it or not, but 'd someone come in there and brag about what all they could do and what they had been doin. I always found out the fellow that brags like that couldn't do nothin. I want to look out fot a man like that, come in and brag what he could do. My gosh, he couldn't do nothinl
SAM: Did you ever know Dick Ferrell?
PA: Yeah, you bet. I used to go to all his meetings. He was nice, niceguy. All the lumberjacks was^glad to see him come because he travelled from camp to camp. And he knew all the lumberjacks and they'd find out where this and that fellah was, you know. So they were all glad to see him. Yeah, he packed with a packsack on his back like the lumberjacks, slept with him in the camp.
SAM: Do you remember what his preihin was like?
PA: Oh, he was a good preacher. Preached as good as any other preacher.Yeah, he was a good man.
SAM: I heard that he'd been a prizefighter and was a pretty tough man too.
PA: Yeah, he was. That's what he was. An old prizefighter. Be turned andgot religion and he quit it. And he thought he'd go—because he'd been with thexmgh guys, he thought he'd go with the rough in the camp, you see. Try to save some of them. But I don't think he ever saved any of 'em.
SAM: Well, was he tryin to get the guys to quit drinking?
PA: Oh yeah, sure. And you know, if a man had been drunk in camp—one of themreal drunkea—when they'd come to the tablJhfRe next time, they'd empty every bottle. They kept the bottles or whatever. Anything in the bottle they'd drink that. They'd drink anything. Some of 'em drank hair tonic. . .
SAM: Speakin of drinkin, do you remember Pat Malone?
PA: Oh yeah. If there ever was a bottle around he'd be there. He was a prettygood old scout. Yeah, he used to be at all the Deary dances. He'd be out fv the boys, if the boys would go out, he'd know there'd be a bottle, why he'd get a drink. Yeah, he was a nice guy. He tried to keep order though, but you know, he liked his whiskey. They have a lot of funny things about him that in Trees Qrew Tall, you know.
PA: And I guess they was so, all right.
PA: Yeah, he was well known—old Pat was.
SAM: What about the IWW's, these Wobblies?
PA: Put afew straws in the bottom. And this was up above Bovill, at Purduethen when I was workin there, and at Collins there was a saloon—about a mile and ahalf up above where Iworked there was asaloon. So anytime in the night there towards morning they'd be comin drunk in the bunkhouse there all the time. If you were alone in the bunk And then there was ten hour days. In the fall of the year you had to go an hour out there and build afire and stand by the fire^before you could go to work because it was too dark to see, but you had to be out there. And another thing, there was no place to wash your clothes. All youdd, they bought kerosene in them five gallon kerosene cans, you know, you've seen them haven't you? Well, they open them up on top, and then they went down to the creek ar.d they built afire underneath them and got hot water, put a little soap in there and put one of them things to push up and downwash your clothes in there. That's what they had to do on Sundays. No place to wash your clothes—only that. So you know that wasn't very good. But after that they got straighten out the bunkhouse and everything. There'd be good beds and blankets and oh my—god they had washer houses and bath houses and everything else.
SAM: And the Wobblies^ielped to bring that in?
PA: Oh, I think so, yes. I think they did. I think we have to give *emcredit for that, but they were—some of 'era were awful radical, you know. They just wanted to destroy. Like out in the farming country it was dangerous to hire anybody you didn*t know. Well, they would go and put somethin in the machine and break it--some heavy iron in there and tear everything up in the machine, ruin the machine. They done that, set of tires. Did all kinds of dirty tricks like that, so that wasn't very good. And in the first place, you know, they weren't citizens of this country. They come from other country and wasn't citizen and they come here and mn. . .. Of course, they had a good idea—try to get things better for the people here. But somehow it was way too radical. They were awful radical, some of 'em. Oh they preached, when Iwas in camp they come around every once in a while—just wanted to slow down on the job, ask for more pay and do less work. That's all you could hear. Dump the bosses—They'd sing songs, you know."Dump the Bosses off your Back! And if You're Weak and Hungry". I forget how they all—they had all kinds of songs they sang. They sang to beat everything. Take down below here, McKenzies, when they had a camp down there, boy the Wobblies were pretty strong there .They sang there at night somethin terrible.
SAM: Well, I thought they were pretty popular with a lot of lumberjacks in theearly days, though?
PA: Well, the radical lumberjacks liked them, but I never liked them. In wasin one camp when they pulled a strike there. We come in the evening and th organizer, he was there when we come. He had 'em all in a bunch there. And we took a vote—to strike or not. And there was only one man wanted to strike—only one man. But you know he stayed there all night, and he went from one bunkhouse t* another. Next morning they all went out. But I never voted for it. Anyway, we was about four or five men there I guess, had to stay there and take care of the horses, so I was one of 'em. Stayed and took care of the horses. But one Wobbly told me--he said»,'I don't blame you," he said, "for stayin. Somebody got to take care of the horses." But I didn't want to say either:I didn't believe in your raquet either. Nobody had anything to strike on,you know. As soon as they was out of ajob they had to goand beg. Nobody had any maney is what I mean. You can't strike unless you got somethin' to live on when you're strikin. You strike like that, it's no good. So then on Saturday night I wanted to drive home to Elk River so when I got over there to the main road here they werew-whole bunch of »em. Istepped on the gas just as hard as Icould and Iplowed right through, (laughs) I never hit anybody; they all scattered. 3ut I wasn't going to let 'em stop me.
SAM: What would they have wanted to stop you for?
PA: Well, because I come from the camp, see?
SAM: This was in the 1930's?
PA: Yes this was in 19. ..Let's see, we finished up on ChWfA ln t35j ,36#It must have been '36 or '37. Somewhere around there. And Naugle, he was the superintendent, he said, "t'll spend amillion dollars on the strike. They'll never get it." And he didn't get nothin either. But nobody had any had money money. You know, if they'' to give the people when they vre on a strike, then yov can do somethin. But gosh, when aman is broke and got afamily to keep, you gotta go someplace to work. Well, you have to go someplace else. You're takin the job away from somebody else. That's no good. Now though, when they pull a strike, they have money to live on. They prepare for them now. They give you so much a month now wen you're strikin. That's different, That way you can win astrike. But when you gotta go ^ J^beg the tiext day when you're through strikin, you know, why that ain't no good. And then really aradical that was in for the strike, they never had nothin. They were the worst off of any of »em. But they kept a-beggin, bumfcin. And nobody liked to give anybody anything like that, you know-bum. When he don't want to work. Down here in the Clearwater country, at that time it was pretty tough there. Some of 'em got killed there. But up here It wasn't that bad. They were a tougher bunch down there. Then after that fellah, when he got to Seattle that time, he was arrested. He wasn»t even a citizen of the United States.
SAM: Who the man who got the camp to strike?
PA: The one that, the organizer that come up here. I forgot where he was frombut he didn't even speak good English. But he got 'em to pull the strike, anyway.
SAM: When you were first workin in the woods there, around World War I, Ihadheard there were a lot of foreign workers in the woods—a lot of Italians and...
PA: Oh yeah. That was during the war—that was during the flu in 1918. Theydied like flies with that. Most of the husky men died that time.
SAM: Where did they die?
PA: They got sick in camp and they hauled 'em out to the doctor, and theynever come back-they all died. Yeah, I was arrested in camp that time. I was down there, and I lived only a quarter of a mile from there. And I didn't have my card on, you know. What do you call them, that you have to have-registration card, for the army. You were supposed to carry that all the time, but I didn't. So the army, three of 'em come down there to give a speech at noon. And they examined everyone and they wanted to see the cards, you know. And they wanted to see if it said d*aft dodger or what. And I didn't have my card along. So I told »em, I said, "Well, I just live up here on the hill, I can go up and get it." "No, you're not going to go up there and get it," he said. "You gotta get somebody else." So I had to get somebody to go up and get my card. I had it so I was all right. And then there was an old Gernman. He was an old man too. He must have been sixty or seventy years old. He said, "Well, now that I'm not workin this afternoon, I need to go to town. I think I'll go to town this aftemnon." So he didn't go in for the meeting. 'He)had ameeting in the dining hall there. So he went to Deary. And by goll, they arrested him and he never come back. Idon't know what they done with him. Iguess he never thoughtanything about it, you know. He thought well, ifd be agood time to go to town and buy something that he needed. By golly, they grabbed him. Idon't know if they murdered him or what. But boy them army officers, Iwould like to have had sorAhin done to them too. Boy, they talked terrible in there. They thought they owned the whole thing.
SAM: What were they saying to people? They were saying you've got to go to war,or what?
PA: Oh they preached that we had to work twice as hard and oh, Idon't knowwhat all they said, but they were really anyy . They talked so strict, you know, boy that nobody liked it. They thought they were somethin. They thought they owned the whole world, Iguess. But the WobMies, they used to sing down there in the camp, boy they used to raise the roof.
SAM: Well, I've heard that alot of those, ,they called 'em, a|otof those people never did come back after the war. Many of them went back to Europe and never came back at all.
PA: No, Isuppose. Them bbohunks, they were the ones that they worked onrailroad, that's all. Them bbohunks, when they were workin on the road, oh you could hear 'em talkin, hollerin all the time, you know, you could never understand it. There was all b bohunks on them.
SAM: Did you know T. P. Jones?
PA: Oh, you bet. Irode with him one time from Horace's Camp to Deary. (Break)And he walked by the schoolhouse, and we was scared to death of him.
SAM: Of Wild Davey?
PA: Yes. He walked right by our school, and we was out there playin ball,you know, and here he'd come with the dogs and the gun, you know. We was scared. But he was harmless. He come from Park. And then he had in Moscow. Idon't know. We never did know what he done, yon know.
SAM: He had two places though, at once.
PA: Yeah, he had ashack Ifound out, in Moscow he stayed. Idon't know
PA: Never done anything that I know of.B A: 'Cause he had hunting dogs with him.
SAM: You didn't know of him to hunt when you knew him then?
PA: No, Idon't think he he hunt. He mighta hunted for some meat, you know.A: Weren't those bird dogs? Hunting dogs.
PA: Well, that isn't the kind of dogs he had when Iseen him. They were, youknow, short hairs. And them there looks like they're long haired. But you know, that's along time between. He was lots older man when Iseen him. BA: That's an ojd Model 94 Winchester.
PA: Yf see, that there it says in 1892. That there says 1892, that's before Iwas born.
SAM: Did he go through quite a bit back and forth?
PA: Heated. He didn't drive. He walked. Walked from Park to Mosc5w. No,he didn't have no horses.
(End of Side D)Transcribed and typed by Kathy Blanton
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Segment Synopsis: Big Anderson: "I'm getting better and better every day." The meat on his lower legs had rotted to the bone. He took no help with cutting wood, and wouldn't eat food you brought unless you ate with him. He homesteaded Big Bear Ridge, then in Canada. Throwing sand in a cougar's face. He lived on the interest on $500. He made his own clothes. He walked into town, got stewed in the saloon. No one got to see his perpetual motion machine: "I'll soon got it now." Died after he was taken off his place, perhaps from taking a bath. He was a friendly man, and strong. He got angry at a relative who let him down. He read the Bible in a poor light.
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Segment Synopsis: Mother, a Norwegian, orphaned and taken to Minnesota where she met his father from Sweden. Father discouraged from homesteading near Genesee because there was no timber, so he did near Deary, and then pre-empted on Dry Ridge. Big yellow pine and no underbrush, because the Indians kept it burnt off.
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Segment Synopsis: Troy Lumber Company had big operation, lots of sawmills, hauling, land; it was started by the Bohmans, sawmill men from Sweden. They got workers from Sweden who worked hard for low wages. Phil helped some Swedish lumberjacks get food at meals in the camps. He couldn't speak English until he went to school.
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Segment Synopsis: Most hauling was done in winter. Huge lumber business and tremendous activity in early Troy. Many made a living hauling cordwood. Farmers always had something to sell in Troy. The old way of farming worked much better than the new, and should be reestablished. They came nine miles to town once a week, and twice a week to Anderson for mail. He hauled logs to the water power sawmill.
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Segment Synopsis: Joe Wells was a slave ans stayed with the Wells family after emancipation. When drunk he'd say "I'm the only white man in Deary." Troy Main Street was made so wide so four-horse teams could turn around. Farmers were the main drinkers in Troy and some women did too. You could buy half a gallon of beer for fifteen cents.
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Segment Synopsis: As a teenager he decked logs for his uncle using a cant hook, a dangerous lob for a boy. When he started in the woods, the teamster held the lines while other men prepared the logs; but when they started gyppoing, the teamster and swamper handled the logs together. Gyppoing was the ruination of the country: once the company found out how much work a man could do, they cut down the work force and wages, ending Potlatch "old folks' home." Cat crews also have been cut down. When horses went out he thought he'd quit, but got used to cats once they put an A-frame in the front.
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Segment Synopsis: Axel Anderson tried to persuade him to drive cat. Axel fires an incompetent teamster. A man took his lunch every day and went off to a cabin instead of logging. Taking food in the woods to cook dinner on a shovel if there was no frying pan. The food was very good, but the lumberjacks complained anyway.
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Segment Synopsis: Scalers were ordered to cheat the loggers; it was sometimes said by an amount equal to the overrun at the mill. Sometimes the scale was changed in the office, if the men made too much. When gyppoing started in 1921 and '22, the men made big money and bought cars, so the management clamped down. The men shouldn't have been so greedy and worked that hard. A boss who was generous to Phil.
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Segment Synopsis: When the men made their stake and got cranky, the foremen let them go to town. They blew their money on their women and drink. Crying Gus cried when his was gone; he gave $10 to a girl who smiled at him on the street. A blacksmith used to swear he was going to save his money and go back to Sweden when he got letters from his family, but he always blew it just the same. Lots of lumberjacks had been married at one time. Braggers couldn't do anything they said they could.
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