Old State Mill, The
DESCRIPTION: "It is pretty hard times for the farmer, Who lives by the sweat of his brow." He has to sell his cow to pay taxes, and can't pay the store But "The railroad bummers have lots of cash To spend at the Old State Mill." Times are hard many others as well
EARLIEST DATE: 1965 (Dunn, _The St. Croix_, from an uncited source)
KEYWORDS: farming hardtimes worker railroading
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
ADDITIONAL: James Taylor Dunn, _The St. Croix: Midwest Border River_, reprint edition with new introduction published 1979 by the Minnesota Historical Society press, pp. 256-257, [no title] (1 text)
NOTES: Dunn cites no source for this song; it sounds to me as if it might be a Grange song. But it is not just about farmers; river men, tote teamsters, and "every day men" are also singled out as being in trouble. Dunn thinks the song dates from the aftermath of the Panic of 1873.
Searching the Internet, I was unable to locate an Old State Mill in Wisconsin (although there seems to be a famous one in Ohio, and several others of lesser note). However, the stanza about river men mentions the St. Croix and Clam rivers -- which clearly localize the song to northwestern Wisconsin (the Clam is a tributary of the Saint Croix). - RBW
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