Oral History Cover Sheet
Interviewee: Howard Clayton Morey
Interviewer: Jeanne Bronk
Tape #:81 A-D
Place:47 Library Street
Date:June 14, 1991
Summary: Side A pgs. 1-top of 15 Nickname of tweeter, logging, cutting railroad ties, log chutes, stacking cord wood, making charcoal, Factory Street businesses, rubber ship, grist mill, bone shop; 1st firehouse, watering kettles and horse troughs, devil & crooked tree, cutting ice, filling ice houses.
Side B: pgs. 15-27 Trapping a bobcat, John Harney Jr. & the otter, jack rabbit hunting, bounty on rabbit ears, riding ice blocks, camps on Mt. Riga, clam bakes, old roads & lost bridge, Indian sites, swimming hole, stealing potatoes, Salisbury Town Fair, catching a greased pig.
Side C: pgs.28-38 Hunting deer near the ski jump, Satre Hill Ski Jump, building the ski jump, ski racing, the Satre family, Fox-Hunter Spring water, Oxie Christine Company; processing, workers, shipping and pay, boss gardener at Salisbury School farm, raising vegetables for the school, Cat Hollow Road, apples, cider, vinegar, harvesting potatoes, planting cabbages, cows, pigs, milking, ice cutting, transportation of boys, Hotchkiss School.
Side: D pgs. 41-53 Education at Academy Building K-l-2, high school; Grove School 3-5, 6-8; Stuart Theater, rivalry between Lakeville & Salisbury, Halloween tricks, Brown Church and White Church, siblings, chores, slaughtering, deer & deer season, how to slaughter, hang and cure a pig into pork.
Property of the Oral History Project, the Salisbury Association at the Scoville Memorial Library
Salisbury, Ct. 06068
HOWARD C. Morey (SKEET)
Interviewed byJeanne BronkOctober 1990
JB:This is Jeanne Bronk interviewing Howard C. Morey called Skeet who has been in town
since he was a wee little bit of a boy.
HM:We used to swim up in the old factory pond up here every night after work when I was
a kid. I dove in the water. I was a little white-haired boy. I swam the whole length of that pond under water and up come my head. You know, my hair was blonde. Then I swam back. There was an old fellow there whose name was Burt Surdam, but they used to call him Burt Beaver. I come out of the water, and he said, “You know, you are just like a skeeter.” That’s how I got my nickname from that.
JB:That stuck all that time?
HM: Ever since I was seven or eight years old. Yup
JB:You also told me when I first met you about going along Burton Brook and trapping the
otters and beavers and things. That was all woods there. Who owned that land just down where I live now? That was just woods. No, the trees had been cut hadn’t they?
HM:That land belonged toI forget what his name was. You didn’t have to get permission
to trap then.
JB:That’s right. You could just go. Were the trees there because you said it had all been cut
HM: Oh yea. All that flat down where you live and up on that hill. That was allwell once in a while a tree, spruce or something like that and that was cleared all the way up through there except one patch of wood and at that time when I was trapping Happy Ginatti lipped it all for logs. Had a log job in there for the sawmill. They didn’t have the sawmills like you’ve got today. They took them and the followed the forest up and cut in.
JB: What powered those sawmills, Gas?
HM: Yep. Some of them were steam. The first ones were steam, done by steam and had a belt drive and when you shut it off, the thing would run for ten minutes because they had a big balance wheel on them to get the power. The saw dust went right under the saw and then when the tail of the mill was, and they call it tailing the mill, and the slabs would come off in the front. They used to come flying out of there, railroad ties. They cut 7 and 9’s and 9 by 12s. They would take a slab off each side no matter how thick it was to make it a 9 x 12 or a 7 x 9. They were flat on both sides. Then they also cut lumber, you know. They didn’t have no planer up there because they drawed the lumber right away then.
• JB: They just dragged them behind the animals on the ground?
HM: No. They had a woodshod sleigh and they would load that on because you’re back in the woods, to a main road where another team could load that lumber on and draw it away. When they drawed the logs out to the mill, they used what you called a log sled. That would be a stone bowl. Then a lot of times they would skid them out.
JB:They were so big.
HM: Oh yea. Imagine 7 x 9 ties they were cutting them 7 foot long. Maybe it was 8 foot long, 7 inches thick and 12 inches wide. The 9×12 ties they used for switching or some of them longer. They used to have a switching place right up here. There used to be a railroad station right up there. The freight station is where they sell all that stuff up in there, you know, that used to be an old railroad station.
JB:Where Steve Ohlinger is? That’s the body shop behind Shagroy. (Now LaBonne’s Ed.)
HM: Where that big building is right there. They sell clothes and flowers and all that stuff. (Salisbury Square)
Well, just down this way, they had a switch. They would pull a big lever and they would put the tracks over to where they could back up there alongside of the side track. When they wanted to get on the main track, they would pull that big lever and put the split rail and they would come like that and it would be a rail. Then they could go to Canaan, Winsted, wherever they was going, Millerton. That’s the way that was. Then they used to load charcoal. All the side of these mountains up here, Mt. Riga, where you see them yellow spots today was all old charcoal pit beds.
JB:It has turned yellow now?
HM: Yes because poplar trees grow on that charcoal. Where you see a big, big patch of those poplars up there is where they had a big bunch of charcoal pit. Probably two, three, four, five acres to where they burned the charcoal.
JB:How did they get it off the mountain down here?
HM: They used to get slabs off from the logs, and they would draw them up with a team of horses, and then they would drive two stakes right down in the ground and nail a piece across every so often. They would make a box with no top on it up there and they would it have about
12 or 14 inches deep according to the thickness and then on top of that they would build that so it went up on top of the mountain, and if they couldn’t drive stakesthey’d makeThey
didn’t dare to make much of a turn in it, you know, because it would tear the chute off. Then they would draw that one in a bobsled with a woodshod (?) sleigh up there, and they would throw that cord wood in that chute and it come down off that mountain. Boy, it would come terrible.
JB:How often did that happen, once a week?
HM: Oh, no every day because they had quite a lot of choppers.
JB:All that wood’s being chopped down from the standing trees by hand. No chain saws or
HM: No, no, no, crosscut saw. You couldn’t ship a log down that because it was too big for the chute. That was when they was cutting cord wood probably. Now that was about 18 inches wide. They would throw that wood. Those choppers, they was cutting that four foot in order to make wood fast, they used to split that. Say you had one 12-14 inches through, they had hammer and steel wedges and a sledge hammer. They split it. When they started their pile, they would lay that wood on the bark side down, split side up. Then they would lay it out 8-foot long. It’s a 4 x 4 x 8 cord. They would pile it 4-foot high, 8-foot long, 4- foot wide. Lot of peoples ask me says, “Well suppose you don’t get some trees to pile it in between this 4 x 4 x 8?” I said, “You take the head of your axe, and you hit it in the ground, and you go cut a out stick, and you slab one side of it with axe then put the bark side towards the outside like that. Then you’ll put another one over there just enough so to hold it up. Then you go over to a small tree, and you get a stick with a crotch a brush, thin brush not too thick. Put right in
there like that. There’s your pole. Lay it down on top of those sticks that you’ve already got down there. Then you go round the other side with a stick, and you do the same thing. Then you very carefully put the pile about four foot so that it don’t kick out, see. Then you keep piling your wood. Then when you get up, oh, 2-foot high, you put another bush in there. You put ’em there like that and then you pile that up till you get 4-foot high.” That way you get your 4x4x8. That would be your cord. Some of them old timers, they used to cheat on that. You can take and pile a cord of wood. When they are cutting that wood, they would put a piece of limb on it about that high wouldn’t cut it close to the tree. That built that cord up faster.
JB:Did they send that cord wood down that chute?
HM: Yup. They did throw the cut sideyou know the tree grows up in here with your limb out here. You cut it off like this. They would turn it so the limb would go down the chute.
JB:Now someone’s down at the bottom piling it?
HM: No, they generally shot it off way down they would have it nailed to a couple of trees about 6, 8-foot high. They would cut a clearing down there and that wood would jump, oh, 35, 40-feet sometimes according to how high it was. In March, the old timers used to eat a lot of salt pork. If it got old, they used to save it. Then they would take that and they would grease that chute with that salt pork. They couldn’t get oil, so they’d grease with that salt pork.
JB:And that made that stuff fly.
HM: Oh boy, I’ll tell you, just like you was frying bacon. You would see it smoke. That wood would go so fast. It wouldn’t grease the wood up much because you don’t just lather it with it, just enough to make it go.
JB:Did the charcoal come down the chute too?
HM: No. That’s why you see those charcoal pit bottoms. They would chute that wood down there into a great big place to where they was burning charcoal. They’d have probably 10, 15 charcoal pits there.
JB:So the chute would come right down into where the beds were?
HM: No. It would come close to it, but you still would have to go out into the wood shod sleigh, and then we would burn it.
JB:Without much oxygen. Isn’t that the idea that it was way down? Not much oxygen so it
HM: No. They would leave a small hole in the bottom and up the top. What it looked like was a wigwam. It’s a wigwam. Just like a tent, an Indian tent.
JB:Was it green wood? They didn’t have to let it season?
HM: No. They would pile it standing up on the ends, and they’d keep abuilding it, and as they build it, they would have to cover it up with sod, dirt all that stuff.
JB:How did you get the fire to burn to get started?
HM: They would start that in the middle. You go in there and they would start that in the middle and in that little hole in the top would give it just a little air. It wouldn’t need much air. You get much air and burn it up. All your wood would burn up.
JB:How many days, a lot of days to burn up?
JB:How do you know when it’s over?
HM: That I don’t know. They could probably tell by the color of that smoke.
JB:They could leave it night and day, and it just kept smoldering.
HM: There would have to be somebody right there watching it. He had to stay right there, and he had to go around and check it. They used to have little shanties, little buildings that where they would watch these pits. I suppose about every hour, they would go around and check ’em. If that little hole burned through, they would have to get…. I image they had an old wooden ladder, walk beside of that and kept plugs so it wouldn’t. Otherwise it would get drafty and burn it right up.
JB:These men slept and ate in these little cabins. They didn’t come off the mountain?
HM: Oh, they had to change once in a while.
JB:Did the youngsters go up there too?
HM: I really don’t know that because I was just a young kid. The last one I’d seen was over in Norfolk. A fellow put it in over there. He was originally from Salisbury. His name was Harry Ostrander’?). I hadn’t seen him in years. His nephew said to me, “Let’s go up and see Harry Ostrander.” I said, “Where is he?” He says he’s up there on the side of the mountain burning charcoal. I talked with him. He was burning charcoal and checking it. As a matter of fact, we were going to a kitchen dance that night. It was down towards Thomaston. This fellow that I went up there with brought a gallon of cider up there so Harry could ? on cider. He used to stay in that thing but, he didn’t dare to get drunk. You can’t go to sleep. He would walk around there and check them things. He said, “Boy how I would like to go to that shindig with you guys tonight.” It was a kitchen dance down in Thomaston.
Well, that’s how they burned that charcoal and they also would cut cord wood on that mountain and wouldn’t burn it into charcoal. They would load it into box cars right up here to the end of this station, and they also loaded up above this station. They build it up as high as
that door and then they would drive their team of horses up there, and they would throw that wood in there and they would rank it just like you rank in wood in the woods. That went, I don’t know, off to New Haven, Bridgeport, Waterbury and all them places. They also loaded it right down here because I see them load it right down here by this freight station. They would sort it in the wagon. There would be a man in there. They would build it, long end, from each end, then they would come to the middle, and that rank would be a different way so it wouldn’t roll up against the door. The sticks would be in a different way. Then they had boards up there.
JB:What grain did we have around here?
HM: It used to come in here right by the box car load, a whole big box car.
JB:Oh, it came from somewhere else.
HM: We had corn here too. It would come loose. All shucked. They would have a scoop, oh probably this long, and there was a thing up here with a handle on it. You would take it, and scoop it like that, load it into that wagon, box wagon
JB:So the farmers would come to pick it up for the animals, right? This was the animal
feed? Not Selleck Hill?
HM: No. It would only come for this one man. His name is Burt Selleck. No that was his brother. His son worked for him by the name of George Selleck. George was a grown man. Old Burt was old, but he owned the mill in the first place. They would take that. The farmers that farmed here would grow their own corn, their own oats, their own rye, their own wheat and things like that. Buckwheat They would take that and draw that down to that mill and that would grind that into flour for people.
JB:Is that the mill that’s at the bottom of Selleck Hill, the one where George Kiefer lives?
HM: No. You go right straight up. You go right by that pond, and you’ll see a red house on the left in there. That was a grist mill. It was run by water power. They would take and open the flume up on Mt. Raggy, and they would let the water down. They knew just how much to let it run. Then they would go in the building and they would open their gate, because they had a pond, test water, and they would open the water wheel. That water wheel would discharge and it would run The first factory on that Mt. Raggy road was what they called the “Bone Shop.” They made knife handles and all that stuff. They got bone from Africa. They got cocobolo, redwood, rosewood: it’s just as hard as a rock. That got that for knives and things like that, tools, all bone.
JB:That was also water power? That factory got its power from water.
HM: There is another pond down below which is right where you turn to go up towards Mr. Hewitt’s. That time the bone shop had the pond of their own. The gristmill had a pond of their own which is a small one because you wouldn’t have to keep it running all day. Somebody come in grist the thing they wanted to ground, just open it up and let it go. That wheel run and that was the water power. The bone shop is the first, then the grist mill, then the last one down just as you turn on Selleck Hill. Jim Selleck lived up there then. That’s Burt’s brother. Burt ran the grist mill
Jim Selleck was up on the hill. Way on top was Pettee. When I was a boy, they just got done making parts for bicycles. Then they turned it into a rubber shop making soles and heels
for shoes. They’d make the soles: they had presses to make the heel.
JB:But not the rest of the shoe? They must have sent that to Waterbury or some place and
the cities finished up the shoes.
HM: Yep. And they’d make them old rubber soles and heels, used to be red and black. They had presses. Presses was yea wide. They would put that over here like this, and then they’d pour it for this rubber. Then they’d turn this thing here just like that, turn it down onto that. It stank, burned you know like. When it was in there enough time, then they would take this bar, unwind and raise it, and take them rubber heels or soles whatever they was a making that time out. Then there would be a piece of thin rubber in between, very thin about like this paper. They were all fastened together. They’d take them and throw them out, and then when they cooled, they just took them apart. Now there is something going on upstairs with that. I don’t know I never went up there.
JB:When you were a kid you could watch?
HM: They wouldn’t let a big bunch of kids in, a couple of them. I used to go in there, and I’d watch them. There’s a fellow now who lives in Lakeville. His name is Ben Sanford. He worked in that last factory where they made them rubber heels and soles. I was about ten or twelve years old then. That was during WWI. I used to go in there and Ben had a motorcycle, a Harley- Davidson. I used to wait for him down here by the watering kettle up here, by that watering kettle, the road used to go each side of that thing. They moved that. There used to be an old big anvil set there which was made on Mt. Raggy or forged on Mr. Raggy. It sits now over this end of the Town Hall. That anvil used to sit there and they moved it over there, and put it on a foundation. They also had a fire house in the back of the old Town Hall. Horse drawn, I forget
whether it was buckets I think they had a pump on it too. I think it was run by hand, I’m not sure.
JB:From the watering kettle?
HM: No. I don’t know how the pump did. They must have had some kind of steam or something. I don’t know. I was small, and I can’t remember.
JB:Where does the water from the watering kettle today come from? Is that coming all the
way off of Mt. Raggy?
HM: No, That man that owns that big place over the other side of the road.
JB:It used to be the Tavern. Mr. Taylor I think.
HM: Yup. It was the Bushnell Tavern which was my wife’s great great grandfather’s home. It was the Bushnell Tavern. Her name was Bushnell. Well, you go up that brook a ways and there’s a brook When you go up to Hewitt’s do you ever see that brook across the road there? And down this side of that bridge, towards the Town Hall, you go up through that man’s land, and you’ll see a gate. You go up there and follow that road. You look over the bank, and you’ll see a spring house. That’s where that water comes from. It’s coming from that spring to the kettle. There used to be another watering trough right outside As you go up Factory Street, there was an old watering tub there right alongside the road that was used for horses. This round one was used for horses. Then it come from there over crossed under the road to the round kettle.
JB:The long trough for the horses is gone. You said that’s by Factory Street?
HM: That’s on Factory Street. It goes to Mt. Raggy. We always called it Factory Street because it had the rubber shop, the grist mill and the bone shop.
JB:You also mentioned once about the crooked tree coming down from the mountain.
HM: Yup. Right up the mountain, course it was all dirt roads then you know. That was the
farm up on Mt. Raggy, Frink’s. My Uncle George Frink ran that. It was really the last farm that was up there. He had two yoke of oxen that he trained. My father worked for Judge Warner.
D.J. or D.T. Warner.
JB:I think it is DJ.
JB:The one now is D.T.
HM: There was three Donnies now. There is D.G., D.T., and then D.T.’s son. Not Jonathan, but his brother, Donald. They used to call D.J., D.T. I don’t know what they call this one now, but he’s a good friend of mine. I’m gonna ask him. In that bridge at the bottom of Mount Raggy there, it used to be different. It didn’t have that curve in it. It used to be straight. Of course it
was all dirt. Half way up the mountain was that watering trough. My father made that. He made two of them. He made one when he worked for DJ. Warner out of a log chopped it out with an axe. I think they used to sharpen up a grub hoe, chopped that out, and they got up there and they leveled it. A little spring above that runs in to it. They notched a little place for the water to run out, and it run right on down the road. My father made a second one. I think George Kiefer and my brother made the third one. I think they got the log down here by the ski jump. They made it. It comes from there. You could ask George Kiefer about that. I think he had something to do with it. My brother Jesse cut logs with the axe. My oldest brother and I both worked in the woods cutting logs. Well anyway, that kettle is supposed to be halfway up the mountain. You’re climbing and you come to a flat. There’s a bunch of rocks below it.
There’s a cave in there. I went in there about 15 or 20 foot. It’s wet in there. It’s a cave. You can get in there just so far you have to squeeze. I didn’t go any further. I don’t know what shape it’s in right now. Then above that kettle on the right hand side, there used to be a tree, a hemlock. It’s set over the bank on the right hand side up above that kettle I’d say a hundred yards. It growed up straight, and it come out like that, and then it went up. All those old fellows always used to come down off the mountain you know. They used to have either a six o’clock train that went to Millerton or a seven. I don’t know. They used to get on that and go to Millerton because they could sell stuff, whiskey and stuff in Millerton, New York State. They would get pretty well oiled up, and there used to be a horse shed down here where that store is. The Bushnell family built those sheds for their churches to keep their horses in. A couple of them go by, they swore they seen the devil sitting on that crooked tree. They got around it I think, but the crooked tree, a lot of them used to be afraid to go by it. They had to walk back up the mountain some of them. Some of them had a horse and buggy or horse and wagon.
JB:So the devil would be sitting on that bend in the tree.
HM: That’s where they seen him. Then they would go up on the mountain. About every Saturday night that used to happen. I used to see him. My father worked for Judge Warner. My father used to go up to Judge Warner’s. He had a team of black horses, Judge Warner had. We used to take mail, milk and things up to the campers.
JB:Your dad did?
HM: Yup, Howard Morey. He used to cut ice to fill ice houses. Not only my dad, there was
George Ostrander, Ed Ostrander, Lloyd Ostrander, some of the Surdams, Koontzes, Frinks. They had quite a few of those ice houses up there. They had two foot of ice or better up there.
They used to saw that by hand. What they did, they had a plow. It had teeth like this. They’d draw a straight line. They used team horses. They’d put that guide in that. They would make a straight line in that guide, and they had like a blade that went down in that. Over here, they had their plow. It would plow down just so deep, about nine or ten inches. They’d plow that out as deep as that blade was. Then on the outside of this pond, right here, they cut that channel out first. Then they would cut this ice over here. They would have to saw it. They plowed it down so far. I’ve got an ice pipe. I’ll show it to you some time. It has a point, and a hook. They made this trough, two men up here on the end. These guys sawing on the ice and working on the ice there, they’d push this up to the men. They’d put these long ice tongs. They had two kinds of ice tongs: ones that they used to pull ice out with, the long tongs. Then short ones.
They would have regular short tongs which you could pick the ice cakes up and put them on the back of the wagon or the sleigh. The sleigh because they used to have lots of snow them days. Then they used to take that and they’d go to these ice houses. They would put a layer of sawdust down. They put the sawdust on about that thick, first. Then they would go along, they wouldn’t lay it right up to the side of the building. That would leave that much space. That was all solid wood. There was no air to get in there. There was an outside to that too like a house. Then they’d put that sawdust in the side, put that in a bushel basket, and throw it in the side, push it down. The cakes of ice wouldn’t be close together. It was close as they could make it. Then they would throw sawdust on top of that ice, sweep it with a broom, then it is cracked down in there. Then they would come along with a second layer in that icehouse. It got up just so high so the men could throw it up in there from the wagon. They had ice chutes in the woods. They kept putting a board in the front door where that ice stayed there, big wide
boards like that. They packed sawdust in there. As they went up, they would keep abuilding that with sawdust so it would be air tight. End side A
JB:He’s going to tell us about trapping the bobcat in the middle of Mt. Riga Lake where that
flat rock was. You saw the droppings. You told your brother you killed the duck.
HC: It was against the law, and I’m a law abiding citizen. I shot…. I went up there and there was a long flat ledge, not high, just flat. There was green moss on it. I made a cubby, like a little building.
HM: Oh, about 3 1/2 foot long and this wide. You have to plug every hole so he can’t tear it apart either. It’s got to be rugged. So I go way down on the other end of the ledge, that moss, get the knife. I cut it. I rolled it up. That moss is only that thick – very very thin, 1/4 inch not even. I rolled that up and brought it up and laid it down where I wanted to sit. Then I cut it diagonally about 12-foot long. I took this wire, trapping wire, it’s very pliable. I stuck that cord in that cubby about this far, just a little ways, then I set my trap and I put it in there in the cubby in the middle.
JB:You didn’t use bait yet?
HM: Yup. I took the duck. I tore him up a little. Then I cut off his wing. There was a little tree ’bout that big around. Here’s the cubby and that tree was right there oh, about 8-10 inches ahead of the cubby. I cut some of the bottom wings off. I took the string that I had. I always have string. I tied it to the little wings, and he come out. He went for that wing. It would go like that. That was an attractor. So I figured that he’ll see that and he’s coming over here. He’ll see that and it’ll attract him up there. Then he’ll smell that duck that I got in that
cubby ’cause I opened it right up so the meat would be there. Then I took and covered that whoooole bottom of that thing with that thin moss. It looked just as natural as anything could be. This day was on a Sunday. I went every morning. You can go just so close to him. When a bobcat is in the water, he goes pretty near that same route on the rock. This Sunday I sit there. Kern -I called my brother, I always called him Kern. “Kern”, I said, “Come and take a look at
that bobcat track. I’m gonna make some setts for otters up on the first pond going on grass.” You can trap, but you have to have a permit to carry a gun on Sunday. I’ve got a pistol permit, carried a pistol. That pistol permit don’t run out till ’92. “Kern”, I says, “got something, the drag is gone.” We looked around over part of the hedge. There was a big hemlock tree. I see that pole sticking out from underneath the boughs because the boughs went right down to the ground. One of those boughs, I picked it up. There he was. He weighed probably 25 lbs. I had forgotten the pistol. I got two saws, so I cut that limb off and laid it right down on him. He was right out in the open then. I cut a switch 3-foot and a half long. I cut a club ’bout the same length. Grrrrrrrr I put that right on his foot, the foot that wasn’t caught. I came down on his head and his foot and knocked him out. He lay there growling. He hadn’t really come too yet. Then I really put it right to him.
JB:What was your brother doing?
HM: He helped with that bough.
JB:So you did that all totally by yourself without the pistol?
HM: No. I had to kill him. I got him. Brought him home. Hardest thing to skin in this world. He’s got no bit of fat on him.
JB:Is the fur nice?
HM: Oh yea. You know Mr. Harney? John Harney, his son, was here not too long ago from out West and he wanted me to teach him to trap. I did. I set some traps. I set one trap, and I said, “John, I’m going to set the trap down on some ledges there. You’ll see a big pole. If that pole ain’t there, you walk up and down that brook on the banks because I expected an otter. There’s an otter there. I couldn’t go this day. 1 looked at it a couple of times and didn’t have anything ’cause he hadn’t come back yet. I seen the signs on the wet rock. He was going to look at his traps up to Twin Lakes on Long Pond, down at Salisbury School boat house. I said, “See if that drag is still there. It if ain’t there, there be an otter in there.” When he went down through, the drag was gone. He couldn’t find it. He walked right down the center of the brook and he couldn’t find it. So he went down to look at his traps for anything in it so he wouldn’t lose it. I guess he got 2 or 3 muskrats. I let him use my .22 rifle. When he come back, he looked around. He heard something making a noise, and he looked up on that bank and there was that great big otter. I used to shoot coons in my traps, and he used to watch me. I’d walk right up to a coon. I’d hold the rifle right over his head and shoot him like that.
JB:While he was distracted.
HM: So John walked up just as brave as anything. He thought he was caught in that clump of brush. Here’s the clump of brush right there, there’s the brook about there. John walked up to shoot him. That otter took off up in the air and hit him right in the chest. Ripped his hunting coat and knocked him in the brook. John got dragged right up through his face. Scared him just about to death. “Oh, my God, come back here.” I looked at him and his face was just as red as that jacket you got. I said, “What the hell happened to you?” He says, “By Jesus, you come out here in the truck and look.” He says, “That otter pretty near killed me.” I said, “Why, what’s
the matter with you?” The otter had a couple of scratches on his face. He says, “I walked up to that otter like you shoot coon.” I says, “You never walk up to an otter or bobcat.” I says, “You can’t do that.” Now he knows. He was here just a week ago. He come out from Colorado. Denver. He and his wife stopped in to see me. Got a little girl. His wife sat there. They could not do one thing with that kid. Spoiled. Oh, couldn’t do anything. Oh, Lord. That poor woman sit in that corner there. That kid was taking things out of my closet. She was tickled to go. I told John she was spoiled.
JB:You also said you could catch rabbits. Could you trap them? You said one year that it
was so bad around here they were killing the apple trees.
HM: That was jack rabbits. I don’t think there are any of those around here anymore. We
didn’t trap a rabbit. We used to have a dog. I didn’t, but Charlie McLane and the ? up here. You know the girl who works in the bank, the blonde-haired girl? She marriedRose Genito. He had an awfully good fox dog, jack rabbit dog. I was about 18. I could run miles. That’s the honest truth. I was so used to being in these woods. I was just as hard as a piece of iron. I could run up a hill, down a hill. That dog used to run these jack rabbits or a fox. What a jack rabbit used to do to fool a dog, he’d run up here just like this then he come back on his own track and jump off so he would lose the scent. That dog would go way up in here as fast as that scent went and run around in circles. He wouldn’t come back here. Clever! I used to run, and I would come up there. I know what a jack rabbit did, and I pulled him by the collar and pull him back around. I went up to his coop. He’d bite me. He had 3 fox dogs. I forget the name of them. They’d bite me. They was mean, but if you was a’ hunting with them, they wouldn’t bother you. I took him by his collar, and took him through there because I found out where the
jack rabbit jumped off. It was on snow. That jack rabbit jump a long ways. I’d take him and put aim on the track, and he’d begin to bark again. A jack rabbit will run in a circle. He’ll run in that circle about 3 times. If you don’t get him the third time, he might just take off. He’d run from one mountain to another and run out of the county. We knew justa about where the jack rabbit run. I followed the jack rabbit. The dog run along. You know that house where the surveyor lives? Just aside it is a little knoll to the right. The jack rabbit always used to come down through there and jump out on to the road. Now, you’re going to ask me why. He’d run that road because there was horse manure in it. The teams of horses went up and down that road, and the dog couldn’t follow the scent. It was all them kind of things that you have to learn and know.
JB:I don’t know how the rabbit learned it.
HM: Jack rabbits are smart. Animals are smart. You’ve got to give them credit. I used to have lots and lots of fun doing them things.
IB:As long as I’ve got you on the jack rabbits, can you tell me that favorite story about
when they had a bounty of 50 cents on every pair of ears. You and your friend, I forget his name.
HM: Gene Doty.
IB:You guys were just kids.
HM: We was about 10 or 12 years old. There was a dump down here by the ski jump. You go and over in there, and the town stores used to dump their stuff down there you know? Well, it was all these people that lived on that street that used to dump their stuff in there. It’s a big
dump. So we went down one day. I and Gene and picked up jack rabbit ears all tied up in bundles.
JB:They’d been there a while probably, kind of stiff.
HM: Well, I’ll tell ya, a jack rabbit’s hide is thin and they’ll dry right up and they’ll never smell. I said to Gene, “Take a pair of them jack rabbit’s ears.”
JB:Because the town clerk was offering you .50 cents for every pair.
HM: .50 cents for every pair. Everybody got .50 cents a pair because they wanted to get them jack rabbits killed off. So it was in winter time, you know. They didn’t know who shot them.
JB:Sure, that makes sense.
HM: What they ought a done was marked their ear, but they never did. There was a town clerk up there by the name of Terry Conklin.
JB:It was before Lila Nash.
HM: Oh it was long before. She had her office right there in the next building beyond the drug store. That was the town clerk’s office.
JB:It wasn’t part of the town hall like Lila’s?
HM: No. She was in there. Gene would take a couple of pair in and get his dollar. That was a lot of money then. We could go to the movies 10 times because of that. Movies only cost .11 cents.
JB:Where were the movies?
HM: Lakeville by the old station building right across. There was a big room. It used to cost .11 cents to go to the movie.
JB:How did you get from here to there?
JM: Walk. We used to walk.
JB:You took some in too probably.
HM: We took in probably 40 pair.
JB:Oh my gosh, that’s $20.
HM: We were smart enough so not to take in a bunch of them you know. Bruce Ostrander, he was a child. They named him Doty, but didn’t know who his father was. His grandfather and grandmother brought him up. He was just a poor kid. Him and I used to chum around together. We used to ride down that brook on a block of ice.
JB:You could ride the ice?
HM: Oh yea. If it broke or something, we fell in.
JB:It would be hard to stay on that block of ice.
HM: Some of them blocks were as big as that side there.
JB:There was enough water to float. You wouldn’t hit the rocks all the time.
HM: There was no rocks in that brook. It was altogether different country. That was all
fields. All this country was fields. I could see right down to Allison Blagden’s farm. No trees, all cattle. Oh God, it was altogether different.
JB:As soon as the trees start coming up, it changes it totally. It’s hard to believe that the
brook would change that much with the stones or the boulders wouldn’t be there.
HM: The only boulders that’s in that brook is down here by this mountain. Then you’d get some stones up there by the ski jump. You walk that brook. There’s all fields. That’s where we used to do it. We used to be hellers you might say.
JB:You said your friend got over anxious one day and took in too many ears and Miss
Conklin caught on to him.
HM: He did. He took in 4 or 5 set. In the spring after jack rabbit season is gone. She says, “Gee, where are you getting these ears?”
JB:Did he fess up?
HM: Oh, he wouldn’t tell. I went in with a couple pair once in two weeks or something like that, but Gene got a little greedy because he took half of the ears home and I took half. You know where I hid them? in the outside toilet, up in the toilet. I put a board up in the peak so my brother and them wouldn’t get a hold of them. Hee, hee, hee. Boy, I’m telling you, we used to have to be real good in them days.
JB:When you went up Mt. Raggy your dad used to take up the groceries and the mail with a
team. You would go up with him lots of times.
HM: Yup. Lots of times I would ride with my father. He’d go up to Judge Warner’s. D. J.
Donald J’s camp first. Then there was Schwab’s. All those big camps. There wasn’t many big camps then. They all had ice houses. I would ride up with my father and he’d bring up the mail to them places. My father was younger then, probably forties. He used to be a great friend of a fellow named John Peabody. They used to have a big place down here, and they used to have a camp up there and Phil Warner were great friends. They used to have clam bakes down here in Indian Cave. The Warner’s got the clams, $2-3 a bushel.
That was all open. They used to play baseball down through them woods. It was all fields
there. It was all flat. They made this big pit. They’d have a big tub. They put it down in there on some kinda blocks. They steamed the clams. They used to wrap them in cheese cloth and steam them. They had kegs of beer, corn & baked potatoes. There were lots of people. If they
They had kegs of beer, corn and all that stuff. Baked potatoes. There was lots of people. Oh, I
used to love going there. If they hhit a foul ball, they could get it. We used to lot of times drag mountain
wood out of the woods. All that mountain was woods. You know, it’s a shame that they took that bridge down down here. There used to be a bridge. Some of the railroad rails are there yet. I don’t think that they had a right to.
JB:Where did it go?
HM: It went right across the brook. You could drive a car across it or a wagon. There used to be an old road come right around the bottom of that mountain. Come over Falls Mountain Road, and it come right down to that big estate right down there on that sharp curve where George Miner lives. It followed right along the bottom of that mountain, come right around through there cross that bridge. That road over there where Isabel Decker and them live, and come right up to the street. That was a right away, and the name of it is Indian Cave Road.
They bought some property out there, and they tore that bridge out of there.
JB:What reason do they give?
HM: I don’t know if they had a right or not.
JB:There are still signs of where the bridge was?
HM: There’s a cement foundation over on the other side and one on this side where the bridge was. It was a shame because everybody used to go over it. That was a regular thing that people heard of the Indian Cave. Have you ever heard of that?
HM: It’s a big ledge that comes out like that, and it’s an overhang. I and another fellow dug down about that far, and we hit ash. We got a broken piece of pottery. We didn’t hit anything good. We dug an X in there. That was Indian territory right out at the end of this field. They
used to plow it. There’s about three spots probably 25 or 30 ft. across. That’s where the Indians used to be. There would be one here and up here. Cross the brook would be another and another on that field. I never dug over there or anything, but I knew what that was. That was an Indian site.
JB:Well, it makes sense down here by the water.
HM: This house sitting right on just like a stone wall. It’s all gravel, all stones. Hardly any dirt and it runs right out through there, if it rains, you can never see a puddle here. It goes right down. The only field that’s got any substance like clay is just across that bridge and down there. It’s all yellow clay. The reason I know that brook used to run that way, it didn’t run straight. It used to turn and used to run into that brook that comes from Lakeville. There used to be a few single trees down through there, and we made a big swimming hole. The clay was about that far under the top soil about 18 inches down. We used to have a deep hole about as deep as our head. We dug the dirt all out and made the bank pretty near as high as that cabinet. Then we used to splash water upon that clay and we used to all go swimming naked down there. We would run on to that clay and whoosh and into that water. All those things you know. We used to steal potatoes out of a big garden over here. He had quite a few potatoes. He didn’t have any children, but he had about 1/2 acre of potatoes. So us kids would go in them hills and dig that potatoes out and then we would set the tops back. So he noticed all of them hills of potatoes was dry. So we built a fire, and we let the fire burn down, and we’d throw the potatoes in the coals. Let them bake. We would cook ’em up in them coals. Right here John Dubois was laying down on his stomach off side of that fire, my brother Jesse, my brother Earl and Gene Doty. Six, eight of us. They were pulling out them potatoes. John says
“Hi” and looks up. Who should be there but the guy that owned them potatoes? He says, “One John, take one. If you fellows will do me a favor and don’t dig my potatoes out, I’ve got five or six barrels over home, and you stop in the house ” There used to be three stucco houses in that field over there. “You stop in the house and an old woman and I’ll tell her and she’ll give you all the potatoes you want. Don’t steal my potatoes. I have to have them for winter.”
Which they did. You had to live off the ground in them days.
JB:After that you did that.
HM: Yup. We would go over and she would give us a great big old paper bag right chuck full. We never dig no more of his potatoes, but we never was like the kids are today.
HM: We never got in no trouble. We might go into a peach orchard once in a while at night and steal a few peaches. We would go down back of the library and eat them or places like that.
JB:Was that Scoville Memorial Library here? How old is that?
HM: I think that library was being built I think about the time that I was born in 1908.lt maybe start a little before.
JB:The Scoville family built that for the town?
HM: I really don’t know. I imagine them were good people. The Warners were. There was all these people that were well to do was good to the poor people here, real good.
JB:They liked you.
JB:It was a mutually beneficial thing. Everybody got along. It was easier because the town
was a little smaller and people knew each other better.
HM: They had good times. Right where we’re sitting now was a fair ground. They had a Salisbury Town Fair right on this property right here, all this property. They used to have a dodger. He would stick his head through the whole in the canvas, and they had baseballs about this big around. They weren’t hard balls, there were soft probably full of cotton. Well, I don’t like to say this on the recording because it’s something to do with the colored people.
JB:Alright. Let’s stop for just a minute.
HM: They used to have a balloon that went up down here and they used to build a fire. The smoke and air and the heat would go in that thing and they used to go up. A man, Marks, was going up in it, and I can remember it just like it was yesterday. They used to hold it with ropes while it was filling up. He got tangled up, and he got up there about 25-30 feet, and I don’t know what he done, but anyway, he fell down. Then they used to have them old wicker baby carriages. When he landed, he landed right in this woman’s baby carriage. He never got hurt. They ain’t nothing like the balloons of today.
JB:Did people go up for rides?
HM: No. It was just to show you what it was like. There used to be a balloon man, I suppose. I wasn’t quite old enough to understand. Then they used to have a pig about 75lbs. They’d take and grease him with old salt pork, rub it all over him. They would have a ring of men and a little wire fence. If you caught the greased hog, you could keep it. I can remember there was a man over here was an old-timer named Burt Clark. He lived right over across here. I can remember him running. Oh, a lot of men. They would have a hold of that pig. They was awful looking guys. They had overalls. The only one I’ve ever seen caught one was Burt Clark. He was a short stocky man, strong. He caught the greased hog probably between 75-100lbs. I can remember
it was a white hog. New Hampshire is what they call it. They had the Belter hog, and that was a black one with a white stripe around him. Burt got him anyway. He got him by two legs. He dove right into him, and he got him by his front foot and his back foot. He was strong enough, and he got the hog down on his back and laid on it. I don’t know how long he had to lay there.
I remember he caught him. My father, all these Raggies, we’re all Raggies. My uncle George Frick was the last man on that mountain that really run a farm.
Side C: Howard Morey Tape # 81
This is Jeanne Bronk again talking with Skeet Morey and some more stories about his early life in Salisbury. He’s going to tell us about the deer on the ski jump.
HM: There was no open season for hunting deer. Got to be truthful about it. Everyone who was a hunter would see a deer and shoot it. So we shot a deer way over on Prospect Mountain, so when we took it and was dragging it home, I lived on Railroad Street, and he lived on the street where the Post Office is (Porter Street).
JB:Who was the guy with you?
HM: Saree Satre. He wanted to go way around, see.
JB:Because it was easier pulling?
HM: We were dragging the deer by hand. I said, “Let’s go right down the ski jump. It’s snowing.” “Yeah,” he said. I got right on that deer, put his head first, and slid right down. We looked back up there. There was a great big red streak of blood right down the center of that ski jump hill. In a couple of days they were going to have a ski jump. It snowed about 6″; of course they packed the hill so you didn’t see any blood. Nothing. Saree said to me, “Boy, I’m glad all that blood’s covered.” Four or five of ’em jumped but didn’t fall, but this fella fell right at the top of the jump down that hill and scuffed up that streak of blood where he fell right down the center of that hill. I presume that the people thought that he had about killed himself with all that blood. Of course he wasn’t hurt a bit; it was that deer blood.
JB:That’s wonderful. Was that jump built when you were still a youngster or…? You must have
watched the building of that jump.
HM: Oh yes, my brother worked on it; we all worked on it on the hill. We cut the trees.
JB:That was solid wood.
HM: I helped Richie Parsons and all of us fellas.
JB:Whose idea was it?
HM: The Satres
JB:That’s why it’s called Satre Hill?
HM: Yeah, Johnnie Satre worked up here at the Warners, and that was part of Warner’s property, I think it was. John said that would make a good ski jump hill because it had a little hill across the state road. They used to start off that building that was up on Warner’s property. It was only about, oh you could probably jump about 50 feet. They had to stop in a short distance, oh probably another 50-75 feet after they landed. Go out in the brush and everything.
Sometimes that wasn’t easy.
HM: Oh no. They got permission anyway. I don’t think it belonged to the Spurrs, but it could have. We cut all those trees, took the stumps out, and all that stuff.
JB:That was during the summer or the fall?
HM: Right in the summer and the fall. We built that ski jump. There was no big tower there then. No tower at all. It was just the plain hill up there. Then there was a landing hill down below. They landed on the hill down below.
JB:The hill was naturally that way. They didn’t have to move dirt in there.
HM: A natural hill.
JB:I wonder how high they decided to make it How did they decide the height because it is so high?
HM:After they had jumped onto that for quite a while, the ski association thought that they would
have a bigger jump. So they built that tower because they had enough of a landing hill, I don’t know how many meters but quite a few 200-300 feet. Then they all got together and they built that tower, those big poles way up there. Really the Satre boys were…
HM: Then they also built that jump. I didn’t work on that hill then with the lumber part; I helped clean and cut the trees. They had races, too.
HM: Ski racing. We cut a big trail. The trail started and went down around Indian Cave, and then it went up the side of the mountain way down on Reid’s property. The Reid’s owned it then. Up that hill and later on I think it is probably ended up to be a three or four mile run. They had racing skis. So they had that run. A lot of people strung over a lot of different places in the woods and watch them go by. They used to go, and I’ll tell you they were dangerous, down through those woods and racing speed.
JB:And poles, they must have had poles.
HM: Yeah, they had ski poles. They had all the racing equipment. They bought it themselves.
JB:Did outsiders come to Salisbury?
HM: Oh yeah they came from all over.
JB:So it wasn’t just the people here in town.
HM: No, they watched the ski jump. They had big crowds.
JB:Just like we do now.
HM: only different, more people.
JB:The snow was usually pretty good, not like the last few winter?
HM: We had good winters. There was Olaf, Johnnie Satre, and Agnes Satre; they were all jumpers. Seveer didn’t jump so much, he could jump but he never went into it. He was a young fellow; he was quite a lot younger than I am. He was just a young fellow going to school. They had races, and a lot of the racers came from way out of town, all over the country. They came here to race. They’d start right on the course. It was all fields down there by Indian Cave down through and over the hill. Some of them hills they’d have to go up sideways. They went way up Prospect Mountain up on Rand property way up around through there and come back. Those Satres had not been in this country very long; Olaf was a shoe maker; he worked up here a little bit putting heel and sole on shoes. Johnnie worked with me and Richie Parsons up here at the Warner’s private estate. Oh I knew them boys, the Satres very well.
JB:Is their family still around now?
HM: All those boys are dead; all the girls are dead except the youngest girl. She’s down in Florida; she’s alive as far as I know. They all had kind of a heart problem.
JB:That’s too bad. Last time you also mentioned that you were going to tell me the story of the Fox
HM: Oh, yeah.
JB:Was that it and that business that the family got started. This was before the Second World War
or even before World War 1. (See Tape #3 Park Sylvernale for more detail)
HM: Even before World War 1. This spring, a line ran right through it the middle of it, Andy Fox’s property and the Hunters who lived in the Scoville place where the youngest Scoville girl lived… You know when you turn to go towards Taconic, that first big house up in there. That was a Scoville house. I forget that her name was, but I worked there. Before the Scovilles owned in there, it was a family by the name of Hunter. They built this big cement thing; this was all between Andy Fox’s, just above Barack Matiff, you know that first house on the right where the snare is. They divided it.
JB:And they used the water regularly for their household.
HM: I think so. But they bottled it and sent it all over the country. I showed you one of the bottles.
JB:Yeah, it is amazing. (The label was designed by Ellen Emmett Rand.)
HM:(Bob Curtis is Mike Hunter’s son, an awfully nice fellow. She died some years ago. His father
died in his arms the day before she died, the next day. But she had divorced his father.)
JB:Where did they get the glass for those beautiful bottles for the Fox Hunter Spring Water? Where
did they get the bottles? Was there a place around here that maybe would make the glass?
JB:They would have to get that from the city.
HM: They got it somewhere, Fox Hunter Spring Water.
JB:Then people just heard about it by word of mouth, you just wonder how they found buyers, or
maybe people in town talked about it.
HM: They sold it all over. I saw a Fox Hunter Spring Water bottle way up in New Hampshire or Maine.I’ve got that 2 quart bottle.
JB:That’s a beautiful bottle, no doubt about it.
HM: I know a woman who moved into a house way up in Maine or New Hampshire. She rented it, noshe bought it. When she moved in there, there was like a little attic in there.
JB:Not a root cellar?
HM: No, it was up in the air. When they opened it up, that room was all full of silver, all kinds ofdifferent silver things. There were some of those Fox Hunter Spring Water bottles.
JB:This was way up in New Hampshire.
HM: Oh yeah way up in the boondocks. Well, she bought the place so she took…I told her, I said, “I’llbet you money,” Oh my god beautiful, beautiful silver, kettles, pitchers, clocks, watches. Somebody youknow years ago in the 1920’s bad things were going on in this country. They’d steal and break in placesso that had to be how that got there because it was no mansion. It was nothing but what we’d call ashanty.
JB:Was there somethingcalledan Oxy Christian Company?
HM:Christine, right there.Oxy Christine
JB:What did they do?
HM: They made medicine. I worked there for 3 or 4 years.
JB:Medicine, what kind?
HM: Physic, what would you call it.
JB:I am not quite sure what we would call it today: something to make you feel… if your stomach
was upset or you had a headache.
HM: Oh yeah we sold that.
JB:Did you bottle it? What did you do?
HM: I bottled it; 2 ounce bottles, 6 ounce bottles, and 8 ounce bottles. There were quite a bunch of people worked there. My daughter and I did all the mixing.
JB:In a big kettle?
HM:No, it was water, salts, A and B salts, C and D powder.
JB:Which you really didn’t know what that was, but…
JB:But you had to put a certain amount of each one?
HM: Yeah and we would put it into these big vats, stir them up, and then we would bottle it.
JB:Did it bubble?
HM: No, it was just like water, but it was awful tasting stuff.
JB:Oh you did try it.
HM:I think there was, I’ve got a picture of them too which I’ll show you sometime.
JB:And you had to get it out of the vat and into the bottles? Was there a spigot?
HM: Oh yeah.
JB:Then did you cork the bottles? They didn’t have screw tops, probably.
HM: No it went into 5 gallon jugs. They had a big rack with probably 30 of those 5 gallon jugs on it. We had these big white round felt pad filters for that to run through. We’d raise them up, hold our hand over the thing and tip that over on there, and it would run down and go through that filter into another 5 gallon jug. So you had a funnel, then after that filtered and got it just as clear as anything you ever saw in your life. It was dirty looking, creamy but not like milk but like salts before the filtering. Then after that had all filtered through we’d fill those things today. Put all them on and the next day, the next morning we would take them, put a cork in them, and we had a hand elevator. We’d pull a rope and whistle up there, got it up to a certain level and they’d take it off in to where they would bottle it. Then they would send, oh I don’t know forty or fifty jugs to do that with. We had the hard job lifting those 5 gallon jugs, tipping them up. Then they did all that by hand, bottled up the small bottles. Then before I left there, they invested in a bottling machine, a big bottling machine because they sold so much of it. So when we finished doing down there, we’d go up there and you’d have to, they would put a dozen bottles, even those small ones, in one case. I used to take four in one hand, four in the other; they’d put the corks in, and dip them over into hot wax with the cork in it to seal it. Then you put them into these boxes.
Which were wooden, not cardboard?
HM: Yeah, that was when, I’ve got one of the boxes down in the shed. They’d ship them away in these wooded boxes.
JB:Did it say Salisbury on it? It identified…
HM: Yeah, Oxy Christine Corporation. They got that machine, and my brother ran the filling where you fill the bottles, 800 at a time. Push a lever and the bottles got filled. Push it back and it would stop and it would come down this belt…
JB:Yes there is a conveyor belt, I’ve seen it.
HM:Conveyor belt, you put the corks in, the next machine would push the corks down. Then it would
go on to another belt, and put a label on it at the last end. I was down on the end there and tipped them into that wax.
JB:You still had to do that by hand, though.
HM:Well, just as soon as they came off. Then when you waxed them, you’d shake them to get the
JB:How did they keep the wax hot? You had to keep it hot.
HM: It ran through electric.
JB:Then you had to put them in more cartons to be shipped off?
HM:We put them in to a cardboard carton, and that cardboard carton went into this wooden box.
Then it went out to a fellow on a baling machine. They put lids on, and then it would go through the labeling machine; they’d put a label on. It was corked first and then labeled, then waxed and into boxes. Seven or eight women worked on this part, fellows, too; it was a big long table. Next onto the shipping point, all boxed and everything.
JB:On the train?
HM:They had a Reo Speed Wagon with a top on it. They used to put it in that and take the boxes to
the Post office, and it was all shipped out, Parcel Post. We used to have a pan about that square full of hot wax. I had the job of holding the bottles, and I used to handle them, dip them and shaking them to get the excess wax off and setting them there. This was before they got the bottle machine. The girls would put the labels on the bottles, and then they’d come and take it and bring it to where they boxed it up. I can remember standing up like this, I got to talking and I hit the edge of that pan. It tipped right over and burned my leg, oh boy. It wasn’t that hot, but…
JB:It’s funny now, but it wasn’t then.
HM: Oh no. I never forgot that. I remember once they had a bench all of us fellows sat on one side, and all those women, I think there were five women on that side and five men on this side. I said to Johnnie DuBois, Freddie Morriston, my brother, and a couple of others, and this was built like a picnic table with a bench. You sat down on this. I said, “Now what we’re going to do, we’ll all jump up on our side.” We did. Irene Parsons, Helen Spurr, I could name them all. They all sort of took the joke just like that. It used to be a pretty good place to work; they paid pretty good too at that time, 50 cents an hour. That was pay for 8 hours.
JB:But there was plenty of time for you to talk to one another.
HM: Oh yeah we could talk to each another.
JB:I would think it would be a long day if you didn’t. What were the other men doing?
HM:After we got that machine, one was a labeler, corker, and bottler, one ran the bottler. It came
along down through. These girls were working on the table. They had to wipe all that off.
HM: Extra Oxie Christine; because it was a salty stuff, If you had left that on there you see. It had to be all wiped. Then they were brought up to the boxing machine.
JB:Did you work there for about 4 years, did you say?
HM:Three or four years. One day I quit; went up to Salisbury School and worked on the farm.
JB:That was still a farm before the school began? The school was there.
HM:I was boss gardener.
JB:So they were raising their food?
HM: They raised every bit of vegetables for the school boys.
JB:Did you live in that little white house right at the…
HM:No, that was the Frink’s house. That was right across from the Frink’s.
JB:Which I thought used to be a tavern, but it’s not?
JB:The one right at the top of the hill there across 44 before you do down to the lake.
HM: That’s the old Frink place.
JB:Ok, that’s the Frink house. I am thinking, then there is a smaller house back onthe schoolside;
they have a low roof and it is definitely an old building. It is right on the edge of 44.
HM: That used to be a pig pen. They raised a lot of pigs for the school then, probably 25 or 30 pigs.
JB:It wasn’t your job to take care of those, too, the boys did that?
HM:No, they were way up to the school. George E. Quaile was the Headmaster, when I worked
JB:Where was the garden then?
HM: The garden was right across, well, you see Salisbury School House there on top of the hill. That was the farmer’s house. We earned so much a month and our board; there were three of us.
JB:Who else was with you, do you remember?
HM: There was a fellow by the name of Howard Carter and a fellow by the name of Herbert Parsons. They both drove team. They plowed and I did all the planting. I used to give the school kids a job down here to the Salisbury School, —on to college. They were 10,12,14 years old setting sets, and transplanting, different things like that. I showed them how. We used to raise enough vegetables and potatoes to run that school.
Then just as you go by the school that old dirt road that goes down to the right; the right name for that road then was Cat Hollow (now Wild Cat Hollow). There was an old fellow down there who had a farm. His name was Pete Shaw. Well, his house burned down on the right hand side of the road, and there was a family over on the left hand side of that road. I forget what their name was. They had a big flat field probably 5 or 6 acres of land. We lived down there, and Salisbury School bought it. They plowed up that big field and planted it all in potatoes and also some fields over across from Salisbury School. They bought the Frink place, Salisbury School did. We raised hundreds of bushels of potatoes; we had like a root cellar underneath the barn. They had an apple orchard, Russet apples, Greenings, I never hear of a Macintosh, but they used to have red Astricans, they used to call them. They were different; they used to press that out. They’d take it to the cider mill and press it out. They had racks of barrels of cider, soft. You’d leave the bung on the top until it worked out; it didn’t foam any more on the side. They used to keep filling it up; they had enough sweet cider until they got that working that barrel would be full. When it started to work like that, they’d bung it up with a good wooden plug on top. There was also a plug in the bottom. You could put a spigot in it to draw it out. It was about that far off the bottom. That would turn to vinegar. That would get so hard.
JB:After a couple of months
HM: Oh, it would take, according to how cold it was. If it was put into a root cellar, that would not turn to vinegar until the next fall. These old timers used to drink hard cider.
JB:I was wondering when we’d get to that stage; then it goes to vinegar. Did they use that vinegar
at school, too? The idea was that they used it then.
HM: Oh yes, they used that vinegar. I think I never took any out. Why would they go through all that if they didn’t use it? All those potatoes we had down there; we had bushels and bushels and bushels of potatoes. I saw the heap of potatoes over at the Frink place; we had some of the potatoes over there. They had them on the barn floor. They used to drive through with the wagons and pitch the hay off into the mows. The barn floor was about as wide as these two rooms. They’d put boards up in the front and in the back filled right up as high as they could go with potatoes. They would leave them there for a while; you see you always dry your potatoes before you put them up.
JB:They have to keep them from freezing.
HM: Then they have to put them into a place under the barn or something to keep them from freezing. They used to take them out of there by the bushels.
JB:Who did the harvesting? Did you all have to do that?
HM: We all had to do that.
JB:Did the boys help?
HM: We had a potato picker; it looks like a plow, a big wide plow, this wide. On the back of it, it had things like this rakes of iron rods that come up this far. The plow would go out and dig those potatoes; they had a rear that would shake up and down. It would shake the dirt out, and the potatoes would all lay right on the top of the ground.
JB:It was horse drawn?
HM:Yes, it was horse drawn.
JB:Then you would go with sacks.
HM: Then we had to pick them up by hand. We’d pick them up and throw them into the box wagon, and draw them up to the root cellars.
JB:You also probably grew beans and peas?
JB:No so much of that; they wouldn’t keep as well so I guess that’s why you couldn’t do that.
HM:I remember and the kids helped me setting out cabbage plants all day long. We set out cabbage
plants. We’d dig a hole with a trowel, set that cabbage plant down in that hole, straight down no tipping, right up to the leaves and press them down like that.
JB:What was the soil like, mostly stones?37.
HM: No it was real good soil.
JB:Is that the field that is still mowed? There is a path right down.
HM: Oh probably, going right down towards the lake, on the side of the road that long lot.
JB:That’s the one.
HM: It goes down to the white birches at the other end. We raised hay, and corn and different stuff like that. I think we had 21 cows.
JB:Good gracious where did you put them?
HM: They were in the cow barn there, also pig pens for all those pigs. We milked by hand.
JB:You had to do that too?
HM: Well, Buster and I and Boss Farmer. Andy Fox worked there, the Fox Hunter spring water man, he worked up there too. He used to carry an old Tiger Tobacco can about that big, that square with a handle on it. He used to carry his lunch in that.
JB:What did you do with the milk when you finished with that?
HM:We took it up to the school. We had a big vat, and we had a separator, a hand separator. You
would turn that handle, and it would separate a lot of that milk into cream because they wanted the cream. You would have these milk cans set in this vat with ice to keep it water cold, and then you’d take it up to the school. Pull them out, take a horse and wagon…
JB:They didn’t have any refrigeration up at the school? That was ice left from cutting in the winter?
HM:We used to go down there to the pond; we’d cut the ice by hand with the horse plow, just like I
JB:Yes, you told me about that in our first meeting. They had to do that too, just like everybody
HM: You know that little red building by that pond as you are going toward Canaan? That was an ice house. Then they had another ice house, and we had another over at the Frink place. They were all filled with ice.
JB:It would last most of the summer?
HM: Oh yeah. They knew how much to have. I used to pack the ice. I used to drive the team. A lot of times Andy Fox, he was older that we were, he and I lots of times packed the ice together because we were most particular. We put sawdust on the sides for insulation by the bushel baskets to keep the ice.
JB:How did the boys get to and from school? Did their families bring them? Did they come from
HM: they lived right there.
JB:But when they arrived? Did you see the families driving up in their cars or did they have horse?
HM: They would come from the city.
JB:I wondered if you remembered schools opening, or the kids going home for vacation.
HM: I can’t remember much of that. There used to be big cars. They were all rich, Pierce Arrows. They were all college.
JB:That’s what I would suspect.
HM: All different kind of cars, especially if they had football games or a thing like that; they would be there. I used to play football when I was a boy.
JB:Do you remember if Hotchkiss was also here then?
HM: Oh yeah, Hotchkiss was here.
JB:So they probably played each other at sometimes.
HM: That I don’t know because I never went too much on that end. I remember the old buildings of Hotchkiss School. Salisbury School wasn’t as big then.
JB:It’s grown a lot.
HM: They had wooden buildings and things like that.
JB:The main building was all they had.
HM: Yeah that yellow building. What did they used to call it? I knew the name of it; too it was altogether a different life than now. (Bissell Hall Ed.)
JB:We’re going to start off talking about Skeet in kindergarten. Did you walk every day?
JB:Half a day- like they have now?
HM: All day. There was 1st and 2nd grade in this academy building where the court house is. That was the kindergarten. Teacher’s name was Lena Hardy. The other school, White School, had 3, 4, and 5th downstairs and upstairs in that white school was 6,7,8 grade. Lena Hardy was the teacher down here in the brick building. It was 1 and 2 grade.
JB:Did you carry your lunch every day?
HM: Yup. We carried our lunch. I went to school when my father was working for Judge Warner right down the tracks here, over cross these fields. It was no walk to walk up there. Upstairs they had like a high school in there.
JB:Up above the kindergarten and 1st grade?
JB:That’s still the way it is now. There clearly is an upstairs.
HM: That was one big room. They had slate things to write on. l never had much to do with the upstairs because I got through in the 8th grade.
JB:Did the kids have books that they passed on from year to year, probably?
HM: Oh yea. I went there in that 1st grade when WWI was going on. I can remember that very much because they could bring in sheets of cloth, and we used to sit there as little kids, you know, and with a
pair of scissors cut up in little pieces and they’d give that to the army to stuff pillows with. We used to do that about an hour every day. The other time, of course, we had to learn something like reading and writing and things like that.
JB:When you said the White School, do you mean where Salisbury Central is now on that piece of
HM: No, up Route 41. There was a school house there. (Grove Street School Ed.) We called it the White School. This was the kindergarten. There was 3rd, 4th, 5th. Upstairs was 6, 7, and 8th. They used to have something like a high school up over there.
JB:Not everybody had to go? There wasn’t a rule that you had to go until you were 16 the way
there now is? Maybe you could just quit when you finished 8th grade?
HM: Yup. They had kind of like a high school down in Lakeville.
JB:Lakeville had its own.
HM: Yup. That’s where the Lakeville Post Office is now. That was the school.
JB:Did you go to Lakeville very much as kids?
JB:The people in each community didn’t mix?
HM: Of course Lakeville is the town of Salisbury. There used to be an old picture theater (Stuart Theater) there in Lakeville. No colors. Black and whitest used to cost us .11 cents to go to the movies. We used to walk.
It’s two miles to Lakeville from the kettle to the station in Lakeville.
JB: They didn’t make colored films then.
|JB:||The movie theater was near the station?|
|HM:||Right across from the passenger station in Lakeville (Mizza’s Pizza now). Where that laundromat is now. That was a good picture theater.|
|JB:||Did you know many of the kids who lived in the town? If there were separate schools you wouldn’t know them from school.|
|HM:||Oh yea. It’s a funny thing to say. We used to have a lot of fights.|
|JB:||It’s common today. Rival.|
|HM:||This bench was at that line for the Salisbury guys to come down.|
|JB:||The one right near the library?|
|JB:||You didn’t dare cross that.|
|HM:||That’s where the fights generally used to start. Then they used to come over that bridge in|
Lakeville where that brook runs through was in Salisbury. That’s where they figured it anyway.
|JB:||What would you be fighting over? and upsetting the adults, as today.|
|HM:||Nothing. We used to get into a fight run in front of the theater. Most would call each other|
names. Blows struck sometimes.
|JB:||Was Halloween a big even like it is today? For Trick or Treat?|
|HM:||A lot bigger. The street was full of kids. All of them would go to them houses. They would give|
us sandwiches, cakes, everything. We had paper bags right full of stuff. We didn’t go to Lakeville. We stayed
right in Salisbury.
JB:You wore the costumes.
HM: Yes, colored our faces or something. There was one place I can remember when we went to. They had a trap set for us, and I don’t know why. It was a minister. He had some pails rigged up full of water. You’d knock on that door. We used to go in there. When we got up to that door, and he’d open up that door, two or three pails of water would come down. Pour right down on our head. But then you know, we got good and wet. Still, we went in there. His name was Carpenter. He was a minister for St. John’s
the brown church. We used to call that the brown church. We never called it Episcopal or anything like that. We called it the brown church. He would call us back, and he fed us real good. He had a big long tables set there: Candy, sandwiches, cake and everything. That was a joke on us. Up at the Salisbury School when I went to the upper grades, why we used to have regular football games. That old oak tree is still up there in that school yard. The one I went to was Mary C. Butler Emma Clark was downstairs. The 6, 7, 8th. Her name was Miss Butler. I think it was Mary C. Butler. She was an awful nice teacher.
JB:One person handled three grades at once?
JB:You just took turns while she taught the other grade?
HM: We would be doing geography, arithmetic or something which I wasn’t very good in any of them. I used to run away from school an awful lot.
JB:I don’t think that’s very unusual.
HM: To tell you the truth, I was a real heller.
JB:That’s pretty common.
HM: I would admit it: some people wouldn’t.
JB: Did your parents get after you if they knew you didn’t go?
HM: Oh, they used to get a note from the school teacher. They would send it by my sister or
somebody else and say you hadn’t shown up. Them days they would. We lived up in the woods. My mother’d cut a little bush with a lot of little limbs on it and switch our legs or on our butt. Oh, now let me tell you now that hurt. It really hurt.
That’s what we used to get. My father never said too much about it. My oldest brother, he used to go trapping a lot. He was older than I was, but I trapped with him in the later years. My father told him to come on and he began to run. My father had his shoes off. He couldn’t catch him. He kicked at him, and hit him in the butt with his foot. He broke his big toe. Just a lot of things happened in them days.
JB:Were you the youngest?
HM: No, I’ve got a sister and a brother younger than I am. There was four boys and a girl. My sister was just as tough as us boys.
JB:With you guys as brothers she probably would have to be.
HM: Yea. We never got in trouble. We never got in no trouble but when we knew that we had to do
something, we better get there and do it and we knew it when they got mad. We used to have to carry
our water from the spring about a quarter of a mile away. Two 12quart pails of water every night and the
next night would be Earl’s time to do it. The next night, it would be Jesse’s time to do it. Then we used to
drag wood out of the woods. My father used to buy wood too, but we lived in the woods and go get some dead wood. George—told us we could have all the dry wood we wanted. I remember once I started on a tree about that big around with an axe.
JB:Two feet across. You’re going to take that down with an axe?
HM: Well, I chopped, chopped, chopped into that tree. I was only about 12 years old and I was always small. I chopped that tree till it was only that big around then it broke over. It probably took me about a week and 1/2 to cut that tree down. And then I got it down. We chopped the limbs off – say one or two limbs in the evening or after school. I would drag one limb home. I’d come back and drag another.
. ,. x
It was probably from here to the water kettle at the town hall.
JB: It was quite a distance. Jesse would saw it up. We all had our chores to do which had to be done.I If that water was up to the house, it was my turn to stay around the school yard and play or something. If it got dark, l still had to go down to that spring and get them two pails of water and carry them up. My mother would use that for her cooking and things sometime.
JB:Washing, when you washed up?
HM: When we washed our clothes, we used to have a deep trough with a big green water barrel, a wooden barrel It used to catch that rain water. It had a top on it. That was the nicest softest water you had ever seen in your life. If it didn’t rain, us boys used to have to carry it
JB:Did your mother have a ringer and wash tub? How did she do that?
HM:She had a scrub board. Go in there, scrub it out. Then one thing she washed in it. Then she had
another tub here to rinse it and she rung it out by hand. In later years, us boys used to have to push the handle back and forth.
JB:She would get you to help?
HM: She did it too.
JB:Did you have chickens so you could have your eggs and some meat?
Did you raise pigs, too?
JB:Did you help with slaughtering them and getting them ready?
HM:When I first got married, I had a pair of pigs. I used to scratch them on the neck like that and
they lay right down. I lived up in the middle of Bunker Hill. They used to call it Bunker Hill up Factory Street. Washinee they call it nor or something, but anyway, Larry Bushnell would come down to my house when it was butchering time. I would scratch that pig and he would lay right down. I stuck that and cut his throat because I was used to butchering with different ones ever since I was 13/14 years old.
JB:Of course, you’ve done many a deer.
HM: Nope. There wasn’t many a deer. You’d hunt a day and 1/2 to get a deer. Two days there wasn’t many deer. There wasn’t many coon. Very seldom I caught a coon in a trap. Deer was scarce in these mountains. They were very scarce, but now there is so many deer. I think the state is doing a bad thing.
There’s food in these valleys for them deer to feed on. Up in these mountains now there is not the
food there used to be because they cut the timber off the oak trees and all that. There ain’t the food and all these deers are getting hit because they are all in the valley. You go on Mt. Raggy and you can ask any of the boys hunting on Mt. Raggy, there ain’t many deer up there. Now they can shoot four or five deer, and they give crop damage. The population deer is going to run out.
JB:Just because there won’t be the food?
HM: Yup, and they’ll have them all shot up.
JB:The new houses are planting yew trees and things that the deer love to eat so that will keep
some of them going. I would say they got these little trees and the deer go right underneath them. They’re hungry. They should have done it a long while ago. Take the season. They are not opening the
season at the right time. These old doe deer have got young ones. The spots are gone. The doe deer
are still nursing. Them deer haven’t been weaned yet. They know what to do.
JB:So the end of November isn’t really a good time?
HM: They should open the season… They have them young in the last part of June, July to October then open it up the 1st of November. One doe, one buck or, I don’t know about shooting these small deer. A lot of them do a lot of them shoot them just for the horns. They are head hunters. There’s a lot of things you can see if you’re a hunter. I wouldn’t do it. I’ve hunted for three days. I’ve tracked deer for three days.
Louie Bonhotel and I, the same deer.
JB:Not sleeping at night?
HM: No. We knew how far we tracked him and then we picked up the track and go again. Finally we’d get down wind of that deer, and I would track and Louie would know the place he was going through and then he would do the same as me. You’ve got to know these woods. You’ve got to know these mountains. I know every inch of them.
JB:Tell me again you said after you were first married and it came slaughtering time and Mr. Beal
came down. So after you cut the pig’s throat, then did you do everything else?
Cleaning the pic? Did you have to cure the meat? How did you preserve it?
Just by hanging?
We’d take a pig after you cut his throat, bled him out good
The first things you have to do is have scalding water and in the scalding water you throw a 1/2 shovel full of wood ashes. There is lye in the wood ashes. That makes anything smooth. Throw a 1/2
shovel full of wood ashes in the water, and just stick a knife in the hot water and you throw a little cold.
When you can, just touch it with your hand and hold it. That water is just right for scalding. If it’s too hot, you set the hair. You soak the head first. You put a gamble…. A gamble is a stick shaped like that with a notch here and a notch over here. Slide his leg on there where that cork hooks into that notch.
He takes a hold of one side of that and he pushes it down into that barrel. You’re on a platform ’bout
You scald for a, minute, or 2. not very long
the height of that table. Maybe like here.^ You scald that half and you have hog scappers. No you don t
leave him in that long. Then when you can, twist the hair off his ears, then you pull him out. Then you get what you call candlesticks years ago. You put candles in there. They are round discs like that. They come down like that all around that. On the other side is a smaller one and there is a hole in there is where they used to put the candles in that big white spot when you set it down. You scrape that hair right off. Don’t scrape with the hair, scrape against it. The eyes, the ears, you get them first, and then
the head because that’s the hardest part. You get 1/2 of the hog. He’s an awful big hog, and you
have to heat burlap bags. It’s awful hot, and you put it on him in the middle, otherwise you couldn’t…
JB:You can’t dip that much of him in.
HM:Yes. That much is left. I would say 8 inches. You do that. You scald the back end of him next.
JB:How did you hold him in? Did you have a gamble on the neck?
HM: You put a hog hook to the mouth. Put that in right in his jaw. Do the same thing.
JB:Dip him in, pull him out.
HM: Yup. Get that hair off. You do the feet and the hocks first because that’s hard spots. The body
You throw a good clean hot water on him. You have a bunch of good sharp butcher knives and
just like a razor., „ ,
sharpeners ^ You shave all that excess hair. You know you leave some. You did it very nice. That takes a lot of hair off. You hang that hog and hang him by the hind legs. Then you start up in the
whole lot of hair off. They you take that hog and hang him by his hind legs. Then you start up in the
bottom part in here. You take that knife, and you go like that then in his crotch bone, you get a good stiff pointed knife. Then you pull the leg and it comes apart like that. Then you go down through and you’re into his stomach. Then you reach in here, and there’s a tissue. Very tough like hide, but it’s gut
in there. You cut that, loosen that, then you cut around his rectum, and you pull that down and put that under the meat then you pull the innards out. Then you’ve got the chest cavity which is a piece of skin in between the chest cavity and his guts. Like a diaphragm. You see that hog is all gutted right there.
JB:Did you save all the guts?
HM: You like that fat that’s on the guts and what you do is take a pan, hold it there. That’s what they
call riddling, the guts. Take the guts, put them like that. All the fat runs through the pan. You throw the
guts to keep them from going like that and you riddle them. Then you take his liver out and you’ve got
the heart. You cut that last, the chest cavity. Take your knife and you lay him down on that platform: you scrape him
out again. You draw that knife right down there just like that. Then you take your knife like that and
open the chest right up through the ribs. You take a stick about that wide and that long. You don’t sharpen it right to a point. You open him up and you put that in there to hold the opening apart. Make him stay there like that. Then you hang him up by his back legs after he is all dressed and let him cool overnight. In a barn where it’s cool. Let him cool for a couple of nights and days in hot weather. You have to butcher in hot weather. then you cut him up. The first thing you do is cut his head off right.
They use that head part for head cheese. With the neck they make sausage and then you hang him up and you split him by hand with a meat saw. They do it different now. You cut that right down through the shoulders. You hold this leg up and you cut right in close to his body just like that and you hit a joint
right down here and you take a leg right off. You do the other Ieg. You’ve got to know where that joint is. Then you do the other leg. Then the hind quarter leg you do the same thing. You bend his leg up and down and you feel that joint. Then you cut right across and hit that joint right through and you’ve
got his hind leg off. That’s called the ham and then of course is the joint that bone there. Then you go
just below that bone take the knife and you cut right straight across it, just like that and you saw that just below that joint right where that ham starts. There’s your ham and then you cut that off about here close to the foot because this is tough down here because all them cords and things down there. You don’t go down
there. You used to cut way off above his knee. You have a piece of ham like that which is all cords and ligaments. It don’t go good for ham. Then you take that and you put it in brown sugar, salt, vinegar. You take a big pot, put a potato in there the size of an egg, and you keep adding these potatoes. Then you put these ingredients in there and stir it like that. That potato that pickle is right.
JB:You haven’t cooked the meat or anything. It just goes in raw.
HM: Yes. You take a barrel. That’s what they used to have to do. You take a big 50-gallon, 25-gallon crock and you put the ham in the bottom because that’s the last to come out. See: Then you take the bacon which comes from here. Well next you put the front shoulder/in. You put them in and put it in there and then you take your bacon and put that in there and you fill that crock up, you know. Then you take some nice clean boards, and you put them right on top of that. We used to take cabbage leaves and you put them underneath them boards you put on top of that meat then you set a big stone on it to hold it down. Then in 3 weeks you take this bacon drip for 2 or 3 days. Then you take stove pipe, build a fire about up to there and let the stove pipe up to it, make a smoke house out of that barrel. Right across that barrel you put some sticks crossways and put your bacon on that. The wood is, important: you use green black birch and cover the top of the barrel with a burlap bag. You see the smoke and you leave that smoke 6 or 8 days.
JB:You have to keep tending the fire.
HM: Yup. You have to live right near there. That fire is supposed to be very slow green wood. Lots of times I’ve put sod on that wood to keep it so it burns slow.
JB:A little like the charcoal we talked about.
HM: Yup. You smoke them 2 weeks. Two weeks after that you take your shoulders, your necks out, hang that up, let it drip, and then you smoke it a little longer. Then you take your hams out. I’ve smoked it about 2 or 3 weeks. It’s quite a process. You see that’s the way we lived back then.
JB:They used to say the definition of eternity is two people and a ham. That’s eternity because if
you didn’t have your kids by then, maybe you did spend quite a long time eating this. Two pigs might last you through the winter.
HM: Yea. That was our winter meat.
JB:Once it’s smoked, you can hang it and it’s fine and it lasts forever.
HM:You can hang it in the cellar. You’ve got to hang it where it can’t freeze which would be in the
cellar. A good dry cellar is the best thing. Then you’ve got your pork to contend with. Now you buy pork chops, loin well here’s his back bone. Right here you cut down in, open that up and see that chops then you take your knife and you cut that pork off which is that thick and you take that all off, and then you’ve got the ribs that you can do what you want with them. We used to take them and cut them up to make head cheese. Things like that. You have to use rock salt in this procedure. You take a layer of salt you put in the bottom of this barrel. This thick and you lay a layer of that pork on there with the rind down, upside down. You have a lot of that pork. Then you lay on top of that another layer of salt and you put a layer of meat, a layer of salt, a layer of meat, a layer of salt. You don’t put no water at all in it. That brine will make its own water. You press down and put the weight on it. Same thing You keep a
lid on it. Then when you want a piece of pork, you take the lid off, get down in there and take out the pork, put it back on there. There’s a board on top of there. That weight keeps that down and that’s how you get your salt pork.
JB:That’s the stuff you used to grease the chute, for the wood.
HM:That was the fat, but down here is the best pork with the lean in it.
JB:Did you salt that too?
HM: Yea. Then again you have two different porks. You have the fat pork then you have the lean. You can also use that down there with the lean on, you can smoke that into bacon. You see that lean that is that thick.
JB:Which you call the belly.-pork belly.
HM: The belly is used for something else, too. You make your head cheese.
JB:Did the head cheese have to be kept cold.
HM: They used to leave it right in a milk pan. Do you know what a milk pan is? They used to fry it up or cook it up what have you.
JB:In Pennsylvania they made something called scrapple. Did you ever taste that? You mix corn
meal with all the parts of the pig that you don’t eat straight off. Did you do anything special with the liver? What did you do with that?
HM: Yea. We’d. wash it right after it came out of the pig and…