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Prune Packing in Ephriam in the Early 1900's

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Title Saga of the Sanpitch Vol 14
Subject Pioneers
Description Stories and poems about early Southern Utah Pioneers
Publisher Snow College
Date 1982
Type Text
Format image/jpeg
Language eng
Rights Management Snow College
Holding Institution Snow College
ARK ark:/87278/s6wh2n45
Setname snowc_sts
Date Created 2005-03-01
Date Modified 2005-03-01
ID 325496
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6wh2n45

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Title Prune Packing in Ephriam in the Early 1900's
Description The prunes were packed in the old shop on First South Street in Ephraim. Father had provided long tables which held the prunes while they were being packed. There was a raised cleat on either side of the table to keep the prunes from rolling off. The packers were young girls or women. An empty crate was handed to each woman. The crates were square with four baskets, smaller at the bottom. A square of silk paper was provided to place between each layer of prunes! the smallest ones at the bottom in straight rows, stem end down, then the middle-sized ones, than a sheet of paper and then a top layer of the largest ones, with a sheet of paper to fold over the last row to keep the prunes from showing through when the lid was nailed on. When each woman had finished a crate she would call out and I would put a mark by her name thus, 1111, until she had five marks which made it easier to count when it was time to figure up how much she had earned. The carpenter boy would give her another empty crate and take the full one away and nail the lid on. They were then hauled down to the depot and placed neatly in a railroad re-frigerated car to await shipment to William M. Roylance, a fruit dealer in Provo, Utah. This went on for a week or ten days while the prunes were at their peak and until the rail-road car was filled. I don't remember how much the women were paid. Perhaps ten or fifteen cents per crate. It was my job to figure how much each woman had earned and to see that she was paid from the money that had been provided by my father. Father paid the boys and men. This was a happy, sociable time. The girls and women enjoyed getting together. It was almost like a quilting bee, visiting over a large quilt! Only they were earning a little while enjoying the association of their friends. Many young people looked forward to this prune-packing time because they enjoyed it so much. One year there were more prunes than it took to fill one car load, so father gave the extra prunes to a very resource-ful man with a large family. This man put the prunes through a lye process to crack the skins and then put them in a dryer he had made himself. He built a framework over a cookstove where he had many shelves. By keeping a slow fire in the stove, the prunes dried. He would move the bottom shelf to the top -127-
Format image/jpeg
Identifier 141_Prune Packing in Ephriam in the Early 1900's.jpg
Source Saga of the Sanpitch Vol 14
Setname snowc_sts
Date Created 2005-02-19
Date Modified 2005-02-19
ID 325430
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6wh2n45/325430