Picnic at the Farm

Picnic at the farm, dated 1944, but uncertain?

From left:  Unidentified man with baby, Ervin & Louise Smith (holding Noel; apparently visiting in Wisconsin on vacation), Jeanne, Rose, Alma (in rear), Annabelle, John & Mark, Ray (in rear), L.H. , Kay Raustad (Ada’s daughter), Ada, Mary Severance, and Richard .  Emilie Dubois’ crutch leaning against the house, and her hat is just visible as she sits in the porch chair.  Who’s taking the photo?  Perhaps Lee Raustad (Ada’s husband) or Father John?  If 1944, Richard on furlough?  Mary?

Uncle Fred’s picnic table serving well.   The old house has the addition, which greatly improved our standard of living.  The car is Grandpa’s 1939 maroon Chevy, as verified by Bill.  The unidentified man is likely Kay’s husband.  The baby could be Bill Rivard (right age).

The most interesting life-lesson is that a novel could be written about the people in this photo, and how their lives were affected by time, fate, circumstance and their own choices, and how that affected others.  Since it’s too late in my life to write that novel, let’s stop here… JLR Photo Contribution

Girl in the Snow

The 1943 snow picture explains itself. JLR

Well, I didn’t see it. JLR convinced me it’s a picture of my mom. 1943 dad was away in the service so it may be a picture she sent to him, to see the snow. If it says May, and not March, it is quite a lot for that time of year.

LH Rivard

LH Rivard [left in photo] was the most remarkable man I ever knew.  But none of it came from direct contact or personal experience, because he was not in the habit of talking with his grandchildren.  Rather, I learned about him by discovering what he had done and accomplished during his life, and how he had provided for his family even after his bank failed during the depression.  He never used profanity, rarely showed emotions, loved family gatherings, especially if they would conclude with a card game (whist was his favorite).  As a high school student, and with encouragement of my Mom, I gathered information about his life.  John

Babes in Arms

The “Farming” photo deserves comment.  I have never seen it before… setting unknown.

  • Clearly a John T. Rivard production, staged with his usual sense of humor
  • Babes in arms John T, held by Uncle Fred (LH’s brother), and Richard, held by ?
  • LH, holding a boy, probably Mark Smith
  • Erv Smith (I think) holding daughter Jeanne
  • Unknown male, possibly Uncle Fred’s son Wilfred.
  • Vintage, based on Mark and Jeanne, about 1939

John L Rivard

Load of Hay

Making hay the hard way on the 6-7 acre field behind the LH Rivard house in TL.    Note the dump rake used to bunch the hay, which was then pitched onto the wagon (or truck) by men using pitch forks.  This load may have been off-loaded into the small barn on the property as winter feed for the 3-4 cows kept there by L.H. Rivard.  The Rivard boys milked the cows, separated the milk, and then delivered milk and cream via hand pull wagons to customers in TL.  This provided a supplemental income for Alma during the lean years of the 1930’s, and taught the Rivard boys responsibility and work ethic.  It’s not clear if this was still happening in 1939.  I think not because the Rivard boys were otherwise occupied.   In that case, this load of hay may have been bound via truck to one of LH’s farm properties, maybe even the Horseshoe Lake farm (although the new barn there wasn’t completed until ~1940.)  The truck was likely Erv Smith’s “dray line” being operated by Raymond Rivard.  There is a pretty good chance that the two men on the truck are Richard and Raymond.  What do you think?   

In the late 40’s and 50’s, Raymond continued to raise hay and corn on this field, and used the dray line trucks to haul the crop three miles via the Canyon road to the Horseshoe Lake farm.  Ray’s 1949 purchase of a Ford tractor with “road gear” made it no longer necessary to use trucks for hauling the hay.  Also, hay baling replaced loose hay.

Sometime in the 20’s or 30’s, LH was the first in the area to introduce the superior mix of alfalfa and brome grass, replacing clover as the hay of choice, over a period of years.  LH was in many businesses, and he did them all well, including following the advice coming out of the University of Wisconsin via the county field agents, whose job it was to help farmers learn their living to earn their living.  John   

St. Anne’s Church

Possibly the St. Ann’s church in TL, during construction, circa 1940, as viewed from the “back” of the church in the general area of the old “Richardson” house, then or later occupied by your grandmother and step-grandfather and perhaps where your mother was raised?   Raymond hauled lumber to the church construction site while operating the “dray line” owned by Ervin Smith. 

The lower photo is another view of the church.  There are four young children in the foreground lower right, looking very much like your cousins Jeanne & Mark Smith and Rosemary & John Rivard, but perhaps about 1943 based on size (if that is us in the photo).  JLR


Louis Laurin

Louis Lauren 2

Louis Laurin was an exact opposite [of his brother John].  Distant, reserved, even haughty.  We knew him little because he was personally and geographically distant.  He enlisted about 1939, worked up through the ranks [Air Force] during the war years, and retired as a Lt. Colonel. JLR

Louis Laurin was the son of Alma DuBois and her first husband, Louis Laurin. His sister was Louise, and they lived in Cumberland, Wisconsin. Louis Laurin died young, and Alma later married Louis H. Rivard. Alma and Louis H had three sons, John, Raymond and Richard.

I remember Louie Laurin as a small girl. In college years on a trip to South America with my present day husband we stopped in Miami and stayed with Louie and his wife. They had two toy poodle dogs and a very secure home protection system. Louie was hospitable, not exuberant in his manner but graciously took us around Miami and showed us the highlights, like Coconut Grove. GRB

Ona Dunneman & Martha Nihart

The foursome is definitely teachers, because I recognize Martha Nihart and Ona Dunneman, both of whom were friends of Annabelle.  Martha never married, and was my English teacher in high school 1952-56.  I have an early memory of Rose and I being upstairs in Alma’s house with Martha in her room, where she took a picture of us with her new camera.  Probably circa 1943.   Ona married, stayed local, and remained an acquaintance of Annabelle. JLR

In Front of the Alma and LH Rivard Home

The home of LH and Alma Rivard in TL.  During the hard times of the 30’s and into the 40’s, Alma rented two upstairs bedrooms to teachers to supplement the family income.   Annabelle Berg Rivard rented there.  I suspect the top photo is Alma with two teachers. John L Rivard

Who could the tall distinguished woman in the center have been? Was she a teacher? What did she teach?