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