It's hard to picture this part of the country as I first remember it. Here and there was a cabin home with a little spot of clearin close by. The rest of the country was jist one great big woods and miles and miles in most every direction. From your cabin you could see no farther than the wall of trees surrounding the clearin; not another cabin in sight."
Thus begins Oliver Johnson's account of pioneer life in the Indianapolis area in the 1820s and 1830s. Elsewhere, he says, "We lived mighty happy and contented in the early days. With a good snug cabin, a big fireplace, and a supply of corn meal on hand, there wasn't much to worry about. Our big family spent many a pleasant winter evenin settin around a blazin fire while the wind and snow cut capers outside." Each chapter is a story in itself: "The Endless Tress," "To Build a Cabin," "Clearing the Land," "The Fireplace," "The Spinning Wheel," "Ills and Aches," "The Three R's," "Early Grist Mills," "Hunting Tales," "Fights and Shooting Matches," "The First County Fairs," "Driving Hogs to the River," and "How I Met Your Grandmother."