to celebrate 150th year in 2012, area history included
(History continued from last week)
Happy New Year to you and yours! We are happy to report this project is really growing by leaps and bounds. We now have well over 100 stories in our file ready for the lay-out people to set-up and mix in the pictures. At this time we are in contact with another 80 to 100 people who are working on heir family stories to add to the project within the next month. We plan to set up work committees to assemble all this material shortly after the first of the year. We have been looking at other similar projects to choose the weight and grade of paper to be used and also the type and design of the front and back covers. Our next meeting will be January 12th at 2 p.m. We want to encourage any of you who can assist us and want to get “hands on” to get in touch with either Deb Clark or Don Hoene or any other member now working on the project. Now let’s go back in time to when WWII was just coming to a close.
Once again local stores were getting in .22 caliber ammo and squirrel traps. Varmint control was a big problem all around the edges of newly extended farm ground. Many of the farmers were out to reclaim the farm ground taken over by varmints the last few years. Local elevators and farm storage people started holding meetings on the use of DDT and other related sprays. Dairy producers had a whole host of new products to us and were advised against other products that affected the quality of milk. In this area penicillin was now being used to control infections in beef animals as well as pets.
It was a whole new world out there. I remember very vividly when a couple of local men brought home surplus airplanes and buzzed the area as they came flying home! We had a war bride living next to us and she completely “lost it” as the diving planes too quickly brought back memories of when she lived in England. One of the planes seemed to be going in for a landing on Main Street and another dipped in next to the top of the local grain elevators! What a memory! Especially later when we were able to purchase a ride in the war plane for $5.
I wasn’t long before some war surplus trucks and jeeps showed up in the area. What a difference 4-wheel drive was going to make on farms and ranches! And when we had the big snow in ’48, what a difference in our ability to get around. It wasn’t long before these new high traction rigs were like snow shovels – “everybody had to have one” regardless of whether you lived in town or country.
Almost immediately many of the war time production factories switched over again to peace-time production. Nylon stockings, cosmetics, candy, meat, red wagons and trikes and many other hard to get items were on the shelves by Christmas time. Seems like everyone robbed the piggy bank to buy something they always wanted. It was great to find a windup or electric train set up around the tree. Great heavens! Scooters, pedal cars and even a new bike or two! Sister Sue laid down the Raggedy Ann she had been lugging around for a new doll that rolled its eyes! (and wet its pants).
And for Dad and the menfolk, power tools of all kinds. Hand saw sales dropped way off in favor of power saws. Everybody had to have the new 4 and 5 buckle overshoes. Mom was able to buy new zippers for the first time in a few years and yes they even had new synthetic fur-lined gloves, coats and hats! Even Tinker Toys took on a whole new look. And what’s this? A scope to be mounted on dad’s rifle!
In the late 40’s, the winter seemed to bring more snow than usual and the new hydraulic dozers got a real workout. The rotary snow plows used primarily on trains were modified and put on big trucks. This changed the outlook for some of the road districts in the area.
In no place did new tools show up more than in the lumber industry. The ramps and tri-pole method of loading logs gave way to the swivel boom hydraulics. Chain saws weighing a fraction of the old models were now available. Electric welders and generators caused most of the logging outfits to have their own portable shop and cut the “shut down” time and increased production.
The “baby boom” was started and increased demand for house building. The soldiers gave up the wild way of life and were tamed by some bright-eyed girl who wouldn’t wait anymore so mom and dad had to move over and build or help the kids build a place of their own. This was good for the whole area for a few years and everyone caught their breath waiting to see who was going to start the next war.
In this time many changes were coming on the farms. The self-propelled combines, the dump bed on trucks, hydraulic rams on all the machinery and implements of all kinds. Haying labor and harvest labor were cut in half. Mom had all kinds of new appliances and together every family had at least one car and sometimes two. Gas was about 25 to 35 cents per gallon and work horses were kept to keep the grass down around the barn.
A lot of talk and “getting use to” was needed to accept tires being made with synthetic cord and other products mixed with rubber. There were lots of tests trying out new forms of a material called plastic. There were at least a dozen kinds of plastic and that number is still increasing. Look around—everywhere plastic is being used—what would the world look like today without plastic? The earth is full of it and now we’re spreading to the stars!
All these new things came into our lives, then, before we could get our troops back home, came the trouble in Korea. This time they called it just a police action. This new philosophy to police the whole world and supposedly stop minor conflicts before they spread into WWIII was the background for the years ahead. Until someone sets a new policy and if we keep electing this way. Many of our local boys were called into action at the start of the 50’s. Police action in Korea-Japan as well as follow-up in Europe.
An aerial view of Cottonwood believed to be taken in the early 1950’s. Note the old St. Mary’s Church to right of center. The cross street in front is Hogan St. with the next street up being Bash St. King Street can be seen heading downtown and East St. heading to the old baseball field. That’s Graves Creek Road heading off into the distance.
A much more recent vintage historical photo showing the snow at Pine Bar in 2009-10. Don Hoene submitted this with his article above.
John’s Place in Cottonwood. Owned by John Funke, great-uncle of the current day John Funke who provided the photo.
In the 1940’s there was lots of ice skating. Sometimes during the day and sometimes by bonfire!
Some of the boys back from the service built a toboggan with ski runners that was pulled by a car or pickup around the area? Seems to me that thing held at least 12 people and they had some great wrecks! All at once, with the returning soldiers, the crowds picked up at all events – about the time the schools as well as some clubs, put on “plays” always with a dance to follow?
Then there were the school (Cottonwood, Greencreek and Ferdinand) proms. As I remember, well attended by the married folk too?
Mix in a few housewarmings and barn and shop parties and we though we had a pretty active social life! All these things were held “before Spring work” or after harvest in the fall. Sometimes other considerations entered into the wedding schedule but, as a rule, this was a farming community and work came first.
The Lions Club was real busy with projects throughout the area? Community Hall and ballfields.
The Academy tried a football program for a few years?
They built the new concrete highway between Ferdinand and Cottonwood? (1976).