1935 A Year to Remember
My grandfather Andrew C Olson and his wife Minnie Wirta Olson owned a small farm in eastern South Dakota. They lived in one of the first sod houses built in Brookings County. It was later enclosed with a wooden frame and a bedroom and kitchen was added, there was a loft where the children slept. This is His diary from December 24 and 25th of 1935.
Cloudy South wind started to snow forenoon, afternoon wind changed to Northwest and up came a storm, drifting and got cold severe wind and still blowing at 10 o’clock weather is getting much colder. Elma and I went to Andy Belkonens forenoon and we also tried to fix starter on car and hauled manure in ditch for a new crossing as our crossing is snow blocked. Plan on spending Christmas with Alice and Ed but guess it’s all off now severe weather. I popped some corn and we had a feast.
Very cold day clear snow drifting some one of the worst nights last night. Everything froze in the kitchen fierce wind 12 below we stayed home during afternoon Elma and I went to Lokajarvi’s, Lamburg boys Walter and Wilbur were over in the evening Rudolf Lamburg came over here, we went to bed at 11 thermometer 15 below.
(manure roads became very popular in the days before snowplows, grandpa is referring here to hauling manure and spreading it across the deep snow in the road bitch, so they could get on the road and go to town, the manure would freeze hard as a rock, making a fairly substantial trail to drive on.)
(The kitchen had one barn sash window on the north wall, four little panes of glass, a storm window was put over it in winter.) That little window usually had an inch of frost on it, many little noses got pressed against it. (Neighbors walked to visit each other, people thought nothing of walking many miles a day, there were some cars but gas money was slow coming from selling cream and eggs to the town folks.
I was surprised to read that everything froze in the kitchen Christmas Eve night. This was in 1935, there was no money to even buy necessary items. ‘The days long before quick, easy credit, hay tightly twisted together and dried cow pies were burned, they no doubt didn’t have very much coal or wood to burn. Their heating stove was in the dining room, they would let the fire burn down to a few hot coals during the night.
The whole house could easily be down to the freezing mark by morning, that is one reason people had quilts 6 inches deep on their feather beds. I know one thing for sure, there were always several buckets of corn cobs standing by the cook stove in the kitchen. They burned real hot but fast. Dear grandma got the cook stove fired up early for everyone to warm their fannies on as they woke up.
The following story is written by Park Ranger Mike Kusch. this is an excellent read, It covers a wealth of information from the year 1935. I felt the need to share it with everyone who reads my blog site. We live in a land that has been truly blessed, because it was built by millions of people with a pioneer spirit, grit, determination, hard work and a strong faith. We should all be very thankful and do our duty as citizens to work for a bipartisan government that will strengthen our democracy even more.
Written by Park Ranger Mike Kusch
The world’s economy is struggling. Large numbers of Americans are unemployed. The country is reeling from a long hot summer with powerful storms. Americans are debating government economic stimulus initiatives and Social Security. World leaders are rattling their swords and threatening war. A nation defies the world community by building their military capacity. New technological innovations and achievements seemingly reduce the size of the world. And, the media and sports are the bright lights in an otherwise depressing climate.
Does this sound familiar? However, there is a catch! This does not describe today, but 1935 when Fort Stanwix National Monument was established.
2 thoughts on “1935 A Year to Remember”
“(manure roads became very popular in the days before snowplows,” This, I did not know. But Grandad had dirt paths to get to teh cattle. I bet that dirt was not dirt?????
A great read. Life was so hard back then for your people it was the cold here it was the perishing heat. How dare I complain when the battery goes flat in the air con remote control!