|This page is a text version of the Forest to Field History Book. You can purchase a PDF copy of the book in our online store. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the purchased version. The purchased version also includes each image in the original book.|
Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One
Previous - Page 46 or Next - Page 48
to Scandinavia about 1896 or 1897, as I was born there in January, 1898. Dad had a homestead out there some place first, but gave it up and settled on N.E. 32-17-18W, part of the Erickson townsite. Of course I do not remember quite that far back, but I can remember what it was like around there before the railroad came, pretty wild country then. I remember the building of the railroad and the different people that came then though I do not know the years they came. I recall going across the lake to pick raspberries on the Haraldson place when there was no one living there.
Dad was the first postmaster in Erickson. It was not called Erickson Post Office at first because there was an Erickson in British Columbia. The Post Office depart ment thought it would cause too much confusion, so it was called Avesta Post Office for a while. I guess that it was more confusing to have the station called Erickson and the post office, Avesta, especially as there was a Vista further up the line. That caused a lot of mail to be mis-sent between the two places, so they changed the name of the post office to Erickson to straighten matters out.
Around about 1911-1912, there was a fellow that came to Erickson and operated a planning mill. He bought lumber from Mr. Hall and also from Victor Walstrom. He ran it through the planer and shipped it out. As I remember it he was what one might call a scoundrel as I do not think that Mr. Hall got paid for all the lumber he sold him. I also remember working for him at the planer and coming out on the short end of the stick as far as my wages were concerned. I think that Victor came out best as he kept collecting right along as he hauled the lumber in. He hired Bergwall's steam tractor to run the mill.
There was a family of Carlson's that moved out to Erickson from Scandinavia possibly around 1910-1911. They bought a farm just north of our place. Their oldest daughter married Gotfrid somebody that I cannot recall the name now. They lived a couple of miles southeast of Erickson. The Carlson's went to Texas about the time that we did. I saw them down there when I came back from England in 1919.
Well, Mrs. Lee, I don't know if this stuff will be any good to you or not. I guess I don't remember very much that would make history. If I was to see you and talk to you or anyone there, I would perhaps remember more people and happenings.
You say that your grandfather was John Carlson. That must be John Carlson on section 18 in Scandinavia as I remember his place as I have been there more than once. I also remember the Lee's. I believe one of the boys being named Ted which is your father-in-law.
Before we had a post office in Erickson, I often used to walk to Scandinavia for the mail in the summertime. It was some hike, I think it was about nine miles. After the post office came to Erickson, I drove the mail to Danvers Post Office for a year or so. It was a cold trip in winter. Maryann Stone was postmistress there then and when her mother was alive, she always gave me coffee when I came. I guess she thought I needed it after the cold trip. As we had no cars in those days we had to use old dobbin for everything.
I remember lots of teachers that we had after the
Hanson girls. First was Miss McBain and the next was a girl by the name of Edna Shearer. She was from the States, and a very nice girl. Then we had a man teacher but I don't remember his name as he was not there more than a month or so when he was discharged. After that I don't know who came to teach.
There was one happening east of Erickson one of those years. There was a circus train going to Rossburn for a show and it left the tracks a couple of miles east of town. The section that went off had all the elephants and horses and the personnel on. They unloaded the elephants early in the morning and were taking them down to the lake for a drink. They went by where Victor Walstrom was plowing in the field and as he had not heard anything about circus trains or otherwise, he was telling us that he did not know if he was seeing things or not. I also remember them coming to our place for hay and milk and whatever they could get to feed the people on the train. I was elected to take the milk and stuff down. I drove down to the train and they emptied the cream cans. I had a pail in the back of the democrat and while I was talking to some of the guys, someone stole the pail. When I came home I went into the house and told mother that the people on that train were nothing but a bunch of thieves, not knowing that the manager was in the next room, and, of course, heard everything I said. This made my face red as he wanted to pay for the pail. That was Howe's Great London Shows.
Well, Mrs. Lee, I think that I had better stop my rambling now as I cannot think of anything else that might be of interest to you. I am very glad that you wrote as I enjoy hearing about what was once my home. I hope that this will not arrive too late to be of any value to you, which I doubt, as I don't think that I have told you very much that you don't already know. I would like to read the history when you get it done if it should appear in print. If I can be of any service to you do not be afraid to write.
Sincerely yours, Geo Erickson
PIONEER WOMEN AND BUTTER
by Emma Car/son
Most of the land on which the pioneers of our district settled was heavily treed and much of it was stony. When every tree had to be dug, and every stone picked by hand, clearing and breaking of land was naturally slow. It would take some years before any income could be derived from the sale of grain. The homestead became a place for the family to live and get a start in livestock, while the homesteader sought work away from home to provide a living for them. Winter work was usually available through the sawmills and lumbering industry. Throughout the fall, it was important to be with a threshing crew in the more developed areas to the south. This naturally left the pioneer women to manage on their own much of the time.