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The following letter to the editor appeared in The Saratoga Sun over 100 years ago on May 11, 1911:
    “Shall we Saratogians allow little old New York State to put over a fish story like the enclosed and remain silent?
    “What has become of our heavyweight fisherman? Is the ‘King Fisherman’ dead, or only married?...
    “The trout used to bite so voraciously in Saratoga that a good fisherman had to climb a tree to protect himself…
    “The story in the New York Sun is to the effect that a boy was leaning over the gunwale of a boat looking into the water, when a trout caught him by the nose and held on until the boy fell back into the boat thus securing a fine big trout at the expense of a bloody nose.
    “We rather think we can beat that. Ten or 12 years ago a boy of 12 wanted to go fishing and coaxed his father to allow him to take his rod and fine fishing outfit. A younger brother, a boy of seven, wanted to go along and made such a fuss about not having a fishing rod that his father tied a twine string to a bed slat, bent a pin  for a hook, baited it with a piece of bacon and told the youngster to go, too. The boys went to the iron bridge that spans the river here and fished. In about 20 minutes pandemonium broke loose.
    “It was a warm quiet day, and sounds carried far, and a greater part of the inhabitants of the town rushed to the bridge to rescue the drowning boys. But the yells and whoops and demonical shrieks continued and a motley procession of small humanity came trooping off the bridge, led by the boy with the bed-slat, who had a four-pound rainbow trout dangling from his bent pin.
    “Strange to say, the boy lived to be a strong healthy man and retains a very vivid recollection of his first trout.”
Wages for ranch and farm hands has long been a topic for discussion. Below is an article from The Saratoga Sun from April 11, 1918.
    “A large number of the members of the Saratoga Valley Stock Growers attended a meeting in Saratoga at city hall last Friday. The gathering was called for the purpose of discussing the farm labor problem, and a scale of wages was adopted as follows:
    Ordinary ranch work, $50.00 a month and board, lights and fuel.
    Hay hands, $2.50 a day.
    Hay stackers, $3.50 a day.
    Professional irrigators, $3.00 a day.
    Teams, $2.50 a day; employer furnishing hay, owner furnishing oats.
    The ordinary ranch hand wage is $5.00 above the government recommendation, as now employers now contend that they cannot provide good board, fuel and other items to their help.”
‘This Time Around’
By Roy Welton

After the snow,
And the wind don’t blow,
When the skies turn blue
from gray;
Then comes dust
Rocks and rust –
God just made it that way!
You wait for spring
The usual thing –
And vow you’ll never complain....
So, how can you lose
Your love you can choose;
And everything else to gain!
So, this time around
You can toil the ground,
And feel like you’ve gained some slack –
So, pay the preacher, the butcher and teacher,
And bring your memories back!

    Saratoga/Encampment area historian Dick Perue has a new book out about the history of the Sanger/Jenkins/A-Cross ranch south of Saratoga. The 130-year-old spread was in the same family for five generations before being sold in 2007. Perue has compiled 230 photographs, plus a narrative, into a 178-page coffee table publication.
    For years Perue has used the slogan, “Preserving local history one picture at a time.” However, it wasn’t until he had finished this book that he realized how true it was. The new owners of the A-Cross have removed every, cabin, corral, barn and house from the property. The only record left of the several dozen or more historic buildings on the homestead are the photographs – provided by the families who settled the ranch – which appear in the book.
    Persons wishing to purchase the book may do so from Historical Reproductions by Perue, Box 447, Saratoga, WY 82331, or by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Cost is $75 per book plus $10 for tax and shipping.
    Perue is a former newspaper editor, publisher and printer who was recently inducted into the Wyoming Newspaper Hall of Fame. He has spent over 60 years collecting historic photographs and manuscripts of the Upper North Platte River Valley, extending from Walcott Junction on the North to the Wyoming/Colorado state line on the South. He has compiled and published several books and pamphlets of local history, and has also presented numerous video programs. He also writes Postcard from the Past for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup.
Usually I don’t pay much attention to the e-mails I receive, but this one caught my fancy so I’m passing it along to those of you who read this column. Enjoy. – Dick Perue
    An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The man was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized that the dog beside him had been dead for years, as had his horse. Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them.
    After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter “H” that glowed in the sunlight.
    Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold.
    The cowboy rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out, “Excuse me, where are we?”
    “This is Heaven, sir,” the man answered.
    “Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” the old cowboy asked.
    “Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.”
    As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked, “Can I bring my partners, too?”
    “I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.”
    The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.
    After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
    “Excuse me,” he called to the man. “Do you have any water?”
    “Sure, there’s a pump right over there. Help yourself.”
    “How about my friends here?” the traveler gestured to the dog and his horse.
    “Of course! They look thirsty, too,” said the man.
    The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The cowboy filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog.
    When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree. “What do you call this place?” the traveler asked.
    “This is Heaven,” he answered.
    “That’s confusing,” the old cowboy said. “The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.”
    “Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake pearly gates? That’s hell.”
    “Doesn’t it make you angry when they use your name like that?”
    “Not at all. Actually, we’re happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.”
Articles in a January 1919 issue of a Wyoming weekly newspaper report that World War I is just over and that flu is rampant.
    The lead story notes, “Dr. Irwin has been called to the French Creek tie camp three times during the past ten days to attend flu patients, something over half the population of the camp, which totals about 60 persons, having contracted the disease.
    “The camp has no nurses and lack of care for the patients is presenting a serious obstacle in combating the disease.
    “The first death in the camp from this cause occurred Tuesday evening, when a young Swede, whose name we did not learn, succumbed to the disease. Several others are reported to be in a very serious condition, but no new cases have developed since the first wholesale outbreak of the malady there last week.”