Days of Yore in Manitoba, Canada.
People have come and gone. Pioneers have passed away, leaving their toil and sweat to nought. Baby Boomers not caring to remain have moved to the cities, leaving behind their family legacies.
It would be difficult for the pioneer who worked these farms with ox and plough, raised their families where and when roads were merely trails, to see their homes broken-down and the land grown back to how they found it. They survived those days when often times a woman would walk fifteen miles to the village, to pick up mail and return with a fifty-pound sack of flour on her head. Today we can’t imagine it, but that is what our pioneers had to do to survive.
My paternal grandparents arrived here in the early 20th century from Prague, Czechoslovakia. They purchased a parcel of land (a quarter section) for I believe ten dollars situated near a lake, eighteen miles from the rural village and one hundred miles from Winnipeg. The area boomed then, with industries such as fishing, trapping, hunting, logging, and all the other industries that sustained the areas needs.
My maternal great-grandfather worked as a blacksmith, my grandfather, his son worked on the train tracks as a section man. There was also the shoe-maker who repaired shoes or boots, a milk-man, four thriving stores, a Catholic Church…it was filled every Sunday, a passenger train passing through twice a day, rail-cars parked on the side-track handy for loggers to fill, and there was even a pool hall and an ice-cream parlour.
Some of these photo’s are taken around and near the current village. The population has decreased considerably in the entire region. At one time, the village’s population was the same as the entire L.G.D. now; a very large part of southeast Manitoba.
Several schools populated the entire region. Each school was in walking distance for the children although some had to walk three or four miles to their one room school-house. Now, the consolidated school has only about one-hundred-and-thirty students from kindergarten to grade twelve.
Normally, it doesn’t affect me so much, but when I recall that only fifty to sixty years ago, our drinking water was not contaminated, there was plenty of work for everyone, and survival was our main goal, it makes me wonder. Poor but happy seemed the status we carried, and not one was better off than the other. We wore school uniforms, wore our Sunday best to functions and church, and discipline parents and teachers allowed to enforce. They did what was necessary and I cannot think of one person that ended up in jail or in a mental institution.