Bean Burners and Hash Rasslers: More Logging Camp Food

Logging Camps foodOn a typical day in 1929, cooks at Ritter Company Camps of Dickenson County, Virginia , served the following menus to anywhere from 75 – 100 loggers:

BREAKFAST:

Cornflakes
Oatmeal
Stewed or fried apples
Canned peaches
Fried ham, pork chops, or beef steak, with country gravy
Fried potatoes
Biscuits
Butter, jam, jelly, syrup
Coffee, milk

Logging Camp in Wisconsin
Logging Camp in Wisconsin

LUNCH:

Baked or boiled potatoes
Pork and beans
Stewed corn, cabbage, or other vegetable
Pickles
Cole slaw
Onions
Fried pork or stew (Irish, vegetable, or beef)
Corn bread, light bread, and biscuits
Apple pie
Butter and syrup
Coffee and milk

DINNER:

Meat of two kinds
Pork and beans
Soup
Potatoes
Stewed vegetables
Rice or pudding
Fresh fruit
Cake
Corn bread and light bread
Milk and coffee

Loggers also sang about their food. Singers like Hank Williams, Sr. immortalized loggers’ lives in song, too, and somehow food always played a role:

Lyrics to Hank Williams, Sr.” “The Old Log Train”:

If you will listen, a song I will  sing,
About my daddy who ran a log  train.
Way down in the southland in old Alabam,
We lived in a place that they call Chatmantown.

And late in the evening when the sun was low,
Way off in the distance you could hear the train blow.
The boys would come runnin’ and Mama would sing,
“Git the supper on the table, here comes the log train.”

Every morning at the break of day,
He’d grab his lunch bucket and be on his way.
In winter or summer, sunshine or rain,
Every mornin’ he’d run that old log train.

A sweatin’ and swearin’ all day long
Shoutin’ “Git-up there oxen, keep movin’ along,
Load ‘er up boys  ’cause it looks like rain,
I’ve got git to rollin’ this old log train.”

This story happened a long time ago,
The log train is silent, God called Daddy to go.
But when I get to heaven to always remain,
I’ll listen for the whistle of the old log train.

Tomorrow [September 16, 2006], more about logging camp cooks.

© 2009 C. Bertelsen

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Mae, thanks for writing! Yes, it’s loggers for the week, until Friday, anyway. Some of the words, which you’ll see on Thursday, really show how imaginative people can be.

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  2. mae says:

    Wonderful theme for this week, loggers. I think it’s a great idea to look at the food of various groups. Thanks.

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  3. Yes, that’s probably part of it. Farmers ate a lot, too, as witness the stories my sister-in-law tells about cooking for the threshers, etc.

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  4. dianabuja says:

    That is great! No wonder their kids and grandkids began to develop overeating problems!

    Like

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