Newspaper Archive of
Quad City Herald
Brewster, Washington
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July 30, 1998     Quad City Herald
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July 30, 1998
 

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panA 4 July  1998 (3uAd City. HArald Bertha Mumma I as young as she feels , Seniors gift Bertha Mumma on 107th Birthday Bertha Mumma will have a birthday soon, and the kids down at tbe Brewster Senior CenterJwell, kids as far as Bertha Mummais concerned--decided to give her a special gift. Bertha will be 107 years old in two weeks; in honorofherbirtMay, Senior Center members gave her a lifetime membership. Not that Bertha plans to use it now, although it might come in handy some day. Her son Ray said she jokessbe will become a steady member when she gets older. Bertha Mumma does not think she is old. She doesn't feel oid;"oh, no.No I dou't," she said. Bertha Gerig Mumma was bern in Bieber, Californa, a small farm and ranch town in the mountains. Bieber is still there, and the ranches and farms are still there, and Bertha Mumma is still here.Most other things have changed. The residents of Bieber and the surrounding farms used horses to plow their fields and get around. Those who didn't own or couldn't rent horses walked. Their homes were lit by oil-filled lamps; electric power was confined to well-to-do neighborhoods in the cities. They cooked on wood stoves. Little girls like Bertha Gerig wore long sleeved, high-necked dresses and shoes that buttoned up the side. Little boys wore short pants and high buttoned shoes when they dressed up; to work, they wore overalls. Little girls wore dresses no matter what theywere doing. There were chickens and dairy cattle in the Gerig barn as a matter of course; only city people bought ,eggsand milk at the dairy. The imiik the family did not use was turned into cheese, an activity that involved the whole family. Once a year the Gerig men loaded the wagon with that cheese and set out to Virginia City, Nevada, a round trip of a week and more. In Virginia City the cheese was sold and the money used to buy things that could not be purchased in the little town in the isolated valley in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The Gerig children, like most children who lived in the county, attended a one room country school. They had two teachers, Bertha remembered, teaching first through ninth grade. She would have graduated from high school in 1909, but a high school diploma was not as important at the turn of the century. Assisting the family and supporting oneself mattered more. Bertha quit school to go to work. "oh, no. No I don't, (feel old)" - Bertha Mumma She worked as a cook on the ranches around Bieber, feeding the cowboys and farmhands. She worked in the dining room at Bieber's hotel. It was hard work. The bread and cakes, soups and stews, had to be made from scratch and cooked on temper mental wood stoves. The stoves had to be kept hot all day, even when the temperatures reached and exceeded 100degrees.Sheworked sevendaysaweekduring the haying season, when the ranchers hired extra men to bring in thecrop.BerthaMumma said she could remember times when she received as little as 25 cents a day. It was not unusual for Bertha Gerig, a woman in her 20s, to have a job outside the house. But most young women stayed close to home until they marriedorofficially became spinsters. Not Bertha Gerig. She left Bieber and struck out on her own, traveling the west, working as a cook. She met her future hushand, however, back in Bieber. Roy Mumma had been one of the young men who marched off to war in 1917; after he was mustered out of theMarine Wm. E. Vallance photos Bertha Mumma can remember when she received as little as 25 cents a day for a full day of work. Corps, he went to work on the and fewer good roads, he bought Gerig homestead. There he met a truck and started his own freight 27 year old Bertha Gerig. business. He stayed in operation through the Depression, only closing Bertha decided to visit her sister it during World War II. Nancy, who lived with her husband in Brewster. Roy Mumma Roy and Bertha Mumma had accompanied her, wooed and won three sons and a daughter that died her. The young couple set up at birth. Her children became her houskeeping on Brewster Flat. most important job, her son Ray said in a 1996 interview; she was, RoyMummawentintotheorchard in his opinion, very good at it. business. But his timing was bad; his apples rotted at the shipping Roy Mumma died in the 1950s. dock, victims of a railroad strike. Bertha still lives in the same house He got out of the apple business, the family has occupied since the mid- 1920s, a small two-story house The railroads were a mighty power on Bridge Street. Until a few years at the time; most of the products ago she lived alone, but she now thatmovedinandoutoftheOkanogmt has a live in companion at night. River valley came by rail. But Roy Mumma bet on the future. Bill Tarbell presents Bertha Mumma with lifetime membership to the Even though there were few roads Breweter Senior Center, s birthday gift from its members. q. Kitchen camp I I iImIi cent from page 1 Miller said she didn;t have a favorite among the recipes they had made to that time. "I like them all," she said. Schulke did have a favorite. "I liked baking tlmse--what are they called?MMaster Mix. And then we put in vegetables and chicken." "They're like pizza pockets," Vela said. Christopher SaWer said in his opinion the hardest part of cooking was waiting through the cooking time. It seems like it takes a long time for food to cook, Vela said. The good-for-you recipes were popular. However, one boy wondered aloud ..... when they were going to learn to make pizza. The cooking camp was paid for through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Schulke said. IPOTTY WAGON t " L (-- I [ Subdivisions. I - I I Road Construcllon I "VIf, I [ Septic Systems I I I Tree Removals I o , Of' o/00,idg,vo0000 II HomesitePreparation I Air - ' ,A.,.,. ICaaerEx00vatm, Ine.I vlu i I , Montana Mountain Escapel The Bng Mountain Resort, Whitefish, Montana Includes: 3 nights lodging, unlimited use of Located on gondola to 70Off peak, 1-1/2 hour guided Glacier National u-all horse ride, ranch style supper & live western show, half day white water raft trip. Park's doorstep. Restr/o#ons l ,iverbend. AppSy. I ll 4,. 'aver " e (sog)e.-3 Oat/for I " IH eru 1.800.924-3481 613 W. Main, Box 1015, ...... details. I "  ...... fglp'| WA 98812 Balzies July 16 - a boy, Jonatan, to Roeio f,..-]4. and Pablo Mote, Pateros. July 19 - aboy, Daniel, to MarYAlice and Gerard. Avales, Brewster. ", July 20 - a boy, Debanhi, to Noemi and lsaias Mota, Brewster. This Sale's A 5000 BTU | Br,dgeport Fire & Ambulance Dept. Golf Tournament 100 BTU *349 I Burning ban placed in Bridgeport The city of Bridgeport is enforcing a burning ban within the city limit No burning will be allowed until further notice. If you have any questions call Bridgeport City Hall. 8.50%,,,. New Boat 8.50%'". New Auto-,ooo00 Financing, 8.15%,,,.,-Used 'Boat 0 APR. 8.9900 'UsedAuto 8 99%,",,. Hew & Used l00Vs A I toda l Existin Loan Refinances Are Available! Stop by your local InterWest.office, call 1-800-871-LOAN or visit our web site at www.mterwestbank.com to apply. BREWsTER - 689-25 71 lnterWest Bani00 Wash i ngton ' s Hometown Bank. Rates are for dealer purchases and require payments made by pre-authorized transfer. Without pre-authorized transfer: 8.75% APR on new boat; 8.75% APR on new auto; 9.00% APR on used boat; 9.24% APRon used auto; 9.24% APR on new and used RV. Model year and term restrictions apply on all loans, call for more information. Subject to credit approval and underwritin 8 criteria. Refinancing not available on current InterWest Bank loans. Rates available through 8/12/98. InterWest Bank is an Equal Opportunity Lender.