May 19, 1991
(Names and other words that could not be transcribed exactly are in italics. Unknown voices are referred to as “man” or “woman.” Comments, explanations, and additional names are in parentheses.)
Man: Nineteenth of May, 1991, we’re calling Albert Elsmore Anderson, known as Bud in Alexander about logging in the old days and his experiences.
Albert Anderson: Well, this is Bud Anderson, in St. Stephen, formerly from Lawrence Station in Charlotte County. I started working in the woods when I was 15 years old. In those days it was all peeled wood, mostly and a young fellow starting in, it was their job to be a spudder. You didn’t get to handle an ax until you had worked three or four years with an experienced ax-man and if you could prove yourself in that capacity, you was put in as a chopper. From there after the first year, I give myself a bad cut in the foot. I was tail knotting and I was laid for a few weeks with that but overcame it all right. Then I went to work in - down in Pocologan river driving, and it was quite an experience. I was the - I was the youngest guy there. I was around - going on 16 and the rest of them was all grown men. They was Norwegians, Finlanders, Hungarians, whatever kind of nationality - it was there. They were all good workers but we worked from daylight ‘til dark for 50 cents a day. We was in the water in the morning at day break. It was on the Pocologan Stream and then we’d have to walk back probably two or three miles to the truck that night to take us to our camp down in Pocologan where we were camping at the time. From there after we got the pulp wood driven out - the year before was kind of a bad year for the lumbermen and they had - my uncle Charles Anderson from McAdam - he had about 15,000 cord piled up at Haggerty Cove in one big pile in a big field there and we had to carry that out and dump it over the cliff. The cliff was about roughly around 100 feet high but we dumped that over there. We carried it up two men to a crew and used a couple of sticks to - put on four or five sticks - one in front and one behind that’s the way we’d carry it out and dump it over the cliff.
Man: How far did you carry it, anyway?
Albert Anderson: Oh, it’d be probably as far as from here to the lake at the last of it.
Man: 400, 300 yards.
Albert Anderson: Yeah.
Man: Quite a long carry.
Albert Anderson: Yeah. But, that was the most of - a lot of the fellows - they just used their pulp hooks. They’d take one stick at a time but we found it a lot easier to take four or five sticks according to the size and we didn’t have to drag it along or carry it on our shoulders. We could carry it on - used to carry it like a set of shafts and a carryall and that way but after we got around what they figured was a boom full. A boom generally held around 250 cords. And there was a big barge sat out in the bay there off Pocologan and when the tide came in it would wash up on the cliffs there and carry the pulpwood down in - into the boom. Well, then they towed that out to the boat and they hooked it up along side of the boat and that was loaded from - they had what they called cats rigged up in the boom there where there was two men on each cat and they’d pick around that pulpwood into the - the slings. And, then the slings would carry it up over the side and drop it down into the hold. There’d be probably 25 or 30 men working down in there and they’d holler “Lumber coming, look out.” you had to scramble to beat the devil and of course that was just like a - that wood was as slippery as an eel. And, it was get out of the road or else get hit. Those fellows on these foreign vessels, they didn’t have much mercy on a man down in there. They were up ok high and dry themselves and it was up to you to look after yourself.
Man: That was all peeled spruce and fir?
Albert Anderson: That was all peeled spruce and fir, yeah. And, we piled that up into the - into the boat or into the hold in the boat and after we got up to the deck then we had to tier that up on the deck and piled it up there. It was tipped in so that there was no way that it could get off. And, we had lunch in the morning at ten o’clock. They’d bring in a pot of tea from the shore and - in the old squaw-cat they used to call them and it was cream of tarter biscuits, hard boiled eggs, that was your fare. You might get a cookie and you might not. And, there was about a 15, 20 minute break and then it was back to work.
Man: Now, were you still working for your uncle on this job or somebody else?
Albert Anderson: Yes, yes.
Man: Still working for - - -
Albert Anderson: Still working for him. At 50 cents a day from six o’clock in the morning until nine o’clock at night. And, we’d eat again in the afternoon at three o’clock and it would be the same menu. Hard boiled eggs and biscuits, molasses, a cup of black tea or a tin dipper full. Well, then they’d come down and they’d pick us up about half past eight, nine o’clock because it was getting dark and they’d take us back to the camp about two miles and your supper was always - was ready there. There was a cook from Wichita, Pace McFarland. And, my brother George, he cookeed for him. They had around 70 men there. And, they were up - the cook would be up at four o’clock in the morning and he’d call George, my brother, at 4:30. He was the cookee and to get the tables set and feed the men and get them off to work at six. Well, at supper time it was the same thing and I tell you it was hard - hard work right straight through - from the cook right clear on. My cousin, Keith, he was my uncle’s son - Charley’s. He didn’t do anything but drive around. He was a - kind of a support guy. And at nine o’clock or half past nine when you finished your supper, you had - didn’t hesitate to crawl into bed because you were called at five o’clock in the morning to roll out and get ready to go. But, we had to make our own beds and every Sunday we’d go out. I was bunking with a fellow by the name of Ward Logan. He was a lot older than I am - or I was, rather. And, we’d go out and we’d pick fresh boughs every Sunday to bough our bed up to make it. There was no springs or mattresses then, just poles and you’d make your own bed. So, we stayed there until - I went down there in - about the 15th of May and I came back the last - the last of September. And, after working all summer long there with my wongen bill - you’d wear out clothes and shoes and things like that in no time at all. And, my wongen - wongen bill in cigarettes and tobacco - at the end of the summer I had $17.00 coming to me for my summer’s work. So that wasn’t too - ‘course it’d be a lot of money to me at that time but it wouldn’t go too far today. Probably a couple of packs of cigarettes.
Man: Now, you - you spoke of the - the breakfast George cooked - what kind of breakfast would you have?
Albert Anderson: You’d have cream of tartar biscuits or white bread, whatever you cared for, and it would be the same menu in the morning - hard boiled eggs. And, once - maybe on a Sunday you might get a treat of - of - oh ham or bacon or a piece of pork or something like that. But, my cousin - Keith - he was - this was right back in depression and he was trying to run a cheap camp, cheap upkeep. Well, his father came down this day and he said to the cook - you never seen a pie or a piece of cake. You might get a piece of molasses cake. And, when his father came in at dinner time - or lunch time, he seen the menu on the table, he wasn’t too well satisfied and he turned to the cook and he says “Good God,” he says, “Is that all you’re going to feed these men?” And he says “Charlie,” he said, “I can’t feed them,” he said, “If I haven’t got it to feed with.” He said, “Are you (indistinct words) supplying?” He said, “No, codfish and beans and bacon.” He said, “That’s all right.” So he went over to the office and he had quite a talk with his son and told him - he said, “You cannot expect men to work without feeding them.” And, he said, “We’re going to Saint John.” My oldest brother, Donald, he was driving truck for my uncle down there. So, they took the truck and they went to Saint John and they come back about seven o’clock that night. It was loaded with everything you could imagine to cook with. So we all pitched in there when he got back and carried it into the cook room and he - the cook stayed up all night cooking and the next day when we came in for supper there was pies galore and sweets - frosted cakes and one thing and another and the men, they never touched the vegetables. They just ate sweet stuff. But, that only lasted about two days and that wore off and they went back to - there was always pies on the table and cakes with frosting on it, but you could look for your menu - the same menu was every day, salted codfish, pork fat, and beans or whatever, and boiled potatoes. And, my brother used to - well he’d cook - or peel a bag - a bag of potatoes every day for the - for the crew we had there. We come out of there in September and I went to work for my cousin Roderick. He was just starting in lumbering and the first year we were down to Bonaparte Lake. I was 17 that year. And, we built a camp there. There was around 20 of us in the crew and we was a way - logging off the top of a mountain there at Bonaparte Lake in back of Johnson Lake on the number one highway. And, it would take us an hour to an hour a half to walk out to our work in the morning on account of it was just like that.
Man: Real steep uphill.
Albert Anderson: Yes, real steep uphill and you just had to get - dig your way along, but when you come in at night you couldn’t - you couldn’t - you’d come in 15 minutes it was so damned steep down hill you had to run to keep from falling. They dragged their logs down out of there with a - on a old what they called the dray. It was built there in the woods with a snub nosed toboggan type affair and they were chained on with - on to that rocker on the top of the - the dray and they dragged - drug them behind and when they come to the - they had two stub men. They put the ropes on. They had what they called the snubbers at the top of the hill and they was up there and they’d wind that around and they’d just let it down. If they didn’t it would run over the horses and the whole damn works. But, they had come down out of those hills there on the run. They had to. You couldn’t hold it hard enough.
Man: That was - this was - what - what were you cutting there? Logs or pulp again?
Albert Anderson: Logs.
Man: Oh, pine?
Albert Anderson: Yes. Mostly spruce, black spruce. Yes, and we had a mill right there at Johnson Lake - at the head of it. And they sawed - as soon as they - the logs were taken right in there and they were sawed right there and trucked right into Haneys’ sawmill in St. Stephen.
Man: Now, did - did they put them in the lake or - - -
Albert Anderson: No.
Albert Anderson: No, no.
Man: What - what was running the sawmill? Was it a diesel engine or - - -
Albert Anderson: No, it was a steam - steam engine, yes.
Man: Burned the bark?
Albert Anderson: Yes.
Man: And chips and stuff?
Albert Anderson: They used the slabs for fire in the boiler and we’d - they hauled the lumber to St. Stephen. They had two trucks. He got 21 dollars a thousand for the lumber landed in there from Bonaparte Lake. But, it was all the very best - it was black spruce and not too much fir but what they were, it was white, and he’d ship anywhere from a two by four to a two by ten, two by twelve. Two inch, this is what (indistinct word) were calling for at the time. Very little three inch. And boards. In the fall of the year we - when we finished there that spring, we went in the bark wood and we peeled bark ‘til - it - just fell it and peeled it in the woods and then in - along about September we would go back in and yard that out into the yards with the - the horses and it was sawed up into four foot lengths and it would lay there - they had it up on skids and that would lay there until winter when the snow came and then it would be hauled out and loaded into box cars at the station there at Lawrence. And the wages were still 50 cents a day of course. I will say this that Rod, he run a - a very good camp. The food was good. He had a woman cook, a Mrs. Ward Logan, she done the cooking there for quite a - quite a few years and she was extra good and you always knew you were going to get a real good meal.
Man: What - what - what kind of meals did she serve you?
Albert Anderson: Oh, there’d be beef or pork or whatever - he - he would bring in two or three to cook with and there was the old stand by, Friday was fish day - salt pork and cod fish and potatoes, but there was always lots of cookies, sweets and things like that on the table. I mean, he was a good provider. We left there that - that year and we went from there to - that fall we moved to - oh out by the Lynnfield up into Flume Bay District, there - Beaconsfield.
Albert Anderson: And we camped in there - we went in there the first of November and there was about three feet of snow on the ground. It was back in three miles from where we got out of the truck. We had to walk. There was around 40 of us and we had to take turns in breaking the trail ahead for - a couple of fellows would walk ahead for probably a hundred yards or so and they’d fall out. The next fellow would keep on going and they’d fall out. We got back in there - we got back in there at five o’clock and the camp that we were in - it was used a couple years before that by Conner Brothers from Back’s Harbor. They had a - a mill in there. They was sawing veneer wood. And, we went into their camp. It was just getting dusk and the damn place was full of porcupines. No windows or anything in it then. So we got the porcupines out and cleaned that out and disinfected it and got the cook - the stove set up for the cook - the wagon team came along behind and the cook had - he made us hot cream of tartar biscuits for supper and had a - he had a pot of beans all cooked before that he had brought from home. So, that’s what we had for our lunch that night and we got settled down around nine, ten o’clock. The next morning the boss, he hollered “Roll out boys” - six o’clock - quarter to six, and we had our breakfast. Breakfast was all ready for us. At that time there was - one of the main things in the morning then was a bowl of cereal - oatmeal porridge or something like that and occasionally after we got settled in there the cook did - he would make toast on top of the stove and this is what our menu would be for the morning maybe once or twice a week we’d get eggs, but - and lunch out. The cookee had to bring the lunch out to us in the woods and we had to walk about two miles to work. We was cutting hardwood. And, we would lunch at twelve o’clock sharp. The kettle would be boiled and there would always be a - a fresh pan - basket of cream of tartar biscuits right out of the oven, a roast - or sliced roast pork or roast beef or whatever to go along with it. Or maybe the next day it would be a boiled egg along with your beans and there would be all kinds of gingerbread and cookies or doughnuts, whatever and your pot of black tea and sugar. That was the menu for the day. The evening meal - it was a - a real good hearty meal. Whatever - you knew pretty near every night what you were going to get from one week to the next because the - the cook, he had a schedule. One night it would probably be roast beef and the next night it would be roast beef and turnips and the next night it would be carrots or something else or a boiled dinner like cabbage and everything boiled up. And, or a stew - he was great for stews, which was damned good in the winter time when it was cold out. You’d get a hot plate of that stew into you, but in the evening it was sit around for an hour or so. We had quite a few French fellows from (indistinct word) working with us and they were a super bunch. When they first came down here none of them could speak English but they were only here about a month or so that they could converse with us and they were real gentlemen. We got along the very best and we worked together and slept together and sang together and played cards together that - for a couple hours in the evening but at nine thirty the boss would come in “Ok, boys, lights out.” That was it.
Man: Who was the boss?
Albert Anderson: My brother, Don, he was walking boss there for the time and he looked after things. It was the hardwood. We had a filer from Frederickton, Bill Withee, and he couldn’t file a - a knife to cut a piece of meat with. But, we had to - to use those saws in the woods - the old cross-cuts and I had a - my striker was Chester Scott and he was as good a man as I ever worked with. He could do most anything. He was a good ax-man and I seen us set into a - we was cutting rock maple - birds-eye maple is what they called it and beech, yellow birch - that was - some of those trees were as big as a - oh, be two, two feet and a half across the stump after they were cut down but I seen Chester and I - of course they was froze hard as the devil and it would take us an hour from the time that we started in undercutting until we got that tree down. It was just a steady pull and when you got done they’d be a - a dip in a - in the stump there that you could take a bath in it.
Man: The saw wasn’t sharp.
Albert Anderson: Oh, it wasn’t - it wasn’t set right and it wasn’t filed right - but you take it back into the filer and you know you’re too damn hard to suit was the only satisfaction you’d get. He’d give us another saw that wasn’t no better. The last of it we forgot about taking them in. We pounded away there. We worked there until Christmas and we come out - we had two days - that we out - day before Christmas, Christmas day and the day after Christmas. Three days we had altogether and then it was back into the same grind again. But we went back in there the first - around the first of the month - the first of February - come a January thaw and it took every darn bit of snow that was in there off. So we had about - around 800,000 of the hardwood that was in there to haul up in the skids and we started in then building the roads where we had them grubbed in the fall before it froze up, but - as much as we could and put in skids and one thing and another but then after that thaw came there was about 15 or 20 men that was what they called road monkeys and they’d go along and they’d trick these cradle knolls off and fill them full of sods or gravel or whatever they could get there and we’d carry snow in bushel baskets - anything you could get a hold of and put on that and then the watering truck would come along - the water tank, we called it. We run two of those and that - that’s the way we built our roads. I worked on the water tank for about a month at night. They couldn’t get nobody - nobody wanted to work at night so I went on at night. Didn’t get any more money for it. But, we done that and by golly we got - we got the road all built. Well, then I graduated from that job and I went on driving truck. And we hauled - had our mail sent up at Moore’s Mills right there by the station and we hauled logs out and dumped them there in the field - handy. Belonged to Sinkeler and McClay and them and McGivens. But, we didn’t do any sawing until after March. We got the logs all out first. Well then we had a little camp there. Most of the boys were all local fellows from Moore’s Mills that were working and we a camp there. There was Schayler, there was Maurice Carr, and myself and Murray Craig, and - oh there’d probably be a drifter back and forth staying for the night. My brother Ralph stayed there. But, I was put in kind of as a - looking after the lumber, the storage and the stacking it and one thing and another and getting the meals and whatnot for the - for the crew. I wasn’t much of a cook. Of course it was lucky the store was handy there, Pollard’s store. If I wanted anything I’d go over there, but we got along the very best. We finished our cut there. That was the year of 1936-37 and that - that spring I was married. My wife, Dot McKaskill. I had three days off I guess for - to get married and honeymoon and back to work again. So - - -
Man: Let’s go backwards a little bit - back up there to Beaconsfield. You were - you were cutting hardwood and in the woods you cut it and then you cut it up into logs - how long?
Albert Anderson: How what?
Man: You cut the logs - - -
Albert Anderson: Oh.
Man: Cut it - yellow birch, let’s say.
Albert Anderson: Yes.
Man: How long would you cut the logs?
Albert Anderson: Anywhere from - well you cut it - you’d try to make it - get the log as straight as you could and keep the sweeps out. The beech and yellow birch they went into hardwood ties - six by seven by nine and six by six by nine. That’d be hauled out to the - to the railroad companies. And -but anything that was straight - if you could get a good straight log - now the rock maple or as they call it birdseye maple - this was sold to an American company - a fellow from Woodstock and he was working for them - Bill Chandler. And they used this rock maple for boot heels and we nicknamed him Old Bootheels. We’d see him coming and it would be “Bootheels.” But, that rock maple, there, it’d be anywhere from - oh eight to 16 feet long and some of the planks were 12 - 12 - 14 inches wide. Just as white as chalk. But, today a man would have been a millionaire, but in those days, it didn’t mean - the price was low. But, we loaded that right from the saw - most of it right into the box cars and - the side rail on there. It was quite - it was hard work. Darned hard work. We finished - we finished there sawing. Then it was back into the - the bark woods again for the summertime. And, the same thing, you’d peel bark - peel bark starting along in August and then we’d have probably a week or so off and then be back in to start yarding and sawing - well sawing in the yard - I paired up with a - a fellow by the name of Wallace Johnson and I couldn’t file but he’d do the filing and we got 50 cents a cord for - for buck sawing that up and piling it in four foot piles. We got - the best we could get was - well he was doing the filing for me, too, and the most I ever saw it was four cords a day piled.
Man: You were sawing with a - - -
Albert Anderson: Buck saw.
Man: Buck saw. (Indistinct words)
Albert Anderson: The old steel buck saw.
Man: Yes. Ok.
Albert Anderson: And - But these French fellows they were good filers the whole of them and some of them could cut up six, seven, seven cord and a half a day of wood piled up in the four foot piles. Every time that they got that saw pulled towards them you could see it like going down through cheese and they never hurried but they just took their time and - of course we worked long days. That was the beginning of you eat - you packed your own lunch at the camp and you - the cook, he’d put everything out on the table. You could take as much as you want to, but there was no waste. If the boss would come around - my uncle Frank Anderson, he was taking charge at that camp and if he seen grub throwed around, you was damn well told about it, then fired off “Take what you want but don’t waste it.” So, the cookee and the cook, he was a Dickerson from up at - oh Mactaquak, that’s where it is now and kokiot is where he came from. But, he was one heck of a good cook, but you - there was around 60 men there and when you went into the cook room you had your place at the table, you sat down and you never spoke. You was in there to eat not talk. If you was yakking away, he’d come along - “If you’re all done eating, move.” God damn right. He took it right away from you.
Man: Where was this camp?
Albert Anderson: This was up to Barberdale. We used to walk up the track about three miles but we was back and forth there. Then we moved from there - we got that cleaned up and Rod had another crew across the Magaguadavic out in Brockway. They called the place there Anderson’s Cove and we used to go down through there. Take the - you could take the car to the edge of the river and then you had to go across on the boat and we worked there until freezing up time sawing and yarding that wood. And that was hauled out in the wintertime and put into the Maga - Magaguadavic in the spring of the year for the river drive and that was a big thing. We’d drive that down there to - the pulp wood and anything that was big logs. The pulp wood went first and we got a - a dead - a fall up down at the - what they call Clark’s Flowage there in Brockway - Blume Ridge rather above the old dam and pulp wood would come out on that endless chain. You’d be kicking it in there all the time. Well, then the next thing would be the logs.
Man: What would happen to the pulp wood when it was taken out there.
Albert Anderson: Just piled.
Man: Just piled up.
Albert Anderson: Yes. But, there wasn’t - there wasn’t too much pulp wood. It mostly went into logs.
Man: Ok, and the logs came down
Albert Anderson: They came down and they were hauled right from there right into the sawmill at Lawrence. We had a - he had a sawmill there at that time. And, then in the fall of the year after you got that done, it was tear the mill down and move her to Beaconsfield where we - we sawed up there - we sawed at Moore’s - we only sawed the one year at Moore’s Mills. The other four years it was at Beaconsfield. And we’d do - we sawed up there in the wintertime and there would be a crew cutting at Lawrence Station and they would haul those logs out and then they’d come down and take that mill out of there and we’d finish sawing there at - in the afternoon probably and we had three - three trucks there and we start in then tearing that damn mill down, getting the machinery out and then taking her through to - to Lawrence Station and set the mill up there and then it’d be the same old thing over and over again to - to get things ready for saw there. The biggest cut we had there was 2,000,000. But, we had camps in the 20,000 acre plot - two or three camps in there at different seasons and then we had one at - over in Tryon - went in by Ted Martin’s and that was about a three mile walk back into the camp. We’d come out every Saturday night. I had built my house there. My wife was living at the station and George, my brother, - his wife - she was living there with us for that winter. He hadn’t built his place yet. But we worked there and that lumber was all trucked from - the logs were all trucked from Tryon over to the station and they were sawed there in the spring of the year. It was a year round job from - you was very seldom out of work.
Man: Now, so you - you would have to walk back three miles to get to the place, Tryon, but in the winter time - a winter road would be put in for the trucking?
Albert Anderson: Yes. Yes. You could drive - you could drive right to the camp door.
Man: But in the summer or the spring - - -
Albert Anderson: Yes.
Man: You’d have to walk it.
Albert Anderson: Yes, yes. In the fall of the year or the spring of the year we was always out of there because we’d have the logs all out by the - before the break up and before the roads closed and then we’d be right back into the mills. They’d have the mill all set up and right back into that and we’d be there until - oh, way along into the middle of the summer.
Man: These - these camps you spoke of - you said like 60 - 60 or 70 men - - -
Albert Anderson: Yes.
Man: At a camp
Albert Anderson: Yes.
Man: How many buildings?
Albert Anderson: How many what?
Albert Anderson: There’d be one big sleeping camp and a big cook room. They were built together but there was what they called the dingle in between a space there about 12 feet and that was to store your meat and things like that in but the potatoes and perishables, they were stored into the cook room or even the sleeping room. The camps were built of logs and they were very warm.
Man: Now, in the sleeping camp were there bunks - two story bunks?
Albert Anderson: Yes, two story bunks. Two men to a bunk.
Man: Two men to a bunk. You made your own bunks usually?
Albert Anderson: You made your own bunk and - - -
Man: Cut the boughs.
Albert Anderson: You had to cut your boughs Well, then they started in bringing in straw and you could make a straw pallet. It went on from - like that - as I say it was a year around - you knew what you were going to do from spring til fall, spring til fall, winter - one year to the other - it was the same damn thing over and over. It was - it was hard work - but the men in there - with all the men that were working there you’d never hear a grumble or an ugly word from one of them all winter long.
Man: Now, did the cook and the cookee sleep in with the men or did they have - - -
Albert Anderson: No, he had his own private bunk.
Man: Own bunk off the kitchen.
Albert Anderson: Yes.
Man: How about the boss?
Albert Anderson: The boss, he had an - an office. (Indistinct words) at the time and they - the first winter that they logged in there they trucked those out - or hauled them out in the winter time. They cut across from - oh Jones’ brook - in back that section there and hauled out down through to the sawmill there at the station and this is where they - they were stacked there in the yard - in the mill yard. Well, then the next year we - they decided to save hauling in the winter time - the teams would haul them right out to the truck and land them right at - at the mill site. They could do it just as - and less work. So, this is what they - what we done. But it - oh, it was a - it was a good life. It was a hard life but as I say everybody was happy. They - you never had a payday. When you - if you wanted $10.00 - or your wife wanted to go to town or anything, she’d go to the boss, Rod, and say - or I’d tell him my wife wanted to go to town and “well, how much do you want?” “I don’t know, ten.” At that time - well, after I got married they brought my wages up to $1.00 a day. I asked if I could get my time to live on and raise ay family and pay off the bills on the house so we didn’t have very damn much money to throw around. But, we got by. Of course Mother and Dad, they lived just a stone’s throw from me and I got my milk there for nothing and she was all the time making butter and she’d send me down butter and eggs and whatever trying to help out. But, all the brothers, they - well there was Don and Ralph and George and Roy and myself - five of us - we all worked there year in and year out. And, in the spring of the year when the roads opened up, we’d still be sawing. We’d go to work at seven o’clock in the morning and we’d work until six at night in the saw mill. Well, then you’d rush home and have your supper, and Don was driving truck and George was driving truck and I was driving truck. We go out and we’d haul a couple of load a trip - pulpwood to St. Croix for 50 cents a trip to up on the river up there to make a little extra money. Get done at twelve o’clock at night and get four or five hours sleep and away you’d go again. But, it had to be raining awful darn hard in the daytime for you to get a day off.
Man: If you had a day off, you didn’t get paid.
Albert Anderson: No, no. No, no. No. Go to town and celebrate. Why you’d just go in there - go in on the train and get a little beer and about mid day go back home and back to work the next morning. But, I enjoyed it. Enjoyed the work. Everybody felt good and very seldom a sick day at that time. Oh, there was the odd accident but nothing like you have today - what you see in the woods and one thing and another and it - I don’t know, people were - like I say, you had to be skilled at it. The boss would watch you and if you wasn’t - if you - if he thought you couldn’t use an ax you didn’t get to use one. The only way you could get to use one was the (indistinct words) or something like that limit, but if - I worked for quite a few different men and we always got along 100 percent. But, there was some good chances - of course I was always the - the fellow where I was one of the - in the family, I was always left to clean up the - the bad spots. And, of course, at that - when we - you came in at night the boss was right there and ok, you had to give an account for every damn log you cut. He’d go around the crew. “How many did you get today?” Well, you’d have 150 or 140 or whatever logs and I was generally around 90 or 95. My partner and I and the boss said to me, he says “how come,” he says - he says “that you - the rest of these fellows.” I says, “By the God, if you would give me a chance and the chances that they have because they get all the - the prime spots and trees there with two and three logs on every God damn limb of them.” But, there was no power saws then, either. But, I said “You put me in the God damn swamps cleaning up what they left.” But, I said “I can cut as many God damn logs as any son-of-a-bitch of a man you’ve got in here.” We had a pretty near - I told him - I says, “You don’t like my work,” I says, “boy, I - I can leave here awful damn quick.” And, he says, “Forget about it. You’re doing all right.” That ended the - but that’s about the limit of the - of the logging I - I - I worked at every phase in it - in the sawmills and the lath machines and it - it was interesting work. And, then I got to be a stigeler in the mill there. I took a course with the Maritime Lumber Bureau and I got extra money for doing that - grading - lumber grader and then we used to have to - well, that was all stacked. That lumber all had to be stacked and dried. And, the best month of the year for drying lumber is March - last of February and March and April before the muggy weather set it. And the wind - you get that March wind and boy she’d dry overnight. But in the summertime, of course it was all stuffy and the lumber had to be capped to keep it from curling up and - - -
Man: Keep the sun off it.
Albert Anderson: Yes, that was my job the - seeing that the lumber was properly capped and one thing and another. But, I didn’t get any more thanks for it as though I’d - than just a common dirt along the road and let somebody else do it.
Man: You drove truck.
Albert Anderson: Pardon?
Man: You drove a truck?
Albert Anderson: Yes.
Man: All hand loading?
Albert Anderson: Yes.
Man: How did you load the logs?
Albert Anderson: Logs? Hand rolled them.
Man: Put a couple skids up?
Albert Anderson: Skids up and roll them up by hand.
Man: Roll them up by hand.
Albert Anderson: Well, when we hauled them out of the woods, we had what they called a dump and the fellow that was using - or driving the tractor then he made a kind of a trench and the bed - the log bed where - where they brought the logs out to the truck, they was loaded onto that and they was right level or probably two feet - - -
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