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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 29

This section of the county was blessed with thick forests. All
the pioneers had to do was to go ahead and cut all the wood they
needed to clear a space to build a home for themselves and family.
Then sow a small portion of their land and since all the work was
done by hand the patches of grain were rather small at first. Not
much seed to do with either. Garden vegetables were planted since
there were no stores to run to for canned goods or frozen products
like we enjoy today. I would like to see our great grandmothers
faces if they were to drop in our grocery stores today and see even
the biscuits ready for the oven. I am under the impression it would
be somewhat amusing. Baking bread was really a job for them, first,
grind or break the grains and pulverize them something like our
cracked wheat, then try and make it raise with yeast they would make
themselves with hops (collected by them in the fall) and potatoes
fermented. But oh, the aroma of that home made bread grandmother
used to make. Former years it was usually baked in an earthen oven
outdoors. All the yellos loaves piled 9 or 10 on the boards pulled
out at one time. These earthen ovens are still used in Canada along
highways especially with tables loaded for tourists with home baked
goodies and maple syrup and sugar loaves.
The sawmill erected at Arcola, Minnesota in 1847 by W. S.
Folsom with an extra large smokestack was quite a landmark for miles
around even though Arcola is by the rivers edge and it is in a low
valley. It stood for many, many years after out of use. This mill
must have been one of the first ones to use fuel to raise steam for
power. It was torn down a few years ago.
Hudson had five saw mills.
River packers farm lands opened 1853.
Paradise flour mill was built on the Winslow River in 1853 -
Hudson Journal
Flour Mills in Stillwater. A company was formed in 1877, started
to operate May 1877 and 78. Was a four story building.
The St. Croix Flour Mill - Issac Staples in 1877
The Union Elevator was erected in 1870-71
Dick Farmers Livery Stable
The Gas & Light Co. 1874.
The Minn. State Prison 1851 - Cost $5,000 by John Lanlor of
Prairie du Chien, Grounds & buildings.
The bridge was built (a drawbridge to allow passing of logs
and boats) $24,400.

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