When September rolled around after the busy summer on the farm in 1939, you could feel a more relaxed pace, a chance to take a breath from all the "chores". The canning was completed, the potatoes and carrots had been dug, the grain had been harvested and the granary was filled to the top. Now was the time to go to the corn fields with the corn binder, which cut the corn stalks and tied them into bundles, and transport those bundles by hay wagon to the barn yard. Dad had arranged for the "silage guy" to bring his silo filler which was powered by a tractor.
Respectfully submitted by
Laura W. Berglund
Copyright, March 2016
I will never understand how my parents were able to keep up the pace. Farming days began at 5:30 a.m. and did not usually end until all the cows were milked about 8:00 p.m. They did take time to sit down to three ample meals between chores and listen a while to the battery operated radio.
Post-depression years in the 1930's were days of scrimping and saving to make ends meet. Fortunately, living in rural Minnesota, our family always had food to eat -- meat from the chickens and animals, vegetables and fruit from the gardens. There were some times of drought during those years which threatened some of the crops but we were able to bring water from the well when the gardens needed moisture. The potatoes were stored in the cellar, along with the canned goods.
When we are cold in our homes, we turn up the thermostat or flip a switch to start the fireplace. In 1939, if you were cold my parents needed to go down the basement steps, pick out some firewood and feed the big, ugly furnace. There was no forced air so we were dependent on the heat to rise to the main level through a register. We were lucky if the heat rose even further to reach the upstairs bedrooms through a grate in the floor.
The sun was hot, a good day to sit on the porch and read a "Little, Big Book". That's what I thought, but our dad thought otherwise. "There are bugs on the potatoes", he said, "and you girls will get them off the plants - today!" Ugh! Not much fun to pick reddish orange icky bugs off potato plants, but three of us were chosen for the job, my sister, her friend and I.
July 4, 1900...a mental picture...Main Street...Parade...Riding in the first wagon was blacksmith Tony Nord, banging on his anvil; Julius Spreeman with the horn; and a drummer. Gummerson, a Civil War vet and shoemaker, and Long John, the Wolf Saloon keeper, were along for the ride. There was a horse cart race, which Hank Siebold always won because he had the fastest horse. There was a ball game in the cow pasture north of the depot (now Windmill Marina). Tony Hedstrom pitched and Tony Nord caught a 6-7 game against St. Paul Park. Then families returned to picnic in Village Park.
Two men in row boat, a tug boat (the Marion), and a barge heaped with clams on the shore of the St. Croix River at Afton, Minnesota. In the drought year of 1911, the river channel was often, in places, no more than twenty feet wide. That was the year towns people reaped a harvest of clams. They did not eat the clams; they searched them for pearls. A gem quality pearl, pink, white, blue, or purple, the size of a pea, brought $100 or more. The imperfect pearls were called slugs.
The mounds, located in Afton Township, east of Mound Prairie Cemetery on Highway 18 (old Highway 95) are composed of bedrock. Bedrock is any solid rock mass, either at the surface of underlying such surface deposits, as glacial drift. Originally they were laid down by epicontinental seas covering North America in the Lower Ordivician, Lower Paleozoic Era, millions of years ago. They are composed of marine sediments in pre-glacial era; few fossils would be located there. The hills are capped with limestone that is resistant to erosion.