Thursday, April 18, 2013

Amanuensis Monday--Elsie Crocker’s Manuscript, Part 8: The ranch near Meridian

To read this project from the beginning, click here.

We have finally reached a point in Elsie’s manuscript for which I have photographs! It has been quite a while since I have been able to bring Elsie’s words to life with pictures, so I am rather gleeful about the opportunity this week. This installment tells of when the Underwood family moved outside the city of Boise to a farm near Meridian, Idaho. Though it will be a couple weeks yet before we learn of it in Elsie’s words, this is the farm where my grandmother was born. 

Dad was on his way again, this time to the furtile valley of Boise Idaho, ten miles from Boise.

This was a large ranch, over eighty acres of ground. The ranch was located six miles from Meridan and ten miles from Boise, Idaho.

The ranch was owned by two families, the Dorr’s and the Shaws. The two families lived in the city, Boise.

This ranch was bran new, Dad must of worked on this ranch before we moved in, while we were living in Boise. The house was new, up to now this was our first real new house of any size. The house had four bedrooms, living room (parlor in those days) a kitchen and two porches, one in the back and the other in the front. On hot days we would sit on the back porch in the morning and the front porch in the afternoon, when it was shady. Until the trees grew up it was pretty hot, in the sun.

The Shaw’s and Dorr’s came often to see how things were coming along. The Dorr’s had a boy about my age and the Shaw’s had a girl about Walter’s age.

We soon had a well dug, we lived on a small hill, so the well drillers had to go a long ways doun to reach water. They put a motor to pump the water up. We had lots of water now for the house and irrigation. There also was a canel running on one side of the ranch, where the water from the canel was used for watering the fields. No alikali and plenty of water Dad was happy.

They were paying Dad to build this ranch up and plant the eighty acres with prune trees.

The ground was ready to plant, he also had some help (hiredhelp) Also he had us kids, Walter, Bill, and even me.

We soon had the barnes, chicken coupes, and a pig pen, also a shed to cover the pump, it was called the pump house. A root cellar was later built. This was a great blessing for Mother to keep the milk from souring. The root cellar was built under ground, it was much cooler there. We kept our vegetables and fruit there also. We had lots of eggs also.

After the buildings were up and useable, the weather right. Dad started to plant the eighty acres of prunes. These trees were small straight sticks which came bundled so many to a bundle. The sticks (trees) had no leaves. No branches, just a very few roots.

They were planted just so deep and so far a part. Then each tree was wrapped with a piece of tar paper. The paper was cut about fourteen by twelve inches, which came already cut. Thank goodness!

The tar paper was wrapped around the little twig of a tree, several times, then tyed wit bailing twine. The bailing twine came in large round balls. The paper was tyed top and bottom. This was to keep the rabbits from eating the bark off the little trees. Our land was new and we had a lot of rabbits.

My brothers and I would help to put the paper around the trees. Dad and the men planted the trees and we tyed the twine and put the paper around. I’d hold the paper in place while Bill and Walter would tye the twine.

I liked being with my brothers and dad, but my time was limited. Mom had to cook for Dad and the hired men. She needed help at lunch time, she would come out side of the house and wave her tea towel, that was for me to come home and help her. One of my jobs was to set the table which I like to do. Sometimes I was busy to see her waving but Dad would call my attention and saying “I think you Mother is calling”.

To continue with the next installment of Elsie's manuscript, click here.

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