The Skidmore News asked its subscribers who had kept in touch after moving away from Skidmore to write in with news of their lives for the folks back at home. Anna Belle and Jesse Patton responded with this update from their new home in Idaho.
Published in the November 22, 1917 Skidmore News:
From Anna Belle and Jesse
Filer, Idaho, Oct. 28, 1917
We were so glad for the invitation to write again, as that was just what we wanted to do. We only gave just a short sketch of our trip, for if we had told it all there wouldn’t have been anything else in the paper.
We are both well and satisfied so far. Have a fair position in a grocery store with a salary of $85.00 a month and rooms furnished, with steam heat, hot and cold water. Our rooms are two of a house of twenty-seven rooms and some very nice people live in these with whom we have some very pleasant evenings.
This little town is sure a live little place, we laugh at the street scene in the mornings at 7 o’clock, makes us think of St. Joseph. The streets are lined with people afoot, in automobiles and wagons on their way to work.
There is stored here in three enormous warehouses thousands of bushels of potatoes and a great number of bushels have not been dug. Men and boys are making from $6 to $8 per day picking (spuds). From the amount of spuds in this country you might think they would be cheap, but are paying $1.15 per hundred. There are also thousands of bushels of apples frozen on the trees as it has begun to get a little cool now.
One man put in 78 acres of spuds and they are yielding as high as 300 sacks per acre. I might add here, they pick spuds seven days out of a week.
Two weeks ago today we drove to Blue Lakes and saw stacks of alfalfa hay worth from $1000 to $1500 per stack. Red clover makes an enormous growth here and there are hundreds of acres of it.
The grade down to this Blue Lake is 1 1/2 miles long and from 15 to 20 feet wide and 25 per cent grade runs along the edge of the canyon. The deepest part about 300 feet deep, where if you look over you can see stacks of bones of horses that have become frightened and gone over. When we were on this grade there were 15 cars and the majority of them that were having trouble were Fords, and we were told that the grade was a little too much for a Ford, so you all can imagine about what it was like.
We finally reached Snake river and crossed on a bridge, and it was about one-half mile from the Blue Lakes, which we reached in safety and found a body of water that makes its appearance at the foot of a cliff and extends down the canyon about one-half mile, where it disappears as mysteriously as it came. The water in places was 15 feet deep and the bottom solid rock and the color of the sky, and in the deepest places we could see the bottom in any part of the water. You could step on a rock at the side of the water and see trout of various sizes, in large schools, swimming in all directions. We spent the day there in company with twenty-five other people and had a grand good time. Since our trip over there a Ford went over one of the steepest places. Went about 185 feet before it quit rolling. There was only one man in the car and he managed to get out before it left the grade.
There is a fruit farm on the banks of this lake and river of 25,000 trees; peaches, pears, cherries and apples. It was improved and is owned by a man whose name is Perrine, who let his family, horses and cattle over this 700 foot bank by means of a derrick, ten years ago, and now charges every person who goes down the grade 25 cents.
There was one place on our trip out here I neglected to speak of in our first letter. It was the half-way place in the United States. It is one mile west of Kearney, Nebr. where a big white sign tells the traveler it is 1733 miles to either coast. We have two pictures of that place which are good considering the weather when we came by there. Will be glad to send films to the movies if they care to use them.
We are having perfect weather now; mornings and evenings cool, but through the day it is warm and nice.
No rain since we landed, but we thot it was going to rain several times and would if we had been in Missouri. The roads are dusty, but they have a street sprinkler here that helps out wonderfully. They keep the road sprinkled from here to Twin Falls.
We sure enjoy the Skidmore News, which we get Sunday evening, and the letters written by our boys who have gone. We see by the Maryville Tribune the doctors are to go next. Sure sorry about that.