Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

Our column of Feb. 6, in which we told of some of the early history of Winona Lake, struck a "tender spot" with one of our readers, Mr. C. E. Treesh, of Route 2, Warsaw. He sat right down and wrote us a very interesting letter concerning some of his experiences while working at Winona and while helping double-track the Pennsylvania line. We quote from his letter.:

"At that time there were no bulldozers, steam shovels, etc., the dirt was mostly moved by wheel scrapers and some with slips and a little with wagons. On the Pennsy, after we would get a grade started and began to haul over it, I have seen the dust more than shoe top deep for days on end. After we were on the job for a couple of hours we all looked alike, and the only ways we could distinguish each other apart was by our walk, build, or by the teams we drove.

"After the Pennsy line was finished, we went to work at Winona. I helped dig the cellar for the old Mount Memorial Building (now the Free Methodist Publishing House) and level off the yard. The dredge was working on the canal at that time and I helped haul all the dirt off the canal's banks.

"There was surely plenty of activity all over the park at that time as the rat-tat-tat of the carpenter's hammers sounded like a thousand wood-peckers all pecking on a hollow tree at once.

"At that time, it seemed you could carry a tin-cup in your hip pocket and get a good drink almost any place, because it seemed to me that the first thing a person would do after they got their cottage built was to put down a flowing well.

"When the old Pennsy trains would stop at Winona, people would roll off until sometimes we thought that surely some of them rode in on the cow-catcher because it did not seem that they could all get on the train. Then in about half an hour, they were so thick down through the park that the park seemed like a dish of molasses in fly time."

We appreciate very much this letter from Mr. Treesh. It brings out human interest material which is seldom found in books. We only wish that more of our readers would send in reminiscences like this.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Mar. 9, 1954