I am wishing for everyone today a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving Thursday. When we look around our country today we have to realize how blessed we are, I hope that everyone is thankful for their many blessings.
Today I would like to remind everyone of some of the problems of yester-year and in this, we can remember to appreciate the fact that while life can be complicated and difficult, there is always something to be grateful for.
From Frankie Carlin Meyer’s book “Bushwhackers, Visions, Star-Crossed Lovers,” her chapter on “Make It Do Or Do Without”: “Grandad Fisher worked at the Alexander Sawmill up on Gum Hill, and Daddy worked for two mills down in Kings Hollow. This story from my dad is about his sawmill experiences in the 1920s to 1940s. “As a teenager, I hired out to work at Van Carnell’s sawmill. Later, I worked for Press Horton at his mill. They were both down in Kings Holler. After a few years I decided I had enough experience to run my own sawmill. When I was visiting with Charley Cox at Bethpage, I learned about a sawmill that was for sale over by Fairview. I talked it over with Mary. She thought it was a good idea, too. I went over to Fairview and bought the parts for $25. There was an old engine that come with the sawmill, but it didn’t work well. I bought a 1936 Buick Roadmaster I’d seen abandoned in a field. I took ever’thing apart, and I brought the pieces home. It took me several months to rig up our sawmill. I left the six-cylinder engine mounted in the old car chassis. I run it in second gear. I joined the transmission with a flywheel with a pulley. Instead of cooling the engine with a radiator, I cooled it by re-circulating the water in an open stock tank. The steel blade was 50 inches across. After I got the blade rigged up, Mary and me cut some timber poles. We added some framing and tin to fix us a roof. It gave us shade while we worked. It kept out the rain and snow, too. After we got a log on the carriage, we’d run it by the saw to cut off the bark and square it up. We’d throw the slabs in a pile. In the winter we’d cut up the slabs for firewood. Mary and the older kids worked with me at the sawmill. We’d hire Bill Sligar, too.”
We are grateful to Frankie and her dad for documenting the details in this story. Documented proof that the early people in McDonald County had to be clever and innovative.
Frankie’s book is available at the McDonald County Historical Museum at 302 Harmon Street in Pineville, open Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Also, this week today (Nov. 18) the Historical Society is meeting at the McDonald County Court House on “W” in Pineville, at 2 p.m. all are invited to join us. For more details, check out www.mcdonaldcohistory.org.
Page 2 of 2 - Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.