From “Early Days at Sand Creek” by Andrew Fuller, former member

We are apt to characterize these early days at Sand Creek as a ‘simpler time.’ However, don’t confuse ‘simpler’ with ‘easier,’ for there was a great deal of work connected with cabin life in the 30s. Electricity didn’t come onto the property until just after World War II. Until then, we had the cheery soft glow of Aladdin kerosene lamps to light our cabins. With these, my parents had to keep the wicks trimmed, the mantles in good working order, the chimneys washed, and to take care that the fire didn’t spread beyond the lamp due to wind, accident, or careless child . . . .

Our ice box was one of those handsome oak, tin-lined affairs.  It needed to be stocked with 50 pounds of block ice. At that time the club maintained an ice house which was located on the road between the farm and the Confluence, just where the road dips down to the flood plain of the Sand. The ice for the club was cut from one of the local lakes in the winter and stored in layers of thick sawdust . . . . I dimly remember being at the winter when they were cutting the ice and watching men cut ice for our ice house. It was wonderful in summer to go into that cool, dark, and damp rough-sided small building and lie on ones belly and push skinny arms through layers of dry and damp sawdust onto the ice below . . . .

We came to know the place and cherish the local names handed down from logging days of the 1880s and 90s when the old growth pines were cut from the land and floated down the Clam to the St. Croix and Stillwater. The place where county roads ‘E’ and ‘EE’ meet was called ‘Fight’n Corners,’ for a good and rowdy bar stood there during logging days . . . .

We were often given the chore of going out to drive in the cows for evening milking. The area was divided by fences into a number of fields. The cows could be far up the Sand, past what is now Hanschens’. We would often have to go home for dinner before milking had started, but we would hurry through the meal and get permission from our parents to go back to the farm to watch the cows being milked. We were expected to return to our cabins when the whip-poor-will began to call, a tradition that I believe was started by Mary Poehler’s parents. My father fixed me up with a kerosene lantern to light my way back to the cabin.  After all these years I can still remember the warmth and smell of that lantern . . . .

We also went with them (twin sons of the Albees’, the first caretakers of the property) to neighbors to ‘help’ during haying or cutting corn for silage. I sat on the tractor fender as the hay was being cut, or got down in the silo to tramp down the chopped corn as it was being blown in. The latter was pretty sticky business as the wet corn deposited sap all over hair, hands, and clothes. The reward was to sit down to a country noon dinner with the crew and scoop up stewed chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, canned corn, fresh home-made bread and watermelon pickles from loaded platters and bowls . . . .