The day begins at early light with the father up and dressing. He starts the fire in the cast-iron stove. Shavings and wood from the wood box are used for fuel to heat water and cook the meals. There’s a trip to the outhouse behind the cabin and the day starts just like it did yesterday and will again tomorrow.
Breakfast will consist of side pork, corn mush, coffee, and bread which the mother will soon begin to prepare.
Father is out feeding the oxen, horses and one cow in the rough shed that also stores grain, hay, tools, harnesses, and dry wood. He then heads back into the cabin to eat and rouse the kids. It is springtime with a lot of fieldwork to do.
Their three kids have a full day. The two younger ones head for the spring to fetch water for the day before walking two miles to the one-room school. The oldest boy has finished 8th grad and works on the farm with his father.
Today the father and son start to plow the 15 acres for oats they plan to put in. There are also 20 acres of woodland to cut, pull stumps and break (plowing for the first time), but that is a chore that will take all summer at best.
The work is hard for all of them. The mother of the house has two more big meals to make. She milks the cow, churns butter, knits socks and mittens, and patches or meds clothing by hand. This is also washday and she scours clothes on a scrub board in a tub filled with water she has first hauled in (along with the extra wood for the fire) and heated on the cast-iron stove. For rinsing the clothes she has just washed, the water must be near boiling, and then she must wring the clothes by hand and hang them out to dry.
Later, the kids are home from school, the men from the field. Its getting dark. A lamp is lit. Supper is done and the dishes washed. The kids read a bit from a schoolbook by lamplight. Sometimes a game of checkers is played.
Everyone heads for bed early, in the one-room loft they all share, to get ready for another day just like today.
1100 Heritage Drive
New Richmond, WI 54017
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