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Oconto County, Wisconsin
Mountain Memories
Pages 62 - 63

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.roast pork, beef, or venison was the mainstay of our simple diets in those days. One would have enjoyed the delicious meals currently served in our Mountain Grade School today. . .and to actually have a ride to school and back every day ?! Why the thought never entered our heads !
As high school students we found it convenient to take the sleds of the grade school children since we were dismissed 15 minutes earlier than the lower grade children after school. We borrowed them, more or less, to simply ride down the hill on our way home, and then left them at the bottom of the hill to be so reclaimed.
One day after school Alvin Sandberg, Vincent Fried-land, and I grabbed Bob French's sled and away we went as usual. Now there was a ditch to be crossed near the bottom of the hill which had never given us any trouble before, but we suddenly realized that we were traveling at a higher rate of speed then usual! When we hit the ditch the sled became air-borne for a bit. . .
When we touched ground our combined weight was too much for that little sled of Bobs. Both runners colla-sped in a sudden stop as we piled up in a maze of arms, bodies, and legs ! The worst of the accident was still to come as we began untangling ourselves because Alvin came up from the bottom of the heap having ink stains all over his trousers. You see, he had completely forgotten about the ink bottle he had put in his pocket, and by the looks of it, the bottle had smashed to slivers upon impact with the ground. . . we hadn't helped any by landing on top of him !
One can imagine the days of 'sledding1 home after school on this photo, courtesy of Norman Alien.
The Community Fair
The idea of the Community Fair was born in 1918 to become an event held at the Mountain School which invited all to bring their home grown produce and home made items for 'show' in the fall of the year.
The Town of Armstrong appropriated $150 toward the cost of hosting these exhibits and when the Towns of Riverview and Doty formed their own local governments in the year 1922, they also contributed this amount in funding this event. Thus the 'Inter-Township Fair' was born.
A booklet showing the premium lists of exhibits and prizes helped to produce revenue for the fair since the booklet also included business advertisements for the numerous business establishments then operating in throughout the area. We are beholden to Rudy Saffran, his booklet from the Fair of 1922 provided us with many of the facts here stated, and served to bring back the fond memories of this annual event which came to an end in 1927.
Rusty's recollections brought back the days when the teachers selected the handiwork, booklets, drawings, and other items from the best of the work that had been done by the students in school. The prizes set in each of these exhibits was 15* for First, 10* _for Second, and 5* for Third. One year Rusty collected a princely sum of 30*, for he had placed in one Blue Ribbon prize one Second, and one Third ! One year his family entered in an exhibit of brown beans as a farm produce item to win First Prize, brown beans being the only exhibit of its kind!
The farm market division and the canned goods and the bakery exhibits surpassed many to be found at larger County Fairs in those days because everyone throughout this area baked and canned up a storm while tending their farm produce with a keen eye'in preparing for the Fair. This area had much of its acreage in potato produce so there were many exhibits of this harvest, the best potato netted its grower $3.00, a $1.50 was then given to the Second place exhibitor, these prizes being the largest amount of money to be given of all the exhibits displayed.
Gladys Rasmussen added her memories of the Fair by recalling of how very much the event was looked forward to all summer long. Throughout the entire year