Somerset, Wisconsin: 125 pioneer families and Canadian connection: 125th year
[Rosalie Parnell's book on Somerset, Wisconsin], pp. 11-64 PDF (24.6 MB)
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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