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Salter, George H., 1826-ca. 1906 / Papers, ca. 1896-1913, 1965
Call Number, Stevens Point SC 60

[George Salter Memoirs],   pp. [1]-34 PDF (71.5 MB)

Page 3

I was with a wife and one child two months old, and me on the broad of my
back.  So I laid there for three months and we spent all the money that we
had saved, and we moved back to the Island of Guernsey to be nearer the doctor.
 I had to go on two crutches for over a month.  The woman would go out to
wash every day, and I would take care of the baby and we got along first
rate.  I commenced getting stronger every day.  I could walke without the
crutches but I could not go very far at a time, but managed to get some work
of breaking stones closey by.  I was paid by the ton.  The quarry men were
very good to me.  They showed me how to break the stones.  There is quite
a knack in hitting them in the right place as it is all blue granite and
if you did not strike them right you could not break them.  You had to have
a cast steel hammer and there were but very few blacksmiths that could make
one that would stand it as they only weighed about 3/4 of a pound and then
the handle about two feet long and about as big as your finger.  It was generally
the black thorn and you had to pay one penny each for them as I did not know
where to get them myself.  The hammer cost two shilling and we had to have
another on that weighed four pounds which cost four shillings so that is
your outfit.  Some old men had cushions to sit on but I had to stand up and
then the first month I earned six pence per day.  I tell you I felt proud.
 I kept on gaining every month until I could do as much as anyone in the
quarry, breaking my ton of stones every day now.
I'll tell you how these stones must be broken.  First they must go through
a two inch ring and then they have to be sifted and get all the dirt out
of them they are then all weighed and put aboard the vessels for ballast.
 We get two shillings and six pence per ton and then the master of the quarry
took a liking to me and asked me if I would run the quarry for him as he
was old and could not do any work himself.  I told him I knew nothing about
quarrying  and did not want anything to do with it.  He said that I knew
as much about it as he did.  He said that I knew as much about it as he did.
 He said that if I would take hold of it he would give me a good layout.
 I spoke to several men with whom I got acquainted and one of them said,
"George, I will take a hand with you."  I said, "Allright,
I will take it."  I went to the old man Collings and asked him what
his layout was.  Well he said, "I want one shilling per ton for
that leave the quarry."  I said that was allright and then I said
the tools.  He said that the tools are all there.  I had to keep them in
repair and find my own powder and fuse.  I said that was allright.
We commenced on the next Monday and did first rate as it was the time for
the vessels to bring coal to the Island, and stones back for ballast.  We
squared up with the old man and had five pounds our own.  The next month
we started in begger thinking to make a big haul but that broke us.  We lost
every penny we made before xxxxx.  That discouraged me and I sold out to
my pardner.  The next month he told me he made ten pounds clear of everything.
 I told him I was glad of it and went on the Island of Harm to farm.  An
old Guernsey man owned the whole Island, and

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