|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||SR Communications DBA, Eden, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
Volume XIV Issue XIII The Ogden Valley news Page 11 April 1, 2007 Memories of Huntsville and Its People Part of a memoir by Donald D. McKay from “Memories of Huntsville and Its People. Dad loved Durham cattle. His was a good milk strain, and dairying was a natural outgrowth of that fact. Down in Willard there was some nice milk stock too. Many of these people wanted their cattle off the place in summer, so under these circumstances it was not hard for Dad to add to his herd many good cows for the summer on a profitable basis. This custom was practiced for many years. Those days were happy and healthy for youngsters. There was plenty of work to do, too. It was all accomplished, but with a lot of dawdling, you may be sure. If the cows were late getting into the yard of an evening, it was more likely that we had been chasing June bugs rather than looking for cows that had strayed. Horses were always at hand, and everyone rode. Each had his own string of cows to milk. The milk was strained into tin pans and placed in uniform rows on the shelves of the milk house. The morning milk had to be placed by itself so it could be skimmed at the proper time; the same for the night milk. There was a clean white table for mixing butter and a pound butter mold. The bottom row of pans on a shelf were so spaced that the next row of pans would sit like bricks across the space, and so on for three or four rows. Modern creameries could not be more sanitary or look half so pretty. The skimmed milk was fed to calves and pigs, and the cream churned daily in a barrel churn, the paddles of which were operated by a crank. A hundred revolutions of this crank were considered by my brother and [me] as an appropriate “turn,” and the handle was promptly turned over to the other. When the butter “came” it was “gathered” by the paddles and the buttermilk was drawn off. It would then be moved to the table and mixed, which meant getting the residue of the buttermilk out of it. Then it would be salted, molded into bricks of pound weight, and wrapped. On Tuesday it was put in boxes and was off to market. Dad grew crops and put up the hay, but weekly, on the same day, farming halted. Supplies for the family at the ranch and empty butter boxes were placed in the buggy and the trip up took about four hours. That was good time when the state of the road and the grade were taken into account. That afternoon all eyes at the Ranch were watching to see him against the sky, at the top of the summit. Next morning, a heavy canvas was wetted and placed on the bottom of the buggy bed, then a layer of dam green grass and twigs, then the butter boxes. Around the ends and over the tops of the boxes, more green leaves, another wet canvas, and atop all that, a heavy quilt. There was no ice in summer in those days, but with this method of packing, the butter always reached town firm and nice. It was sold under contract to William Felt and he disposed of it in Salt Lake City. Moving up to the Ranch and back again, in spite of much practice, was quite a chore. Selecting and packaging bedding, dishes, cooking utensils, food, toilet articles, cans and buckets, wearing apparel, to say nothing of axes, shovels, picks, stove pipes, was enough in itself, but when you added to these calves and pigs, you can see what a trek of this sort meant. In the early days there were two such moves as this each spring. Either because there was too little hay or too many cattle, it was imperative that the stock be got out on the range as soon as possible in the spring. At first we went to Birch Creek, and in later years to a place of our own at Oak Creek in Beaver Canyon. I said a place of our own. At that early day, if you found a place that you liked, and it was not already occupied, all you needed to do was take possession, and no one would dispute your right, because there was range for everyone who wanted it. At Oak Creek there were the usual buildings and corrals. Unlike the Ranch at the head of Beaver, the terrain here was steep and bushy and the forage not so good, but it served a purpose very well. This house sat on an elevation six or eight feet higher than the road that passed between it and the corral, and just a few rods from the river. The canyon was so narrow here that there was hardly room for anything as pretentious as a corral, so the only level place had to be given over to the yard. But the determining factor in selecting the site was the fact that there was a spring flowing down behind the house and culinary water could be had from it without contamination. Darkness came early and suddenly in this deep canyon, and daylight dawdled as though it were difficult to penetrate to the bottom. With warm weather the snow in the higher elevations melted fast and the flow in the river grew to giant size. At such times it would tear at the banks, pile up drift that would change its course, and dash boulders about with a thud that could be heard above its own noise. As the night settled, the noises from the river seemed to increase in volume until the air and the very darkness itself seemed to be kept in motion by the turbulent water. A half mile above our place Rock Creek emptied into the main channel. This small stream was a spawning place for trout. Later, the fish moved downstream into the main river. At such times we frequently put in a fish trap to catch enough fish for family use. A box about three by six feet, with no top, and a half inch space between the slats in the bottom. Part of the end board was cut to about three inches wide to allow the water to enter the box freely and swiftly. The bottom was made either of slats or willows and the space between them would determine the size of the fish it would hold. Two poles were placed in such a way that a fair sized stream of water would fall into it at the upper end and disappear in the cracks between the slats before it got much more than halfway to the lower end; otherwise, the fish would wiggle upstream and out of the trap. A light covering of brush was put over the top of the trap to keep them from flopping out and also to keep them cool in case it was not possible to remove them promptly. When enough fish were on hand, the trap was moved back on the poles so the water could drop clear of it and the fish go down stream. If members of a family work together for a long time, the individuals gravitate naturally towards certain kind of work. It was so in our family. My sister Ellen took to outside work as naturally as a duck to water. This inclination remained with her all of her life. Grace, on the other hand, liked housework, especially cooking. She was always proficient at it. The variety of foods or their ingredients were marked scarcely at that time, so pastries and nick-nacks did not appear on the table as frequently as now. Historical Photo Graduation Class of Weber Academy. If you can identify any of these students, please call Shanna at 745-2688 or Jeannie at 745-2879. Photo courtesy of Ned Clark. Celeste C. Canning PLLC Attorney at Law 2590 Washington Boulevard, Suite 200 Ogden, Utah 84401 Local: (801) 791-1092 Office: (801) 612-9299 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Meeting the Legal Needs of Small Business and Their Owners FREE Initial Thirty Minute Consultation. Appointments in Ogden Valley upon request.