Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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Oconto County, Wisconsin
Mountain Memories
Pages 44 - 45
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Dan Cole came into the Post Office with a full grown rooster to be shipped to St. Louis. My father, not being fully acquainted with all the rules and regulations of the postal system, accepted this caged rooster. That evening the bird was put aboard the south bound train and was duly delivered at its destination in St. Louis.
My father received a letter from the Head Postal Inspector of this area with a stern lecture about the shipment of live fowl through the mails! The only permissaible live fowl, he was then told, were day old chicks.
Attending a meeting of the County Postmasters soon after this incident, he was asked about this bird, and razzed a bit by some of the others who had heard about it.  "Well," my Dad said, "It just goes to show you how slow the mail service is... that bird was only .a day old when it left Mountain!"
This photo courtesy of Mrs. Elof 'Ellen' Jensen, recalls the journey of the Town Hall when it was moved from its site near the cemetery. Rusty was a lad of eight when this giant structure came north through the center of town and he recalled how they laid a heavy bed of planks on the roadbed as the Hall moved forward on wooden rollers. Teams of horses pulled it ever forward as the men replaced the planks and rollers from the rear, and this procession slowly moved toward the new site for the Town Hall around 1925.
Fires Run Rampanu
Lumbering white pine was an exciting episode in the history of this area. After succeding in converting nature's gift of pine into wealth, the logging of other varieties of hardwoods continued the years of prosperity in and around the town of Mountain.
But, timber was being cut not a thought given to young trees to replace them, and many began to ask 'What will happen when the trees are all gone?1
The first evidence of forest fires is mentioned in the Town Records of 1896 when George Port was appointed Fire Warden to attempt to stem the fires raging in the eastern area of the Town of Armstrong, known today as the Town of Riverview, which formed by the year 1922.
From conversations I heard as a boy, among those who lived here during those years, there was a constant threat of uncontrolled fires from the mid 1890's until the 1920's. There were hundreds of square miles within the Town of Armstrong that had bowed to the axe and saw, and now lay like a giant tinderbox from April through November.
In the year 1908 fires raged for six weeks with people only eible to save their buildings from destructic The Lutheran Church was newly built that year, and I was told that boys sat on the roof with pails of water for over a week in watch of any sparks that might ignite their church ablaze.
Box cars on trains between Mountain and Lakewood were continuously catching on fire, and the entire town was on the alert for the spark that could ignite pure devastation.
My father told me that he and his Uncle Martin Olson were setting up a General Store in the Ernest Sauld building and had two freight cars full of merchandise on the side track for two weeks, as they were afraid the town was going to go up in smoke. They figured it was best to leave the store merchandise in the freight car for a quick get away than to loose everything to fire in the store.
The vastness of the area, the lack of access, and tht limited manpower, gave forest fires free reign to burn wherever timber cutting provided its abundant fuel.