Dam on Baldwin Creek
The dam went out on Baldwin Creek
On a Wednesday night;
Bill Reed came to fix it up
Before it was daylight.
He dug a channel through the bank
Of sawdust, chips, and sand,
And tried to turn the water through
By using a cofferdam.
Three days he labored faithfully,
He labored all in vain;
And then the general manager,
He sent for Old George Shane.
Old George he saved the shingle mill
By pulling in bags of sand,
While Reed had squandered all his time
Building a cofferdam.
Reed lost his job of bossing there,
But did not feel the loss;
For he stuck around and kept the time
And imagined he was boss.
They tried to start the old sawmill
Upon a Friday noon;
But says Old George, " Now, you can't raise
The water quite so soon."
Then Old Reed he walked away
And, hanging down his head,
He cursed Old George uphill and down
And wished him to be dead.
Now, Reed he could not do the job;
He gave it up as lost
He couldn't hold his place in the mill.
Old George Shane he was boss.
THIS ballad tells the story of Old George Shane's saving the shingle mill from
flood waters when Bill Reed, the boss, failed. When Bill Reed failed a second
time, he was replaced by Old George. A bit of obscenity creeps into " The Dam on
Baldwin Creek " once in a while. This version, from the lips of William McBride,
of Isabella City, is free from it: