Friday, June 21, 2013

The Founding of the Homeplace - Story 4, Fourth of July, 1833, Part 2

The Founding of the Homeplace
Story 4, Fourth of July, 1833, Part 2

"The Founding of the Homeplace" saga will continue here on the first and third Friday of each month, going forward. See Story 1 (Parts 123, and 4), Story 2 (Part 123, and 4), Story 3 (Part 123 and 4), and Story 4 (Part 1) earlier. This is a serial presentation of the story, beginning in 1833, when four families decided to settle the land, the valley, that would become the setting of the first two books in the The Homeplace Series: "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited" as well as the forthcoming third book in the series, "The Homeplace Threatened." These three books are set in the years 1987, 1996, and 1999, respectively. The underlying premise of this series is the desire of the family matriarch to retain the family farm in the southern Missouri Ozarks in whole and in the family. 

[Source: Currier & Ives, "Summer landscape, c1869"; Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress ( accessed 17 Mar 2013)]

Characters in this series become actively involved in the study of their family history and snippets of that research appear, from time to time through the series (one example). This serial presentation begins to share that ‘research’ in Story Form, and, some of the Stories represent 'writings of the family' that were ‘discovered’ in the process of that research. Each Story is an essay or report of the activities of the initial four families and their descendants that settled the Homeplace – the farm and the surrounding valley.

Story 4, Fourth of July, 1833

In this episode, we share "Part 2 of 4"

Sunday, June 23, was 4th Sunday, of course. Stories related to the freight run to the lumber camps and what was brought back continued to dominate conversations as everyone in the valley got together for their monthly social event. Of course, some discussions also related back to the visit of the Rev. Mr. Jenkins and to that of Big John, the trader. Young Harry McDonald spent some time talking to Sarah Baldridge about how she handled their chickens since that was now a new responsibility of his with the new coop coming into the family. 

It was noted by all that most of the grown food for the meal had come from the common garden, even though it was late getting started. All agreed they had been fortunate with good growing weather, but they all congratulated each other on the fine cooperation everyone had shown in getting the planting done well and early as possible along with a fine job of weed control with everyone contributing, especially the children and young folks. 

Meat was continuing to be obtained by hunting wild turkey, deer and supplemented with rabbits and squirrels. No hogs had yet been slaughtered for food. Two of the four sows had recently had litters of eight and ten, respectively, while the other two were due in the next couple of weeks. Assuming they were also successful, when weaning time arrived, the litters would be divided among the four families as previously agreed. The second litters later in the fall would also be divided in the same manner.

The men reminded themselves that the next couple of months would be breeding period for the four milk cows, as well. Each seemed to be healthy and was continuing to produce well, as expected.

As the conversations turned to the future, one of the first items of business was to determine that everything was in place to be ready to ‘raise the cabin’ for the McDonalds.’ Henry confirmed that everything was now in place, and, stated that it would be nice to get it done at the first opportunity. With no objections, the decision was made to do it on Tuesday, subject to weather, of course, so everyone had a day in between to do what other things they needed to do.

Following that decision, they also agreed to aim for completing the Olson’s cabin later in July, and Truesdale’s cabin by mid- August. Discussions among the men then turned to the need to harvest some of the long grass in nearby pasture lands as winter feed for the animals. A tentative plan to ‘put up some hay’ was made and agreed. They also discussed the possibility of constructing a pole barn to protect some of the hay put up from the weather for the winter. They decided to each think about the best approach and discuss it further in the future.

[ be continued... on July 5, 2013, with Part 3 of Story 4]

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