- January 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm #41284mitchmaineParticipant
local tales tell of many teamsters, some who rode a load of logs down the mountainside after his snubline broke, or the guy who broke through the ice and dove in and drowned trying to cut his horses loose from the load. our town tale is wesley williams, 80 years dead now, who was teaming freshwater ice off merrymeeting bay. a lucrative winter job for many men before the refridgerator. his wife who lived on the bay, looked out the window and saw him whipping his horses for home and running them down the ice. knowing he would never do this, she knew they must have gone in the water, so being a goodwife, pushed back the furniture and stocked the woodstove. when he got to the dooryard, she waved him in and they stripped off the horses and brought them, sharpshod, right up into the kitchen. dried them off, warmed them up and back to the barn. mrs. williams who never so much as let wes in the house with his barnboots on, was the local heroine. and wes would peel back the linoleum to show visitors the caulk marks in the floor to prove so. some of the old guys really loved their teams. just like us. any tales out there to share?January 9, 2010 at 4:14 am #56877blue80Participant
well just last week I yelled upstairs to my wife, “look who came for Christmas dinner”
She came down to see me and Cloud, a coming 5 yr old stallion in the living room.
We both had to leave, but she laughed and that was the whole point…..At least I had taken off his shoes the day before;)January 9, 2010 at 10:13 pm #56878MatthewParticipant
There was a old farmer that lived by me. His barn was without electricity and he milked with a lantern. Someone installed him a row of single lights so he could see better when he milked. When the guy asked him how he liked the lights he said (they are no dam good you still need the lantern to see to screw the light bulb in.) Apparently the old guy thought you just moved the bulb around insted of putting one in each light.January 9, 2010 at 11:54 pm #56872Carl RussellModerator
There is a family near me that actually has bulbs in every outlet, but when they are milking they start at one end of the barn and with one light on, all the rest turned out. Then as they work their way down the barn, they screw the next one in and the last one out. They have done it this way for years. They have no need to light the whole barn…. so they don’t.
CarlJanuary 10, 2010 at 2:28 am #56876OldKatParticipant
@Matthew 14359 wrote:
There was a old farmer that lived by me. His barn was without electricity and he milked with a lantern. Someone installed him a row of single lights so he could see better when he milked. When the guy asked him how he liked the lights he said (they are no dam good you still need the lantern to see to screw the light bulb in.) Apparently the old guy thought you just moved the bulb around insted of putting one in each light.
In parts of the rural south electricity wasn’t commonly available until well after World war II, maybe that was the case elsewhere as well …I don’t know. One of my friends, who is about 15 years older than me tells the story that when she was kid in Southwest Texas, down on the Mexican border the rural co-op didn’t have all their distribution lines up and running until about 1949 or ’50. She said she vividly remembers an old lady sitting in her parents living room extolling the virtues of the “lectricity” that was being installed at that very time and telling her mom to hang on to any burned out light bulbs. When questioned as to why you should keep a burned out bulb she said; “Whale (local pronounciation of “well”), to use in your empty sockets. You NEVER want to have an empty socket, because if you do your ‘lectricity may fall out“. I am having that problem with my hair, but never experienced it with “lectricity”. 😮January 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm #56874RodParticipant
These are great stories, keep it up.January 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm #56871Gabe AyersKeymaster
This is a quote sent to me from a young horseman that is getting his masters in English and said reading it made him miss his work mare and the woods.
I enjoyed reading it too: it is from Herman Melville (Redburn)
Among all the sights of the docks, the noble truck-horses are not the
least striking to a stranger. They are large and powerful brutes, with
such sleek and glossy coats, that they look as if brushed and put on by
a valet every morning. They march with a slow and stately step, lifting
their ponderous hoofs like royal Siam elephants. Thou shalt not lay
stripes upon these Roman citizens; for their docility is such, they are
guided without rein or lash; they go or come, halt or march on, at a
whisper. So grave, dignified, gentlemanly, and courteous did these fine
truck-horses look–so full of calm intelligence and sagacity, that often
I endeavored to get into conversation with them, as they stood in
contemplative attitudes while their loads were preparing. But all I
could get from them was the mere recognition of a friendly neigh; though
I would stake much upon it that, could I have spoken in their language,
I would have derived from them a good deal of valuable information
touching the docks, where they passed the whole of their dignified
There are unknown worlds of knowledge in brutes; and whenever you mark a
horse, or a dog, with a peculiarly mild, calm, deep-seated eye, be sure
he is an Aristotle or a Kant, tranquilly speculating upon the mysteries
in man. No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.
They see through us at a glance. And after all, what is a horse but a
species of four-footed dumb man, in a leathern overall, who happens to
live upon oats, and toils for his masters, half-requited or abused, like
the biped hewers of wood and drawers of water? But there is a touch of
divinity even in brutes, and a special halo about a horse, that should
forever exempt him from indignities. As for those majestic, magisterial
truck-horses of the docks, I would as soon think of striking a judge on
the bench, as to lay violent hand upon their holy hides.
It is wonderful what loads their majesties will condescend to draw. The
truck is a large square platform, on four low wheels; and upon this the
lumpers pile bale after bale of cotton, as if they were filling a large
warehouse, and yet a procession of three of these horses will tranquilly
walk away with the whole.
The truckmen themselves are almost as singular a race as their animals.
Like the Judiciary in England, they wear gowns,–not of the same cut and
color though,–which reach below their knees; and from the racket they
make on the pavements with their hob-nailed brogans, you would think
they patronized the same shoemaker with their horses. I never could get
any thing out of these truckmen. They are a reserved, sober-sided set,
who, with all possible solemnity, march at the head of their animals;
now and then gently advising them to sheer to the right or the left, in
order to avoid some passing vehicle. Then spending so much of their
lives in the high-bred company of their horses, seems to have mended
their manners and improved their taste, besides imparting to them
something of the dignity of their animals; but it has also given to them
a sort of refined and uncomplaining aversion to human society.
I think that last sentence describes many of the great horsemen I have know very well.
~January 11, 2010 at 6:44 pm #56875ngcmcnParticipant
A friend of mine, Tom, used to run a Dude String of horses for the tourist out of Taylor Park Colorado. He was a seasoned packer, had some good horses. I worked for him from dawn to dusk 7 days a week one summer. best job i ever had. Alot of time in the saddle, and when the touriste’s didn’t show , we went fishing.
So before i got to Taylor park that summer Tom took his old cow pony and a pack horse with gear up to do some trail work on one of the regular routes. The wind was blowing the lodge poles all over the place and his horse stopped. Refused to walk-on. Tom asked the horse several more times to walk-on but nothing. Head up , ears pointed, alert,.. and wouldn’t you know a tree fell right across the trail darn close to where they would’ve been had they continued and not stopped. Tom in recounting the story to me said, he couldn’t believe it, and that he probably would’ve been killed. He just shook his head.
He liked that old cow pony quite a lot.January 12, 2010 at 1:18 am #56873Carl RussellModerator
Back in the early 1900’s when Bethel Mills actually was a sawmill, they used to haul logs all the way from this neighborhood to the mill during the winter. It’s a good 6-7 miles from here, but almost all of it is downhill. They’d put 2500 BF of sawlogs on a sled and with one team drive it about 3 miles down to where they had to cross the Gilead Brook, near where it meets the White River. At that point the road goes back up a steep grade before it hits a long plain that pitches moderately back down all the way to town. They used to keep a team in a shed at the brook crossing, hitch’em on in front to pull the hill, then go the rest of the way with the one team.
CarlMarch 16, 2013 at 3:05 pm #56880mr oakParticipant
back to the light bulb stories,a game keeper friend told me of an old game keeper in scotland ,retired and allowed to live in a turf roofed cottage that came with the job.the estate owner thought he’d better run electric up to the cottage as he was worried the old boy would burn the place down with his candles.they fixed poles up and a cable before the winter arrived ,and as winter came in the owner went up to see how he was getting on,as he approached he could see the usual candle flame flickering in the window,knocking on the door thinking something was wrong he asked the old keeper ‘are you not happy with your electric light’,the old boy said ‘ oh yes sir, very happy,now i have no trouble finding my matches or my candles when i get in at night’.March 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm #56879BaystatetomParticipant
My father in law likes to tell about how when he was 12 he was hired for the summer by a local logger whose horses would go out to the header on there own. So he would ride them back into woods for the guy, go fish in the nearby stream for awhile and when he heard them coming down the hill he would go unhook the log and ride them back in. This only lasted a few months as for some reason or other the logger was forced to sell the horses, lost bet or business deal gone bad what have you, and he replaced them with two teams of oxen. I guess the logger was humiliated to have to work with oxen, he thought they were lower class and hated them for it.
~TomMarch 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm #78031BaystatetomParticipant
The farmers around here used to get “fresh air kids” in the summer. A kid from inner city New York would come live on the farm in the summer, get some fresh air and help out on the farm. This one guy lost a ox and hadn’t been able to finish whatever job he was doing so he had his fresh air kid hold up one side of the yoke reassuring him that the ox would do all the work. Somehow the ox got spooked and took off on a run dragging the kid along until they stopped in a hedge row. The farmer finally caught up and frantically starts trying to free the kid who starts yelling “I’ll stand, I’ll stand, unhook the ox!”
TomApril 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm #78204MacParticipant
The old man told me once of a man around here back in the 30’s that had a great huge black Perjun (he pronunciation of Percheron) stud that he skidded out telephone poles with. The gentleman would hook the horse in the middle of the pole, straddle of it, so he could hold it back in the steep places and pull it on the level. He evidently would also step to one side if the log started “a sidlin’ off”.
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