Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Essays --

Around the turn of the last century, and in the nineteen hundreds, much literature was sent from Canada to the United States for the benefit of those that were interested in farming. People were led to believe that a short cut to happiness and prosperity was to simply go to Canada. It all sounded so interesting. It was written that anyone coming to Canada received 160 acres of land for ten dollars plus slight homestead duties. Canada was the land where you never heard the thunder. It usually rained only at night and the water was so pure, one could drink water off the ground anywhere and it would not make you sick. When you wanted fresh meat, all you had to do was open the door and shoot your choice of the wild game that was so abundant. Seeing no future for themselves as young farmers, on poor, stoney and heavily timbered land at Fosston, Minnesota, several families left for Canada to look for these homesteads. After arriving in Wadena, and with the local guide, the men began walki ng in the north direction. They followed an old Indian trail over to the quarter sections of land available for proving as homesteads. Each man selected a quarter that he would work, they were all enjoined. They had now put in two days of interesting and educationaldiscoveruies. Interesting, in that it looked like there was a future for this country and educational, in learning that you could not expect to be able to do much walking if you drank the supposedly pure water lying everywhere on top of the ground. The local guide was already a seasoned homesteader and anyone that knew him would realize that he knew how sick, those poor greenhorns would get from drinking all that slough water. The next day, they walked back to Wadena and took the train to Hu... ... We had so many ducks that winter that we couldn't eat them all before the weather turned warm in the spring. When we tired of eating duck, there were lots of bush rabbits, and when we tired of rabbits, we ate duck. On the 20th of march 1949, I awoke one morning to find mom in an unusual mood and she told me dad had left for a drive with Cathy and the buggy during the night. For the life of me, I could not grasp what was going on, or what was to take place. Then I heard the buggy on the frozen ground and sure enough, dad was home. He had a passenger with him. She was an older lady and I was told her name was Mrs. Thorsen. I was then told to hook up Black, a calf we had broken, and to drive to the new neighbors to see how the building of their new house was coming along. I went, but I was not away very long because I knew the circumstances were not ordinary at home.

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