Cottonwood to celebrate 150th year in 2012, area history included
(History continued from last week)
What memories do you cherish most? All of us remember times past and some particular thing that was part of the experience. Music seemed to share a part in all these occasions. People of this area sing when they celebrate and there is always music used in worship and sad times. It’s almost impossible to recall a gathering of any kind where music didn’t become a part of it.
Our parents and grandparents set the example and in most cases also their parents before them. Some of the music today had its roots in that of 150 years ago. Some of it makes tears come just as it did way back then. All of us are attracted to music, especially that which has been part of our history. Form “The Old Rugged Cross” to “Silver Threads Among the gold: it becomes part of us and who we area.
Many occasions started and ended with music and sometimes the music would spill over into the next day. I swear that sometimes it would go on for hours and the same song would never be repeated. Solos, duets, harmony and some very bad singalong – we all did our part and it has very much become part of us. Dancing or just foot-tapping music will always be part of our lives and that’s just another thing we’re proud of!
The area boasts of the “best” singers and some of them carried on for many years both at home and away. Some of us felt quite honored to just listen to them, let alone sing along with the,. Some families produced a whole houseful of singers and they spread their joy around the whole area. Even today those musical people carry on and we see and hear their children stepping up to take their turn. I, for one, hope this goes on forever.
Years ago, like everything else, our entertainment was home made. Back in the 30’s and up to the mid 40’s we spent our evenings around the new family toy called the radio. Besides the news, about bed-time was “Fibber McGee and Molly”, “The Great Gildersleeve,” “Henry Aldridge” and later on “Inner Sanctum.” Sometimes on Sunday, we watched the local town team play baseball or had an empty lot game of our own. Money was scarce but there were many picnics upon the Butte and up and down Lawyer’s Creek.
In the fall, it was back to school and very few I knew complained about it. A whole new routine and a lot more people to be with. There wasn’t Daylight Savings Time as usual, just daylight to dark. Saturday there were chores to catch up. Inside as well as outside-washing, woodmaking, extra cleanup of all kinds, lawn mowing (at home, grandpa’s and the neighbors_, and of course the garden to hoe or spade. Saturday afternoon there was most always Confession, then supper and Saturday night baths. This routine was pretty much it until after the war, then the whole ballgame changed.
New things like TV and many new things to work and play with changed our whole lives. TV probably changed our style of life more than any other invention. It seems our whole social structure changed. It kill the movie business and many other types of public gatherings. All kinds of sports activities suffered in attendance. Dancing dropped way off. Many organizations, like the Elks, lost up to 40% of their memberships. Overall, people took many years to adjust their way of doing things. Even newspapers lost their news base and many magazines closed up shop. Probably the only thing we can compare this to in this day and age is the computer. And now this is being challenged by the iPad and the iPod. But as usual life goes on. TV was a ling time coming, but since has been in a constant state of change!
Our new life after WWII encompassed many things. First things first. Home came the warriors. Each and every one was taking their place in the area. Some didn’t talk much about where they were and what they did. For others it just took awhile to make the adjustment. Most of the friends here at home took time to go with them up in our wonderful mountains to catch up on their hunting and fishing. The fresh mountain air did them all good and as we all know, it couldn’t have been better therapy. Almost immediately 4-wheel drives changed this whole excursion.
The post-war building boom was on and everyone had their choice of work. Seems like every farm needed new equipment or a new truck. Self-propelled combines went out to the field as quick as we pulled the wood blocks and got them unloaded off the railcar. What great times those were! Everyone turned to hunting and fishing to make up for the years when we fought the war on two fronts and gave it all to the war effort.
During this time the sale of hunting and fishing licenses made history. Even mom joined dad in time off and the new poles were seen hanging out of the care like Christmas décor!
Some Sundays you’d swear the area was empty and no one was at home! Everyone had gone to the hills or to one of the several rivers. The hunting was as good as it had ever been and the steelheading was great with the new spinning reels! Several 10 to 12 member parties went to the Hump area and stayed a week. Good fishing at the high mountain lakes! What great times and memories!
A little later the recreation camp trailers came to be the real thing for the people of this area as most had families and this took a lot of the work out of it. Once you got “loaded up” it was just hook up and go. This is when the swimming holes sometimes drew 5 or 6 campers with families. More great times and memories!
Sitting at the table used for both writing and family dinners we look at pictures on the walls. Salmon River, the Lochsa, Selway, the Clearwater. All areas involved in our time spent our and away! The camp fires used to cook burgers, wieners, beans and marshmallows, everyone in shorts and all, skinny or fat, in swimsuits. Talk about the Waltons gone astray! Baby bottles to beer bottles, the whole family living and loving every minute of it!
These memories mixed in our stories with the life of our people as they spent their time on a day to day basis is the secret of it all. Families mixed with other families make these communities and our area so very special. Recalling all the times our paths have crossed in this life we deeply regret the passing of one of our friends and the tears we shed are not for them so much as for our own memories we have shared.
Like everything else, the story of this area becomes a lot more real and meaningful when shared with others. The things we have in common serve as a bonding agent for the whole area.
One of the pictures this week is of an old organ which Calista Duman (Mrs. Al Uhlorn) played as a young girls. Later it was transferred to the Keuterville School and bought by Joe Enneking when the country schools closed down. The present owners bought it from Joe and had it fixed up and restored. This is just one of the many things that we have all around us that would have a great story to tell – if only it could talk!
The other picture this week is of an old shop and garage on the old George Kolbeck place made with a broad peeling ax back about the turn of the last century. The shed was constructed about 1900 and then added on to at least twice at later dates. The old Kolbeck place is now part of Tim and Arlene Uhlenkott’s place. Tim is presently tearing the shed down and is finding a few old cans, bottles and even a few license plates from someone’s first car. More of our history with a story to tell! Now and for future generations.

An old organ that Calista Duman (Mrs. Al Uhlenkott) played when she was young. See second to last paragraph of accompanying article. Photo provided by Don Hoene.

An old shed built about 1900 on the old George Kolbeck (now Tim and Arlene Uhlenkott) place. See last paragraph of accompanying article.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
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