Chuck Johnson, Fairbanks, AK and John Werner, Scarsdale, NY are the winners!
Clearing the land of trees and stumps is the answer for Week 388 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.
Join in the discovery!
Monday: A huge hurdle for homesteaders
Tuesday: There were various methods of accomplishing the task.
Homesteaders, particularly those who settled the Fraser area, had to clear the land of virgin forest with cross cut saws, peaveys, oxen, horses and wagons or sleds. In John Bradbury's History of Clearwater County, he says that the logs were often so big that they could haul only one at a time. Three was a big load on a wagon or sled.
Once they got the logs to the mill, then the stumps were the next huge hurdle. In the history, Bradbury says that Roy Cochrell, son of an early Fraser farming family recounted that as a child he could walk from the farmhouse to the schoolhouse by stepping from one yellow pine stump to the next.
While they occasionally used dyanmite or sometimes a horse team could pull out the stumps, they were usually burned out. Bradbury says the rancher would set the stumps afire and the cover them with manure. The embers would then follow the wood and resin throughout the stump and its root system until there was nothing left but ash.
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