Eastern Birds Eye View
to Betula! Betula started about 1910 when the barrel factory moved in. In Betula's
prime, 1915-1921, there was 3000-4000 people. At the time there were thousands
of what we call wood hicks, fellas that cut the logs, peeled bark, and hauled
it in. The wood hicks had lumber camps up in the woods. They wouldn't come in
till payday (once a month) and when they came in they partied until they spent
all their money then they went back up into the woods until they next months
pay check. They never went back into the woods with any money in their pockets.
The neighbors were smart enough to build themselves a pool room, a barber shop,
and other entertaining facilities. Betula also had a hotel, a jail, a
theater, livery stables, and even a taxi. The taxi was a 1912 Stanley
Steamer. It commuted between Norwich, Betula, Colgrove. There weren't any saloons
though, it was prohibition time then. From 1915 to 1921 Betula had everything
a big town had only rather small. In 1922 everybody moved out of there, everything
went down. They had stripped the land, all ten thousand acres. There was
nothing more for the big mills to run with.