Monday, June 30, 2008

The Sawmill

Why a story about a sawmill on a family history site?
The answer is that most of the immigrants came over here during the early 1900's and were just beginning to get established in their new country when disaster struck - The Great Depression. This story gives you some idea, in a humorous way, how serious this time in our nation truly was.
This is a little story my dad told me and I'm not sure who the characters were - he never would discuss that? Who knows? It could have been a family member?
During the great depression sawmills were common places of work for whole communities. From the cutting of the timber through the sawmill operation to the distribution of the product was a very important facet of the community.
This was one of the few enterprises that was still operational.
This particular small mountain sawmill had about a dozen workers. They brought their lunches in personally marked pails and left them in a temporary shed while they worked.
A new man had been hired to the crew but his financial situation was so bad that he could not afford to bring any lunch. On his second day he was so hungry that he went to the shed before the other men on the crew came for lunch. He picked up several lunch pails and finally grabbed the heaviest one and ran into the woods and hid to enjoy his newly claimed “pot luck” lunch.
He was surprised to find a claw hammer and three black walnuts in the pail!

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