When we were older we never use to wear shoes, we were always running around bare feet in the summer time. I remember going to school in the month of May there was still patches of snow on the ground in the woods.
There was a short cut through the woods and we were walking on the snow with our bare feet. We thought that was fun, all the kids were doing the same thing. In the winter time we were wearing moccasins made from cowhide. They had no sole and were very slippery on the snow, but they were nice to wear with the snowshoes and we also wore gum shoes.
I remember my father making snowshoes with ash wood. He would take a piece of wood approximately 1 inch wide and 3/4″ thick and 10 feet long, it would have to be bent so they had to be steamed. He made a box 6″X6″ to steam the wood for the frame of the snowshoes. He made himself a jig or a mould so they could be made all the same. He made that mould 3 inches thick with rough lumber or planks, he drilled a hole in the plank about 4 inches apart to hold the frame of the snowshoe together after it was steamed so it would bend and dry. We made a cross piece to tie the rawhide to. The centre of the snowshoe would have to be made with a rawhide, half inch wide and it didn’t matter on the length, and it would be long enough that you would not have to splice it. We had to share the shoes with the other brothers and sisters so we would take turns to go outside to play in the snow.
We had a small sled that some of the older brothers had made. We would take this sled and slide down the snow drifted hills. There was so much snow around the house we had the hills of about 10-12 feet high. We never went outside to much, didn’t have too many clothes to wear. We had to share the clothes so we would take our turn going outside to play in the snow. Another thing that we would do is build igloos; we used to do that with big blocks of snow. Cut into big squares.
More Next Week!