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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

Atwood, Abbie
Catherine Ann Holmes Atwood,   pp. 82-86 PDF (981.7 KB)


Page 84


after they left Beloit. While the men were searching for
the trail, they kept blowing their fog horns in order to
keep in touch with one another.
    William Holmes, who was waiting and watching
daily for them, heard these horns. He fastened a lantern
to a long pole, climbed upon the roof of his cabin, and
all evening held it aloft and waved it whenever he heard
the horns. At 9 o'clock March 9, 1836, the party reached
the cabin travelling through snow eighteen inches deep.
    Nineteen people stayed in this log cabin of one room
18 by 20 feet for five days. For the next six months the
Holmes family lived in a cabin built by William, on the
bluff where the railroad crosses Rock River at Monterey.
    That summer Judge Holmes built the first frame
house, the logs being sawed with a whipsaw, on the op-
posite side of the river, east of the Big Rock, at what is
now the corner of S. High and Wilson Ave. HIls claim
ran west to the rapids beyond the Big Rock. He named
this section Rockport.
    The Holmes boys went to Chicago at least once a
month. In this way they brought the windows, doors,
and material needed for the new frame house when they
were bringing supplies. Flour was $21 a barrel and all
other groceries accordingly.
    Mrs. Atwood loved to talk to her grandchildren and
friends of this pioneer life. She never enlarged upon the
hardships and vicissitudes which we know a frontier life
subjected one to, but was always ready to tell interesting
tales of those days. She would talk of her wonderful
flower garden-the wide expanse of prairie covered with
beautiful flowers of many kinds. To her the river was
fascinating. She liked to watch the teams and wagons
ford the river just above the Big Rock. Later her father
established a ferry at this point. One can imagine her
great excitement, when in June a steamboat from the
Mississippi came up the river. All the settlers were
given a ride. In 1839 another steamboat went up as far
as Jefferson.
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