Genealogy, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Pioneer,Saskatchewan history, Temperance Colony, Temperance Colonization Society, Pioneers,John N. Lake, John Lake, Saskatoon history, Saskatoon Gen Web,

NARRATIVES OF SASKATOON


1882-1912

Genealogy, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Pioneer,Saskatchewan history, Temperance Colony, Temperance Colonization Society, Pioneers,John N. Lake, John Lake, Saskatoon history, Saskatoon Gen Web, Genealogy, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Pioneer,Saskatchewan history, Temperance Colony, Temperance Colonization Society, Saskatoon history, Saskatoon Gen Web


         Horne and myself boarded the Garrison waggon and started on the trip.
         Another settler, Wm. Hunter, down with a yoke of oxen, was also returning
         with his load. The second day out Hunter took sick. Garrison made him
         as comfortable as possible on top of his load, and I volunteered to drive
         the oxen. I did not understand these animals, and they did not understand
         me. Whenever they came to a particularly bad spot they seemed to delight
         in going their own way through it. My cries of gee had no effect. When
         they got to deep enough water to suit them which was about up to their
         stomachs, they would stop and nothing I could do would induce them to
         move; the cool water on their stomachs was so pleasant and the plagues of
         flies would not reach what was in the water, so they were content.  I
         would have to get off, wade through the water and tramp a few miles ahead
         to where Garrison and the others were camped for a meal. Garrison would
         then come back with the horses and pull us out of the slough. Everything
         was novelty, and incidents like this served to break the monotony. Saska-
         toon was safely reached early one morning in August, Hunter slightly bet-
         ter, and myself a failure as a driver of oxen.
		 
           Disappointments came quickly. Saskatoon was only a name: the
         town consisted of only one sod shack built by John Coon and occupied by
         the McGowan family, a tent of Geo. and Chas. Garrison, and Dr. Wil-
         loughby's tent store which also answered the part of residence for himself
         and his brother Gerald. These parties, with Geo. Grant, the Temperance
         Colonization Society Agent, and Robert W. Dulmage, seemed to be the
         population of Saskatoon. We were soon acquainted with all, and within
         a few days had met all the surrounding settlers. These were Frank Clarke,
         now of Dundurn, and his brother Charlie, now of Toronto, nine miles north
         of Saskatoon, the Hamilton family, Latham family, and Dick Richardson
         family about two miles east. Four miles south there were Robt. McCor-
         dick and the Goodwin boys and one Teeple. Nearer the river were the Eby
         family and Peter Robinson. A little stranger had just arrived to increase
         the Richardson family, and they were staying in a shelter convenient to the
         Lathams so as to get help until the mother was well enough to go on to
         their land. The Kusch family also were here. No lumber was in sight:
         nobody spoke as if they would require a house built when the lumber came,
         and nobody seemed to have any money to hire a man, anyway. Geo.
         Garrison wanted hay cut, and agreed to hoard Wm. Horn and myself for
         six dollars per' week, we to cut hay for him at one fifty a day and get it
         out in board. We worked for some weeks at this cutting hay with the
         scythe and carrying it out of the water. Every hollow was a slough, plenty
         of hay and millions of ducks, almost as tame as farm bred ones. It was
         no use trying to be a sportsman, if you wanted ducks you could go out
         and in ten minutes have a meal. You had to shoot them on the water
         or go without duck, they wouldn't fly.
		 
           My next job was helping Thos. Copland build his first house, a sod
         one. My sleeping place was the cellar of the new house covered with some
         boards. My pay was to be in butter taken during the winter as required
         Mr. and Mrs. Copland treated me as their son, and their little daughter
         Jessie was a great favourite of mine, for children were scarce. Finally
         some lumber came down the river in the Fall of '83, brought down the river
         in two rafts from Rush Lake by a crew of Swedes. A water soaked and
         sand filled lot it was: every piece of flooring or siding had to have the
         groove scraped out before it would be lad; no edge could be kept on a
         plane in trying to work it, as the sand was ground right into the grain of
         the wood. The rafts were soon broken up and the lumber piled on the
         river bank of what is now Idylwyld to dry and the buildings started. The
         Swedes put up what was called the Company Buildings, really a double
         store front: they then left for Moose Jaw. R. W. Dulmage, Chas. Garrison
         and Silas Lake put up buildings, mere shells, but it entitled them to a free
         lot. Geo. Grant put up quite a pretentious building, McGowan, W. Horn
         and myself being the carpenters. This was the extent of the building that
         Fall. During the, winter W. Horn and- myself put up a small building for
         John Conn, and towards spring started one for the Company. This used
         up all the lumber brought down the river. The uses to which the various
         
                                  Page       29
         

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NARRATIVES OF SASKATOON


1882-1912


Genealogy, Saskatoon, Pioneer, Saskatchewan history, Temperance Colony, Temperance Colonization Society, Pioneers,John N. Lake, John Lake, Saskatoon history, Saskatoon Gen Web, Saskatoon Genealogy
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