Ever wonder what the daily life of a rancher, cowboy or ranch hand looked like back in the early 1900's?
Over on the Heroes, Heroines and History blog, I'm continuing my series of the Biggs Ranch near Beynon, Alberta with photos taken by Hugh B. Biggs, and preserved by the Glenbow Museum Archives in Calgary.
If you'd like to play a little game, tell me what you think this rancher is happy because he's doing laundry, or do you think he's yelling at someone not to take his picture.
Or... What do you think he's saying?
Early 1900 Cowboy Chores
Thanksgiving Heritage Tour
It was more of a matter of timing than planning, but the 2nd weekend of October is when we finally journeyed up to the Preeceville area of Saskatchewan to introduce our son to his Ukrainian heritage, as well as reacquaint my husband with his. Since that was also Thanksgiving weekend this year with perfect Indian Summer weather, it capped off a special time for the three of us.
I've posted about the trip on the Inkwell Inspirations blog and although it's rather long, there are many photos of our beautiful Saskatchewan landscape that I hope will show you how thankful we are to live in this Canadian prairie province.
Here's a fun memory ... following a couple of 1500 lb bales down a Saskatchewan highway and laughing at the straw blowing across our windshield.
Til next time...
Hope and the Sharon Temple
The glass negative above is held at the Ontario Archives and is said to be the oldest image of the Sharon Temple. The lines you see are the cracks in the glass and while I've seen other images that have been retouched to cover the cracks, I believe seeing it like this adds a unique dimension to this grand temple built by people who considered themselves as plain.
I'm blogging about a breakaway Quaker sect known as the Children of Peace over on the Heroes, Heroines and History blog today.
This first post goes into the history of the Children of Peace and their founder, David Willson. Most of the images are in historic except where needed to show detail.
Part 2 will be posted August 19th on the Inkwell Inspirations blog. This post will shown the photos taken while I toured the Sharon Temple Museum and grounds during my recent trip to York County, Ontario.
Part 3 will be posted on Sept 5th back on the HHH blog where I'll talk share the history of David Willson's music and the Sharon Temple Band. I have photos of the original barrel organs that are still in use, one being the oldest of its kind in Canada, and talk about the unique acoustic sounds of the Sharon Temple.
So head over to www.hhhistory.com/ and see what some fascinating Americans did when they arrived in Canada.
Historic Winter Sports: Ice Sailing
I'm blogging at the Inkwell again with another post on my Historic Winter Sports series, this time on the fun and adventure of ice sailing.
The images I've used were found in different library systems and archives fonds and I can't say enough about the people who work to bring these sources to the public. Today's images are courtesy of the:
As well, I've included a video over on my Inkwell Inspirations Ice Sailing post which gives the feel of skimming across the ice in a modern ice boat made for racing.
Here's one photo you won't find over there...it's a stereoview from 1900 and if you go to the page I found it, you can read a description put out by the Keystone View Company.
The Union Jack Flies On a Dry Run
As part of my research trip for my Mountie series, I am following the 1885 Trails. Last year, when I made this same trip following a writer's retreat near Humboldt, SK, I went looking for the site of the Humboldt Telegraph Station since it's on the Carlton Trail. Both play significant parts in my story. When I visited last year, all I had was a spot on the map approx 5 km west and south of Humboldt, and some references in a couple history books. I didn't know what to expect.
My hope rose as I found the site resplendent in flags and signs. It didn't matter that it was a secondary rural road on the open prairie. What mattered was that the spot was marked. I was standing on the Carlton Trail at the site of the original Humboldt settlement.
As I surveyed the fields suffering an overload of spring rain, I spotted further evidence that someone was doing something there.
My suspicions were confirmed when I saw the signs.
Unfortunately, Humboldt is a 4 hour drive from my home, over mostly gravel roads, and although I was trying to cajole hubby into letting me take the family van for another day trip, the weather didn't cooperate. The commemoration went ahead while I stewed about the mucky Saskatchewan roads.
Skip forward to yesterday. I hadn't heard any promotion for the site, so was anxious to see what, if anything, had changed. See for yourself...
Each storyboard is a different aspect of the original site, such as the telegraph station, the family who ran the station, the Carlton Trail, etc. Very informative. I won't put individual storyboards here, but I'm creating a page under my research section for this topic.
Back to yesterday, the archaeological dig was getting some action. On the other side of the 3rd storyboard from the left, two men were standing amongst a bunch of white markers. Curious what they were doing at the dig, I zoomed in on them.
My eyes pricked when I saw them raise the Union Jack - a sight I hadn't witnessed since early grade school when the principal walked into our classroom to replace the familiar flag with a red and white one sporting a maple leaf.
The Union Jack wasn't up very long before the men lowered and rolled it over a tube. With my photos taken, I drove over to where they were parked and waited for them. Something was in the works, and I needed to know what.
It was a dry run for the ceremony this Saturday, June 23rd which will include:
- members of the Governor General's Horse Guard (tall bear hats, I believe)
- the NorthWest Mounted Police in full uniform
- dignitaries, etc
And I'm going to miss it! I'll arrive home from my research trip on Wed or Thurs and I doubt I'll make it back for Sat. I wish I could be there - for the photo and video opportunity. But most of all, because I want to experience the pageantry as we pay tribute to an earlier time in Saskatchewan's history which benefitted the newly formed Canada.
May Meeting at Keepers
On May 14th, I carpooled with several other writers from the Regina area and headed north for the monthly meeting of the Saskatchewan Romance Writers. Usually the meetings are held in Saskatoon which is 1.5 hrs northwest of Regina (2.5 hrs from me). Twice a year however, the northerners come down and we meet at Keeper's Restaurant and Lounge in Davidson which is halfway between the two cities.
Keeper's is a delightful restaurant as it appeals to all tastes. You walk into a small cafe area with the lounge on the left. But straight ahead is the restaurant part where the following photos were taken. Although we walk through this area to get to our meeting room, we once had a huge crowd and ate out here among the memorabilia. I really enjoy the atmosphere in this room. It wasn't always like this, however, but I'll show you what it used to look like after I show you what it looks like now.
To orientate yourself, where I'm standing in front of the green-clothed table, our meeting room is through the door behind the hanging quilt, and the restrooms are hidden behind the wall along with a couple privacy nooks.
Let's go for a tour starting on the far left of the above photo...
Enter through the gate into an eclectric world of antique and vintage memories. From 19th century hatboxes to 1950 formica tables, the room has a soothing aura of simpler times.
The standing cream separator with its cast iron base looks off-balance due to a missing a bowl, yet still adds character in the uncrowded room.
On the wall, a bucksaw and sock drier. A melange of goods from an axe and andiron to a coffee pot and jug sit on the shelf. And artwork showing a motorcylist and his machine on the table. What a strange mix.
Two 6 foot pews make up this dining area. Someone with a sense of humour tucked a young boy in the corner as if he misbehaved. On the right is the green covered table we saw in the first photo.
This interesting little nook is hidden behind the interior wall. We pass it every time we leave our meeting room on the way to the restroom. Notice the hame hanging on the left wall as I'll refer to it later.
If I turn around, I'm looking at this 2-sided nook which is located behind the military man you'll see in a bit. It's fitting that the articles on the wall - seen also in the photo below - are war memorabilia.
If you're wondering about the article on the left in the above 2 photos, if I'm not mistaken they are aviator pants.
In the above photo look for the hame hanging on the wall and you'll see what I mean about a nice little nook. And then there's the 'military' nook behind this uniform although I'm not sure to which airforce it belongs.
Here's a close-up of the artistry above wall partitions. Made from sock dryers and the cast iron legs of old schooldesks, it's functional and very original.
The quilt pattern eludes me at the moment, but I think it has something to do with a fan. I really like the way the colour of the ceiling is picked up in the quilt and the chairs.
This table is to the right of the green covered table in the top photo, but I can see the set-up in anyone's dining room. There's also a table ensemble between this one and the quilt but it was occupied at the time I was taking photos.
We're back at the green covered table again. The white-gated entrance is on our right and if you look ahead, more nooks. Don't mind the Christmas lights. I asked about them and other seasonal decorations and the server said the owner was too busy to take them down. Methinks the owner just likes Christmas.
I think 'The Coal Bin' is my favourite nook of all because it's enclosed with 3.5 walls for that very private feeling. Although you can't see it here, a coal skuttle and scoop sits on the floor by my left foot.
This nook has an outside exit, but they've closed it off and put an image behind the screen door to give you the country feeling. I actually feel like I'm on a verandah - what a great place to sit with an iced tea. And yet the things on the wall make me think of a kitchen. The Christmas lights spoil the mood, but overall, it's another great nook for a tete-a-tete.
And this is the final corner because to the right is the entrance with the white gate. Have you figured out yet why it's called Keeper's?
Now, if you liked what you saw, give credit to the owner because this is what it looked like when she bought the place...
Not only is the ambiance of this restaurant unique, but the food is plentiful and delicious. I really enjoy our meetings because of those 2 reasons, but the people I come here to meet - the Saskatchewan Romance Writers.
If you liked my little tour, let me know and I'll pass your comments on to the owner. I'd really like to let her know her effort is appreciated.
If you had a chance to eat at Keeper's, which table or nook would you choose?
Last Monday I blogged about Heritage Turkeys at Inkwell Inspirations and mentioned it on our farm blog, Draper's Acres. I wasn't going to blog about it here because it seemed too far removed from writing. I was wrong.
The post has dogged me all week because the emphasis wasn't so much on the turkeys, but that they were Heritage turkeys. Heritage equates to history. And as such, it should be mentioned on this blog where the emphasis is on history as much as writing.
The links above will lead you to the posts where I talk about the efforts to preserve these colourful birds where at least one variety has gone extinct because it fell out of public interest for no particular reason other than human fickleness.
And to get you started, here's a photo of my husband, Nelson with a pair of young
Broad Breasted Bronze Heritage turkeys.