Monday, March 2, 2009

Cold Enough to Kill a Hog

It's been really cold these first few days of March, cold enough to kill a hog. It had to be really, really cold to kill a hog on the Itawamba County farm. In the days before refrigeration, warm weather would cause meat to easily spoil so farmers butchered their hog just as soon as the weather turned cold in early winter. Most every farm had a smokehouse out back for hanging and storing the family's butchered meat, and a properly cured ham would feed the family for a while.

Fisher Johnson is pictured above with what has to be a prize-winning porker. I bet the Johnson family had ham for breakfast for many mornings to come. But you know, Fisher doesn't look too cold in the picture, and ... are leaves on those trees?

Fisher and Nora Thornton Johnson lived with their family "up the north road" near the Ryans Well community except for a short period of time when Fisher moved his family to near Rockwood in Franklin County, Alabama. Fisher likely worked at the mine that operated there during that period.

1930 Census Itawamba County, Mississippi
Old Pleasanton Road
Fisher D Johnson 39 MS MS MS farmer, rents
Nora E 39 MS MS MS married at age 22
Glada M 16 MS
Julius 14 MS
Dorothy 13 MS
Vannie 9 MS
Donnis 6 MS
Adron 4 11/12 MS
Earnest 3 4/12 MS
Etoy 1 1/12 MS
Robert Pedigo 36 MS lodger, occupation: teamster log team


Don Dulaney said...

Mona, I want some of that fatback that laid on Granny Pearls Stove all the time. I once got on to dad about eating so much pork. It was not good for him. He said "yea my grandpa eat it every day of his life. and at 93 it killed him dead"

Apple said...

I remember butchering hogs just once and I know it was in the fall, but I don't remember it being all that cold but we had a freezer. I do remember the wonderful smell of the smokehouse fire and the delicious sausage that lasted all winter.