Curing Wood in the Olden Days

Grandpa made a living by curing wood for the pioneers.

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Grandfather knew how to make many things the pioneers used. His specialties were doubletrees, singletrees and neck yokes from wood of the hackberry and red elm trees. After they were shaped and planed, he fastened them to a log and laid them in the rushing waters of Troublesome Creek to cure.

When seasoned, these woods turned reddish brown and became as hard as flint. It took a steel bit to cut the holes for the fittings. 

Ethel Scar
Earlham, Iowa

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.