American Federation of Labor Records, 1888-1955

Contents List
Container Title
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   00:00
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   00:30
Arrival at Pine Acres Farm, Formerly Owned by Brusveen Family and Now Owned by Bauer and Beckwith
Scope and Content Note: Sounds include house wrens, car doors, and wind blowing against the microphone of the tape recorder.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   01:35
Beginning of Farm Tour-Interview on Location at the 80-Acre Farm in Section 11, Town of York, Green County
Scope and Content Note: Quick walk past flower garden and up ridge toward barn; high growth of bromegrass and chicory noted.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   02:15
Examination of Tractor Attachments Stored Outside Behind Barn
Scope and Content Note: Home-made carrier for fencing materials and other items, and grapple fork for picking up loose hay both lay idle. Brusveen describes each.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   03:15
Entering the Upper Level of the Barn
Scope and Content Note: Brusveen describes hay hoist system for loading hay into the mows. Lumber once salvaged from a building still stored. Sickle bar mower found. Corn bedding chopped by Brusveen still covers floors. Hay now stored in barn probably made up for Bauer and Beckwith on share basis.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   06:15
Walk Up the Ridge from the Barn Through a Barnyard Above It
Scope and Content Note: Multiflora observed as farmyard hedging; planted by Brusveen to help keep cows in yard. Occasionally froze out though.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   07:10
Observing the Windmill
Scope and Content Note: Brusveen describes it. Mechanism still connected but hasn't operated since new owners installed pressure system by the house. Windmill now vine-covered.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   07:55
Continuing Up the Ridge Across Acreage Formerly Contour Stripped
Scope and Content Note: Contour strips now grown over with bromegrass; few alfalfa plants remain. Strips were 76 to 78 feet wide alternating corn, oats and hay. Brusveen points out an old contour strip boundary.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   10:00
Anecdote About Accident Falling Into Badger Hole in 1975
Scope and Content Note: Tore arm from shoulder to elbow while haying. Badgers still quite active in the area.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   10:45
Accident Adds to Mobility Problem Which Eventually Forces Early Retirement
Scope and Content Note: Would liked to have kept farm two or three more years to finish paying for it before giving it up.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   11:15
Nearing Crest of Ridge and Far End of Former Upland Cropland
Scope and Content Note: Forty-one acres of cropland lay on this ridge of the farm.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   11:45
Standing on Crest of Ridge
Scope and Content Note: Four corners of farm seen from crest. Brusveen discusses landmarks and farm layout; discusses some neighbors whose lands or buildings are visible from ridge. Talks about windmills; believes should return to them instead of over-reliance on electric pumps.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   15:20
Walking Down Ridge Aiming for Other Side of Farmstead
Scope and Content Note: Discusses hauling manure up the ridge in bad winter weather. [Wind on microphone a problem here.]
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   15:50
Discussion of Advantage of Continual Undisturbed Growth of Grass on the Ridge
Scope and Content Note: Plant materials allowed opportunity to decay; should help topsoil build back up a bit.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   16:00
Standing at Bottom of Former Upland Cropland, Northwest of Barn
Scope and Content Note: Thick growth of crownvetch and birdsfoot trefoil observed in one contour strip; never planted by Brusveen but probably planted as contaminants with alfalfa. Discussion of weed seeds contaminating crop seed.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   16:40
Observing Burr Oak Grove West of Farmstead
Scope and Content Note: Has been good source of building materials.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   16:50
Sampling Black Raspberries Growing Wild Along Field Road Just Above Barn
Scope and Content Note: Oak grove next to road was open wooded pasture for cows; was hog grazing ground before that. Area is steepest part of farm.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   18:35
Examination of Steep Portion of Lane on West Side of Barn
Scope and Content Note: Driving tractor here could be “hazardous to your health.” if tractor got stuck on way up, could fall back over 15-foot bank into pasture land. in the early 1950's, Brusveen and tractor fell backward while manure spreader attached.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   19:35
Examination of Old Silo Location
Scope and Content Note: After silo collapsed, Brusveen compensated with concentrates and dry feed. Couldn't afford to erect new one. Wood stave silo kept silage well enough but would be hard to find today in the region.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   20:20
Examining Stanchion Level of Barn
Scope and Content Note: Nothing changed since early 1970's. Brusveen rebuilt this part in 1960 with oak lumber from own grove, sawed by Robert Hanson west of Blanchardville. Manure shovel, barn scraper and straw fork still visible in barn. All stanchions still in place, but rusting a bit.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   21:25
Standing in Corn Crib Portion of Hog House
Note: Tape recorder malfunction between barn and hog house necessitated farm power sources for remainder of interview.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   21:35
Hog House Corn Crib Swept Clean
Scope and Content Note: One of the current farmhouse residents now sleeping in it.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   21:45
Anecdote About Dog Eating Mice during One Season's Cleaning of the Corn Crib
Scope and Content Note: Mice escaping when cleaning operation reached bottom of crib. Little brown collie swallowed two to four dozen mice; then vomited them in the yard, just at dinner time.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   23:45
Interviewer Recapitulates Tour from Field Road and Silo to Hog House Because of Recorder Malfunction
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   24:30
More Comments on Hog House Structure
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   24:55
Viewing South End of Farm through Window on South Side of Hog House
Scope and Content Note: Field just below hog house was “probably the best acre and a half in this part of the country.” Produced more feed than five acres of bottomland or ridge land. Rough hillside east of driveway was site of Brusveen's initiation with a walking plow. [See also Tape 1, Side 1, 14:30.] One of farmhouse residents seen gardening in bottomland.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   26:50
Interview Continues in Garage
Scope and Content Note: Tour proceeded from hog house/granary to chicken house. Date carved in stone of chicken house wall indicates 1915, but Brusveen believes structure built before that. Scrap iron lying beside chicken house salvaged from dairy processing plant in Monticello; intended to be used for repairs and equipment construction. Tour moves to root cellar just north of farmhouse.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/1
Time   28:20
End of Tape 7, Side 1, Part 1
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   00:00
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   00:35
Discussion of Root Cellar
Scope and Content Note: Dug out of hillside. Used to store potatoes and vegetables in winter. Used also as a storm cellar in summer; threat of big storms coming up valley from southwest.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   02:00
Discussion of Back Yard Area
Scope and Content Note: Old summer kitchen, now a shed, separate from house; still has Brusveen's mother's stencil decoration inside.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   02:35
Discussion of Farm Blacksmith Shop Located Next to Garage
Scope and Content Note: Old iron and materials cleaned out; portion of forge remains. Some woodworking power tools formerly housed in shop taken to New Glarus home.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   04:20
Viewing Southeast Area of Lawn and Farm from Blacksmith Shop Doorway
Scope and Content Note: Lawn area just outside shop kept as croquet court; farm neighbors came for night games which had severe ground rules. Games could go until 3 or 4 a.m. Closer examination of stony area, uncropped lowland, and formerly cropped bottomland.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   07:20
No Farming Relatives Remain in the Area
Scope and Content Note: Neighbors were all relatives of Brusveen from time he was born until early 1960's. at least 7 out of 10 or 11 nearby farms owned by relatives at one time. No old neighbors remain in 1981. Only one relative, a third cousin, still farms in the 6- to 7-mile-long valley of York Center Road.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   09:40
Brusveen Knows Only a Few of the Neighborhood Farmers Today
Scope and Content Note: Met some who moved in during his later farming years. Clifford Rear, a son-in-law of Oscar Vamstad, took over Vamstad family farm of about 240 acres southwest of Brusveen farm.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   10:35
Interview Continues after Water Break
Note: Day of interview is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside; interview continues in shade of blacksmith shop.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   11:05
Sale of Farm Helps Pay for New Home in New Glarus
Scope and Content Note: Believes the agricultural land should be preserved but wouldn't have minded if new owner had built houses on the non-agricultural land.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   12:05
What Brusveen Might Have Done Had the Opportunities Been There
Scope and Content Note: Would have expanded operation within the 81-acre farm to make it more prosperous; would have improved equipment storage facilities. Getting rich, though, wouldn't have brought more happiness.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   12:35
Satisfied with Life and Operation of the Farm
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   12:45
Discussion of Farming as a Way of Life Versus Farming as a Business
Scope and Content Note: Government hasn't made effort to preserve family farm. Nationally, the United States has reached dangerously low level of skilled agriculturalists with “down-to-earth experience.” Modern equipment alone won't sustain agriculture. Wishes farming could remain a way of life but feels too many elements of big business are invading.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   15:40
Farm Incorporation
Scope and Content Note: Believes wisdom of family decision to incorporate farm depends on financial situation and whether farm being passed to younger family members. Government actions also affect such decisions.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   17:15
Government Support of Agriculture and of Other Industries
Scope and Content Note: Discusses President Ronald Reagan's recent decision to cut dairy price support level to 70% of parity. Questions why agriculture shouldn't have parity as one looks at oil and automobile industries; why an automobile sells for $10,000 with full sales lots and gas costs $1.25 per gallon.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   19:15
Opinion That People Living on Bauer-Beckwith Land Today Will Live Well on It as Long as Their Outside Business Holds Up
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   19:35
Pine Trees
Scope and Content Note: Trees planted over the years while member of Green County Conservation League; planted thousands by hand.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   20:20
Major Factors Leading to Success of Brusveen's Farm Operation
Scope and Content Note: Had to be conservative by doing most work himself and buying only what he needed.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   20:50
Why Brusveen Bought Farm in 1960 Instead of Working in Construction
Scope and Content Note: Felt it was his life to live on the farm. if had the chance to start all over, would have been other things of interest, but he probably would have farmed. Believes that farming has challenges, but “there isn't a greater place to live in the world than out on a farm.”
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   22:35
Anecdote About Cow Bought for Top Price in Early 1960's That Had to Be Marketed Again Within Three Days
Scope and Content Note: Cow very sick; sellers had doctored her up for the auction. Sickness showed up the next day. Brusveen got only 10 percent return on what he paid for the cow; no choice but to absorb the loss.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   24:05
Anecdote About Cow Close to Freshening That Died Within a Few Hours Between Brusveen's Visits
Scope and Content Note: Government “disgusting” because does not allow farmers to write off such a loss.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   25:05
More on NFO
Scope and Content Note: NFO farmers dumped milk in mid-1960's. Stopped after an injunction by President Lyndon Johnson, but Brusveen felt NFO should have continued. Brusveen dropped membership about three years before quitting farming but felt the organization's policies and goals were right.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   26:40
Life More Difficult Today Than 25 or 30 Years Ago
Scope and Content Note: A would-be farmer would have harder time starting without better finances now. Would go back to carpentering if not for specific health problem. “I'm just a helpless creature out at the end of the stick right now.”
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   27:15
New Home in New Glarus as Compared with Old Farm Home
Scope and Content Note: New home better insulated, but old one better sheltered on slope surrounded by pine trees.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   27:45
More on New Home in New Glarus
Scope and Content Note: New house, built for wife Avis, liked by both. Avis took care of Brusveen's parents for many years; also raised family just in south wing of house. Married 40 years.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   29:25
Feelings About Interview; Nothing Else to Add
Scope and Content Note: Probably will think of something later. Interview ended with provision that it may be continued later.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   30:00
Huge Burr Oak Broken off during Ice Storm in Winter of 1976
Scope and Content Note: Burr oak, a foot in diameter, broken along with maples all along the valley. Bluebirds used to live in bird houses in the oak grove, then started disappearing; now reappearing.
Tape/Side/Part   7/1/2
Time   31:30
End of Interview