Clarence Curtis Coppin's
HOUSE & BUNK HOUSE
AT COPPIN'S MEADOWS
Had a butter house to put them in until fall. House was made out of logs so it kept pretty cool. We would stay up there all summer from June to October. When we came out in the fall, we had this covered wagon that the kids rode in (Grandma and Bethyl, Ruby and Chester). It was snowing when we left. It started snowing so had to take it pretty easy coming out. Would usually come home after the first snow which wasn't too bad. Two fellas would ride on horses to keep the cattle together when bringing them home.
When I bought the ranch, I only paid $12,000 for 320 acres, approximately 1940. I sold it in 1974 for $206,000.
We boys made the dog wheel; had an older person on it too. It was made out of wood. It was a big wheel, about 12 feet high and 3 feet wide, one or two dogs would get in side by side, more weight. Every time the big wheel went around the pump would go up and down three times to pump water. No one else around had one . We used the water pumped by the dog wheel to water the stock. When the dogs heard the rattling of harnesses from the horses coming in, they would mosey out and jump into the wheel and start running up the wheel to start it and keep running around and around there pumping water for the stock. Don was sure a good dog , he finally died from arthritis. Most of the time if you wanted water, you would have to whistle and he would come.
It was built when I was a kid, must have been 1900. Sometimes us kids would get in there and pump water instead of the dogs. Would take two on the side to get it rocking. Every half turn of the wheel it would pump water. We wore one wheel out and had to build the second one. The boards got rotten and got loose so we had to build another one. We broke two dogs for it, one was a collie dog and Don was a short-haired hound. In the summertime we would take a five gallon can, put a lot of holes in the bottom of it and hang it from the shaft that went through there. We would take and put it there so it would go around the shaft inside and it would just hang there with water in it and it would sprinkle on the dogs to keep them cool while they were running around pumping water for the stock.
More people stopped and looked at that damn wheel. Nobody else built one.
In the summertime when it was so hot and no wind, a windmill wouldn't pump enough water. It saved a lot of labor. When we had to pump water by hand we would sometimes scare the horses away so we wouldn't have to pump more water by hand. Tried to put a goat in the wheel to pump water, but he was too smart. The second dog we tried to teach to go in there, we put the old one in there first and have him teach the new dog what to do. If they weren't careful, he might get caught between the spokes and kill them. They built it high enough on the sides so they couldn't jump out too easily.
George McWilliam and Arthur Coppin, my brother, raised pigeons. About 3000 pigeons. Every two weeks they sent crates with squabs in it and sent them to San Francisco. The barn had air holes. After the San Francisco earthquake and fire, the market wasn't any good. The barn was across the street from the old house. They built one for their grandparents to take care of. When grandfather died, Wray and I stayed with grandmother and went to school from there. Every Saturday we had to bathe one another in the tub. Grandmother would make us take a bath every Saturday night. Must have been 8-10 years old then. The pigeon house was torn down after the San Francisco earthquake and fire. They sent a couple of teams down to San Francisco to help clean up. My brother Jim took one team down and another fella went down and took a team that helped clean up.
The tornado went through here about 1900. That was a bunch of scared kids. Everybody came with wagons, buggies to get the kids just after they heard about it. Nobody got hurt. Maybe it was in the 1900's because I was still in school. It tore the pump off, it just unscrewed the pump right off. One kid was hollering, "Now was the time to make darts" because the shingles were flying. Another kid was outside and the suction was so strong it drug him along with it and got caught in the fence, in between two boards that kept him there. I forget who it was. Scared the wits out of us. We didn't sleep at night for a long while after that. Quite a rumble to it. I remember I couldn't sleep at night. When you stood out there after the first one, it started forming right above our heads. Teacher said, go out in that grain field and lay down, it was about waist high. How we went through the wet grain like a bunch of drowned rats to lay down in the grain. Then several people came toward the school and came after their kids. It was the only one we ever had. It came clear down to the ground.
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Ancestor Chart |
[ Great Great Grandparents | Great Grandparents | Grandparents | Parents ]
[ Clarence Curtis Coppin's Remembrances ]
[ Letter to Robert & Catherine Coppin 12/24/1854 ]
[ Letter to Robert & Catherine Coppin 10/28/1855 ]
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