N. A. Rainbolt and his swamp

Got Lost in His Own Swamp

To be lost on your own farm in a tamarack swamp for several hours, groping about in the darkness, stumbling through mud and water, without a sign of life anywhere, with the daylight shut out by the heavy foliage of the tamarack trees, is no fun.  This happened to N. A. Rainbolt of Norfolk a few weeks ago on his own farm in Wisconsin, where he spent some time fishing.

Mr. Rainbolt returned from his trip recently and relates the story.  One bright afternoon, in search of white pine trees which were reported growing on a portion of his place, he entered the swamp believing the trees to be on the other side of the marsh.  The swamp he thought was but a small one and he continued his way across the mud and water, over the little knolls of grass which grows in these swamps.  After walking for some length of time he found that he was in total darkness and had come across his own footsteps.  He had been walking around in a circle and after making observations, found he was lost in the swamp.  He continued walking and after about an hour’s hard work saw a ray of light between the trees.  He reached the other end of the swamp and climbed a hill and found he had wandered a great distance from the lake upon which his land borders.

After more investigations Mr. Rainbolt discovered a stream  which entered the swamp and also found that it was too deep to cross and it would be necessary for him to go back through the tamarack swamp to get home.  He boldly plunged into the thick underbrush and high growth of weeds through the swamp.  In his blind march through the muck, making little headway, leaping over little knolls of grass which protected him from sinking into the mud, he came upon an old log bridge, which had been built over forty years ago.  He crossed the bridge which was very solid and had been used as a wagon bridge in the old logging days.  He also discovered that the bridge spanned the stream which came from the lake and had he not discovered it he would hardly have been able to cross the stream.

He continued in the darkness through the swamp and soon light appeared.  But it was dusk.  He had been wandering through the swamp all afternoon.  He soon found the road and says he never felt happier in his life than when his feet touched the guideway toward home.  After relating his adventure to the farmer on his land, he found that no one in that neighborhood had ever heard of the old bridge.  Source:  The Norfolk Weekly News-Journal, Friday, June 24, 1910, page 7.