Black Swamp Farm

Howard E. Good
Illustrations by Brenda Olson Sutherland

Howard E. Good was born on a farm in an area of the Maumee Valley in northwestern Ohio known as the Black Swamp, a remnant of the violence of the Ice Age and its glaciers, from which farmland had to be wrested by long and arduous labor and where only the stouthearted had any hope of success. In Black Swamp Farm, a stirring memoir of his early days, Good recounts a now vanished way of life.

Good remembers playing shinny with clamp-on skates and a tin can that had been stomped until it could whiz across the ice given just the right combination of speed and accuracy. He tells of the boom of the steam engine as it pulled the threshing machine to a neighboring farm on a hot summer day, and of the excitement of riding high on a wagonload of hay, gazing down on the horses’ broad, shining backs. He describes the springtime task of making soap, the ritual of the shivaree, and the pleasure of the church ice-cream social. He remembers well—and chronicles for the reader—the unproclaimed achievements of men and women whose courage and grueling toil brought them rich rewards.

First published in 1967, this reprint makes available once again a faithful portrayal of Black Swamp—a place that no longer exists—and provides a treasure trove of history for Ohioans.
 

1967  304 pp.  
 
 
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