Gone to the Swamp: Raw Materials for the Good Life in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta

Overview

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To make a living here, one had to be capable, confident, clever and inventive, know a lot about survival, be able to fashion and repair tools, navigate a boat, fell a tree, treat a snakebite, make a meal from whatever was handy without asking too many questions about it, and get along with folks.

This fascinating and instructive book is ...

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Gone to the Swamp: Raw Materials for the Good Life in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta

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Overview

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To make a living here, one had to be capable, confident, clever and inventive, know a lot about survival, be able to fashion and repair tools, navigate a boat, fell a tree, treat a snakebite, make a meal from whatever was handy without asking too many questions about it, and get along with folks.

This fascinating and instructive book is the careful and unpretentious account of a man who was artful in all the skills needed to survive and raise a family in an area where most people would be lost or helpless. Smith’s story is an important record of a way of life beginning to disappear, a loss not fully yet realized. We are lucky to have a work that is both instructive and warm-hearted and that preserves so much hard-won knowledge.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817354947
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 9/21/2008
  • Series: Alabama Fire Ant Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 1,009,561
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Robert Leslie Smith is descended from loggers, hunters, fishermen, and entrepreneurs.  Now retired, he still lives near the swamp at the head of Mobile Bay, where the Mobile and Tensaw Rivers join.  He served as a Naval Officer in WW-II, and then returned to his teaching profession, nurturing students at Foley High School and finally moving up to Superintendent of Baldwin County, Alabama Schools.
 
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Table of Contents

Gone to the Swamp 1

The Skin Game 15

The Public Timber Inspector 19

Oxen and the Men Who Drove Them 29

High Water Logging 42

Rafting and Loading Gunboats 48

Work of the Blacksmith 54

A Personal Note 59

Work of the Sawyer 61

Camp Life 66

Night Rafting 74

Kingfisher 77

The Yupon 81

Aunt Violet Boston 86

River Tale 88

Wildcats 92

Lost in the Swamp 94

Fear Strikes the Bend 96

Swamp Tale 98

The Kennedy Mills 102

Sawmill Tales 109

Sawmill Tales Continued 111

Logging in Blakeley Battleground 113

Mechanized Logging 115

Flatboats 131

Stockton Boat Ways 146

Latter Day Watermen 149

Latter Day Pullboating 151

The Last Watermen 154

Other Swamp Stories 159

Recovery of a Union Mortar in the Delta 163

Famous Trees 170

Oil in the Delta 182

Hubbard Landing 185

An Alabama State Treasure 198

The Old Ways 206

County Surveyor 215

Hunting Camp Life 217

The McGowan Compass 219

Dixie Landing 222

The Art and Practice of Hollering 230

United States Reserve Fleet 233

Delta Elementary School 238

How to Build a Double Ender 241

Construction of a Flatboat 248

Glossary 253

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