Clever Boys Stole and Filled Cabin
At one period several cabins were broken into, ransacked, and radios, guns and blankets stolen and little evidence of the culprits. The cabins were generally on the south side and west of Gilner Point, but not at all. A close watch was kept to see if any trucks were taking these articles out of the Valley. There were no clues. Breaking stopped. But some days later, two boys were arrested and the cabin they occupied was searched. Such an assortment had never been seen by the law, Constable Stanfield told me. Much more had been taken then had been missed by the owners; in value, hundreds of dollars. Undoubtedly these fellows stole partly for the fun of it, but expected to get the loot to the city later and cash for it. I fail to remember the sentence the court gave them, but alarmed cabin-owners rested easier. Their hideaway was near Fawnskin on the north shore.
Bill Cuts Down Big Sam
The Valley had a number of large trees but none were considered as big trees. The biggest for miles in town was struck by lightning and so came to an end.
I was near Red Ant Hill showing property to ladies from my camp when an awful blast of lightning came with a report like a big shot gun. “That stuck close,” I remarked, and on reaching the camp it was found that the tent these ladies occupied was blown over, the near trees were scarred from top to bottom, and if in the tent the women would surely have been killed. Son Alden was knocked to the ground one hundred feet from this tree.
Big Sam was located between two small buildings of the Hotel Company on a little stream – the largest pine in miles. The same bolt had hit the upper branches and they continued to burn, so men with rifles those off that were burning, without success. The danger to the office building was because the burning branches were falling on the shake roof; it had to come down. Old Sam must fall.
Of course, Knickerbocker was the man to do the job. So he took charge by putting to sawyers with the cross cut on the back side and he with his axe began to cut the gash. It was not only a big job but a ticklish one as either the office on one side or a smaller building on the other could be crushed to kindling by one false move. The space between for the fall left a margin of two feet and this giant weighed tons. Few men would have dared under take it.
Hours passed, the rasp of a saw, chips from the axe, drew quite a crowd. At the same time the call of “timber” and the tree fell. Just where Bill intended, taking off only a foot of shakes from one building. Down at Red Ant Hill they heard the crash as the giant struck the earth, impaling one of its eighteen-inch branches solidly in the ground, so that cars rolled around it for a year after being cut from the trunk. They measured the trunk – it was nine feet across – and that was the end of Big Sam. How old? You guess. It was the biggest living thing for miles.