Cuttin firewood in the 40's and 50's. [Preachin a Mite] : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

The fencerows years ago were always a problem when they bordered a field used for rowcropping. The only solution available back then had twofold benefits. The first, of course, was to stop the "sapping" of moisture needed for the crops. The second and almost as important was the "fruits" of the fencerow--lumber or firewood. The firewood was the most desired because of pressing issues like "lack of cash" needed to buy propane or fuel oil. Very few farm folks used those fossil fuels for heat anyhow unless they were loaded with cash. Sawin the timber or logs for lumber was also costly and was very seldom done unless "pig" lumber was needed for hog houses or other uses in the confinment and care of those hogs.

Come "wood cuttin" time we'd load our working tools onto the wagon, hooked to the old International H and head for the fencerow that was to be obliterated. Before the days of reliable chain saws the tool of preferrerance was the crosscut saw, sledge, wedges and the trusty double bitted ax.

After notchin the selected tree--start sawin. Makin sure a clear path was designated as the "escape route" BEFORE the sawin actually began. About the time the tree was ready to fall-----TIMBER!!!! The hard work started then. Trimmin the limbs all off with the ax and then "buckin" up the biggest part of the tree into smaller "loadable" chunks of firewood. Sometimes they were just so big they had to be split onsite. Most of the time the old double bitted ax was used unless knots or some other flaw prevented the easy split. At that point the sledge and wedges were used. Slow and very tiresome work! On the smaller limbs and tree top---they were usually loaded onto the wagon and taken to the buzz saw. Much quicker way to make wood into stove length sizes. Stack all the small limbs and brush into a big pile and wait till it had dried enough to burn. That was usually saved for the dead of winter or very early spring.

The work was hard, the days were long and the rewards were very well appreciated. Come the coldest days of the upcoming winter we would all set inside and enjoy the abundant heat from the wood stove and the Home Comfort cookstove. The soup simmerin on that old cookstove wasn't too bad either!!! Those were the days that stand out in my mind more than any other later days I guess. We'd also be plannin the upcoming growing season and just how the garden would be laid out.

Who said the rich folks had all the fun!!!

Watermelon feeds in the summer and soup dinners in the winter--when held at the church---those were just a little more than alright!

Jesus is still in the saving business. Have ya'll partook of His free Gift? old hoot, the redeemed. Matt.24:44

-- hoot gibson (, August 20, 2001

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