Tales from the Homestead

A History of Prairie Pioneers, 1867–1914

ISBN 9781772033892
Softcover | Publication Date: May 3, 2022
Book Dimensions: 6 in. x 9 in.
288 Pages
$29.95 CAD

About the Book

A compilation of thirty-six personal homesteader stories, providing unique insight into the daily life of prairie pioneers.

Highlighting the voices and personal stories of early immigrants who arrived in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Tales from the Homestead is a captivating snapshot of social history. This compilation of first-person accounts by English, Dutch, German, Russian, Ukrainian, and American homesteaders reveals fascinating, startling, heartbreaking, and inspiring details about new lives and communities built, risks taken, and hardships endured.

The book includes stories of surviving periods of near starvation and natural disaster, and describes the challenges of navigating Canada’s nascent immigration process, building a sod home and establishing a farm, and adapting to the norms of a new country. Along with these tales of difficulty, fear, and sadness are the many stories of happiness and wonderment at the beauty of the land. Community events and parties are thoughtfully remembered, as are accounts of attending one-room schoolhouses. The camaraderie of the people, and their pleasure and delight in forging a new life for themselves on the prairies, shows the extent of their fortitude, grit, and stamina. Illustrated with archival photography, Tales from the Homestead will appeal to history buffs, genealogists, and anyone who enjoys first-hand accounts of the resilience of immigrant communities.

About the Author(s)

Sandra Rollings-Magnusson is an Associate Professor of Sociology at MacEwan University. She has studied western Canadian homesteaders for over thirty years. Since receiving a Master’s Degree from the University of Regina and a PhD from the University of Alberta, she has written numerous academic journal articles on homesteading life and lectured on a number of homesteading topics. She has also written two books, Heavy Burdens on Small Shoulders: The Labour of Pioneer Children on the Canadian Prairies (University of Alberta Press) and The Homesteaders (University of Regina Press).