Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mules and Beaver Hats

Tonight Dad and I had the privileged of visiting a young couple in the neighborhood. Joe, age 96, and Ella, 95. We had set out to take them a loaf of Christmas Beer Bread. Little did we know what a blessing that visit would be. Joe and Dad started talking about hooking teams and the history began

“Sutter County, California ….North of Sacramento

…..After Grammar school I went to a few months of high school. I couldn’t see no sense in that so I quit school and started farming for a Henry Highstreet.

It paid $1.00 a day and $1.25 if you fed yourself. You made a little money. ( I know this sounds sarcastic but please understand that this was said in all seriousness and sincerity that he was making money and getting ahead)

Joe drove a 8 mule team, hooked 2 wide, to plow fields. They were farming mainly grain, hay and some milo. ( I had never heard of milo and had to ask what it was. Joe said it was used mainly to fatten hogs)”

Joe spoke of the mules… “I never have seen Mules have a runaway. Horses will get in a runaway. A mule won’t get into wire. A horse will get himself all cut up. You never have to worry about feeding a mule too much. A Mule takes care of himself.”

“They also told about a man named Ernie coming over from St. Anthony to trap some Beaver for them. He caught them and cleaned them all up. They were then sent to Hailstone in Pocatello to be made into a fur coat and hats. When Hailstone received the beaver he questioned them about who had caught the beaver. He remarked that he had really known what he was doing and they were some of the best beaver he had ever received.”

~ paraphrased story from Joe Marty

Pictured above is Ella's Beaver Hat from Hailstone. She has worn it for many years.
Joe also had a handmade beaver hat made by Hailstone. It was sitting in the closet and hadn't been worn for about 10 years. They told me to try it on. I did and Joe told me to keep it.
What a wonderful gift and beautiful piece of history. It is so so warm!
Thank You so much!

Joe and Ella moved here about 40 years ago in 1972. They had never been to Monteview, Idaho until this last Sunday. Monteview is probably not over 25 miles from their home. Now that is how you know that you’ve worked hard your whole life! What an amazing couple! So blessed with such wonderful neighbors, what a rich personal history they have to offer. So thankful for all the stories shared tonight and for my Dad taking the time to deliver Christmas bread with me.

Thank you so much for traveling the Gypsy Trail with me tonight. I am so grateful for the opportunity to write and share these stories with you. ~ Mindy

Rodeo Tales & Gypsy Trails
is proudly brought to you by

Lil' Red Roan

LIKE us on facebook!

Visit us ONLINE!!

1 comment:

  1. That hat is AWESOME! What a great story. You're definitely wearing a piece of history on your head there, sister!