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Stratford centennial
(1891-1991)

At work in the woods,   pp. 37-46


Page 38

Getting the logs from the woods to the
railroad line was accomplished by build-
ing ice roads. Oxen were used to skid and
clear the path. The water tank sleigh
would follow, spreading water to lay a
'road" by building a layer of ice over a
foot thick to carry the heavy loads of logs.
A "rutter" was used to cut a deep groove
in the ice to hold the logging sleigh run-
ners. These ruts had to be kept clear of
snow and ice build up as well as sticks and
~manure.
A water tank sleigh. Ice roads were needed to keep loaded lumber sleighs
moving. (L-R) Otto Schultz, Otto Sievert and Mike Baltus. (Note stove to keep
water from freezing) Photo provided by Connor family.
Camp Meals
Tony Schuster, a Stratford store clerk
recalled early days in Stratford when oxen
freely roamed the muddy streets during
late winter. It was his job to bring meat to
the camps from the company store. But,
during one week of muddy roads, the
meat supplies never arrived. In despera-
tion he seized and carved up a roaming ox
and took it to camp without mentioning
the origin of the meat.
IAt breakfast there were pork chops,
Ssteaks, pies, cakes, doughnuts, sausage,
bacon, cereal, flapjacks with syrup, and
big molasses cookies. Except for cereal
or pancakes, dinner provided more of the
same, with "kraut, baked beans, rutaba-
gas, and cheeses. Raisin pie was a favor-
ite.
"No talking" was the universal lumber
camp rule. The men ate silently, except to
ask for a passing plate. The cooks wanted
them out of the way and the companies
wanted them on the job. They ate even
faster when the lunch sleighs, called
swing-dingles, took blanketed hot food to
I                                                    the woods.
In camp, tin plates and mugs were
&+ .always placed upside down on the tables.
Courtesy of The Connor Family


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