Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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Oconto County, Wisconsin
Mountain Memories
Pages  - 94 & 95

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.Page 96 - 97 




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.nailed cross-ways across the end to make a T. The hoop was usually a metal tire from an old coaster wagon and here agin, one had to run to keep the hoop a-rolling* Every summer we made a pair of stilts, two hardwood poles 6 to 7 feet long with a block of wood fastened about 2 feet off the ground, and we were in business! Another summer project was the making of sling shots. A search in the woods for a good crotch, usually hard maple, add to that a couple strips of good rubber from an old inner tube with a piece of soft leather for the pocket, and we had ourselves the perfect sling shot. A trouser pocket full of specially selected stones provided us with many hours of enjoyment. The making of bows and arrows also filled our spare time. We had vis-sions of bagging wild rabbits and ruffled grouse with these weapons, but such visions never came to fruit. Most boys, at one time or another were engaged in building cabins in the woods. I recall four different 'cabins' our gang built. Roland Larson, Gordon Griepen-trog, my brother Evans, and I built two shacks on the rock next to Paddy's swamp, then Leo Saffran, Evans and I built another in the woods just below where Elaine Pf-aff lives today, and the fourth cabin was a grand structure which Gustave Olson, Fritz Bloomberg, Richard and Alvin Sandberg helped Evans and I build in the swamp south of the Lutheran Church. The hours we spent together building 'our cabins' are some of my favorite memories of growing up in the town of Mountain.
As we grew older we were able to find summer jobs in by working for various farmers, picking beans and cu-cucumbers. I earned a penny a pound, which was good money ! Picking wild berries for 15 to 20* a quart added to my summer earnings and by fall I was able to buy my school clothes, a pair of 'high top boot's and underwear. That year I even had enough money left to buy a second hand gun and some shells. I then picked up 5 or 6 dollars on bounties, crows paying 10*, gophers 10<t, hawks 25*, and owls 50*.
We used to watch the crows as to where they built their nests so that around the last two weeks of June we could then raid them, garnering 3 to 5 young crows from each nest. One day Ellis Saffran and I went to rob a nest we knew of and as we approached this nest, a
94
large owl flew out of a nearby hemlock. We shot the owl, climbed the tree, and bagged five young crows from the nest.
On the way up to Pete Johnson's house, the Town Chairman at the time, we got the idea to claim the young crows as baby owls. . .which we did. We told him we shot that old owl right off from the nest!
Mr. Johnson was not to sure, said they looked more like young crows to him. However, his daughter Eunice saved the day . She insisted they looked different then young crows. Mr. Johnson finally agreed and paid us the bounty. (Crows paid 10* and owls paid 50*. . . enough said !)
The Town Baseball Team
Every town in the area had a 'Town Team1 for baseball when I was a lad. Basketball was another favorite sport, the games were then played in the Town Hall.
The Mountain Baseball Team played every Sunday in the summer, one week away and the next here in town. They played teams from such towns as Spruce, Klondike, Suring, Wabeno, Langlade, Polar, Lena, and a number of others. Some of the first players I recall were Jack Marsh, Raymond 'Paddy* Larson, Rich and Victor 'Mutt1 Jensen, Sigurd Sandberg, Bob and oscar 'Sparky' Cole-man, Hank Stoehr, Miles Horning, Ray Piepenburg, Walter 'Buckley' Dunlap, and Cliff Elkey.
The ball diamond in those years was located where the county shed stand today, many a great game was played upon that ground !
The only picture of the boys who played on the baseball team for the town came to be in 1926 because of a fight. You see Wabeno had won the Conference Championship and they had engaged a photographer to take their picture after this game with Mountain, figuring this to be their 'Victory1 photo.
They were ahead in the eighth inning when Mountain came to bat. The Mountain Team then tied the score however, and had a runner on third base when Rich Jensen came to bat, hitting a slow roller to the pitcher. The pitcher fielded the ball and ran after Rich. He was unable to tag Rich before he got to first base and in his anger and frustration he brought his arm forward and