Turning Back The Pages

(Note: In the early 1900’s it was not only children that suffered from filth. It was common in the foul-smelling Adirondack lumber camps for a logger to put on his long red wool underwear in the fall and to never take them off for any reason until the following summer. In the dirt floor bunk houses fleas and bedbugs were common and the straw in the shoddy mattresses was seldom changed. Three quarters of these loggers were tough French-Canadians and this was simply a way of life that everyone took for granted. The valuable oxen and horses, by comparison, were given clean straw and suitable food. Whiskey was a necessity to the loggers. In his book, “The Heydays of the Adirondacks,” Maitland DeSormo wrote, “It was virtually true that bygone loggers would enthusiastically eat March hay if it was sprinkled with whiskey.”

In the early 1900’s only one-third of the children attended school. It was a common necessity, especially in poor families, to keep children at home to work to help support the family. The idea of education for a female, who was destined to marry and raise a family, was considered to be nonsense. More well to do men, who had little or no education themselves, believed that “book learning” would ruin their sons and, prevent them from surviving in the real world.

Less than 10 per cent of all these children graduated from high school. The privileged few students who were lucky enough to attend the prestigious Warrensburgh Academy were the fortunate ones who most all went on to notable careers.)

‘Buffalo Bill’ retires

Colonel William Frederick Cody or “Buffalo Bill,“ a picturesque figure in American life, retired to private life in November 1911. After 28 years as a showman, preceded by many years of fighting Indians, hunting buffalo and other frontier activities, he will spend his remaining years in the Wyoming Big Horn where he helped make American history. His career began as a Pony Express rider which led him through more Indian battles than any other white man.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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