PAUL NYMAN Interview 2006
Actually when you're going toward Nipigon, on the right hand side of the road, the first house you get to on the right side towards Suicide Hill was the house that Sharon and I had built. Then the next house was one that my brother, Ted, built and then where Duke's is the house that Mr. and Mrs. Nyman built. So the whole family lived in a row out there and the one that burnt was the one where Duke's is and that was in January 1954 that it burnt and it was forty below. So then we had to move back into the old house which was across the street where Art Lemieux is now. That's where the original house was but he tore that one down and built a new one.
My Dad owned a lot of property out there and he had bought 160 acres for one hundred dollars in 1942 and there was nothing on that land because all of the trees and that had burnt when the big fire went through there in the late 30's, maybe 1939 or so. When my Dad bought that house on the property he got sixteen acres from Otto Maki and it was a log square timber house which was a small place but all the trees were gone. All that was left were the big stumps but it must have been a beautiful forest in there at one time. But everything burnt except the house and even the root house burnt and the house was still standing because it was winter time. My Dad just added onto that little house and we just kept building and adding on to it and finally it was just a great big place.
We cut all the cedar in the back of the house and we used to bring one tree at a time. Leo Lespi used to cut lumber for my Dad and we would bring cedar logs in to him and his saw couldn't cut through them because they were so big around! So he tried to get a bigger saw and what they had to do was put the saw through and then turn the log and line it up again so they could saw it again. We had boards that were 18 inches wide and they were huge and we used to put one log on a sleigh for the horse to carry in once we got a trail made. We hauled them from way in behind there and there were roads all over in behind there and up by Trout Creek. You could go all the way to the tower and way in behind there. Newaygo was based out of Thunder Bay but they had their cutting rights here and they hauled the logs in for the mills and wherever else they sold them.
There was lots of birch and it was all used as firewood for us and my Dad would go not even a mile and we cut dry birch and hauled it home by horses and sleigh and cut it all up with a buck saw.
We had one horse and our neighbours had two horses and we always worked together and went back and forth. Everyone went from one place to another and old man Rajala owned property down by the Weigh Scales and had that farm there and he had cows and the old lady used to make hand churned butter and we would get our butter there. We got our milk and beef from Ruoho's and we would have our own pork. We didn't have any way to keep the meat so we would split it and we did a lot of trading and bartering. That's all it was and I don't remember seeing any money.