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Somerset, Wisconsin: 125 pioneer families and Canadian connection: 125th year

[Rosalie Parnell's book on Somerset, Wisconsin],   pp. 11-64 PDF (24.6 MB)

Page 17

there for a while till they returned for her after a home had been
built. They came with some earlier expedition. These two boyssons
of Etienne Parent (spelled Perrin sometimes in the US) came from
Drummondville, Canada. Now some of their sisters and brothers also
eame. Their aim was to push onward and find a place for themselves
to call their own. They arrived at Arcola by stage coach which
transported people as far as Saint Croix Falls. Arcola was a tkriv-
ing little town with mills, plenty of waterpower and a good river
traffic. They could have found employment there but that was not
what they had in mind. This was in the year 1852 in the month of
October. Scouting around they decided on the east side of the river
from Arcola. The river then was quite a large body of water. This
decided spot was at the junction of the two rivers - Saint Croix
and Apple River. However, the Apple River was not named then
according to the records.
The boys immediately set out building a home, cutting down
timber for logs with which they used. A three-sided cabin built on
to the bank was camouflaged and obscured with a bark roof and
branches and bushes and trees for further obscurity from the sharp
eyes of the feared Indians. These boys were noted for their abilty
and (likes) for chopping and woodworking of all kinds. So they
reverted to cutting down eordwood and shorter lengths for hewing
shingles. Their home and ambitions were now forming to realizations.
Now, how to get their products to market? They set to work
building a raft, huge and strong, more on the order of a wanigan.
Onto this structure they piled high and wide all the fruits of
their strenuous efforts. On they went down to the Mississippi
River from the Saint Croix. Can you picture the rate of speed
with this heavy load? Much time was required for one trip.
Why endure such hardship you may ask? Their unbounding patience
and determination can be understood by what they were working for,
their own welfare, security for themselves and coming generations.
Some journeys took them as far as St. Louis, Missouri.
They managed to get through the winter fairly well. The next
spring they were somewhat less fearful of the Redskins. The boys
decided to stir up a small plot and plant a few vegetables - some
potatoes and a few hills of corn and later set out some fruit
trees. (These remained years and years as a landmark so to say).
Now, how did this area derive the name "Pome De Terre"?
(Meaning apples of the earth). Simple in a way, but true. When
the group of their friends and relatives came, everything was at
its best. The garden was good. The potatoes especially seemed to
have gone into a second growth. At the end of the stem after the
blossoms there grew small marble-like potatoes. This thrilled
the newcomers very much. They had never seen anything like it.
Jokingly they called them "Pomme de Terre". which in reality is
what they are. The river and the area has since been known thus.

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