|A History of STRUM
and the TOWN OF UNITY by Roy Matson
|show some improvement on the property when an inspection was made during the fifth year. A $15 fee was due at that time. All lands, excepting railroad property, was eligible for homesteading.
Even when homesteading, the settler had a long struggle. Many selected a living site near a spring, dug living space into some bank for the first winter, left a wife and small children and worked in a lumber camp for $8-12 per month until spring. Then to erect some sort of a shanty for the future, break the root filled new earth, plant a crop on a few acres, harvest it and take off for another winter that was equally hard on both man and wife. It was a hard life, but the land was theirs...
The 1877 Tucker map showing the present Village of Strum.
The Rivieire Des Beauf (Beef) and The Bon Secours (Chippewa)
Geologists believe our river valley was a lake at one time with an outlet flowing west from the Mondovi area, following the Bear Creek valley and entering the Chippewa River upstream from Durand.
Explorers traveling the Mississippi during the 1700’s wrote of the Riviere Des Beauf emptying into the Bon Secours at a mile above the present site of Alma. A note by Zeb M. Pike in the Wisconsin Historical Collections, Volume XVI mentions this as does the French explorer La Seur in a report of his various travels on the upper Mississippi.
It seems the Chippewa River instead of flowing straight out into the Mississippi as at present, turned eastward at the present site of Nelson and followed the Wisconsin shore line past the present mouth of the Beef River and emptied into the Mississippi at a point just above Alma. Indians living along “the fathers of waters” had a legend of an unusual rainy season that seemed to have occurred about