Monday, January 4, 2021


      One thing I like about blogging it the questions that appear in the comments. As a writer there are often things I do not include. A good question reminds me to fill out the story.

      I think two of the men had been out to the area the year before . A Mr. Jansen from Nebraska helped them find land. 

     A question was asked about transportation across the prairie. The move from Manitoba to Esk , Sask was about 700 miles. By 1905 , when they moved , some railroads had been constructed. So they were able to get within 40 miles of their homesteads by rail. 

     The railroad gave the homesteaders a good deal on freight. So  a person could get a boxcar and put all their belongings in it for transportation. So an amazing amount of freight could be crammed in one box car. So here's the list: machinery, household effects, clothing, a couple of horses , a cow, a few pigs and chickens, some seed grain , farm tools. 

     One person would be allowed to ride in this freight car so that when the train stopped the animals could be taken off to be fed and watered. Sometimes a second person would be sneaked into the freight car but this was risky as there were police watching for this activity. There are many stories about people hiding amongst the freight.

    The remainder of the family would travel as passengers. 

    When the train got to Watson ,Sask. the car was put on the siding and unloaded. Women and children stayed  with some of the freight while the men hauled material to the homestead. They went to their homesteads following some trails. They didn't have a map but there were survey stakes the could be used to tell where they were. 

    The men put up shelters and went back for more freight and family. 

     They worked hard to put up a house for the winter. Three types of houses were built. There were some trees that were big enough to make a log house. Some homesteaders built a sod house and some  clay house. 

     There was not much variety for food. They seeded some potatoes. They had eggs. meet was supplied by game that was taken. A few groceries were bought such as flour and a few other staples. 

    It was a very difficult journey and new life but they knew that it would be better than what they left.