Memories of the Big Woods
Foster Township, Clark County, Wisconsin
Contributed by Elaine (Wood) Greene/Jenson
My memory of Foster township was mostly woods, no roads, but there were fire lanes. It was west of where we lived. We lived in section 17 and there was only woods between us and Fairchild.
The only vague memory I have of anything and I may be wrong, was some sort of camp that had been abandoned where we went to pick up nails and got wire for fencing. We rolled up the wire and took it home on a wagon.
I remember a fire when I was very small and a lot of men and boys went across our land with canteens of water on their backs to fight it. We were told to get ready to flee if the wind changed directions. I don't remember what sort of vehicle we had, probably a Ford Model A or T, and we put what clothes we had in there. I wanted to take my doll and my mother wouldn't allow it and I recall being very unhappy about that. At night the sky would be real red and it was almost like day.
A little about the canteens that were carried on the backs of the men and boys. I would guess they were about 10 gallons but may have been 15. They were like a small tank strapped to their back and they had a wand like hose with a nozzle. To operate them they would pump them sort of like you would operate a pump shot gun.
It is funny I can see them in my mind but they are hard to describe. It is like one time I said to my fifth son, "You're like a blotter, you soak it all up and get it all backwards." and he turned and asked me what a blotter was. I ended up showing him one that I had from years ago and had to laugh because to me it was very clear but he had never heard of one. That was when I started writing down some of the things I remembered, Such as dip pens, ink wells, blotters, paste jars etc.
Civilian Conservation Corps Enrollment
The CCC program was based on U.S. Army organizational structure, with each camp of army company size--from 166 to 215 men. Overseeing every four or five camps was an army officer who had enlisted assistants. Most military personnel were reservists who joined CCC. Many of these camps were established in Foster Township in the mid 1930s. Members planted trees to keep soft sand from blowing across the area during the dust bowl. Former CCC supervisor, Hall Smith, said sand drifts where as high as 18 inches deep during periods of high winds. More than 1,000,000 pine and spruce trees were planted by the corps.
CCC Camp established during the dust bowl of the mid 1930s.
Pictured above is the company street at one of the Civilian Conservation Corps camps. Later, barracks were established.
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