Nancy Bureson 7.8.2019

Bio: Decendent of Harold Hammond & family historian, volunteer at White Grass with her grandson in 2018. Descriptor: Childhood education at White Grass and in a two room school in Kelly.


The following are quotes and short vignettes compiled from the memories of the nieces and nephews of Harold Rezin Hammond during their years at the White Grass and in the Valley from around 1917 – 1924. Phyllis, Harold, Walt & Norma. The complete tapes can be found under the Oral Histories section along with the transcriptions.

The first couple of winters at the ranch we weren’t able to go to school because we were snowed in.  The White Grass is below the mountains and the snow got to be 6 feet deep.
During those times, we were taught by dad. We did a lot of reading on the ranch.  We read everything we could get ahold of.  He taught us arithmetic and times tables.  We were pretty isolated for two years.

When we lived in Kelly (which was almost completely destroyed when a dam broke and flooded the area),  we attended a two room school.  The school teachers hired us to janitor the place.  We were supposed to sweep it up in the evening and mop it once in a while.  One evening we got the bright idea of instead of mopping it, we’d make it look like it was mopped.  We just poured a couple tubs of water on the floor and went home.  In the morning, when we came back to light the fires in the stoves in the School, we had a skating rink!  We worked awful hard the morning.

When we lived at the Curtis Ranch, we rode our horse to school when it was cold.  It was about 1 ¾ miles to school.  The three of us hopped on top of that horse and off we went.  The kids in the schoolyard would get a kick out of seeing all of us riding in like that.

And part of that time, we would catch the mail stage that would come through and grab a ride on it. The driver kind of didn’t want us to do that but he wouldn’t kick us off because somebody ahead of us had a couple of kids that they paid him to take their kids to school. We didn’t pay him. We’d just get out there when he’d come by, we’d stand outside of the ruts of the sled until he went by and then we’d jump on the runners of the sleigh. The thing was we got pretty cold back there. The driver had covers for himself and the kids. He let us into the sled when it was really cold.

Phyllis Hammond Strommen

Harold Nora Hammond

Walter Hammond

Nora Hammond

The picture is of the 4 nieces and nephews of Harold R Hammond who lived on the ranch while he was in the service.  Phyllis, Harold Nord, Walt & Norma.