Tales from the Homestead
A History of Prairie Pioneers, 1867–1914
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.
—Faye Reineberg Holt, author of Alberta: A History in Photographs and Settling In: Early Homes of Western Canada
—Molly Rozum, author of Grassland Grown: Creating Place on the U.S. Northern Plains and Canadian Prairies
—Adriana A. Davies, editor of The Frontier of Patriotism: Alberta and the First World War and author of From Sojourners to Citizens: Alberta’s Italian History