Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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Oconto County, Wisconsin
Mountain Memories
Pages 38 - 39

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Tne Legend of Stump
Before rural route service was established from the Post Office in Mountain, the people living along the North Branch Road north of Mountain had to pick their mail up when traveling into town, which was a long and tedious journey in those days.
For those working, and living in the lumber camps in that area, a letter was their only means of communication with families over the long months of winter, so, arrangements were made among the various settlers that, 'anyone going into the town was to pick up the mail for all settlers in that area, and for those staying in the logging camps'. This arrangement worked very well for those inhabitants, for then they stated their naime, Mountain, Wisconsin, on their return address, and also wrote 'Pine Stump1 which enabled the Postmaster to pre-sort those addressed letters at the Post Office in Mountain.
Anyone arriving at the Post Office from the Pine Stump area was then able to pick up those letters and take them home. Now, of course no one knew just who was picking up the mail, so a pine stump was selected in which to put this mail into. The pine stump sat on the west bank of the Oconto River, a large hollow 'mail box' for everyone in the vicinity!
Into this stump went all the mail bearing this address and names didn't matter. The folks would then come to the stump and go through its contents, perhaps to come across a letter written for them! A 'Post Office1 much, closer to home than the one which was 4 miles south of them at Mountain!
Mrs. Harvey Dobratz who now lives in the Kelly Lake area, sent us an old letter she had found while remodeling her home while living in Spruce. In the return address of this letter were the words, Oconto County, Pine Stump, Mountain!  This letter, an authentic piece of history, was written by a young girl when she came to the Pine Stump area to teach at the Grimmer School, and we were as thrilled to see the return address of 'Pine Stump' as we were to read the contents of this letter.
Though we were not able to place an exact year on when this letter was written, the contents of this
letter revealed so much to us about the history we were at the time searching for, that now in 1989 we wish that 'May1 had written more!
Mrs. Dobratz saved this letter upon finding it, anc sent it to us in our Centennial Year, as a keepsake of the way of life for those who cams to these lands so long ago. The letter was sent to Kate Tucker, a former resident of the home in which Mrs. Dobratz found this primarypiece of evidence; a simple letter that told us so very much. And so the letter began;
Dear Kate,
I promised I would write to you this time and I surely meant it.
Arrived here safe - had to wait at Mountain until 3:00 in the afternoon before I could start for my destination as the team was late coming to town.
By the way, Kate, I saw Russell Hawkes (time -keeper in Louis's camp) he told me, all about the trick we played on Louis - I explained all to him. (Thurs, eve.)
Had to let your letter go another day as I was so cold in my room, I couldn't write another word.
Cold, it is fierce; had a ride to school, but almost to slow, as I was frozen stiff when I struck school. But I soon got warmed - had to build my fire, and I run around the room to warm up some.
Well Kate, this is a lonely place at present -and just at present having the blues to top everything off.
Show at Lakewood to-night, only a moving picture play of Cameron Dam (Dietz's family) and I've seen the play - the neighbors want me to go, but I have loads of work to get out.
Nothing newsy to tell you, will leave the news for you to tell me,
Must close as I can't think of any news of interest Write me when you find time - excuse scribbling as my hands are cold - and I am up in my room, (not very warm)
Heaps of love to you from
May
Mary Anderson