Christopher Histories & Tidbits

[ Home Page ]

Fred Christopher & Harriet Nunn
Transcription of Marriage Registration

from Oxford County Marriages 1869-1873 [MF], M #799, Folio 269




Frederick Christopher

Harriet Nunn




Residence when married:

South Norwich

South Norwich

Place of Birth:

Buffalo, NY, U.S.A.

Bayham Co, Elgin Co



Rank or Profession:




Frederick & Caroline Christopher

John & Charlotte Nunn

Religious Denomination



Place & Date of Marriage

Jan 21, 1872, Mount Elgin

Married by

Isaac Elliott

Names & Residences of Witnesses

Isaac M. Elliott & Martha [Hadcock],

both of Mount Elgin



[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Richmond on the James1

written by Frederick Cristopher March 3, 1873

A soldier boy from Philly lay gasping on the field.
When battle shock was over the foe was forced to yield
He fell a youthful hero before that foeman’s arms
On that blood stained field at Richmond, near Richmond on the James.

But one still stood beside him, his comrade in the fray
They had been friends together through childhood’s happy day.
When side by side they struggled through that field of blood and flames
To part that eve at Richmond, near Richmond on the James.

Bear this good sword to my brother, this star upon my breast
To that young and gentle sister, the one that I love best
It’s one lock from my forehead to the mother that still dreams
Of the safe return of the soldier boy at Richmond on the James

I wish that mother’s arms were folded round me now.
That her gentle hand might linger one moment on my brow
For I know that she is praying that her gen[ ] dreams
Of her [soldier boy] at Richmond near Richmond on the James

He says "My dearest comrades you list me for a while
When those faces that once loved me, again on [thee2] shall smile
Again thou shalt be [foremost3] of all the village games
While I shall lie at Richmond, near Richmond on the James."

He says "I charge you comrades and friends in days of yore
And those far and distant loved ones that I shall see no more
That scarce my lips can whisper those dear and well known names
To share with them my blessing at Richmond on the James."

Hand on my breast dear comrade close by these brown graves
Of one who was the fairest of all the village maids
We was to have been married but death the bridegroom claims
And she is far who loves me from Richmond on the James.

And far from those who loved him that youthful soldier sleeps
Unknown among ten thousand for those their country weeps
No true heart nor braver did ere that sunset beams
Was laid that eve at Richmond near Richmond on the James.

Now our land is filled with mourning from hall to county thrown
We miss those well known voices that used to greet our own.
And poor lone wives and widows shall weep in title [deign4]
To hear the name of Richmond, of Richmond on the James
  1. Richmond, Virginia is known as Richmond on the James.
  2. Written as "the" in the original manuscript.
  3. Written as "formest".
  4. Written as "dane".

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Memories Of My Father's Life

An Autobiography of Fred Christopher

written by Alta I. Christopher.

In 1849, the Guidzdorfor1 Family left their home in Wuerttemburg, Germany. They were seeking a home in America where they could raise their family in peace and freedom.

Crossing the ocean in those days by sailing ship was very hazardous. The journey, then required two months to cross the Atlantic. This adventurous family consisted of the mother and father and five small children. At sea the baby became very sick and died. It was buried in the ocean.

Some other relatives had come to America previously. Arriving in America their name was changed to Christopher. The children were Caroline, the oldest, then Amelia, Charles Frederick, and little John.

After many hardships of travelling by sea and land, they came to Pennsylvania purchasing a hotel in Titusville, Pennsylvania where they resided for a few years. Then the dreaded Cholera struck. Doctors were unable to be much assistance with this disease. Also, the doctors were few in number. Both parents were taken by the common enemy - death. All their possessions had to be sold to pay the expenses and the children were left to the mercy of friends or relatives. Fred at this time was eight or nine years old and became general chore boy for a cousin doctor and his wife.

Charles Frederick Christopher was born in Wuerttemberg, Germany in 1845. In 1849, accompanied by his brother and sisters and parents, he arrived in America. They lived in Titusville for a few years, where they owned a hotel. While there, a maid let little John fall from his crib, injuring and disfiguring his face. He carried these scars with him into manhood.

Charles Frederick in working for his doctor cousin, cared for the doctor’s horse and helped in many ways attending to sick patients. Fred also helped the doctor’s wife in her work. This woman was very mean to him when the doctor wasn’t near. Later, after the doctor died, she tried to beat him with a barrel stave. Fred now was older and stronger and very quickly he grabbed the stave from her, and pretended to beat her up. It was her turn to run.

Fred, then, packed his few belongings and left this place, which had been his home for a few years. Now, he went out into the world to find work for himself. The children (his brother and sisters) had been able to see each other at times. Caroline was able to earn a little money and helped the others out by giving them a few cents, or an occasional small bun or morsel of food.

Now Fred was free, though still a boy in his early teens. He went to Oil City, doing whatever work he could find in the oil industry. He learned to put barrels together to hold oil, learning the cooper trade. Barrels were used for holding many things in those days. Not only was he skilful as a cooper, he also made woven baskets from long slender saplings. These were made to hold a bushel or a peck. They were also used for vegetables and fruits.

Coming to Canada as an ambitious young man, he continued his trade near St. Thomas, Ontario. Here at the age of twenty-seven, he married the beautiful, seventeen year old maiden Harriet Bethia Nunn.

Education at school had been hard to obtain, and he eagerly sought it. While with the doctor, he was able to attend school part of the time. For, chiefly there he received only his bed, board, and necessary clothes. Most of his education was self attained, and later he attended night school.

This young couple remained near St. Thomas for many years. The first baby of this marriage, Charles Erwin, died six days after birth. Later they had other children, which they named Caroline, Albert, Martha, Edward, Dennis, George, Mabel, Jim, Anna, Alta, and Edith.

In 1893 the family moved to Saskatchewan (then, the North West Territory) in the early spring. The homestead of one hundred and sixty acres was in the Glen Adelaide S.D. at the edge of the Moose Mountains.

In August of 1893, Myrtle was born. She was such a beautiful baby. But, the following spring when the fruit trees were blossoming, this little blossom faded and was buried on the homestead. Small trees were bent over the grave to mark the spot. The trees at the head and foot of her grave were tied in an arch over the grave. We had not built our house on the homestead, at that time.

In 1895, Ellen came into our family. She was also born in August. She was very small and we all loved her very much. And yet another baby came into the family. He was named Elwood. But, he couldn’t survive the chill. Pneumonia struck and at four months his grave was beside that of the small sister.

Thus were the hardships of homestead life, in a different and colder part of Canada, where in winter the blizzards came suddenly with a flurry of snow and wind, and where the temperatures dropped to forty degrees below zero. Then spring time came with the lovely south-west chinook winds. The anemones sprang through the thawing ground, and were a great delight to all the children and grown-ups also.

At Glen Adelaide, Mr. Fred Christopher took an interest in the affairs of the district, being a school trustee and a secretary for eighteen years. Under his leadership the school term was put on a yearly school term basis instead of the former six month term. He also held the office of a justice of the peace (J.P.) For several years.

He was helpful in sickness among the neighbours, willing to help where help was needed. He also diagnosed cases among animals that were sick. He took this place as a Veterinarian, as there wasn’t a Veterinary doctor within fifty miles of the Glen Adelaide School District. Often letters seeking personal or family advice were received and good judgement was given.

Later the opportunity of purchasing a tract of forty-two acres of land, overlooking the lovely Moose Mountain Lake Kenosee was received and taken. Lake Kenosee was at that time called Fish Lake. Kenosee is the Indian name for fish.

At Fish Lake we rented out cottages, tents, rooms, and boats, and also served meals. Large crowds came, particularly over the week-ends. Many people came to camp during their holidays. Here, also, Mr. Christopher was often asked to sing some of his songs at gatherings around camp fires in the evenings. He had sung at concerts while living in the Glen Adelaide S.D.

Then as the news of Moose Mountain Lake, where fish and health abounded, reached out to further districts, more and more people came. Now people began to travel by car and came from Regina, and other towns and cities.

Now the time had come for the Christopher parents to retire. The Fish Lake property was sold to a man from Regina, except for one-half of an acre, which was reserved to perpetuate the Christopher name. Mr. And Mrs. Christopher retired to the farm in 1913. Mr. Christopher passed from this life in Feb. 1918. His grave is to be seen in Wawota North Cemetery, which is in a beautiful setting of natural Saskatchewan trees.

  1. Alta spelled the original Christopher name the way she remembered her father pronouncing it.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

The Christopher Family - 1891 Ontario Census Record

1891 Ontario Census, Elgin Co, Malahide Twp, Division #2, page 38



Country/Province of Birth of







with head of house






Christopher, Fred










Christopher, Harriett










Christopher, Carrie










Christopher, Albert










Christopher, Martha










Christopher, Edward










Christopher, Dennis










Christopher, George










Christopher, Mabel










Christopher, James










Christopher, Annie










Christopher, Altie










[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]


from Wawota History Book.
-by George White

Charles Frederick (FRED) Augustus KRISTOFER, was born in Wurttemberg, Germany in 1845. In 1849 the Kristofer’s emigrated from Germany to the USA, where they owned a hotel at Titusvill, Penn. They crossed the ocean in a sailboat, the crossing from Antwerpe to New York taking six weeks. One child, a girl, died at sea. After they got to "Amerika", they changed the spelling of the name to "Christopher".

HARRIET NUNN’s family were United Empire Loyalists. They moved from Breckenridge, Mich, to Lincoln County, Ont. After the American Revolution.

Fred and Harriet were married Jan. 21, 1872 at Dereham Township, Oxford County, Ont. In 1883 the Christophers moved to Elgin, Ont.

In 1893 the family moved to what is now Saskatchewan, arriving by train at Oxbow, where they were met by Bill Vail. The trip from Oxbow to the homestead took two days, as they had brought all their possessions with them, including a team and wagon. Mr. Christopher had filed on the homestead in 1892 (SW 18-10-1 W2), just east of the Moose Mountains, and had a log house partly built. So until the house was completed, they lived in a house vacated by Henry Turton, a mile south. By that time, Grandpa Christopher had a family of 12 and 35¢ in his pocket.

In 1899 Christophers bought the Percy Fripp property at Fish lake, seven miles west of the farm. They chopped a trail through the bush from the farm to the lake. This road is still known as the "Christopher Trail". They used to let weanling pigs run loose on an island, where they were safe from timber wolves. Mabel often rowed across with pails of chop and potato skins to feed the pigs. In the fall, the pigs would be butchered and the meat

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Excerpts from "Fish Lake" by Thomas Beck

The first Hotel at Fish Lake was operated by Mr. Fred Christopher. He bought Mr. Percy Fripp's cottage in 1899, put a large addition on the north side and made it into a Hotel. It was very large and attractive with lots of space. Christopher also had a homestead seven miles east of Fish Lake namely, SW 1/4 18-T10-R1-W2nd M.

An agreement was made between Harold and Percy Fripp and Fred Christopher to cut a road through the heavy bush from east to Fish Lake. Christopher and his three sons, Dennis, Jim and Ed cut four miles from the East to the West. Harold and Percy Frip cut three miles from the West to the East to meet the Christophers. The road they cut is known today as the Christopher Trail. As you travel this road today, which has been built into a modern road, parts of the old trail may still be seen. This was only wide enough for a horse and buggy or a team of two horses and wagon.

While at Fish Lake, the Christophers were quite active. Not only did they have the Hotel, they also started the first resort there, known as Saints Rest Resort. This was started in the north east corner of the Lake in 1897 before the hotel was in operation.

In 1895, Christopher made Maple Syrup from the trees on what is known today as Maple Island. He also brought hogs from his farm and ferried them across the Lake to an island which today is known as Hog Island. These islands were named by Christopher. The movement of these hogs from his farm to Fish Lake was done in order to save his hogs from wolves that were plentiful at that time. He netted fish overnight and fed them to the hogs. These fish known as Suckers, were also plentiful in the Lake. On occasion, some of the hogs would decide to swim to shore. However, not many survived, if any. As they swam, their front hooves would strike their throats and cut the throat before reaching shore. Consequently they would drown. As to be noticed today, Hog Island is a good distance from any shore.

. . .

"Fish Lake was a popular spot for picnics in the early days, as it is today, but there was a difference. Instead of cottages, tents would be scattered through the bush close to the water, no fancy fishing rods were used, and tight wagon boxes would be used in place of boats. No fisherman would be disappointed with his catch - fish up to forty punds have been taken.

People from Moosomin, Alida, Carlyle and many other points in the province used to arrive at the lake in buggies, democrats, wagons and on horseback. Many Americans were also present. They named the Lake "Lost Lake" as so many of them got lost in the heavy bush trying to find it.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Sask. Government Honors Pioneers

- from a newspaper clipping

Mrs. A.D. Turton of Swan River has received word that a prominent geographical feature in Saskatchewan has been named after her parents who were early peoneers in the province.

A two mile long bay at Kenosee Lake has been named in memory of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Frederick Christopher, earliest settlers of the Kenosee district. They were the first to open up the Christopher Trail which was much used by early peoneers.

Mr. Christopher saw the potentialities of Kenosee Lake as a summer resort, was the the first to develop it as a tourist attraction and played a large part in developing the Moose Mountain area, 100 miles south-east of Regina, as a trapping and hunting area. He also undertook commercial fishing at the lake.

Mr. and Mrs. Turton moved from that area to Swan River in 1929.

Geographical Features Named Honoring Provincial Pioneers

- from a newspaper clipping

Two more prominent geographical features in Saskatchewan have been named after eminent pioneers of the province, Natural Resources Minister J.M. Cuelenaere announced.

A two mile long bay in Kenosee Lake was named in memory of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Frederick Christopher, earliest pioneers of the Kenosee district. They were the first to open up the Christopher Trail which was much used by early pioneers. Mr. Christopher saw the potentialities of Kenosee Lake as a summer resort, was the first to develop it as a tourist attraction, and played a large part in developing the Moose Mountain areas as a trapping and hunting area. He also undertook commercial fishing of Kenosee Lake.

Urton Bay in the La Ronge district, was named in memory of the late W.A. Urton . . .

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Tumble Inn Gala Opening

Resort Weekly,
Saturday, July 25, 1992
Volume 4, Number 9

Official ribbon cutting for opening of Tumble Inn. (L to R) Ellen Christopher Batt on the left held the ribbon while Harold Beck for the Fripp family held the ribbon on the right side with Jean Boileau Clarke Smith of Kennedy as representative of the Clarke family cutting the ribbon. There were over 300 people attending the ceremonies and dancing held later that evening in the Old newly renovated Tumble Inn spilled over into the Kenosee Lake Four Seasons Centre in the Village of Kenosee Lake.

Ellen Batt spoke on behalf of the Christopher family:

"I'd like to congratulate all the people who helped to restore this building, honoring some of the pioneers of Kenosee Lake. You did a great job, considering what you had to work with.

"My grandfather and grandmother, Fred and Harriet Christopher, and all their family were some of the early settlers here. They owned and operated a hotel right close to this building. No stranger was ever turned away. They kept a cow and some horses and chickens and had a garden right behind the hotel.

"My grandparents also had a farm seven miles east of here. To get to Fish Lake they cut down trees and made a trail around sloughs and hills to meet the people cutting from this end. I can remember when we would come back here with the horses and wagon, or buggy or democrat. Later, with the Model T Ford car and had to push it up the steep hills. Gradually this trail was straightened and built up and is now known as the Christopher Trail.

"I've been told of how the Christophers kept some pigs on the closest island and used to row over there every day to feed them. That's how the island got its name of Hog Island. It really isn't an island right now, but when the lake was high you could go right around it in a boat.

"When all the children in our family were growing up our father taught us to swim. He was Ed Christopher and he loved the water. One time he swam across the lake and back, that's how Christopher Point got its name. We have many pictures of some of the bathing beauties of that era, in their cotton bathing suits down to their knees.

"My mother, Maggie Christopher, used to tell us how she won first prize in a row boat race across the lake and back. Apparently they had many gala events here in those days. Jim Christopher was my uncle. He was a bachelor and later in life he moved to Nipawin and is buried there. He and his brother built this Tumble Inn in 1909. I understand it was used as a dance hall with a concession stand. I am very proud to be a descendent of these pioneers, the Christopher family."

"Tumble Inn and Stumble out" Committee Representative Ralph Horn gave everyone an official welcome to the opening of Tumble Inn:

"The Tumble Inn was moved to its present location about 1979. It sat here for sometime falling apart and was somewhat of an eye sore.

"Then village council asked Don Stewart to form a committee with the idea of restoring it or demolishing it. We decided as a committee to restore it.

"Don Stewart was put in charge of gathering donations. Ralph Horn was put in charge of construction and Doris Stewart to form a committee to gather information and pictures.

"We decided the only way to tackle the job was to dismantle it piece by piece as most of the floor and roof was rotten. We did so and laid the pieces aside and began building up the lot.

"We gathered lumber for the floor from Gib Irvin's old barn and from an old building out at the Tommy Muir place at Kennedy. We bought railway ties for the foundation.

"The original floor joists were made from poplar trees and were all rotten. We replaced some of the wall studs from poles. Many volunteers came to help. Ladies made lunch for us and even came to help with painting." Ralph thanked everyone for their part in construction and donations.

Mayor Ted Rutten of Kenossee Lake's address to the Tumble Inn re-opening:

"Honored guests, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you greetings from the village of Kenosee Lake, which along with its surrounding park is no doubt where a little bit of heaven reached down and touched the prairies. Fish lake, Kenosee Lake, Moose Mountain Park, whatever you choose to call this area, for the better part of a century it has been synonymous with recreation, good times and good fellowship and tonight is no exception.

"Since the Tumble Inn was first built, transportation has changed, costumes have changed, even the music has changed a little bit. But the main ingredient, people, has remained basically the same.

"It took some of those people to plan, organize, contribute their time, labour and finances to bring to reality what we celebrate here tonight.

"I would sincerely like to congratulate that group of community minded people who through their own initiative and hard work have restored and revitalized a piece of our history, the Tumble Inn.

"Now the sound of music and the laughter of good times can once again echo through its rafters. Thank you."

Park Superintendent of Moose Mountain Provincial Park, Marton Klasson spoke on behalf of The Department of Natural Resources at the opening ceremony of the original dance hall, Tumble Inn at Kenosee Lake.

"Ladies and Gentlemen. It is good to see such a large turn out for the opening of the Tumble Inn.

"I bring greetings on behalf of Moose Mountain Provincial Park. The park and the resort area of Kenosee Lake have always had a close relationship and have been looked at by many people as being one and the same place. Moose Mountain Park was established in 1930, but this resort area was popular for many years before that. The Tumble Inn has been the location of fun and good times for many years in the past and I hope it will be in the future as well.

"I would like to congratulate Don Stewart, the mayor, Ted Rutten; and councillors and all the many volunteers who spent so much time and effort into restoring this building. I'm sure it will provide many hours of enjoyment in the years to come. Thank you."

Toadie Clarke McKenzie representative of the Clarke family that owned Clarke's resort.

Rhonda (Toadie) Boileau Clarke McKenzie's speech to the gathering:

"On behalf of the Clarke family I wish to thank the committee organizers and volunteers responsible for restoring Tumble Inn. I am not old enough to remember it looking so nice.

"When we were kids we played there. There were ghosts in there named Joe and Danny. I found out later that two of the orchestra that played in there were Joe and Danny. (There names were carved on the wood.)

"It was a wonderful gathering place in those years for the locals and those that drove many miles to attend. We are pleased to have been asked to attend this ceremony as part of our family history. Thank you for coming. I'd like to thank my daughter for coming from Winnipeg. We are three generations here tonight." (Chrissie Clarke Houseman (Toadie's mother and Hugh Putty) Boileau Clarke's wife, Toadie, and daughter, Sandra Szumlak. Her son, Hugh Brian, named after her dad, was not at the ceremonies.

Harold Beck is a representative of the Fripp family. Harold Fripp was Harold Beck's grandfather. At the Tumble Inn opening, Mr. Beck gave the history of Harold and Percy Fripp:

"My grandfather, Harold Fripp, and his brother, Percy Fripp (Percy was known as old Fripp) came to Canada from England. Harold Fripp was born in Bristol, England in 1873. He immigrated to Canada and in 1895-96 he built the first log cabin at Fish Lake which is now Kenosee Lake.

"The cabin was 20' x 12'. The logs were cut on site a short distance N.E. of the original site of Tumble Inn. The following year Harold helped his brother build a beautiful log cabin on LSD 7,24-10 at Fish Lake.

"In 1899 Percy left and sold his cabin to Fred Christopher. Mr Christopher built on the north side of this cabin which then became the first hotel at Fish Lake. In 1887 Harold Fripp had applied for a homestead but did not receive the patent for his land until 1897, namely SE36,9-1-W2 which is now in the RM of the Moose Mountain #63. Harold Fripp was a professional carpenter and while he waited for his homestead patent he built many homes in the Cannington Manor District.

"He also became one of the flour millers at Cannington Manor and in 1893 Harold sent a sample of his flour to the Chicago World's Fair and won the gold medal for the finest flour.

"While at Fish Lake, Harold and Percy met Mr McNaughton and his sons, Andrew and Murray from Moosomin. Later Andrew became General McNaughton in the Canadian Forces. An agreement was made among Harold and Percy Fripp and Fred Christopher to cut a road from Fish Lake east. Harold and Percy Fripp cut three miles from Fish Lake west to east. Mr. Christopher and his three sons cut four miles from east to west, which became the Christopher Trail as it's known today.

"My brother, Ron Beck, owns and farms the over 100 year old homestead today. My parents, Thomas Beck and Ethel Fripp Beck live on the homestead with Ron. My mother has lived on the homestead most of her life. My wife and I own the second quarter section that my grandfather acquired later and some day it will become wildlife land. I regret that I never knew my grandfather, as he died at the age of 47 on Feb 7, 1920 at Cannington Manor after suffering a stroke."

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

A History of the family of John H. Reed & E. Caroline Christopher

by Mary Elizabeth Wall, wife of Garnet William Reed
written 27 June 1993

Caroline Elizabeth Christopher1 married Jack H. Reed. They were married on the 2nd of December 18732. Jack and Caroline spent the first 15-17 years of their lives together at Cannington Manor, Saskatchewan. All [of] their children were born there. They farmed there and worked at the Beckton ranch. Times were very hard in those days but they raised a family of five girls and four boys.

In 1910 they filed on a homestead near Pontrilas, Saskatchewan in township 49. Jack and Caroline filed on two quarters of land each. When the family arrived in 1912 at Pontrilas they traveled from Cannington Manor by rail with a carload of furniture and livestock. The train stopped at Tisdale about forty miles from Pontrilas. They completed the journey with a team of oxen. They soon constructed a log house and barn. The land was heavily treed, making clearing it a hard tiresome task.

Caroline was a wonderful gardener [and] always had a big garden and canned vegetables, wild berries and meat. Jack was a good hunter and with help from his boys, they kept meat on the table. The game was plentiful.

Caroline and Jack’s home was always open to neighbors and friends. They frequently had new settlers moving and staying at their place until there own houses were build, a much appreciated quality in those days.

Jack died at age 77 years. Caroline died at age 75 years. Elizabeth, their first born, past away when she was 9 years old and is buried in Cannington Manor, Saskatchewan. Lillian was born in 1897. She had 3 children [and] was married to Russell Porterfield and has passed away. Cora married William McCrindle. They had four children. Cora has passed away. Dora married William Clarke. They had three children. Dora passed away also. Martha [was] born 6 June 1901 [and] passed away in 1969. [She] married Herb Pixley. He has also passed away. They had four children. Charlie, [the] first son passed away at [the] age of 89. He married Lillian Gardner [and] they had three children. Garnet [was] born in 1904 [and] married Mary Wall. Garnet passed away June 2, 1993. He was the last one of Caroline’s and Jack’s family. We have two children. John Reed passed away in 1991. He married Rachel McGirr [and] they four childrne. had three children. Brock Reed passed away in 1985. He married Cristina Sharp [and] they had 4 children.


  1.        Carrie’s birth registration gives her name as Elizabeth Caroline.

  2.        This was in fact Caroline’s birthday. They were married 24 July 1895.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Cora E. (Reed) McCrindle - Obituary


Funeral services were held for the late Mrs. Cora E. McCrindle in the Nipawin United Church, Monday, January 25. Officiating was Rev. Clarke McCutcheon. Organist was Mrs. Karen Hill.

Cora McCrindle was born at Cannington Manor, Sask. In 1899 moving to this district in 1912 with her parents. She married Mr. William McCrindle in 1915 and four children were born to them. She was a life member of O.O.R.P. Lodge, also a 25 year member of the Rebekah Lodge.

She was pre-deceased by Mr. McCrindle in 1954, also son William Donald in 1944, serving with the Royal Canadian Navy.

She leaves to mourn three children: Mrs. Jack Clark of Red Deer, Alberta; Mrs. Cora Lokken of Nipawin; and Barry also of Nipawin; seven grandchildren; four brothers, Garnet, John and Charles Reed of Choiceland, Sask. And Brock of Whonnock, B.C. Also surviving is her twin sister Dora Clarke of Choiceland.

Honorary pallbearers were Mr. Albert Bushfield, L. Holter, B. Mitchell, G. Hunter, Chas. Grandfield, Mr. McMillian. Active pallbearers were Mr. M. Morton, L. Morton, W. Hidlebaugh, A. Hiddlebaught, W. McGirr, R. Belchamber. Interment was in Woodlawn Cemetery.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Reeds’ Celebrate 65th Anniversary

Garnet and Molly Reed of Choiceland celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary Jan. 16 with a come and go tea served by the Choiceland Seniors.

They were married Jan 16, 1928 at Nipawin and have lived in the Choiceland area since 1931 where they homesteaded. They have one daughter, Sharon, three sons and four granddaughters.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Garnet William Reed - Obituary

REED - Funeral for Garnet William Reed, aged 88 years, was from Choiceland Elks Hall June 7, 1993 with Lay Pastor Eileen Forgarty officiating. Interment was in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Snowden, Sask.

Organist was Virginia Fenrich. Soloist was Bonnie Folstad. Memorial book attendant was Margaret Oliphant.

Honorary pallbearers were Bob Robertson, Bob Bowman, George Pickett, Fenton Lindbergh, Don Patton and Don Clark.

Memorial tributes may be made to the Pineview Lodge Nursing Home in Nipawin, Sask.

Coventry Funeral Chapel had care of the arrangements.

Garnet William Reed was born in 1904 at Cannington Manor, North West Territories. He died on June 2, 1993 at Nipawin Union Hospital.

Garnet spent his younger years and school on his father’s farm at Pontrilas, Sask. On Jan. 16, 1928 he married Mary Wall. In 1930 he took up homesteading in the Choiceland area, along with the White Fox River. They lived on the same farm until 1992 when they moved to Placid Place in Choiceland.

Garnet belonged to the Elks Club in Choiceland for many years. He loved to go fishing and in the early days he supplied the neighbors with wild meat. He always fed the beavers in the river and the birds in the trees at the farm. He always had a helping hand for his family and some very good advice. He loved to tell stories of the good old days and his hunting and fishing experiences.

Garnet was predeceased by his father, William and his mother, Caroline; five sisters, Elizabeth, Lillian, Cora, Dora and Martha; and three brothers, Charlie, John and Brock.

Garnet leaves to treasure his memory his loving wife Mary (Molly), his children Terry (June) Reed of Candle Lake and Sharon (Lorne) Lindbergh of Choiceland; eight grandchildren, Sheila Reed of Saskatoon, Kim Reed of Regina, Amber, Bliss and Ryan Reed of Candle Lake, Miles Lindbergh of Slave Lake, Alta., Mark Lindbergh of Red Deer, Alta., and Curtis Lindbergh of Choiceland and three great-grandchildren, Jason, Jasper and ??.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]


- from Manor Book

The Dickin family of Manor, Saskatchewan, started at Cannington Manor, when George Dodsworth Dickin came from Walsall, England, to Cannington Manor in 1888, to learn farming at the Stanier farm. At the time, many young men came there for that purpose. A few years later, he married Martha Christopher, daughter of Fred Christopher who had emigrated from Germany to the United States, thence to Ontario, where he married Harriet Nunn, whose parents were United Empire Loyalists who settled in Ontario.

Mrs Dickin’s father, Fred Christopher, who lived in Glen Adelaide district after coming west from Ontario, started a summer resort called Fish Lake, with a small log hotel and two log cabins. The Dickin family spent part of every summer there with their grandparents, and many families came to the lake and lived in tents, the men returning home to their work, knowing their families were safe under the care of Mr. And Mrs. Christopher. This resort is now a Provincial Park and is called Kenosee. Christopher Trail, from Kenosee to Cannington Manor, was named in his memory. The Christopher farm in Glen Adelaide, a few miles from Fish Lake, was situated in bush country and was noted as a hospitable stopping place for people going into the bush for wood or travelling in that area. No one was ever turned away without a meal and a bed.

While living in Cannington Manor, Mr. Dickin was proprietor of the Mitre Hotel and ran the flour mill. Two sons, Donald and Fred, and a daughter, Doris, were born in Cannington Manor, and five sons and three daughters were born in Manor, one daughter dying in infancy.

When the railroad went through ten miles south of Cannington Manor, Mr. And Mrs. Dickin and family moved to a farm a few miles north of Manor, where they lived for a short time. While on the farm, Mr. Dickin donated a piece of land on which a school for the area was built and called the "Dickin" school, until given the name of Moose Mountain School. The family moved into Manor in 1903, when Mr. Dickin bought the Livery stable on Main Street, where the rink and parking lot are now located. The stone that comprised the walls of the stable was hauled by Ed Christopher from a creek East of town.

Mr. Dickin later became a homestead inspector for the area West of Weyburn to the Alberta border and South to the United States border. Due to ill health, after serving as homestead inspector for many years, he resigned and bought a farm one half mile North of Manor and the family continued to reside in their home in the Village of Manor.

Five of their sons served in the Armed Forces - Donald and Fred in the 1914-1918 war. Donald again in the Second World War, in the Veterans Guard, also Claude and Ferriday in the Air Force, and Glenn in the Army. Glenn was killed in action on D-Day, June 6, 1944, when the Canadian Army landed on the beaches of France. The government later named a lake in northern Saskatchewan, "Dickin Lake", in his memory.

Mr. Dickin farmed until he died in 1937. Mrs. Dickin passed away in 1956. They were members of the Anglican Church.

Of their children, four sons, Donald, George, Floyd and Ferriday continued to make their homes in Manor, while the others left to live in different places in Canada.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Albert Merritt Christopher - Obituaries

- from newspaper articles

Wellington Resident Dies

Albert M. Christopher

Albert Merritt Christopher, resident of Wellington for the past 12 years, passed away in the Nanaimo General Hospital Monday evening, aged 82 years.

Born in Aylmer, Ontario, Mr. Christopher received his early education in that area, later moving to the Glen Adelaide district in Saskatchewan in 1893, where his parents homesteaded. He later homesteaded on his own in Cannington-Manor Saskatchewan. During the Boer War he served with the Mounted Cavalry. He spent a number of years traveling in the United States prior to accepting a grant of land issued by the Canadian government to all veterans of the Boer War. His grant of 240 acres was in Onion Lake, Alberta, where he raised horses and angora goats until 1938.

He then moved to Vancouver where he worked in the shipyards until his retirement in 1946, when he took up permanent residence in Wellington.

He leaves to mourn his passing four brothers, Jim and Ed in Wawota, Saskatchewan, George in Kitscoty, Alberta, and Dennis in Terrace, British Columbia; five sisters, Mrs A. White of Moosomin, Saskatchewan, Miss Anna Christopher in St. James, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Mrs. E. Morrow of New Westminster, Mrs. A. Turton of Swan River, Manitoba, and Mrs. Alta Kerr of Nipawin, Saskatchewan.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday afternoon, April 3, at 2:30 o'clock, from the Westwood Chapel of Flowers.

Albert M. Christopher

Funeral services for the late Albert Merritt Christopher were held from the Westwood Chapel of Flowers on Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Christopher, a well known resident of Wellington, passed away in the Nanaimo General Hospital on Monday last.

Mr. Alan McLean of the Apostolic Lighthouse officiated. Mrs. Barbara McLean sang as a solo "The Last Mile of the Way" with T.D. James presiding at the organ.

Pallbearers were F. Steeds, C.A. Murcheson, F. Fogden, W. Hay and M. Rowbottom, all members of the Canadian Legion.

Interment took place in the Field of Honor in Cedar Valley Memorial Gardens.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Ed Christopher in South Africa
A letter to his sister Alta

Fort Edward
Spelonker (?), Feb 19/03 (?)

Miss Alta Christopher
Glen Adelaide

Dear Sister

I am sorry to hear of Jim's accident but it might have been worse and if he comes off without losing the use of his arm, I will say that we are a very lucky family indeed, However it must have been very painful for it would be full of powder as well as being torn to pieces, but I am sure it will get every bit of care possible.

Well I hardly know what to write to you there is so very little to tell but what I have told a dozen times already but I dont think you will have to wait till my time is up before you see me for I have half an idea I will be home in the fall but if I am not, I will see our relations in the States on my way back but if I were to get out now I would have to scratch to get home. They are talking some of firing a lot of us out and if they fire me before I get money enough to carry me back, I will stow away in some ship till it gets out to sea and then I will appear and offer to work. They will either have to let me work or else land me a prisoner and I dont think there is a Judge or magistrate in Canada but what would sympathise with me and let me off. It is a regular disgrace the way some of our men have been treated. There are several of them now in Pretoria without money and without work. And they say that Cape Town is worse still. A great many of them manage to work their passage but lots of them are turned away from every ship that leaves port. It is another case of how a grateful country repays a faithful soldier. The whole S.A.C. seems to be in a mixed up mess and we are kept in the dark as much as possible, I would like to know just how things are going but things are so quiet and slow just now that I would like to have something happen or be fired out for adventures sake but I think that the Canadian Government should take up our cause and I am sure we will all come back and if we are not better settlers than Dukkbores then I'll give in.


[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Edward Frederick Christopher
by Ellen (Christopher) Batt
written December, 1992

Ed was born in Aylmer, Ontario in 1878. He came to Saskatchewan with his parents in 1890, where they homesteaded in the Glen Adelaide District. In 1900 he enlisted and served in the Boer war for three and a half years. He was mentioned for gallantry and received the Queen’s South African medal, with clasps. Following his discharge at Pretoria on February 24, 1904 he returned to his farm in the Glen Adelaide district where he was very active in community affairs.

He aided his father in blazing the Christopher Trail, which is still being used for traffic to Kenosee Lake. He was instrumental in organizing the Glen Adelaide Rural Telephone Company, also was secretary of the Wheat Pool Committee for 33 years, a school trustee for many years and a life member of the Canadian Red Cross. He was a member of the Oddfellows Lodge and was presented with the Oddfellows jewel.

He was a loving father and a good husband. All his family thought the worlds of hm. He and his wife, Maggie, raised ten children on the farm seven miles southwest of Wawota. He had a kind, loving, easy-going disposition. Everyone liked him.

In his later years he suffered a lot with heart problems but he never complained. He died in the Wawota Hospital in 1961 and is buried in the Wawota Cemetery. Maggie died in Wawota in 1990 and is also buried in Wawota Cemetery.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

The Christopher Brothers of Marwayne,
Early Homesteaders

(Dennis Tully Christopher and George Washington Christopher)

by Mabel Maude (Christopher) White

Two brothers sons of Mr. Charles Frederick Christopher homesteader of 1893 and Mrs. Harriet Christopher their mother, left home in July 1903 with horse and buggy, a few dishes, frying pan, some food, extra clothing, a pair of blankets, necessities that might be useful along the way as they planned to see fields farther away from home and perhaps make homes for themselves in some suitable spot of their choice. The parents and family were sorry to see them go, but they drove away quite happily with their minds set on this new adventure. Just two young men; George, the younger, just near his 21st birthday and Dennis 22, some 14 months the elder! Their first important stop after leaving home at Fish Lake, Saskatchewan (now Kenosee), and the Wawota area near the Christopher homestead was Regina City but just for a brief stay as with but few coins jingling in their pockets they looked for work for the odd few days helping out on busy farms and thus getting a bit of cash to pay their way as they drove on and perhaps get some oats and rest for their horse. Finally they reached southern Alberta and some big ranches, but this was not exactly what they looked for, so further on towards the north of the province, reaching Kitscoty on the Edmonton-Lloydminster railway. There were homesteads to be had here, and soon they each selected a quarter section, one cornering the other, and were very happy to be on their own, some seventeen miles north of Kitscoty, now their nearest town, and a local post office, Marwayne, at a farm home three miles away. Years later with a branch line coming nearer they had a thriving little town centre at Marwayne. George and Dennis each built a small log house on his claim and sometimes working together improvements were made on both homesteads, but mostly centred on George's with stables, granaries and a good well with plenty of water. Dennis did not spend so much time on his homestead, yet both were together in 1910 when two sisters came from back home in Saskatchewan in February to spend the spring and summer months with them. The boys had everything comfortable and handy for them in the little log house and soon we met a number of neighbours and were given a warm welcome. In April Mabel, the elder sister took a school three miles west of "Tring", where she taught until near Christmas; Anna, the younger sister, kept house for the rest of us which made it very nice and I'm sure we all enjoyed that summer in Alberta. We frequently attended church services, Presbyterian in one farm home, Methodist in another, and sometimes we drove to the little Anglican Church at Tring a few miles north of us. There was a "Young People's Group" meeting frequently, and there were picnics and sports, and one could make a party and go fishing in the Saskatchewan River. The Tring teacher and pupils put on a Social and Concert at the School at the end of the term with a gain of a substantial cash sum which went to purchase books for the beginning of a school library. School libraries were quite popular in those days with pupils and parents. One very interesting outing while in Alberta was a drive away north to the eldest brother Albert, some twenty miles beyond the north Saskatchewan River near Avion Lake where we crossed the wide expanse by the ferry. This was in early autumn with the colored leaves of poplar mingled with the green of the spruce trees, and the water shadows were so very lovely. Then again we went for the same drive in mid-December when snow covered the ground and the picture though different was still lovely. Soon after this we two girls returned home to Sask. so as to be home with the family there for Christmas. However, years later my husband Arthur took us to the home of my brother George and his wife Elsi and we attended the wedding of their daughter June, this was in the year 1955. But we had met the family as they came with George to Sask to visit our parents and later our widowed mother and those of us who were near Dennis left Marwayne and looked over the Peace River country and finally the Prince Rupert area where he became engaged in mining out from Cedar Vale for a number of years, in the meantime he bought property and built a house in Prince Rupert which he rented out mostly - then finally giving up mining he bought property near Terrace B.C. where he has his own house and garden and finds time now retired for some years, to live quietly as he is content to do, now and then taking a trip back to Sask. to visit those of us still here. Dennis and Albert never married. George married Miss Elsie Hames of Lloydminster in 1926 and they resided on his homestead in the Bellcamp district for 20 (?) years before retiring to Kitscoty in 1956. Their family of three, Ruth, Fred, and June were born while the family lived on the farm; Ruth Ellen married Noel Kent, but she died a few years later 1953 and was buried in the Irwinville cemetery where the parents were both laid to rest later, the father (George in 1959 and her mother in 1962). June and her husband Robert Stone and family of three Richy, Dawn and Georgina live a few miles south of Kitscoty - while her brother Frederick Daniel Christopher and his wife and children live at . . .

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Frederick William Christopher - Obituary

Frederick Christopher

Frederick William Christopher (Ted) passed away on August 25th, 1974, at the age of 51 years, in Calgary, Alberta, after a short illness.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Jean, 4105 - 16 A St. S.E. Calgary; his mother, Mrs. Maggie Christopher, Wawota; five sisters - Mrs. John (Ellen) Batt, Oxbow; Mrs. Bruce (Edna) Barker, Mair; Mrs. Lorne (May) Hambleton, Kelso; Mrs. George (Mabel) Comeau, Winnipeg, Man and Mrs. George (Doris) Tamko, Caron, Sask; three brothers, Charles, Wawota; Jim, Calgary, and Don, North Battleford, Sask. He was predeceased by his father Edward and sister Mrs. Vera Carpenter.

He spent his life around Wawota until he married and settled in Calgary in 1958, where he has resided ever since. He enlisted in the Second World War and was in 3½ years, coming our with his 1st year LAC (Leading Air Craftsman Certificate). This helped him later in life to get his Engineer certificate and he worked for the City for 14 years where he was still employed. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion West End Branch No. 102.

His families all attended his funeral, but Mabel, who visited him four days before his passing.

The service was held at Leydon's Chapel of Remembrance Wednesday August 28th at 1 P.M. with Rev. J. McKenzie officiating. Interment in the Mountain View Memorial Gardens.

A former friend, Gerrald Doolly of Wawota, was one of the six pallbearers.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Early Memories

(In a Select Corner of Saskatchewan)

The well-known Moose Mountain Districts.

by a local Correspondent (Mabel M. Christopher White)

Having been requested by the Editor of this bright paper to write something of pioneer days and life in our province (as suggested by an interested Eastern reader) I have consented to outline some early memories. Now here are a few impressions as I recall them from earliest childhood days and on down a length of busy years.

One bright day in May 1893 a mother and six small children stepped off a train when it stopped at the little town of Oxbow, N.W.T. (now Sask.). They were tired after the long journey from southern Ontario and the children were especially happy at the prospect of getting their feet on the ground where they could run and play and be free and happy. Of this I am certain as I happened to be one of those little ones and we were looking forward eagerly to life in a new land.

But to our mother it was no venture of pleasure. She knew she would have hard work to tackle and many cares for with a family so large there could not be many leisure hours. Indeed there were eleven children in all, our two eldest sisters had remained in the east to finish out some work they had undertaken and would join us in a few weeks. Three boys were with their father and would arrive when the freight came from St. Thomas to be unloaded. So there were five boys and six girls of us and the eldest of all was still in her teens. Two other men from the east had shared the freight car with my dad so our worldly belongings were not at all extensive, some household furnishings, tools, implements, a democrat wagon and two horses.

My father had come to the West the previous year with a Harvest excursion, had worked near Brandon, Manitoba through the busy season, then had travelled west as far as Calgary. But nothing appealed to him like the land surrounding the Moose Mountain where he had spent a few days on his way out, coming in from Moosomin. So it was here he returned to the east side of the Mountain, selected his homestead and filed his claim. He went back east and made plans to bring his family to the "Northwest" (as it was called then) in the spring.

We were met at the station by Mr. V. who would be a neighbour out at the homestead. I expect he knew us by our numbers as he had not seen us before. He took us to a boarding-house managed by Mrs. W., a widow with a thriving family of her own (one son is today, I believe, a Judge in our fair province). Mr. V. having children of his own knew how to handle us - he lifted us high into his wagon-box and so began the first stretch of our long drive.

And what a drive it was! We were on the look-out for new and thrilling sights of which there were many, and many new words too for us to learn. I think the first was "gopher" and there was not only one but dozens of them - we began counting but soon lost count as there were so many, here there and everywhere. Then we learned "slough", in the east it had been "pond". There were many sloughs and we saw many wild ducks. I hoped we would have a slough near our house where we could wade and where wild ducks would come to swim and dive and rear their young.

We drove along non on roads but on "trails" that wound about the sloughs and low spots and across country threading their way on for miles and miles until the desired spot was reached. There were no fences, very few houses and these were built quite low for the most part. One could see across the country for miles. This was the "prairie" so open, so free, so beautiful and with such very lovely sunsets!

We spent the first night at a farm where the Homesteader and his wife were very kind, and next morning being much rested we were on our way bright and early. We had dinner at the home of other most hospitable people not far from where Manor now stands (members of this family live there, or near there today).

A few miles further on, the land became more hilly and there was a winding creek near by. This was a bit different after having travelled over stretches of flat level prairie for so many miles. We could see the blue hills of the Moose Mountain more clearly now as we passed along over "rolling" prairie and getting nearer the "park lands", and sometime late in the afternoon we reached Cannington Manor.

This was a neat little country village miles away from any railway line. There was the little Anglican Church and Vicarage, The Moose Mountain Trading Co. Store, the Mitre Hotel, a Blacksmith shop, a carpenter shop. There was quite a large building called the "Hall" of which one room downstairs was the village school. There was a nice big flour-mill and a dozen or more dwelling houses.

The village was the centre of a small colony of English people who had settled in and around the village some ten years or more previous to this date. The homes of these people were larger than those of the average homesteader of that day and some were quite beautifully furnished. Some houses were especially well-built and strong, the material being stone from the surrounding land, but some were frame and a few others were built of log. Some of these houses were very well-known and stood out as landmarks for many years, but today there are but a few of the left to even suggest the story off their past.

Life at that time appeared to have centred around the activities of the three Beckton brothers who had plenty of money and a free hand at scattering it about, and of these three it was Bertie whose name was most often mentioned. It was he who owned the "Ranch" which stands today a monument to his memory with its house of spacious rooms and its stables that were once a joy to behold with the polished pillars and everything so spick-and-span and orderly. He specialized in raising spirited race horses, and with this magnetic power of collecting people about him, he really made things "go" as there was always something doing. There were horse races, there was rifle shooting at the Butts with a Tournament lasting several days and finishing up with a big dinner at the hotel and a dance in the Hall, there was hunting with the hounds and the Hunt |Club Ball, there was Cricket and Billiards and other sports, and this big-hearted gentleman seemed to be the leading spirit of it all.

The Manor House was one-half mile from the Village and it was here the Beckton brothers had first lived in Canada having been lured to this new land through a plan devised by one Captain Pierce who had conceived the idea of having young men come from England paying him a certain fee each year while he in return gave them instructions in farming at his Manor. Many of the young mean about were such as these, and it appears the knowledge they gained of farming was never very great but they did have a good time and laughingly joked in later years of the "jolly days when we were pups at Pierces". But the old Captain died in the early years of the colony and was the first to be laid in the church yard. The church had been built, but as the burial ground was not yet marked off they dug his grave almost in the centre of the yard and there it may be seen today where a stately headstone marks the spot. All Saint's Church still stands as a lasting monument to the culture and dignity of those early times, but of the busy merry village of the past, nothing else remains.

Some of those people returned to their beloved England, others moved to our western coast or other parts of Canada while some dwelt in nearby towns for a few years. However, the fact remains that they lived here and mingled with other settlers in circles of everyday life leaving behind them some intangible mark, some subtle influence for the good of those who followed after them travelling the same trails, breathing the same fresh prairie air, pure and invigorating, seeing the same sun rise over the same horizon and sink behind the same hills of the Mountain.

But our drive was not ended yet. In the evening our neighbour, Mr. V. brought us to his own home where we stayed for a few days till Dad and the boys arrived. It was nice to have the "bluffs" or clumps of trees all around us, mostly poplar and willow, though none of them were at all large.

Our home for the next two or three months was a little log house with a "thatched" roof and I remember as our broom was either lost or left behind my mother improvised one fro the time being from a stick three or four feet long with some shorter leafy branches attached by means of string and when these wore off they were thrown away and replaced by others. But I'm sure a new broom was a welcome sight when someone went to the village. There was a well near by and the boys bailed it out to let a fresh supply run in. Mother made some sort of a dumpling stew for dinner which should have been nice but was rather bitter from the alkaline water, so we had to have water hauled from the nearest neighbour who lived half a mile away.

Sometimes when the supply was low we youngsters took our little pails and carried water home. While there the old man who loved children used to chat as long as we would stay and often told funny tales of things he had seen and done. There was one time he had gone out to shoot and the deer was sighted, jumped into the scrub, and as it ran around the hill he artfully doubled back on it. Going 'round the hill the other way he met the deer almost face to face and brought it down with one shot from the gun.

Another story was of a surprising feat accomplished once he went through the ice while crossing the Red River and was carried down stream by the current. But knowing of a watering-hole further on he watched for it and when he reached it, just popped his head above the surface and came out on top and went once more quite safely to the other side.

He told us of how when he was young and went courting he had three girls all living along the same road and all so fine he didn't know how to decide. So one Sunday as he drove out he thought he'd leave it for his horse to settle, so he let the lines go slack and his horse turned in at the first gate. "So I popped the question and sure enough that was the right girl." I often wondered how the horse could help him decide, but as I grew older I knew that his horse had been guided most frequently through that gate, and that the old man was very fond and very proud of his lovely wife.

But when he told us of great big patches of lovely wild strawberries where the knees of his trousers were simply stained red and soaked as he knelt in just one spot to eat all he wanted and filled his big straw hat, then our mouths fairly watered and we searched for strawberries but never found them so large or plentiful as he described them.

We had brought no cows from Ontario so my Dad secured two from a bachelor man a few miles away. We now had plenty of milk, cream and butter and besides, my mother supplied enough butter for the bachelor's weekly needs and packed two nice tubs for his use later on in the season. I was glad one cow as a brindle as that made it more like in the nursery rhymes that always had a fascination for me. I thought I had never seen butter so lovely and golden and milk had never tasted so sweet and good, and some way I thought it must be because of the long prairie grass where our cows pastured and the yellow blossoms of the wild sweet pea and the cowslip which grew so abundantly. Then one day my brother came running in saying, "Come and see the pretty little moccasin I have found!" This was the lady-slipper and soon we saw lots of them.

There was a school, a frame building, unpainted, a few miles away erected some two or three years earlier. School was kept open about one half the year and closed the other half owing to cold wintry weather, poor roads and the great distance most children had to travel to get there. School had been held for a time in a little old log building near the same grounds, where the first children of the district had attended. But even before that (I was later told) a kind lady called "Aunt Emm" by some of the children had collected the youngsters at her home and taught them along the rules of "the three R's" and also gave them Sunday School lessons. Hers was a beautiful character and when she died in 1918 many people both old and young paid tribute to one who though she had no family of her own yet was always a "Mother" to other sons and daughters.

One morning after a brief holiday we came to school and found it wearing a nice new coat of bluish grey - the Fuller Bros. of Moosomin were there finishing up a neat job of painting. They were pleasant jolly fellows, but best of all they had a friendly great big black curly Newfoundland dog!

Our district was called Glen Adelaide. There was a country post office at a farm two miles from the school. Mr. Whitlock was the Post-Master and his house was beside the Antler Creek from which came the Glen part of the name. "Adelaide" was the name of his first wife who had died in the East. His second wife was very kind as the children of the district knew. The mail came in from Moosomin about forty miles away every Wednesday and Friday. We often went after school to get the mail and while waiting it was a happy moment when we would be given a great big slice of bread and butter or a fine thick piece of cake. It doubtlessly helped us much to cover the long walk home more quickly.

It was while we lived under the thatched roof that I had my first glimpse of Indians. Quite a band of them passed along the trail which wound along in front of our door and with such startling suddenness I wished I could become invisible; I surely was afraid yet I wanted to see every last one of them. They came on horseback, in little carts such as we do not see now, and some with two poles extending from each side of the pony to the ground, where two people could sit. Their ponies were black, brown, white, cream or buckskin and some pinto. I liked their ponies and the Rid-River carts, and thought how nice it would be to have such a turn-out to drive to school. The Indians, their squaws and children were dressed in blankets of various colours, hair in long braids, coloured kerchiefs on their heads and wearing beads and bright trinkets. Some of the men had their faces painted bright colours making them appear fiendish, or so I thought but was just not used to seeing them, that is all! They were doubtless in their best holiday attire being from another Reservation to the north on a visit to our Indians of the Moose Mountain Reserve, really a thrilling sight.

Near harvest time we moved to a place one-half mile from the school, our house was log but a little larger than where we lived at first, and this man {Mr. Shaffer] was a bachelor but as he had been a teacher in Ontario and for a time in Glen Adelaide, he was used to children. My father agreed to help him through the harvest and threshing and look after his farm and stock during the winter while he went back home for a long visit in the East. Soon after this, while the grain was still standing we were shocked to hear that a little four-year old child [Gertie Turton] of the district was lost. She had gone to meet her Daddy who would be coming in for dinner, had strayed away and could not be found. Every neighbour from near and far turned out and searched on foot and on horseback headed by a member of the R.N.W.M.P. who at that time was stationed at the village of Cannington Manor. This posse of men searched the country thoroughly many days for miles around but no trace of the child was ever found which must have been a terrible blow to the family who were all devoted to the little blue-eyed girl.

One night that was very exciting for us happened a few weeks later in the fall when a prairie-fire came almost to our door. Dad and the other children were all away working somewhere that day. The eldest at home just then was a lad of twelve [Dennis]. It had been dull and smoky all day long and it seemed the fire must be many miles away, but in the evening the smell of smoke was stronger as you sniffed the air. The bachelor [Mr. Shaffer] wanted to make sure of the safety of some haystacks a piece away so off he went taking the boy of twelve [Dennis] with him. They had not been gone long when it suddenly became dark, there was a thick smoke all around us and we saw tongues of fire gleaming through the darkness coming nearer and nearer towards us.

Mother was nervous of course but quite cool, and calmly put us to work pulling up pail after pail of water from the old well which worked with a windlass, filling the trough, a tub and every bucket and pail we could find. Then she carried the water and poured around and in front of the house to keep it safe from sparks. Ten she collected some articles of clothing, a few blankets, a pillow or two and piled in a heap near the door and when I saw her throw in a box of matches too with other things, I wondered what she meant to do with matches while fires raged about us yet I knew better than to question her at such a time. She took care that her new-born baby of a few weeks was well wrapped in her blanket and that the littlest ones were all downstairs and ready to move out at a moment's notice. She worried about D[ennis] who had gone out with the bachelor [Mr. Shaffer]. "If he were only here or away with his father he might be safe!" And now the fire was coming closer, closer, reaching out with its flames higher and higher, dancing and leaping till now it was right on us creeping under the wire fence at the front of the yard - passing by us on the right side, thank goodness the garden patch had saved us there - but from the south still closer, the flames were climbing and burning the very poles of a fence that was built tight against one corner of the house. She took the axe in her hand and "slash, slash, slash", down the nearest rails went crashing lest sparks from them might catch the boards of a low lean-to roof! Some water splashed about helped there too; the fire swept on by and the house and her children were safe.

But the absent boy [Dennis] and the bachelor man [Mr. Shaffer], what of them? They reached home a few minutes later and I well remember young D[ennis] chuckling away as he told of the close shave when the fire suddenly swept by the guarded stack almost taking their breath away as it singed the old man's beard and eyebrows. (To us kids he was "the old man", possibly because of his long beard, though beards were quite common then.) For my brother D[ennis] it had been just a few exciting moments with little thought of fear, but for the rest of us it had been a real cause for apprehension, and we were glad when Dad came hurrying home a little later and soon the whole house had settled down for a quiet night.

Apparently some homesteader had let his back-fire get away from him before the advance of the main fire, and the wind being in our direction had brought it our way, hence out sudden danger. We had heard the sad story of a woman and her two small children who had been burned to death by a prairie fire just a fall or two before this. They were walking home from calling at the house of a neighbour only two or three miles from where we were now living. When overtaken by the fire the mother had taken off some of her own clothing and wrapped around her little ones to protect them from the fierce flames, but alas it was but scant protection against so terrible a foe!

There isn't much that I remember to tell of our first winter except that it was long and cold. The school was closed all winter but the time was never dull with us. I could do a few things to help about the house and also mind the baby. We were able to play out of doors some days when the weather was not too cold. We heard true stories of people getting lost in earlier days and knew such things could happen again. Some had been so terribly frozen as to lose arms or legs, and one woman in the Wawota district to the north of us had been frozen to death not so long before this.

The next June we had the thrill of coming to live on our own Homestead. My father had broken a few acres of land for a small field, a garden and potato patch the previous year so we had some fresh new vegetables already flourishing. Perhaps it wasn't much to come to, but it was at least a roof over our heads, our very own home. Our parents did not seek for much in the way of worldly possessions, but they did want a home of their own where they could give their children enough education to make their way through life and become useful and loyal citizens of our country. We had to do without many things that now would be considered essential, but we found much to enjoy as our young lives were built and shaped for the future.

Berry picking in those days was always more or less of an adventure, and it was really a necessity as fruit could not be bought then as now. There were no stores where you could go and buy a basket of fruit in season (or at any time). We gathered mostly raspberries and saskatoons, and a little later cranberries, pin-cherries and chokecherries. Sometimes too we found gooseberries, strawberries, dewberries, also black and red currants. Sometimes we drove the team and wagon and went further back in the bush spending the greater part of the day. Lunch time was like a little picnic as we sat under the trees, and when we took sugar and cream to put on our raspberries it was a real treat. But berry-picking was sometimes a task of labour and we lagged and loitered out there in the hot sun, and our pails just wouldn't get full as we made frequent trips to the water jug for a drink and an excuse to linger in the cool shade.

A forest fire had swept through part of the mountain near us burning off acres and acres of green wood and all over the blackened hills the next year raspberry bushes sprang up everywhere and people came from near and far to gather berries every fine day while they lasted. A few even brought their own sugar and preserved some as they made their camp by the roadside. One woman came to our house, made use of the kitchen, our cook stove and my mother's preserving kettle. But when she left the bottom of the preserving kettle was all scorched and blackened, poor thanks I thought for my mother's kindness, and now that I was learning to wrestle with pots and pans I could sympathize with her as she scrubbed and scoured and made it clean and fit for use again.

There was always one day of the year I really enjoyed when we went about a mile back in the bush to gather wild hops. It was always in the fall just after a few early frosts. The vines laden with clustering hops looked quite pretty twining around and up the trees, and they smelled like nothing else in the whole world. When the hops were sufficiently dry mother stored them in bags for use as she desired them. She made such light bubbly hop-yeast and from this the most delicious bread imaginable. But mother made much besides bread and butter. She had to do washing, sewing, mending and knitting for the whole family. She made our little dresses, our underwear and our long woollen stockings. (In summer we went bare-foot.) She made overalls for the boys and knitted their socks and mitts. In those days you could not get a variety of ready-to-wear articles of clothing like you can today in any local store, nor could you sit down and select your order from an Eaton or Simpson catalogue as these popular mail-order houses were not then established in western Canada.

Every spring mother made a big cauldron of soft soap, and this process was interesting to watch. The fat fro the soap-making was tallow and odd scraps and rinds that had been collected for weeks. The lye was from a leach of wood ashes we had out under the trees at the edge of a small slough. Some water was added to the lye and fat in the cauldron, a fire was built under it and kept burning for several hours. The mixture had to be stirred now and then and the fire watched and tended and care taken that no sparks escaped. At length when it had thickened enough the fire was allowed to die away ,the bubbling ceased and the soap was left to cool. Later it was put in large wooden pails or crocks, enough lovely soap excellent for washing clothes and other things for many weeks.

My dad had much of his land to clear of scrub. For this he used his axe, a scrub-hook and scythe. Sometimes on a damp evening when it would be safe he would light the piles of brush and there would be a merry blaze. Soon he had a nice big field on the east half of his quarter, a garden and potato patch near the house, and a second big garden space not far away where he grew clover, buckwheat or timothy, and sometimes mangels [beets] or other roots for his pigs and cows. He used a walking plough and I liked to follow in bare feet along the smooth and gleaming furrow. He had a yoke of oxen "Buck and Bright", the joy of our young lives, one black and white, the other roan. They were so quiet and gentle and easy to guide wherever we wished to go. We used to climb on their backs and sometimes even sit on their heads with one small hand holding onto each big smooth horn.

The next spring I helped him plant the garden and learned something of how he made straight even rows, and dropped the seeds in the little trenches but not too thick. Soon I learned to distinguish between proper plants and weeds and helped with weeding and hoeing. My father usually had a wonderful garden and mother was a good gardener too. In later years when Carlyle had sprung up as a fine flourishing town and had a thriving horticultural society and held an agricultural fair every year, he was often selected to sit as judge of vegetables which he was pleased to do when he could spare the time. He was always very busy doing much of his own carpentering, blacksmithing, making and mending harness and countless other necessary articles around the farm.

For quite a number of years he acted as a Justice of Peace sometimes settling cases that came before him in his own home or at some other appointed place. He preferred to have people settle their differences out of court and peaceably if possible. He often received letters from persons asking his advice in their difficulties with relatives or neighbours and these he took care to answer promptly.

During the summer months we walked the three miles to school, sometimes running much of the way so as to have longer time to play. In our walks we sometimes saw a wolf, a fox, or a badger. Sometimes on our way home we used to drown out gophers dipping water from the sloughs with our empty lunch pails. Sometimes if we happened to find a nice patch of gooseberries or strawberries we gathered them in our pails to take home as a surprise for mother. We were always overjoyed to see the first crocuses (or anemones), and the first appearance of the slender graceful tiger lily which has since become the flower-emblem of our province, was always greeted with delight. Much too we loved the dainty prairie rose growing so plentifully everywhere and scattering its lovely fragrance all along our way.

Our teachers at that time were mostly from Eastern Canada and the country was new to them. Most of them stayed just the one summer and as might be expected some of them did not like living so far away from their friends and places of amusement. Others again found it quite interesting here. Teachers in those days received a salary of from thirty-five ($35.) to forty ($40.) dollars per month, and my Dad who was a school-trustee and Secretary Treasurer for many years often said then that the salary was much too small.

Then one summer we had a teacher who was "different". She was a young English woman whose home was at the east side of the district just a few miles from the school so she drove with her own horse and buggy. She was very gentle and kind, in fact I thought her so angelic that it would be a disgrace for any child to be even the least bit rude to her. She taught the usual lessons in as attractive way also some Bible stories. She encouraged sports and during recesses and part of the noon hour trained us in all sorts of foot races, hurdle races, broad and high jumps, pitching quoits and many other activities both out-doors and indoors so that when we had a final tournament in the fall we had become quite expert. Miss C.E.S.W. (our teacher) had invited some visitors for this special afternoon, every effort was applauded with interest, we were presented with prizes and in all it was a memorable day.

We attended church and Sunday School at our school house on Sundays when the weather was fine. Sometimes we walked or rode horse-back, sometimes we went in the wagon. One Sunday a Methodist minister would be there and the next Sunday would be the day for the Presbyterian preacher. Both were welcome visitors at our home and each made frequent calls at every home in the district. Generally the minister would come on foot, he would stay fro supper with us, then read a chapter from his Bible and say a prayer before bidding a friendly farewell to every one in the home. We hadn't many horses yet at that time, but my father lent a horse (Nellie) for a whole summer to one of these clergymen, a very fine and kindly man who was I am sure very thankful for this friendly gesture which saved him from many a long weary walk. This was the Presbyterian preacher. A few years later a little log church was built in the Fernley District four miles from our school, and here the Presbyterian settlers now met for service and prayer. Sometimes too we attended there. Then in another few years the little log church gave place to a fine frame building. The church is now in use but not on the same spot. The Glen Adelaide Methodist Church was also built some years before this and is the one still in use. Our little old frame school has been gone for a number of years now and given place to another neat and up-to-date building further west, but still has the same name.

If ever I passed by a burning lime kiln as a child it more or less intrigued my imagination especially at night time. The pit would be dug in the side of a bank or knoll and wood thrown in for a fire. Then the big white lime stones of various sizes could be put in and subjected to heat for a number of days to produce the lime for making plaster for houses and out-buildings. Limestones were plentiful on most homesteads.

Every spring before seeding time there was a church social and we met at the school to be trained for this. As there was no teacher yet a lady of the district who had musical ability taught us to sing several sacred selections, also a few other pieces and some recitations. We enjoyed those practices more I think than the social event and had lots of fun as both the lady and the Methodist minister who helped were so jolly.

But the great day was when we had the Sunday School picnic in July each year. There were races, games and swings for old and young, and the young men played football. There was the long, long table in the shade where the good things were spread for dinner, then later for supper. You see we went early in the forenoon and stayed till almost dark so that people really made a day of it then.

One happy event of our young lives every year was the Christmas tree in the Cannington Manor Hall. When the day arrived we would leave soon after dinner as the nine mile drive took quite a while if the roads were heavy. We were always met at the door by one of the friendly English ladies who helped us to unwrap by the fire in the warm room. We bundled all the raps from each family into one big bundle so they could be found easily when it came time for going home. We were then regaled with tea and cake after which we went upstairs to the hall. There were chairs all around the hall and at the front was the tree laden with gifts and lighted with candles. It was just a large poplar tree with the trunk white-washed, but to us it was about the prettiest sight in the world. Several lovely ladies came to talk to us and to get us to join in games with the other children. We played "Blind Man's Bluff", "London Bridge", "The Farmer in the Dell", "Here we come Gathering Nuts in May", etc. When all the children from near and far had gathered Dr. Hardy appeared with his Magic Lantern Slide and showed us many interesting and funny scenes heightening our amusement and bringing forth peals of laughter with his quaint speeches and jocular remarks. Then he and several ladies stripped the tree of its petty packets and distributed them to the delighted youngsters. These gifts were treasured for many weeks. I remember quite well two of my choicest possessions "John Halifax, Gentleman", my first real book which I later read with so much interest, and a box of water colours from which I derived many hours of real enjoyment. The sun was always low in the sky when we huddled down in the bottom of the sleigh for the homeward drive and Dad tucked us in the covers to protect us from the cold winds. I always felt "sea-sick" from the jolting of the sleigh but didn't mind that so much as the grand time we had offset any discomforts resulting from the outing.

In those early times too there was always a "Sports Day" at Cannington in mid summer. This was a real gala day for everyone for miles around. We used to all go in the wagon and how those fence posts used to race along in the opposite direction as the horses jogged gaily along! (That is, of course, when there happened to be a fence along our way as the trails wound over open prairie for the most part.) The horse races were always exciting and there were real jockeys, and the hurdle races were still more thrilling! Race horses with their riders were there from Moosomin, Brandon and Winnipeg, but the Beckton horses were as fine as any of them. There were pony races, Indian pony races, and the very amusing lazy horse race where each owner rode the other man's horse and used all his powers of persuasion (but no whip) to bring the horse he rode in first - and it was the laziest horse, the very last to reach the winning post, which won the prize! There were all kinds of stunts for people too, jumping, pole vaulting, tug of war, foot races - the squaws always ran, and how they enjoyed it, and so did all who looked on as they came hurrying down the line. The refreshment booth was always a great attraction. Where else in those days could a child get his fill of ice cream, lemonade, candies, nuts and oranges. Not many places, I'm sure except when he went to an occasional picnic or sports, so what a treat! After dark the Indians usually held a pow-wow and sometimes we could stay and watch this for a while. They had several interesting steps and their native costumes were so colourful and picturesque.

There was an agricultural fair at the village every fall too: stock, grain, vegetables, baking and hand made articles were among the exhibits. I never attended the fair, but one fall our teacher (Miss C.E.S.W.) taught her class of girls to sew and hem quite nicely, provided material for several small pinafores which she put on display for us and our school secured a second prize.

I attended school at Cannington Manor part of two winters and knew quite a number of the people fairly well. The mill was always a busy centre during the winter months then, excellent flour being made from wheat grown on the surrounding farms. In fact flour from the Cannington Manor mill was awarded first prize medal at the Chicago World's Fair.

The grain was threshed by a horse power threshing machine operated by horses going around in a circle and owned by the Brockman Bros. There were quite a large gang of men, yet threshing did not take so long as no one had a very big crop, yet the process must have actually been slow. These men threshed at every farm for miles around so it must have taken up a lot of their time away from home. I liked the large circle made by the trampling horses' feet as it was a fine smooth place to run and play after the machine had moved on to the next farm.

The village school-master was a young Englishman who resided near this school with his wife and family. He took a personal interest in each pupil and put forth every effort to advance our studies. H e had a pleasing way of joking with us and even yet I can almost hear him as he would say, "Oh, Winnie you're a duffer!" when he happened to find a number of mistakes in her work, and he would show her carefully how to correct them. Her little head bent cheerfully and patiently over her task and next time would come up with "all correct". But sad to say this poor man took seriously ill and though the good Doctor ("Big Pills" as everyone called him, having a brother "Little Pills" a smaller man) did everything in his power to save him,he died in a few weeks and we sorrowfully attended his funeral. A clever young woman living quite near took charge of the school till a new teacher could be secured. His wife returned to England with her family of little ones and as they grew a bit older we once more took up teaching as that had been her work in England before her marriage.

It was quite a common thing in those days for people to travel miles and miles with a wagon (or sleigh) drawn by oxen or horses. Many such came from Carnduff and Reston to the Mountain in search of dry wood, and often spent the night at our home. They would gladly wrap themselves in their blankets and lie on the couch or on the floor for the night so as to be inside where it was warm. They used to bring their own lunch but gladly accepted the hot tea mother gave them and often she gave them a hot breakfast in the morning to start them on their way. She and Dad never turned anyone away from their door without an offer of assistance in some way. We youngsters liked to hear them talk as often it was in broken English, or in French or some other foreign language if there were two or more of them. Sometimes in the fall of the year when w=coming home late from school or bringing the mail, a sight I loved to see there high on the ridge trail were three or four or five or six or even more teams with wagon loads of dry wood piled high and heading south in plain and perfect silhouette against the glowing colours of the darkening evening sky. They would reach Cannington that night and get home next day.

Dad used to haul his wheat to the Moosomin elevators forty miles away as there were no others nearer, and he was usually gone three days, a day to go, a day to whatever business he had on hand and then return the third day. Later when I went to Moosomin to attend school I knew only too well why the trip took so long. I used to perch beside him on top of the load, sometimes the trail would be heavy because of rain showers, and we would have to veer round the mud holes or get "stuck" which wasn't so funny with a load. In winter with the sleigh it was a long cold drive, and there was the same problem of heavy roads and getting stuck in the snow drifts. I was always glad when we reached the "half-way house" where we would get a warm-up and a good hot dinner. That friendly man, Mr. McD. was on hand to help me down with his cheery, "Go right on in May and get warm!" By this I knew that I needn't knock, just open the door, pop in and make myself at home while his kindly wife busied herself about getting the meal, and she was just as friendly and hospitable as her husband. I managed to get home twice a year for midsummer holidays and two weeks at Christmas. Always when I left the town behind I felt like cheering or shouting - partly no doubt from the feeling of being out in the free, open country with few houses in sight, and also the happy feeling of going home once more.

There were two weddings in the family some time before 1900 when our two eldest sisters married. The first was at Cannington Manor and I remember we gathered pretty flowers to decorate the room and the tables. She [Carrie] looked lovely in her wedding gown and seemed so happy. There was a dance later in the evening but we could not wait to see that. My second sister [Martha] was married at home three years or so later. She looked lovely in her pretty blue gown with long veil and orange blossoms. The officiating minister (Rev. G.) was a venerable old man with long white beard and very much loved by all who knew him. (I saw him a few years later while attending school in Moosomin. He was a slim striking figure clad in the black clerical garments of the time, his long snowy beard flowing, and carrying in his hand his Bible as he paced slowly and reverently up and down the station platform waiting for a train to carry him off on his way back to his native Scotland.)

The young Methodist minister was a guest at the wedding too and given a place of honour at the long table. After supper there was dancing for all and quite a merry time. They danced quadrilles, schottische, heel-and-toe-polka, the Jersey waltz, and the stately minuet. The ministers both stayed for a time and saw them "swing their partners" and really enjoyed watching as much as did the "young fry" as Dad often called us. Well I now had two brothers-in-law and began to feel slightly important, but there were no more weddings in the family for several years as the older boys did not marry so young and the rest of us still had to grow up.

Among our early adventures were the trips to the Lake seven miles back from home. But at first there was no road leading to it direct and the family went by a trail further north, the long way around. So Dad and the boys blazed a way direct and then asked a few neighbours to help in cutting a road through on a certain day. These people were glad to do so as they too liked fish and had been taking the long way 'round too. They got back about six that evening hungry but happy as they had accomplished what they set out to do, and I helped mother serve a good supper to the whole gang. This made it much easier to reach Fish Lake and as Dad had a log cabin near the shore we made frequent trips for fish and berries. Here we learned to row and manage boats and became quite skilled in the art of fishing. As children we often called the Lake "Kenosee" little dreaming it would one day be called by its Indian name and become the centre of attraction as part of a popular National Park.

The main trail leading from Cannington Manor to the Lake joined our trail at Skeleton Lake, both roads having been put through about the same time. Skeleton Lake was so called because the men in blazing the way had discovered the bones of two skeletons (supposedly Indians who probably had lost their way and frozen to death at some time) lying not far from the shore of this smaller lake some three miles east of Kenosee Lake.

Those drives over the hills and back to the Lake with the buggy, the wagon, or on horseback (there were no cars then) stand out in memory like many lovely pictures on the walls of some grand old art gallery and it would be a feeble effort to try to describe them - spring, summer, autumn and winter we got to know our friendly mountain in all her changing moods of cloud and sunshine, wind and rain, sunlight, moonlight, darkness, frost, ice and snow. But whether her trees were leafless, clothed in fresh leafy green, or the more gorgeous tints of autumn with each small lake we passed a glorious gem with deep coloured shadows reflected on its bosom, we loved it all and treasured those happy hours. No wonder the Forest Ranger (J.R.) at that time who used to ride horse back from end to end of the Moose Mountain - north and south, east and west on his regular trips never seemed so happy as when he sat in his saddle out on patrol He too loved our mountain (even though he didn't grow up in its shelter) and on one occasion when feeling a bit gay I heard him say as he drew himself proudly, "I am the King of this whole Mountain". And in heart and in deed he was for he did his best to keep it safe from fire and destruction.

We used to hear bird songs in the mountain that we did not hear on the prairie. Often in autumn the small lakes would be literally covered with wild ducks, and the big Lake when we reached its shores would have many wild geese as well as ducks floating on its peaceful waters in happy seclusion. We often saw a beaver swimming on some of the smaller lakes; and frequently we saw the gentle deer on the roadside, sometimes one alone, sometimes tow, and now and then three in a group. They always appeared quite tame, possibly knowing we would do them no harm.

Among the early dwellers at Fish Lake (Kenosee) there was one distinct character, David T.M. Powell, an old sea captain who had seen much of the world. He was reported to have been some distant relative of the late Lord Baden Powell founder of the Boy Scout Movement. But this old fellow preferred to live alone and quietly, hence this spot was selected for his abode being in those days quiet in summer and entirely secluded in winter. At one time he had been blessed with a wife but she had died long years before and so he lived entirely alone except for the occasional visitor. Every summer for several years a very fine and quiet clergyman came from Cannington Manor and spent a few days as his guest. Then the old "Skipper" looked really happy and I believe he really liked company. He did have a little dog, and his boat and we often saw him a solitary fisherman out in the bay not far from his modest home. He had a buggy for summer, a cutter for winter and his team of ponies but later as the years went by he had but one lame old horse to take him where he wished to go. He was a most loyal member of the Masonic Lodge and it was something very severe if ever he missed a regular monthly meeting of the society even though it meant a drive of many miles to Moosomin. But he was rewarded for his faithfulness in a way at the last for in his long weeks of illness the Brethren took complete charge of him and gave him every possible care. He died about 1912 or 1913. There must have been something really fine about this queer old man who lived so much alone. He came to our house now and then and mother always gave him a meal, and sometimes a loaf of her lovely bread to take home with him. He liked to chat with us and tell his stories of far away lands and seas.

Once in South Africa he had taken part in a fight with the Zulus. Hordes of them came swarming around a hill his regiment occupied in a surprise attack; they fought till it was useless to continue, then he made a miraculous escape by dodging around trees and over logs through brush and scrub and finally jumped over a precipice being one of only some half dozen men who got away with their lives. He sang for us patriotic songs and sea songs when in a jolly mood. Once he composed "A Coronation Code" which he got set to music and this must have been in honour of Edward VII, but I doubt that it ever brought him anything in the way of royalties as he was ever very poor.

His one great love in summer was his wonderful flower garden (part of it vegetable) hidden from sight for many years by the tall native trees and shrubs of the mountain. He must have spent many hours there each summer as it was a joy to behold and very few were ever given the privilege of seeing it. But he often took huge bouquets to those he considered his friends, and mother came in for quite a goodly share so we teased her jokingly about her "gallant skipper" and she just smiled and said, "Oh get on with you!". Then once, yes once when I was indisposed he actually favoured me with a bunch of lovely flowers. I was pleased, of course, but I had to keep quite mum else those mischievous girls should turn the tables on me!

But alas! One summer as the Lake became more and more popular, and more and more people came fishing and holidaying, some campers discovered the sacred garden and in the Captain's absence entered, trampled down and tore away many of the beautiful blooms! When he found what they had so wantonly done the poor "Skipper" was heart broken that anyone should desecrate a spot so beautiful and so he gave up his garden as one of those lovely memories of the past, and I know part of his heart went with it.

One point and one alone that of a lonely man brings to mind another type of man who paused on our threshold in the early days - this was the Jew Peddler who now and then came with his pack of various wares for sale and his coming was something of a thrill for us kids who never tired of seeing him unpack his goods for display. There were so many bright coloured and sparkling trinkets to take our fancy such as we seldom saw, but as Dad taught us "All that glitters is not gold. Better to save our pennies and buy something really useful", he would say. Two things puzzled me - how one small man could carry a pack so heavy on his shoulders and trudge along mile after mile in the heat from house day after day? So we gladly ran to the well for fresh cool water while he sat resting on a chair near the door and mopped his weary brow. Mother always managed to scrape up a few dimes from somewhere (the money was scarce) and bought a few yards of print for our little dresses, some gingham for her an apron, and material to make shirts for the younger boys. "This perhaps will lighten his load", she said, and I hope it did. Perhaps he was not unhappy but a solitary figure walking so far alone made it appear as if he were.

Mixed in with memories of childhood days are those two most wonderful and natural phenomena which we loved to watch, the mirage and the Northern Lights. In the early mornings on the prairie especially in early fall we often saw the most perfect mirage where buildings, trees or other objects many miles distant would seem to appear right before us. Sometimes it would seem a nice little town came into view miraculously before our very eyes, or it might be a lake or hills or a mountain. This was the mirage so beauteous, so mystic which sometimes mislead the earliest adventurer on the prairie in days long gone by. Now with so many trees here about us and our range of vision smaller we do not often see a mirage as in the past. The Northern Lights, however, are still to be seen in our northern skies and overhead at night in fall and winter sometimes so brightly vivid and changeable as they dace about in all the glory of their striking grandeur, a sight to remember always.

There was a war in Africa in which England became involved (the Boer War). My mother said "Good-bye" to two of her eldest sons [Albert and Ed] one after the other as they enlisted for service and were soon on their way over the sea. Other young men from nearby districts went too and Africa seemed a long way off then. News was hard to get them, one had to wait so long for the weekly papers, and letters from the boys took weeks to reach us. Any card, picture or souvenir from the boys was carefully treasured. At school we rejoiced at the news of very victory announced and we sang, -

"Our Canadian boys are proudly marching
With their faces to the foe,
You will never find our Jack
With a bullet in his back,
He's a gem in the crown of Britannia!"

Then one day pale of face and very grave our school master told us Queen Victoria had died January 22, 1901 and we mourned with all the world the passing of one so good and great. The next year the war ended and after a few months the local boys all returned safe and well to their homes.

Our country was becoming settled more rapidly now with more improvements, better roads, bridges and fences, more houses and schools. The first Inspector of Schools, Mr. J. Hewgill of Moosomin inspected all schools as far south as the U.S. border and north away beyond Moosomin. He called at each school once a year and twice at those not so far from his home. Many and varied were his experiences as he drove from school to school with his single black horse and top buggy and from farm to farm where he stopped for the night, straggling through mud and slush and swollen streams in all kinds of weather. He had many tales to tell of his adventures, but the one of an indolent teacher amused me; He set his alarm clock at noon after he had eaten his lunch and curled up for a nap with his coat rolled up under his head for a pillow. One day he wakened to find his classroom quite deserted, his pupils long since gone home and his clock ticking away quietly on a shelf at the back of the room! Let us hope he never found many teachers such as that. Mr. Hewgill continued till about 1900 when with so many new schools being built a new Inspector was appointed for the southern part of the division while Inspector Hewgill kept on with his Inspectorate further north till his death by car accident in the autumn 1916.

About 1900 the Arcola railway line was being built from Reston to Regina and for a time Arcola was the western terminus. In the meantime the little towns of Wauchope, Redvere, Manor, Carlyle and Arcola sprang up rapidly and thrived, being in the centre of a splendid wheat growing area and here too the late Dr. Cora Hind came to make her crop estimate as she did from other wheat centres for many years. Her reports were invaluable and she did much for agriculture and its various branches.

The little old village of Cannington Manor with no railway facilities now began to fade gradually away. Before bidding it a final farewell I presume to pay tribute to two of its later citizens, one Harry King the stage driver who brought the mail and the other Dr. S.L. Clindinin a beloved physician. Mr. King made the long trip with the mail to and from Moosomin twice every week and seldom failed through all sorts of roads and weather. How he managed, I don't know, but he persevered for many years. When in Moosomin attending school I often saw him in winter pulling into town with a heavy load of mail and almost completely covered with frost and snow. Next morning he would have his sleigh piled high with mail bags and parcels and be off on the return trip by sunrise. A time or so as I hurried a bit late to send a letter home, a youngster and worried at not having it stamped, it was "Don't worry about the stamp, dear, I'll see that your letter goes through" and I knew that he would! It seemed he had an unwritten motto - "The mail must go through" and stuck to it. Later he moved with his wife and family to B.C. where I hope he enjoyed a milder climate and drives less strenuous.

Dr. Clindinin too had long drives in all conditions of roads and weather and never turned down a call for help. In striking contrast to the great work this doctor performed was the amount of his fee, which to say the least was "shockingly small". Everyone wondered how he could do so much for so little, but his heart was in his work and he worked for the good of humanity (a true statement for many of our western doctors.) After leaving Cannington in 1906 he practised in Wawota a few years then went further west. Here after a few years his task became greater than his strength, broken in health he returned to Hamilton, Ontario the home of his aged father where he died at the age of 50 years.

Those new towns on the Arcola line were soon bustling with business which centred around the tall elevators. In the fall too one often saw herds of cattle being driven to the stock yards to be shipped to the Winnipeg cattle markets.

Then by 1906 the branch line from Reston to Wolsely on the C.P.R. main line was complete and we had other thriving little towns to the north of us - Kennedy, Dumas, Wawota, Walpole, Fairlight and Maryfield. Better and more improved implements and farm equipment came into use, more and more land was broken and cultivated each year, farmers became better off financially, dressed better, lived better and had more comfortable homes and better means of locomotion.

In 1905 we became a province of the Dominion of Canada and "Saskatchewan" took her place as a prominent granary of the world. Our new and splendid Parliament Buildings were erected in Regina and things were booming all over the province. Mr. E.C. McDiarmid who homesteaded near old Cannington Manor had been our local representative in the old Legislative Assembly, but he now retired from politics after serving as M.L.A. for many years and retired to Manor. Other large towns grew rapidly, some became busy cities; there was much building going on everywhere and a flourishing business in real estate for a number of years.

About 1910, another branch line (C.N.R.) was completed from Maryfield across to Carlyle and thence on to Estevan. Other new little towns came into existence - Ryerson, Mair, Parkman and Service, some of these not so far away from us.

Then came World War I in 1914, Young men enlisted for service from every town and country district and many did not return. My mother had her youngest son [Jim] in the navy and two grandsons (mere boys) in the army overseas. Every community had its band of willing workers doing sewing, knitting and Red Cross work. In our local district we had the "Homemakers" and the "Merry Workers Red Cross Society" with grand records of achievement. Saskatchewan made a great name for herself overseas.

War news still took quite a while to get through to country districts. However as nearly every home had its telephone, Mr. W. Marshall of the Central office in Wawota gave a general ring each evening and read the main news items from a daily paper. This helped some, but all is so different today with our radio when we turn a dial and get news of the whole world almost instantly! There were numbers of cars around then, so with telephones and cars we saved much time and got around more quickly and so accomplished more. We tried to be gay as many hearts knew enough of sorrow and we dressed in brighter colours to make the world appear more cheerful. We sang "Oh Canada", "Keep the Home Fires Burning" and "Tiperary", and we danced many of the old time dances and waltzes, the four step and the fox trot. And how we rejoiced when all was over in 1918!

Again in World War II, 1939 to 1945, Saskatchewan has once more distinguished herself nobly on every score pertaining to the war. Our brave and gallant men won their laurels as proudly as any who ever fought and the highest honour goes to them.

On the home front old and young of every community worked hard and unceasingly all the way till final Victory. "Carry on" was the apparent slogan for all and nothing was too good for the boys and girls of the Services of whom practically every home had someone absent, and many were the wishes and prayers wafted above day and night for their safety. My mother had grandsons and great-grandsons in the Services at home and abroad on land, sea and in the air; there are those who will never return, their names are forever enshrined with tender memories.

At the present time (February 1946) two questions confront us as citizens of the world and units in a mighty Empire, the maintaining of the peace so dearly won and the feeding of hungry and starving peoples of Europe. In both issues Saskatchewan will carry her banner of Industry, Thrift, and Generosity as gallantly as the best to spread peace and comfort in less happy lands.

But this has taken us a long way from the pioneer days of our province. As I look back over the years it fills me with a great pride to feel that I have grown up and lived in this place, have watched the progress of our country, and have seen it expand from the bare bleak prairie to the rich, fertile productive communities of today with its prosperous, hospitable people. We have passed through periods of very wet years, dust storms, grasshopper plagues, drought, hot summers, severe winters, but we rise above it all finally and rejoice that we are part of a grand and loyal nation.

And so all honour to the pioneers of the past who have helped to make this true! Many of the early settlers, in fact most of them I knew as a child have passed on to their reward and many of their children have gone too. My father died in 1918, and what of my mother, you ask? What of my mother, the little woman of U.E. Loyalist stock with the blood of Eastern Canada pioneers still flowing in her veins? My mother, the woman who for so many years did so much for others in sickness and in health with no thought of anything in return for herself! The cheerful little woman who faced the unknown future so bravely that bright day in May so long ago - her twelve children still live (though she lost two of her three babies born here in the west). She has many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and she still lives in her comfortable frame house on the old Homestead. Though but a vestige of her former self and more than 90 years of age, she smiles and bids you "Welcome", asks you to "Stay for a cup of tea", and on leaving, "See that you don't take so long before you come again"!


To my mother, her twelve children, and all her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren I humbly and respectfully dedicate these recordings, and to all the pioneers I have ever met or known and to their families.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Early Memories of Fish Lake, Now Kenosee, Sask

-as told by Mrs. Mabel Maude (Christopher) White

Kenosee, the beautiful summer resort in the heart of the famous Moose Mountain Province Park! My earliest recollections of "Fish Lake" go back somewhere in the late years of the nineteenth century and the earlier years of the present one. My father, the late Charles Frederick Augustus Christopher, had come with his wife and family from near St. Thomas, Ont. in May 1893. He had come west to Manitoba for the harvest of 1892, then farther west to Calgary looking for land, back as far as Moosomin and from there some forty miles southwest to the Glen Adelaide district, where he settled his homestead, SW 1/4 sec. 18, T.10 Range 1, west of 2nd M., on the east side of the Mouse Mountain. And most pleased he was to have land of his very own where he could make a home.

Being accustomed to frequent servings of fish from the nearby creeks and from Lake Erie, he missed this delicacy from his table. Being fond of fish and, to make a change from wild duck in autumn, stewed rabbit in winter though Mother’s baked rabbit with dressing was lovely and her pressed rabbit wonderful; and particularly from the salt pork of summer, it was a fine treat when he could take one of the boys and slip back through the bush to "the lake" to catch a string of fish, the pickerel, so plentiful in the water there in the early days and such nice big ones! No license was required then and one could take all they could use. Dad fished with a net in winter through the ice but, for that, he always had a license, and many fine big pike were captured and thoroughly enjoyed.

"Kenosee", the word from the Indian language meaning "fish", slides softly from the tongue and never more so than when spoken by the natives themselves. Yes, I am glad they named the Lake "Kenosee". In those early days before the province was actually formed, Indians from the reserve a few miles away came to call now and then at the "Homestead" with fish for sale, perhaps half a dozen fair-sized ones for fifty cents and boy were they ever good! "Kenosee!" Yes, we as children called the lake just that, borrowing the word from our dusky neighbours, and never knowing then that in years to come it would be officially that and a spot of rare beauty in the very heart of the Moose Mountain Forest Reserve!

Yet we knew it was a beautiful lake and our father had visions of it one day becoming a famous summer resort. But how it could be reached by those from a distance was then a problem. There was the old Kerr trail a few miles to the north of it, but quite a round about way for us and others around there. Then one day Dad gathered ten or a dozen neighbours and they cut a new trail through bush where he had already blazed the way, and this went practically due west six miles to the lake.

They worked hard cutting and piling scrub all day and succeeded in clearing the way for future traffic all the way to Skeleton Lake, (2 miles east of Fish Lake), so-called because just at this point and at the junction of the Fripp Trail that led out from old Cannington Manor they found the bones of two skeletons ,possibly Indians who had come visiting from some distant reserve. These were later removed by instructions from Dr. Hardy, Physician of Cannington Manor Village at that time, and the local R.C.N.W.M.P. The hungry men’s supper was ready for them. Now we soon had a new trail to the lake which became known for years as the "Christopher Road".

What a pretty drive this made when dry and packed, up hill and down hill, winding past many lakes; and with such lovely glimpses of the prairie from the higher hills when driving to the east if coming out from the lake! But in wet years, or rainy seasons, what mud holes at times at the bottom of some of the hills! And what hard work, sweat and toil trying to get free from them, and with plenty of laughs and faces bespattered! It was all in the days fun even if one did fret at the delay and got home late for supper.

Then, farther on nearer the lake where the land was more level and big trees on either side, were the patches of deep mud. Here and there were lengthy stretches of "corduroy" road made from lengths of logs hewn so as to be more or less flat and laid side by side across the trail. Did you ever have the experience of travelling over this kind of road in a wagon with "bump, bump, bump, plop, plop"? If quite young, perhaps you laughed and laughed; if older, perhaps you grabbed the side of the wagon-box and wondered where you might land next!

Oh, well, it served its time and got us there and was really better than being stuck for hours in mud holes. The enjoyment of being at the lake and camping for a week made one forget any troubles along the wayside. But later the roads were made wider than mere trials and the way became less difficult.

Dad started in at first with two or three small log cabins along the north shore just in front of where Clarke’s now have the popular Kenosee Resort. From here he rented boats for fishing, tents for campers and had various other things on hand they might need when supplies ran low. Later, about year 1900, he bought the "Fripp" property, some forty acres, just further west, and so continued "The Pioneer Host" to all visitors at the lake, catering to their welfare and comfort in many ways. It was here a few yards back from the lakeshore the rustic home was centred in its picturesque surrounding of tall poplars interspersed with graceful birch, and here the family gathered for the summer months, coming home from school on holidays, or from other positions and lending a hand with activities around the place and at the same time spending many memorable hours.

Now the lake was becoming better known and its popularity increased. People came from older towns far away - Carduff, Glen Ewen, Oxbow, Reston, Virden, Moosomin, Stoughton, Arcola, Manor, Carlyle, and others as well as from newer centres all around. It was a busy place and all supplies in those days had to be hauled in by team and wagon. Keeping supplies of hay and oats on hand was quite a job too, as most people drove in with their own horses and could scarcely bring enough feed to last their stay, and most stayed longer than they intended to since it was such fun camping, fishing, swimming, boating, and berry picking at the Lake.

The campfires at night were an attractive feature. Anyone having a campfire got plenty of dry wood on hand earlier in the day so as to have lots to throw on the burning heap with a continuous burning blaze for the duration of the party, perhaps till midnight. Lengths of logs, home-made benches, wagon or democrat seats would be ranged around the fire in front of the tents to accommodate the guests. When all had gathered the lively chatter, jokes and singing began and what a gay party it would be! Many of the girls and boys, men and women were splendid singers and knew so many songs! And how lovely the singing voices sounded over the water as one came in from a late fishing excursion tired and hungry! How bright and gleaming were the campfires lending beauty to the tall dark poplars and silvery birch trees along the shore, and giving a cheerful welcome to those driving in from a distance and late arriving, weary and worn from the miles of travel and rough roads.

Dad was always a welcome visitor at the campfires. He had a good voice for singing and knew numerous Irish songs which he got off in a quaint Irish brogue though never Irish himself. "The Irish Wedding", "Mickey Brannigan’s pup", "Tim Flaherty", "Three Loaves of Shamrock" were among his favourites, and they never tired of listening to him. He very much loved to hear others sing the old familiar songs, but in later years his many duties kept him too busy to attend many campfires.

As the campers said "Mr. Christopher is the Daddy of all the campers. He wakes us in the morning, feeds and cares for us during the day, and puts us to bed at night as well as giving timely advice and help throughout the day." And indeed he had all their interests at heart and worked hard for their safety, well-being and comfort. They often asked him to give them a call in the morning early, 5, 6 or 7 o’clock, as desired, when they wanted to get an early start back home, or to go fishing, or berrying for the day. He was always on hand to show them where and how to pitch their tents, to help with boats, fishing tackle and what not, even how to land a big jack (pike) they feared might get away as that strong wily fish was in the habit of snapping line and making off in a hurry, hook, line, sinker and all. In those days it was mostly "still" fishing from the anchored boat, not far from shore, though we often went away over to "Pickerel Point" or off shore from any one of the various islands of the lake. Numbers of fine big pickerel could be hauled in from most anywhere a few rods from the shoreline, not the tiny fish some anglers get today. Those we threw back into the water to grow larger if they happened to snap the bait.

Autumn was a lovely time at the lake, or so we found when the whole family centred there the year-round as we did for several years. The drives out for supplies from Kennedy, Wawota, Manor, Carlyle, or out for a few miles to visit friends, or to get the mail from Glen Adelaide P.O. ten miles or so away, were very pleasant, the road being hard and dry for weeks at a stretch. The ponies could trot along nicely up and down hills when not too steep. There were no cars to bother us then or to frighten the horse. The lakes were so quiet and peaceful, and the songs of birds still with us so lovely to hear. There would be ducks, divers, and loons, also muskrat and beavers swimming in the water. Quite often we would see a deer or two, or three in a group. When the leaves turned colour and cast their reflections in the mirrors of the water there were beautiful pictures on every little lake all done in nature’s own hand. Such lovely scenes can never fade from one’s memory.

We got most of our supplies from "the farm", or the nearest towns, Kennedy, Wawota, Carlyle and Manor. But the mail was an important item always with many papers and letters for Dad. Many were from people asking for information about the lake. Then since Dad was a J.P., for many years he had things to attend to that required prompt attention. Also for many years he was a Trustee and Second Treasurer for the Glen Adelaide school which gave him extra duties. He used to act as judge of vegetables at the annual Carlyle Fair in August, a position he keenly enjoyed, being an excellent gardener himself and a thorough judge of fine vegetables.

Winter was nice here too, very restful and quiet over the weekends after a busy summer and fall. But the first of the week brought the "woodsmen" with the merry jingle of sleigh bells when sleighing was good. There had been a big bush fire through the mountain and near to the north lake shore, leaving acres and acres of tall burnt timber standing. And so for a number of winters they came from many miles for loads and loads of fine dry firewood. Each day there would be other teams and Dad had the "bunkhouse" roomy and comfortable for the men and warm stables for the horses.

There were a few resident trappers there in two or three of the shanties in winter. Their long trap lines would take them away all day sometimes. Their catch was generally quite good with lovely rich furs from mink, muskrat, lynx, and the wolf when its fur was in demand.

In the very early years three parcels of land at the lake were sold, that at the N.E. corner (now owned by the Clarkes), this being first bought by Mr. Jas. Williams who kept the old Mitre Hotel at Cannington Manor for a few years in the later 90's. This he sold to Mr. C. Brown of Moosomin who later sold to the late Mr. T.B. Clarke of the same town, who in a few years had it developed into a thriving resort. Mr. Percy Fripp of Cannington Manor bought the larger central parcel where he made his home for a time and later (about 1900) sold to my father, the late C.F. Christopher. Next to the west along the north shore was the McNaughton property, where the late R.D. McNaughton (father of Gen. A.G.L. McNaughton) erected his cottage and came from Moosomin with his wife and family each holiday season for a number of years. The Urquarts were a family, who resided for a number of years at the west end of the lake and catered to people who reached that part of the lake from other trails. It was here that two members of the R.C.N.W.M.P. of the Moosomin Detachment were stationed one summer and who made daily trips by boat to our east end, but always found things in good order. A few families from Moosomin had cottages at that far end of the lake and each summer enjoyed the boating, fishing, and quiet seclusion of the place as a change from the busy life in town.

The forest ranger, the late Mr. John Rutherford, came from his farm home north of Carlyle on his regular patrol duties through the mountain and was often our guest through all seasons of the year. He loved the mountain and was never happier than when riding through, and being as one might say, "monarch of all I survey".

An interesting character at the lake those days for some ten years or more was the "Skipper", as he was commonly called, Captain David T.M. Powell, who lived alone winter and summer in a little frame shack near the N.E. shore. He had his team of ponies for summer with a buggy, and a jumper for winter use. He used to drive to High View P.O. for his mail and to Moosomin each month to attend Masonic Lodge. He had sailed many seas and told stories of a Zulu war in Africa, when he was the only one who got away safely from a surprise attack. He loved to sing old patriotic sons and songs of the sea, but now getting on in years he loved the quiet spot where he made his home. And so he appeared a lonely figure apart from the campfires and often seen fishing all alone in his boat out on the bay. Sometimes the Anglican minister, Rev. Shelley, came from Cannington Manor to visit him for a few days and they would fish together in the little boat on the bay. Sometimes the Skipper brought Mother a lovely big bouquet of flowers. He always had a flower garden and some vegetables practically hidden by the natural growth of shrubbery, which he tended and guarded lovingly, but precious few were ever privileged to peep into its secret corners. So when he brought flowers for Mother we said she was favoured. She just smiled and always gave him a good meal and a loaf of her lovely homemade bread to take along when he went back to his shack, and I am sure, in his odd way, he was most grateful to her.

So the years went by and finally the Skipper drove just one horse, old and lame as he went out to town, or for mail, and always when he had them, lovely flowers for Mrs. Murray who too was kind to the lonely man. But now ill health finally overtook him and he was forced to rest in his later days in the Moosomin Hospital where the members of his Lodge would surely be kind to this old and faithful member and see that he was well cared for to the very last.

Of tragedies where hundreds of people gather in a place of this kind there are bound to be some. And it is true there have been several sad drownings at the lake. Through all the years we were there, however, there was just one, but the victim in this case boasted "I know all about swimming in the waters of Lake Erie, and this lake cannot drown me.".

So this Sunday morning in early August 1908, with the winds high and the waters wild, Dad would allow no boats to put out. But this young man and his companion, saying they could handle a boat in the roughest waters, took off at their own risk. When midway to "the point" where waves were highest, they attempted to turn back. The boat filled with water when they turned broadsides to the heavy waves and out they went clinging to the side of the boat and the younger of the two men went down before help could reach them. It was a sad and gloomy day for all of us.

Dad kept a nice lineup of boats there. The lighter row boats that were easy to handle as the "Rose", "Mollie", "May", renting at seventy-five cents or a dollar a day. Then there were some larger, nice trim keel-bottomed boats as the "Britannia", so graceful in her red, white and blue, and the name stencilled on each one. These rented at $1.25 or $1.50 per day. Then there were two or three heavier flat-bottomed boats used mainly for fishing. I remember "Tom" and "Jerry" rented out at 50¢ a day. We had the sailing boat, the "Mayflower", largest of all, which carried ten or a dozen passengers with one main sail and a smaller jib, but this he would not let out unless he went himself or sent one of the older boys to manage it. It

was fun to go sailing with a nice wind blowing, but storms came suddenly on small lakes and one needs to know how to manage right so as to reach home in safety. He kept his boats in good repair, going over each early in the season, lining the inner seams with tar and putting a fresh coat of paint on the outside and keeping oars and everything in good order.

We left the lake in 1913, going back to the farm where Dad spent the last five years of his life in a quieter more restful atmosphere, not continually in doing things for other people. He sold his Fish Lake property to H. Holquist of Regina, now deceased, who in turn later sold it to Hugh Clarke who, with his mother Mrs. R.B. Clarke, conducts the business of the Clarke Resort.

Dad died in Feb 1918 at the old "homestead" and since that time the lake has seen many changes. With graded roads and later still gravelled highways, things that he could only dream of have actually come true. Access to Kenosee is so easy now, and no time lost on the way with the speed at which cars and trucks travel. In 1913 just a few cars were coming.

Now there are stores of supplies right there with necessities available to campers, cottagers and tourists. There is the lovely "Chalet" with walls built of stones gathered from the nearby shores and with cabins to rent near it. The Chalet has a lovely flower garden at the front and it was just there in the low grounds between the hills we used to gather beautiful ferns which grew naturally, the only place in the mountain where we ever found wild ferns growing. When we put them in vases on the piano, people admiring wondered where we found the lovely ferns: "But Oh, it is a secret not to be told!". We did not want the lovely fernery to become destroyed, and to this day when I go along that walk I remember "Our ferns of bygone days".

What changes indeed! Not only a charming Chalet, a play corner for children with swings, a playground for ball games, a dancing pavilion at Kenosee Gardens but a beautiful, wonderful golf course, none finer anywhere in the province. What a lovely picture looking over the green of that golf course, and here again memory goes back to other days! I sometimes went with my Mother for the cows and, if that far west, she liked to climb the hill and as we stood on its top where now the golfers tee off, we used to get a wonderful view of the entire length and breadth of the lake. But it was in the low places where we could best hear the cowbell so down we went to find and bring the friendly bossies home.

There are telephones so that a message may be sent out more easily. There is the Tower for the forest ranger. What a help this would have been for the ranger, Mr. Rutherford, who was constantly alert for anything that might damage the forest as a bush fire caused by careless smokers, camper, or hay-makers burning old slough grass.

There is No. 9 highway north and south right through along the east side of the lake, and No. 16 going east and west not far distant, also bus service when the roads are passable, and cottages everywhere along the northern shore.

Yet with all these marvellous improvements it is nice to go back to the old happy days when the place was really "home" with the wild natural beauty, the quiet and seclusion broken for a few weeks only in summer with the merry healthy enjoyment of a few campers as compared to the hundreds who pass by in the hurry and hustle of the pleasure seekers of the present day.

Just in memory to go back to the gleaming white tents nestling in the shadows against the background of trees with the blazing campfire at night, or the cheerful chatter of the campers as they gathered dry wood to make their tea and fry their fish over the rude fireplace made from stones and crotched sticks in front of the campsite! Or to pause in the shade of the tall trees by the bubbling spring as it trickled through moss and leaves to the shallow box where we dipped down for a pail of pure fresh water, to sit on the bank and glory in the shimmering lake stretching out before you, hear the gentle "dip dip" of oars softly splashing as you watched the rhythmic movement of the row boat approaching and marked the careful timing of each stroke made by the oarsman! The lake "Kenosee" is still there in all its glory drawing people in numbers from country, town and city and from far away places - its dazzling waters strikingly beautiful in starlight, moonlight, sunlight; spring, summer, autumn, winter - changing with the seasons and the years. Yet, with the same beauteous appeal, as if by magic leaving on one’s heart and mind some lasting impression stronger and more subtle than that retained by frail fond memory! This is "Kenosee".

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Autogiography of
Alta Ina (Christopher) Kerr

(1889 - 1976)

I, Alta Ina Christopher, was born on April 24th, 1889 in Malahide Township, Elgin County, Ontario near the city of Aylmer. Our family then consisted of Mother, Father, and ten children - Caroline, Albert, Martha, Edward, Dennis, George, James, Mabel, Anna, and I made the tenth. On May 5th, 1891, when I was two years old, our sister Edith came into our family.

I remember very little of my early life in Ontario. We were living on rented land. We grew fruit and vegetables, kept two horses, cows and chickens. My mother had a market stall in the market in St. Thomas. My father was a cooper and made barrels which were used for potash, salt and other things. From peeled willow saplings he made cradles for babies and baskets which were used for holding vegetables. All the children in our large family were good workers. The older ones did garden or other work and went to school.

Church was held in the school house which was two miles from our house. The minister who came was Baptist. We did not attend regularly as a family. When I was three years old my second oldest sister Martha decided that she would like to go to church and take me with her. We walked. When we arrived at the school house, the service had already begun. I was not familiar with the buildings, the people or services of any kind. The place appeared to be crowded with big people. I, being shy of people at any time, was now terrified and would not enter. Martha tried to persuade me to go in but I stubbornly refused. We were too late. She vowed she would never take me to church again. Never! She did take me again when I was around eight years old. She had forgotten this little experience.

I was easily frightened of people, especially of a man by the name of Lafe Hotchkins. The very mention of that name sent me indoors, hiding under a bed. Anna, who was always friendly and clever, found this very handy when she wanted our swing which I was using or a toy that I was playing with.

In the fall of 1892 our father took a harvesters' trip to Saskatchewan, which was then part of the North West Territories. There a man could obtain a homestead of 160 acres of land for only ten dollars. My dad filed on a homestead to the east of the Moose Mountains. It was S.W. 1/4, section 18, Township 10, Range 1, west of the second Meridian.

The winter months of 1892 passed with plans for moving from Ontario to the west. There would be work for all to do. The soil was nice and black and waiting to be worked and turned from grass or bush to growing grain and pasture land. The older boys too would soon be able to get homesteads.

We arrived in Saskatchewan in early spring. The country looked very beautiful with its sparkling ponds and creeks. The frogs made their trilling sounds in every pond. The birds had already come back from the south. There were many wild ducks and song birds. There were grouse in the forest lands and prairie chicken in the open fields. The chickadee remained all winter long. Prairie gophers and badgers could be seen peeking from their holes in the ground or running along on the bright green grass. At night the coyote and owl could be heard. Wild fruit grew in abundance - choke cherry, pin cherry, saskatoon, red and black currant, cranberry, raspberry, and strawberry.

We did not move on to the homestead as soon as we arrived in Saskatchewan, as there were no buildings there. We rented a farm and buildings from a bachelor while buildings were being constructed and some land broken and worked for field and garden. Mr. Shaffer, who owned this land, lived with us. We worked on the rented farm having an interest in the grain harvested. This gave us grist for the mill and seed for the new breaking on the homestead.

The year we came west I played with a neighbour girl, Gerty Turton, just four years old. She disappeared that summer and was not found. No word was ever heard of her. Many people thought she had been taken by Indians. Four years later her parents adopted a 14 year old Indian girl and called her Gertie.

The school house was just a mile from the farm we rented. A teacher was hired for six months. Mr Shaffer, who had grade VIII and whose farm we rented, was the teacher for that first year. I was too young to go to school yet.

Nine miles south east of our homestead was the small country village of Cannington Manor. Captain Pierce had come from England a few years before, bringing with him several well-to-do, middle class English families with their servants. These people settled on farms and built country mansions of stone and barns for their race horses. These English gentlemen also built houses on their estates for their horsemen and servants. Their village, Cannington Manor, consisted of church and a vicarage for the minister Mr. Gettus, Dr. Hardy's house, hotel, carpenter's house and store, flour mill, and other houses. Cannington Manor was the centre of activity for the area. There were summer sports in the summer which ended with an Indian pow-wow late at night. At Christmas time there was a day of Christmas entertainment with presents for all the children. Each father paid one dollar. Dr. Hardy helped provide entertainment with magic lantern slides. There is now a book called "Cannington Manor Historic Park" written by Mrs. A.E.M. Hewlett that tells the history of this town.

There was plenty of work to do now. Even little ones could wash dishes and carry in wood and water. I was four years old and could now dry the dishes. One day as Anna dried dishes she laid them on the table naming the knives for people she knew in Ontario. A neighbour, an English maiden, was visiting us at the time. This dish drying game did not appeal to her so in her English accent she said, "A silly little thing you are. Don't you think you are?" We kept this English saying for a long time in our family.

We had heard much about Indians and cowboys and so we smaller ones expected to see them often. One morning, as a young man rode into our yard, one of the older children called to me to come and see the cowboy. I ran to the window but saw it was a neighbour boy. In my disappointment I said, "That's not a cowboy. That's little Spriggody Keneer."

That summer some of the older ones got me to repeat "Old Shaffer you have a long nose. Old Shaffer you have a long nose." When Mr. Shaffer heard me he said, "Personal remarks are never in good taste". I answered: "I wasn't marking on your old face."

That first year we saw many prairie fires that had escaped from farmers who burned old grass. At night these looked very pretty as we saw them in the distance. The men plowed fire guards around their buildings to keep the fire from reaching them. One day, when the wind was very strong, fire jumped our guard and came right up to our rented buildings. The smoke was intense. The rail fence began to burn. Fortunately we had plenty of water handy. I remember seeing my mother put this fire out with water and a pail.

When August came my little sister Myrtle was born. The following spring, when the blossoms were on the berry bushes, God took this little life to be with him. She was buried on our homestead near where our house was to be built. People gathered around the grave for the service. I can clearly remember this scene. I remember we sang the hymn "Shall We Gather At The River". Before leaving for home the grave was marked by tying saplings together over the grave.

In the spring of 1894 a one room log house and a log barn were built on the homestead and we moved to our own home. The house was about 24 ft by 24 ft and made of poplar logs. There was a cellar at one end with boards over it. There was one home-made bed high enough that we younger girls slept under it. High over the cellar a loft was built to accommodate the boys. This was reached by climbing a ladder. When the older girls were home a shakedown (a straw tick with sheets and blankets) was made in a corner. The dirt floor was always kept covered with clean straw.

Wells were not difficult to dig and the water was good. Our first well was beside a small creek, not far from the house.

During the summer of 1894, a bell was tied around Edith so she would not get lost in the low trees. She hated this bell on her. I'm sure she hated it every bit as much as I hated a dress that was made for me, which I thought was made from my father's shirt.

The school was two and a half miles from the homestead. We always walked. The mosquitoes were very prevalent and garter snakes glided across the country trails. In those early days children attended school when they were five years old. School in our Glen Adelaide district lasted only six months while it was summer each year.

The first day I went to school I noticed a little glass container set in the back of my double desk. It had a metal cover which lifted up. It was fastened with a hinge. This fitted snugly into the desk top. I lifted the cover and discovered that it contained ink. This I found was called an ink well. There were no fountain pens in those days, just wooden pens with metal nibs. These pen nibs could be replaced as the old ones became useless. The ink wells were filled from time to time. I examined this thing very carefully. I looked at the desk in front of mine. Yes, it had one too. It too was covered. This was very interesting. I stood up on my desk to look at the other desks. Every desk had an ink well just like mine. Then I was startled to see that all the children were laughing and looking at me.

I was taught very little at school that first year. I learned to put cut pictures or cards together and learned a few figures. We were shown books but were not taught to read them. Phonics was not taught. My first teacher was Miss Teeple. For punishment one time Miss Teeple made me sit on a keg of cold water which was dripping on the porch floor. The porch was cold and my feet bare. I caught a bad cold and was sick from this treatment. That ended my first school year. The next summer we had Miss Swanson three months and Miss Sinclare three months. The first lesson was "Cat, hat, rat". The second lesson in our reader said "Hen, pen, men". I learned these six printed words. Mr. Hopkins, our next teacher, stayed a ten month term. I began to learn. I finished two readers and learned figures. After this Miss Meenah, a plump middle-aged lady, taught two ten month terms.

Before reaching the school, for several months in the spring and early summer, we had to go around a large slough until this slough would dry up. At noon hour one day some of us girls ran around the slough to investigate some road work being done on the other side. Here we found Mr. Hamilton, an elderly widower on whom Miss Meenah had a crush, at work. As we ran back to the school again we thought of a plan to prolong the noon hour. We asked Pearl Nash, whose family boarded the teacher, to tell Miss Meenah that Mr. Hamilton wanted to see her. Miss Meenah started at once on her way around this large slough. Of course, when she returned some time later, she found her pupils busy with their afternoon problems. A grade was built across this slough the following autumn.

Lizzie Vail and I sat together, I on the side near the wall. One time when I had found something to giggle about, Miss Meenah said, "Now Aultie I'll come down on you." She came down our aisle, tripped and her weighty body fell across the desk in front of Lizzie Vail. I don't know what she had planned to do to us but she did nothing except increase our giggling. It was then recess time.

The next year when Mr. McKay was our teacher, Pearl Nash and I sat together in the front desk in the centre row. Mr. McKay was very strict and used the strap too much and too often on the little ones. However, he was a good teacher and we really learned. He taught phonics. I found myself very interested in his manner of teaching it. One day, while my seat mate Pearl Nash was busy with mathematics, Mr. McKay was trying to get his only grade one pupil, Pearl Covil to learn the word "it". He would pronounce it "i", "t" and then ask "What's the word Pearl?" "i" "t", What's the word Pearl?" He said it over and over but his pupil seemed dumb. Finally I poked my seat mate Pearl Nash and said "What's the word Pearl?" Awakening suddenly from her math, Pearl jumped up and shouted "it!" I have not stopped laughing yet! To me it is just as funny as the day it happened. The phonics lesson was over for that day. The wrong Pearl had given the right answer.

The Glen Adelaide post office was two miles farther on from the school and often two of us had to walk on over there after school for the mail, which was brought from Moosomin once a week. To do this we had to pass by a grave. A settler's wife had died on the road as they travelled westward. My, how I hated to pass that grave. I was sure the ghost stayed close to it. I believed all I heard and I had heard lots about ghosts. Several years later this body was taken up and moved to a cemetery north of the Moose Mountains in the Fleetwood School District.

Our mother did washing, baking, sewing, mending and knitting for the family, so it was the work of the growing family to hoe the garden which was large. Blisters on hands and fingers were common until the skin grew tough.

The garden covered an acre of land that had been cleared of small trees. In it we planted some black currant bushes and a long row of rhubarb. We were able to grow a plot of citron also which we used for fruit. We grew several long rows of potatoes and corn, also turnips, cabbage, parsnips, carrots, onions and many other vegetables suitable for a large family. The gardens at this time were free from potato bugs and cabbage worms which had been prevalent in Ontario. In late autumn the cabbage was made into sauerkraut in a large wooden barrel. We were not able to grow apples. These were shipped from Ontario in wooden barrels and sold for $2.50 a barrel.

The boys worked out for a small wage which kept them in overalls and smocks. Even Jim, when about nine or ten years old, had to herd horses all summer. The older girls worked out and earned their way. Mabel went to Moosomin and worked for Mrs. Steward, a butcher's wife. She went to school there. She finished most of her public and high school grades while working for Mrs. Stewart.

In the winter any of the boys who were home worked at cutting and selling dry logs. This meant that Anna, Edith and I had the chores to attend. Sometimes we had as many as six colts, besides cattle and chickens, to feed and water. We had this to do even if we attended school. In the summer we had to help with haying and stooking.

One winter our dad took twenty head of cattle (from a man near Cannington) to care for for the winter months. These cattle lived near the stacks of straw and fed from them. Daily we had to take them to the well and water them. One day, as we went to take these cattle to water, we noticed one big steer going around in circles. It would not eat and its horns were hot. We brought him up to the barn and tied him inside. We then looked in our animal doctor book and found that the disease was "Hyrodates of the Brain" caused by a parasite on the brain. There was no cure. Dad would be home that evening and we would report to him that this one animal had Hyrodates of the Brain. We felt quite clever in having learned the name of the disease and having isolated him from the others. This case had to be reported to the owner. It had not lacked care.

In summer my mother and some of us children would go to pick berries of different kinds. One of us, Anna or I, would stay at home to look after my youngest sister Ellen who was six years younger than I. In 1899, when she was just four years old, I was at home alone with her. An Indian came to the door and pointing at Ellen asked, "How much?" I was quite frightened. I certainly was not selling Ellen. She slipped into the other room, which had been built on, but he continued asking, "How much?" Finally I wondered if she had some trinket or broach on her that he wanted. I went to the door into the other room. Ellen was crying. She asked, "Does he want me?" I asked her if she had any trinket or broach. She had a lovely Queen Victoria jubilee badge. She took it off and gave it to me. I gave it to the Indian. He was glad to get it and, to our relief, left right away.

While Mr. McKay was our teacher, Jim did the farm work in the summer while our parents were at Fish Lake. Several years before, my father had bought the Fripp property on the north side of Fish Lake, now Kenosee Lake. Edith and I went to school during the week and then went to the lake over the weekend to help with cooking and serving meals to summer guests.

Sometimes we were kept out of school to help others. This happened to me when I should have been studying for grade VIII. I had to go and stay three months with my oldest sister Carrie (Mrs. Reed). Her youngest daughter Martha was born in May.

After my dad bought the property at the lake, many people came there for camping, some just for the weekend. At first the family moved there for the summer months only, moving back to the farm again in the fall.

As Anna was not too well in her teen years, I was the one who often had to go and help with farm work, as I was supposed to be strong and healthy. Jim left home and worked elsewhere. Often I helped Dad in making hay stacks. Sometimes as we worked long hours I would get severe headaches or be very hungry. I dared not complain as Dad was not gifted with sympathy.

Several times I was at the farm alone with Dad. Once he sent me to the lake with the mail. It was a distance of seven miles. We had a beautiful Indian pony which I rode bare back, a lovely pacer that was a joy to ride. However, when I was about half way to the lake, this pony turned, as on a pivot, and sailed back to the farm. I was unable to control this beast. As she dashed through the low barn door to join the other horses in the barn, I was swept off her back and found myself seated on the ground outside that low barn door. My dad had seen the horse and I come sailing back. He was furious at my return. He came out and got the horse out from among the other horses, gave me a good shaking and started me on my way again. Needless to say, I was already trembling before he shook me. I don't know why he should think I wanted to stay with him. Once on the way again, I prayed that the horse would keep going forward. This time it did not turn back.

Another time, when I was out to the farm with Dad, he shot fifteen wild ducks. These ducks I plucked and cleaned. We would take them to the lake to be used over the weekend. They would be served in the dining room to our weekend guests.

One of our neighbours tried to persuade my parents that I was a good worker and, therefore, should be kept at home to help instead of being sent to town to attend high school. I believe he succeeded in persuading my dad that this was a good idea. When I heard it I got a spell of hysteria. I could not stay indoors without weeping. Only the soothing trees of the forest could calm my troubled breast. I am sure none of my family really understood what this hysteria really was. My mother, however, at least partly understood and I was allowed to go to high school in Carlyle where I failed my grade, having lost three months schooling the year before.

The following year both Edith and I began school in Carlyle. When we had been there for a month, Dad came and took us home. A few days later he took us to Moosomin to attend high school. Dad took us to the home of the principal to meet him. In Moosomin we lived in a rented room and did light housekeeping. We attended the Presbyterian Sunday School and church. We kept very much to ourselves and were too busy with school work to attend the skating rink or take part in any other entertainment.

During our summer holidays each year we went home to Fish Lake (Kenosee). Here we helped with the baking and dining room work and the other things that needed doing. The fame of this lake in the Moose Mountains, as a summer resort, became known for many miles. More people came yearly, although cars were not used here at this time. I saw the first car here in 1912.

My mother and father and Jim had moved to the Lake to live. They had some horses, cows and chickens there. Anna, always sickly during her teen years, was home also.

In the winter Jim helped Dad get out dry logs. They sold many loads of dry logs for firewood.

Three men camping at Skeleton Lake were there for the winter cutting firewood, which they hauled to their homes west of Redvers. Edith and I, home for the Christmas holidays, were out walking when they came to our place to buy meat from my Dad. As they drove away, Edith and I got on the back of their sleigh and rode for half a mile. We then jumped off and went back home having enjoyed our walk and ride in the winter air through the forest of tall birch and poplar. This took place in the closing days of 1907. We did not know at that time that the team and sleigh belonged to Ryan Kerr or that this handsome young man who drove the team would again come into the life of one of us.

The following summer I obtained my second class teaching certificate. That was the equivalent to grade XI. At that time we took teacher training for elementary school in grade XI.

Mabel had broken her ankle in June of that year, 1908, at which time she was teaching in the Cannington school. It was a double fracture. Mabel had gone to visit at the Sample home overnight. In the morning she left for school riding side saddle on her horse. When the horse stumbled Mabel fell from the saddle injuring her ankle. Unable to walk, she was forced to sit on the ground and wait. Finally she saw Mr. Sample going out towards the barn and called to him for help. The doctor came there to set the bones as the nearest hospital was 45 miles away. The doctor came by horse and buggy from his home 15 miles away.

When my holidays came I went to the Sample home to be nursemaid for Mabel, relieving Mother who had been there. The foot was not set in a cast, but had boards bound about it to keep it in place. While I was there, the doctor came and removed the wrappings and the casing and said she might put her foot to the floor. After he left she sat up and we moved her into a chair while we changed the sheets. This was a terrible ordeal for her, as the blood rushed to her foot and her leg swelled. We had not been wise enough to elevate her foot as she sat in the chair. We put her back in bed as fast as we could. She did not suffer long once she was lying down. Mabel was able to sit up for longer periods of time each day. Finally we were able to take her, with horse and buggy, to our home at Fish Lake, 16 miles away.

Edith went back to Moosomin when school began. I was able to remain home until the Teacher's training began that autumn in Regina. To train as a first class teacher we attended classes in Regina for three months during October, November and December. We then taught for one year before returning to complete our studies the following January, finishing the end of April. I attended the fall classes in 1908, taught during the year 1909, and finished my teacher training in the spring of 1910.

After finishing the autumn training, my application for the Hutton school, 12 miles north of Redvers, was accepted. I took the train from Manor to Redvers and was met by the board secretary, Mr. George Hutton. The Hutton district was on prairie land. I had come to Redvers wearing a cloth coat and a brim hat with an ostrich feather - very stylish at that time, but not fit to wear in a cold windy country in an open sleigh. George had an extra fur coat with him which I was glad to put on. I did have a toque in my belongings which I was happy to use instead of the hat for the rest of the winter days. George took me to his home where he lived with his father and three sisters, the youngest sister being about my age. The following day I was taken to the Brownell home. They had two lovely children, a boy four and a little girl about two. They had a hired man - a young Englishman. Out of my salary of $600.00 for the year I paid the Brownells $16.00 a month for board.

The school was large and had a wood stove near the back. The scholars consisted of eleven boys and one girl. During the first week I was there, the oldest boy, Jim Hutton, a grade VIII student, made a paper rabbit and threw it across the school. I made him go and get it and put it in the stove. After this I had no trouble with the children. Once each week during the first few months I taught at the Hutton school, I read to the children "The Lady of the Lake", explaining the passages to them. They all enjoyed this poetry.

In early February there was a box social in the school. Mrs. Brownell helped me pack a lunch in a box and trim it very nicely with cut tissue paper. The boxes brought by the ladies were sold by auction, each lady being required to eat supper from her box with the gentleman who bought it. My lovely box was purchased by an elderly bachelor. He did not know what to say to a strange lady, so we had a quiet lunch together. There was dancing before and after the boxes were sold. The box social was the first of many parties I attended that winter. Dances were held in schools and in private homes. Often I went to these with a sleigh load of other young people.

Ryan Kerr, who played the violin, was one of the ones who provided music for the dances. Ryan's brother Lindsay was staying with him for a few months that winter. Once, when there was a party at a neighbour's house, these two brothers called at my boarding house to take me.

In the district was a man by the name of Mr. Murray. He was a man well liked and respected but who could not resist alcohol. Once, when I was in Redvers with neighbours, I saw this man as we walked along the street. Later he told Ryan that he had seen Miss Christopher in town. He was proud that he had not been drinking at the time and that I had seen him as a sober gentleman.

During my two weeks summer holiday I went home to help at the lake. I told my mother that there was a very nice young man living out in the Hutton district.

There was no church services within miles from where I lived in the Hutton district, so we did not go to church.

I met some of the teachers from other schools around: a lady teacher in the Arondale district nearer Redvers and the man from Rosendale to the south. The man from the Rosendale school was a student from Queen's University in Kingston who was taking time out from his studies to teach. This man was much interested in botany. I told him of several different flowers we had in the Moose Mountains and later sent him some wild flowers packed in low growing moss. He wrote to thank me for sending them and said the moss was a very rare kind.

After the holidays I saw more of Ryan for a time but, with colder weather coming on, I left my boarding place at Brownell's and moved over to Hutton's. Here I was closer to my school but farther from Ryan. I stayed at Hutton's for the rest of the school term. At Christmas time Ryan sent me a very nice broach with an attachment on it where a lady could hang her watch. A lady at this time usually wore a blouse, which we called a waist, and a skirt. She wore her watch on the upper left side of her waist. I hesitated to accept this lovely gift. Ladies did not usually accept jewelry from young men. However, it had come in the mail as from a friend.

Ryan and I corresponded during the winter months while I was in Regina attending my second term of teacher's training in 1910.

In 1910, after I finished my teacher training, I taught Bethany Summer school near Walpole, Saskatchewan. It was an interesting and enjoyable summer. I boarded with a German family. They had one son who was able to help at home and did not go to school. I paid $12.00 for board per month and my salary was $60.00 per month. I walked two miles to school. We also had church in the school. Ryan used to come over sometimes on Sunday as it was not too far from his place.

When Ryan asked me to marry him in early summer, I told him I could not get married until I had paid back to my parents the money they loaned me in order for me to attend Teacher's college in Regina. He said, "If I waited until I paid everything up, I would wait a long time." I did not ask what he meant by this statement. If I had I would have learned of his financial problems and may have been able to help. That fall he gave me my engagement ring.

Ryan took me home to Fish Lake from the Bethany district a few times. Once we stopped along the way to see Gordon Creighton, one of my grade VIII classmates, and left a book for him to read. He had fallen while playing football and injured his leg. There were no antibiotics in those days and the injury never healed though the lower part of his leg was amputated. He died that fall.

I was asked to teach at the Fernley school in 1911 at a salary of $720.00 per year. There were about 20 pupils in the school. They were children of early settlers who were well-to-do farmers, raising large herds of cattle. There were three families of the Weatheralls and some Scottish people who had settled here, three families of Prices, and Alex Dallas. I boarded with the Jimmy Price family. They had one boy and four girls. The boy and the youngest girls came to school. The oldest girl, Maggie, about my age, worked in Winnipeg. She was home for a while when I was there. This girl died a few years later. I shared a bedroom with the girls. We were always nice and warm here as we had a stove in the bedroom.

When summer came I left the Price home and stayed with my brother Ed who was a bachelor at the time. I drove to my school from there. Ed's farm in the Glen Adelaide district was three miles from my school. My sister Mabel, who was teaching at the Glen Adelaide school, also stayed at Ed's and drove to her school. We did some cooking and kept the house clean and tidy.

Mabel and I were very confidential with each other and discussed many subjects. Once, as we were talking together, I said that I did not see what my purpose in life was. I did not see that I added any benefits to the welfare of mankind. What was my purpose in living? Mabel's answer was, "To scatter a little sunshine here and there". I considered her answer worthwhile. Now, when I hear the chorus "Brighten the Corner Where You Are" being sung, I remember again this little bit of advice that Mabel gave me so many years ago.

For our two week holiday Mabel and I went home to Fish Lake which was about ten miles from Ed's farm. This summer Ryan's sister Cordelia came to Redvers to visit him. While I was home he brought her to spend a week with me. I really enjoyed having them there. We went boating and visiting all of my interesting places around the lake.

We did not see snakes near Fish Lake and were not troubled by mosquitoes there in those days.

Jim kept a booth at Fish Lake each summer where he sold candy, tobacco, ice cream, lemonade, etc. to the campers. To freeze the ice cream and cool the lemonade he used ice which had been taken from the lake in late winter and stored in the ice house.

One day late in the summer, when there were not many campers left at the lake, we noticed some people camped on the mainland on the other side of the peninsula. People from Arcola often camped along the west end of the lake but no one ever camped on the south shore across from the peninsula. We were curious, Jim and I. We decided to go on horse back to find out who was there. We followed the road around the north side of the lake to the west end. Here we came to the Arcola road which went westward away from the lake. We followed this road for a short distance looking for a road leading to the south of the peninsula where we saw people camped. Not finding one, we cut through the trees and shrub southward until we came to a trail. We followed this trail eastward to the camp. These people had come in from the west of Arcola. They had their own boat and were enjoying camping and fishing. After visiting with them for a while, we took the saddles and bridles off the horses and made them swim the channel to the peninsula. This channel was narrow and deep and extended westward a long way. The horses swam across and stopped on the opposite bank to eat grass. The campers then rowed us and our saddles across in their boat and we mounted our horses. We rode around the other side of the peninsula and on to the west road and so turned east towards home. We had had a pleasant ride, a lovely visit with strangers, and a boat ride. We were well satisfied with our adventurous day.

Our neighbours, who owned a few acres of land joining the Christopher property on the west, were the R.D. McNaughtons from Moosomin. They had two sons, Andrew and Murray McNaughton. Andrew later became famous in war time, as he was General McNaughton. Joining the Christopher property on the east was the R.B. Clarke property. It was also a small holding of land. They served meals and rented boats to campers and allowed tents to be erected on their property. The Christophers had cottages, tents, and boats for rent and supplied the campers with milk, eggs, and bread and served meals.

Also at Fish Lake (Kenosee) at this time was a very outstanding, very small, old man. Everyone knew him as Captain Powel. He lived alone. He raised lovely flowers and a few vegetables. Captain Powel belonged to the Masons Lodge and took long trips to Moosomin at times with his horse and buggy. For several days he would visit the lodge members in Moosomin. He had to travel more than fifty miles to get to Moosomin from Fish Lake. Captain Powel liked to visit his neighbours and would bring lovely flowers to my mother. Mother was kind to him and always invited him to remain for dinner.

In March each year the ice on Fish Lake would be about two and a half feet deep. My father and brother Jim would then cut large ice blocks from the lake. These blocks would be about two feet across and three or four feet long. Ice tongs were gripped into these pieces and a team of horses was used to haul them from the water. These huge blocks were loaded on a stone boat and hauled to the ice house. As this ice was packed in, it was flooded with cold water which froze to make one huge mass. This work required several days to complete in frosty weather. A large cross cut saw was used to cut the blocks of ice, cutting long strips which were cut into blocks before removing from the water opening. When enough ice to fill the ice house was packed in and the mass of ice frozen together, sawdust and straw was packed firmly around it and over the top. Then the door was fastened securely. The ice was ready for summer use for lemonade and ice cream. Soft drinks as we have them today were unheard of but ice cold lemonade was a welcome beverage on a hot summer day.

The fall months of 1911 were lovely sunny days, good for the farmers to get their grain off. One morning in late November as I was driving to school I noticed great flocks of ducks flying southward. As the day advanced into afternoon the sky was covered by the great numbers which were travelling to their winter homes in the warmer south land. Never before had I seen so many in the air at one time. The day was beautiful, clear and warm. How do the birds know it is time to leave their northern summer homes? The following evening snow began to fall and continued all the next day until we had received our first heavy snow fall of that year.

My school teaching term for 1911 in the Fernley school was finished in early December. I signed on at Fernley for another half term, ending the middle of July 1912.

Mr. Vandresser of the Keverne school came to see me. The Keverne school was in the next district south west of our farm. I promised to teach in this school until the end of April 1913. The Keverne school was a new school with about 20 pupils.

Mr. Vandresser had three children going to school. The youngest boy was evidently his favorite. There were not enough seats with desks for all pupils. The youngest Vandresser boy was the one who happened to be seated without a desk that first day. The following morning this gruff, big German came to the school to bawl me out for the seat I had given his favorite son. I was quite upset by the whole situation and tears began to run down my face. This broke this burley German. He said he had known my father for a long time and I could go ahead and seat the children where I liked. He promised to see that everything I needed for the school was supplied.

The oldest Vandresser boy who was in grade V was good in mathematics but stammered and could not read. This was a new problem for me. I got him to take his time in speaking. I told him I was going to teach him to read. I was not going to lower his grade but was going to start him from the beginning of reading. I started teaching him phonics. By the end of two months he could read quite well and he stammered less. He was gaining confidence in himself and in me as his teacher. I was greatly encouraged by his progress.

When Mr. Vandresser called in one other time, one of the boys had found a nest of baby weasels. Mr. Vandresser felt pity for the baby weasels and asked the boys to take them back to their nest.

Mr. Kidd was the secretary for the Keverne school. He was an Englishman. The Kidds had one daughter, not yet school age. Later, when she was a young lady, she was killed in a car at a railway crossing. It was a level country railway crossing where there was an open view for miles.

Ryan and I were married fairly early on a beautiful, clear day, June 4th, 1913. The marriage took place on our front lawn at Fish Lake. The marriage party consisted of members of my family. The only other family invited was the Dallas family from the Fernley school district. Nellie Dallas, who had been one of my pupils, played the wedding march. My sister Edith was my bridesmaid. Dick Campbell from Redvers was best man.

The girls had promised there would be no rice thrown and there wasn't. When we were nearly ready to leave Donald Dicken was standing near the buggy with Ryan. Donald noticed a pair of old shoes tied to the back of the buggy so he said, "Do you want these old shoes tied here Ryan?" Ryan answered, "No. Here is my knife. You can cut them off."

Although there wasn't a cloud in the sky, Mabel insisted that I take her umbrella and she put it in the buggy. As we neared the Glen Adelaide school where Mabel taught, it occurred to me that it would be a good idea to leave the umbrella there. It was very heavy. Yes, it was loaded with rice. We did not try to save the rice but shook it out near the road. We left the umbrella in the school porch. My suitcase was well packed with rice also. It was all through my clothes.

We stayed in Moosomin that night and drove on to a small town in Manitoba the next evening, June 5th. On June 6th we reached the Charlie Hyndman home, the home of Ryan's sister Mame and their five children - Bessie 10, Rose 8, Beatrice 6, and the twins Fred and Freida 4. The Hyndman family lived on a farm at Oak River, Manitoba.

While at the Charlie Hyndman home a neighbouring farmer offered Ryan employment for himself and me. Ryan would work on the farm and I in the house. Together we would be paid forty-five dollars a month. Having earned seventy dollars a month while teaching, this offer didn't appeal to me. When Ryan asked me about it, I did not ask him if he needed the job or the money. I just said, "I could earn more than that in a month." Again I had failed to inquire about his financial situation.

Ryan helped Charlie haul grain to the elevator while I enjoyed visiting Mame and helping her a little.

We left our team and buggy at Hyndman's and continued our journey by train to Fort William, then by boat across Lake Superior and Georgian Bay. It had been my desire to take the lake trip. If we had travelled this part of our journey by train instead of boat, we would have arrived at Mountain, Ontario a day sooner.

We didn't arrive at Ryan's parents' place until a day after we were expected. Ryan's father, who had not been well, began to be very worried that we would not come. John, Wilson and Cordelia were living at home. Lindsay and his wife Tillie had come the year before and were staying there. Charles and Patricia and their daughter Eileen were spending a month there. We were given the guest bedroom. There we found a vase with a single white peony in it. It was a lovely welcome.

We were not showered with presents. I was given a wire toaster. That was all we received from anyone. Patricia said she had a fruit spoon she would give me but I guess, with her other work, when she got back west she forgot all about it.

We started homeward on August 18th on a harvest excursion ticket. Cordelia came with us as far as Brandon. She was going back to teach in the west again. A family had rented Ryan's farm and were living in his house, so I went on home. Ryan went to Redvers to work in the fields. Later I went to help Mame (Mrs. Charlie Hyndman) with harvest housework. When the cold weather came I had to go home as I had no winter clothing with me.

That fall Ryan was not able to pay his mortgage payment in the time required so the mortgage company foreclosed and took his half section of land. Someone was wanting to make money and did not care about anyone else. Goods or lands might be almost paid for but, even if the last payment was not in on the due date, the creditors could and often did foreclose and take machinery, land, or whatever it was that was mortgaged.

My father sold the Fish Lake property in the summer of 1913 and again the family moved to the farm. I owned two horses and a cow which were at home. Ryan still had some machinery. He worked for my Dad in 1914. I don't know what the arrangements were but we had our needs met.

Our first child, Howard Robert, was born at a nursing home in Manor, Saskatchewan on August 24th of that year.

In 1915 we used my bank account of $150.00 to make a down payment on a quarter section of bush land. The bush quarter belonged to a North West Land Company and was situated just across the road allowance west of my father's land. Ryan was working for my Dad when we moved to this bush quarter. We had a granary of Ryan's with another room added for a house. We also made a log barn to keep chickens, our horses, cows and pigs. Ryan dug a well which had a good supply of pure water. We had a telephone in our house.

On December 4th, 1915 Lawrence Edwin was born in this building. Doctor Murphy from Wawota came to attend me with the help of a neighbour lady, Mrs. Hutcheson.

Our cow was milking. The old pig had some little pigs. We kept about four of these and sold the rest. The hens would come from their part of the barn and help the old sow eat her chop from the trough. The sow did not mind this too much as she would grab the hens in her great jaws and eat them up. We couldn't keep a chicken-eating sow. Shortly after we found that a couple of the little pigs would stand under the cow and actually suck the milk from her.

We realized we were not earning enough money to pay for this place and, being all bush land, it would require time and machinery to make any profit from it. We returned it to the company we were buying it from.

In the spring of 1916 we moved over to the Badgely place. This property had been the homestead of Mr. Jack Badgely and was now owned by Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones wanted someone to live on the place and improve it. We could own it for one thousand dollars. We paid just one dollar down payment and other payments as we were able. Some land had been broken. There was a two room log house on the place and a log barn. We had some machinery and horses. This was a fair start for working the land. Ryan seeded the land that spring and broke up a few more acres. There was enough pasture land when we repaired the fences. There were small sloughs with trees around them.

The two boys and I liked to go and visit my mother. While there one afternoon when Howard was about two years old, my mother was preparing to make butter with her wooden dash churn. She had scalded the churn with hot water and emptied the hot water when Howard came in from outside carrying a cat. Plop! The cat was in the churn suddenly. My mother thought this was a funny thing that Howard had done and she laughed about it.

We had a telephone but no power appliances of any kind, not even a hand washing machine. Our table was home made. We had a very small wood cook stove and a sheet iron heater. My glass wash board was a luxury in those days. I had bought two horses and a sewing machine while I was teaching school. Our cow and two feather pillows were wedding presents from my parents.

My brother Ed and his wife and family lived quite near us. We helped each other when help was needed.

We did get another cow from my father and these two cows had half jersey heifer calves. We were able to get a second hand cream separator and sold cream which was a great help in buying groceries. There was a creamery in Wawota twelve miles away. We could take our cream there each week while it was still sweet.

Our two little boys grew and could run around. I was rather distressed one day when I found them joyfully running through mud after a rain. Ryan, however, thought it was alright for them to enjoy the mud. It was healthy fun and the old clothes they were wearing could be washed when the game was over. After that we let them wear little or no clothes for this sport. Our home was away from the main roads. They would not be seen by passers-by.

We brought some sand for them to play in. They had fun playing in this with their little pails and shovels.

When the boys were naughty I would make them sit on chairs for five minutes by the clock. While taking this punishment one day Howard found the time very long and he said, "Mother, I would like to make myself at home".

One day it was necessary for me to help Ryan take a cow away to be bred. The distance was about a mile. The boys were sleeping when we left. It was summer and we left the door open. On returning later we found the boys up and playing in the sand. They were so glad to see us that silent tears streamed down their faces. What had they been thinking of? What had been their conversation? We never knew.

Howard was always asking questions and Lawrence always had the answer. Lawrence could talk as soon as he could walk. These two boys were constant companions.

Howard broke my glass wash board. When I asked him about it he said, "I wanted to see how hard I could hit it without it breaking". I had resolved before not to worry over spilled milk or broken dishes. My mother had the glass portion from an old frame which she gave me to replace the glass Howard had broken. There were galvanized iron wash boards but they were not as good as the glass ones. They were not as strong. They cracked leaving snaggy edges to tear clothes or hands.

We used wash boilers to heat water for washing. These were either galvanized iron or copper. A copper one cost $5.00 which was a lot of money. I did manage to buy one. While this was still good, it got a hole in it. It looked like someone had pounded a nail through the bottom of my new boiler. Howard was fond of using hammer and nails so I accused him of making the hole. He said, "Well Mother," (He always called me "Mother" (like his Dad did) "It is just like a thing I would do but I did not do it."

One day Lawrence and his Dad were taking a morning trip with horses and buggy several miles east. It was nearing the noon hour when Ryan began smoking a hand made cigarette. Lawrence asked, "Dad, are you smoking for your dinner?"

At the dinner table one day Lawrence needed some other article of food which he asked Howard to pass. Howard seemed reluctant to pass it just then. Lawrence said, "I want what I want and what I want I am going to have." He received it.

The two boys had fun throwing and breaking eggs against the barn door. This really was fun - for them. Warming their bottoms did not stop this sport. To solve this problem Ryan and I ate eggs. We explained to the boys how sorry we were that they could not have any because they had broken their share. We had nice roast chicken. The boys could not have any because they had broken the eggs which made the chickens. They soon reasoned that if they ever wanted to eat eggs or chicken with us again they had to be careful with eggs. It was pretty hard to just eat bread and potatoes and have no meat or eggs.

One day Mr. Jones, whose land we were on, and his brother-in-law, Mr. Covil, came over to our place. Mr. Covil coveted my Jersey heifers and persuaded Ryan that it would be a good idea to let them go as a payment on the land. I had wanted to keep them. We could buy our groceries with the cream we would be able to sell. I did allow them to be taken, though they would be milking cows within a year. This led to us charging groceries in the summer and paying with grain in the fall. Mr. Covil, who kept a livery barn in Wawota, would often boast to us, when we went to town, about his good jersey cream which he took daily to the creamery. I am afraid I always felt badly about allowing my Jerseys to go. It did not make me feel any better when Mr. Covil boasted about the money he was making from the Jersey cream.

Early in the spring of 1918 my father died. He had wanted to be buried on the farm - his homestead. My little sister had been buried there and later a baby brother. Now there were cemeteries, one in Glen Adelaide, the district that we lived in and another north of our nearest town, Wawota. It did not seem right to the family to bury our father on the farm. A family plot was purchased in the Wawota cemetery in which to bury our father. The little graves of the babies would be opened and the small coffins taken to the family plot also. The funeral service was held at the old home place. A red marble monument was erected on the family plot later. I did not go to the cemetery as Howard and Lawrence were still small boys.

I sometimes left the boys in the warm house while I went out to dig potatoes. When I returned they would have the table set with all the dishes in the house.

In August 1918 Lloyd Winston was born. I was over at my mother's home for this event. In the morning, as my mother washed the baby, Howard watched his new brother. My mother said to Howard, "He's a funny little wrinkle isn't he?" Later when some one asked Howard, "What are you going to call the baby?", he said "Wrinkles". A couple of weeks later a neighbour said to Howard, "There are two boys in the family already. Why didn't you have a baby girl?" Howard thought for a second, then said, "Well you see, the next one is going to be a girl." We were all happy to have Lloyd Winston in the family.

Lloyd did not learn to talk as quickly as Lawrence had. Some words he just could not get out right although he knew the words and thought he was saying them correctly. Howard and Lawrence had fun getting him to say words. One of the words Winston had trouble saying was 'bowl'. Howard and Lawrence would say, "Winston, say bowl". Then they would laugh and say "bow-o" like Winston had pronounced it. Winston would say, "I didn't say 'bow-o', I said 'bow-o'".

In the spring of 1919, about the end of May or first of June, Ryan had an operation for appendicitis. I accompanied him to Regina where the operation was performed. I stayed at the YWCA for a few days until I knew he was going to be alright. Mr. Tom Hamilton had driven us in his car to Kelso, which is on the C.N.R. line. From here we went by train to Regina. Ryan rode in a berth. We were met at the station by the hospital ambulance.

One day in the fall, when Winston was two years old, the boys climbed up on the straw stack. But who would slide down the steep side first? I watched out the window. Oh yes, they got Winston to do it. He did not know there might be danger. He made the trip fine, so Lawrence came next, then Howard. That was good, now they could all do it as much as they wanted to. It was fun - a good game.

Lloyd Winston played much alone, as Howard and Lawrence had different interests. Howard started to school and Lawrence attended for a while also when he was 5 years old and going on for 6 years. Winston had an imaginary play fellow who was very real to him. He enjoyed talking to this unseen play fellow and was content to be by himself.

In the summer of 1921 my mother had a new house built on the homestead. There were three bedrooms and a sewing room upstairs, a bedroom, large kitchen, living room and den on the lower floor, and a full sized basement.

Ellen was married that year to Albert Turton. Their house was not far away as Albert's farm was to the south across the road allowance from Mother's place.

There seemed to be no one near to do maternity nursing, so again I went to my mother's home. On Sunday August 7th, Iris and Irwin came to be part of our family. Our boys were staying with Ellen as it was not possible for Ryan to take care of them at harvest time.

Mame, Ryan's sister, came from Manitoba to be my nurse for a few days. She arrived about Wednesday and stayed until Monday. The maternity rule at that time was to get up for a while on the seventh day, stay in bed on the eighth day, then get up each day after that. On the seventh day I got up out of bed and sat up to eat dinner. When I got up to go to bed, I felt something go wrong inside. However, with Mame there, I said nothing.

I had too many visitors in my room on Sunday when the babies were a week old. It made my temperature go up. Then it was nursing time for the babies. The babies were upset and could not contain the milk they got from my fevered body. My bed was in the den in the new house, so I really was in a quiet place, but that Sunday, the eighth day, my brother Ed came in the room and talked quietly to me. That would have been alright if I could have rested then but Mabel said, "Oh, Ed has been in there. We can go in too". She and Arthur came in and sat down and talked quietly. This was just a little more than I could stand. They stayed too long talking to me. I had had the same experience years before, the week after Howard was born, but my nurse understood my fevered condition and looked after the baby. This particular Sunday, with two babies and so many people around, no one understood the situation. On the ninth morning I went outside to the toilet. When I started to come back to the house I felt very weak. I grasped on to a tree to keep myself from falling down and remained there with my arms around the tree until my strength came back. In the house, Mame had been watching out the window and thought I was so glad to be out that I was hugging the tees. She said, "I know how you felt, when you were hugging the trees". I really felt too weak to make a reply.

Mame went back to her home that morning after she saw my experience with the trees and Anna and Edith arrived from Winnipeg the same day. Anna was working as a stenographer in the Veteran's hospital in Winnipeg and Edith had been teaching typing and shorthand in the college in Winnipeg. Edith became my nurse.

On the morning Mame left, my left leg began to ache and was cold. My mother rubbed it but the pain got worse so she put the hot water bottle near it. It continued to pain and my body was not functioning as it should, so they sent for the doctor to come out from town. My right arm went rather numb and strange, so Mother and Edith rubbed it until it felt better. The doctor came and had boiling water cooling. Again that strange numbness struck, this time in both arms and across my chest. They started to rub. The doctor came into the room and gave me some kind of an injection. He then cooled the boiled water quickly in a pan of cold water and proceeded to treat my system which had retained waste material. The aching swollen leg was treated for phlebitis. I was to remain in bed until all swelling in the leg went down.

The babies were given cows milk. I took one part milk and two parts water. Any other food was too strong for me.

Edith was a good nurse. Though people came, she never let them come into my room. Ryan came constantly after his work was done and stayed for a while but it was harvest time and there was much work to be done on the farm.

One other strange thing which would happen was sudden changes in my pulse. Without warning it would beat so fast you could not count the number per minute. The doctor could find no reason for this. This would often happen at night after the phone would ring. I was so sick I decided that I would not worry about anything. I could pass off the scene and I knew that others would take care of our five children. The days and weeks passed. As I began to improve, Winston came and stayed at his grandmother's. I could get up and put my lame leg on another chair. Little by little I was gradually able to walk on it.

The unreasonably cranky teacher at the Glen Adelaide school was dismissed and Edith was asked to be the teacher. The Glen Adelaide school had been rebuilt and moved to a new location, a mile from my mother's home.

October was passing. I was able to be up more, to make up formulas for the babies and do a few other things for them and for myself.

Winston was pleased to be with us. We often found it difficult to understand what he was saying. One time he came in and said, "I hade Gama." I said, "What? You hate Grandma?" He said, "No! I hade Gama and Gama hade me." So I said, "You afraid Grandma?" He said, "Yes. I hade Gama and Gama hade me." My Mother came in just then and said, "Yes, that is right. He was coming in the door when I was going out. Each of us was opening the door from the opposite side and each was startled to see the other."

The harvesting was finished in October. Howard and Lawrence spent the weekends with Ryan on the farm, staying with Ellen during the week to go to school.

The bricklayer came out to finish the chimney on my mother's house before snow came. Working on top of the house, they told Winston to keep well back so that pieces of brick would not fall on him. Lawrence came over from Ellen's that night and Winston took him by the hand and showed him that he too must keep `way back'. So they stood way back and watched the men working and finishing the chimney.

November came and there was no snow yet. Ryan was making improvements on the barns in order to better protect the cattle during cold weather. He was putting a sod roof on one of the barns. Ryan and the boys brought the freshly turned sod in a wagon with a low box. Then it happened! Ryan phoned and told me to find someone to bring me home. Lawrence had fallen from the front of the wagon and both wheels had passed over his head. He was bleeding to death, as blood was gushing from his mouth. Ryan had already phoned the doctor. I was able to get Florie Laing, Mother's nearest neighbour's daughter, to drive me home. Lawrence had quit breathing when I came in the gate. Our lovely little boy lay there white and gone, with only a slight white mark where the wheels had passed. Ryan had been moving Lawrence's arms to try to keep him breathing. In a few minutes the doctor was there also. We phoned Mother to see if we could bring Lawrence there to prepare him for burial. The doctor told us that, if he had been there sooner, he could have done nothing to save Lawrence's life as an artery had broken in his head. We wrapped the body in a clean new white sheet and the doctor took us over to my mother's. When we arrived my things had been moved into the downstairs bedroom. The den had been cleared out and a place made to put Lawrence on. Ed's wife Margaret and Albert Turton prepared the body for burial. I knelt down beside Lawrence and thanked God for letting us have this little life for a few years.

We did not know just what was best to do about letting our little three year old Winston know about Lawrence. We decided it was best not to let him see him after he passed away. I still do not know if we did right in not letting him see Lawrence.

Lawrence died on November 4th. It must have been on a Friday. The funeral had to be the following day as there were to be special Thanksgiving services in the churches on Sunday. There was one vacant space in the Christopher family cemetery plot. We were asked to have the body placed there. A Presbyterian minister, Mr. Prichard, conducted the funeral service which was held in Mother's living room. Saturday, the day of the funeral, clouds spread over the sun. The day was cool but not too cold. Then day after day followed with the sun hidden from view for one full month. On December 4th, Lawrence's birthday, the sun came out again. He would have been six years old.

After the funeral the babies and boys and I moved back home. I was not strong but could manage to prepare the meals for the family, often with Ryan's help. The babies were very good and I was able to look after them. One day it snowed and Winston said, "It is snowing on Lawrence".

Mame came to see us when I got back home. She tried to keep our thoughts off of our sorrow but we just had to talk about Lawrence. He had meant too much to us to shut him out of our family. We did appreciate Mame's visit at this time though.

With all the sickness I had gone through, something had happened to me that made it impossible for me to break down to tears. Although I felt the loss - the great vacant place in our family - tears would not come. When some dish that was Lawrence's would break I would feel like it was another part being severed. The ache in my heart continued. All of this was very hard on Ryan. He felt the loss as I did and he had had the burden of me being sick so long all fall. Lawrence's death was really the climax. However it was a relief that we were back home and together again.

Ryan was able to get cut wood for the Doctor to pay the account for my sickness.

We bought a pure white cross for Lawrence's grave. On it was inscribed: "A little child shall lead them".

During the winter of 1922-23 Ryan and some other men were able to take out poplar logs from the Moose Mountains and had them sawed up for building. Ryan then built us a nice new house with two rooms upstairs.

We kept bees. It was necessary to give them sugar syrup in early spring in order for them to survive until there were flowers in bloom. In 1923 the twins were able to be out and around, Irwin always going ahead and Iris following. One day these two little ones went out to investigate the bees. I heard a dreadful cry and ran out to see Irwin coming toward the house with bees all about him. Iris was quietly following with no bees troubling her. I hurried them into the house and stripped the clothes off Irwin throwing them out the door. I quickly closed the door, then took out the many stingers the bees had left in Irwin, covering each swelling with a soda solution. I tucked him into bed where he soon went to sleep and forgot about the bees.

One day Irwin overturned a stone and excitedly shouted, "Nake! Nake!" It wasn't a snake but a big toad. It was really some excitement - a new experience for him.

When the twins were two years old, Edith was teaching at the Glen Adelaide school. Edith had her Christmas concert. Mr. McKay, who was teaching in the next school to the east, was there. We always enjoyed his comic recitations. This time his little boy was to sing. While he was singing, Iris saw her Aunt Edith at the back of the stage and went up to see her. Just as Iris crossed the platform the little boy was singing the chorus of the song. He turned and looked at her and went on singing, "Why did I kiss that girl? Why? Oh why?" Of course the audience thought it was pre-arranged and they surely clapped as the little boy went to his seat.

Mr. Jones wanted to help us make money to pay for the farm so he bought several head of cattle for us to care for. His choice of cattle was not a good one. Some steers were grown up oxen. We did not clear much on them after keeping them through the winter. Mr. Lauk ,the cattle buyer, did better for us. He brought out some choice cows which we kept for a few months. He found good sale for these cows to various people around. He sold enough of these cows to regain the money he had used to buy them. There were a few good cows left for us. We were able to trade some cows for a gasoline tractor which was in good condition.

The arrival of Lois in our family eased the pain of Lawrence's death. Lois Elaine was born at home on May 26th, 1925. I had Mrs. Wilsonholmb as my nurse, although she was not a qualified nurse. She took charge of the house and me and the baby. Mrs. Wilsonholmb gave Lois water containing too much sugar which caused great pain. The baby cried so hard that she ruptured near her navel. From then on I had to hold her in my arms most of the time. It was a month later that I was shown how to treat the rupture by pinching it together and holding it in place with adhesive tape.

At threshing time in autumn of 1925, Winston had an attack of appendicitis. We thought at first that it was stomach flu, as there was stomach flu going around at that time. His appendix broke before the doctor saw him. He seemed to be getting better and then he became delirious. He asked me why the horses were running across his stomach. Dr. Clements took Winston and me to Moosomin where Winston at age seven was operated on for a ruptured appendix and treated for peritonitis. There was very little chance that he would survive. It was a critical time for Winston and an anxious time for Ryan and me. I stayed in Moosomin with Mrs. Tooke and her daughter Edith. They had lived near the Moose Mountains and were friends of the Christopher family. The twins and Howard were cared for by the Ed Christophers. Lois was with me. After four weeks the tube was removed from Winston's abdomen and we came home again. Winston was still quite weak but was pleased to be up and able to walk and try to run a little.

Lois was slow learning to walk but when she was fifteen months old she started taking her first steps. Irwin was so excited to see Lois walking that he called his grandmother on the phone to tell her of this great event. About this time we realized that Lois' initials were the very same as Lawrence's. In some strange way the aching void caused by the passing of Lawrence had almost entirely disappeared by the coming of Lois into our family.

Ryan's brother Charles, who was a Presbyterian minister, went to the White Bear Indian Reserve to be a minister and a teacher to the Indians. This reservation was quite close to us. When Muriel was born on January 8th, 1927, Ryan took Iris and Lois to Charles' place to let his wife Patricia care for them while I was in Wawota where Muriel Rosaline was born. Mrs. Husband, at whose home I was staying, did not know how to look after me. Edith was able to come out and help. How wonderful to have Edith! I was able to relax and rest for a few days until I could be taken home.

Muriel was a good contented baby. My husband and the children who were at home were very willing to do whatever work they could. I would retire right after supper and all the work would be done well without me.

Lois had lovely natural curls which we let grow. When we went to Charles' place to bring Iris and Lois home we found that Lois' curls had been cut off and saved in an envelope. As it was not too far to go to the White Bear manse, we were able to visit Charles and Patricia there quite often during the winter months and they were able to visit us at times.

We now had three boys and three girls. The older children were good to help the younger ones. The children were quite healthy.

We were able to grow a good garden and kept cows and chickens. We had our own meat, milk and eggs. Ryan was able to do some threshing for others and earn a little money in this way. We were able to meet our current expenses and had bought a second-hand Ford car. Ryan took an agency for selling tombstones. He sold a few but not enough to make it pay. He tried for a Raleigh agency in the winter of 1927 but one of those who were to give a recommendation for him gave a bad report and he did not get the agency.

Ryan Elgin was born in Manor, Saskatchewan on July 27th, 1928. Ryan took over complete care of all the other children while I was in Manor for more than two weeks. I was able to stay with my sister Martha Dicken for a few days before the baby was born.

In the fall of 1928 we decided to leave the Glen Adelaide district. Hot dry winds had lessened the crop and we had been unable to meet the payments on our property. Ryan went to Jedberg, a town chiefly settled by Russian people. He put up a building and got a few groceries to start a store and meat shop but there were not enough customers because Jedberg was close to Yorkton and many people went there to shop. The children all had a bad case of measles at Jedberg.

We could see that there would be no future for us here, so in early May of 1929 we packed up our few things and sent them by freight to Pontrilas. We hoped to find a homestead in this more northern part of Saskatchewan. We wanted some piece of land that we could really call `home'. We went in our Ford to Pontrilas where my oldest sister, Carrie, and her husband lived. They had bought one section of Soldier settlement land several years before. One half section was bought in my sister's name and another half section in my brother-in-law Jack Reed's. They let us share a large cottage with their widowed daughter Lillian shortly after we moved there. The first few weeks we spent in Carrie's house.

Carrie had brought some baby turkeys in the house. I heard our baby Elgin sucking on something and, behold, he had grasped one of the little turkeys in his little fist and was enjoying fresh turkey for his dinner, feathers and all.

The land was good and there was more opportunity here. Our children of school age began going to school in Pontrilas.

A new bridge was being completed across the Saskatchewan River at Nipawin in 1928. It was a railroad bridge with a place for traffic below. There was a ferry which carried all passengers over the river at this time. The Reed boys, all men now, had taken homesteads at Torch River, 25 miles north of Nipawin. Lillian too had homesteaded there. They had built a very nice cottage of peeled spruce logs there as a central place where they spent a few days at various times.

Ryan and I took the trip across the river to the north on the ferry and with some of the Reeds one time to see what the land was like. We stayed at the cottage overnight. I enjoyed the trip but was glad to be back with my family the next day. When we took this trip to Torch River, we left the children, some going to school, in the care of the Reeds who had remained at home. Muriel, then two years old, went for a walk that evening by herself along a road with woods on one side. The alarm went out that she was missing and a search began. Charlie Reed mounted a horse to search farther from the buildings. Going along the road he saw her go into the trees by the roadside and quickly rescued her.

Shortly after this there was a fire at Torch River and Ryan was there for a while with the fire fighters. While there fighting the fire, he selected a homestead and filed a claim on it. This was in 1929. His land was the north west quarter of section 7, township 54, range 14.

That summer we were staying in Lillian's cottage on the Reed farm. Lillian was Reeds' oldest daughter. She was a widow (Mrs. Lillian Porterfield). She had one boy and two girls. They lived at the Reed house but slept in the cottage. She was usually quite nice to us. Once though, when her youngest daughter, three years old, and Muriel were playing in the watering trough together, it was Muriel that she took and spanked real hard. Our little one was heart-broken as I comforted her. After staying at Lillian's for a few months that summer, we moved into a house on the Pete Mathew farm in the Free State School district for the winter.

On December 14th, Violet Patricia Mary was born. We had tried to get Dr. Wright at Codette by phone. He was out in the country they said where there was no phone. However, it just happened that he was at the Edwards' home in the Free State school district. Passing by our dwelling, he saw our light on late at night and decided to call in and inquire how I was. God was good to send him at that time. It was necessary to have a doctor or Patricia would not have lived to see the light of day. The doctor put olive oil on her body. Then she was wrapped up and placed in a box by the stove. The little baby cried so I had them bring her into bed with me. Her body was cold but she felt the warm bed and was soon settled down contentedly. Doctor Wright told Ryan to get Mrs. Sweet (Mrs. Bun Mathew's mother) to come and bath the baby in the morning. She came every other day. Some other ladies came on the other days. Mrs. Bun Mathew came sometimes.

The days got very cold. Ryan had a job cutting firewood. He froze his toes in the intense cold and had to quit this job. The doctor told him to put corn starch on his toes and keep them dry. However, he lost part of the bone from his left big toe.

In the early spring the Mathew place, where we were living, was rented to Mr. Edwards who was coming from Edon, Manitoba to work the land. We moved to a larger house belonging to Mr. Shetulla. We could have new milk daily for Patricia and lots of skim milk for the rest of us, just for getting it from the Phillips who lived near by. I baby sat for the Phillips one night while they were away.

All during the summer of 1930 Ryan worked for people in the district. The boys and I grew a garden near the house and gathered what wild fruit we could during the holidays.

Most of the summer and fall of 1930 Ryan worked for Tiny Moffatt. Mr. Moffatt loaned us a large truck in which we moved our belongings and family to our homestead in Torch River. Ryan and Howard had put up the log walls of the house on our homestead but there was no roof on it yet. We started on the way to our new home on August first. The day was lovely. We camped for the night in the truck on the north bank of the Torch River. Here we found blueberries growing and enjoyed eating them. The children were able to sleep but I stayed awake listening to the sounds in the surrounding area. There were many forest voices in the pines. The night was nice and warm. I think Ryan slept a little while.

Early in the morning we heard a rifle shot. One of the homesteaders had probably got a deer for their autumn dinners.

In the morning my neck and lower jaw were aching. I did not know at first what the trouble was. Later I realized I had the mumps. A few weeks later, after we were settled into our new home, the children got the mumps.

When we finished our camp breakfast of bread and butter with freshly picked blueberries, we went on our way. We had a beautiful warm day before us. Everyone worked all day getting things settled into our new home and getting the cracks between the logs of our walls chinked with moss.

We had a window in the east and one in the south. There were some stumps in the house left from trees which had been cut into the logs which made our house. We had clean flour bags to cover the windows. When darkness came we still did not have the roof on the house but the gables had been finished that afternoon. We went to bed happy to be home. That night it rained. We had very little protection against the water that came in on us. We did have one large oil tanned bull hide which helped some. Our beds were all in one corner and consisted of one double bed with a bunk bed above it. We all managed to sleep in these two beds for some time. We had purchased an old range and it was placed in the centre of the house. We had no floor in the house but this did not worry us. We needed a roof. Ryan and Howard made a roof of poles with dirt on top.

We had settled in the midst of a huge spruce forest. The trees were very large, some being three feet in diameter. There had only been enough of these trees cleared away to make room for the house. We realized there were bear and other animals in the forest, so, for our own safety, we kept our two guns, a 22 rifle and a 30-30 rifle, loaded at all times.

There was a lovely creek not far from the house. The creek crossed the farm diagonally. This was a great delight to the children. They loved to watch the ice go out in the spring when the spring thaws came. We made a dam across the creek and were able to have a nice swimming pool. This is where I learned to swim.

Ryan and Howard made a barn and a shelter for our geese, which we had sent to Reeds' at Pontrilas before leaving our home on the Badgely place in the Glen Adelaide district. As soon as these buildings were completed, Ryan went back to the settled area near Tisdale where he did harvest work.

Ryan took a team of mules and a wagon from Tiny Moffatt for part of his wages.

With Ryan away, the children and I had lots of work to do. The boys used the mules to haul fuel for the winter and to bring up hay which they had cut with the scythe.

Our nearest neighbours were the Nels Johnsons. We had to cross almost diagonally over the quarter west of us to get to their house. We went over there for water until our first well was made near the creek. The neighbours were friendly and would share one with another. Often we would pick berries together.

This first year we needed to find meat. I had heard that to get wild meat you just went to a likely place and sat down and watched for it to come along. Howard tried this. He went over near a spring and sat down and waited. After about half an hour a deer came and he shot it. Then he came home for the team and wagon to bring it home. We knew nothing about cleaning an animal. I had cleaned more than a hundred rabbits one winter when I was very young so we tried to clean the deer the same way. We made a `gamble' to put in the hawks of the hind legs. We hung it up by a rope on this gamble, skinned it and took the entrails out. Then we cut up the meat and packed it in jars to cook it. And so we had our first homestead meat.

Our meals consisted chiefly of bread and meat, with boiled crushed wheat for breakfast. The boys were able to get some potatoes as their share for digging potatoes for some of the other farmers, chiefly for Mr. Mattice who hauled the mail from White Fox.

We were not in a school district. However, we were able to get lessons by mail from the department of education in Regina. Howard had obtained grade VIII at the Glen Adelaide school but I did not know where to get high school lessons for him. We got Sunday School lessons by mail also, so had these to look over.

Our old Ford car was of little value to us here on the homestead where there were no good roads, so Ryan traded it for a cow from the Reed family of Pontrilas. In the spring of 1931 this cow left us. All the neighbours far and near heard of the missing cow but no one had seen her. She had not gone back to her former home near Pontrilas. Summer came and went but no one had seen our cow. Then in November several inches of snow fell covering all the ground and all grass was covered with the new snow. The next morning Mr. Wicker, a neighbour living two miles south of our land, came and told us that a cow had come to their buildings during the night. We went to his farm and brought back our cow. The cow had been well fed and watered wherever she had pastured during those months. We believe she had lived those months in the muskeg, which was a very large acreage of marshy land with creeks of fresh spring water. This muskeg was south of us and stretched several miles eastward. The cow had a calf the following spring and was quite satisfied to remain in our care ever after.

Life in Torch River was very interesting. There were many kinds of flowers we had not seen while living in the Glen Adelaide district. Here we found the lovely slender Lady Slipper of a delicate lavender colour, the crispy white Indian Pipe, and in burned over areas, the tall purple fireweed. Beautiful green moss grew everywhere among the great tall spruce trees. Birds sang their lovely songs all summer. The Canada Song Sparrow and the Whip-poor-will could be heard in the forest. Even the Hummingbird was frequently seen, also the Horned Lark, Swallow, Blue Jay and many others. In the winter there were sparrow, chickadee, the white ptarmigan and many other winter birds. We noticed that some small birds came during the winter and made their nests and hatched their young in the tall spruce trees. Some of the animals were interesting to find and watch. The porcupine ate the bark from trees. The children found a nest of young flying squirrels in a hollow log and were able to watch them grow. The boys found a little fawn which we called Bucky. We cared for this fawn for several months until it could be sent to a wildlife park at Moose Jaw where it would be safe from hunters.

After reaching his eighteenth birthday in August, 1932 Howard applied for a homestead that had been abandoned by his cousin, Mrs. Lillian Porterfield. He was able to obtain this land which was in the Torch River School district and a very small building was erected on it.

In the summer of 1934 Ryan shot a deer about half a mile from the house. As he was working on the road two miles away, he was not able to bring this meat home right away but left it covered with its hide. The children and I decided we would go and bring some of the meat home. We would take the loaded rifle in case there might be a bear in our way. Also, we must take some bags to put the meat in to bring it home. It was afternoon now as we were preparing. Howard and Winston were away at the time . I was always careful with the rifle and kept the end of the rifle barrel downward, usually resting it on something as I held on to the handle. Well we were all ready and were getting some bags out of a small building when - BANG! The gun went off. We were startled by the noise and did not move for a minute. I did not feel any pain but I did not want to move my left foot. I looked at the old overshoe I was wearing and saw that the rifle had blown a hole through the side of it and I realized that my toe was bleeding. Our journey for fresh deer meat was over. I went into the house and put my foot into water with a disinfectant in it. Two of the children went to tell their father what had happened. Ryan got a neighbour, Mr. Stanley MacIntee, who had a car, to take me to the doctor the next day. There was no bone broken and so the toe healed nicely, leaving only a scar as a reminder. In holding the gun the way I did, my finger must have touched the trigger causing it to fire.

In March, 1933, the birth of our tenth child was imminent. The doctor could not be expected to come over the long difficult road, so I had to go to Nipawin for the event. There was lots of snow on the ground so, with blankets and a robe, a bed was prepared for me in the sleigh. Early in the morning on March 18th, we began the trip. At noon we stopped to feed and rest the mules at the home of Matt Long. We ate dinner with them, then continued our journey reaching Nipawin in the evening. I stayed at the home of the Salvation Army minister, Mr. Halverson, until March 24th when I was admitted to the Lady Grey Hospital. The staff at the hospital at that time consisted of Miss Denton, the matron, and two registered nurses. Two doctors, Dr. Scott and Dr. Kitely, served the town of Nipawin and the surrounding area. They were very busy as they made many trips into the surrounding territory.

Ruth, a future R.N. graduate, was born March 27, 1933. After ten days in the hospital, I returned to the Halverson home where I remained until I was able to go home. Ryan and Lloyd brought the sleigh as far as Howard Blakey's farm on the west side of the river. They walked down the west river bank to the river, then upstream on the ice covered river. Leaving the ice for the river bank leading up to the bridge, a small creek swollen by spring freshets was crossed by a single log. They then crossed the bridge and walked on to Nipawin. I was still weak and this same pathway was where I had to travel to reach our sleigh. There were no taxis in those days but people were neighbourly. Mr. Dainard, a Nipawin storekeeper, took us and our box of clothing across the bridge to the west side of the river. The road was not fit to drive his car any farther, so there was the baby and the box of clothing to carry from the bridge to Blakey's where the sleigh was left. What a tossing surging creek to cross on a single wet log. My feet felt very unsteady. The box and baby were carried to the other side, then Lloyd took my hand and guided me across that single log. Then came the climb up the long steep river bank. When the box and baby were in the sleigh the men came back and helped me climb. Baby Ruth did not protest the trip.

We spent the night at Mr. Nels Corbet's place a few miles south of the Torch River and the next morning crossed the still frozen Torch River at Pete Matthew's store. We followed the trail northward from Matthew's through a muskeg in order to find snow for the sleigh, and a shorter way home. Then, following an old hay trail, we reached home in time for dinner. It was good to be home again and to be welcomed by the rest of the family who were anxious to have baby Ruth home as well as myself.

In 1936 after the work had been finished for the fall, one of the mules got into the dry creek on its back and died. The other one died a few weeks later. About this time I wrote to my brother, Albert Christopher. A few years before we moved to Torch River, my brother had promised my boys a pony if they would come and get it. So in my letter I asked him if his promise was still good. When Albert's letter came saying that his promise was still good Winston decided that he would go and see the pony. This was during the time of the 'dirty thirties' when neither money or work to gain money was available. In the early spring of 1937 Winston started out for his Uncle Albert's home at Lee Park, Alberta. He took the train to Prince Albert, then walked for a couple of days. Near evening, as he walked along the C.P.R. tracks, he came upon some section men who were finishing their day's work and rode with them as they returned to the next town. He bought another ticket and rode on the train to Kitscoty, Alberta, then walked from there.

After being with his Uncle Albert and seeing the horses he was to bring home, Mabel , Polly, and a colt, Jessie, he went to my brother George's place at Marwayne. From here he was able to find work with a farmer until the weather became warm enough to start on his trip home with the horses. Albert kept a herd of Angora goats with long white wool. He gave Winston one billy goat and two nanny goats, rhubarb roots, and a few other articles. The trip home was long and tedious, as the horses were not grain fed and had to pasture often in order to travel. At one time the little colt went through a gate and was travelling on the wrong side of the fence. Winston had to drive back to the gate so that the colt could get on the right side of the fence again. We were all pleased to see Winston return with the horses and goats and with his usual cheerful ways.

During these seven years of homestead life we got some land cleared and broken. We harvested some grain and alfalfa on our homestead and on Howard's.

In 1937 there were forest fires again. It was not safe to live on our homestead with fires so near, so we moved over to Howard's where we had built a two-storey log house with cellar and a shingle roof. The girls and Elgin were now able to go to the Torch River school two and a half miles away.

In July of 1937, revival meetings were held in a tent on Mr. Wm. Preston's land. We all attended these meetings except Winston who was not home at the time.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Alta Ina (Christopher) Kerr

Alta Ina Kerr

Alta Ina Kerr passed away quietly at her home 319-8th St. Nipawin Sask at the age of 87 on June 1 1976.

The funeral service was held at the Apostolic Church in Nipawin at 11 am June 4, with Rev. S. Hildebrandt officiating, Mrs. Hildebrandt organist, Mrs Tebbutt Pianist, and Vicki Branscombe Solist. Coventry’s Funeral home was in charge of arrangements. The pallbearers were Joe Branscombe, Einer Hagglund, Rudolf Kreig, John Nowlin, Rheinhold Schreiner, and Lloyd Tebbutt. Interment was in South Gower Cemetery, near Kemptville, Ontario.

Mrs. Kerr was born April 24, 1889, near the city of Aylmer, Ontario. Her parents were Mr. And Mrs. C.R. Christopher. At the age of four she came west with her parents to settle on a homestead east of the Moose Mountains, later operating a summer resort at Fish Lake, now known as Kenosee Lake.

Mrs. Kerr attended the Glen Adelaide Public School, Moosomin High School, followed by Normal School in Regina. She taught school for four years near her home.

On June 4, 1913 she married Ryan Kerr. They farmed at Wawota until 1928 when they turned northward, settling on a homestead in the Torch River District in 1930. Pioneering was the order of the day across northern Saskatchewan. They moved into Nipawin in 1945.

Mrs. Kerr was predeceased by one son Lawrence in 1921. Her husband in 1952. And daughter Iris in 1972. She is survived by four sons and four daughters. Howard, Cayuga, Ontario; Lloyd, Torch River District; Irwin, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; Ryan Elgin, Victoria, B.C.; Lois Clay, Nanaimo, B.C.; Muriel Neufeld, Nanaimo, B.C., Patricia Stitt, Thorold, Ontario; and Ruth Reimer, Mississauga, Ontario.

Mrs. Kerr was a happy dedicated Christian, living with eternity’s values in view, always ready to help others along life’s way and introduce them to Jesus our Lord. She spent her last several winters alternating between Ontario and B.C., having spent some time with each member of her family in the past year.

Mrs. Kerr enjoyed fairly good health all of her life and was active right up to the time of her death. He said the joy of the Lord is my strength. Her last public testimony the Sunday before her death was taken from Phil 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain."

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Harriet Ellen (Christopher) Turton


Following a length illness, Mrs. Harriett Ellen Turton, beloved wife of Albert D. Turton of Swan River, passed away on November 8, 1968 at Swan River Valley Hospital. She was 73 years of age.

Born, Harriett Ellen Christopher, at Glen Adelaide, Saskatchewan, she attended schools at Glen Adelaide and Manor Sask. and Business College at Weyburn, Sask. On December 29, 1920 she married Albert Dakin Turton at Glen Adelaide and they farmed in that district until moving to Swan River, Manitoba in May ,1929. After farming from 1935 to 1946, they moved to the present home residence on the western outskirts of Swan River. Always an active worker in Anglican church affairs, Mrs. Turton was also a member of the Rebekah Lodge, Ladies Orange Benevolent Association No. 445, Ladies Auxiliary of the Canadian Legion, St. John Ambulance, and the Swan River and district branch of the Canadian Red Cross.

Surviving besides here husband are six sons: Gerald of Swan River, Cecil of Vancouver, Reginald of Thompson, Ronald Frederick of Thompson, George of Swan River and Edward of Winnipeg; four daughters: Mrs. William Fulton (Marjorie) of Winnipeg, Mrs. Jack McGregor (Joyce) of Fort Nelson, B.C., Mrs. Douglas Windsor (Doreen) of Swan River and Mrs. Garth Windsor (Edna) of Swan River, 26 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Also surviving are two brothers, Dennis in British Columbia, and James at Nipawin Sask; and four sisters: Mrs. Arthur White (Mabel) of Moosomin, Sask., Miss Anna Christopher of Vancouver, B.C., Mrs. Ryan Kerr (Alta) of Nipawin, Sask. and Mrs. Winfiled Morrow (Edith) of New Westminster, B.C. She was predeceased by five brothers and three sisters.

Funeral service was conducted by Rev. Peter M. Brooke at St. James Anglican Church on November 11, 1968 at 2:00 pm. Interment was made at Birchwood cemetery, Swan River. Pallbearers were Dunc Williamsen, Don Mckay, Bill Cox, Jack Coulthart, Leopold Nehring and Henry Hay.

Edwin V. Paull funeral home was in charge of arrangements.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Albert Dakin Turton - Obituary


Suddenly on February 23rd, 1977, Albert Dakin Turton of Swan River, passed away at Swan Valley Personal Care Home. He was 82 years of age.

Born and educated at Glen Adelaide, Sask. he was very fond of horses and served with the Cavalry during World War 1. He ranched with his father at Glen Adelaide until his marriage to Harriet Ellen Christopher in 1920. Upon moving to Swan River Valley in 1928 he worked as a carpenter. In 1935 he bought a farm on the Ditch Road, west of Swan River where many memorable Anglican church picnics were held. He built a new home for his family on the outskirts of Swan River and resided there from 1946 to 1976, continuing his trade as a carpenter and providing many farmers with water from his overflowing well. He took up residence at Swan Valley Personal Care Home in April 1976. He was a member of the Orange Lodge and Anglican Church of Canada. He was predeceased by his wife in 1968.

Surviving are six sons: Gerald, Cecil and George of Swan River, Reginald and Ronald Frederick of Thompson, Man. and Edward (Ted) of Winnipeg. Also four daughters: Mrs William Fulton (Marjorie) of Winnipeg, Mrs Jack McGregor (Joyce), Ft Nelson, B.C., Mrs. Douglas Windsor (Doreen) and Mrs. Garth Windsor (Edna) both of Swan River; 29 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by six brothers and three sisters.

Funeral service was conducted by Reverend Miss Thelma Tanner at St. James Anglican Church, Swan River, on February 28, 1977. Interment at Birchwood Cemetery. Pallbearers were six grandsons: Lewis Turton, Doug Turton, Bill Fulton, Rick Windsor, Raymond Turton, and Barry Turton.

Edwin V. Paull Funeral Home was in care of arrangements.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]

Joyce Harriet McGregor & John Robert McGregor Wedding Announcement


The Winnipeg Tribune, Thurs., Oct 20, 1955.

Deer Lodge United Church was the scene of a quiet wedding on October 15 at 3:30 p.m. when Joyce Harriet, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. A.D. Turton of Swan River, became the bride of John Robert, son of Mrs. R.W. McGregor of Macgregor, Manitoba, and the late Mr. McGregor.

Given in marriage by her brother, the bride wore a strapless gown of white tulle and Chantilly lace over satin. A matching jacket featured a pearl encrusted collar and lily point sleeves. Her fingertip veil of silk illusion was held by a crown of iridescent sequins and pearls. She carried a cascade of deep pink feathered carnations with lily of the valley. She was attended by her sister, Mrs. W. Fulton, who wore a gown of yellow net over taffeta and carried mauve pom poms. Best man was Allen McGregor, brother of the groom. Ushers were William Fulton and Lindsay Shaw. Following a reception at The Homestead, Mr. and Mrs. McGregor left for a wedding trip to the United States. They will reside in Swan River.

[ Top of Page] [ Home Page ]