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Handley’s Mill

February 22, 2022

by Mrs. Matt Howe

Come all you young men and maidens

A tale to you I’ll tell

It was at Burnt River

A place you all know well.

There Handley’s owned a sawmill

The finest in the land

And the mend they worked through rain or shine.

For they didn’t care a damn

Jack Handley was the foreman’s name

You’d see him driving round

And when he got the least bit dry

He’d hilsen off to town.

And if perhaps when he came back

He acted sort of queer,

Don’t be alarmed, he’ll do no harm.

He’s only full of beer.

Now Cameron was the sawyer’s name

A man so tall and thin

He’d stand and saw and saw and saw

And never stop to wind.

He’d shove the lever to and fro

And make the old saw hum

And then the sawdust it did fly

You couldn’t see the sun

Now Tom Howe was the teamsters name,

A jolly sort of bum

He always got there early

For he’s always on the run.

Clive Weaver came at 8 o’clock

And you would hear Tom yell

‘You’re late again you son of a gun’

Clive answered, ‘Go to hell’.

Now Bill Brown was the straw boss

A happy sort of guy

He always had a smile for all

When he was passing by.

He kept het old mill running

And the men all liked him fine

For they never had to hurry

And he was very kind.

Now a man named Barr was canting,

Young Herman was the tail sawyer

He came from Norland town.

Now there was Duly Wilkinson

He edged the lumber right

But when young Crego came that way

They sometimes had a fight.

George Shell, he was the fireman

He kept the steam real high

And you would hear him band the door

When you were passing by.

Matt Howe was at the trimmers

He liked the job done right

He kept the lumber moving

From early morn till night.

Jim Howe was at the slab saw

He did his job real well,

Young Barkwell always helped him

You would sometimes hear them yell.

For they were always fooling

 And running up and down

Just two young lads together

They live at Norland town.

George Wilkinson and Crego

They piled the lumber high

They drew it with a tractor

And the piles would reach the sky.

Now Ida was the sawyer’s wife

I stayed with her all day

We had a friend named Allie

She lived across the way.

We had good times together

And liked each other well

But the things we sometimes said and did

I wouldn’t like to tell.

I just forgot to tell you

A guy named Rollie Young

He rolled the logs up to the saw

Till every log was done

And then when pay day came around

The men they all would dash

Way down the road to Matties house

For she had all the cash.

One day the old mill had to stop

The logs had all gone through

Bill Brown he blew the whistle

Until the air was blue.

Jack Handley got a load of beer

And gave it to the men

And they drank a toast to Johnny

Until they meet again.

I saw him pass the bottles round

He loved his good old beer

And then they stood and drank it all

Till some of them felt queer.

And now my tale is ended

And I must say Adieu

I hope to see you all again

In the year of 1952.

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