From “The Life Story of Pine Valley Farm” by Vern C. Soash (former member)

” For several years members were asked to report their catches and our old records disclose that, in 1933, a total of 656 were reported. In 1934 the number fell to 506 with the largest, a 17.5-inch brown trout. In 1935 575 fish were taken, the largest being a 16-inch brown.

In those days no commercial fish food (to feed the fish stocked in the pond) was available so, for several years we purchased frozen beef liver from Swift & Co. for 15 cents per pound, added seal meal and brewers yeast and thus prepared our own feed. I carted the hundred pound packages of liver to the farm and Mrs. Albee ground the liver and mixed the other ingredients. Mamie was paid $10 per month for preparing the food and feeding the fish twice a day.

We soon found that the herons and kingfishers thoroughly enjoyed our unprotected trout so a bounty of 25 cents for kingfishers and $1 for herons was established. One heron, caught right in our pond, not only had a belly full but had piled over 100 fish on the bank after being caught . . . .

One mid-summer day Al (member) went to get Willie (Willie and Emma Cooan were yet another caretaker) to go fishing with him and found Willie plowing corn. When Willie was some hundred yards from the end of the row, Al called, ‘Willie, let’s go fishing.’ Willie hollered ‘whoa’ to the team, dropped the reins, walked to the end of the field and, as he passed the house, called ‘Emma, unhitch the horses. I’m going fishing’ . . . .

Our membership has included men of many types with special talents, interests, and foibles. We remember Bryan for his wit, Bracelin for his sense of humor, Hibbard for his black lab and his cribbage, Byers for his devote to the piscatorial art, Lynch for his Saturday night dances, Charles Fuller for his tireless service in stream improvement, Pfunder for his stories, and Youngquist for his temper . . . .

For me the ‘farm’ has doubtless meant a longer as well as happier life. During the difficult 30s when the whole world was ‘broke’ and problems beset us on every side, I found solace and peace of mind by the pure, quiet waters of our streams. Many were the evenings when with my pipe, rod, and dog I went down on the lower Clam and, seated on the bank, listened to the ducks in the marsh, watched the flight of the woodcocks, and, frequently, was visited by a big male beaver wo would do his best to drive me off his stream. These hours were priceless to me, for without them, I think the strain of living would have overcome me . . . .