Home Life History: Woodsmen for a day

History: Woodsmen for a day

Merely lending assistance in building a log cabin was no small task as evidenced in the following article from the Bossier Banner’s January 22, 1942 issue.  The article was contributed by “a reader.”

“Last Saturday, January 17th, several Bossier Parish school men assembled near Lake Bistineau for a day in the woods, to lend aid in building a log cabin.  It was thought that a day of axing and logging would serve to keep the good men in shape.  So Mr. P. W. Moreland, of Haughton, made plans for the outing and invited the crew last Wednesday.”

“Supervisor Johnston, F. K. Hughes and John Earl Jones, of Benton, motored to Haughton early Saturday morning to join T. O. Rusheon, Cecil Ross and P. W. Moreland, of that city.  Mrs. L. B. Rusheon, principal of Greenwood High School and brother of T. O. Rusheon, was the honor guest.  From Haughton the boys drove lake ward to the camp, Upon arrival, each man began to show his portion of the food which had been assigned to him.  Well, Hughes was found to be a little light on food, having only one gallon of raw sweet potatoes and a half pint of syrup.  So he was detailed to do all the cooking and dish washing for not meeting the food requirements.”

“After swapping tales a few minutes, head foreman Moreland began issuing orders rather roughly.  Brute strength was displayed in carrying the logs in the old log rolling style (man opposite man) as our forefathers did.  Hudson Johnston and Ted Rusheon proved their superiority in strength, due to their salaries (better fed).  Once when a log was shouldered by four men “Zip” Moreland was caught hanging on in the middle of the log.  He was punished immediately by the gang.”

“The twenty by twenty one room cabin walls rose several feet before food was served and very little after the rations had been consumed.  You could not blame the boys for their inactivity following the meal.  The following menu was served: Fresh pork sausage, plenty of fried ham and bacon, a pot of rice with plenty of butter, baked sweet potatoes, bread and butter, fig newton’s, syrup, home canned [peas] and plenty of black coffee.”

“Since [John Earl Jones was not up to strength, due to a bad cold, he was allowed to pick the proper path for the log carriers.  Ross and Johnston did the axe work on notching the logs.  At four o’clock it was called a day.  So the boys made ready to break camp and gave the food scraps to a dog named Tige.”

This is a humorous article but it would not be long before Bossier citizens would be directing their attention to the far more serious matter of World War II.  To learn about how WW II affected them, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or amiddlet@state.lib.la.us

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