Life on the Bonanza Farm
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“Aug. 1, 1887: We now have 20 men, all the dining room will hold. We have put a second table at the end of the extension table. We have a good girl this time. She is kind and suits me, even if she cannot do the fancy cooking. (Author’s note: Mary often had trouble with her kitchen help)
“Daniel and Walter went to Fargo, where they bought a thresher (and engine). Daniel says he cannot afford to hire a thresher (when) wheat brings so little.
“Aug. 13, 1887: They have been running the new machine to try it, an Ames engine and an Advance separator. It looks very queer to see an engine running around the yard with no horses attached to it.
“Aug. 19, 1888: Sunday. All men harvesting. There is too great a risk to wheat to let it go on the Sabbath day – risk from hail, wind and rain storms.
“Aug. 30, 1888: A regular procession started for the quarter-section after dinner: engine ahead; teams all behind, 11 of them. I can see a dozen threshing machines from here and the smoke of as many more.
“Sept. 8, 1888: The men threshed 1,300 bushels, but had to stop for the wind blew so hard that they could not keep the belt on the machine. It blew the bundles, too, so that they could not manage them.”
Mary’s diary is a fascinating glimpse of life in Dakota Territory during the 1880s. She especially disliked the winters, which were terrible.FC
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