Thursday, July 05, 2012

A Project for After the Riding Season...

When I was just a little boy, back about 45 years ago, my father and his brother, Harry, bought a tractor. They used this little tractor to drag a trailer into the woods with all the gear they'd need for a week of Deer hunting at the shack. The "shack" was on 40 acres that they owned. It was near the Totagatic River Wildlife Area north of Hayward, WI. About a mile and a half off of the closest gravel road, through the woods, along what would later become a snowmobile trail. The shack was built in the early 1900's as a homestead. I can't imagine trying to live in it year round. The Black Flies and Deer Flies must have ate poor Knute Peterson, the homesteader, alive! Folks must have been a whole lot tougher back then!!
I found a few old pictures of the shack. The first one shows the shack and the wood pile at the end of the building. The wood pile was many rows deep and ran the width of it. The rifles hung in the cases outside. If you brought them in to the warm shack after being out in the cold all day, they'd be covered with condensation.

The second shows the plumbing facilities, the little white building on the right... an out house. That was a cold run in the winter! What you can't see is the "ice box", a small wooden box that hung outside on the wall and was used to keep refrigerated things cold.

In about 1975, my father had a heavy duty 4'x8' trailer made. It replaced the old green utility trailer that was made from a model A axle. The guy that built the new trailer for my father, used to build U-haul trailers. It's built like a tank. I still have it! That's my father on the left, me in the trailer, and my uncle Harry on the right.

Here's a picture of my father driving the little Allis-Chalmers model B through the woods, on the way to the shack.

My father's family has owned the same home in the city of Hayward since the early 1900's. My father grew up there, his brother and sister lived there even after their parents passed away. They continued to live there until they passed. When my father passed away in 1991, the family home became my mothers property. The tractor remained at the home until my mother started talking about selling the home.
I've keep the tractor with me since the early 1990's It has followed me through 6 different homes and a 13 year marriage.

A few days ago, I rented a car hauler trailer and went down to pick it up from a friends place in Minnesota. He stored it for me so I didn't have to worry about moving it up here last winter.
The tractor is a 1950, Allis-Chalmers, model B, with a PTO, a belt pulley, a hydraulic pump, lights, electric start and a distributor ignition. I know my father had talked about cleaning it up and giving it a fresh coat of A-C Persian Orange paint. He never lived long enough to see that project through. I guess that's been handed down to me to do.

The tractor is now finally back in the north woods of Wisconsin... It's home..