Bio: Shoemaker, A. H. (20 Dec 1906)
Contact: Arlene Peil
Surnames: SHOEMAKER, JOHNSON, LARSON, GREEN
----Source: Greenwood Gleaner, Greenwood, Wis., 20 Dec 1906
Wenatchee, Wash., Dec. 6, 1906, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Johnson, Greenwood Wis.,
Dear Friends: I will try to write you a few lines though I am too nervous to write but I won't wait any longer. We have all been sick with colds since we came here, the climate and water don't agree with me at all. I never saw it colder in Wisconsin through the month of Nov. than it has been here. The first three days of the month was awful dry and dusty, then it began to rain and a little west of us they has great floods. It has rained and snowed the most of the time since. The mountains has been covered with snow all the time and some in the valley. This morning it began to snow about 7 o'clock and at noon there is 8 inches and it is still coming. You can't beat that in Wisconsin.
Wenatchee is in a valley on the Columbia river, surrounded by mountains. It is composed of sage brush, rocks, sand and rascals. This town is on a boom and it has got more land sharks and boomers than honest citizens. It costs about as much again to live here as it does there. Rent is very high here, we pay $10 per month for a small 4-room house and $1.50 a month for water. Pine wood costs $7 per cord, fir wood $7.50, hardwood isn't to be had, coal is $9.50 per ton. Eggs 40c a dozen, butter 35c a pound, kerosene 25c per gallon, other things average about the same. On the west between the city and the mountain the soil is pretty fair and not much stones. There is where they raise their fruit. There is I should judge between 2 and 3000 acres to fruit, apples, cherries pears and peaches. But it is all raised by irrigation, can't grow beans without it. They don't get any rain here in the summer. Everything dries up and dies without irrigation. First class fruit is higher here than it is there. The apples are all sorted here and boxed. Apples that are bruised or worm holes in them goes in the cull pile. Them you can buy for 25c to 50c a box. The best No. 1 cost from $1 to $2 per box. They are shipped from here by car loads. Besides they have several thousand bushels here in cold storage for spring shipment. But they have not got as good flavor as the eastern fruit. I never saw such large fruit as they raise here, apples 17 inches in circumference, weighing 2 lbs. and 13 ozs. I have seen lots of apples here that I could not eat more than one at a time.
Wages are $2.25 to $2.50 per day for common labor. Carl says he is coming back. My wife wants to come back and we may start any time for I don't like it here a little bit. Land is cheap, as you can see, from $300 to $1000 for one acre.
I will wait till morning and report the snow fall. Dec. 7 - well, it quit snowing last evening with a fall of 10 inches for one day. There is 4 or 5 steam boats that run from here up the river 90 miles. They can't go down any farther for the rapids and rocks.
Saw Anthony Larson here about three weeks ago. He has sold his homestead up the river and he said he was going to Alberta, Canada, to get another homestead. He went from here to Everett, Wash., on Puget Sound.
It is 165 miles from here to Seattle, 173 to Spokane. Green is still working for the Columbia River Lumber Co. They are all getting fat but me. Baby is growing like a weed and she is such a sweet little babe. If it wasn't for Belle and the baby I would start back right off but I hate to leave them for I don't think I would ever see them again. Let us hear from you. Your friend, -- A. H. Shoemaker.
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