Dairyland Driftings


| May/June 1961



20 hp Sawyer balancing on teeter-tootter

Our 20 hp Sawyer balancing on teeter-tootter at our Bee.

Dairyland in winter ain't just 'jerkin jerseys.' The few hours available amid choring are spent largely in the woodlots. Buzzing chain-saws leave their trails of jobs well done as well as acres of just fallen trees (minus the choice logs), typical of Americans is the waste untold. This has been another winter with little or no snow, at least up to Feb. 14.

Must say, I too, enjoy the tasks of timber harvest, cutting logs, splitting fence posts, gathering firewood and even cutting the underbrush. The latter project being simplified by a tool that seems to have originated by P.W.A. program and is stamped as such. Have never found one in a Hardware, but were available as a surplus commodity back in the early 40's. Simply a tempered piece of steel about 5'x9', 3/16' thick and sharpened on the two edges. A wood handle attached to the mid-section at a 45 degree angle does the trick. Wood for fuel, we find, is still the best for us. It's the cleanest, cheapest and safest. We like the smell of wood burning, and 'buzzing' it up gives us a chance to belt up various old tractors. Even shredding corn in sub-zero temperatures is simplified by using live coals to heat the oil pan in the of tractor. And last, but perhaps best, wood ashes add potash to the soil. The fenceposts to keep our bovines in, and the nabers out. Native lumber is used for building and gives me a chance to put the '50' Case on the sawmill where again we gain slab wood and sawdust as a supplement for bovine-bedding.

Nyle Kurth from EauClaire stopped one day -brought a couple steam engine records along. (Tape recordings were taken of my Case on the mill by Lonny Maugans of St. Croix Falls and thence put on records.) Well, Nyle was my engineer and fireman, Geo. Christian the off-bearer and were both interviewed as well as myself -we ran the record several times and I hope to hear it again before long.

December 15 was indeed a day for my book. Two Frank Millers from Indiana, La Crosse and Kewanna together with Sherald Bonnell, also from Kewanna driving a Buick stopped before breakfast. Seems the Kewanna Miller had 'bagged' an 80 Case at Little Falls, Minnesota. Had a nice visit over a cup of coffee ere they left. That very afternoon three steam-fans from North Dakota drove in. Liston Grider from Rugby whom I'd hoped to meet, having had correspondence with him back in '48. With him were Lester Grilley and his son, George, from Glenburn. They were just driving thru but did buy my 6 ft. Deering grain binder, the one I obtained from James Sylling of Spring Grove, Minn. That binder is getting around, will have cut grain in three states, at least.

Liston Grider, a well driller and Dr. Ted Keller owned a Double M Rumely which was pressed into service around the clock for 4 days clearing out a ton of wax from 2 blocks of Rugby's sewers which had hardened and plugged the sewers. The wax was inadvertently poured into the system when a creamery vat boiled over. Creamery employees tried flushing hot water thru the mains and the city's small steamers used for clearing drains were ineffective. Grider and Sam Tafte alternated to keep the engine hot and with extra hose borrowed from Great Northern Railway fed enough steam into the sewers to melt the wax. See flash photo of steamer on nite-shift.

Tourist information would have you think fishing is a must in 'Dairy-land.' That fish are plentiful and all you have to do is drop the line (oh yes, and buy a license). Well, methinks maybe its all just a line. The weather was unseasonably mild the ice 14 inches thick, minnows for free, acces s to a new ice drill - 3 women- Edith, Louise and Alice decided for ice fishing while their 1960 licenses were still valid. Edith caught one crappie, the next caught nothing, the latter came home with two - One Northern (all dressed from someones freezer) and a humdinger of a cold.