[Near Pullman, Whitman County, Washington*]
Lorraine RODEEN Rawlings
I have few memories of the move to the 160 acres. The move must have been
well planned and carried out without involving me.
I was eight 1/2 years old. [note: 1926*] My brother Ray and I would
have been in school. Our brother,
Don, was too young and would have been at home.
We did not completely move until after school was over and by that time the garden should have been planted. Dad must have spent time on the big [160 acre*] farm, before the move, plowing and planting the big garden spot with the horses. Winter wheat would have been planted in the fall.
Dad had bought a green Nash touring sedan and some of the moving must
have been done in it. The heavy and big items would need to be moved in the
wagon. I do not believe more than
one round trip could be made in a day. I
don’t think the cows could walk the distance between the farms and there were
pigs and chickens to move, too, plus food for all.
And the grandparents would have needed help in moving.
Perhaps some of the relatives helped.
The farm had a big house, a barn with separate spaces for cows and
horses, chicken house and a very nice two-hole outhouse.
The original house was used for the wood shed and there was a cellar
where food was stored and the milk was separated from the cream.
There was a big pigpen and a smoke house where hams, bacon and other
meats were cured by smoking. The
stove was outside the building and the smoke entered through stovepipes.
On the first floor of the house there was a kitchen with enough space for
a table where we ate our meals, a bedroom (which my grandma and grandpa used), a
dining room, a front room (parlor), a pantry and a small room we called a cubby
hole where everything that did not have a designated place was kept.
The entryway to the bedroom was between the cubbyhole and the pantry and
was where we bathed in a big washtub. There
was a front porch and a long narrow porch on the kitchen side where mom had her
gasoline washer. Also outside
wraps were hung there.
Upstairs there were two very large bedrooms and a huge walk in closet.
My parents and brothers shared one of the bedrooms and I had mine.
How happy I was to have my very own room where I spent many hours
cleaning, reading, etc. There was a
big wasted space at the top of the stairs and between the bedrooms.
That big space had a window.
During the winters our bedrooms were very cold for no heat came up there.
Jack Frost “painted” the
upstairs windows so thick we wouldn’t see out of them. We heated bricks in the
oven to warm the beds. We undressed
and dressed in the warm kitchen.
There was cold running water and a sink in the kitchen but the water came
from a well by gravity flow and in the summer when the well water was low we had
to haul water in barrels on a platform called a stoneboat, drawn by horses.
There was a well located not far from the house but the water was not fit
About 1/4 mile from the big house was a small house that was never
occupied while we lived there. It
was a great place to look for goodies left by the former occupants. I once found
a cameo ring there and the hair from when the former occupant had her hair
“bobbed”. The only garage was
located by this small house and rarely used except in winter.
In winter the horses and sled were used for transportation and the car
There was a big root cellar dug into the little hill where potatoes,
carrots, parsnips and cabbage and probably pumpkins and squash were kept. It
must have taken careful planning to decide how many vegetables to raise to last
for the coming year.
There was a big orchard with a long row of pie cherry trees and a row of
Grimes Golden apple trees. The Ben
Davis apples were fed to the pigs. There
were other fruit trees and berry bushes. Mom
made the best apple pudding from apples I think were called King.
She probably made her applesauce from the Wolf River apple.
There were cottonwood and willow trees outside the yard.
A small stream ran between the big garden spot and the house.
I never knew where it started or if it had a name.
It ran into the neighbor’s field and seemed to disappear.
The garden plot near the house was big.
Dad also planted potatoes, corn and probably squashes in a back field
that was being summer fallowed. Each
wheat field had a year of rest, in rotation.
I don’t think the alfalfa or sweet clover crops were moved to different
locations. We chewed wheat instead
Dad cultivated with the horses between the rows but the spaces between
the plants had to be weeded and hoed by hand.
After the morning chores were done we walked back to the field which was
quite a distance and worked until about 11:30 and walked to the house where mom
prepared a hot meal-big one- and after the dishes were washed we went back to
finish the weeding an hoeing. Then
back to the house to milk cows, gather eggs and feed the pigs, etc.
Then there was another big meal to be cooked and more dishes to be
washed. Also the milk
separator had to be washed every night.
We were ready for bed about 9:00. My
brothers and I never went upstairs to bed until the folks did.
We may have been afraid of the dark or maybe they did not want us using
the kerosene lamps alone. We would
lie down behind the kitchen stove where it was warm and doze until they were
ready to go upstairs.
I do not remember when I first started cooking the breakfast while my
folks milked the cows. I fried
potatoes and meat and made a quick bread that could be fried or baked.
Our hot breakfast cereal was cooked wheat.
One of the big hills was planted in alfalfa and the others were where the
wheat was raised. A neighbor had a
combine pulled by quite a number of mules that dad hired to cut the wheat.
Dad jigged the sacks and sewed them shut.
He usually got sick from the dust and riding on the combine which made
Before the combine could start a big swath had to be cut with a binder
and that grain put into bundles. The
bundles had to be put into stacks to be picked up by wagon and horsed.
Women did not wear pants in those days and my legs got all scratched from
the straw. Also when the alfalfa
was cut and raked into winrows it had to be shocked.
Mom and I worked just like the men and she kept up the housework without
any help from them.
The harvesters liked to come to our place for mom fed them so good.
They had a big breakfast, dinner at noon and supper.
We had to get up about 4:30 and went to bed later than usual during
harvest. We were busy with extra baking, cooking and cleaning.
The usual chores had to be done as well.
I was glad when the wheat harvesting was over.
My cousin, Melba Day, liked to come when the threshers were at our house
for there were always several young good-looking men.
She filled the need we had for someone to wait on the table.
In the summer mom always did a lot of canning of fruit and vegetables.
She also made jam and jellies. When
they butchered in the fall she would make meatballs and gravy and can them--so
tasty. It was usually my job to
wash the canning jars. My hands
were smaller than mom’s.
We made sauerkraut, a time consuming job.
The cabbage had to be sliced and then put into a crock with salt and
pressed until juice forms and then another layer put in.
It had to ferment for awhile before it was ready to eat. Pork ribs and
sauerkraut together were so delicious.
Mom made bread probably twice a week and always made hamburger buns from
some of the dough. She also made doughnuts, noodles and the only pumpkin pies I
liked. She never used measuring spoons or measuring cups.
She knew by experience how many handfuls of flour to use and how much of
the other ingredients. One of my
schoolmates always wanted to come home with me the days my mom baked bread.
Her mom did not bake bread. I
could not knead the dough to suit my mom so I never inherited that job.
She never let me do the baking either.
I think baking and preparing tasty meals was one of the chores mom loved
and was pleased to do.
Mom came from a large poor family. She
did not have much formal schooling (only through the 3rd grade) but she was a
wise and gifted lady with what I believe is called native intelligence.
She kept our clothing clean and mended.
We never wore unmended clothes like the young wear today.
Mom never darned but patched stockings, jeans, etc.
We had a ragbag that held clothing that was in no condition to use as
garments. They were used for
cleaning rags. Despite being poorer
than church mice, we always had a roof over our heads that did not leak, plenty
of wood to keep us warm and good food to eat.
We only had dessert on Sundays and fried chicken was saved for Sunday
dinner. Mom liked to
entertain. We often had guests for Sunday dinner after church.
If one of the guests played the piano we had a sing-a-long in the
We always had music in our home. Dad
played the mandolin, violin, harmonica, piano and Jew’s harp.
He never read music while playing. He
was self-taught. He could read
notes and did when learning a song he did not know.
Dad bought a big upright piano for $80 at a farm auction sale.
There seemed to be quite a few farms sales, probably another farmer was
losing his farm. They wanted me to take piano lessons but I was too shy and did
not want to and they did not make me
I don’t know why I was so shy but I grew up in a time when children
were “seen and not heard”. I
could play by ear most any song I heard. I
could remember the melody and words would pump away on the old pump organ that
had been left in the house. In
those days we had a lot of memory work from school and I would memorize a poem,
etc. while playing the organ.
The mailbox and Rose Creek School were at least a mile away from the farm
and we always walked both ways. Sometimes
the fog was so dense you could not see anything.
There was no real shoulder on the road but fortunately very little
We never missed school because of snow.
We would walk through snowdrifts clear up to our crotch.
The mornings were spent around the big stove drying out. The school had
bathrooms but no indoor water. The
water had to be carried and we all drank from the same dipper.
There was a recess in the morning and afternoon and an hour at noon.
I think softball was the favorite game when weather permitted.
There were enough children for two teams and we tried to be first to
school so we got the baseball diamond. There
was quite a rivalry and name-calling but it was not long remembered.
My brother Ray seemed to be involved quite often.
Many of us were called unkind names.
I really can’t remember mine.
I was a good hitter and runner. I
knew how to slant the bat so the ball went where there was no fielder. One time
I was standing so close to Ray when he was at bat that the bat hit me in the
head. I was lucky it did not split
my head open.
Sometimes we played games called “blackman’s base”, “may I” or
“anti over”. When the boys
tried to chase us with a garter snake I was not afraid of the snake and I chased
On Fridays we had art and spelling or arithmetic contests.
Two pupils went to the blackboard and tried to solve the problem.
Agriculture was a required subject.
There was no Home EC. I
think there were pupils in all eight grades.
I got good grades and we children rarely missed school.
We went to school with whooping cough and my brothers went with chicken
pox. They did not know they had it
till mom got it. I never did.
In a one-room schoolhouse everyone is exposed to whatever disease is
going around. If you were not very
ill you continued to go to school.
One neighbor girl lived much farther from school that we did and she was
a best friend. We stayed overnight
at each other’s house. The first
time I stayed over at her house I was having fun until it was time to go to bed
and then I wanted to go home. Her
father owned the combine that dad hired to thresh the wheat.
I had four teachers while I attended Rose Creek
For a few months there was Miss Stewart until she married and moved to
Aberdeen with her husband. There
were a lot of tears when she left. Miss
Hutchins took over and I don’t think any of us liked her.
I don’t think she liked us either. A very poor teacher we thought.
Our next teacher was Miss Gimlin who was a good teacher.
She was not with us very many years. Miss Gimlin played the school organ.
One of the songs I remember is “In The Garden”.
After Miss Gimlin left, the same Mr. T.C. Mathews who had taught at
Enterprise when I attended there came to Rose
He was still there when I graduated.
He was a good teacher and always had us prepare such a good Christmas
program for the parents.
I don’t remember if we were glad when school was dismissed.
A lot of hard work was ahead of us each day.
The garden near the house had to be hoed and weeded and the same for the
corn and potatoes in the back field. Ray
hated that work and he would just cover up the weeds instead of pulling them.
Mom and I had the housework to do and then we went to the field to work
too. After the field work there were cows to milk and other chores to do. Work
was never ending it seemed. Neither
Ray nor Don learned to milk the cows.
It became my chore to clean the upstairs.
There were so many steps to sweep. The
front room sometimes called the parlor, was seldom used so was not cleaned
often. The kitchen, dining room and
porches had to be kept swept and mopped. The
porch was usually washed with the water left from washing the clothes.
Washing clothes was a big chore. Water
had to be carried from the well and heated on the stove and then carried to the
washer. The washed clothes were
always rinsed twice before being hung outside on the line.
I don’t remember when mom turned the ironing over to me.
There was no electricity and irons had to be heated on the stove. At
times we had to hunt for wood to burn in the stove.
As long as I lived at home we never had electricity.
On weekends after the milking and other chores were done we sometimes
drove up to the mountains and cooked breakfast.
Dad drove the horses to the mountains in the fall to buy wood from a
sawmill. He always shaved pitch
kindling to start the fire and made such pretty curly kindling.
I always liked the smell of pitch. I
learned how to build a good fire too.
The wood stoves made such a mess and we had three.
One job I disliked was taking out the stove ashes.
All of that ash dust would come swirling around me.
Dad had a stud to breed our mares and the neighbors’ mares too.
He would let the boys watch, but not me, which made me more curious.
I loved the little colts and calves.
In fact I loved all the farm animals. The little piglets were so cute.
I don’t think dad let the stud out with the other animals but the old
bull could be out with the cows. We
used to tease him from a distance and he would paw the ground and bellow.
I tried riding a young heifer and got dumped.
The horses knew to go under a limb in the orchard to dump me.
We naughty kids rammed a small log into the big bees’ nest and they
would come roaring out. They were
not honeybees but big ornery ones.
We did a lot of risky things that I don’t think the folks ever knew
about. There were times when we
were free to do whatever kids wanted to do but we did work hard too.
I wanted to belong to Four H Club and raise an animal but that was not
The Jack Lingg nieces and nephews liked to come see their Aunt Maggie (my
mom). The families we visited with
were the Coopers, Days, Sargents and the Jack
Linggs. They were all related to
us. We saw other family members at
Grandma Lingg’s when we had dinners there. We cousins enjoyed being together.
My cousin Melba Day’s bedroom was a separate little cabin by her
parents’ house. I would stay all
night with her and she would come stay all night with me. She always curled my
hair and put makeup on me. She was
a kind and gentle person.
A visit to Lewiston, Idaho to see Aunt Alice (my mom’s sister) and
Uncle Glenn was looked forward to. Their
three children were grown and on their own by that time.
Uncle Glenn was caretaker of the Lewiston Dam.
Aunt Alice saved the [newspaper*] comics for us and sewed them into books
for us. She gave us the True
Detective Magazines that I stayed up to read after my folks went to bed.
I got so scared.
Aunt Alice lived next door to a Greek family who made the most delicious
pastries. On the way to visit Aunt
Alice we’d go to the big town of Lewiston.
I remember my dad driving our family to La Crosse, Washington to visit
the Theodore Glaspeys. Their
daughter was named Orvetta.
in editorial brackets  and marked with an asterick* were added in 2003 by
Lorraine’s daughter, Linda Vincent McDowell
Note: Lorraine spelled Rose Creek as Rosecreek. Since Rose Creek is listed on the USGS GNIS Server, I decided to change Lorraine's spelling. Brunetta Lafara Lingg, Web Master.
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