Life in the early 1900s was both challenging and rewarding for the women living in it.
I love looking at this picture of women from Pleasant View. They all look so pretty in their dresses. You can see smiles on their faces which makes me believe that this was a fun occasion. I see women that had too much to do on a daily basis yet still loved their lives. Washing clothes by hand, hanging them up to dry and pressing them with a special iron they heated on the stove or fire. The food they had to eat was made from scratch and there were no microwaves to heat up leftovers. They would grow much of their food in their gardens and care for the animals on their farms. The clothes they wore were handmade, typically made by them for themselves. They worked hard alongside their husbands and children and accomplished amazing things.
Everyone raised or grew what they planned to eat through the winter months because there were no stores to go to. Many settlers secured fuel by digging sagebrush while clearing their lands for farming. Hickory, Oak, maple, quaking aspen and evergreen logs provided from nearby hills and mountains kept families warm. Ice was harvested each winter at the Hot Springs ice pond and stored in sawdust for use the following summer.
For entertainment, they had to make their own fun. They had dances, plays, parties, baseball games, brass bands, and choirs. These were welcome occasions, a break from work. Dances were held in old meeting houses. The most common types of dances were called…Quadrilles, Virginia Reels, Scotch Reels (one man and two women) and the French Four. I looked these dances up on YouTube. They look like lots of fun. Those that came paid for a dance ticket with wood, wheat, squash, apples, anything they could give. Everyone attended the dances. No class distinctions, or discrimination between young and old. You didn’t even need shoes. If you had shoes you would carry them to the dance and then put them on when you got there. This helped the shoes to last longer. Those that had an instrument would provide the music for the dancers such as a violin, flute, accordion or clarinet.
Toys for little children were almost unheard of. Their homemade toys were kept year after year. Often, boys only had a tin can for digging in the dirt.
I love hearing stories from those that came before us. It brings life into perspective and helps me to see all that I am blessed with.