DIARY OF MARY SAUNDERS
1903 - 1915
Transcribed in 2002 by Roberta Hinde Rivett
Dedicated to Ruth McCheane Chamness Bergman, daughter of the diarist, who graciously lent the treasured originals of the diary for purposes of transcription.
Appendix I The Saunders Family page 273
Appendix II The McCheane Family page 289
Appendix III The Hinde Family page 303
Appendix IV The Wake Family page 323
Appendix V Homestead Neighbours page 327
Appendix VI Nathan Saunders and Son by Joshua Wake
Appendix VIII Map of Great Bend Municipality
Appendix VIV Homestead Plan
Frontispiece: Mary Saunders in England at age fifteen, 1906
Picture courtesy Ruth Bergman
Chestnut Bank Friends’ Boarding School, about 1906.
Picture courtesy Ruth Bergman. Opposite page 20.
Mary and her sisters Eliza and Lucy in England, 1906.
Picture courtesy Ruth Bergman Opposite page 22.
Mary at the homestead, 1907.
Picture courtesy Ruth Bergman Opposite page 28.
William Cronyn McCheane with wife Caroline and daughter Hannah Mary, circa 1910 , Home Farm.
Picture courtesy Saskatchewan Archives Board SAB S-B 9918 Opposite page 128.
William Cronyn McCheane in the yard of Home Farm, Halcyonia, circa 1910.
Picture courtesy Saskatchewan Archives Board S-B 9916. Opposite page 130.
Hannah Mary McCheane (later Crabb) feeding chickens at the Home Farm, Halcyonia, circa 1910.
Picture courtesy Saskatchewan Archives Board, S-B 9917 Opposite page 142
Street in Borden, Saskatchewan, 1912, showing the McCheane Brothers’ Farm Machinery Building
Picture courtesy Saskatchewan Archives Board, S-B 9872 Opposite page 178.
John McCheane, with Edith Hinde (later McCheane) and Mary Saunders (later McCheane) in the “Brush” car, Borden, 1912.
Picture courtesy Saskatchewan Archives Board, S - B 9919 Opposite page 186.
In 1903 when she started her diary, Jemima Mary Saunders was twelve years old and a student at the Friends’ Boarding School, Chestnut Bank, in Fritchley, Derbyshire. In 1904 her widowed father Nathan Saunders and her older brother Edmund (Eddy) Saunders emigrated to Canada, to homestead in the Borden district in the Great Bend area, in the crook of the North Saskatchewan River north of Saskatoon, in what was to become the Canadian province of Saskatchewan in 1905. In 1907, at sixteen, she joined them. Her diary reflects not only her own experiences and perceptions but also the opening of the Canadian West in the early years of the Twentieth Century.
Mary Saunders’ diary does not end in 1915. With a hiatus from the end of this transcription to some time after her marriage, she continued writing her diary until she died at nearly a hundred and two years of age.
About the Format and Footnotes
The diary has been transcribed faithfully with the following exceptions:
Spelling errors have been corrected in order that the reader may not trip over errors and lose the thread of the content. Where names of people and places have been unclear, reference to the Borden history book , has been of great help, however some will inevitably remain in error.
At several points conflicts with respect to day, month and day of the week arise. Those that could be resolved were corrected. Those unresolved are noted thus: (sic).
Where a term or phrase could not be resolved clearly, a question mark, thus (?) is given.
The diary is divided into chapters by year, with exceptions where entries for a year are very few. Footnotes are given at the end of the section for each month of the diary.
Some of the footnotes identify the people who are closely connected to the Saunders, McCheane, Hinde and Wake families. For clarification on the identification of the neighbors, the map of the Great Bend Municipality and those who homesteaded on each quarter section in the end-papers of the Borden History, Our Treasured Heritage, (Borden History Book Committee, 1980) may be helpful. In addition there are many references to these neighbours in the body of the Borden History, in the section providing individual family histories.
Other footnotes attempt to explain terms and activities which may not be familiar to the descendants of the people written about in the early years of the last century. Some of these come from the memory of the editor, Roberta Rivett, and her sister, Mary Crane. Help was also received from Ruth Bergman, Frank Saunders, Lester Chamness and Rachel Chamness. Other footnotes come from books, dictionaries, encyclopedias and the Internet.
To clarify relationships, appendices containing the family trees of the Saunders, McCheane, Hinde and Wake families are included. It should be noted that with the marriages among the descendants of the four founding families, there is duplication in the printouts of descendants of each.
The practices of the Society of Friends or Quakers as reflected in this diary are here and there amplified from the memories of Mary Crane and Roberta Rivett, who as children of Quaker parents and born in the 1930’s, were birthright Quakers.
Reference is made from time to time to the writings of Joseph Edward (Bob) Hinde, in his book As I Remember It, privately published in 2003.
CHAPTER ONE MAY to DECEMBER 1903
Diary of Jemima Mary Saunders
Started 19th of 5th Month, 1903
5th month, 19th, 3rd day
In the morning for a bit of fun I blackleaded1 my boots, and Henry Whittaker2 made me blacken them over again. We went to school in the morning as usual and came out at recess time. Edie Hinde,3 Katie Croft, Ruth King, Maggy Land , May Croft and myself were all at Hilda Scanlon’s house and we had a great deal of fun. And nearly all the boys played football, with Walter Croft’s football. We have a new scholar, he came lately. We went into school again after recess time as usual, came out at twelve and Edie and me went and laid our table. Then we had our dinner. After dinner the boys played football. Edie is the top girl. Then comes Leonard her brother. Then Susy, then Eddy, he is my brother. Then Lizzie,4 Susy’s sister. Next comes Mary Ann then Val then comes myself, next Henry Wake, Henry Taylor then comes Hilda Scanlon. That is all in the big schoolroom. Then in the small schoolroom comes first of all Maggie. Mary Ann’s sister Winnie. Then Walter, then Ruth then Grant, then Kitty, Walter’s sister, then comes John.
Then we had school again as usual and came out at three o’clock for sewing. Amy Sturge5 was away at Bournbrook for she had a sister there who was not very well so Susy was our teacher and she let us have a ten minute recess. We came out again at four o’clock . We played about and Maisie invited Walter, Katie and May to tea. After tea we had a game of Lurkey. After a bit the bed bell rang so we all had to go to bed. Amy Sturge came back from Bournbrook.
5th month, 20th, 4th day
Amy Sturge was here. Amy Sturge came to our bedroom and told us that Edie had to go home to Bournbrook by the ten o’clock train that morning. Amy Sturge, Leonard6 and I went down to the station with her. By the time we got back it was not worth while going into Meeting7 so we went home and I laid the table for dinner. We were all invited up to the Sturges to stay all the afternoon and to have tea. We played Croquet, I Spy, Football and a good many other games. After tea we played some games and then went home to bed.
5th month, 21st, 5th day.
It was much warmer and we did not have a fire in the schoolroom, it was warm and something like 5th month. We were playing Tick in recess time. Edward Sturge8 did not ring the bell until eleven o’clock which is a quarter of an hour later than usual. We went into sewing at three as usual and did our mending. I helped Amy Sturge to make some tonic instead of going in prep. After prep we had a game of I Spy and Lurkey. The bed bell did not ring until twenty minutes past eight.
5th month, 22nd, 6th day.
We played at horses in the morning before school. It was fine and very hot. After tea, had a game of Lurkey. Had sewing all the afternoon and the boys did carpentering. After school in the afternoon I went up to the shop for Amy Sturge and she gave me a halfpenny. I cut out a pair of drawers for myself. Hilda Scanlon went home in the morning.
5th month, 23rd, 7th day.
In the morning we had a game of skipping and jumping. I hemmed round my sampler at least I did part of it. Lizzie Darbyshire also started hers. In the afternoon Henry Tailor, Eddy, Mamie, Maggie and Dorothy King, Edward Sturge and myself all went to Wingfield9 to play in Southern Goats’ Meadow and paddle in the river. Mopsy, that is the name of a pony, was in the paddock. Henry and me stayed behind playing with Mopsy. She had no bridle or anything on. She broke away from Henry and when I was not thinking of anything she turned around sharply and threw me flying. Oh! It was nice. Went to bed a bit later than usual. I was very hungry and I would not get to sleep until about one o’clock. Clara Cooper died at about ten minutes to four leaving four children, the eldest, George, ten years old, the next eldest Hilda, seven years, next Edenia, aged two, the youngest Harold only four months old. George Cooper came over to arrange about his wife being buried for it was her wish to be burned at Fritchley. He brought Hilda with him, she slept here, and he went over to Movewood, that is about four miles. He came by the ten o’clock train at night.
5th month, 24th, 1st day.
Went to Meeting in the morning. In the afternoon went on a walk with Margaret Land. It was very hot. Maggie started a diary today. Extra long Meeting in the evening.
5th month, 25th, 2nd day.
We had drill in the morning. I did my sampler from three o’clock until tea time. Had a game of I Spy after tea. Nothing extra happened.
5th month, 26th, 3rd day.
Had school in the morning. In the afternoon at half past two we had a Meeting because Clara Cooper was to be buried. The coffin was brought up in Derbyshires’ cart. When they got to the top of the Blue Bridge they took the coffin out of the cart and carried it into the Meeting house and put it in the cloakroom. We all went to the funeral afterwards. My uncle10 came to the funeral. I went down to the station with him.
5th month, 27th, 4th day.
Had school in the morning and in the afternoon. Mary Watkins11 invited all us children to a picnic at Wake Bridge. We got some sticks out of the wood and made a fire to boil the kettle on. We had a game of I Spy before tea then we had tea and then we had a game of I Spy after tea. I went with Arthur Williamson to get Florrie the horse. I rode home in the trap. We took back a lot of bluebells and fern roots. When we got back we had to go straight to bed. As we were coming down Fritchley a boy threw a stone at Maggie and hit her on one side of her head.
5th month, 28th, 5th day.
Went in to school in the morning as usual. After tea had a game of Tick. I started learning book keeping in prep.
5th month, 29th, 6th day. ROYAL OAK DAY12
Of course everyone was stinging anyone who had not got any oak on them. Henry Whittaker had his breakfast in bed. He had a very bad cold. We did not go to school until three o’clock. Hilda, Maggie, Ruth, Mamie and myself were playing with Edward Sturge’s cart at the bottom of the hill.
5th month, 30th, 7th day.
Hilda’s mother, father and little sister Pattie came by the six o’clock train last night to live here at Fritchley. They are going to live at Lydia Sargent’s13 until they can find a cottage. Some of us got tin cans and put a wooden handle on and then lit a fire in the can. I had one. They kept alight a long time. We had our bath in the evening as usual.
5th month 31st, 1st day.
Nothing extra happened in the morning excepting that Sophia Gough came in here and left Mopsy outside eating off the bank. She got one wheel up on the bank and the other down in the road, and she nearly tipped the cart over. I got her back and fed her with grass until Sophia Gough came out for her. In the afternoon I went for a walk with Maggie. We went down Blue Bridge and along the cut and up the Hag.14
1. Blackleading was intended for cleaning and blacking the tops of stoves.
2. Henry Whittaker was a teacher at the Quaker Boarding School in Fritchley, Derbyshire, which Mary Saunders and other Quaker children including the Hindes and Wakes attended. Later he taught at the Quaker school at Selly Oak, Bournbrook, Birmingham.
3. Edie Hinde was Edith Mary Hinde, lifelong friend to Mary Saunders. She and Edie married brothers.
4. Lizzie Derbyshire
5. Amy Sturge is sister to Edward Sturge. Amy remained single all her life, and has honorary aunt to many of the children at the school, and honored all her life by the Hinde children.
6. Leonard is Leonard Hinde, oldest boy in the Hinde family, brother to Edie.
7. Meeting is the meeting for worship of the Society of Friends. It was held regularly on First Day (Sunday) morning and evening, and on Fourth Day (Wednesday) morning. Meeting was presided over by elders of the Meeting, and was largely silent, providing worshippers the opportunity to listen for the Still Small Voice. On the last Wednesday of each month was Monthly Meeting, which conducted the business affairs of the Society. Meeting held Sunday evening was usually Reading Meeting, during which works of a spiritual nature were read aloud and discussed.
8 . Edward Sturge was the principal of the Quaker Boarding School at Fritchley. His wife Annie, who cooked for the school, was a daughter of Henry Thomas Wake, the antiquarian of Fritchley.
9. Wingfield was the parish in which lived Henry Thomas Wake and his family.
10. My uncle: Uncle Edmund Hatcher, who had a major role in the raising of the three Saunders girls.
11. Mary Watkins is Millie Watkins, a friend and neighbour of the Fritchley Quaker families and herself a Quaker and lifelong friend of the Quakers who emigrated to Canada.
12. Royal Oak Day - in honor of Charles II who in 1651 hid in a hollow oak tree while trying to escape to France, pursued by Cromwell’s rebels. When he regained the throne he gave a pension to the family on whose property the oak tree stood, and subsequently in some parts of the country Royal Oak, or Oakapple day has been celebrated on his birthday, May 29, by the wearing of oak leaves.
13. Lydia Sargent was a Friend from Fritchley; see Walter Lowndes’ The Quakers of Fritchley, 1986, tom Brown Printers, Belper, Derbyshire.
14. The Hag, still so named, is a steep hill in the village of Fritchley.
6th month, 1st, 2nd day.
Bank Holiday. Harry Tomes1 and Joshua Wake2 came from Bournbrook on their bicycles and arrived here about 2 o’clock this morning. They both had a puncture one after the other and that was what delayed them so long. We had a holiday all day. Went to Wingfield Manor and had a good bit of fun. Amy Sturge took our photo once we were at the Manor. At about 3 o’clock we left Wingfield Manor and went to Sophia Gough - Mopsy was there and we had her until tea time. She had a side saddle on and all the girls were riding on her at least most of them. We had tea on the lawn. The boys were throwing orange peel about most of the time. After tea we had Mopsy again. I enjoyed myself very very very very much.
6th month, 2nd, 3rd day
Nothing extra happened in the morning. After tea Alice Scanlon asked me if I would come down and play. I asked Edward Sturge if I could go down and play and he said I could until I heard the bell ring. I went and I did not hear it ring. I was not likely to either because Maggie was in the school room and no one was talking and everything was as quiet as could be. And she never heard it ring. Henry Taylor never heard it ring, no more did Eddy or Leonard. In fact I think that it was very few that did. Anyhow they had nearly finished prep when I got in. Henry Whittaker made me sit in the schoolroom for a good while.
6th month 3rd, 4th day.
Had school and went to Meeting as usual; in the afternoon went paddling in the Bounders’ brook. John Bounders chased us out of the lane. We found a very little bird that could not fly. We made a nest of grass and put it in. I very nearly caught a young rabbit. I went up to Darbyshires’ and saw Tomery.
6th month, 4th, 5th day.
Had a game of Skipping, and went paddling after school. We had tea out of doors.
“ In olden times we took a car
Drawn by a horse if going far
And felt that we were blest.
Now the conductor takes the fare
And sticks a broomstick in the air
And Lightning does the rest.
In former days along the street
A glimmering lantern led the feet
When on a midnight stroll.
But now we catch when night is nigh
A piece of lightning from the sky
And stick it on a pole.”
Annie Sturge bought me a pair of canvas shoes. My father paid her for them.
6th month, 5th, 6th day.
Joshua and Harry went home and Lizzie Wake3 came and brought them home with her. Harry is only fifteen months old. We had a natural history meeting tonight, it was down at Lydia Sargent’s, out of doors on the lawn. We enjoyed ourselves very much.
6th month, 6th, 7th day.
Had school in the morning. In the afternoon I took baby out in the mail cart. Hilda and Patsy came too. And so did Mamie. We had a game of House. Harry was my baby and Patsy and Mamie were my children and Hilda was the nurse.
6th month, 7th, 1st Day.
I had to mind Harry and Mamie until Meeting time. I went for a walk with Maggie to Crich and back. Lizzie Wake took Harry to Sunnyside. Went to Meeting in the evening.
6th month, 8th, 2nd day.
I took Baby out in the mail cart, Patsy came and played at Chestnut Bank. Maggie took Baby out in the mail cart instead of sewing.
6th month, 9th, 3rd day.
We began to get things ready for Monthly Meeting. I took Baby out in the morning and in the afternoon. Had a game of I Spy, then the bell rang for bed.
6th month, 10th, 4th day.
Monthly Meeting. In the morning, ironed a tie and some ribbons that I washed the day before. Then I went down to meet my uncle. After Meeting I looked after Baby. Hilda and Patsy came to tea.
6th month, 11th, 5th day.
Had school as usual. Had a game of Lurkey in the morning and after tea had a game of Lurkey.
6th month, 12th, 6th day.
It was fine though it threatened rain. Had school as usual. Had two or three games of Lurkey during the day. After tea had a game of I Spy, and Hide and Seek, and Whippy.
6th month, 13th, 7th day.
Before school had a game at Skipping. Henry Wake Hinde4 walked for the first time, Lizzie Wake was with him. In the afternoon the boys went to Belper. Hilda and Patsy, Mamie, Maggie, Grant, Baby and myself had a game at House. Grant was our monkey. Hilda was the nurse. I was the mother and Patsy, Mamie and Maggie and Harry were my children.
6th month, 14th, 1st day.
Eddy and Henry Taylor were throwing slippers at each other. In the afternoon I went a walk with Maggie, up the Dimple and down the Crich,5 and when I came back I wrote a letter home.
6th month, 15th, 2nd day.
I had school as usual. In the morning we had a game at Lurkey, and after we had a game at Lurkey and I Spy. We had exam in Algebra in the morning and Reading in the afternoon. It was very wet.
6th Month, 16th, 3rd Day.
Had exam in Arithmetic but did not finish it. We had a holiday in the afternoon. It was fine and sunshining. Annie Sturge hired Fritchley pony to go a drive to Heage. Annie Sturge, Lizzie Wake and Baby, Mamie and I went to Lydia Sargent’s and played in the Scanlons’ room. I drove there and back. Edward Sturge walked there and Annie Sturge walked back with him. I drove Lizzie Wake, Baby and Mamie back. We went to the Shaws and they had a horse that was very poorly. I enjoyed myself very very very much.
6th month, 17th, 4th day.
Went to Meeting in the morning and in the afternoon I went down to Lydia Sargent’s and played with Patsy and Hilda and I went around with Arthur Watkins collecting rummage for a rummage sale. He had Florrie and the trap. After tea it was wet and so I went to Lydia Sargent’s and played up in the Scanlons’ room.
6th month, 18th, 5th day.
There was a rummage sale at three o’clock in the afternoon. It was to enable the village children to have a day at the seaside. It was Mary Watkins’ proposal. There was a gramophone after tea. Annie Sturge brought a bicycle for us to ride. It had broken tires.
6th month, 19th, 6th day.
There was school as usual. We went riding the bicycle most of our spare time. After tea the back tire came off.
6th month, 20th, 7th day.
Fastened the tire on the bicycle. Had school in the morning. Rode the bicycle most of our spare time. The back tire came off again. Put it on again. I was to have gone a ride on the bicycle and Annie Sturge had Mary Wake’s but when I got on ours I hadn’t gone above two yards when the tire came off again. And so I took it back and we had Mary Wake’s all the afternoon. Susy, Lizzie and me were riding all the afternoon.
6th month, 21st, 1st day.
I went a little walk with Edward, Annie and Mamie Sturge.6 Maggie had toothache, she did not go to Meeting either in the morning or afternoon. Hilda tumbled off Florrie and sprained her wrist and hurt her head.
6th month, 22nd, 2nd day.
We were riding the bike round the gravel. Received a letter from home.
6th month, 23rd, 3rd day.
Spent the afternoon and had tea at Amy Sturge’s. Maggie, Ruth and I earned a supper and we had it tonight.
6th month, 24th, 4th day.
All went for a school treat to the black rocks at Workworth. Went by train, had tea out of doors. Enjoyed ourselves very much.
6th month, 25th, 5th day.
We are all packing up to go home. All very busy. It is Eddy’s birthday.7 He is 14.
6th month, 26th, 6th day.
Came home by the 10:16 train. Uncle, Eliza and Lucy8 were at Birmingham Station to meet us. We got home about half past twelve. After dinner we went to the hay field. My cat had some kittens, three. I had tea in the hay field. Finished the small field.
6th month, 27th, 7th day.
After breakfast we went to the hay field. I worked until dinner. After dinner, put saddle on pony and I rode on it. I got on the rick then and had tea. After tea, put the hay in cocks.
6th month, 28th, 1st day.
I put the brown pony in the float9 to take Grannie10 to Meeting. I was on the roof most of the afternoon. Took Grannie to Meeting in the evening. I went milking.
6th month, 29th, 2nd day.
I was at the haymaking field all day.
6th month, 30th, 3rd day.
We were carrying the raking.
1. Harry Tomes is probably brother to Alfred Tomes, who later married Joshua Wake’s sister Lydia.
2. Joshua Wake is the oldest son of Hugh Wake, brother to Annie who married Edward Sturge, and grandson of Henry Thomas Wake. See also the Wake Family Tree, Appendix III.
3. Lizzie Wake is the oldest daughter of Henry Thomas Wake.
4. Henry Wake Hinde is the “Baby” referred to earlier; he is the son of Joseph and Martha Wake Hinde. Martha is sister to Annie and Hugh. See also the Hinde Family Tree, Appendix IV.
5. Dimple and Critch are lanes in Fritchley.
6. Mamie Sturge is Mary Sturge, daughter of Edward and Annie.
7. Eddy is Edmund Saunders, Mary’s older brother.
8. Eliza and Lucy are Mary’s younger sisters. Uncle is Edmund Hatcher, brother to their mother Hannah.
9. Float - a wagon.
10. Grannie is Mary’s maternal grandmother, Jemima Hunt Hatcher, who raised the children of Nathan Saunders when his wife died fourteen months after the birth of their youngest child Lucy. Grannie’s only and unmarried son Edmund lived with her.
7th month, 1st, 4th day.
The brown pony was gone to the hayfield so I had to take Grannie to Meeting with the creamie.
7th month, 2nd, 5th day.
Went to the hay field just after dinner, stayed there until milking time. I was riding on the pony.
7th month, 3rd, 6th day.
Packed up our things.
7th month, 4th, 7th day.
Went down to Somerset.1 They didn’t come to meet us so we had to carry all our luggage from the station.
7th month, 5th, 1st day.
Had Meeting in the morning. Uncle2 read to us in the evening.
7th month, 6th, 2nd day.
Played with Annie and Jemima.
7th month, 7th, 3rd day.
Played about all day. Eddy went to the hayfield.
7th month, 8th, 4th day.
Went to Cary in the four-wheel.
7th month, 9th, 5th day.
Had Meeting in the parlor.
7th month, 10th, 6th day.
Played with Eliza, Lucy, Jemima and Annie.
7th month, 11th, 7th day.
Made some cakes.
7th month, 12th, 1st day.
Had Meeting in the morning and evening.
7th month,13th, 2nd day
Lucy had a dog bite her. She went to the doctor straight away. I went to be fitted for two dresses.
7th month, 14th, 3rd day.
Played about. Put a swing up.
7th month, 15th, 4th day.
Uncle William and Lucy went to Cary.
7th month, 16th 5th day.
Went to Uncle Tom’s to tea.
7th month, 17th, 6th day.
Auntie Polly was packing up our things.
7th month, 18th 7th day.
Came home. Lorna Roberts was passing through Birmingham when we got there.
7th month, 19th 1st day.
I drove Grannie to Meeting in the morning and evening.
7th month, 20th, 2nd day.
Looked after shop most of the day.
7th month, 21st, 3rd day.
Did lots of things. Drove Barnacle’s horse to Cotteridge.
22nd of 7th Month, 4th day.
It is raining this morning. I have written up my diary.3
7th month, 23rd, 5th day.
M. D., W. S. and T. P. went to court as witnesses about a fight between Bud and
N. Lewis. Grannie was not well enough to go to Meeting.
7th month, 24th, 6th day.
I drove Barnacle’s horse to Cotteridge.
7th month, 25th, 7th day.
I went milking, went up the village with the roan horse and the wagon.
7th month, 26th, 7th day. (sic)4
Drove the cows home from Cotteridge Went up the village with an order.
7th month, 27th, 1st day.
It rained very hard in the morning, had two floods. Grannie went to Meeting in the evening.
7th month, 28th, 2nd day.
Went out with several different orders. Played with Floss, Eliza and Lucy.
7th month, 29th, 3rd day.
Went to town with Father in the trap and Jenny pulling us. It rained as we were going in.
7th month, 30th, 4th day.
Drove Grannie to Meeting. Went down to Wakes’ to fetch some sise (?) with Bob. After dinner fetched some wood from Starcies’ and took it to Cotteridge. It rained as we were coming back.
7th month, 31st, 5th day.
Went to Cotteridge with Ginnie.
1. In Somerset was Aunty Polly and Uncle William Longman. Polly was Hannah Hatcher Saunders’ sister.
2. Uncle would have been either Uncle William Longman or Uncle Edmund Hatcher; probably the former as Uncle Edmund is not mentioned as travelling with them.
3. This suggests that Mary did not always write in her diary every day. Later evidence supports this as well.
4. (sic) Infrequently Mary lost track of dates and days of the week. Where possible this has been resolved to be consistent. Where not possible, (sic) is indicated.
8th month, 1st, 6th day.
I went milking and fed the pigs. I went up the village with an order, had a ride on Jenny while they were milking.
8th month, 2nd, 7th day.
I fed the pigs. Jack, Dad, Floss and I went to Cotteridge and brought Kitty back. In the afternoon I had a ride on Kitty.
8th month, 3rd, 1st day.
Drove Annie Sturge to Meeting. I drove Grannie in the evening.
8th month, 4th, 2nd day.
It was a bank holiday and also Monthly Meeting. I was riding on Jennie. Drove Grannie to Meeting. There was a public meeting in the evening.
8th month, 5th, 3rd day.
Rode on Kitty and Jenny. I went with Dad and Uncle1 to Cotteridge. Eliza and Lucy came too. It rained as we were coming back.
8th month, 6th, 4th day.
Drove Grannie to Meeting in the morning. Rode on Jenny and Kitty most of the afternoon.
8th month, 7th, 5th day.
Came back to school in the morning. I was sick twice in the train. In the evening went on a bike ride with Edie.
8th month, 8th, 6th day.
We had no school. Went to a lecture on Electricity.
8th month, 9th, 7th day.
I went to Klondyke.
8th month, 10th, 1st day.
It rained very hard. I was out in it and got wet through.
8th month, 11th, 2nd day.
Had school as usual. Jenny Davison taught the little ones and all of us girls in sewing.
8th month, 12th, 3rd day.
Had school as usual. We fetched some mortar and put it on the playground.
8th month, 13th, 4th day.
Went to Meeting in the morning. In the afternoon Leonard hurt his foot on the sunerel (?) bridge.
8th month, 14th, 5th day.
Played with the boys’ cart.
8th month, 15th, 6th day.
Nothing extra happened. It was very wet all day.
8th month, 16th, 7th day.
It rained most of the day. We played in the playroom.
8th month, 17th, 1st day.
I went up to John Sadler’s and down to the brook, Leonard, Edie and myself.
8th month, 18th, 2nd day.
We did the playground instead of prep.
8th month, 19th, 3rd day.
It rained hard nearly all day. We could not go out. We played at skipping.
8th month, 20th, 4th day.
Joe and Jack walked over to Wingfield. I rode on Annie Sturge’s bicycle and Edie rode on her own bicycle. Lucy Brooks gave us some flowers.
8th month, 21st, 5th day.
It is getting quite like winter now, it is cold. I went to see Lucy Brooks.
8th month, 22nd, 5th day.
Had school as usual.
8th month, 23rd, 6th day.
Percy gave us a lecture on stone. He had a piece of Spam and he said it was limestone. He did make us laugh.
8th month, 24th, 7th day.
We had school in the morning and in the afternoon we went to an exhibition on the art of the school children. It was an awfully loud nothing when we got there.
8th month, 25th, 1st day.
Edie and I went to the quarry fields for a walk. Tanha scalded her three fingers. Nothing extra happened.
8th month, 30th, 1st day (sic)
It was very wet. I went to Meeting as usual. In the afternoon I went a walk with Edie Hinde. I began tonight a letter to Uncle.2
8th month, 31st, 2nd day.
I finished Uncle’s letter and posted it. Dorothy Scanlon came to school just for the day. We did not have any school between three and four o’clock.
1. and 2. Uncle Edmund Hatcher. “Uncle” alone almost always refers to Edmund Hatcher.
9th month, 1st, 3rd day.
Had school as usual. Edie and I made some toffee.
9th month, 2nd, 4th day.
I am eating some of the toffee I made yesterday. I wish Eliza and Lucy were here so I could give them some. In the afternoon Edie and I went down to Glossop’s to see if their dog cart1 was done. It was not done, and so we had to go without it. As we were going up Bullbridge Hill2 about half way up we saw a pony with an empty cart. It was standing across the road, the back of the card in the hedge. The pony refused to go either up hill or down hill. At last they brought a cart horse and pulled it up.
9th month, 3rd, 5th day.
Had school as usual. Had a game of Hide and Seek.
9th month, 4th, 6th day.
Had a game of I Spy. Had school as usual.
9th month, 5th, 7th day.
Edie and I went to Belfair. We had our tea, bread and fish.
9th month, 6th, 1st day.
Went to Meeting twice. I went a walk in the afternoon down quarry fields and along the canal side.
9th month, 7th, 2nd day.
Edie and I had to stay out of school and help Annie Sturge peel apples. At half past two all the girls went blackberrying. In the evening had a game of Hide and Seek.
9th month, 8th, 3rd day.
Getting ready for Monthly Meeting.
9th month, 9th, 4th day.
Monthly Meeting. I went down to meet Dad, Eliza, Lucy and Uncle. Dad went back on Fourth Day night, Uncle stayed until Fifth Day.
9th month, 10th, 5th day.
Lucy went to school in the small school room and Eliza went in the big school room. They went home by the five o’clock. Amy Sturge took a photo of the four of us for Dad to take to Canada with him. It rained most all day.
9th month, 11th, 6th day.
It is very cold, though not wet. We had school as usual. It is very lonely without them.
9th month, 12th, 7th day.
Had school in the morning. Edie, Leonard, Eddy and I enjoyed a fourpenny melon. They gave us two for four pence because they were a little rotten. Leonard, Amy and I went to Amy Sturge’s in the afternoon.
9th month, 13th, 1st day.
Wrote up my diary after Meeting. Fetched Mopsy for Lucy Brooks. Sophia Gough asked us, Edie and me, to her house to dinner. I drove Mopsy home. After dinner we took her out on the lawn to eat the grass. We had to mind her. It started raining. Just as we were coming back, it stopped as we were about half way back. Had melon for tea.
9th month, 14th, 2nd day.
Had school as usual. Had a game of I Spy.
9th month, 15th, 3rd day.
Had school as usual. Helped to make the playground.
9th month, 16th, 4th day.
I rode back with Sophia Gough. I drove all the way. When we got there we put Mopsy in and went and had our dinner. After dinner we put the sidesaddle on and rode Mopsy back. We had a very pleasant afternoon. We started home at about five o’clock.
9th month, 17th, 5th day.
Had a game with Edward Sturge’s cart.
9th month, 18th, 6th day.
The boys were making the playground.
9th month, 19th, 7th day.
Started Annie’s knitting for her. In the afternoon I went a walk with Maggie up the Dimple Lane and down Crich. As we were coming down Crich we saw Mopsy.
9th month, 20th, 1st day.
Went a walk with Maggie.
9th month, 21st, 2nd day.
Nothing extra happened.
9th month, 22nd, 3rd day.
In the afternoon we went a walk3 instead of school.
9th month, 23rd, 4th day.
Maggie, Edie and I were to Sophia Gough’s. I drove Mopsy all the way to Wessenton. Wilfred drove us home - not quite home.
9th month, 24th, 5th day.
I was playing at Poison when I hurt the top muscle of my leg.
9th month, 25th, 6th day.
My leg is better, nearly well.
9th month, 26th, 7th day.
In the afternoon I had a shop and Edie was the horse. Had several different games.
9th month, 27th, 1st day.
Went to Meeting twice.
9th month, 28th, 2nd day.
School as usual. Had a game of cards.
9th month, 29th, 3rd day.
Went after school down to Bomer’s Brook. Edie, Maggie and I went to Sophia Gough’s and we had Mopsy with her saddle all the afternoon. I enjoyed myself very much.
9th month, 30th, 4th day.
Grant Sargent came last night.
1. A dog cart is a kind of cart pulled by a horse.
2. Bullbridge Hill is very steep.
3. “Went a walk” - common usage at that time.
10th month, 1st, 5th day.
Went and got some pretty stones.
10th month, 2nd, 6th day.
Nothing extra happened. Had school as usual.
10th month, 3rd,7th day.
We went to Wake Bridge and got some pretty ferns and took them to Sophia Gough.
10th month, 4th, 2nd day.
Nothing extra happened. Had school as usual.
10th month, 5th, 3rd day.
The little post was very full this morning.
10th month, 6th, 4th day.
Hilda Scanlon stayed here to tea and Amy Sturge. We had a game of Geography.
10th month, 7th, 5th day.
Very wet and we had to spend the afternoon indoors.
10th month, 15th, 5th day.
Had school as usual.
10th month, 16th, 6th day.
Mamie fell off the barn steps and broke her arm. She seems quite well. The lamp room caught on fire. It was soon put out, it only burnt an apron and a bill file.
10th month, 17th, 7th day.
We all went a walk to the Reservoir near Whatstandwell. Coming back we played Horse.
10th month, 18th, 1st day.
We all went a walk to Parkhead and back by a new road. I went to Darbyshires to tea. M. And W. Hallam 2asked Edie and me to go and see them next 1st day.
10th month, 19th, 2nd day.
Nothing extra happened.
10th month, 20th, 3rd day.
I had school as usual. Jack hurt his eye.
10th month, 21st, 4th day.
Went to Meeting in the morning. After Meeting Sophia Gough invited Edie and me to go back with her. I drove all the way. When we got there we had an afternoon tea. After that we went to Alfterton about two miles away. I drove all the way there and back.
10th month, 22nd, 5th day.
Nothing extra happened.
10th month, 23rd, 6th day.
Had school as usual.
10th month, 24th, 7th day.
Went to Wake Bridge and got some stones for Sophia Gough.
10th month, 25th, 1st day.
Sophia Gough said she would like either of us girls to walk in the yard, she said it was Maggie’s turn next.
10th month, 26th, 2nd day.
Had school as usual.
10th month, 27th, 3rd day.
Had school as usual.
10th month, 28th, 4th day.
Maggie and I went to Sophia Gough’s.
10th month, 29th, 5th day.
Went a walk in the afternoon to Crich stand. Edward Sturge had a bad cold. Had school in the morning.
10th month, 30th, 6th day.
It is very cold this afternoon. To Wake Bridge. Jessie Darbyshire has been thinking of selling Darling and getting a pony off the Common.
10th month, 31st,7th day.
In the afternoon we got the bricks and built the foundation of a house, also a yard and stable. We pretended to live there.
1. When entries have not been written for a day or more, this is indicated by a short row of ellipses.
2. Mary often uses the initials of people about whom she writes. Where the full names are clear from context, they are spelled out. Where this is not the case, the initials remain as she gave them.
11th month, 1st, 1st day.
Wrote instead of going a walk. William Dougg came to tea.
11th month, 2nd, 2nd day.
Uncle, I mean Edward Sturge is better today and we had school as usual. I sent my letter off this morning.
11th month, 3rd, 3rd day.
Maggie and I stayed out of school and helped. At four o’clock Edie and I went to the station, we took Edward Sturge’s cart.
11th month 4th, 4th day.
It is Monthly Meeting today. Father and Uncle came. I went down to meet them.
11th month, 5th, 5th day.
Edward Sturge was poorly. Janey Davidson took us a walk through the Manor fields and home through Parkhead.
11th month, 6th, 6th day.
E. Y. S. is better today and able to teach us again.
11th month, 7th, 7th day.
Sophia Gough and Lucy Brooks went to Ireland by the nine o’clock train. In the afternoon we all went to Wingfield.
11th month, 6th (sic) 1st day.
Stayed away from Meeting.
11th month, 7th, 2nd day.
Had school as usual.
11th month, 8th, 3rd day.
Had school as usual.
11th month, 9th, 4th day.
Lucy and I rode on Diamond and Lizzie on Darling. We went seven or eight miles. The trotted a good deal of the way.
11th month, 10th, 5th day.
Had school as usual.
11th month, 11th, 6th day.
I have counted the weeks until we go home.
11th month, 14th, 7th day.
Played horses nearly all the afternoon and painted.
11th month, 15th, 1st day.
Went to Meeting in the morning. In the afternoon I went up to Darbyshires’ and had a ride on Diamond with Lucy. We went past the windmill. I rode on Darling coming back.
11th month, 16th, 2nd day.
Lizzie didn’t come until recess time.
11th month,17th, 3rd day.
Had school as usual.
11th month, 18th, 4th day.
Went to Meeting in the morning. Spent the afternoon at Darbyshires. The roof is nearly finished. Nell’s pups are very playful.
11th month, 19th, 5th day.
Reading Meeting was at Lydia’s place. I did my toilet tidy.
11th month, 20th, 6th day
I am very anxious for the holidays to come. It seems impossible to wait.
11th month, 21st, 7th day.
Edie and I went to Darbyshires’ and spent the afternoon there. Fan’s pups are beginning to be playful.
11th month, 22nd, 1st day
We all went a walk together in the afternoon.
11th month, 23rd, 2nd day.
Amy Sturge, Eddy, Leonard, Edie and I composed a piece of poetry containing 21 verses about the fire.
11th month, 24th, 3rd day.
Had school as usual. Lizzie got more ____ (?)1 than me today.
11th month, 25th, 4th day.
Lizzie did not come this morning. In the afternoon Edie, Leonard and I went to Amy Sturge’s to tea. She showed us her big scrap book which had taken her years to make.
11th month, 26th, 5th day.
Martha Hinde has had a baby.2 We have been jumping. Edie has jumped 3 feet 6 inches.
11th month, 27th, 6th day.
Annie Sturge went to Bournbrook. Had school as usual. Nothing extra happened.
11th month, 28th, 7th day
Edie and I went to Darbyshires’.
11th month, 29th, 1st day.
Maggie and Mamie went to the Hallams to tea.
11th month, 30th, 2nd day
Nothing extra happened.
1. Where a word cannot be deciphered, this is indicated by (?).
2. The baby is Elizabeth (Elsie) Linnell Hinde.
12th month, 1st, 3rd day.
I helped Edie and Amy Sturge to make up a piece of poetry called Another Lad’s Mishap.
12th month, 2nd, 4th day.
In the afternoon we had a game with Edward Y. Sturge’s cart. My Grannie,1 my father’s mother, passed quietly away.
12th month, 3rd, 5th day
Eliza has gone down to Somerset.
12th month, 4th, 6th day.
If Eliza did not go yesterday she had gone today.
12th month, 5th, 7th day
Had school in the morning. I have found my skates.
12th month, 6th, 1st day.
Went to Meeting in the morning. Mamie did not go. She had diarrhoea in the afternoon. I went a walk with Edie, Lucy and Lizzie. We had Nell.
12th month, 7th, 2nd day.
I had a nice long interesting letter from my cousin.
12th month, 8th, 3rd day.
We girls helped Annie Sturge instead of school.
12th month, 9th, 4th day
Monthly Meeting. It was raining so I could not go down to meet Dad and Uncle.
12th month, 10th, 5th day.
We were going to be examined but E. S. went to Wakefield. In the evening all us girls went to Hilda’s party. Edie and I gave her a pair of closing-up scissors.
12th month, 11th, 6th day.
We began exam today and we were examined in Math.
12th month, 12th, 7th Day.
Had French today.
1. Hannah Griffin Saunders. See Saunders Family Tree, Appendix I.
Here the boarding school months of the diary ends, and on the same page begins the start of Mary’s new life, three and a half years later.
CHAPTER 2 MAY to DECEMBER 1907
Started for Canada on the 3rd of 5th Month 1907.
5th month, 3rd
I left my home and Grannie, Eliza, Lucy and Uncle and all friends dear, to go and try to be of use to my father and dear brother. Uncle and D. R.1 came to Liverpool to see me off. I was sick four days and landed on the 6th day just a week from when I went on board. Well, we2 caught a train that left Quebec the same evening, and got to Winnipeg 13th of May 1907 and started to Borden on the C. N. R. at 8:30 the next morning, and reached Borden on the 15th of May 1907. My father came into Borden to meet me. He looked very altered, but he is still “My Dear Old Dad.” My brother came out into the yard to meet us. He was not so altered as I expected him to be. I have now been out here four or five weeks and so far cannot seem to realize that I am in Canada. But Eddy says I will realize it when the winter comes.
1. D. R. - unknown.
2. According to Ruth Bergman, (September 2002) Mary travelled to Canada with the Piprells or the Walkers. From the Borden history book, Our Treasured Heritage, the most probable person to accompany Mary would be Emily Piprell, who also came to Canada in 1907. Emily would have been in her twenties at that time, and Mary sixteen.
Continuation of my diary.
6th month, 16th, 1st day.
We had a very heavy thunderstorm this morning. Dad and Eddy were caught in it whilst going to the sick cow. When they came back we had Meeting here, as it was bad to go to Meeting and several times during Meeting the thunder seemed to be right under the shack, it made the old place tremble whilst the water came streaming through the roof. Jessie Green1 went over to her sister’s to tea. Dad went and fetched her.
6th month, 17th, 2nd day.
Eddy and Laurie2 fetched a load of straw this morning, and Dad rode Jess to Uncle Esau’s to get him and Walter to come and help him bring the sick cow home. Ploughed a furrow for potatoes, disked in some clover, sunflower and some grass seed. I planted some sunflowers round the shack.
6th month, 18th, 3rd day.
Walter Saunders came and helped Dad and Laurie make a corral. We had Walter’s help in exchange for them having our oxen and plow, though he must first find the oxen. He rode Creamy round most of the day and then Eddy and Walter found them on Eight.3 They brought the posts from Eight and put them on a corral on Twenty-One. After tea Jessie Green I helped put the posts in.
6th month, 19th, 4th day.
Went to Meeting in the morning. It was Monthly Meeting. Dad and I stayed to the business meeting. Had dinner and tea at McCheanes’. Hannah Mary gave me a singing pigeon.
6th month, 20th, 5th day.
I helped Dad put up the posts and also accidentally let my pigeon fly away. He kept around the yard most of the day but disappeared in the evening. He may only be roosting somewhere. Joe and Kate4 went off this afternoon. Walter and Laurie went after them but could not find them.
6th month, 21st, 6th day.
We finished the corral today. I milked the black cow and when I had finished I saw two horses so Dad and I drove them into the new corral, and we thought they were the same ones as McCheanes had found about two months ago.
6th month, 22nd,7th day.
McCheanes came for those horses but did not take them. Laurie caught my pigeon. He was in the granary asleep. Eddy and Laurie were breaking with four horses. Dad and Walter went to Borden and cut some bushes on Eddy’s quarter. We found Joe and Kate by the little corral.
6th month, 23rd, 1st day.
We went to meeting in the morning. On our way back we picked a lot of mushrooms. After dinner Oscar Brunst and Duncan McPherson came for the horses. They got them out of the corral but they almost got away on them but at last they caught them in a corner of our yard. They took one and let us have two for a time at least. Three turkeys hatched out.
6th month, 24th, 2nd day.
Jessie and I went and picked some mushrooms for dinner. Eddy and Walter were clearing out the well. We have quite a lot of mushrooms.
6th month, 25th, 3rd day
Started digging two wells on Twenty-one. Dad was plowing with four horses, Darby and Jim and the stray horses. They went well.
6th month, 26th, 4th day.
Had Meeting at home. We’re digging the wells. Eddie was plowing.
6th month, 27th, 5th day.
Walter went plowing. Eddy and Dad and Laurie dug well after dinner. Jessie and I went and helped draw up the buckets of clay.
6th month, 28th, 6th day.
There was quite a drop of water in the well this morning. Walter went with his father to get a cow but could not find it. Eddy cut a load of hay. Dad and Laurie were digging the well.
6th month, 29th, 7th day.
It rained most of the day. Walter plowed in the morning. They tried a different plow in the afternoon, with four horses, but it did not answer. Laurie rode Creamie to George Tallis’s and got four pounds of butter.
6th month, 30th, 1st day
Laurie left the bucket up the well and the dogs or something ate two pounds of butter. Went to Meeting and in the afternoon Jessie rode Jim to the big corral, and I walked and led him. I milked the cow. We came back by Ruth Tallis’s. William and Caroline McCheane5 were there.
1. Jessie Green was friend and housekeeper to Nathan Saunders and his son Edmund (Eddy). She also served as nurse to the community, sometimes in the Borden hospital and sometimes in people’s homes. She is referred to in the Borden history book as Nurse Green, in the section on Borden’s hospital services.
2. Laurie is Laurie Crabb. In 1907 he was about twelve years old and was working for Nathan Saunders on his farm. His older brother David had married Lydia McCheane, who was to become Mary Saunders’ sister-in-law.
3. Sections of land one mile to a side were divided into quarter-sections, or quarters. A quarter, 160 acres, was the size of the land grant under the Homestead Act that could be proved up. See Appendix VII. Sections were identified by their numbers; see Great Bend Municipality map from the Borden history book also shown as Appendix VI.
4. Animal names can be a challenge when the names are shared with people! Context will usually identify whether man or woman, ox or horse bears the name.
5. The McCheanes were the family into which Mary was to marry. Hannah Mary was the oldest daughter.
7th month, 1st, 2nd day
How quickly this last month seems to have gone. It gets very hot towards mid-day, too hot to do anything scarcely.
7th month, 2nd, 3rd day
Jim Tallis sprained his back while lifting a bucket of water off the well. Dad and Jessie went over to help him in the house. He seems pretty sick. Walter and I went over to fetch Jessie and Dad; I drove over there. We had Jim and the fresh one. They went splendid. Dad arranged with a man to come for a month for $30.00.
7th month, 3rd, 4th day.
We went to Meeting in the morning. In the evening I rode Jess over to G. Tallis’s for some butter and just as I was coming away I got caught in a heavy rain and got wet through. Jessie felt pretty sick.
7th month, 4th, 5th day.
Dad and Jessie drove to Borden and G. Roy’s. In the evening Jessie and I went to Ruth Tallis’s. Jim’s side is rather better.
7th month, 5th, 6th day.
It was very windy today. In the evening Jessie went to meet Dad and I stayed at home. Laurie and Eddy took the horses and watered them.
7th month, 6th, 7th day.
Jessie and I were very busy all day. The fresh man worked four horses on one plow and Eddy and Laurie had four oxen and two horses on a gang plow. It was very windy.
7th month, 7th, 1st day.
We drove Darby and Jess to Meeting. Archie Ashworth1 went to Matthew’s after dinner. Walter came in while we were having dinner. In the afternoon I drove Darby and Jess to R. Tallis’s and from there to the big corral. Eddy and Walter milked the cow. Ruthie came with me from Ruth Tallis’s, she had tea at our house and after tea we got the turkeys in. Dad went over after Jessie and I went over with Ruthie. I came back by myself. Dad and Jessie went to the big corral.
7th month, 8th, 2nd day.
Eddy and Laurie were plowing on the road. They had four oxen and two horses on a gang plow. Lydia Crabb2 had a little baby girl.
7th month, 9th, 3rd day.
Eddy and Laurie were on the roads again. Walter was here to dinner. Dad arranged with Uncle Esau to use his plow in exchange for our harrows.
7th month, 10th, 4th day.
Went to Meeting. Jack drove Smith’s wife over here - she came to invite us to the Clark’s picnic, but of course we did not go.
7th month, 11th, 5th day.
Dad and Laurie and I drove in to Radisson. We drove Kate and Creamy. Philip3 was in Radisson on a visit. David had gone to Saskatoon. Lydia looked altered, her hair is quite short. It just reaches her shoulder. Dad sold Kate for $167.50. He gave $100.00 for her in the fall.
7th month, 12th, 6th day.
The Scotchman came and helped Dad with the well in exchange for their pony being in our pasture. Eddy and Archie Ashworth were plowing.
7th month, 13th, 7th day.
After supper I went over to Ruth’s and had a game with the children. Dad and Laurie went to Radisson to take Kate and try and sell Darby. He bought David’s cutter and buggy and brought two letters. He did not sell Darby. He gave $37.00 for them and the use of a mortice machine.
7th month, 14th, 1st day.
We went to Meeting in the morning. In the afternoon I drove Creamy over to Ruth Tallis’s in the buggy. Ruthie came back with me. Dad and Ruthie and I drove down to the well. Dad watered the horses. Tom Bradshaw and Ruthie were here to tea. After tea Dad went over after Jessie.
7th month, 15th, 2nd day.
Dad went over to Borden to put in two days on the road.4 Eddy drove Creamy into Borden. In the afternoon Jessie and I drove to Matthew’s and G. Tallis’s for the butter.
7th month 16th, 3rd day.
Archie and Eddy were plowing all day. Dad came back in the evening.
7th month, 17th, 4th day.
Went to Meeting in the morning.
7th month, 18th, 5th day.
Dad went to Borden to put in two days for Eddy’s quarter. A coyote has both our ducks and the eggs they were sitting on. Jessie was down in the little corral all day, washing. In the afternoon I went down with the pony and helped her. Ruby and Winnie came past, picking strawberries.
7th month, 19th, 6th day
They finished all the breaking we intend doing this year, in all about twenty-five acres.
7th month, 20th, 7th day
Dad and Archie Ashworth went to Borden. They each had a team. George Pearce came and put a day in at the well in exchange for his pony being in the corral.
7th month, 21st, 1st day.
We went to Meeting in the morning. Archie Ashworth went to Matthews’. Walter came in the afternoon and stayed tea. I rode Creamie to the big corral and milked the cow. After supper I went over to Ruth Tallis’s for some sweet nitre5 for Jessie who had been in bed all day with a bad cold.
7th month, 22nd, 2nd day
Jessie was up today. My pigeon flew away in the morning, and in the afternoon she came back with another pigeon, but he flew away again in the evening.
7th month, 23rd, 3rd day.
Dad and Jessie went to Borden in the buggy with Creamie. Eddy and Archie Ashworth went mowing on Sherrat’s.6
7th month, 24th, 4th day.
Archie Ashworth and Eddy went to Borden and Dad went with them to tell them where to mow. There were caught in a heavy rain and took refuge in the Doukhobor village. Dad did not come back until the next day.
7th month 25th, 5th day.
Eddy and Archie Ashworth at Borden, mowing. I rode Darby over to G. Tallis’s.
7th month, 26th, 6th day.
Dad drove Creamy and Laurie drove Darby in the horse rake to rake up what Eddy and Archie Ashworth had mowed on Sherrat’s.
7th month 27th, 7th day.
Eddy and Archie Ashworth came back from Borden. Dad drove Darby in the buggy to Borden.
7th month, 28th, 1st day.
We went to Meeting in the morning. Jessie went over to Ruth’s to tea. Ruthie came over here. Archie Ashworth went to Matthew’s to dinner and tea.
7th month, 29th, 2nd day.
Eddy and Archie Ashworth went to Sherrat’s to get the hay home.
7th month, 30th 3rd day.
All went to Sherrat’s, found that Dad and Laurie had racked up someone else’s hay. In the afternoon Archie Ashworth and Laurie went and brought up the rest of the hay. It was only three loads altogether.
7th month, 31st, 4th day
Went to Meeting in the morning. In the afternoon they went to Borden and took Floss. They have gone to try and get some hay. Dad has bought a house.
1. Archie Ashworth seems to have been one of a series of young men hired by Nathan Saunders to work on his farm
2. Lydia Crabb was one of the children of William Cronyn and Caroline McCheane. She had married David Crabb in England not long before the family emigrated and come out with her parents and her husband. .
3. Philip may be Philip Kennedy, although this is uncertain.
4. Each homesteader was required to put in time every year in constructing and maintaining the community’s roads.
5. Sweet nitre was a component of a home remedy.
6. Sherrat was an American cattleman who had run a vast herd over the country that was becoming settled soon after the turn of the century. Traces of his home base were to be seen decades later on Valley Springs Ranch. See also Edward McCheane’s story of his emigration and his early months in Saskatchewan.
8th month, 1st, 5th day.
We watered the cattle in the big corral, had strawberries and cream for dinner. Ruth Tallis and Gracie and Ruthie came to tea. We had strawberries, etc. I watered the cattle in the evening.
8th month, 2nd, 6th day.
Watered cattle twice. Ruthie and Norman came to tea. After tea Ruthie came with me to water the cattle and milk the cow. After we had done I went round to Ruth Tallis’s and left Ruthie there. Jessie was busy ironing.
8th month 3rd, 7th day.
Watered the cattle. Heavy thunderstorm. Picked and made jam of strawberries; cooked turnips and potatoes for when they come back. Dad arrived home about eight o’clock wet through.
8th month, 4th, 1st day.
We went to Meeting. During the day Baxter and Dick Primmer came. They are trying to get a herd law.1
8th month, 5th, 2nd day.
Dad went back. He watered the cattle.
8th month, 6th, 3rd day.
We watered the cattle.
8th month, 7th, 4th day.
Ruthie and Norman came over.
1907 8th month, 8th, 5th day.
The cattle got out and on the grain.
8th Month, 9th, 6th day.
We took the cattle from the big corral to the little one.
8th month, 10th, 7th day.
Archie Ashworth and Dad came home. A coyote came after our turkeys.
8th Month, 11th, 1st day.
We did not go to Meeting as it was too wet. Young Jack came here.
8th month, 12th, 2nd day.
Archie Ashworth and Dad drove back again. The cattle got on the grain.
8th month, 13th, 3rd day.
Jessie washed some blankets. I rode Creamy over to Matthew’s for some butter. Billie got on E. Tallis’s grain. We watered the oxen, etc.
8th month 14th, 4th day.
We did not go to Meeting as we durst not leave the oxen. The lightning tonight is something wonderful. It lights up the clouds and looks awful. But there is no thunder to be heard. Baxter’s wife came and stayed to tea.
8th month, 15th, 5th day.
We did not water the oxen as it was raining hard. We caught a lot of rain water. It came through into the bedrooms. It rained all day . Dad came home in the evening and later on the others came home.
8th month, 16th, 6th day.
Ruth was here. Dad lit a fire to burn a few sticks, and came home to dinner, and the fire started up again and by the time they got there it had got a good headway but after a hard fight they put it out. Eddy and I took Queenie and her colt and Duncan McPherson’s pony to Ferguson’s. We had Creamy in the buggy.
8th month, 17th, 7th day.
Jessie, Ruth and Dad went to Radisson. Ruth and Jessie stayed and picked raspberries. When they got back Jessie made them into jam. Archie Ashworth, Eddy and Laurie were hay making on the big slough. At half past eight in the evening there was a very heavy hail storm bit it did not last long. This is about the biggest. (Drawing of circle about 5 cm. diameter. )
8th month, 18th, 1st day.
Eddie and Laurie went to Meeting in the morning. It is drizzling rain. We intended going in the evening but it came on faster so we had Meeting at home.
8th month, 19th, 2nd day.
Jessie, Dad and I went to Borden. Jessie and Dad drove Victor in the buggy and I rode Creamy. We had to get some sticks when we got there to boil the kettle and we made some tea and had bread and butter in our new house. We then went and picked the enamel pail full of raspberries and came home, and got here about half past seven. Jessie had to bake bread so she made the jam that night.
8th month, 20th, 3rd day.
Jessie did some washing. William and Edward McCheane came. William McCheane came to see if the rain did any damage and Edward came to get the grey horse to ride to Borden. He had Eddy’s bridle and he tied her up and she broke the bridle both sides and lost the bottom half.
8th month, 21st, 4th day.
Dad and Jessie and Laurie rode in the buggy. Eddy rode Darby and I rode Creamy. In the afternoon they all went to Borden. Archie Ashworth left.
8th month, 22nd, 5th day.
We watered cattle and I milked the cow. They came home in the afternoon.
8th month, 23rd, 6th day.
Helped Jessie as usual. I drove Billy and Rodger in the disc while Laurie had his dinner. I also drove four horses on the disc, and Buck and Bright on the disc. In the afternoon Jessie and Dad went to Matthews’ and Uncle Esau.
8th month, 24th, 7th day.
We cleaned the bedrooms.
8th month, 25th, 1st day.
Joshua and Arthur Wake, Edward and John McCheane and Edgar Baker were at Meeting. Jim nearly threw me off. I had just milked the cow and he was afraid of the bucket and the handle came out. The tin fell and off he went like mad. I went back and picked it up and he ran off again when I was only half on. The lid fell off and that made him worse and he went as hard as he could go round the big slough. I had not got my leg over the pommel.2
The next section of Jemima Mary Saunders’ diary is found in a large volume, 14 by 9 inches, hard-bound. It continues the day after the small diary leaves off.
Diary of Jemima Mary Saunders Age 16 years. Started 8th month, 26th, 1907.
Finished with a poem at the end of the book, 1980 as I drew near to my 89th birthday, 18th 1st month 1980.
8th month, 26th, 2nd day
Helped Jessie as usual. Did some disking while Laurie had his dinner.
8th month, 27th, 3rd day
Helped in the house. Did some cultivating with four horses. Went to Jennie Tallis with Joe and Creamy for some butter.
8th month, 28th, 4th day
We went to Meeting in the morning. Started cutting oats in the evening.
8th month, 29th, 5th day
I did some stooking in the afternoon. In the evening Dad and Jessie went stooking.
8th month, 30th, 6th day
Washed and tidied up. We did the vegetables for dinner and then I went stooking after dinner. Jessie and I drove the chestnut to Borden, came back and got supper. In the evening Eddy, Laurie and I went to the big corral. Laurie and I went and milked the cow while Eddy put some hay in the democrat.
8th month, 31st, 7th day
Eddy was cutting splits,3 Laurie was disking. My chicken has got a topknot coming.
1. Herd law, according to Internet sources relating to American jurisdictions, sets out the responsibilities of cattle owners to keep their animals confined within the boundaries of their owned or leased land while crops were in the ground. This clearly made for difficulties when formerly open grazing land was being broken for crops, and no doubt hastened the construction of fences.
2. Pommel. Although a search through the saddle section of the 1903 Sears Catalogue was done, it is not possible to state with certainty whether Mary’s saddle was a woman’s sidesaddle or a western saddle. A sidesaddle was referred to in her boarding school diary but never was it mentioned in her Canada diary. Later she writes of making a divided skirt, which suggests that she was riding astride. Certainly by just a decade or so later women customarily rode astride. Sidesaddles were not used by the women of Valley Springs Ranch.
3. Splits, also spelled splitz and spilz in the diary, is believed to be spelt, a very old form of wheat which went out of use except for hybridizing, but which is coming back into use again.
9th month, 1st, 1st day
We all went to meeting with the chestnut in the democrat.1 A man came and claimed all the stray horses and took them. We walked home in the afternoon. I rode Jim over to McCheanes’ and stayed tea, and drove him home in the democrat. John McCheane and Duncan McPherson were all at our house to tea.
9th month, 2nd, 2nd day
Laurie was disking. Eddy was cutting splits. We went stooking.
9th month, 3rd, 3rd day
Eddy finished splits. I did two rounds of disking and then went stooking.
9th month, 4th, 4th day
Stormy. We had Meeting at home. The boys did not do much.
9th month, 5th, 5th day
Helped Jessie in the morning. Did harrowing in the afternoon.
9th month, 6th, 6th day
Laurie was harrowing. Eddy was cutting wheat. Arthur2 and Joshua Wake were here. Arthur stayed here. I did stooking.
9th month, 7th, 7th day
Eddy was cutting wheat. Arthur was stooking. I watered cattle and milked the cow. We put three barrows of turnips down the cellar. I took the greens to the oxen in the little corral, with Creamy in the democrat.
9th month, 8th, 1st day
We drove Jim in the democrat. I rode Creamy. Walter was here to dinner. Arthur will I guess stay and help us stook. Walter was here to tea. Jessie went over to Ruth Tallis’s.
9th month, 9th, 2nd day
Kept the reaper3 going all day with oxen and horses4 in turn. When Eddy was driving Laurie sat in front and kept the horses or oxen going and when Arthur drove I sat in front and kept the horses or oxen going.
9th month, 10th, 3rd day
Wet all day. We did not do any reaping. Jessie and I did some mending. Bright is not very well.
9th month, 11th, 4th day
Jessie went over to her sister’s for some turpentine for Bright. Cold today. Reaper going. Had Meeting at home. Did not use the oxen.
9th month, 12th, 5th day
Dad went over to Eddy’s to stook. He hired Boyle to cut it, 75 per acre. I looked after the oxen and fetched a barrel of water from the little corral with Billy. Milked cow and watered cattle.
9th month, 13th, 6th day
Bright a lot better. Helped Jessie. Watered the cattle and milked cow. Dad came home.
9th month, 14th, 7th day
Reaper going. We put the oxen on for one or two rounds.
9th month, 15th, 1st day
We went to meeting with Jim in the democrat. Eddy, Arthur and I, Jessie and Dad. Laurie rode Creamy. Edgar Baker went home for the day. In the afternoon John McCheane and Duncan McPherson came in their democrat and I went with them to Boyles’. When we got back Jack, Walter and Sam Colling were here. J. and W. stayed supper. Jessie went over to her sister’s.
9th month, 16th, 2nd day
Finished cutting the 85 acre patch and started on the new land. In the beginning of harvest we fixed a seat on the pole just behind the two front wheels, and that is where the persuader sits. I do it sometimes while Laurie and Eddy are having their meals.
9th month, 17th, 3rd day
Binder did not go very well. The elevator won’t go properly, can’t make out why.
9th month, 18th, 4th day
Had Meeting at home. Eddy made the binder go all right. We finished cutting and stooking the wheat today. I went with Dad in the buggy to the big corral and brought the oxen to the new ploughing and Dad stayed to fix them and Jessie drove home. I met Edward McCheane as I was going across the stubble. He was looking for Joshua Wake so as he could ride his bike to Borden.
9th month, 19th, 5th day
Dad and Edgar Baker went to Borden. Arthur intends to stay on for a while. We got up a row of potatoes grown between the wheat - none too good a crop.
9th month, 20th, 6th day
I drove Edgar Baker to his shack to get a shovel. It was early and very cold. Edgar Baker dug a hole in the cellar for the potatoes.
9th month, 22nd, 7th day
Ploughed out two rows but the crop was much better than we expected. We all worked until dark but only finished half the rows, that is on Boyd’s half mile ploughing. Finished the two rows of potatoes.
9th month, 23rd, 1st day
We went to Meeting. Eddy and Laurie walked there, Arthur went back with Joshua. Walter came and brought mail from home. He stayed supper. Jessie Green went over to her sister’s.
9th month, 24th, 2nd day
We ploughed out another row of potatoes on Boyd’s land and in the afternoon all went down and picked them up.
9th month, 25th, 3rd day
Had breakfast, did the chores, and went to Radisson. Eddy, Arthur, Laurie and I rode in the wagon, and Dad and Jessie in the buggy. We had dinner at Lydia Crabb’s and then went to the agriculture show. Dad bought the first and second prize potatoes for seed.
9th month, 26th, 4th day
Putting up stooks that blew down. I helped Jessie. We had Meeting at home.
9th month, 27th, 5th day
Jessie went over to Ruth Tallis’s with Dad and I went about eleven o’clock to help Eddy and Laurie pick potatoes. After dinner we cleaned up and went with Creamy in the buggy to Clarks’ and from Clarks’ to McCheanes’. It is Hannah Mary McCheane’s3 birthday. Lyla McDermott, Ethel Geryhard, Emily Piprell and G. Walker’s sister were there. We had a very nice time.
9th month, 28th, 6th day
Hauling oats. Eddy went to Borden and got enough wood for a granary. They started to make it. Laurie and I hauled a load of oats.
9th month, 29th, 7th day
Busy making granary.
9th month, 30th, 1st day
Went to Meeting. I rode Creamy. Walter, Jack, George Pierce and Big Jack just called here, they were going for a ride to the river. Walter stayed supper.
1. Democrat - a four-wheeled conveyance pulled by one or two horses.
2. Arthur is Arthur Wake, younger brother of Joshua. See Appendix III.
3. A reaper is an implement, drawn usually by horses which cuts ripe grain lays it on a platform; a harvester walking beside the implement binds the grain into sheaves using a twist of stalks to bind them. A binder was an advancement; it automatically bound the sheaves with twine.
4. Animals had to be allowed an hour to eat first thing in the morning, also at noon. They were rarely worked after their evening feed.
10th month, 1st, 2nd day
Dad, Eddy and Arthur went over to Eddy’s to make a granary. They got it ready to set up. Jessie, Laurie and I got up turnips. They slept at the Borden quarter. Jessie and I went over to Piprells’ to tea. Charley Piprell came with us to the road allowance then followed that to McCheanes’ then Jim came home from there.
10th month, 2nd, 4th day (Mistake, days got wrong.)
Finished making the granary, except roof, and they came home tonight.
10th month, 3rd, 5th day
They were fixing the old granaries. The threshing outfit came and threshed our spillz and started on the wheat, but it was too green.
10th month, 4th, 6th day
Eddy, Laurie and I drove over to Eddy’s quarter and finished the granary and put up the fallen stooks.
10th month, 5th, 7th day
Eddy and Arthur went to Borden. Eddy had a load of wheat and Arthur had Joe and Jess on the timber cart with the bottom of the hay rack and a few boards nailed on it. As he was going down the horses turned round short and the wagon turned over and threw Arthur off and cut his head open. They took him to the doctor and he sewed it up, three stitches in one place and one in the other. The horses broke the wagon and threw themselves down in Borden.
10th month, 6th, 1st day
Went to Meeting in the morning. In the afternoon Dad, Jessie and Joshua went to Borden to bring Arthur home. Ruthie stayed tea. Her father and mother came over in the evening. Walt and Jack came.
Friendship needs no studied phrases
Polished face or winning wiles
Friendship deals no lavish praises
Friendship dons no surface smiles.
Friendship favours no condition
Scorns a narrow-minded creed,
Lovingly fulfills its mission
Be it word or be it deed.
Friendship cheers the faint and weary,
Makes the timid spirit brave.
Warns the erring, lights the dreary,
Smoothes the passage to the grave.
Friendship, pure unselfish friendship
All through life’s allotted span,
Nurtures, strengthens, widens, lengthens
Man’s affinity with man.
10th month, 6th, 2nd day
I helped in the house, Arthur stayed in.
10th month, 7th, 3rd day
Eddy took a load of wheat.
10th month, 8th, 4th day
Had meeting at home.
10th month, 9th, 5th day
Eddy hauling wheat. Boyle is hauling wheat into Borden with a wagon that holds about 140 bushels. Getting up potatoes.
10th month, 10th, 6th day.
We were getting up potatoes, Eddy hauling wheat.
10th month, 11th and 12th , 7th day (sic)
Eddy getting wheat into Borden, us getting up potatoes.
10th month, 13th, 1st day
Went to Meeting to McCheanes’ in the morning. Jessie Green went to Ruth Tallis’s to tea.
10th month, 14th, 2nd day
Eddy hauling wheat and Boyle hauling.
10th month, 15th, 3rd day (sic)
Very busy wheat hauling and getting potatoes.
10th month, 16th, 4th day
Had Meeting at home. Dad, Jessie and Eddy stayed the night at Borden.
10th month, 17th, 5th day
Eddy and Dad and Jessie in Borden hauling wheat from Eddy’s quarter. Very poor crop, poor grade. Laurie and I ploughing with oxen.
10th month, 18th, 6th day
Eddy came home, did ploughing.
10th month, 19th, 7th day
Ploughing with horses and oxen. Dad and Jessie came home.
10th month, 20th, 1st day
Went to Meeting in the morning. In the afternoon Archie Ashworth brought the gun1 back. Jack and Walter came. John and Hannah Mary came through our yard on their way to Edward Tallises so Jessie and I jumped up and went with them. Jessie stayed but we came back. Hannah Mary and John stayed here to supper.
10th month, 21st, 2nd day
Dad shot three prairie chickens in the morning. The boys ploughing.
10th month, 22nd, 3rd day
Shot three more prairie chickens. We had the others today for dinner and supper. They were very good.
10th month, 23rd, 4th day
I went with Creamy to Uncle Esau’s to borrow a scraper to use to get a hole for a hen house over at Borden. When I got back I washed up, etc. Jessie fainted. I was the only one here. She soon came round. We had Meeting at home. In the afternoon Dad, Jessie, Eddy and Laurie went to Borden. They took all the horses. I went and got Ruthie to stay here the night.
10th month, 24th, 5th day
Laurie and Eddy came back. Arthur still ploughing.
10th month, 25th, 6th day
Boys ploughing. I did housework and watered the horses in the big corral and loaded a wagon with straw.
10th month, 26th, 7th day
Did housework. Boys were ploughing. Dad and Jessie came home in the evening.
10th month, 17th, 1st day
No one came to have a look at us. We went to Meeting.
10th month, 28th, 2nd day
Boys ploughing. Jessie did washing.
10th month, 29th, 3rd day
Dad and I went to Borden with Creamy, in the buggy.
10th month, 30th, 4th day
Laurie walked to Meeting to get some note paper for his mother. We had Meeting at home. Dad and Jessie went to Borden.
10th month, 31st, 5th day
Jessie took night duty at the hospital at Borden. I did here.
1. To the English, “gun” always means shotgun.
11th month, 1st, 6th day
Boys still ploughing. Dad and Jessie came home in the evening. Laurie went to Radisson.
11th month, 2nd, 7th day
Dad and Jessie went back to Borden and Eddy, Arthur and I went shooting. We started about eleven o’clock and got back about half past four and did not get anything.
11th month, 3rd, 1st day
Dad came home this morning, We went to Meeting. Hannah Mary McCheane and Dad spoke in Meeting. Walter came to supper. We stayed dinner at the McCheanes’. Dick Primmer came in in the evening. I have got a sore throat and have had this last week. Dad went back.1
11th month, 4th, 2nd day
Arthur went to Borden with four oxen in the disc. Eddy and I hauled the oats from the half finished log stable to the lumber stable. Eddy soldered a tank.
11th month, 5th, 3rd day
Eddy and I hauled wheat that was raked up off the stubble. We put it in the lumber stable.
11th month, 6th, 4th day
Half Yearly Meeting. Dad, Jessie and Arthur came home, we all went to Meeting. Jessie and I did not stay second meeting. We drove home with Vic in McCheanes’ democrat. We had a shower of rain so we did not go to Borden that night. John McCheane came with Dad and took the horse back.
11th month, 7th, 5th day
We took our departure from Borden. Dad had a load of hens. Jessie and I have Creamy in the democrat with several things. When we got to the creek we discovered that one chicken was dead so I rode on the side of the wagon and held up the bags that covered the wagon over, so as to give them more air. A hundred hens went into the hen house. We brought the cat and two colts.
11th month, 8th, 6th day
We were busy tidying up and putting things straight. I drove Creamy over to 16 and got my box etc., etc. Hannah Mary McCheane called while I was away. They have bought a new stove, something like our new one.
11th month, 9th, 7th day
We killed the old gobbler, and one young gobbler and sold three cocks and two hens for $1.50 each.
11th month, 10th, 1st day
Jessie Green went to the hospital.2 We went to Meeting, Eddie and Arthur in the wagon, Dad and I in the democrat with Creamy. We left the horses at Sixteen and all went on with Creamy. We were late for Meeting. Arthur left us (for good.) We had dinner at McCheanes’. Dad walked home. Edgar Tallis was at Meeting. William McCheane walked as far as Sixteen with them. John McCheane rode to Sixteen with us and walked back with his father.3
11th month, 11th, 2nd day
I went to 16 and came back with a load of stuff on the democrat with Creamy. Dad and Eddy had the wagon.
11th month, 12th, 3rd day
The dog bit the cat because she was stealing the turkey and now she can hardly open her mouth.
11th month, 13th, 4th day
Ayres came and borrowed Darby and Jim. Floss had eight pups. Edgar Tallis has rented fifty acres of this quarter at $10. per year. We have arranged for us to have Meeting on 5th days and 1st day afternoons and the McCheanes have it 1st day mornings and 4th days.
11th month, 14th, 5th day
Had Meeting this morning. Jessie has lost a parcel worth $5.40 from Simpson’s. Someone is suspected of taking it out of Smith’s Store.4 Jessie was at the hospital this afternoon.
11th month, 15th, 6th day
Jessie went to the hospital today. Edgar, Edward and Alfred Tallis have been staying here to dinner the last three or four days. Found Jessie’s parcel.
11th month, 16th, 7th day
Jessie was at the hospital all night last night. I did the housework. Jessie went to bed after dinner.
11th month, 17th, 1st day
Had Meeting in the morning at home. After dinner Jessie went to the hospital. I went a walk with Dad. We had a look at the new sod stable they are making, and then went and walked over to the big lake and back along the trail. Jessie came back.
11th month, 18th, 2nd day
Joshua came to borrow our wagon, He helped Dad and Eddy with the dugout in the afternoon. Jessie at the hospital.
11th month, 19th, 3rd day
Joshua got loads of firewood. He left them here intending to call for them in the winter. Eddy and Dad doing the dig out. Jessie at the hospital.
11th month, 20th, 4th day
Joshua went home. Jessie did not go to the hospital.
11th month, 21st, 5th day
We had meeting in the morning because Jessie was going to the hospital in the afternoon.
11th month, 22nd, 6th day
Eddy cribbed up the well and it is a great deal better now. Tom Bradshaw stayed dinner.
11th month, 23rd, 7th day
Eddy made another crib for the well on Twenty-One. Jessie went to the hospital. I went skating on the big lake. In the evening John and Hannah Mary McCheane called in on their way home from Radisson. They wanted me to go back to Halcyonia with them, but I did not go.
11th month, 24th, 1st day
We had Meeting in the afternoon.
11th month, 25th, 2nd day
We cleaned down the bedrooms upstairs.
11th month, 26th, 3rd day
We were washing today.
11th month, 27th, 4th day
Dad and Eddy hauling firewood.
11th month, 28th, 5th day
Had Meeting at home. They fenced the haystack in the afternoon.
11th month, 29th, 6th day
Hauling firewood today.
11th month, 30th, 7th day
They were hauling firewood.
1. It is difficult to follow the movements of this family and their employees. It may help to realize that the blocks of land they owned were scattered. See Appendix VI, the map derived from the Borden history book, Our Treasured Heritage.
2. As a nurse Jessie Green was often called from her duties in the Saunders household to care for patients in the hospital in Borden.
3. In this passage it is clear that the William McCheane referred to is the father of the McCheane family. Elsewhere it is less clear, as often no distinction is made between William senior and William junior.
4. The store was Smith and McQuarrie’s by the time the Hinde family arrived in 1912; now it is Foster’s Store, and is a pioneer landmark in Saskatchewan.
12th month, 1st, 1st day
Had Meeting at home.
12th month, 2nd, 2nd day
G. Roy and Tom Bradshaw were here to dinner.
12th month, 3rd, 3rd day
Dad and I went to Price’s sale. Jessie went to the hospital. Dad bought a boar pig, $15.00 and sold the black cow for $35.00.
12th month, 4th, 4th day
Dad, Eddy and I went after the cattle. They were at the creek. Dad went on to Sixteen while we drove the cattle home.
12th month, 5th, 5th day
Jessie at the hospital. Getting up the rigging for killing cattle.
12th month, 6th, 6th day
They killed Saskatoon. She dressed 580 pounds; the butcher helped them.
12th month, 7th, 7th day
They killed a steer for the schoolmaster. Jessie went to Cassie Tallis’s.
12th month, 8th, 1st day
We had Meeting at home.
12th month, 9th, 2nd day
Killed the Doukhobor heifer.
12th month, 10th, 3rd day
Killed the red-faced cow today; she dressed 525 pounds.
12th month, 11th, 4th day
Killed Ugly’s calf today. I have the housework, etc., to do.
12th month, 12th, 5th day
Killed Ayrshire’s calf today. We are now milking Ugly and Ayrshire.
12th month, 13th, 6th day
Eddy and Dad hunting for horses, me in the house.
12th month, 14th, 7th day
I washed the back kitchen floor and the shelves. Eddy and Dad went to Sixteen.
12th month, 15th, 1st day
We had Meeting at home. We are reading Alexandra Jeffrey.
12th month, 16th, 2nd day
Getting meals as usual. Horses wandered off.
12th month, 17th, 3rd day
I gave the cows etc. , a drink. Dad and Eddy at the digout. I also watered the horses. Dad went to Clarks’ with Creamy in the buggy. I caught the black colt and led him about with a halter.
12th month, 18th, 4th day
They put Moor’s pony in the buggy and drove up to Eddy’s quarter to get the horses. She kicked coming back.
12th month, 19th, 5th day
The horses got out of the pasture.
12th month, 20th, 6th day
Dad bought two more ricks of straw and went to get a load but the harness broke so he had to leave it. Jessie came home in the evening.
12th month, 21st, 7th day
In the afternoon I went with Dad after a load of stumps for the heater.
12th month, 22nd, 1st day
We went to McCheanes’ to Meeting; rode on the bob sleigh and brought the wagon box home.
12th month, 23rd, 2nd day
Dad and Jessie took G. Roy’s meat and brought home some wood in the wagon box. Eddy cleaned out the fowl house. I got dinner.
12th month, 24th, 3rd day
Dad and Eddy went to the Doukhobor village for cattle but only saw half of them so left them.
12th month, 25th, 4th day
Dad and Eddy went after Queeny and her colt. Dad went on to Clarks’. John and I went to Cassie Tallis’s.
12th month, 26th, 5th day
Snowing and blowing. Dad and Eddy cleaned out the stable.
12th month, 27th, 6th day
Went to Sixteen with Joe and Jess and brought home the wagon. We stayed in. Dad bought me a pair of boots. I think I have lost four dollars. Jess was griped. I washed my hair.
12th month, 28th, 7th day
Eddy and Dad hauling straw.
12th month, 29th, 1st day
Had stuffed heart for dinner. Queeny is griped. Chestnut is lame. Had Meeting at home.
12th month, 30th, 2nd day
Jess is all right, Queeny is still bad. We were washing. I have been getting ready to spend a day or two at the Piprells’ tomorrow.
12th month, 31st, 3rd day
It is the last day of the old year. How quickly this year has flown. After dinner while I was ironing, Charley Piprell came for me. He had to go down to Borden, so it allowed me time to get ready. We left home about four o’clock - the sun was just setting. Artie, the pony, went very well. It was twenty below zero but I did not feel cold except my feet, and when they were cold we walked. Once we got off the trail and almost got stuck in a snowdrift. We called at Walkers’ and had a cup of tea. Emily Piprell had the supper ready. It did look a comfortable little house. I wore Dad’s fur coat.
CHAPTER THREE JANUARY to DECEMBER 1908
1st month, 1st, 4th day
We got up about half past seven o’clock. I missed the heater as Piprells let the fire out at night. George and Annie Walker came up to dinner. I washed the breakfast things up. Emily Piprell made some mince pies. After dinner had a game of Helma and Draughts. Hannah Mary and John McCheane came to tea. We played several games then had tea, then played Jenkins Up, The Family Coach, Spin the Trencher, Thought Reading, etc., etc. It was very late when we went to bed, after midnight I believe. So the first day of 1908 was spent - I am afraid it could have been spent more profitably. G. and S. Walker stayed all night.
1st month, 2nd, 5th day
We had a game of Helma , Arthur Wake and I, before dinner. I was reading a book on V(?). George Walker and Emily Piprell were playing chess. P. could not play very well so I helped. I had a game of Draughts with Charley Piprell. I won. Walkers went home in the evening.
1st month, 3rd, 6th day
After we had cleared up we went to the Walkers to dinner and tea. We read papers, etc., until dinner. Then B. P. and I played Draughts and E. and G. played chess, then Arthur Wake and I played Helma. Then we all played Helma. After tea we played at finding out a person you were thinking about. One goes out, the other thinks of someone, and then the other comes in and asks questions in turn round. Thought reading - that is finding a pin while blindfolded and putting it in a place chosen by a player; someone knowing where it is has to lead them. We also played Black Art,1 and something similar to it, Taking Photos, etc., etc., etc.
1st month, 4th, 7th day
After dinner Charley drove me to McCheanes and my visit to the Piprells was over. I had looked forward to it and I think I was not disappointed for I enjoyed myself very much. Hannah Mary and Caroline McCheane seemed pleased to see me. I slept with Hannah Mary who was so good and kind to me.
1st month, 5th, 1st day
Joshua, Arthur and Hugh Wake came to Meeting, and Oscar. Read Events and Reflections. Hannah Mary and John McCheane and myself all went to the Wakes to tea. Joshua came down to Meeting with us. It was my first meal in a bachelor’s shack. And I enjoyed it very much.
1st month, 6th, 2nd day
Arthur and Joshua came to dinner and tea. We played Patience, Muggins, Arthur’s Cities etc. We had a very nice time.
1st month, 7th, 3rd day
Early in the afternoon Hannah Mary and I went to Saloways2 to tea. Jeannie Orchard and her baby were there. We went in and saw the old woman. She is so nice. She could tell them the names of lots of streets in Birmingham. Jeannie Orchard had to go out soon after tea. Hannah Mary McCheane and I had a game of Helma while John McCheane and Oscar played chess. I had a game of Draughts. Then we played a game that I do not know the name of, and Hide the Thimble, and Matching Hairs. He can do little who can do this, etc., etc.
1st month, 8th, 4th day
Reading Meeting was held at the Wakes tonight. Caroline, Hannah Mary, John McCheane and I all went there to tea and stayed Reading Meeting. We read out of Lewell’s History. Hannah Mary recited No Cross No Crown, and The Leak in the Dike. I recited Youthful Heart. It was pretty late when we went to bed. Hannah Mary and I had some (which I hope was profitable) conversation when in bed, several times not settling for sleep until early morning.
1st month, 9th, 5th day
It was mail day at McCheanes’ and quite a few neighbors came for their mail. I wrote a letter to Eliza for her birthday. Hannah Mary made a layer cake with icing between, for tomorrow.
1st month, 10th, 6th day
George and Annie Walker and Emily and Charley Piprell came down to the McCheanes’ to tea. Until tea was ready we were looking at picture postcards , and through the stereoscope etc., and asking riddles. After tea we played Arthur’s Cities, Muggins, finding out who anyone was with your eyes blindfolded and feeling them with a spoon how, where and when you like it, etc., etc. And last of all we had such a nice game of Jenkins Up. William McCheane, Emily Piprell, George Walker and Hannah Mary were on one side and John McCheane, M. L., Charley Piprell and I were on the other side, and that is the order we sat .
1st month, 11th, 7th day
McCheanes were busy cleaning. I read out of Pictorial Cabinet of Marvels and knitted quite a bit of Dad’s mitt. John McCheane wanted me to have a game of Chess but I said I did not care for it so then he suggested Draughts but I felt that I had wasted such a lot of time lately playing useless games, that I refused and went on knitting.
1st month, 12th, 1st day
Joshua and Arthur Wake came to Meeting. Hannah Mary and I read Events and Reflections for quite a good while. I wrote to Lucy.
1st month, 13th, 2nd day
McCheanes were washing. I helped a bit and did knitting. I finished one mitt and most of the other. It was voting day at the school. Dad was there.
1st month, 14th, 3rd day
Had lunch, said farewell and came home. John and Hannah Mary drove me. I was surprised when getting here to find Jessie Green in bed and Dad and Eddy batching it. I set to work and got things a bit straight. John and Hannah Mary stayed all night.
1st month, 15th, 4th day
Jessie fainted last night. I was glad Hannah Mary was here. They hurried back to be in time for Meeting. I had a lot to do and was not done till late.
1st month, 16th, 5th day
Jessie was rather better. She helped me as much as she was able.
1st month, 17th, 6th day
Dad and Eddy getting wood. William and John McCheane came to dinner. Hannah Mary sent me Lewen’s Meditations for my birthday. She painted some flowers on the front and put on, To Mary Saunders with best wishes for her eternal welfare.
1st month, 18th, 7th day
MY BIRTHDAY: Seventeen.
I received a letter from North Leaze and one from home;3 Uncle is sending from himself, Grannie and Auntie Polly,4 ten shillings sixpence, or equal to $2.56.5 In the afternoon Jessie and I drove to Borden with Creamy in the buggy. I wrote to Eliza.
1st month, 19th, 1st day
We had Meeting at home. It is Eliza’s birthday. I wrote home.
1st month, 20th, 2nd day
We are busy in the house as usual. Eddy, Dad and Edgar Tallis are putting the roof on the cattle shed. I drove Rodger in the box to Borden. Charley Piprell was just coming out of Borden as I got there. I fetched a bag of sugar and a tin of tea. When I got home I drove on over to the new cow shed and hauled two lots of willows with him.
1st month, 21st, 3rd day
I went to Borden and asked Ayres if we could have Jim for tomorrow.
1st month, 22nd, 4th day
Jessie and I went with Jim in the cutter to Edgar Tallis’s. It is Ruth Tallis’s birthday. We had dinner there and left about five o’clock. It was dark before we got home. Once we saw a lynx and drove quite close to it.
1st month, 23rd, 5th day
We had Meeting
1st month, 24th, 6th day
Did housework as usual. Jessie went to Edgar Tallis’s to supper. I went with Dad and got a load of straw.
1st month, 25th, 7th day
Housework as usual . In the afternoon I walked to Borden.6
1st month, 26th, 1st day
We had Meeting in the afternoon as usual.
1st month, 27th, 2nd day
Dad and Eddy hauling firewood for Edgar Tallis, us working as usual.
1st month, 28th, 3rd day
Melting snow preparatory to washing tomorrow.
1st month, 29th, 4th day
Started washing about ten o’clock. In the afternoon Annie and Eric came and stayed quite a bit. Then a woman came toward evening and engaged Jessie to nurse her in about two weeks’ time. She lives four miles from Borden. John and Hannah Mary McCheane and Joshua and Joe Wake7 came after supper. We had Reading Meeting. We read some of Oliver Sanson, and Hannah Mary recited, “Drive on, my son, drive on.” Silent worship. It was after twelve o’clock when we went to bed. In the morning Hannah Mary went to Saskatoon and Joshua and Joe Wake and John McCheane went to the station. After dinner they went home.
1st month, 30th, 5th day
Did work as usual. I went to Borden and changed the Post Office order.
1st month, 31st, 6th day
Did up the morning quicker than usual. I darned two pair of stockings and knitted the cuff to a mitt for myself before dinner. I have made one mitt for Eddy. Jessie went to Borden, I did knitting and a few minutes at drawing and got supper and fed fowls.
1. The nature of some of the games is known because they are still played. Others are lost. Black Art is a game described by Joseph Edward (Bob) Hinde in his book As I Remember It. His father Joseph Hinde taught it to Bob’s children in Borden in the 1940s.
2. Saloways - Benjamin Saloway, his mother and two sisters and his daughter Peggy. They had come to Canada with the Barr Colonists in 1902 and had separated from them at Saskatoon, to homestead in the Halcyonia district. See also Bob Hinde’s story about this family in his book As I Remember It.
3. Auntie Polly is Mary’s mother’s sister Mary.
4. Leaze is in Somerset; home is Birmingham.
5. Ten shillings and sixpence would be a gold coin half sovereign, otherwise known has half a guinea. There were twenty shillings in a pound of twenty-one shillings in a guinea.
6. Mary was indeed an intrepid girl! The walk would have been about two miles, and considering it would be dark by four in the afternoon in the dead of winter, mostly in the dark.
7. Joe Wake is step-brother to Hugh Wake, adopted son of Henry Thomas Wake and son of his second wife Hannah Sadler Wake.
2nd month, 2nd, 1st day
We had Meeting in the afternoon. Jessie Green was sick, she had a bad sore throat. In the evening we read an epistle sent by Edward Y. Sturge to Dad, and also some out of Alexandra Jeffray’s diary. Jessie Green went to bed in the afternoon just before supper.
2nd month, 3rd, 2nd day
I got up and got breakfast, cleared it away and got the vegetables done for dinner. We had half done our dinner when John and Hannah Mary McCheane and Joshua Wake came in. After dinner they went home and Eddy went with them. Hannah Mary was just come from Radisson, she went there from Saskatoon.
2nd month, 4th, 3rd day
Yesterday Dad got about three bushels of potatoes and the same of swedes from Seniors’. It is a treat to have some good unfrozen vegetables. It was very blizzardy today. Dad was out in the bluff chopping firewood.
2nd month, 5th, 4th day
Jessie Green went over to Edgar Tallis’s to nurse Roy as he is going under an operation. A man from four miles the other side of Borden came to fetch her. She is intending going to nurse his wife on or about the 23rd of this month.
2nd month, 6th, 5th day
Dad fixed up some hens’ nests. We had Meeting.
2nd month, 7th, 6th day
Very blizzardy and very cold. I went and helped Dad saw a green log. Jessie washed the shelves in the kitchen and all or most of the things on them. Dad stayed in and wrote to Uncle.
2nd month, 8th, 7th day
Such a lovely sunny day, quite a treat after the storm of yesterday. Dad went down to Borden in the morning. Jessie Green went to the Alcocks and stayed dinner and tea. At about two o’clock, just as I had cleared away the dinner things Eddy, Joe Wake and John McCheane came so I had to get them some dinner. John McCheane went back in the afternoon. I boiled a piece of meat for supper. Joe Wake stayed overnight. I made some cakes for tea. I made up the other bed for Joe Wake. Just as I was getting in bed Jessie Green came.
2nd month, 9th, 1st day
Joe Wake stayed in the house most of the day. Dad and Eddy did up the chores. We had Meeting in the afternoon and read in the evening.
2nd month, 10th, 2nd day
Joe Wake went to Saskatoon on the train. We melted snow. Artie Roy brought back the oxen.
2nd month, 11th, 3rd day
Did a not over-big wash. I did the housework.
2nd month, 12th, 4th day
Artie Roy, Eddy and Dad digging the well in the slough; they cribbed it.
2nd month, 13th, 5th day
Had Meeting. Artie Roy present. Eddy and Dad hauling wood.
2nd month, 14th, 6th day
Artie Roy, Eddy and Dad hauling heater wood (two loads.)
2nd month, 15th, 7th day
In the afternoon, Dad, Eddy, Artie Roy and I drove G. Roy’s calf into the stable. Dad went after her and she went down in the fowl house. The put a rope around her horns and round her neck and tied her onto the back of the bob sleigh and Artie Roy took her and the oxen home to their place.
2nd month, 16th, 1st day
Had Meeting in the afternoon. Jessie Green and I did not change our dresses.
2nd month, 17th, 2nd day
Dad and Eddy went to Sixteen with Ida in the cutter1 to see the schoolmaster and get some splits. The snow was very deep on the other side of the creek. Ida kicked several times.
2nd month, 18th, 3rd day
Eddy and Dad cutting green poles. Joshua Wake came, he had his dinner in Borden. Jessie Green went to Borden. Joshua stayed all night and left about ten o’clock next morning.
2nd month, 19th, 4th day
Cold today, Dad and Eddy cleaned out the cow stall and made Billy Tallis pull some logs around to the end of the stable, preparatory to building a pigpen.
2nd month, 20th, 5th day
Had Meeting in the morning. Artie Roy brought the oxen back. Dad and Eddy hauled the poles they threw out on 3rd day. Pretty mild, thawed a very little, all mud around the door.
2nd month, 21st, 6th day
THAWING. Dad and Eddy worked on the pig pen. Decided thawing in the middle of the day, snow going fast.
2nd month, 22nd, 7th day
THAWING. Dad and Eddy making pig pen, still thawing, water running down the trails. Jessie Green expected to be called away to nurse a woman four miles out of Borden - Allcock.
2nd month, 23rd, 1st day
THAWING. Still thawing fast. I hope spring is coming. The potatoes in the cellar are shrinking fast. They have thawed out and it is a dirty mess. I wash and boil a crock full every day. Black Beauty and Kitty came here so I gave them a feed of corn.2
2nd month, 24th, 2nd day
THAWING. Dad and Eddy building pig sty. Jessie Green has not gone yet. She gets tidied and is in readiness to go. It is thawing fast.
2nd month, 25th, 3rd day
THAWING. Dad and Eddy doing pig sty. Jessie Green is still here.
2nd month, 26th, 4th day
FREEZING. Dad and Eddy hauled two loads of manure from Borden, put some on roof of pig sty. It is more like winter today.
2nd month, 27th , 5th day
BLIZZARD. A very bad blizzard blowing. Jessie Green is hoping she won’t be called away.
2nd month, 28th, 6th day
Allcock came to fetch Jessie Green. I went to Borden in the afternoon and got some desiccated coconut. When I got back Jessie Green made it into a cake which was very nice. Allcock stayed supper. We had fish. Dad bought four at seven cents a pound, coming to fifty cents. We have one left. Nice day but cold.
2nd month, 29th, 7th day
I washed up several things that had been lying around dirty several weeks. I roasted a piece of meat in the frying pan because the meat tin3 had a hole in it, and made some standard cake which we ate for second course.
1. Cutter - a sleigh for winter transport, closed and pulled by two horses.
2. Corn - what the English call the grain of the country, for example oats in Scotland, wheat in Saskatchewan.
3. Meat tin - roasting pan.
3rd month, 1st, 1st day
I fried up some meat and made a cottage pudding. For tea we had eggs and coconut cake, and the remaining pudding. In the evening we read Oliver Sansom.
3rd month, 2nd, 2nd day
I stewed up the bone, etc., left from the meat. It was snowing when we got up and snowing when we went to bed, and a lot of snow fell. Eddy mended my saddle. Eddy got a new meat tin - twenty-five cents.
3rd month, 3rd, 3rd day
I roasted a big piece of meat and we did without any cold second course.
3rd month, 4th, 4th day
It was thirty below zero in the night. For dinner we had cold meat and dumplings. Very nice sunset. Very cold in the night.
3rd month, 5th, 5th day
Milder, thawing a little in the middle of the day. Ayres came for Darby and Jim. Exchanged roosters - Carter exchanged four Plymouth rocks - he gave us two old ones and two little young ones. A white one of ours and the old Plymouth rock fought and nearly killed each other so Dad killed the Plymouth rock. Had eggs for tea.
3rd month, 6th, 6th day
Dad and Eddy went to Radisson with Ida and Jim in a democrat sleigh of Cockburn’s. They went along well, Ida keeping all ahead of Jim, until they were about half way, then both of Jim’s traces came off and the pole came out of the neck yoke, which started Ida kicking the bent and broke one of the irons on the pole. They managed to fix it and went on all right until half a mile from Radisson when the front runner came off one corner and toppled Dad and Eddy out in the snow. It cost five dollars to be mended. Dad got a loan of $250.00 from the bank. I fed the cattle, pigs, fowls, etc. Dad bought 28 pounds of butter and 35 pounds of fish.
3rd month, 7th, 7th day
Dad and Eddy drove Dick to Borden in the cutter. Dad bought two bulls off the Doukhobors. I boiled the chicken for dinner.
3rd month, 8th, 1st day
DAD’S BIRTHDAY. We got up late so we had Meeting about three o’clock and tea half past four. Read in the evening, Oliver Sansom.
3rd month, 9th, 2nd day
Our horses came round so I had to leave my work and put them in. We got them all in and tried to get Seniors’ to follow Dick up to their place. Ida did not like being left in the pasture without Dick and when he was a little way off the fence she ran into the wire and cut herself very badly.
3rd month, 10th, 3rd day
Dad and Eddy hauled straw. Thawing today.
3rd month, 11th, 4th day
Dad and Eddy hauled three loads of manure from Borden, and broke the rack. Thawing.
3rd month, 12th, 5th day
We had Meeting, It is much colder today. A Russian came in and waited for Dad. Moor called to see Dad.
3rd month, 13th, 6th day
Very blizzardy all day. Dad went and saw Moor and Senior.
3rd month, 14th, 7th day
I boiled a piece of meat and we had some little pastry fry cakes for second course. Edgar Tallis came to dinner. Eddy and Dad went to the Turtle Lake School District to vote. They voted for Evans and he got in by ONE. I put the pig in soon after they had gone but he got out again and went to Borden. I went after him but did not manage to get him before Dad came.
3rd month, 15th, 1st day
We did not get up until nearly nine o’clock so decided to have two meals. We had Meeting in the afternoon.
3rd month, 16th, 2nd day
Joshua, John and Hannah Mary McCheane came in. David came down on the train and they all except Joshua had dinner with us. After dinner Hannah Mary, Joshua and I rode down Borden after the groceries etc. They had a cup of tea and then went home. David went back to Radisson on the night train.
3rd month, 17th, 3rd day
Dad and Eddy hauling straw and manure.
3rd month, 18th, 4th day
Eddy and Dad hauling manure from Borden. I took Moor’s pony, boiled wheat and shorts1 and stock food.
3rd month, 19th, 5th day
3rd month, 20th, 6th day
We had a very big thaw today. Arthur and Dick Primmer called in. Arthur intends staying a few days. Quite a bit of snow fell in the evening. Fed Moor’s ponies
3rd month, 21st, 7th day
Still thawing fast. Arthur stayed indoors. Fed ponies.
3rd month, 22nd, 1st day
Thawing today. Had Meeting and finished Oliver Sansom.
3rd month, 23rd, 2nd day
Dad bought two bulls off the Doukhobors. We caught Seniors’ horse.
3rd month, 24th, 3rd day
Men indoors, blizzard. In the evening I washed some pillow slips while Eddy read Alexandra Jeffray.
3rd month, 25th, 4th.
Very cold today.
3rd month, 26th, 5th day
Thawing a good one. Hens laid seven eggs. Seed from Steele Briggs and nest eggs2 came.
3rd month, 27th, 6th day
Still thawing. Hens laid eight eggs. Jessie Green came home.
Last night I received a letter from Hannah Mary. The following is an extract:
“I feel like adding a few lines which may contain a few words of encouragement to thee, for my dear Mary my heart has often gone out to thee in tenderest love since thou was with us. For I feel words cannot express the comfort, encouragement and strength thy visit and the little conversation we had together, have been to me. Therefore be encouraged, dear one, to hold on thy way faithfully, remembering the promise, “I shall never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Soon after I awoke this morning the words of the Psalmist were brought vividly to my mind. “Why art thou cast down, Oh my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me, hope thou in God, for I shall yet Praise Him who is the health of my continence and my God.” Then dear Mary let us not be discouraged or too much cast down, if our dear Saviour sees fit to withdraw his presence from us for a season, “for whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, but He will not forsake.” Therefore let us strive more diligently to serve him and bow in patient submission under his chastening hand, that thereby his will may be accomplished to the purifying and strengthening of our best life. And Oh, how precious will be His presence to our waiting souls, when in His time He sees fit to again reveal Himself there.
I had not thought when I began, to have written so much in this strain, for I feel my own unworthiness, weakness and short-comings, yet I long for the encouragement of each one of us who are but young in years to persevere and follow faithfully the inward light, which will lead into the true and living way.
With fond love, dear Mary, from thy truly attached friend, Hannah Mary.
3rd month, 28th, 7th day
It has been thawing but there has been a cold wind. Jessie Green and I went to Borden. The hens LAID ELEVEN EGGS. Arthur walked home.
3rd month, 28th, 1st day
Thawing a little today. Had Meeting in the afternoon.
3rd month, 30th, 2nd day
Blizzard. Laurie came here today. It is not thawing but windy. Dad went to the Doukhobor village to bring back the red calf. He ran back a day or two ago. Blizzard today. It got warmer toward evening.
3rd month, 31st , 3rd day
Boys hauling straw. None too warm.
1. Shorts: the part of the grain of wheat that is used for animal feed; the best white part having been used for white flour for humans. The wheat germ also will have been removed. In England it’s called “middlings” or wheat-feed.
2. Nest egg - Hens would lay anywhere, often hidden. If all their eggs were removed they wouldn’t lay there any more; if the eggs were left, they would lay a few and then sit on them. By taking away the real eggs and giving them the artificial eggs they wouldn’t realize their own eggs were gone. If you kept taking away their eggs, they kept laying. There was some measure of control by this of where the hens laid. In England the nest eggs were called pot eggs, or crock eggs, and were made of pottery. Steele Briggs is still in business (2002).
4th month, 1st, 4th day
John McCheane, Dad and Jessie drove over to Halcyonia with Darby and Jim. I went to Borden with Floss hitched to the sled and brought back a fifty pound bag of salt. Laurie drove an ox to Borden and got a bag of flour. Dad and Jessie came home in the evening and brought some turnips for Sixteen. I cook two crocks a day. I feed the pigs morning and afternoon, and the hens the same. Thawing.
4th month, 2nd, 5th day
The hens are laying well. We have got a gobbler from McCheanes’. Thawing fine. I am feeding Kitty and Blackie once and twice a day.
4th month, 3rd, 6th day.
The prairie is bare in places. Horses and cattle can feed a bit better. Hens laid 26 eggs.
4th month, 4th, 7th day
Snow melting fast, and a very strong wind. Joshua came in, in the afternoon.
4th month, 5th, 1st day
Yesterday there was a large meeting held in Borden about the big mill that is pretty much decided, I believe. Joshua is here. Thawing but rather windy.
4th month, 6th, 2nd day
Joshua went home but met Baxter and Edgar Baker with the oxen so he came back with them and took home the harrows etc., that he came in to see about. Eddy went to G. Roy’s after Billy and Rodger. John McCheane came in the afternoon. Jessie Green went to Binks’ to tea. Kitty Binks sent back for me some cookies and layer cake (chocolate) and lemon tarts.
4th month, 7th, 3rd day
Dad walked over to Price’s. Buster and Sport got some poison and Sport died. In the afternoon Eddy and Laurie went to the Doukhobor village and I went up to the G. Evanses to try and get some eggs for sitting. The Doukhobors gave Laurie a pigeon. They went to see about getting the fanning mill that Dad exchanged with Big Jack.1 Hens laying between twenty and thirty eggs a day.
4th month, 8th, 4th day
Dad bought a hundred bushels of oats off Nikerks’. Lovely weather.
4th month, 9th, 5th day
Dad went to 16 with Darby and Jim. Jessie Green went to an operation at the hospital. A woman from Langham. Eddy and Laurie went to G. Roy’s and had dinner there. I had dinner by myself. Eddy did some disking. Lovely weather.
4th month, 10th , 6th day
Disking with oxen started at half past ten. Jessie Green is nursing the patient in turn with the doctor’s wife. Dad killed the pig. Lovely weather.
4th month, 11th, 7th day
Disking with horses and oxen. After I had washed up and etc., I walked up to G. E. and got a dozen eggs for twenty cents. When I got back, Jessie Green and I went down to Kitty Binks’. After supper I put the eggs under the cream hen. Lovely weather.
4th month, 12th, 1st day
Beautiful weather. Two of the Brackens came in to dinner. They are looking for Kate. Jessie Green went to the hospital. Laurie went to the Doukhobor village after his pigeon because it flew back when he let it out. He got it and its mate for five cents.
4th month, 13th, 2nd day
Dad, Eddy and Laurie went to Sixteen with four oxen and four horses, and got two loads of wheat and the drill. Jessie Green was at the hospital. I got the horses’ feed in and had the supper waiting an hour or two before they came which was nearly ten.
4th month, 14th, 3rd day
STARTED DRILLING. Eddy took the drill to be sharpened and started drilling.2
Laurie disking with oxen. Lovely day.
4th month, 15th, 4th day
I am pretty busy. Jessie Green taking duty. Boys could not work on land until about dinnertime. McCheanes found their horses and one has a colt.
4th month, 16th, 5th day
Had Meeting. Eddy finished the biggest piece and started the other. Jessie Green still taking duty. I drove Dick to McBrace’s to inquire about our red calf but he was not there.
4th month, 17th, 6th day
STARTED ON MOOR’S. Eddy finished the eight-acre patch and started on Moor’s. I rode down to Borden on the wagon. They were going for some harrows. I went for some flavouring.
4th month, 18th, 7th day
FINISHED MOOR’S. I did the work and in the afternoon I drove Dick across Moor’s quarter with some wheat for Eddy. He finished that land in the evening. Eddy and Laurie drove Dick down after some chop.3 Jessie and I were seeing that the fire guard Dad was burning did not get over the furrows. There is a big prairie fire burning not above a mile away. Dick goes lovely.
4th month, 19th, 1st day
FIRST DAY. We got up very late, nine o’clock and so we did not have any dinner. Laurie let his pigeons out and they stayed around in the stable. He promised me the first team from the hatch. Had Meeting as usual.
4th month, 20th, 2nd day
STARTED ON EDDY’S. Quite hot today. Eddy, Laurie and Dad went over with horses and oxen to Eddy’s quarter to start . We bought a new disc drill. They took their lunch with them and came home at night. I had a hot supper ready for them.
4th month, 21st, 3rd day
Boys over at Eddy’s. Jessie Green went to the hospital early in the morning and came back just before dark. I had dinner by myself. I fed Kitty corn and water.
4th month, 22nd, 4th day
Boys on Eddy’s quarter. Jessie has decided to have the vein taken out of her leg. The doctor says she must rest as much as possible.
4th month, 23rd, 5th day
We had Meeting in the afternoon. Before Meeting they were fanning wheat.5 They went to Eddy’s quarter before dinner.
4th month, 24th, 6th day
Boys still on Eddy’s quarter. We are busy getting ready to go to Sixteen. We baked bread and cake etc.
4th month, 25th, 7th day
VET CAME. Eddy and Laurie went off early with Dick and started drilling with the horses. Jessie and I got everything ready for leaving. I am to go and she is going to look after the hens etc. Just as we were about to start, a man came up and said he had an order to examine our horses for glanders. He took their temperatures and in the evening injected some stuff. We cannot tell until the morning what the results will be or which will have to be killed. If their temperatures go up, they will be condemned. We spent a very anxious night. (Drawing of a cat, with several pen blotches. Tears?)
4th month, 26th, 1st day
The vet took the horses’ temperatures again at seven AM and again at nine AM and at 12 AM. Then he condemned Dick, Joey, Kitty and Black Beauty. He is coming tomorrow to kill them. We had Meeting as usual.
4th month, 27th, 2nd day
The vet came and shot the horses and they partly burned them with a pyre of wood. We burned the manure round the stable, and partly burnt the quarter out.
4th month, 28th, 3rd day
We came over here today. I drove Queeny in the buggy and got here first. The place looked very dirty and smelt of rotten turnips so I cleaned it up as best I could. The brush had not come so I tied some turkey feathers on a stick. The water here was not fit to drink so I took the kettle down to Twenty-One and filled it. We had a makeshift tea. They sat down and I handed them things. It was late when we got to bed and I was VERY tired.
4th month, 29th, 4th day
We had Meeting at home and we were all asleep half of the time. I got the place a bit straight. We are now practically living on bacon and eggs. I drove Queeny to Borden and coming back she ran away. I brought the cat and five kittens.
4th month, 30th, 5th day
Eddie drilling and Laurie harrowing.
1. Big Jack Saunders, a connection of the Nathan Saunders’ family. See also the Borden History book, Our Treasured Heritage.
2. Seeding grain using an implement called a drill, pulled by horses or oxen.
3. Chop: coarsely ground grain, usually oats, fed to horses.
4. Using a fanning device to clean seed grain prior to drilling.
5th month, 1st, 6th day
We put the young oxen on the harrows but they would not go. Rodger ran away and went like wild, apparently trying to jump through his collar. We had a very exciting time. I went over to Ruth Tallis’s to borrow a box of matches.
5th month, 2nd, 7th day
Eddy finished drilling the new land. Dad drove to Borden. Laurie harrowing.
5th month, 3rd, 1st day
We went to McCheanes’ to Meeting and stayed dinner. The others came home on the wagon but I stayed as Lydia has ridden over on a bicycle and Hannah Mary was going to drive her back.
5th month, 4th, 2nd day
I drove Queeny over to Borden as soon as I had cleared up. I saw my little chicks; there are eleven black and nine white. Jessie Green came back with me; she went over to see her sister.
5th month, 5th, 3rd day
Dad and Laurie and Jessie Green went to Borden. Laurie took the horses and Dad and Jessie drove the young bulls on the timber carriage. Big Jack drove the drill home and Dad the oxen. Hannah Mary and Lydia Crabb called here and left Ruby1 on their way from Radisson.
5th month, 6th, 4th day
We had Meeting at home. I did drilling in the afternoon with the horses and Ruby sat on the box and kept Jess up, Laurie filling the bags for us.
5th month, 7th, 5th day
As soon as we had cleared up we went drilling. “We” is Ruby and I.
5th month, 8th, 6th day
Ruby and I were drilling in the morning. We finished up as far as Eddy was and now all on the left of the track is done. We cooked a hot supper. It is nice to have Ruby to talk to.
5th month, 9th, 7th day
We started drilling on the eighty acre patch. I drove the horses in front and Ruby kept Jess up. Eddy’s oxen kept up with the horses. In the afternoon Laurie drove the oxen and Eddy the horses. Ruby and I came in and cooked potatoes for supper.
5th month, 10th, 1st day
FIRST DAY. We drove the two young oxen to Meeting. Ruby and I stayed dinner. Eddy, Oscar and John McCheane went to the Wakes to dinner. After dinner, Lydia, Hannah Mary, Ruby, Davie and I went to see the Wakes to see how the new house was getting on. The dogs pulled Davie in a nice little wagon that John McCheane had made for him. We rode home in the wagon. The broncoes2 were very fresh and we did get a bumping over those badger holes. We stayed at McCheanes’ for supper and Meeting. Joshua drove home with Prince and Jack.
(Drawing of the dog cart - two dogs tandem pulling a small four-wheeled cart.)
5th month, 11th, 2nd day
I put some dirty clothes soaking etc. Ruby had an hysterical fit.
5th month, 12th, 3rd day I helped clear up etc., then went disking on the stubble where we intend putting splits. Disking in the afternoon. I did twelve rounds. Ruby got the dinner. In the afternoon Ruby and I had a game sliding down the old straw stack.
5th month, 13th, 4th day
Helped clear up and did three rounds of disking. We drove young Billy and Rodger to Meeting. Eddy had some free samples of bile beans3 given him and he gave John McCheane a packet, and he asked Lydia and Hannah Mary to have one. Hannah Mary chewed hers up. Young Rodger got at some wheat last night and now he is pretty sick. We gave him some gum powder and in about an hour he was chewing his cud.
5th month, 14th, 5th day
Dad and I went over to Borden with Queeny. Dad stayed to whitewash the stable etc., and I drove Queeny back.
5th month, 15th, 6th day
Eddy disking and Laurie harrowing.
5th month, 16th, 7th day
Ruby and I drove over to Borden.
5th month, 17th, 1st day
We walked to Meeting, stayed dinner and supper. John McCheane drove us home.
5th month, 18th, 2nd day
Drilling, harrowing splits.
5th month, 19th, 3rd day
FINISHED SEEDING. Ruby and I drove over to Borden and Jessie and Dad drove back. We cleared up the rubbish from around the stable and made it look nice and tidy. Creamy had a colt, his name is Star.
5th month, 20th, 4th day
Towards evening Dad and Eddy and Jessie arrived with two teams of oxen and a load of wheat. Laurie stayed at Sixteen.
5th month, 21st, 5th day
Ruby went with Dad to Radisson with the oxen and rode the bicycle (David’s) back. Eddy and I went to Sixteen with another team of oxen. We took eight hens and a rooster. I received a letter and Postal Order from Uncle.4
5th month, 22nd, 6th day
Eddy and Laurie disking in the summer fallow. Ruby rode over from Borden on David’s bike, She rode from Radisson to Borden yesterday. In the afternoon I rode the bike over to Borden and took three quarters of an hour each way. It was a very hot day. In the evening Ruby rode it to McCheanes’ and I drove Jim to bring her back.
5th month, 23rd, 7th day
Dad came over with the young bulls. Eddy and Laurie burnt the bluff down the trail toward McCheanes’. Getting rotten potatoes out of the cellar.
5th month, 24th, 1st day
We went to the McCheanes to Meeting, they came to our house to Reading Meeting in the afternoon. Eddy and Laurie went over to supper and Joshua and Arthur stayed supper at our house. John McCheane drove Eddy and Laurie home after meeting.
5th month, 25th, 2nd day
Dad sowing turnips etc., on Boyd’s , and gopher poisoning. Ruby and I drove Queeny over to Borden but Jessie Green was at the hospital so we did not go down Borden as it was the Borden Sports Day and a lot of folks about.
5th month, 26th, 3rd day
In the morning I was helping with the potatoes. In the afternoon Ruby and I went to Borden. We had to look sharp and only just got there before a heavy thunderstorm. We stayed all night.
5th month, 27th, 4th day.
We drove back as early as possible to get there in time for Meeting. We had it at home.
5th month, 28th, 5th day
In the morning we were sowing potatoes. In the afternoon we were packing up, and started for Borden about six or after. Ruby and I drove Queeny. We called at Ruth Tallis’s and overtook the others with the horses, oxen and cow. We went on ahead. It was quite dark when we got to the creek. Bobby was with Jessie so Ruby and I went down with him and were very tired by the time we got to bed.
5th month, 29th, 6th day
Ruby and I out all afternoon planting potatoes on Moor’s land. Jessie had cooked us some nice scones and I was so hungry I did justice to them.
5th month, 30th, 7th day
Jessie Green went into the hospital.
5th month, 31st, 1st day
Eddy, Ruby, Laurie and I drove Jim over to Sixteen and walked to Meeting. Laurie and Eddy went to the Wakes to dinner and supper. Ruby and I stayed at McCheanes’ after Meeting. John, Lydia, David and Hannah Mary McCheane walked home with us.
1. Probably Ruby Crabb, sister to David Crabb
2. Bile beans - a patent remedy purporting to cure a great many health problems, including biliousness, dyspepsia, torpid liver, sick headache, malaria, sour stomach, bad breath, vertigo, dysentery, jaundice and enlarged spleen.
3. Bronco, or bronc - a generic term for horses bred by the Indians or wild horses, usually from west of the mountains. Bronco often meant wild, or unbroken - or unbreakable.
4. Seems to be a gift from her Uncle Edmund Hatcher.
6th month, 1st, 2nd day
About eleven o’clock David came over to Sixteen with his engine and crusher. He cut some wood and crushed some splits. In the evening Ruby, Laurie and I were jumping. Eddy put his hands on the battery and Laurie turned the switch on and ran off. Eddy could not let go until Laurie came and turned it off again. After that Ruby and I had a go with all the batteries on but it was a bit too strong to be pleasant. In the evening, John McCheane and Lydia Crabb came up for David so David took off half the batteries and we had another go.
6th month, 2nd, 3rd day
David’s engine is still going. It makes such a noise that it felt so queer when it stopped. John McCheane came up for David as soon as David had finished. They went up to Radisson and we came over here again.
6th month, 3rd, 4th day
Boys doing the corral.
6th month, 4th, 5th day
The boys were doing the corral in the slough. Ruby and I drove over to Sixteen and Perry’s oxen were on our grain so we tied them up and went and told them.
6th month, 5th, 6th day
Ruby and I drove over to Sixteen and took back the ploughshares, etc.
6th month, 6th, 7th day
Dad and Laurie fetched the horses from Sixteen and put them in the new pasture.
6th month, 7th, 1st day
Jessie Green came up to dinner and supper and the doctor drove her back.
6th month, 8th, 2nd day
Started ploughing. David came here on his way to Radisson. I was busy washing. He stayed to dinner. In the afternoon, ploughing with the oxen. In the evening we rode Creamy up and down the trail.
6th month, 9th, 3rd day
David came from Radisson and as the McCheanes were in Borden he left his bike here and rode back with them. Ploughing.
6th month, 10th, 4th day
Half-yearly Meeting. We drove Jim and Queeny in the democrat and John McCheane came over for us just as we were starting so Laurie and Eddy rode back with him to Sixteen. Ruby rode the bike to Sixteen and then we put up our team and John McCheane drove the rest on and I rode the bike over to Sixteen. Dad and Jessie went from there with our team and we rode with John McCheane. We took the cat and kittens and left one at Ruth Tallis’s on our way. John McCheane stayed supper. He drove Jessie down to the hospital. Ruby and I went with him.
6th month, 11th, 5th day
It was raining hard all day. I tidied up the place and washed the shelves. John McCheane came to meet a friend from Iowa and they got pretty wet going back.
6th month, 12th, 6th day
A VERY windy day and so cold we stayed in most of the day.
6th month, 13th, 7th day
Not much sun today. After an early dinner, I rode Jess and Ruby rode Creamy around the quarter. Ruby packed up and we went to the station. The train was late so we went to the hospital to wait and we thought we had better go, so got up and had only just enough got outside in time to see the train leave the platform, so, concluding to go the next day, Ruby left her bag at the hospital and we came home. John McCheane called here with a note from Hannah Mary McCheane, inviting me to go back with John McCheane, staying over tomorrow. I did not go, for one thing I would sooner be at home and I thought as Jessie had arranged to come up next day, I had best be here.
6th month, 14th, 1st day
Jessie did not come today. We had Meeting as usual. Ruby went home.
6th month, 15th, 2nd day
Boys ploughing with horses and oxen. I took a note from Clara Henderson to G. Evans’ wife. In the afternoon I fetched two tanks of water from E. Tallis’s well, with Bright.
6th month, 16th, 3rd day
I did some washing, It was a very nice day, not too hot. Got home the pig.
6th month, 17th, 4th day
I did the ironing.
6th month, 18th, 5th day
A very wet day. Had Meeting in the morning. In the evening I went down Borden. Dad, Eddy and Laurie pulling out roots1 with four oxen.
6th month, 19th, 6th day
The two Dawsons came this morning. Sidney, the oldest, has been in Canada two years and Laurie has only just come out. They have two homesteads thirty miles from Lloydminster. Jessie Green came up to dinner. In the afternoon Jessie Green and I drove Queeny to Halcyonia, Vic Prices’. There was a lot of ploughing done and it was a job to make any speed. We came back the usual way. Jessie Green stayed at Ruth Tallis’s and I drove over to Sixteen. The grass etc., is way growing long, thick and tall in the yard.
6th month, 20th, 7th day
Eddy ploughing. It rained quite a lot today, and some hail. Dad traded Buck and Bright for two yearling colts and $10.00. Dad drove Queeny to Sixteen to see Billy Woods who is ploughing on Twenty-One..
6th month, 21st, 1st day
We had Meeting at home.
6th month, 22nd, 2nd day
Boys sowing oats for green feed. Dad killed the calf. I made a brawn2 of his and the pig’s head.
6th month, 23rd, 3rd day
Boys disking and ploughing. Jessie Green came home to stop a week as Dr. Snyder has gone to Prince Albert and the operation cannot be done for a week at least. Jessie Green finished the brawn.
6th month, 24th, 4th day
Dad drove Queeny to Sixteen. John McCheane came to meet William McCheane and a friend from Kent, Fred Musket. He came to Canada twelve months ago and invested all his money in Kennedy business and they smashed and he lost it all. The vet came and tested the horses and they are all sound, or rather, free from glanders.
6th month, 25th, 5th day
Boys ploughing, disking and cutting out scrub.
6th month, 26th, 6th day
Sid Dawson went to work for Clarks’.
6th month, 27th, 7th day
Got the meals
cleared up, etc., the same old thing over and over again.
“Once doing will not suffice, tho’ doing be not in vain.” Hannah Mary McCheane called here on her way to Radisson. I went to Halcyonia with her.
6th month, 28th, 1st day
I helped wash up etc., then read a book until Meeting time. Fred Musket stopped, and so did Hannah Mary McCheane. She quoted, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul” etc. After dinner we went to the Wakes’ to Reading Meeting. Eddy drove Queeny over to Meeting. He had dinner at Wakes. We went back to McCheanes’ to tea. Eddy drove Queeny down and we went home. We received a box and bundle from Uncle by way of Sixteen and took some horse corn etc., etc.
6th month, 29th, 2nd day
Laurie came back from Radisson. Wet today. We caught quite a lot of rain water.
6th month, 30th, 3rd day
Washing today. We did two blankets and quite a lot of other things but only one shirt.
1. Tree and brush roots. Often deeply rooted in the dry climate, the roots had to be removed before the land could be ploughed and seeded.
2. Brawn - a jellied preparation of the chopped meat from a boiled pig’s head. Sometimes called head cheese.
7th month, 1st, 4th day
I did quite a bit of ironing today. Dad went to Sixteen.
7th month, 2nd, 5th day
Did some more ironing. A very hot day.
7th month, 3rd, 6th day
Jessie Green busy having a bath and getting her things fixed up ready to go to the hospital tomorrow. A very hot day.
7th month, 4th, 7th day
A very hot day. The turkeys have finished hatching, there are thirty-four. Jessie Green went to the hospital. The mosquitoes were so bad we could not sleep. Eddy and Laurie ran down the trail about midnight “to get cooled off” and at about two o’clock Dad got up and lit a smudge. John McCheane came into Borden with a plough share. Ida dropped - we guessed she was choking but got over it all right.
7th month, 5th, 1st day
Had Meeting at home. I went down Borden, I wore my new grey dress, the one that Grannie sent with H. Collings.
7th month, 6th, 2nd day
I got a tank of water and did a bit of washing but not much. Hannah Mary and John McCheane called in in the afternoon.
7th month, 7th, 3rd day
The operation is to be done today. So Bobby and Eric spent the day with me. I enjoyed their company, Eric is such an amusing little chap. I took them home on Queeny’s back. They enjoyed it very much.
7th month, 8th, 4th day
A VERY, VERY hot day. We had Meeting just after dinner. Jessie Green got over her operation all right but is very ill and faint. Bobby is here again today. The mosquitoes were very bad.
7th month, 9th, 5th day
I drove over to Sixteen where Eddy and Laurie were doing the summer fallow, and brought Ruth Tallis back with me to see Jessie Green. Edgar Tallis fetched her with him. A very hot day. I was pretty busy. In the evening the mosquitoes were very troublesome
7th month, 10th, 6th day
In the morning I went down to the hospital with a chicken Ruth Tallis brought for her yesterday. John McCheane came in to Borden. I passed him going over the creek. I went over the bridge and he went over the creek.
7th month, 11th, 7th day
I drove up to Sixteen in the morning and brought back Ruth Tallis. I learned from Eddy that the horses had run away with the disc and broken the eveners. They intend returning this evening. I came back by Prices’. Ruth Tallis had a bit of dinner here with me then I drove her down Borden.
7th month, 12th, 1st day
Boys went to the slough to bathe. We had Meeting as usual. After, I went down Borden to sit with Jessie Green while the doctor went to the place of worship.
7th month, 13th, 2nd day
I was busy getting the place tidy and baking bread.
7th month, 14th, 3rd day
Clarks’ picnic. The Walkers and McCheanes intend going. Ruthie, Gracie, Edward and Ruth Tallis called here on their way to Borden. Ruth and I stayed here. In the afternoon Ruth and I rode Queeny. Gracie, Edward and Ruth Tallis went back in the evening. They got wet as we had quite a heavy storm.
7th month, 15th, 4th day
Dad and Laurie building an addition to the pig sty. Ruthie is here. I did not do much except my ordinary work. Mosquitoes very bad.
7th month, 16th, 5th day
A hot day. In the afternoon Ruthie rode Queeny and I rode Jim. We went to Borden and called to see Jessie, we then went on to W. Tallis’s. We would have gone further only Creamy was obstinate and would not go, so we came back and rode up the road allowance to G. Evans’. Ruthie had a job to get Creamy to go.
7th month, 17th, 6th day
I did the work as usual then Ruthie and I drove Queeny down to Borden with a chicken for Jessie Green. We also had one.
7th month, 18th, 7th day
I looked sharp and cleared up and made a milk pudding and put the potatoes ready, I then drove Ruthie home. She and Gracie came with me to Sixteen. As soon as we left it came on to rain so hard that we got wet through before we reached Ruth Tallis’s. So we shouted, “Are we downhearted? NO!”
7th month, 19th, 1st day
RAINING. We had Meeting as usual. The doctor and his wife and Eric passed, the bronco shied and threw Eric out so they left him with me. It rained in the evening. I went down to the hospital at seven o’clock.
7th month, 20th, 2nd day
I washed some towels and eight shirts. I went to Borden in the evening.
7th month, 21st, 3rd day
Boys still busy haying. Shirts still on the lines.
7th month, 22nd, 4th day
Norman and Ruth and Edgar Tallis came to see Jessie Green. Norman stayed here. Clarks called just as we were sitting down to Meeting. It is Blundell’s picnic today and lots of people are going along the trails. Eddy went to Sixteen in the evening to do road work.
7th month, 23rd, 5th day
Lawrence1 up the road with a team of bulls. He took his dinner. I drove Queeny up to 16. Dad and Laurie hay making.
7th month, 24th, 6th day
I rode on Queeny to Sixteen. It was a VERY hot day. Lawrence still on the road. Dad drove Queeny to Sixteen in the evening.
7th month, 25th, 7th day
Laurie2 is thinking he is doing a lot as usual but in reality doing nothing. He has just been running by around the table to try and read what I have put down. Eddy and Dad came home and Eddy went back with John McCheane.
7th month, 26th, 1st day
In the morning Dad and I drove to Blundell’s to see the colts. Eddy, Hannah Mary and John McCheane and Joshua came over to Meeting and stayed supper. Hannah Mary and I drove to Borden, and I stayed.
7th month, 27th, 2nd day
I washed a dress and four pinafores. In the evening I went to Borden with Queeny, with a chicken for Jessie Green. When I got back I went with Laurie and got a tank of water.
7th month, 28th, 3rd day
I did not wash as I felt too tired, a very hot day.
7th month, 29th, 4th day
Boys hay making. It is very hot. I went down Borden.
7th month, 30th, 5th day
Boys - Eddy and Laurie - over at Eddy’s quarter. Eddy digging a well and Laurie mowing. In the evening Dad drove Queeny over to Eddy’s quarter and I rode Creamy to Borden. She came back fine. I then rode her a little way up the road allowance.
7th month, 31st, 6th day
I rode Queeny to Borden in the morning to take some letters. I called at the hospital where Betty Tallis is very ill. Eric came back with me, he rode Queeny. I washed the floor after dinner. I washed the shelves,3 etc., and tidied the place up and did a bit of mending. I was tired.
1. Lawrence is a different person than Laurie, who is Laurie Crabb. Lawrence seems to have been a temporary hired man.
2. Laurie Crabb was thirteen years old at this time.
3. Newly broken soil is very dusty in the dry heat of the Saskatchewan summer. Dust would be a continuing problem.
8th month, 1st, 7th day
Got breakfast, packed up their dinner, etc., cleared up and made the beds and cleaned the stove and put in a good long afternoon mending stockings.
8th month, 2nd, 1st day
Very windy in the morning. Tidied up, wrote my diary. We had Meeting as usual and in the evening I went down Borden as usual. William Tallis was there sitting with Hester Tallis. It started to rain as I was coming home.
8th month, 3rd, 2nd day
I sent on their dinner to Eddy’s quarter, etc., and then cleaned up and caught Queeny and saddled her and rode over to McCheanes’. I passed John on his way to Radisson just off our quarter. I went over to Hannah Mary who was in the garden getting up potatoes. She was surprised to see me. I stayed dinner, we had green peas. I started home about four and left Sixteen at about half past four and got home about half past five. I enjoyed the ride very much.
8th month, 4th, 3rd day
I did a good-sized wash but Eric was here and the little nuisance kept running home (or trying to.) I hitched Floss to the sleigh to amuse him. I was late getting supper.
8th month, 5th, 4th day
I rode Queeny around Moor’s fence and tied up the wire when I saw a place where the posts were laid down, so went back and told Dad and then rode out to show him the place. I let Queeny go and caught Blundell’s mare. A coyote came up and had a look at my saddle. It scared me.
8th month, 6th, 5th day
About a quarter to eleven I started on Queeny for Eddy’s quarter to have Meeting with them. Queeny shied at Maud who jumped up just as we were almost on to her. We had Meeting on a cock of hay. I left for home at about four. Did a bit of ironing.
8th month, 7th, 6th day.
I did a bit of ironing and cooked a hen for supper.
8th month, 8th, 7th day
A very hot sultry lazy day. Howard Williams called. I cleaned the stove, etc., etc.
8th month, 9th, 1st day
Thundery weather, though a nice breeze. Bobby and Eric came up. Laurie hitched Floss up, she can pull Eric on the sleigh over bare ground. Sid Dawson is here. In the afternoon as I was feeding the turkey chicks Walter drove up. He came in to meet Big Jack and stayed supper. I went down to the hospital.
8th month, 10th, 2nd day
I did not wash as there was only Eddy’s shirt dirty. A very hot day. I plucked, cleaned and cooked the gobbler and we had him for dinner. I made some chokecherry jelly. It was very nice.
8th month, 11th, 3rd day
Very hot though it was quite cold in the night. I made some cherry toffee out of the pulp from the cherries.
8th month, 12th, 4th day
Got done early so as to have a long afternoon picking cranberries.1 I caught Creamy and rode her down Borden and from there to C. Tallis’s with a note from Jessie Green. I then rode back to Borden again, and from there to a patch of cranberries by our pasture.
8th month, 13th, 5th day
I rode Creamy to Eddy’s quarter to have Meeting with them. I did a bit of stooking and helped hitch out water feed etc., then we had Meeting sitting round last year’s straw pile. I loaded and helped Lawrence unload a load of oat sheaves, then saddled my pony and rode home. She cantered almost all the way and was about twelve minutes going three miles.
8th month, 14th, 6th day
About nine o’clock Dad and I drove with Queeny over to Eddy’s quarter. I had dinner there with them and at about half past two we started for Sixteen, Eddy with the two big oxen on the big binder, Laurie with the little binder, Dad and Lawrence with the young oxen in the wagon. I went on ahead and fixed up a bit as I passed Ruth Tallis’s. They gave me a cup of tea and some cake to eat. I was very tired when I went to bed.
8th month, 15th, 7th day
Early as soon as I had washed up Dad and I drove over to Borden with Queeny, Laurie riding Jim on ahead to bring back the mower with Ida and Jim. We found W. G. there. I stayed all day and Dad, Laurie and Walter George went back. I intended staying all night and riding Creamy over in the morning. Well, about nine o’clock Dad came. We saw a big fire over west. Walter George came. (Small drawings here - horse carrying a rider with long skirt, followed by a foal, and horse pulling a four-wheeled vehicle.)
8th month, 16th, 1st day
I rode Queeny and Dad drove Creamy in the buggy. We got wet though and were none too early so did not go to Meeting. I found the place in such a mess, cleared up etc., and then I rode Creamy and Dad drove Queeny to McCheanes’ to the evening Meeting. Dad spoke in Meeting and after Meeting Hannah Mary McCheane relieved her mind by repeating a very nice piece composed by Lydia Crabb about thirteen years ago.
8th month, 17th, 2nd day
I tidied the place up, it was in such a mess. Dad drove to Borden - small binder not cutting well. Got Walter George here.
8th month, 18th, 3rd day
I went to Borden in the afternoon. In the morning I washed some towels, a tea cloth, etc.
8th month, 19th, 4th day
I washed the dishes and left here for Borden on Queeny about a quarter past eight. Over there I watered the pig, hens, etc., etc, and got the piece of iron off the binder that I had gone for and came back home. It was a VERY, VERY hot day. I was back here and Queeny fixed up by a quarter past ten. Walter George went to McCheanes’ to Meeting. He intends spending a few days with them. We had Meeting at home.
8th month, 20th, 5th day
I can’t quite remember but I think Dad went to Borden today.
8th month, 21st, 6th day
Dad went to Borden in the morning and got a new chain for the little binder. Cutting with both binders.
8th month, 22nd, 7th day
Tidied up as it is 7th day and drove to Borden in the afternoon.
8th month, 23rd, 1st day
We went to Meeting. I rode Queeny, Dad drove Creamy. Laurie and Eddy stayed dinner and in the afternoon went with Walter George and John McCheane to the Wakes’. Dad and I came home and Arthur with us. After dinner Walter came and Dad drove off to Borden. Hannah Mary McCheane walked over to meet me as I intended going back to supper but as Walter was here I did not go but got an early supper as he was in a hurry to be gone. In the afternoon I rode up the pasture in Walter’s rig. I led Creamy behind and put her in the pasture. In the evening, John, Joshua, Eddy and Laurie came back.
8th month, 24th, 2nd day
John McCheane came and cut for about an hour with his binder before dinner, and all the afternoon. He slept the night here. We are all having diarrhoea pretty bad and have been like it since 1st day.
8th month, 25th, 3rd day
John McCheane went home before dinner and in the afternoon he drove Hannah Mary McCheane and Walter George to Radisson. Philip is in Radisson for his vacation. In the afternoon Dad and I drove over to Borden and stayed the night. I set the yeast cake. I drove Queeny down to Borden to get several things. About twenty of the road graders were there.
8th month, 26th, 4th day
I baked the bread and we left about eleven o’clock intending to get back for Meeting. It was very wet all night and the trails were slippery. Diarrhoea still bad. I found the place in such a mess, almost every dish, etc., dirty. Busy all afternoon tidying up. Very wet. Boys doing up the sod stable.
8th month, 27th, 5th day
Getting the place straight, I drove Queeny to Borden in the afternoon. John McCheane was here in the afternoon. I went round by Baxters’ and left the pigeon there. I have now just the two, Hannah Mary’s, and mine with the white head. Edward McCheane came.
8th month, 28th, 6th day
Dad went to McDermids’ to see the horse sold. He drove Queeny so I rode Creamy to Borden. A dull day, several showers.
8th month, 29th, 7th day
I tidied up. Dad went to Borden in the afternoon and let my pigeons out but I did not tell him to. Philip Crabb and his mother came through and went on to McCheanes’ where they stayed dinner. They took Laurie back with them.
8th month, 30th, 1st day
Dad, Laurie and I went to Meeting with Queeny. The Connells and two Ontario friends and the Radisson school teacher were there. The friends, Eddy and I stayed dinner. Soon after dinner the friends went home. In the afternoon we were looking at some friends’ and some Chinese pictures. Hannah Mary McCheane read out of “Gleanings at 75.” Hannah Mary and I went to get the eggs, etc. I went into the loft to see if my pigeons had come back. We stayed supper and Dad drove over to Meeting. Dad and Eddy drove back with Queeny and I rode with Edward and Hannah Mary McCheane.
8th month, 31st, 2nd day
In the afternoon Dad and I drove to Borden. I set bread, cleared up etc. I then washed through a dress and pinafore. By that time it was quite dark and Dad had come back from putting up the stooks so I got supper. Dad went to bed and I had a good wash, set the sponges and followed suit.
1. These would be the native high-bush cranberries which grew in moist and sheltered areas along the river.
9th month, 1st, 3rd day
Lawrence drove over. Dad killed a pig that he bought for $7.00 several days ago. The butcher helped him. I roasted a big joint of beef and some potatoes in the gravy. Lawrence and I rode home in the wagon. Dad stayed overnight.
9th month, 2nd, 4th day
I tidied up the place. Dad drove home. Laurie came on the train from Radisson and walked up here. I had just washed up when he came. Eddy is disking with the bull and Lawrence with the horses. Laurie has a bad cold and he is cross.
9th month, 3rd, 5th day
I drove to Borden and met Philip on David’s pony and the McCheanes by Cowans’, ploughing. Dad and Laurie tidying up the yard. I was home by six o’clock. Philip stayed at Wakes’ all night.
9th month, 4th, 6th day
Philip came through on his way back to Radisson. Laurie wants to quit and go to work for Teddy Johnson. After dinner Dad hitched Big Jack’s horse into the hay rake and Laurie was scared of it or something. He got in a huff and walked home carrying his satchel. I did a round of disking, caught Queeny and came home. Edward and Hannah Mary McCheane came through on their way to Borden, looking for a deed of sale Edward had dropped on his way from Radisson the day before yesterday. But as I was going, they asked me to look, and they went back again. I went to Borden and left the place just as we had got up from dinner, all the dishes on the table. It was between eight and nine when I got back. Eddy came about a mile out to meet me. He had washed up and got supper and they had eaten theirs.
9th month, 5th, 7th day
I washed the shelves, etc., and got an early dinner. Dad drove Big Jack’s horse to Borden. Philip came soon after. He had gone to dinner here and then rode on to Borden and rode Queeny to Piprell’s. Though I did not know anything about it, they had arranged for Dick Primmer to come and take their photos. First he took one of the house with Charlie in the buggy and Emily standing by the door. Then he took us all in a group. Emily and I were sitting down and Annie Walker standing between Charlie and George Walker. I rode home straight after supper. I was glad I went. I had a very pleasant time. I got home about twenty to seven.
9th month, 6th, 1st day
We drove to Meeting with Big Jack’s horse. We were about a quarter of an hour late. We all stayed dinner. Dad and Eddy drove home in the afternoon. Dad went to Borden. Eddy came back to Meeting in the evening. In the afternoon we, Hannah Mary and John McCheane and I, were in the loft reading poetry. Ed McCheane came back from Radisson. He and Hannah Mary came home with us.
9th month, 7th, 2nd day
Boys disking, breaking.1 I can’t remember who went to Borden.
9th month, 8th, 3rd day
I drove to Borden with Queeny (I think.)
9th month, 9th, 4th day
I washed up etc., etc., and boiled the potatoes and a pudding. We went to Meeting with Jack’s horse. Dad went to Borden. I soaped in three shirts. John McCheane rode over on Vic for some elevator slats. I washed out the shirts2 and put them to soak again overnight.
9th month, 10th, 5th day
Got dinner etc., etc., as usual and caught Queeny and brought her up from the big corral. After dinner I washed out the shirts and it was after four o’clock when I left here, on Queeny, for Borden. I called and saw Jessie Green, her leg is healing slowly. The sun was set before I left her. Queeny came home fine. I was eating pea-nuts most of the way back.
9th month, 11th, 6th day
No one went to Borden. I was out of doors quite a lot of the afternoon. The threshing outfit came after dark.
9th month, 12th, 6th day
We were up very early. I had the breakfast things put away and the shelves washed down and the beds made before half past six. Then I went to the big pasture for Jack’s horse Mike. I went with Lawrence to the little pasture for water three or four times. In the afternoon I went with Mike to the creek to meet Boyle’s man and tell him we had no more grain for him to haul. I brought back his lead team behind the buggy. Dad, Eddy and Lawrence took the caboose3 on towards Elliots’ with the oxen. I got Queeny from the pasture and they drove her to come back with them. I took Darby and Jim to the pasture and watered them all, then came home and baked some biscuits and ironed the shirts, etc. I was very tired when I went to bed.
9th month, 13th, 1st day
We drove Queeny to Meeting. Eddy and I stayed dinner, so did Oscar and the Wakes. After we had washed up Hannah Mary and I went and laid on her bed and read, but it was too hot so we sat on a rug in a shady part of the lawn. The boys were in a group, not far away, and they came over and sat down in a circle and helped us eat some sunflower seeds and sweet corn that we had just got out of the garden. Hannah Mary was reading to us. After tea we had Meeting and John and Hannah Mary McCheane came away with us.
9th month, 14th, 2nd day
Dad went to Borden. He shot a prairie chicken. I helped hook up the bulls. They are disking the breaking.
9th month, 15th, 3rd day
I drove to McCheanes to get a quarter pound of wheat weighed. Dad and I went to Borden and called to see Jessie. We find a wolf4 has taken about a hundred of our chickens so we intend taking them back to Sixteen tomorrow. We came back Prices’ way and got lost, reached home about nine o’clock.
9th month, 16th, 4th day
I plucked and dressed a hen and prairie hen. We drove to Meeting and had a cold dinner. Lawrence kicked up a fuss because there was no pudding. Dad drove the wagon to Borden and I drove Mike. When we got there I set the bread and swept and cleared up etc. I cooked the prairie chicken for supper. We sat talking for quite a long time. We then carried all the hens, etc., into the granary. I set the bread, and then we read and went to bed.
9th month, 17th, 5th day
Got breakfast, baked the bread, swept up, etc., etc., and then got into the granary with a ball of binder twine and a knife and started catching the hens and tying their legs but I found I had a bigger job than I had reckoned. It took me about two hours. I drove Mike home with a democrat load and Dad came behind with a wagon load. They all got here safely. Eddy and Lawrence were just getting dinner; it was quite ready by the time Dad came. In the afternoon I wrote up my diary.
9th month, 18th, 6th day
I drove Creamy to Borden. She went in an hour and came back in five minutes less. I did not touch her with a stick or anything.
9th month, 19th, 7th day
I washed a towel, handkerchiefs and neck ties, etc., and two shirts. Washed all the shelves, tidied up, rubbed the windows etc., etc. John McCheane called on his way to Borden to see if he could feed the pig for us.
9th month, 20th, 1st day
We drove Mike to Meeting and came back to dinner. Sidney Dawson was here to dinner. Walter came in the afternoon and stayed supper. Hannah Mary, William and Caroline McCheane and Hugh Wake came over in the afternoon. Hannah Mary stopped here, the rest went on to Edward Tallis’s. I got supper early and Eddy and I walked over to the McCheanes to Meeting. William and Hannah Mary McCheane walked home with us. Dad had gone to bed.
9th month, 21st, 2nd day
I don’t think anyone went to Borden. Big Jack came and took his horse back. I was helping Eddy get up turnips off Boyd’s land. We had four democrat loads.
9th month, 22nd, 3rd day
I did my work as usual and was out getting up turnips all afternoon.
9th month, 23rd, 4th day
Tidied up and made the beds and cooked cabbage and potatoes and pudding for dinner and was starting for Meeting at nine o’clock. We went round by the big pasture and picked up Dad who was harrowing the breaking with the oxen. The threshers were at McCheanes’. Hannah Mary invited me to her birthday on next 7th day but I told her I could not come as Dad had arranged for Jessie to come home on 5th day and I am to stay there with her.
9th month, 24th, 5th day
In the morning about nine o’clock Dad and I started for Borden. I fixed up and cooked the dinner, etc., ready for them. When we got here I lit the fire and put some water on. We then drove on down to the hospital and fetched Jessie Green. Her leg is still very stiff and must be kept raised up. Dad went back home, I slept upstairs.
9th month, 25th, 6th day
I baked the bread. Dad drove over in the morning. Edward and John McCheane eat their lunch in here. They are hauling grain. The place is in such an awful mess it takes a lot of cleaning.
9th month, 26th, 7th day
Dad was here again today to dinner, also Edward and John McCheane and Joshua. Busy.
9th month, 27th, 1st day
Got done up early and thought I was going to have such a nice long day when the Borden cattle all came up and started eating the wheat stacks and hay ricks and green oats. They kept me busy driving them off and at last I took and tied them all up, or most of them. Dad drove over. I rode Creamy up to George Evans’ to try and borrow Buster, their dog, but he had a bad paw.
9th month, 28th, 2nd day
RADISSON SHOW. Until dinner time I did very little except drive the cattle off. Dad came in the afternoon and brought Floss. Dad and the McCheanes put up the heater. Uncle Esau went to Crystal City for the winter. Clark brought some meat.
9th month, 29th, 3rd day
The McCheanes and A. and P. Tallis called. A. and P. Tallis had some dinner with us. Charley Piprell and George Walker called up with some Swedes. Edward McCheane said we had all the township here. The doctor and doctor’s wife came and dressed Jessie’s leg. He bent her knee. There is now another place with the skin off so she will need to lie by another week.
9th month, 30th, 4th day
I was expecting Dad and Eddy and Laurie over but they did not come. The McCheanes and two Tallises came.
1. Breaking - turning over the native sod for the first time. This is followed by disking, running circular cutting blades over the turned sod to break it up further, followed by harrowing. The harrow is a square horizontal metal frame with several cross bars with six to eight inch teeth in rows on the crossbars, to break up the sods even more. All this is done to prepare the new land for seeding.
2. Getting clothes clean by hand was an onerous process. She would use a scrub board in a galvanized iron tub. That the shirts required soaping, then scrubbing, then soaking again overnight, suggests they were very dirty indeed.
3. This was probably the small house on wheels that is referred to in the McCheane story in the Borden history book, Our Treasured Heritage.
4. The wolf was probably a coyote.
10th month, 1st, 5th day
Dad, Eddy, Lawrence and Sidney came to dinner. Sidney and Lawrence went soon after. Starting to get up the potatoes.
10th month, 2nd, 6th day
I did my work as usual.
10th month, 3rd, 7th day
I was getting up potatoes morning and afternoon. John McCheane had dinner with us. Edward and Hannah Mary McCheane went to Radisson. Hugh Wake came from Saskatoon. He stayed overnight.
10th month, 4th, 1st day
I fixed up, and Eddy, Hugh and I drove Jim to Meeting. After dinner we were looking at the hat crusade. We got home to supper. A. Rogers had been in.
10th month, 5th, 2nd day
Wainwright’s wife called. We had two prairie chickens for dinner. I picked potatoes in the afternoon and got up the winter radishes.
10th month, 6th, 3rd day
Getting the plows ready for plowing. I drove Creamy to Sixteen. She came back like a motor car.
10th month, 7th, 4th day
Dad and Eddy went up to Sixteen to get up the potatoes. John McCheane drove Hugh Wake in to Borden to catch the train for Saskatoon, where Joe Wake is still very seriously ill. The doctors have given him up.
10th month, 8th, 5th day
I did a good-sized wash today and cleaned both the range and the heater. It was finished by three o’clock, I think. Fanny Saloway came to see Jessie.
10th month, 9th, 6th day
Dad and Eddy came just as we were having our dinner. I did the ironing and baked some sweet biscuits for supper etc. Jessie Green has been here, in the big room, once or twice.
10th month, 10th, 7th day
Busy cleaning and tidying up the house. Dad bought a new gang plow and has got it in working order.
10th month, 11th, 1st day
We had Meeting at home. I read quite a lot of “Gleanings at Seventy-five.”
10th month, 12th, 2nd day
Dad plowing with the bulls. Queeny down Borden with Jessie for a little outing. It is a lovely day. We drove along the trail to where Dad was plowing and brought home two prairie chickens. E. and J. Piprell called and showed us the photos then stayed supper, and started home about eight o’clock.
10th month, 13th, 3rd day
I rode Queeny down Borden to get some cartridges and then took them over to the plow, then I rode into Moor’s pasture and helped Dad drive up the oxen and helped hitch them in. Jessie washed up the dishes and did the potatoes and Swedes for dinner. Matthews’ wife was here to dinner, she came to see Dad about some oxen. I did some washing but the water was so hard it did not look nice. It was getting dark when I finished. I then saddled Queeny and rode after the cow. Dad said he did not think I would be able to find her and if I did, would not be able to catch her. And if I did catch her I would not be able to milk her, and if I did milk her he did not see how I would be able to carry it on Queeny. However in about an hour I came back with the milk. Dad shot seven prairie chickens.
10th month, 14th, 4th day
Jessie and I drove to McCheanes’ to Meeting and stayed dinner. We called at Ruth Tallis’s and stayed an hour or more. It was raining all the way home. Dad shot prairie chickens. We have had about fifteen so far. Eddy went to Sixteen last 2nd day and on 3rd day morning he went to McCheanes’ to do two days plowing.
10th month, 15th, 5th day
I have sprained my wrist in some way so I am writing this with my left hand.
10th month, 16th, 6th day
I drove up to Sixteen before dinner and after dinner I packed up etc., etc., and we caught a democrat load of hens. It was pretty cold coming home.
10th month, 17th, 7th day
I washed up the dishes etc., that I brought home yesterday, and we tidied up for 1st day. A man from Minnesota called and inquired the way to Borden.
10th month, 18th, 1st day
That man who passed last night called and arranged to stay here for a few days. We had Meeting in the afternoon as usual.
10th month, 19th, 2nd day
I drove Queeny to Halcyonia, it was very cold and wet so I lit a fire and then started catching and tying the fowls’ legs. I did not notice what I was doing and I caught more than the democrat would hold so I loosed the laying hens. I came back with the rest. It was snowing quite fast all the way home.
10th month, 20th, 3rd day
I went back for the hens I left yesterday. I had a cold drive and the snow over the track was three or four inches deep.
10th month, 21st, 4th day
John and William McCheane called in on their way from Radisson. They stayed supper. We had two prairie chickens. A very cold day.
10th month, 22nd, 6th day (sic)
Dad and Eddy have almost done plowing. Much milder today.
10th month, 23rd, 7th day
Tidied up for 1st day.
10th month, 24th, 1st day
Eddy and I drove Jim to Meeting. We took them two prairie chickens.
10th month, 25th, 2nd day
Election day. It was quite hot at midday.
10th month, 26th, 3rd day
Eddy was harrowing in his shirt sleeves. Started hauling “ties” from the track. Frank, the young man from Minnesota, came back. He is staying for a few days for his board.
10th month, 27th, 4th day
William McCheane came back from Saskatoon. Emily Piprell and George Walker came to supper.
10th month, 28th, 5th day
Freezing all day. Dad, Eddy and Frank hauling ties. My wrist was pretty painful tonight.
10th month, 29th, 6th day
Cold all day. Hauling ties. Hens laying an average of three eggs a day.
10th month, 30th, 7th day
Rather milder today. I went around looking for the horses but did not find them.
11th month, 1st, 1st day
We had Meeting at home. I finished reading Mary Neal and I read quite a lot of Sketches.
11th month, 2nd, 2nd day
I went with Dad and Eddy hauling ties. I drove Jim and Jess, Eddy the two big oxen and Dad the two young ones. We started about nine AM and I got back about three PM and Dad and Eddy got back about four or half past. The McCheanes came to see their cousins off.
11th month, 3rd, 3rd day
We did the same as yesterday, only much colder.
11th month, 4th, 4th day
Hauling ties. Much milder today, thawing fast.
11th month, 5th, 5th day
We had Meeting and after dinner Dad and Eddy started for two more loads of ties and I drove up to Allcocks’ with Jim but they were out so we came back and made several apple pies, etc. Eddy got a barrel of apples from Smith’s.
11th month, 6th, 6th day
Dad and Jessie went to Radisson. Eddy and I hauling some poplars that are cut down along the side of the graded road the other side of Wainwrights’ quarter.
11th month, 7th, 7th day.
Tidying up all morning. John McCheane came and Dad went with him to Borden and saw a bear that some German had shot about thirty miles north. So as he was going down again I went with him and had a look at the bear. He was a big fellow.
11th month, 8th, 1st day
We had Meeting here. I read Biographical Sketches, Incidents and Reflections.
11th month, 9th, 2nd day
Very cold. I fetched a tank of water from the little pasture and the water froze thick on the front of my waterproof and on the reins where it dropped off the bucket as I lifted it into the tank.
11th month, 10th, 3rd day
We tried to do some washing but we found the water so hard it only made a mess of it. Hugh Wake came in the evening.
11th month, 11th, 4th day
Half Yearly Meeting. We got up early and started for Halcyonia in the bob sleigh1 but it was pretty hard pulling. We met John McCheane on Cowan’s ploughing, and Hugh Wake and Jessie and I got in his democrat and rode on ahead of Dad and Eddy. We had Meeting, and Meeting for Discipline. A young man named Arthur Williams has been admitted into membership with Friends. Jessie and I stayed supper and John and Edward came home with us. We spent a very pleasant day. Lydia and her two children were there.
11th month, 12th, 5th day
More snow in the night. Nice morning. Dad and Eddy went to Sixteen with the wagon after a load of wheat.
11th month, 13th, 6th day
Dad went to Borden and arranged about selling the wheat. We did not do a lot of housework. I did quite a piece of the rug. Wainwright came and asked Jessie Green to go and sleep at their place while he and his wife went to a dance at Borden.
11th month, 14th, 7th day
We washed the shelves and blackleaded the stoves and made two apple pies, etc. I finished the rug and cut Eddy’s hair.
11th month, 15th, 1st day
We had Meeting at home. A lovely day. Lydia and children came and went off on the train. Hannah Mary and John stayed supper. It went very cold in the evening.
11th month, 16th, 2nd day
Cold bright morning. At about three in the afternoon Dad discovered that one of the colts was missing, the biggest and best we had exchanged for Buck and Bright.
11th month, 17th, 3rd day
Dad and Eddy looking for the colt. They went round by the Elbow and I went to look for Rodger and the bull.
11th month, 18th, 4th day
Looking for the colt. In the evening we heard it was over the line.
11th month, 19th, 5th day
Started early to look for the colt. I went as well. Eddy and I walked down the track, and Dad drove round. Where the fence ends I got in the buggy with Dad and drove round by Morrisons’ and Sam Collings’ and back by Fred Shepard’s. We were home in time for Meeting.
11th month, 20th, 6th day.
I walked up the track as far as Haywoods’ looking for the colt. I sold her a turkey for McCheanes.
11th month, 21st, 7th day
Preparing for 1st day.
11th month, 22nd, 1st day
Cold thick misty day. Eddy and I drove to Meeting. We read a little book called The Rise of Quakerism. We started home about four o’clock and at Sixteen got off the trail to look at Boyle’s horses and could not see the way back for quite a way.
11th month, 23rd, 2nd day; 24th, 3rd day; 25th, 4th day
Dad and Eddy cleaning grain.
11th month, 26th, 5th day
We had Meeting as usual. Edward McCheane and David Crabb called in on their way to Radisson. They stayed dinner. Joshua and Arthur Wake and John McCheane called in the afternoon. Jessie Green went a walk to G. Evans’.
11th month, 27th, 6th day
John and Edward McCheane, Joshua and Arthur came in to eat their lunch. I started darning some net to make a brush and comb bag for Eliza’s birthday.
11th month, 28th, 7th day
I washed two-thirds of the floor and after dinner I rode Queeny and Eddy drove Jim to the Elbow. Dad walked down the creek. I rode among the bluffs on one side of the trail and Eddy the other. When we got to the Elbow we met Dad, and came back a different trail for quite a way, then cut across country. I went to Borden for the mail It was a lovely day.
11th month, 29th, 1st day
Very cold blizzardy day. We were shivering round the heater.
11th month, 30th, 2nd day
VERY COLD. Dad had his cheeks froze twice. We melted some snow for washing. I had the toothache dreadful.
1. Bob sleigh - winter conveyance, one with four runners, pulled by two horses. Could carry a heavier load than a cutter, and had a smaller turning radius than sleighs with two runners.
12th month, 1st, 3rd day
Did a good wash. I had toothache again, very very badly. Eddy went to Sixteen. Rather milder than yesterday, but still very cold.
12th month, 2nd, 4th day
We were pretty busy today. I cleaned the knives, etc., and Jessie did the cooking etc. Cold moonlight night. McCheanes and Wakes came over to Reading Meeting and stayed supper. I had toothache.
12th month, 5th day, 6th day and 7th day
Very cold and very moonlight nights. I had toothache every day.
12th month, 6th, 1st day
We did not go to Meeting. I had toothache.
12th month, 7th, 2nd day and 8th, 3rd day
Not uncomfortably cold.
12th month, 9th, 4th day
Dad and Eddy drove to Meeting in the cutter with Jim and Prince. Dad and Eddy came home, stayed supper. John McCheane drove me home and we overtook Dad leading the cow.
12th month 10th, 5th day
Dad and Jessie Green went to Radisson and bought a bull off Driver’s.
12th month, 12th, 7th day
Dad and Jessie Green went to Norman Bees’ and brought a black colt, “Mike’ for $100.00 and six months’ credit.
12th month, 13th, 1st day
Eddy and Jessie Green went to Meeting. I had toothache mostly all day but not very badly.
12th month, 14th, 2nd day
Dad and I went to Brackens’ and Matthews’ and Sixteen. We had dinner at Matthews’ and I learned the way to cure skins, that was why I went. My tooth did not ache.
12th month, 15th, 3rd day
Did a pretty big wash. My tooth did not ache.
12th month, 16th, 4th day
We did some ironing, and quite a bit to the presents for Eliza’s birthday.
12th month, 17th, 5th day
Dad and Eddy were up to Sixteen to dinner. We did quite a lot of sewing. I started making a shaving pad for John McCheane as Eddy and I are invited to his birthday party on 7th day. William McCheane went to Saskatoon.
12th month, 18th, 6th day
John McCheane came in to meet William McCheane. Eddy and I went back with them. It was after eleven o’clock when we went to bed.
12th month, 19th, 7th day
John McCheane drove down and brought back Joshua and Arthur to dinner and after dinner Ed McCheane fetched Ethel Orchard. We were playing Ping Pong for about half the afternoon then we played Table Tennis. After supper we played Ping Pong and Jenkins Up then we tried drawing a square in a looking glass. We went to bed about half past eleven o’clock.
12th month, 20th, 1st day
Reading until Meeting time. Edgar Baker came and stayed dinner. We stayed evening Meeting and John and Hannah Mary McCheane came home with us.
12th month, 21st, 2nd day
Jessie Green went to Langham to see about a situation as housekeeper for a harness maker there. I melted the snow for washing and cleaned the knives, etc. A lovely mild day today.
12th month, 22nd, 3rd day
We did a small wash. Edward1 and I went to Borden and sold four turkeys.
12th month, 23rd, 4th day
Edward and I drove to Halcyonia. We stayed Meeting and I stayed dinner. Ed ward and John McCheane drove back and took five of our cattle from Sixteen to Borden. I rode back with Hannah Mary and Edward McCheane, Joshua and Arthur. Joshua and Edward McCheane went to Radisson, the others stayed Reading Meeting. It was after nine o’clock when they started home.
12th month, 24th, 5th day
John McCheane came to meet Edward and Joshua. They took back our fanning machine. Eddy rode with them to the Doukhobor village to bring the five cattle back that they left there yesterday.
12th month, 25th, 6th day
It snowed a little. We got up so late we did not have any dinner.
12th month, 27th, 1st day
We had Meeting at home.
12th month, 28th, 2nd day
Dad and Ed went to Sixteen to get a load of horse corn with the two oxen. We melted snow for washing. I watered the cattle.
12th month, 29th, 3rd day
We did a small wash and two blankets, one brown and one white.
12th month, 30th, 4th day
Very cold today. Did not go out much.
12th month, 31st, 5th day
Fairly mild today
1. Ed is usually Edward McCheane, John’s brother. Eddy is usually Edmund Saunders, Mary’s brother. This is not entirely consistent. Where context has indicated which person is meant, “Edward” or “Eddy” are used.
1st month, 1st, 6th day
Mild today. In the evening Jessie and I went to Borden and bought me a pair of felt boots, they cost $2.00, and some gasoline to clean my blue dress with.
1st month, 2nd, 7th day
Joshua called here on his way from Saskatoon. He found his father quite well.
1st month, 3rd, 1st day
Very cold blizzardy day. We did not go to Meeting because it was too cold. Joshua stayed all day . We had Meeting as usual and Edward, Joshua and I were reading “Select Miscellanies.” In the evening we read “Historical Memoirs.”
1st month, 4th, 2nd day
I went with Joshua to Halcyonia.1 I took some coffee to be ground. It was too cold to come back so I stayed all night.
1st month, 5th, 3rd day
Next morning it was forty-eight below. Spent most of the day reading and playing games.
1st month, 6th, 4th day
It was forty-five below this morning. John McCheane drove me home. We tied Jim behind. John McCheane stayed all night. We sent off Eliza’s birthday present.
1st month, 7th, 5th day
Still very cold. John McCheane went back. I washed a pair of stays and cleaned, pressed and mended my blue dress.
1st month, 8th, 6th day
Not quite so bitterly cold. Strong sun. I hemmed my white apron and washed my head.
1st month, 9th, 7th day
Melting snow. I crocheted some six rounds on the bottom of one of my woolen petticoats. Mended Eddy’s overalls. Rather milder today.
1st month, 10th, 1st day
Quite a strong wind but bright sun. As usual we get up at about half past seven and sometimes later.
1st month, 11th, 2nd day
We washed today. William Tallis came in just before dinner, to go with Dad to Halcyonia to a committee meeting. Hugh Wake came in from Saskatoon. In the afternoon Caroline and John McCheane came. Caroline McCheane was on her way to Radisson. She went on the evening train. Just as we were having supper, Charley Piprell came for me. He stayed supper and I went back with him It was a lovely night and so mild. It was after ten o’clock when we got there.
1st month, 12th, 3rd day
It was cold today,. The Walkers came to dinner. A. Walker and Emily Piprell were practicing for a social at the school. I was reading a book called, “Guide to Health.” After dinner, A. Walker and I had a game at Helma. Hannah Mary, John and Ed McCheane came about half past three. We played Helma while George Walker and Edward McCheane played Chess, etc., etc., until tea time. After supper we had a game of Jenkins Up. It was not a very nice game as the coin kept to one side all the time about. We also played The Family Coach, The Mail Passeth, etc., at which game we broke a chair and the lounge. George Walker to redeem a forfeit had to be a loaded donkey. We had Taking Photos with a looking glass. George Walker and I took them. It was quite a while before they found it out.
1st month, 13th, 4th day
It was very cold today. I was reading. I made a board for Merrills. Emily Piprell and I had a game or two. I had a game or two with Charley.
1st month, 14th, 5th day
Soon after dinner we went to the Walkers. Susie and Gladys Saloway were there. We played Helma, draughts and Merrills, Simon Says, Thumbs up, One Old Ox, etc. After supper we played Snap, Old Maid. I won at Snap. We also played Jenkins Up, three matches. Acting Verbs. And trying to write our names looking in a looking glass, which amused us very much. I stayed all night.
1st month, 15th, 6th day
We went back to Piprells’. In the afternoon Emily Piprell and I played two games of Chess, and Draughts and Merrills. Then I played Charley. In the evening we read and talked and Emily Piprell read aloud. Milder today.
1st month, 16th,, 7th day
We drove to McCheanes’. The Walkers came. We played Table Croquet and Ping Pong before supper. Emily Piprell and I had two games of Ping Pong; she won one and I won two. We had two double games. After supper we played Jenkins Up, etc., etc., etc., and writing our names in a glass. About half past ten Lydia Crabb and her children and Caroline McCheane came from Radisson.
1st month,17th, 1st day
I read quite a bit of John Barclay’s Letters.
1st month, 18th, 2nd day
MY BIRTHDAY MONTH. This is the second since I came to Canada. It was a blizzardy day. I played Ping Pong with John and Edward McCheane and we had a game or two of Table Croquet. We played Muggins in the evening, and Old Maid. David Crabb came.
1st month, 19th, 3rd day
Read quite a bit of John Barclay. We played Ping Pong, etc. Milder today.
1st month, 20th, 4th day
The Wakes came for Meeting and stayed for Reading Meeting. I darned a stocking. In the evening someone read while we were sewing, etc. I was feather stitching a crazy work quilt. David Crabb went back. A lovely day.
1st month, 21st, 5th day
Lydia Crabb and Hannah Mary and the children went to J. Orchards’, Edward McCheane drove them. I stayed at home to get the supper, etc., as Caroline McCheane is not at all well, and Lydia Crabb wanted Hannah Mary to go as she did not know the Orchards very well. In the evening we read John Barclay in turns. Mild, but cold wind.
1st month, 22nd, 6th day
I played several games and did quite a bit of Hannah Mary’s quilt.
1st month, 23rd, 7th day
A lovely day. We were all going to Charlie Orchard’s but the McDermotts came. Played games, etc. Hannah Mary started making a blouse for Lydia Crabb. I watched her.
1st month, 24th, 1st day
Arthur and Hugh Wake had bad colds so did not come to Meeting. Edward McCheane was reading aloud out of Quaker Poets. I nearly finished John Barclay.
1st month, 25th, 2nd day
I have got a cold. I played several games of Ping Pong. In the evening we played Patience, and Physiognomy.
1st month, 26th, 3rd day
I helped wash, and after dinner John McCheane drove me home. I am thankful to say I found them all well. John McCheane stayed all night. It was a lovely day.
1st month, 27th, 4th day
John McCheane went back. I put my pigeons in their box and made a cork-work cord and sewed it onto my mitts. It is such a lovely day. Jessie Green and I went to see the horses; we got in a snowdrift. We called at Wainwrights on our way back.
1st month, 28th, 5th day
A cold windy day today. We had Meeting as usual. Eddy made a pen for my pigeon in the gable of my roof.
My birthday.2 For my birthday I received seven parcels, three from Annie Sturge and the others from home. A pair of gauntlet mitts. A pretty little case to put my hairpins in from Jessie Green. A pair of pigeons, a white and a chocolate one from Hannah Mary McCheane. Eliza sent me a pocket knife and Lucy an autograph album. Uncle sent me about two pounds of chocolates. Auntie Polly, five shillings.
The First Monthly Meeting. Arthur Williams’ and Edith Kennedy’s marriage came before this Meeting, also Jessie Green’s application for membership. Arrangements were made to see about a committee to nominate Elders and Ministers, and a committee to arrange where the Monthly Meetings should be.
1st month, 29th, 6th day
Pretty cold today. One of the pigeons got out so I put the other in the cage outside and she got out as well. However they both went into the stable in the evening and Eddy put them in their cage.
1st month, 30th, 7th day
Not so cold today.
1st month, 31st, 1st day
A beautifully mild day today. We had Meeting here.
1. Halcyonia is a district with many settlers. When Mary uses the term she appears to intend the McCheanes’ place.
2. Mary’s birthday was actually January 18.
2nd month, 1st, 2nd day
Busy melting snow. A nice warm day.
2nd month, 2nd, 3rd day
We did a fair sized washing and a blanket. A lovely day.
2nd month, 3rd, 4th day
We did some ironing and stocking darning. Mild but not thawing.
2nd month, 4th, 5th day
We were up in good time. A man came for Dad to go and see a quarter. A few minutes after, Wainwright came for Jessie Green to go and see her little girl who has hurt her knee. Edward McCheane came on the train from Radisson and we sat Meeting together until Hannah Mary and John McCheane came from Halcyonia and sat down just before Meeting was over. Ruth, Ruthie and Grace Tallis came. Jessie Green came back before dinner. The Tallises went back about four o’clock. John and Hannah Mary McCheane caught the train to Radisson. I went to the station to help carry the parcels, etc. I came home and then rode Jim down Borden. I enjoyed the ride very much. It has been a lovely day. Jessie Green went to the Wainwrights again and came back at half past ten. It was a nice mild day today.
2nd month, 5th, 6th day
Colder today. In the morning Jessie Green and I went to Borden with Dad and bought from the Jews1 six dinner plates, one pound of tea, (a wringer from Crivers), a washing board, some nails, an enamel meat tin etc. Before dinner Wainwright came for Jessie Green; she went to nurse his little girl for a week.
2nd month, 6th, 7th day
I cleaned the range, melted snow for washing and baked some biscuits. In the morning, the livery man came and brought a telegram from John McCheane saying that a horse answering the description of ours was to be sold in Saskatoon unless claimed. So Dad went down to Saskatoon but it was a big horse about thirteen years old so he had the expense and trouble for nothing. Very cold today.
2nd month, 7th, 1st day
Very very cold today. It was ten past ten when we got up from breakfast. I tidied up etc., and fried vegetables for dinner and cold meat. I cooked some meat for supper. We feel the cold after the mild spell. Though we have not had any weather yet to melt the snow the windows were thawed out for several days.
2nd month, 8th, 2nd day
Very cold today. I tidied the place up etc. Hannah Mary and John McCheane came in from Radisson, just as I was clearing the dinner away. They had had their dinner at Halsteads’. Edward McCheane came in, and John McCheane went back with him, but Hannah Mary stayed as it was so cold.
2nd month, 9th, 3rd day
Still very cold. John McCheane came in for Hannah Mary and in the afternoon she went back with him.
2nd month, 10th, 4th day
Milder today but still very cold. I tried to skate on the trail but found the snow was not like it often is in England. I had toothache.
2nd month, 11th, 5th day
Very cold. I had toothache very badly. Jessie Green came back about half past ten PM.
2nd month, 12th, 6th day
We were melting more snow. I did not wash last week as Hannah Mary McCheane was here so there was a tank of water. Still cold.
2nd month, 13th, 7th day
Talking, mending etc. Very cold.
2nd month, 14th, 1st day
We had Meeting as usual. Pretty cold.
2nd month, 15th, 2nd day
We did a fair sized wash and two blankets. We found the rubbing board and the wringer a great help. A nice day but not thawing. My two pullets are laying and one or two others.
2nd month, 16th, 3rd day
Busy ironing, etc. Nice day, but cold. Dad and Eddy drove the cattle to a straw stack they arranged to have off Carter. When they got there, they found no straw stack there at all, so they drove them on to Bob Ansley’s straw.
2nd month, 17th, 4th day
A nice mild day, but a cold wind and snow falling pretty fast. A lot fell in the night.
2nd month, 18th, 5th day
THAWING. A lovely day. There is a grain growers’ meeting to be held in Borden at two o’clock. Charley Piprell, George Walker, Edward McCheane, Joshua and Arthur came in to supper. I rode Jim round by Wainwrights’ to bring Prince home, but Mike followed me. I could not get Prince along with him and at last I let him go. He ran back to the others. It was a lovely day. It thawed a little in the middle of the day.
2nd month, 19th, 6th day
THAWING. Dad walked out after Prince. A lovely day, thawing more than it was yesterday. Jessie Green went to Esther Tallis’s to supper. Edgar Baker, who is at the hospital with a fractured finger, came up to spend the afternoon. I got him a cup of tea but he did not stay supper. In the evening I was doing some printing on a card for Lucy. It was about half past eleven when we went to bed. The windows were all thawed right out.
2nd month, 20th, 7th day.
THAWING. A lovely day today, thawing a good one. We were melting snow. In the afternoon Dad, Jessie Green and I rode round to Wainwrights’. Jessie Green stayed there while Dad and I went down to where the horses were. I got out and caught Queeny and Carla. We led them behind the cutter. We had a job to get Carla along. When we got back I fed the fowls, etc. Dad cut quite a bit of the horn off Carla’s foot. The windows froze up a little but not much.
2nd month, 21st, 1st day
A nice day but rather cold. We had Meeting as usual. Edgar Baker came to dinner and Meeting. His finger has stopped discharging but is swollen and stiff.
2nd month, 22nd, 2nd day
Cold today. We did a pretty big wash and two blankets. Quite a few of the things were dry. Edgar Baker went home.
2nd month, 23rd, 3rd day
Ironing in the morning. In the afternoon Jessie Green went to Gerlings’ and stayed supper.
2nd month, 24th, 4th day
Fine. Windows not frozen up. Busy tidying up etc., etc., and baking some yeast buns and some biscuits. Hens are laying three to five eggs a day.
2nd month, 25th, 5th day
Fine, mild but cloudy. In the morning Eddy went down Borden and got three orders for a book on the great earthquake at Messina.2 In the afternoon he got two more, and went with it up to E. Evans’ and Tracksells, but without success. In the evening Eddy got another order off McPherson.
2nd month, 26th, 6th day
I washed up and made the beds etc., and went with Eddy to see the cattle with Pelly. After I got back I put the turnips on for the hens, etc. It was snowing pretty fast when we got back after dinner. Emily and Charley Piprell and George and Annie Walker came, we did not expect them when it started snowing. We cooked a chicken for supper and some potatoes, and just as we had about half done supper Edward McCheane came in. He wanted Eddy to go back with him but Dad thought he could spare him better in a few days.
2nd month, 27th, 7th day
Edward McCheane went back this morning. The snow trod in and made the house very dirty. Not very cold. Men hauling manure.
2nd month, 28th, 1st day
I let the pigeons out. Very nice day, thawing fast. The sun was quite hot. We had Meeting in the morning and in the afternoon Dad and Jessie went to see the cattle with Prince.
1. Schecter, who owned the Borden Trading Company. They and Smith and McQuarrie’s were the two general stores in Borden.
2. Messina was one of the principle cities of Sicily. It was “destroyed in the earthquake of December 28, 1908 and subsequently rebuilt. Of the ancient city which was also severely damaged by an earthquake in 1783, only a few edifices remain, largely restored... including the cathedral, a very old building, possibly of the Byzantine period, was rebuilt by the Normans in the 12th century, and was restored after the earthquake of 1908.” From Encyclopedia Brittanica 1970.
3rd month, 1st, 2nd day
Eddy and I drove Prince round by Wainwrights’ and brought Queeny home. Jessie was at M. Gerling’s to dinner and supper. A lovely day. I was netting some.
3rd month, 2nd, 3rd day
A nice day, thawing a little. Jessie Green went to Borden to get orders for drugs. She is taking up an agency. She had supper at Axworthy’s.
3rd month, 3rd, 4th day
Washing. We did two blankets and two white bedspreads and a big tablecloth. Just as we were finishing up, Annie Tallis came up. She stayed supper and Jessie Green and I drove her down with Jim. A nice day but a cold wind. Dad and Eddy fetched the white heifer home.
3rd month, 4th, 5th day
A cold wind, but yet it was thawing. Ironing, etc., etc. It went colder in the evening. The windows froze up a little.
3rd month, 5th, 6th day
The windows thawed out. In the afternoon I rode Jim to Borden and took some eggs and got a broom. The broom was twenty cents and eggs twenty cents a dozen. I went down again on Jim and took some irons to the blacksmith to make for a rack. The snow was blowing a blizzard but it was not very cold. I enjoyed the ride. Eddy and Dad were digging the well deeper by six feet, and cribbing it. We had little cod fish and they were lovely. We have some herrings and pike as well.
3rd month, 6th, 7th day
A nice day but windy. I did a bit of ironing and we washed the floor. I went to Borden and took some eggs for which I got one tin of tomatoes for ten cents and one tin of beetroot, twenty cents. Windows froze up in the evening. White heifer had a beautiful black heifer calf.
3rd month, 7th, 1st day
Eddy and I drove Jim to feed the cattle. It was pretty cold down there. Had Meeting as usual.
3rd month, 8th, 2nd day
Melting snow for washing. Hens are laying ten to twelve eggs a day now. Hannah Mary and John McCheane came for Eddy. They went back after supper. Queeny had a foal.
3rd month, 9th, 3rd day
Dad drove Jim to Radisson. I took down a dozen eggs and got two pounds of soda1 and two cakes of soap, and four letters stamped and posted. We did quite a big blanket, the dark quilt I brought out, and another small white quilt and a tablecloth. Mild but not quite thawing. Hens laid fifteen eggs.
3rd month, 10th, 4th day
Thawing a very little. Did some ironing. Jessie Green went down to Borden getting orders for drugs, and stayed supper at Ayreses.
3rd month, 11th, 5th day
A cold wind. I took a letter down to post to Uncle in the morning. Jessie Green went to Borden and about half past three I went down and brought her back with Prince. He went fine but we could not guide him in any sense. We took down two dozen eggs and got some raisins, currants, pepper and an iron handle. I did the big room.
3rd month, 12th, 6th day
Jessie Green scrubbed the floor. In the afternoon Joshua, John McCheane and Eddy came. Trying to thaw. A little snow fell. Eddy, Joshua and John McCheane came in the afternoon, we had fresh herrings for supper. John McCheane brought a cock for us and we sold one to Axworthy’s for fifty cents.
3rd month, 13th, 7th day
Dad killed a rooster and I plucked and dressed it and he took it down to the Jew at the Borden Trading Company. We got fifty cents for it. Dad bought a stove for $2.50/ After supper I went down with eleven eggs and a card to post. In the afternoon I rode Jim to fetch Queeny out of Moor’s pasture. Dad came and led
Prince and after a lot of racing about I got Queeny to follow him. John McCheane and Joshua went home soon after dinner. It was a very nice afternoon.
3rd month, 14th, 1st day
Thawing a little. Dad went to see the cattle with Prince. One of my white pullets died, leaving only three and the lame one.
3rd month, 15th, 2nd day
Thawing a little. Jessie and I were starting down Borden with some eggs in the afternoon and just as we got to the trail we saw John McCheane coming so we did not go. John McCheane had come to fetch the doctor for Ben Saloway’s mother. She has not been able to sleep for several nights. Jessie went with John McCheane after supper to Ruth Tallis’s.
3rd month, 16th, 3rd day
Not so warm today but almost thawing. A cold wind. I tidied up and mixed the hens’ food and boiled a hen and knuckle of beef for supper, laid the table and at about half past three I started for Wainwrights’ on Jim. The trails were bad. Jim kept slipping through. I took seven eggs for Winnie. They invited Jessie and me to supper tonight. The children showed me books, etc., until suppertime and after, Rhoda Wainwright showed me such a lot of fancywork she had done in England. It was ten to eight when I started home.
3rd month, 17th, 4th day
Thawing a little. I tidied up and washed the shelves, cleaned the range and heater, etc., etc. Took some eggs to Borden Trading Company.
3rd month, 18th, 5th day
No fire at night. Quite hot today, snow going very fast. John McCheane took his father and mother to the train, they are going to stay at Lydia Crabb’s over Teddy’s birthday. John McCheane stayed supper.
3rd month, 19th, 6th day
Thawing a good one. No fire at night. I did quite a bit of stocking mending.
3rd month, 20th, 7th day
Thawing fast but no (or very little) sun. We, Eddy and I, cleaned the stovepipes. I cooked a stew for dinner on the camp stove which we put up outside. It burnt fine. We put some sticks in the oven3 today and they caught on fire. Dick Primmer came to dinner.
3rd month, 21st, 1st day
Thawing a little. I carried the boiler full of melted snow, I hurt my back. I read Richard Davies, we read some aloud in the evening.
3rd month, 22nd, 2nd day
Charley Piprell and John McCheane came to dinner. I expected Caroline and William McCheane and Jessie but Jessie stayed at Ruth Tallis’s and Caroline and William McCheane at Halsteads’. John McCheane drove up this way with his father and mother. While they were here the horses were tied to our democrat, and Teddy got in the cutter and started them off. They dragged the democrat along and looked like having a good smash but it caught in the trees by the bluff. Just outside the house I saw them start and heard Teddy shouting and thought it was someone driving them. When they stopped I took hold of Zip and John McCheane came up and took hold of Lady. Melting snow. Thawing fast.
3rd month, 23rd, 3rd day
A cold night but the sun got up strong and it made quite a bit more bare ground. I went down Borden to post a letter and took two dozen eggs. They are only twenty cents a dozen. I started some washing but Jessie came back so as I had just done through one water, the towels and tea cloths and some woolens, I finished them and quit. Vic Tallis brought Jessie home in the afternoon. Eddy and I drove over to see the cattle. They had left the straw stack and some of them were eating the stubble and the rest, grass. We had to walk quite a bit because there was not enough snow for the cutter to run. No fire at night.
3rd month, 24th, 4th day
Lawrence came. Snow going fast but a cold wind. Jessie and I went to Borden, we rode down with Dad. It was very wet and muddy around Borden. Lawrence Dawson came. We did not expect him. He had grown.
3rd month, 25th, 5th day
A nice day, thawing pretty well. Dad and the boys hauling manure.
3rd month, 26th, 6th day
Thawing but a cold wind. I planted some flower seeds.
3rd month, 27th, 7th day
A very cold wind, Thawing a little but it did not feel like it. Dad went to see the cattle and met seventeen of them on Cowan’s land.
3rd month, 28th, 1st day
Cold and snowing and blowing yet I think it thawed a little. We had Meeting and read Richard Davies and I read A Short History of a Long Travel.
3rd month, 29th, 2nd day
A very big thaw today though it did not start very early. Eddy and Lawrence hauled nine loads of manure but trails are so bad there is bare ground about a third of the way. I took down two dozen eggs and squared up with the Borden Trading Company.
3rd month, 30th, 3rd day
Dad and I took Carla down and had her foot seen to. The blacksmith made a good job of it. We did a big wash and four blankets. Dad and Eddy and Lawrence put rings1 in Jumbo, Blacky, Saskatoon and Bufus. Ed McCheane came and I went back with him after supper. The trails were very bad to the creek. Lydia Crabb and her two children were at the McCheanes’.
3rd month, 31st, 4th day
Monthly Meeting. Dad drove up with Prince and Pelly. Jessie Green was admitted into membership. A very hot day, snow going fast. After dinner Dad went with the McCheanes and Wakes to the Farmer’s Meeting. At five o’clock Hannah Mary and I drove our team toward the school about half way we met the McCheanes etc., coming back, so Hannah Mary went back with them and I drove on to the school. Dad had been up to Big Jack’s. The horses came home fine. We were surprised when we got back to find so much ground bare. I made the bed and washed up the supper things, etc.
1. This would be washing soda rather than baking soda.
2. Oxen had rings put in their noses to make them more manageable. They were led by lines attached to their rings, rather than by halters as with horses.
3. The purpose would be to dry the sticks, for kindling.
4th month, 1st, 5th day
Thawing. Joshua and Arthur and Oscar came in. They brought Hugh Wake. We had a hard storm of rain and snow, about two inches. It cleared up nicely before Joshua, Arthur and Oscar went home. Hugh Wake fixed one of the windows. Jessie went to Borden.
4th month, 2nd, 6th day
Hugh Wake went to Saskatoon this morning. Dad went for a load of hay.
4th month, 3rd, 7th day
In the afternoon Jessie and I were going down Borden when we met John McCheane so we came back. He stayed all night.
4th month, 4th, 1st day
I washed up and did the potatoes as usual. After dinner John McCheane drove to the Doukhobor village. Jessie Green and I went with him. He took our democrat. After Meeting he went home.
4th month, 5th, 2nd day
STARTED DRILLING. Jessie Green went down Borden. P. Gerling had a cold and so she stayed and looked after the children and the house.
4th month, 6th, 3rd day
STARTED DRILLING but did only four rounds. Jessie was at Gerlings’ all day. I got soft water in for washing what was lying at the end of the house, and put a calf’s skin in to cure. Drilling in the afternoon.
4th month, 7th, 4th day
Washing. Drilling with the oxen and harrowing with the horses. We used Blacky as little Rodger was away.
4th month, 8th, 5th day
Jessie in bed all day with a cold. Drilling and harrowing in the afternoon. Prince is working on the harrow as Ida is too lame.
4th month, 9th, 6th day
I hustled up and got done pretty early. At twenty past eleven o’clock Dad came in and asked me to go and look for the oxen, so I got Queeny and went all around where I expected they were, but I could not see them so it was past two when I got back. The others had had their dinner and gone to work again, drilling with horses, and two oxen harrowing. Started before dinner.
4th month, 10th, 7th day
I washed up etc., and then Dad, Eddy and Lawrence got the oxen from the herd just off our quarter, but they ran back again. So Eddy went on Jim and brought them up again but they ran back again, so Dad told me to get on Queeny and go after them, which I did and we brought them back again. After a while, Jumbo, Little Rodger and Saskatoon went back again, so Dad and I went after them. I could not turn Jumbo back, he was determined to go, so Dad said, puff him out,1 1and I did and then I turned his head toward where Rodger and Saskatoon were and trotted him back. He had enough running then, and they went home well. David Crabb came and stayed all night. Drilling with the oxen on the eight acre patch. There are about twenty-six acres drilled and two harrowed.
4th month, 11th, 1st day
I wrote my diary up before dinner or part of it. We had Meeting as usual. In the evening we read Daniel Wheeler. David Crabb stayed all night.
4th month, 12th, 2nd day
Cold and strong wind, about two inches of snow fell. Men indoors. David Crabb went home in the afternoon.
4th month, 13th, 3rd day
Cold. It thawed the snow but not the ground much. Did not work the land.
4th month, 14th, 4th day
Very cold wind. I drove Creamy round by Tracksells’ and G. Evans’ looking for the oxen but could not see them. When I got back I fixed the set of buggy harness Dad got from Borden, on Creamy, and Jessie and I drove to Parkers’ to try and get a gobbler but could not. Dad finished the eight acre patch and started on the old land. We used old Buck. Driver and Blacky are broken in now.
4th month, 15th, 5th day
David Crabb came in while we were having Meeting and after dinner he rode up to Orchards’ with J. Orchard and walked from there to McCheanes’. The men brought a big load of willow to be taken to Sixteen. Did not work the land, too cold.
4th month, 16th, 6th day
Jessie Green washed the floor. I rode Queeny down Borden and got a packet of yeast cakes, then I went over the line to see for the oxen, and found them among the sand hills. I got on the top of a high sandhill to see which direction Borden was, and I had not gone a mile before I met Dad and Eddy in the democrat so they went back and I drove the oxen home. We did not work on the land. We have quite a covering of snow.
4th month, 17th, 7th day
The snow melted and Dad did about four acres of drilling. He had Jumbo. I sold my lame chicken to the Jew for thirty-five cents.
4th month, 18th, 1st day
We had Meeting as usual. We had stewed peaches for tea.
4th month, 19th, 2nd day
We did a good big wash. We are well ahead with the washing now which is a big relief.
4th month, 20th, 3rd day
We lost the work horses and we all went to look for them. I went after dinner. We had not found them so Dad sent me to catch Creamy, she was about three quarters of a mile south east of Wainwrights’. Wainwrights asked for Floss’s puppy. By the time I had got to Edgar Tallis’s they had got the horses, so I helped hitch the oxen in and came home. Lydia Crabb and Ed McCheane called on their way from Radisson. They had taken David Crabb in. Jessie Green got them a cup of tea.
4th month, 21st, 4th day
Dad, Eddy and Lawrence went to Sixteen with two loads of willow and a load of horse corn. I went on Creamy after dinner and found and brought home and milked the heifer. I then rode to Borden to see if the line back heifer2 was with the Borden cattle. On my way back Charley Piprell came galloping up. He put in his pony. We sat talking, Jessie Green and I sewing, I think. We had supper rather early and Charley Piprell went home. I rode to Borden for the mail then took Creamy to the field and fed the colts. I then walked to Borden to see if Jessie Green’s drugs had come. I walked along the track to Seniors’ to see if the line back heifer was with the cattle, but she was not. By the time I got home it was pretty dusk. Lawrence had come, he had the horses, and the others were not long.
4th month, 22nd , 5th day
Dad, Eddy and Lawrence went to see Uncle’s quarter. They drove Mike and Prince. Dad was disappointed when he saw how much alkali there was on it. They were back in time for Meeting. We did some drilling in the afternoon.
4th month, 23rd, 6th day
I washed up, did the potatoes etc., and rode Creamy after the cattle. They were up by Cowan’s. They separated them. I went in and got some lunch, fed Creamy and started up to Sixteen with the cattle and drove them there and was back at Borden again in three hours. We were busy packing up.
4th month, 24th, 7th day
Busy packing up and loading the wagons. Lawrence drove the old oxen in the hay rack and I drove the young ones. I had the turkeys and the oats in my wagon. The oxen turned off by the Doukhobor village and I could not make them go back. I got Rodger’s line and twisted it round my hands and put my feet against the wagon and pulled as hard as I could thinking I would turn them “haw” but instead of that they turned “gee” so short that they locked the wagon without scarcely moving the back wheels. However they had to give in and they soon caught the other oxen up again. We got the place looking very different before we went to bed. To get to our bed we had to jump over a stream or pool of water which was melting and running in under the door. Ugly had a calf. Twenty-three eggs.
4th month, 25th, 1st day
A nice day. We drove Prince and Creamy to Meeting. There were fourteen people at Meeting. Eddy and I stayed dinner. Hannah Mary and John McCheane came back with us to supper. Soon after they had gone Dad and Jessie came. In the evening it went very cold. Twenty-three eggs. There is still a trail of snow from Sixteen to McCheanes’.
4th month, 26th, 2nd day
Dad surprised us at about a quarter to five with the news that the snow had been drifting in. It was on their pillows pretty thick and some on mine, but it was very fortunate for us that Jessie Green, feeling a draught, had hung her skirt over the head of the bed. There was quite two inches of snow on it and at the foot of the bed it was a foot deep. In the boys’ room it was much worse, their bedclothes had to be dried. It was very cold all day. In the afternoon Dad and I went in the democrat to look for Ugly. I think it was one of the coldest drives I have had this winter. We did not find her. When we got back Charley Piprell and Ed Cornell were here. Ed Cornell wanted to let his land and Dad arranged to have fifty or sixty bushels of wheat off Charley Piprell. Eddy is to help him clean it and he will haul it here for a dollar a bushel. Dad went down on Nine again and found Ugly and then we went a second time with Eddy to get the line back heifer, but could not get her home.
4th month, 27th, 3rd day
Started seeding at Sixteen. In the morning, Dad, Lawrence and I went to Borden. Dad and I rode in the democrat, driving Prince and Mike, and led Creamy. Lawrence rode Jim and led Jess. Lawrence brought back the wagon with some wood, etc., in it. I drove Creamy in the buggy and Dad drove the democrat. I gathered thirty-two eggs. I reckoned twenty-six for yesterday and six toward today’s allowance. We started seeding the summer fallow and harrowing the new land after dinner.
4th month, 28th, 4th day.
We went to Meeting. It is Monthly Meeting. We laid Lawrence’s dinner and all stayed at McCheanes’. It was pretty cold. We could not get on the land.
4th month, 29th, 5th day
Early in the morning Eddy and I went to the Piprells’ to help Charley Piprell clean the wheat Dad bought off him for which he gave one dollar per bushel. We had dinner there and after that Annie Walker came over and Charley and Eddy finished off the work and came in. We had games of Snap, Cities, Muggins. We started home about half past seven. Creamy came home very quickly. We called at McCheanes’ for the turkeys but it took us so long to get off again that it was nine or after when we got home. Dad went to Borden. My Plymouth rock let her eggs get cold. Dad brought twenty-one eggs.
4th month, 30th, 6th day
Dad got eight acres seeded today. Not much like spring, very cold. I went to find Buck on Creamy. He was with Baxters’ oxen on Eleven. McCheanes lost Lady. I called there and stayed dinner. Buck was rather troublesome, he did not care to leave the others. I lost the crupper off my saddle, the ring came out of the saddle. I went back to look for it but could not see it. McCheanes found Lady down by the river. Dad went to Piprells’ to get the rest of the wheat and lost the end gate.
1. Cattle do not have as much “puff” or wind or breath as horses. Mary could not make the ox go the way she wanted so her father told her to just chase him with the horse any way the ox wanted to go until he ran out of puff, or was breathing hard, then he would be easy to turn and go where he was wanted to go.
2. Line back - a Hereford with a white face and a white stripe along the top of its back.
5th month, 1st, 7th day
A nice day but a very cold wind. We had two lots of oxen on the drill and finished the summer fallow and the piece by the well on Twenty-One. Eddy and I drove to Borden with Prince and Creamy. They went fine. We stuck up a board to turn the trail round our wheat. We collected fifty-three eggs and brought over five hens.
5th month, 2nd, 1st day
A nice day. It was very close in Meeting, about sixty per cent were nodding. I had such a job to keep awake. We came home to dinner. Eddy went to the Wakes’ to dinner and McCheanes’ to supper and Meeting. Jessie Green and I walked over toward Ruth Tallis’s but met them on their way to Booths’. Ruthie had a bit of steel in her eye and they were taking her to see if Nurse Booth could get it out. We went with them. Baxter’s wife is much better since her operation. We stayed supper at Ruth Tallis’s. It was a lovely evening.
5th month, 3rd, 2nd day
Working two teams on one drill on the new land. A very hot day, too hot for the oxen. Eddy and I hauled two barrels of water from the little slough.
5th month, 4th, 3rd day
Jessie Green washed. I did not do any of it as I had to be helping bagging wheat, etc. I did more of the housework. I rode round the oxen and brought them all up to the corral. They were at Nikerks’.
5th month, 5th, 4th day
Before Meeting I rode around the Nikerks’ and Eight and Nine, looking for the oxen. We went to Meeting. It was pretty close. I was sleepy. After dinner Eddy and Dad drove the team and I rode Creamy. Dad told me to go to the Boyles’ where I thought I saw them this morning. I had driven them about a quarter of a mile when Dad and Eddy drove up. They went home ahead of me. A cold wind and it looks very stormy.
5th month, 6th, 5th day
We drove Creamy and Prince and brought back my Plymouth Rock hen and nine chicks.
5th month, 7th, 6th day
I washed up, etc., as usual and helped hitch the oxen up in the afternoon. I was out most of the time, lifting water up to Dad as he dressed the wheat in the four hundred bushel granary. I did one round of drilling with the bulls. We put four horses on the shoe drill.
5th month, 8th, 7th day
Norman and Sidney called on their way from McCheanes’. Jessie Green told them if Ruth would like to come over after dinner she could go to Borden with us which she did. We drove Mike and Creamy. It was quite cold coming back. After supper I walked over to Ruth Tallis with Ruthie. We brought two grips1 from Borden for David Crabb.
5th month, 9th, 1st day
Wheat at Borden coming up. We were early for Meeting. The men were lying on the lawn. It was not nearly so close in Meeting. We all came home to dinner. In the afternoon, Hannah Mary McCheane and Willie McCheane and Lydia and David Crabb and their children came up. In the afternoon Dad and Jessie went to Borden, the McCheanes stayed supper and Eddy and I walked to Meeting. It was a lovely night. I enjoyed the walk home. Dad and Jessie brought home another hen and eight chickens.
5th month, 10th, 2nd day
I rode down on Nine for the cattle and drove them up to Nikerks’ and then I went back to Boyles’ looking for the work horses. I found them on Eight and drove them to Nikerks’ where Dad and Lawrence drove down and took them and I drove the cattle home. Just as we had finished dinner William and Caroline McCheane drove through on their way to Borden. They are going to Calgary to Edith Kennedy’s wedding. I went with them to see to the chickens which should hatch today. When we got there I found they were hatching badly. The bridge at the Elbow was on fire so Caroline and William McCheane could not go until a train comes from Edmonton tomorrow. John McCheane stayed the day.
5th month, 11th, 3rd day
Oxen and horses harrowing. Dad and Jessie Green went to Uncle’s quarter and back by Borden. They brought the hen and surviving chickens.
5th month, 12th, 4th day
I helped Eddy hitch the bulls up and brought Creamy and the colts from the pasture, washed up, etc. I wore a white blouse to Meeting the first time this year. We drove to Meeting with Prince and Mike. After dinner I went on Creamy to get the cattle, they were down by a slough south of McCheanes’. Eddy and Dad and I went to Borden to get back the plows and a wagon box of wood. Jessie Green went over to Ruth Tallis’s to stitch her aprons. I took the two colts and Creamy and Darby to the pasture and called at Ruth Tallis’s and we both stayed supper.
5th month, 13th, 5th day
I went to the pasture and got Creamy and rode around looking for the cattle and I found them over Clark’s hill. I had a job to get them from the other cattle, it was half past ten when I got home with them. Lawrence got here about half past twelve and I went with him to the Wakes’ to clean the oats we bought off Joshua, but the fanning mill did not go any sense, so we came home and I planted some strawberries, and Eddy and Dad planted the trees.
5th month, 14th, 6th day
Straight after breakfast I went to Powerys’ and brought the cattle up. Our cow is very lame. I rode around as far as the school looking for Billy. Started ploughing summer fallow.
5th month, 15th, 7th day
I fetched the cattle up from Powerys’ and soon after I started around to look for Billy. I went to George Tallis’s and Jack’s, William Tallis’s, Orchards’, Walkers’ Booths’, Saloways’ and McCheanes’ and from there went onto Baxters’, Primmers’ and down to Clarks’ herd, over to his house and back home. After dinner Eddy and I drove round Borden looking for Billy and the horses, but we could not find them. It was late when we got home.
5th month, 16th, 1st day
We drove to Meeting. After dinner, Dad and Eddy and Lawrence went to Borden looking for the horses and bull. I went to Clarks’ hill after the cattle but they were not our cattle I could see, but a part of Clarks’ herd. The cowboy came after them. I found ours right down the other side of Boyle’s by the creek. I got them home and milked the cow. Ruth and Edgar Tallis, Ruthie and Gracie came over and stayed supper. Norman and Sidney came in just as we were having supper to tell their father they could not find the oxen. They stayed supper and I rode on Creamy down to Eight again to see if I would see their own oxen but I did not. Dad and company did not see the horses or Billy. Ruthie rode Creamy home and I rode her back again.
5th month, 17th, 2nd day
I rode Creamy to Borden to put the horses in the pasture, and Billy. I saw the horses by the Turtle Lake schoolmaster so I caught Queeny and led her and Creamy and the others followed. I had a job with them but at last got them in the pasture. I saddled Queeny and rode her to Borden and around by the Tracksells’ and found Billy just below Evans’ and drove him to the house. Then I saddled Creamy and put Queeny and Billy in the pasture. It was late when I got home.
5th month, 18th, 3rd day
Eddy went with a team of oxen to get the oats from Wakes’. I drove the cattle to Clarks’ after dinner. Dad drilling and Lawrence plowing stubble.
5th month, 19th, 4th day
We went to Meeting. Jessie Green was very busy getting ready to go to Borden tomorrow.
5th month, 20th, 5th day
We all came to Borden. We brought two ox teams with the drill. I drove the colts and Jessie Green the buggy. I had the puppy in the front of the democrat. Lots to do tidying the place up. William Walker came just as we were finishing supper. Vic Tallis drove him up.
5th month, 21st, 6th day
Eddy, Dad and Lawrence went up to Eddy’s quarter and started plowing the stubble. They made quite a start.
5th month, 22nd, 7th day
They had several hindrances, came home to sleep.
5th month, 23rd, 1st day
Dad and Jessie Green went to Sixteen. They took their dinner. We had Meeting after supper. I read quite a lot of Incidents and Reflections.
5th month, 24th, 2nd day
I drove the oxen to Eddy’s quarter and on my way back went to Tracksells to tell them their horses were on our grain. I came back through Borden. Annie, Jack’s wife, and J. Matthews and his wife, Big Jack and Walter came in to the sports. Laurie and Winnie came, they were here to dinner. Winnie rode Creamy to Borden and back. Dad came down because they had broken the plow and eveners. They had bought two and a quarter acres just over the road for a cemetery, at $50.00 an acre. I milk the cow twice a day now. In the evening while Annie and the others were in here, Billy Tallis came so I got Creamy as quick as I could and drove him back. They passed me about half way to Evans’ and he kept up with them until they turned off at Parkers’. Dad and the others were all in bed when I got there so I tied him up. It was a very dark night. I was glad when I got home. Jessie Green came with me to the pasture.
5th month, 25th, 3rd day
I drove up and fetched Dad and milked, etc., while he was down Borden seeing to the plows, etc. Then I drove him back and helped hitch the oxen up. So after I got back Ed McCheane came. Jessie Green and I went to Borden with him. We got the mail. The pig came up and Ed McCheane got it to the sty. Dad came home in the evening because he had hurt himself. The plow caught in a root and the handle gave him a bang.
5th month, 26th, 4th day
Dad is in bed. I drove up with Mike and Creamy and got William Walker and took him to Saloways. I stayed dinner. Susie gave me several kinds of seeds and some chrysanthemums.
5th month, 27th, 5th day
I drove to Eddy’s quarter and after dinner I let Mike out and got the little plow home with Creamy and did some plowing, making rows to plant potatoes. Arthur came along and he took on and I held the horse. We planted six rows. Arthur stayed all night.
5th month, 28th, 6th day
Eddy and Lawrence came home for the drill, etc., but the oxen had got out of the pasture and I had to get on Creamy and go to look for them. At last they came back to Moors’ fence and I put them in. Then I hitched up Queeny and Creamy and drove to Sixteen. Arthur went with me and I drove him to Baxters’. He left his trees there, he was feeling pretty sick.
5th month, 29th, 7th day
It came on raining in the night and we had a good rain. I went to Borden in about the hardest of it to get some meat. I caught Creamy and Mike and drove up to Eddy’s quarter. I was a little way off the graded road and I passed Eddy and Lawrence but of course I never thought of them going home and I went to Ayres’ and Cockburns’ and came home just as they were finishing dinner. Ed McCheane was here in the afternoon and we did quite a lot of seed planting, potatoes, etc. It rained nearly all night.
5th month, 30th, 1st day
It was a nice day. One can almost see the wheat growing.
5th month, 31st, 2nd day
Eddy and Lawrence went seeding, etc., again on Eddy’s quarter. I drove them up and came back and got all the potatoes etc., out of the cellar and picked the good ones from the bad ready for planting. It was a nasty job, they smelt awful. I went to Borden and got some chop and fetched Eddy and Lawrence Dawson home in the evening. Very hot.
1. Grips - suitcases.
6th month, 1st, 3rd day
I drove them up to Eddy’s quarter and stayed as well. Creamy got loose and came home. We got done and back at Borden about half past three. Planting garden in the afternoon.
6th month, 2nd, 4th day
Started getting the things together to go to Sixteen. We had Meeting in the morning. It was late when we started to Sixteen. Just as we were getting near the creek the black ox which was tied to Lawrence’s wagon got his foot cut with the plow share. It bled very badly. We let him loose and he followed. About a mile and a quarter from home the heifer laid down and pulled the rope off her neck so we went on without her. I drove the horses with a load and a plough tied behind, Lawrence a team of oxen on a wagon, and Eddy, four bulls on a stone boat with the pig in a box. Dad and Jessie drove Darby and Prince in the democrat. Creamy had a colt.
6th month, 3rd, 5th day
Dad walked around looking for the ox and cow. I went to meet him with Darby and Prince and we went to Clarks’ house, but the woman had not seen them. In the afternoon we drove Prince and Jess to Borden and met A. Clark who told us they were here in the herd.
6th month, 4th, 6th day
Went with Jim and Prince to get the cow. I milked her down there. Dad and Eddy got the plows ready to plow summer fallow with a three and a four ox team.
6th month, 5th, 7th day
I plowed all day with the four oxen on the high lift gang, and Dad with the walking gang, and Lawrence on the other piece with the horse.
6th month, 6th, 1st day
I stayed dinner at the McCheanes’ and Dad went to the Wakes’ and John McCheane came to our house and went with Eddy to Borden in the afternoon. Dad came to the McCheanes to supper and we stayed Meeting. Ed and Hannah Mary McCheane came home with us.
6th month, 7th, 2nd day
I helped hitch up the oxen. Eddy and Dad and I drove them. I always milk the cow and feed the pig since Dad hurt himself.
6th month, 8th, 3rd day
Helped hook up the oxen and did one round. I did the housework while Jessie was washing. She did a big wash.
6th month, 9th, 4th day
Hitched up and did three or four rounds before Meeting. It is General and Monthly Meeting today. We stayed dinner at the McCheanes and had General Meeting in the afternoon. It was five o’clock when we got home.
6th month, 10th, 5th day
Plowing in the morning, etc. Just as we had hitched up in the afternoon, McCheanes came. I was in the yard when they came. They went to Borden to have the children’s photos taken, but the photographer was not there.
6th month, 11th, 6th day
I finished plowing the bottom part of the summer fallow and Dad finished the piece above the straw stack, and did a round on the piece north of the house and I also did fourteen rounds before dinner.
6th month, 12th, 7th day
Dad went to Borden with a team of bulls in the wagon and came back by Eddy’s quarter. The bulls did not make much show on the land, it was so very hot.
6th month, 13th, 1st day
We all came home after Meeting and I went to the pasture to get Queeny and rode her to Uncle Esau’s but as I was trying to catch her, Walter came and I rode up to the shack with him. He stayed supper and so did William Walker. Dad and Jessie went to Borden. Walter asked Eddy and me to go to their place next 1st day,
6th month, 14th, 2nd day
Dad and Jessie went to Borden. Milked cow, fed pig and chickens, etc. Very hot.
Ted and E. Griffin came.
6th month, 15th, 3rd day
6th month, 16th, 4th day
We went to Meeting. Plowing after dinner. A hot day.
6th month, 17th, 5th day
Plowing all day etc. Very hot. I had two prairie chicks hatch.
6th month, 18th, 6th day
Plowing, Very hot.
6th month, 19th, 7th day
Dad went to Borden. T. Griffin1 has arranged for a week’s work at Gerling’s. Eddy and I on the plowing. Half another day will finish it.
6th month, 20th, 1st day
Raining most of the day. Eddy and I stayed dinner at the McCheanes’ and supper. John McCheane drove us home after evening Meeting.
6th month, 21st, 2nd day
Raining all morning. I drove to Borden in the afternoon and brought over Annie and Eva Griffin. We have had a good soaking rain.
6th month, 22nd, 3rd day
Dad and Lawrence hauling manure all morning. In the afternoon I drove the four bulls and finished the stubble. Dad plowed by the corral.
6th month, 23rd, 4th day
Went to Meeting. It seems funny to have a baby2 in the house. Dad went to Borden with a load of corn with the oxen. Annie Griffin was busy ironing.
6th month, 24th, 25th and 26th
Boys breaking with three oxen on the fourteen inch plough, and horses one day on another fourteen inch plough.
6th month, 27th, 1st day
Tom Griffin went with us to Meeting. Billy Walker was here to dinner and supper. Jessie Green went over to Ruth Tallis’s after supper.
6th month, 28th, 29th and 30th
I was harrowing with four bulls on six section harrows.
1. The Borden history book, Our Treasured Heritage, tells of this family, Tom and Annie Griffin, on page 128. Tom Griffin was Nathan Saunders’ first cousin on his mother’s side.
2. The baby is Eva Griffin.
7th month, 1st, 5th day
Eddy and I finished clearing out the well in the corral and in the afternoon we drove Dick and Prince to Borden. Dick is a fresh horse which Dad bought in Radisson a few days ago. One back foot is a little twisted. He went fine.
7th month, 2nd, 6th day
After dinner Dad and Wilbur McFadyen drove to Borden. Wilbur drove Dick back in the buggy and Dad stayed overnight and drove to Radisson in the morning. The vet lanced Prince’s shoulder so he left him in Moor’s pasture and drove Creamy home.
7th month, 3rd, 7th day
I was harrowing all day with the horses, Eddy and Lawrence plowing up the sloughs.
7th month, 4th, 1st day
We drove to Meeting in the buggy and democrat. Tom, Annie and Eva Griffin stayed dinner and supper. Eddy drove to bring them home, but he and Tom stayed evening Meeting and Hannah Mary drove Eva and Annie Griffin back. Hannah Mary went with me to the big pasture to milk the cow.
7th month, 5th, 2nd day
Dad, Lawrence and Jessie Green went to Borden. They took one team of horses and one of oxen. About one o’clock it started raining. At four o’clock I left here for Borden with the team of ponies. I was back again in two hours. We had a nice rain but not a great lot of it.
7th month, 6th, 3rd day
I helped hook the bulls up, milked the cow, fed the pigs, etc., etc.
7th month, 7th, 4th day
Helped Eddy hook the bulls up and got the ponies up ready to go to Meeting. Only Eddy and I went. In the afternoon I drove Tom, Annie and Eva Griffin up toward John Orchard’s. We called at Charles Orchard’s to ask the way and he wanted Tom to stay and work for him. He is just starting a big barn. Tom has agreed to go next 6th day. Raining all evening.
7th month, 8th, 5th day
A lot of rain has fallen. It cleared up about dinner time. In the morning John McCheane came up to see if Dad was here and if so to take him to see the Homestead Inspector, who is leaving McCheanes’ at dinner time. But Dad was at Borden. We were going to Borden in the afternoon but just as I was going for the ponies John McCheane came through on his way to Borden, so we went with him. He took Tom over to see Bell’s quarter. I walked to Borden and got some pork, etc. It was about eight o’clock when we started home.
7th month, 9th, 6th day
One of the kittens got in the stable and was trod on. Lawrence came home last night and Eddy went back with him. Dad exchanged Darby and $20.00 for a six year old mare. She is a jibber. I made butter in the morning, and harrowing all afternoon. I drove Tom to Charles Orchard’s.
7th month, 10th, 7th day
I got breakfast. There is only the two of us here. I milked the cow and hooked up and did a good piece of harrowing, started over the trail after dinner. Tom came.
7th month, 11th, 1st day
I was just starting for the ponies when Dad and Jessie Green came. Eddy and Lawrence came in the wagon. We drove Dick in the democrat. Eddy and I stayed dinner. Ed and Oscar went to the Wakes’. We sat on the lawn and read Rebecca Jones. They drove us home. We had strawberries for tea. Eva is sitting on my knee and messing up the page. I walked over to Ruth Tallis’s after supper. I brought back a kitten.
7th month, 12th, 2nd day
Eddy and Lawrence started early. I was harrowing all morning. It was very hot. Started to rain at noon - we had a good shower. In the afternoon Dad came and we started cultivating the garden with Blacky but we could not make him go any sense, so we drove them all to the big pasture and brought up the ponies and after supper cultivated with Creamy. Rain nearly all night.
7th month, 13th, 3rd day
Drizzling. I rode Queeny to the big pasture and Dad walked. We handled the oxen together but they got hooking and got loose. Dad started on the road, back-setting and I did half one round while he had his dinner. It was a wet miserable day.
7th month, 14th, 4th day
Dad finished the road before Meeting. I milked the cow, fed the pig, got the ponies up from the pasture etc. We went to Meeting. It rained hard most of the afternoon. Hannah Mary McCheane came over in the afternoon and stayed a while. She rode back on her bicycle. Dad and I went mustard picking.
7th month, 15th, 5th day
Dad and I were both harrowing. I had the harrow cart in the morning, he had it in the afternoon. Very hot.
7th month, 16th, 6th day
Both harrowing. It was very hot.
7th month, 17th, 7th day
We finished the harrowing before dinner. Arthur Wake called on his way to Borden. He went with me after dinner to get the horse rake and then went on with Dad to Borden. I raked the dry scrub and etc., off the summer fallow, that clogs the harrows so.
7th month, 18th, 1st day
Eddy and Lawrence and Arthur Wake came over. We drove to Meeting. We went over to supper and stayed evening Meeting.
7th month, 19th, 2nd day
Lawrence walked back to Borden and Eddy fixed the teeth on the cultivator. I was bringing the cow and black ox from the big pasture and she broke his halter and ran off to Clarks’. I helped Eddy hook up and then went after her on Queeny. She went fine. I could not find the herd and so I went back to Wakes’ and had dinner with Arthur and Duncan McPherson. Arthur got on the roof and saw the cattle just coming up from the river, so I went to them but could not find the cow, and the herd boy said some of the herd were at Sherrat’s and she may have got with them. So I went with him but could not find her. We went along the river toward Clarks’ and found her with the Jew’s cattle. We had a good chase after her on the ground. I then led her for more than a mile and drove her along for about another three when she popped in a bluff and I could not find her, so I went home for Floss and Ed and Wilbur McFadyen drove down and we tied her behind the buggy. Tom came home. The mosquitoes were dreadful, almost enough to send one wild.
7th month, 20th, 3rd day
Eddy went back to Borden and I went on harrowing. Dad drove over to say that A. Bee could have the cultivator for $60.00.
7th month, 21st, 4th day
I was harrowing. I rode Queeny to Meeting in the morning. We were rather late getting up and so I did not hook up before Meeting. A. Bee came for the cultivator.
7th month, 22nd, 5th day
Still harrowing. After supper I rode Creamy over to McCheanes’ and told them we had decided not to go to the berry-picking picnic tomorrow.
7th month, 23rd, 6th day
Wilbur McFadyen finished his disking this morning and now he has to do one day for E. Tallis for the use of the disc. I was harrowing.
7th month, 24th, 7th day
In the afternoon we all drove to Borden with Queeny and Creamy. We tied the colts up. Winnie Crabb is staying with Jessie for a while. I walked into Moors’ pasture to see the horse Dad had traded for Darby. I won’t attempt to describe what the mosquitoes were like. The ponies galloped most of the way home.
7th month, 25th, 1st day
Dad and Winnie drove over, and we three rode to Meeting in the buggy. Wilbur McFadyen went home this morning. He gave Eva a very nice gold brooch with “Darling” on it.
7th month, 26th, 2nd day
Tom went to work at Orchards’ again and we were left all on our lonely-oh. I went on harrowing and finished in the evening.
7th month, 27th, 3rd day
Started disking and hauled a barrel of water.
7th month, 28th, 4th day
Monthly Meeting. Jessie and Eddy came up and they rode in the buggy and I rode Queeny. I came back to dinner and went disking in the afternoon.
7th month, 29th, 5th day
Dad came this afternoon and did some disking. Hannah Mary went to Borden to go raspberry picking with Jessie Green. Very hot.
7th month, 30th, 6th day
Disking. Very hot. Started to thunder at dinner time but we did not have much rain. We had quite another thunderstorm in the evening. Hannah Mary McCheane came and stayed all night.
7th month, 31st, 7th day
Disking, but it was so very hot we could not get along very fast. At dinner time I rode Queeny over to McCheanes’ and borrowed a packet of starch. The mosquitoes were simply !?_?_!?!
8th month, 1st, 1st day
Jessie Green drove over to Meeting. Dad rode with her to Meeting and I rode Queeny up to Orchards’ and from there to Meeting. John McCheane and Joshua drove Tom Griffin home after supper.
8th month, 2nd, 2nd day
I got myself tidy and harnessed the ponies and Dad drove me to the McCheanes’ and I went with them to Petrofka, to stay a little while with Herman Fast. We got there just after dinner time. They have a very nice house. They generally have two meals, dinner and supper, out on the verandah. We went out picking raspberries in the afternoon. I got about one quart; after supper we went out rowing in a boat, pretty leaky. The lake is a mile across and two miles round. Their house is built up on the bank. It is a lovely lake and smells just like the sea. We were out rowing long after sundown and the moon was shining out upon the water.
8th month, 3rd, 3rd day
After breakfast Mamie, Alys, Hannah Mary and John McCheane and I went into the boat again. We went over to the other side and played at skimming the stones over the water. Hannah Mary and Alys rowed over and Mamie and I rowed back. It was enjoyable. Then after a while we went out again with Dr. Howell and a Russian lady who is staying with the Fasts. But the lake was getting pretty rough and the waves came over the boat. Soon after dinner we started home and we got home about five o’clock and I stayed at McCheanes’ to supper and John McCheane drove me home. I milked the cow and watered the oxen.
8th month, 4th, 4th day
HAILSTORM. We hooked up our bulls before breakfast and after breakfast did several rounds, then came back and got ready for Meeting, and went to the big pasture and hitched the ponies up and drove straight on to C. Orchards’ with Tom’s letters. By that time we were wet through so came home and changed our clothes. We had a nice steady rain for some time, and then it began to thunder and the sky looked very black indeed. We saw Eddy and Lawrence coming and so we ran out and put some hay in for their horses. We were only just in time, the hail came down before they had got their coats and hats off. Some pieces were as big as walnuts, but most the size of a pea. It did us quite a lot of damage and hailed McDermott and A. Orchard right out. Brackens had four hundred acres in and now they have only fifteen acres fit to cut. Dad went to Borden.
8th month, 5th, 5th day
Dad went on to Radisson this morning. Eddy and I disking and Lawrence hauling stones. The ground was very wet in the morning. Disking did not do much good. Dad came back. Dad has bought a new four horse binder and sold the old three horse.
8th month, 6th, 6th day
Soon after breakfast I started for Borden with Prince in the buggy. Soon after I got there, Jessie Green came back from the pasture. She had been chasing the horses since half past four. We had a bit of something to eat and then went out picking raspberries. We went out again after dinner. Annie Tallis came up and had dinner with us and we all got our pails full. It was a nice change for me. I stayed all night.
8th month, 7th, 7th day
Annie Saunders came to spend a day picking raspberries. I started back about half past eleven o’clock, and got here just as they had done dinner. Altogether I picked about one gallon. Eddy, Lawrence and Dad went back to Borden. Tom came in the evening.
8th month, 8th, 1st day
We all went to Meeting. Eva was very good. Came home to dinner and went to Uncle Esau’s in the afternoon. We had a very nice time and we all enjoyed it very much. It was dark before we got home. Dick came fine.
8th month, 9th, 2nd day
Started harrowing north and south as far as the path to the corral. Very hot.
8th month, 10th, 3rd day
Very hot, a lot like thunder but I kept on till 12 o’clock. I did not hook up as it was so very black and the thunder so near. About seven o’clock Dad came, and Jessie Green, and they stayed all night. I have been riding Dick and driving the cattle to the pasture. He goes very well.
8th month, 11th, 4th day
Did not hook up before Meeting. Annie and Eva went to Meeting. We stayed dinner and went round by C. Orchards’ to see if he could do us some crushing but he said he would sooner not. I hooked up my bull when I got back and finished the patch. Dad took Dick up and left the ponies here.
8th month, 12th, 5th day
Started harrowing north and south right up to the road allowance. Dad came about six o’clock and told me to quit and help him load, but just as we had got in the yard a man came to see Dad and I washed and tidied myself a bit and milked the cow and then Caroline and John McCheane drove up and we all went in to supper. After supper John McCheane helped Dad load and I rode Queeny and drove down to water the cattle at the big pasture. Queeny came back flying. It was quite dark.
8th month, 13th, 6th day
Hotter than ever. Started harrowing this side of the trail. I only did a small piece, but it was so hot and I did not feel up to much.
8th month, 14th, 7th day
I finished the harrowing, all I intend doing, just level with the bottom of the corral acre. I intend disking the top piece as it is so long and thick. Just as I was going to put the oxen in the little corral, the cow ran out and off to Clarks’. The pony (Queeny) was in the pasture and the saddle and bridle by the gate so I jumped onto her and soon overtook the cow. I puffed her out and was bringing her home when she saw an opportunity and popped behind the pony’s back and into a bluff. I jumped off the pony and followed close on to her tail for a bit but I got behind and lost her. I had a real good look but I could not find her and as I had no dog I had to come back and let her rip. When I got back to the pasture Tom had come from Orchards’. I found the oxen on the wheat.
8th month, 15th, 1st day
I went to Meeting. After Meeting I went with Joshua, Arthur, Oscar and Ed McCheane to Wakes’ to dinner. Then all the McCheanes came down and John and Joshua went with their team in our democrat to find the herd, and I drove the others back in the McCheanes’ democrat with our ponies. I stayed there to supper and Meeting. They could not find the herd though they had a good hunt. When I got back Tom went with me to water the oxen in the big pasture. We could not see anything of them.
8th month, 16th, 2nd day
I rode the pony to the big pasture. The gate was down and the oxen gone, so I turned the pony round and I was soon in the little pasture. The oxen had evidently gone for a drink. I hitched up the ponies, we took our dinner with us and went to look for the cow. We found her at Sherrats’ and I milked her there and brought her home, and took her down to the big pasture and tethered her out.
8th month, 17th, 3rd day
I was disking south of this corral. Dad, Eddy and Lawrence came about four o’clock. Ed got the Massey Harris out and got it in going order. Lawrence cut some hay.
8th month, 18th, 4th day
Got both binders going, Lawrence on the twenty-five acre piece and Eddy on the oats - he finished them by dinner time and cut oats and splitz in the afternoon. I hauled two barrels of water from George Tallis’s.
8th month, 19th, 5th day
Ed started on the three crop wheat, I hauled two lots of water.
8th month, 20th, 6th day
Lawrence and Ed both started on the twenty-eight acre piece on Twenty-One. I did some stooking and hauled water.
8th month, 21st, 7th day
Hauled water in the morning and did quite a bit of stooking. They finished cutting the twenty-eight acres. Annie Griffin went to Borden with Dad.
8th month, 22nd, 1st day
Dad, Annie Griffin and Jessie Green came to Sixteen. Ed, Jessie Green and I went on to Meeting. Dad had not changed and we were so late. David Crabb came in a motor car. I stayed dinner and John McCheane came over here to help Ed drive the oxen to Tallis’s to water. We went in the motor round by Orchards’ and to George Tallis’s. We picked Ed and John McCheane up and drove back to McCheanes’. It was lovely driving in the car. After Meeting, Ed and Hannah Mary McCheane drove us home.
8th month, 23rd, 2nd day
Cutting the new land. Dad hauled the water and I stooked. Annie Griffin brought us out some tea and lunch and did some stooking.
8th month, 24th, 3rd day
Stooking. They nearly finished by noon and then Ed went on to Uncle Esau’s. He is going to have the binder for a day or two. I drove the colts to bring him back. We stayed supper and had a very pleasant time.
8th month, 25th, 4th day
All stooking. We went to Meeting, it was Monthly Meeting. There was an epistle read from the Pickering General Meeting and Dad, William, Caroline and John McCheane and Joshua were appointed to answer it. Dad went to Ed’s quarter with the binder. Dad and Lawrence Dawson drove to Borden.
8th month, 26th, 5th day
I watered the oxen and drove them to the big pasture and then went on stooking until dinner time. Dad came and we both stooked until it started to rain about a quarter past six. We had a steady rain.
8th month, 27th, 6th day
Finished stooking about eleven o’clock. Dad fixed the eveners on the disc etc. And drove Prince and the buckskin to Elliots’ and on to Borden and once again we were left all alone-o.
8th month, 28th, 7th day
I was disking but did not quite finish the patch. Quite a cold wind. I wore my waterproof all day.
8th month, 29th, 1st day
Dad came up, and Eddy and Jessie, to Meeting. I was just taking the oxen to the big pasture and I was not dressed, so Dad and Eddy came and tied the oxen up in the yard while I got ready. We came back to dinner and Hannah Mary and John drove over in the afternoon. They stayed supper and asked Annie Griffin and me if we would go a berry picking picnic. We hardly knew what to say about it. I wished they had mentioned it before. Dad went.
8th month, 30th, 2nd day
Tom had to be at Orchards’ early so I got my oxen hooked up and had finished disking the summer fallow by half past nine, and I disked the two sloughs we ploughed this spring and one round on the new land before dinner. After dinner Ed McCheane came and said he would come for us to go to the picnic tomorrow morning. I did eleven rounds on the new land in the afternoon.
8th month, 31st, 3rd day
I got up and lit the fire as usual and went out and got some weeds for the pig and some whole grain and chop and water. I had just come in the house for the milk pail when an elderly man came to the door and inquired the way to McCheanes’. I asked him to stop and have some breakfast with us, but he wanted to go on. He asked if I belonged to the Friends, etc., and where I came from. I asked him again to stop and have breakfast which he did and came back to the house. He told us his name was Wood, and I said, “Benjamin Wood?” and he said yes. We told him McCheanes were coming to take us to the river so he waited. I fixed up the oxen, etc., with lots to eat. McCheanes were very pleased to see Benjamin Wood but as they were not expecting him and as Caroline McCheane and Lydia Crabb were both feeling pretty middling, Hannah Mary had to stay at home, and we were all sorry. But we had a very nice time, we picked enough to make one two-quart sealer of black currant, and I guess I gave almost as many to Hannah Mary because she could not go. We had tea at McCheanes’ and Hannah Mary drove us home. Dad had come up to Sixteen and he was cross because we went.
9th month, 1st, 4th day
I started to Borden about half past eight with Dick and Prince. When I got there I
put them in the stable and went down Moor’s pasture, caught Creamy and rode her back and on to McCheanes’ to Meeting. Benjamin Wood spoke very nicely.
9th month, 2nd, 5th day
I rode Creamy back to Borden and in the evening I drove the team home.
9th month, 3rd, 6th day
Threshing. Jessie Green had the teamsters to dinner. Cockburn threshed for us. I stayed until about five and drove Prince home in the buggy.
9th month, 4th, 7th day
I went to Borden again today. Jessie Green and I got up one row of potatoes, a good crop. Our wheat ran twenty-two and a half bushels to the acre. We got Number 2 - eighty-two cents a bushel for it. 1108 bushels. Eddy came up to Sixteen with a load of wood. I was late getting back.
9th month, 5th, 1st day
Dad, Eddy, Jessie and I went to Meeting. I stayed and Billy Walker brought Prince over for me to ride back with.
9th month, 6th, 2nd day
We got up at half past four and I drove Tom up to Orchards’ and then we started fixing the granary. Dad and Eddy came with the two grain tanks about half past seven, the threshers came about half past nine o’clock, we were very busy all day. A load of oats caught fire by the engine and we looked like getting the place burnt down. The wagon and horses were badly burned, the manure pile by the stable caught fire and a load of wood just in front of the house. There was a strong wind blowing at the time.
9th month, 7th, 3rd day
Dad drove to Borden. Lawrence Dawson plowed fire guards round the stacks and granary.
9th month, 8th, 4th day
Lawrence Dawson went off with a load first thing. We went to Meeting and Dad and Eddy went off with the two grain tanks and four oxen on each abreast. I helped fill the grain tanks.
9th month, 9th, 5th day
Annie Griffin and I got up three bags of potatoes. Dad and Eddy came about dinner time, they loaded one tank before dinner and I went down with them after dinner to load the other tank.
9th month, 10th, 6th day
Lawrence loaded his wagon from the end on of the granary, and then we could manage to open the door and we soon got both tanks loaded. They take about 110 bushels each.
9th month, 11th, 7th day
We got three more loads in today, that filled the car and we sold it - Number 2 -eighty-one and a half cents.
9th month, 12th, 1st day
I saw Dad and Jessie coming in the buggy and got about half a mile from McCheanes’ when they overtook me. I stayed dinner, supper and evening Meeting. John McCheane walked home with me.
9th month, 13th, 2nd day
Lawrence Dawson started from here to haul grain for Uncle Esau. He hauled two loads and Dad and Eddy hauled one each with the tanks. I cleaned the waste round the granary and picked potatoes.
9th month, 14th, 3rd day
Lawrence Dawson came down to me as I was raking the stubble on Twenty-One and said I was to go to Borden. It was after sunset when I started, the evener broke on the way, it was cold when I got there. Dad and Ed came after I had put my horses in. They had brought their last load. I stayed all night.
9th month, 15th, 4th day
I went with Jessie Green, watering the horses. We caught Queeny and the buckskin. I washed up and swept the floor. I drove Queeny back and got here about dinner time. I went raking in the afternoon and finished all that was mown in the slough on Twenty-One. Lawrence Dawson broke the knife2 and so he went to Borden and stayed all night.
9th month, 16th, 5th day
Annie Griffin, Eva and I drove to Borden. Dad was just starting to plough the stubble. We drove Queeny in the buggy and came back with Prince and Dick. We are weaning Queeny’s colt. We were back in time to get Lawrence Dawson’s dinner. I was getting up potatoes in the afternoon.
9th month, 17th, 6th day
I cocked the hay. Eddy came about dinner time and he and I hauled hay in the afternoon. We stacked it in the big pasture, but it was so windy we had to quit. We got up a few potatoes.
9th month, 18th, 7th day
Wet most of the morning. We finished getting up the potatoes. One more job finished.
9th month, 19th, 1st day
Eddy and I drove to McCheanes’ to Meeting. Annie Griffin was pretty sick all day. Sid and Chadwick came to dinner and Billy Walker came in the afternoon. Eddy went to Borden.
9th month, 20th, 2nd day
Lawrence Dawson mowing. We hauled one load. Dad and Eddy are (I guess) hauling grain for Stuart Bryson. We had a nice rain. It will settle the dust a little, but won’t do our hay much good. In the afternoon, Lawrence Dawson went to Borden to bring the plow back.
9th month, 21st, 3rd day
I cleaned up round the granaries and hauled it to the house.
9th month, 22nd, 4th day
I drove to Borden and came back in the evening.
9th month, 23rd, 5th day
We finished hauling the hay and brought a load up to the house.
9th month, 24th, 6th day
I took the cow down to the big pasture and fenced the rick. After dinner I hauled a buggy load of the rakings off the stubble and then drove Annie and Eva over to Ruth Tallis’s for about half an hour. Ruthie came back to supper. I found the cow had got off but it was too late to go to look for her.
9th month, 25th, 7th day
I started off about eight o’clock on Queeny to look for the cow. I went to G. Tallis’s, Perrys’, Saloways’ and back to Perrys’ and up to Big Jack’s, and from there to Booths’ where I had dinner, and Eileen came with me to Clarks’ herd. She rode Queeny and I rode Jim, their pony. We found the cow with Castlers’ cow. I led the cow and Eileen drove her. We came home fine that way. After we had some tea and given our ponies some, we rode on again to McCheanes’ where Hannah Mary joined us. She rode Zip. Then Eileen came back with us. At
McCheanes’ we changed, I rode Zip, Hannah Mary rode Queeny and Eileen her own pony . We came home fine, Queeny all ahead of course, and at the gate she turned into the fence and Hannah Mary fell. She was not hurt. It broke the pommel of the saddle. We all enjoyed ourselves, especially Eileen and I. We hope to go again soon for a ride somewhere.
9th month, 26th, 1st day
I drove to Meeting and stayed dinner, supper and evening Meeting. Dad, Jessie Green and Ed came up to Sixteen, they did not stay long but left word for me to go over tomorrow. They brought me a letter from home. Uncle1 said Grannie had gone to Somerset and stood the journey very well.
9th month, 27th, 2nd day
I got a buggy load of wood from the big pasture, milked the cow, etc., and then drove off to Borden. Some of the horses were missing so I put Eddy’s saddle on Queeny and rode round by Seniors’. The horses had got back with the others so Eddy told me to go along and shut the two line gates and he went back home. We picked up the rest of the Swedes and turnips. I drove back to Sixteen again, it was dark and cold when I got to the creek.
9th month, 28th, 3rd day
I milked my cow before breakfast and started to Borden about eight. I then saddled Queeny and found and brought home the oxen. After dinner we all three went to Eddy’s quarter and picked up the oats the threshers had dropped on the floor. Dad and I drove with Queeny.
9th month, 29th, 4th day
I drove over early, went down and milked the cow, got tidied and drove to Meeting. I got two bags of wheat dirt etc., from the little granary and a buggy load of wood from the big pasture.
9th month, 30th, 5th day
A lovely day. We are having very nice weather.
1. Uncle is Edmund Hatcher, Mary’s maternal grandmother’s only son.
2. Knife - presumably the blade of the mower.
10th month, 1st, 6th day
A very nice day. We have had a good rain.
10th month, 2nd, 7th day
Tom came back as it is too wet to thresh. He had milked the cow when I came up from Borden. In the evening she got out and went to Clarks’.
10th month, 3rd, 1st day
A lovely day. I drove Queeny to Meeting. After dinner the McCheanes drove over. Hannah Mary McCheane , Annie Griffin and Eva and I drove with McCheanes’ team to the river and got the cow. Our cow has a calf.
10th month, 4th, 2nd day
I got to Borden about dinner time. We picked up swedes etc., and came to Sixteen again. It was a cold drive.
10th month, 5th, 3rd day
Went to Borden again.
10th month, 6th and 7th
Lovely weather, just a treat.
10th month, 8th, 6th day
I started to Borden on Queeny to get some starch for Jessie Green, intending after that to drive to Sixteen to milk the cow. I got the starch and was coming back. Queeny was galloping. I loosed her lines. She went very fast and then put her head down and stopped dead. The saddle went down her neck and I fell off. It knocked me unconscious for a little while. Bom Bernard took me to A. Rogers and Jessie Green came down. My neck and back were pretty stiff. I was sick three or four times.
10th month, 9th, 7th day
Still pretty stiff. I did up the seam on a nightdress for Jessie Green. I felt sick all day.
10th month, 10th, 1st day
Dad and Jessie went to Meeting. They had not been gone very long when William and John McCheane came. Eddy plucked a prairie chicken and I stuffed and cooked it. I cooked some potatoes and mashed them and Jessie Green had left tart, etc., for second course. We had Meeting in the afternoon. I got them a cup of tea before they went.
10th month, 11th, 2nd day
Dad drove up to Sixteen to milk the cow. I mended his coat, etc.
10th month, 12th, 3rd day
Annie Griffin came back with Dad this morning and we went to Borden. Annie Griffin bought several things. John McCheane came in and Annie Griffin rode back with him. We came with Queeny and Mike and shot a prairie chicken on the way.
10th month, 13th, 4th day
We drove to Meeting. I watched the horses and cow while they fed on the summer fallow in the afternoon.
10th month, 14th, 5th day
I started knitting a slipper in the afternoon. I went and fetched the cow and horses home. Pretty cold.
10th month, 15th, 6th day
I drove Mike and Prince to the McCheanes’ to borrow a bag of flour. William McCheane wanted me to go and drive him to Petrofka. I said I would ask Dad.
10th month, 16th, 7th day
Edward Cornell came up and brought Edgar Baker. Dad is going to give him a dollar a foot to do the well on twenty-one. Edward Cornell drove me to McCheanes’ and we started from there about half past nine. The horses went very well and we got to Herman Fast at twelve o’clock. It was cold but we were wrapped up well and we both enjoyed the ride. We had dinner and then went out on the lake for an hour or so. Wilbur Moor was staying at the Fasts. I drove five of us to Petrofka and we had supper at Benjamin Wood’s. After supper, William McCheane and Benjamin Wood showed the Magic Lantern in the school house. It was mostly pictures of the Doukhobors, etc. The school room was pretty full. We walked back to Herman Fast’s. There was Marie, Olga, Constanza and Wilbur Moor, Nicholas and his wife and myself. William McCheane stayed at Benjamin Wood’s, and the horses.
10th month, 17th, 1st day
After breakfast we put our things on and walked to Petrofka and from there I drove six of us to Troishi to a public meeting there. It was held in the biggest house in the village and lasted from half past ten until three, it ended in a discussion. The question was, is it right for a Christian to live under a government? We had dinner at a Doukhobor house and we all enjoyed it. It was getting cold when we got home. We kept the horses at Herman Fast’s and William McCheane and Benjamin Wood walked home. We had supper and sat talking in their very nice sitting room until we went to bed.
10th month, 18th, 2nd day
I drove the children to school and went in and did arithmetic, algebra, etc., with Marie. I wished I was a scholar again. We came away at recess time, and had dinner at Herman Fast’s. It was very pleasant driving, but rather cold. I had supper at McCheanes’ and John McCheane drove me home.
10th month, 19th, 3rd day
Colder today. Lawrence Dawson and Edgar Baker still on and at the well. Dad drove to Borden to salt in half a pig he bought off Uncle Esau. Dad plastered the log stable.
10th month, 20th, 4th day
Dad did not get back in time to go to Meeting in the afternoon. Dad and I went with the colts to Twenty-One and got some clay and finished the stable.
10th month, 21st, 5th day
Snow. I stayed indoors in the morning. Dad wrote to Uncle. We had a light fall of snow last night, the first this year. After dinner we drove to Borden.
10th month, 22nd, 6th day
Dad went to Radisson with Rodger and Jumbo and some oats to crush. I drove Dick up to Sixteen. We have lost two of the little pigs.
10th month, 23rd, 7th day
We did housework, mending, etc. After dinner we pushed Eva to the well on Twenty-One and had a look at Edgar Baker down the well. They struck water soon after we left them. Dad came about suppertime with a load of wood.
10th month, 24th, 1st day
Dad and I drove to Meeting with Prince. We came back to dinner. Edgar Baker left this well as it is getting damp down there and he is going to start a well for Perry. Dad and I drove to Borden.
10th month, 25th, 2nd day
Rain. I drove to Sixteen and took Ed’s saddle and mine. Eileen Booth came up with McCheanes’ horse Jack, and I rode Queeny. We went to the Clarks and they were busy getting cattle separated, but it came on to rain and we could not find all of ours so A. Clark told us we had better leave them, which we did. We galloped nearly all the way home and after a little rest, etc., rode on to Booths’ and we had tea there, and then Eileen came with me to McCheanes’. We stayed there a while. John McCheane drove me home. Lawrence was harrowing.
10th month, 26th, 3rd day
Lawrence went on Jim before breakfast to look for the horses but he could not find them. After breakfast he went again, all round Eight and Nine and back to McCheanes’, then I rode Jim down to Clarks’ herd and to Boyles’ but could not see them. After dinner Lawrence Dawson went again, east, north and west, then John McCheane passed on his way to Borden. Ed came back with him. Hugh Wake has come up to the Monthly Meeting.
10th month, 27th, 4th day
Monthly Meeting day. Eddy drove down to Borden before breakfast with the harness. They all came to Meeting.
10th month, 28th, 5th day
Dad and Lawrence doing the well. It took them all morning to get the water out. I went harrowing in the afternoon. A lovely day, no use for mitts.
10th month, 29th, 6th day
We got up early, half past two. Dad and Lawrence Dawson started to Radisson. Lawrence with Jess and Jim and sixty bushels of oats, and Dad with three colts on the grain tank and between fifty and sixty bushels of wheat. We went and laid down again after they had gone and had another two hours’ sleep. Then we got up feeling better and started to work. Lawrence Dawson came back in the afternoon, he could not get the wheat ground as the mill is so busy. John McCheane went through on his way to Radisson for the doctor as his mother is pretty sick. We had a light snowstorm and a strong cold wind.
10th month, 30th, 7th day
We had another fall of snow in the night. After breakfast Lawrence Dawson and I each rode a horse to the well on Twenty-one and we pulled up all the water and emptied it away. It was eleven o’clock when we got back so Lawrence hitched the team in the democrat and I drove to McCheanes’ to see how Caroline McCheane was. They thought she was about the same. Eddy came up with the grain tank and lumber for the well.
10th month, 31st, 1st day
Ed and I walked to Meeting. We went to the Wakes for dinner and tea, and Joshua drove us home after evening Meeting, Hannah Mary came with us.
11th month, 1st, 2nd day
Tom, Ed and Lawrence cribbing the well on Twenty-One. I was harrowing in the afternoon.
11th month, 2nd, 3rd day
Tom and Ed finished the well. Lawrence was harrowing.
11th month, 3rd, 4th day
Dad, Ed, Tom and I drove to Meeting. After dinner Dad drove Eva, Tom and Annie to see SW Twenty-Four and from there to Borden. I was feeling like a ride so I saddled Queeny and rode to McCheanes’ and from there to Booths’ and back. I then baked the bread.
11th month, 4th, 5th day
Dad, Tom and Annie came about twelve o’clock. After dinner Tom walked over to see John McCheane about renting their farm. Dad and I drove Prince to Borden. We shot four chickens on the way home. Lawrence Dawson disking.
11th month, 5th, 6th day
We drove up to Sixteen early. Eddy and Dad went back to Sixteen with oxen and tanks in the afternoon. I stayed all night by myself.
11th month, 6th, 7th day
I did not get up until a quarter to nine. I slept very well. I got the place a bit straight and got a nice dinner cooked. Lawrence Dawson and John McCheane came in with their loads about three o’clock, Lawrence with four horses and three box wagons. They had their dinner. Eddy and Dad came with their chariots about four. They stayed all night.
11th month, 7th,1st day
We got up early and directly after breakfast we hooked up and I drove one team and Eddy the other. Dad caught us up at the creek, he drove in the democrat and as the time was getting on, I rode on with Dad and Eddy brought on both teams. We stayed dinner and John McCheane rode back to Sixteen. I drove on to Borden. I fixed up the horses and cleaned out the stable. It was quite dark when I finished. Then I lit the fire and got some supper and then I read until bed time.
11th month, 8th, 2nd day
They were here earlier today. I cooked supper. Eddy and Dad stayed supper. I fixed up the horses, etc., and then I saddled Queeny and rode to Sixteen and caught the oxen up at Wensleys’ and I helped them hook out and water at the creek and then I rode on home. It was dark, very dark, but a lovely mild night.
11th month, 9th, 3rd day
Rather colder this morning. I rode back to Borden and got dinner. I washed the kitchen floor. They were later with their loads today. Dad and Ed stayed overnight.
11th month, 10th, 4th day
Snowing fast. Dad and Ed stayed in all morning. Eddy and I started up to Sixteen with the bulls about four o’clock and we walked from the creek to McFadyens' ploughing. I got my foot in a badger hole and Eddy had to pull it out.
11th month, 11th, 5th day
Bitter cold wind. Busy packing up to go to live at Borden. Dad drove up and Annie Griffin went back with him to Borden, and Lawrence Dawson took a team and load of turkey boxes etc.
11th month, 12th, 6th day
Very cold. Walter drove Tom up. Ed and Lawrence Dawson caught the hens and I tied their legs. We killed eight old hens. There were forty-two altogether. Lawrence Dawson took them. Ed and Dad went to Piprells’ to get a load of wheat for him and hauled it back to Sixteen. Lawrence Dawson went back. I drove to Borden. I slept up over, and Tom and Annie down under.
11th month, 13th, 7th day
We were very busy all day, it seemed all meals and we had such a lot of us here, the place was crammed up with boxes etc., which had come from Sixteen. I was tired and glad to go to bed. The men came with their load.
11th month, 14th, 1st day
We got the place a bit straight and had Meeting in the afternoon. I did not change until evening.
11th month, 15th, 2nd day
Dad took the load of wheat he brought in for Charlie Piprell into Morrisson’s elevator, as the other was full. We had to leave Cornell’s wheat in the grain tanks as he wanted it in Cowan’s elevator.
11th month, 16th, 3rd day
Very cold. Dad and I drove in the democrat up to Quicks’. We called at Eddy’s quarter on our way. Dad made a deal with him, he gave us a nice coming two-year-old cart colt and a heifer calf and we gave him Carla and $115.00.
11th month, 17th, 4th day
Dad and Ed and I drove to McCheanes’ for Meeting. After Meeting Dad and Ed went to Sixteen and John McCheane went with me to G. Walker’s to get some hens Dad bought. We had a job to catch them and we got eight. It was a lovely night, so mild.
11th month, 18th, 5th day
Dad and Ed and Lawrence Dawson started hauling ties, they got three loads. We did some more washing. I did some ironing.
11th month, 19th, 6th day
Lots of snow. Men hauling ties.
11th month, 20th, 7th day
Got the house nice and tidy and we tidied ourselves. Emily Piprell and Annie Walker and John McCheane came to supper. Annie Walker went back with the Saloways. Emily Piprell stayed all night. It was twenty-eight below. Annie Griffin and I walked to Borden.
11th month, 21st, 1st day
John McCheane drove us down to the station to see Emily Piprell, George Walker, Charlie Piprell, Perry and Laurie Murton start off for England. John McCheane stayed Meeting.
11th month, 22nd, 2nd day
Very cold and blizzardy. The men did not do much. I did quite a bit of knitting, for a pair of mitts for myself.
11th month, 23rd, 3rd day
Getting ready for Monthly Meeting, which is tomorrow. We cooked a jackrabbit and a ham.
11th month, 24th, 4th day
Monthly Meeting. The Friends came about eleven o’clock. There was not much business done. We had quite a fall of snow. Arthur stayed here for a few days.
11th month, 25th, 5th day
Arthur stayed in the house most of the day. It was quite cold.
11th month, 26th, 6th day
Arthur and I drove up to Sixteen in the cutter. It was very cold going up, Arthur had his nose frozen twice. We lit a fire up there and got a good warm-up. It was not cold coming back. We brought four sets of ox harness.
11th month, 27th, 7th day
Rather cold. Dad took Cornell’s wheat in to the elevator.
11th month, 28th, 1st day
Thawing. Very mild, thawing fast. We were outside quite a bit.
11th month, 29th, 2nd day
Thawing. A lovely day, it was thawing all night. Dad and Ed went up to fetch two loads of wheat from Ed Cornell’s and I went with the cutter to look for our steer. I went to Sixteen and from there to Sam Perry’s and Big Jack’s and then to Uncle Esau’s. I stayed quite a while. The sleigh ran well but coming back the trails were bare and I had to run on the side.
11th month, 30th, 3rd day
Thawing. Another very mild day but not such a big thaw as yesterday.
12th month, 1st, 4th day
+18 F We have a thermometer now and I intend putting down the temperature, as it is every morning when we get up. Not very cold, but rather windy. We had a fall of snow.
12th month, 2nd, 5th day
Zero F Still fairly mild. Dad killed Charlie Piprell’s cow and Eddy and I skinned it. She dressed 575 pounds and we sold half to the butcher at fifty-six cents a pound. She was good and fat.
12th month, 3rd, 6th day
-7 F Snowing a little and blowing. Not much done.
12th month, 4th, 7th day
-16 F Dad killed the old pig and the two young ones. He singed1 them.
12th month, 5th, 1st day
-6F A nice bright day with not much wind. We had Meeting as usual and read Barclay’s Apology and after supper we read Incidents and Reflections.
12th month, 6th, 2nd day
ZeroF Cleaning up the house, cooking, etc. Knitting, sewing. I am giving my hens a pail of potatoes boiled and mixed up every day.
12th month, 7th, 3rd day
-7F Arthur and I went up to Quick’s and we brought back the cow and calf Dad changed for Carla. Eddy and Dad killed two pigs. We were back in time for dinner. I drove up to Massakers’ as they wish to engage Jessie Green. There was a cold wind. We plucked and dressed2 four turkeys.
12th month, 8th, 4th day
-21F Edgar Baker and Dick Primmer came in and Arthur went back with them. They took Dick Primmer’s steer - he has been here some time, he was pretty wild.
Dad drove up to Elliots’ to see Jessie Green about taking Massaker’s case.
12th month, 9th, 5th day
-14 F William and John McCheane came in to see about buying Cowan’s flour and feed business. It was pretty rough when they got here and quite a blizzard got up so they stayed all night.
12th month, 10th, 6th day
-2 F Still very rough. William and John McCheane went to Borden. They finished the deal and signed the agreement and now they will come down as soon as they can get rid of the post office.
12th month, 11th, 7th day
-18 F Dad went to Clarks’ to look for the steer. After dinner Ed and I went over the line to look for the horses. It was hard walking in the deep snow. Laurie Crabb came down from Radisson on the train. David had told him they would be in Borden by now. Joshua came in search of two oxen. They stayed overnight.
12th month, 12th, 1st day
+18 F A lovely day. Joshua went off pretty early. I was outside quite a bit.
12th month, 13th, 2nd day
+20F We washed the floor. Jessie Green came to dinner. After dinner I drove her up to Massakers’. It was cold going up but all right coming back. Laurie is here. We hitched Billdad onto his little sleigh. He went fine.
12th month, 14th, 3rd day
+10F John McCheane started building a house or barn on their lot down Borden. Annie Griffin, Eva and I went out for a walk and after I went down Borden. John McCheane is sleeping and having his meals here while he puts the stable up.
12th month, 15th, 4th day
+24F A nice mild day
12th month, 16th, 5th day
+2F We did not have Reading Meeting this morning as Dad and Ed were out.
12th month, 17th, 6th day
-22F Much colder today but very bright with no wind.
12th month, 18th, 7th day
+5F John McCheane went home for the weekend. Tom is working on their place for T. Cowan.
12th month, 19th, 1st day
+9F We had Meeting. I wrote a letter. We read in the evening.
12th month, 20th, 2nd day
+8F Dad went up to Uncle Esau’s. He arranged for Uncle Esau to rent McCheanes’ farm for next year. He also offered to sell him Sixteen and Twenty-One at $15.00 an acre.
12th month, 21st, 3rd day
+6F We stoned some raisins, etc., for pudding and did quite a bit of housework. We have been getting quite a bit of sewing done lately. Dad and Ed went to Sixteen and each brought in a load of wheat. I did the chores here.
12th month, 22nd, 4th day
-15F Dad and Ed took the wheat in to the elevator today. They got seventy-six cents for it.
12th month, 23rd, 5th day
-16F Dad and Ed went up again after two more loads. It was pretty cold for them.
12th month, 24th, 6th day
-6F John McCheane quit work at dinner time. He wanted me to go with him up to Halcyonia but I would not go so he went up to Eddy’s quarter with Eddy to get a load of straw. Annie Griffin and I were sewing.
12th month, 25th, 7th day
-14F Dad drove up to Uncle Esau’s to see him about buying Sixteen. I went with John McCheane up to Halcyonia. We got there in time for dinner. Annie Griffin cooked a turkey and a plum pudding.3
12th month, 26th, 1st day
+2F Caroline McCheane gets up about five o’clock, she comes through into the parlor and lies on the sofa. I read quite a lot. We sat in Caroline McCheane’s bedroom in the afternoon. We stayed talking before going to sleep for I should think an hour. John McCheane went home or rather back to Borden.
12th month, 27th, 2nd day
+10F I helped Hannah Mary what I could and I read quite a bit. We stayed talking in bed a long time.
12th month, 28th, 3rd day
+12F Oscar went to Baxters’ to supper last 7th day and he was taken sick on his way to the Wakes’ and could not walk, so Arthur went home and got the oxen to pull him on the sleigh. He stayed with Joshua and Arthur came up to do the McCheanes’ chores.
12th month, 29th, 4th day
+10F Monthly Meeting. John McCheane and Eddy were in good time for Meeting. We did not do much in the business meeting. We stayed home after supper. It was a nice mild moonlight night. They were thinking we were not coming.
12th month, 30th, 5th day
12th month, 31st, 6th day
+14 F The last of the old year. I wrote a letter to Alice in the evening.
1. Singeing - taking the hair off the carcass by passing it quickly through hot flames. This must be done quickly so that the flesh is not scorched. Also done with chickens.
2. Dressed - singed, head, feet and abdominal contents removed.
3. Christmas fare. Quakers did not celebrate Christmas. The Griffins were not Quakers.
1st month, 1st, 7th day
-14F A very windy cold day. Last night we had a job to keep warm. It kept up rough all day.
1st month, 2nd, 1st day
-2F We had Meeting in the afternoon as usual and just as we had done, Lydia and David Crabb and the children and Laurie came in and about half an hour after, Jessie Green came. After supper Eddy and I went down with Lydia Crabb and company. We stayed until rather late.
1st month, 3rd, 2nd day
-40F Annie Griffin was busy getting her things together in the afternoon. I drove her and Jessie down. There was a very cold wind. The place Amy Griffin is going to live in was in a mess, shavings all over the floor but I think it is a fairly nice house. I went down to Lydia Crabb’s in the evening and we played with David, Lydia and Laurie at Checkers. Eddy and John McCheane came down and I went back with them.
1st month, 4th, 3rd day
-14F I darned Dad’s stockings before dinner. In the afternoon I went with Dad to Eddy’s quarter twice and loaded two loads of straw. It was a nice day but cold last night.
1st month, 5th, 4th day
Dad has a very bad cold. He got a small load of wood in the afternoon. Jessie and I walked over and had a look at Moor’s house, we were both surprised to see such a nice house. It has three bedrooms, two living rooms and a pantry.
1st month, 6th, 5th day
Did the housework as usual but not much besides.
1st month, 7th, 6th day
Dad and Jessie went to Radisson soon after breakfast. I cleared up etc., and washed most of the floor and put up to get dinner and I was just throwing the water out as Annie and Ada, Walter and Esau1 drove up. Annie and Ada came in to dinner. We had the remains of the turkey cold and some potatoes and white sauce, and an apple pie for second course. In the afternoon I went down Borden with them. We weighed ourselves in Smith’s with our coats etc., on. Ada weighed 128 pounds and Annie 148 pounds and I weighed 136 pounds. We went into the Griffins’ and Walter and Esau came for them. I asked Annie to stay overnight but she said she had better go back, so they went and I stayed at the Griffins’. However when they told Walter that I wanted them to stay, etc., he persuaded them to come back, which they did. Jessie Green had supper ready by the time we got home.
1st month, 8th, 7th day
We did the housework as usual. After dinner we - Annie, Ada and I - went to Borden. Charlie Nikerk picked us up and we had a ride down. We started for Uncle Esau’s about five o’clock and got there just as they had done supper. We missed the trail going up and had to go about one mile further. After the supper was cleared away we had several games. One was Push Penny, another Jenkins Up, etc., etc. It was past two when we went to bed.
1st month, 9th, 1st day
Jack and his wife came down to dinner. We started for home about four o’clock. The horses came back fine. Annie and Tom and Eva Griffin were here when we got back.
1st month, 19th, 2nd day
I was very pleased to have the company of dear Caroline McCheane for several days about this time, while they were moving house. I felt so thankful she came for a few days, she is so sweet and kind and so patient in her sickness. She did quite a bit of mending for me and read to me while I did my work.
Entries are infrequent and irregular for months.
3rd month, 14th
We started drilling. We sold our oxen and bought two more mares, a grey three year old and a bay six year old.
Very hot. Half the prairie was bare by night. No frost in the day since and it is now 5th of 4th, 1910. Just off to Sixteen to start seeding there. Caroline McCheane is not very well. We heard from Jessie Green that she did not intend coming back.
4th month, 14th
They finished drilling the wheat today. We have had two drills going half of the time. Dad sold our cow to Sam Perry for $35.00 cash in the fall and the use of his packer for interest.
4th month, 22nd
He came back to Borden today. Dad has bought Diefenbaker’s pony Lady. She is very quiet, but slow. Jess has a foal, we are calling her Mable. Dad has sold the red heifer to Sam Perry so now we are milking only Sooky.
6th month, 24th
Eddy’s birthday. Very hot, 125 degrees. Boys breaking on Moors’. Dad gave Eddy Lady and colt for his birthday and he gave me the buckskin colt.
7th month, 11th, 2nd day
Eddy started mowing this morning. Dad, Arthur and Martin have started ploughing the summer fallow on Eddy’s quarter.
We had a poor crop at Borden this fall owing to the hot dry summer. Six bushels to the acre on Three and about twelve to the acre on Moors’. We had about eighteen bushels to the acre up on Sixteen and Twenty-One. Uncle Esau ran Fourteen this year; he had eighteen bushels to the acre. Most of the wheat was good this year and therefore a good price. We had a wet fall and quite a lot of snow early on. Caroline McCheane was taken worse again in the fall. She suffers a good deal but is so resigned and patient. We had it cold through 12th and 1st months but after that it was most enjoyable, the last two weeks in 2nd month and all through 3rd month were just fine. It was supposed to be owing to the comet - Halley’s - we saw it.
3rd month, 23rd
Harry Cowley and Clarence came to work for us. The cattle are now eating on the prairie.
4th month, 5th
Started seeding. A cold windy spring. We had several blizzards and snow after seeding. A very wet summer. We seeded seventy-five acres on Moor’s and a hundred and eighty on Fourteen, and sixty-two on A. Wensley’s and thirty-five on R. Wensley’s and about thirty acres on Seniors’. Dad has bought Seniors’ quarter and in the summer he bought T. Bradshaw.
4th month, 15th
Dear Caroline McCheane was taken to rest this morning. She has suffered a lot during the last three months and much as we shall miss her we could not wish her back, for we know she has gone at the call of her Saviour. John was at Halcyonia at the time so I drove up to tell him.
4th month, 18th
The remains were interred today. Benjamin Wood and Marie Fast and her father came from Petrofka. There were a lot of people present. The coffin was carried from the McCheane house to the Methodist Meeting house.1 The coffin was placed in the aisle. The house was crowded, with a lot standing. Benjamin Wood spoke for quite a while explaining the plan of Salvation, and Dad spoke a few words. The coffin was carried to the cemetery with six bearers changing off. We had a very favoured time at the graveside. Benjamin Wood supplicated and Dad spoke and William McCheane quoted the words: “Be ye also ready for the Son of Man cometh in an hour when he know not.” Quite a few friends came to our house for dinner.
A Testimony of the Halcyonia Monthly Meeting of Friends, held at Borden in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, on the 31st of 1st month, 1912 concerning our beloved departed friend Caroline McCheane who passed away on the 15th day of 4th month 1911 and the remains were interred at Borden on the 18th day of the same, in the presence of a considerable company of friends and neighbours.
The Memory of the Just is Blessed
This our beloved friend was the daughter of James and Mary Mettam, and was born at Taddington in Derbyshire, England, on the 18th of 9th month, 1841.
Her parents were religiously-minded people. Her father was suddenly removed by death when she was very young.
She was convinced of the principles of the Society of Friends when she was about twenty-three years of age. In writing of her experience she says,
“I was very sensible of the drawings of Heavenly Good, quite in my childish years. Yea, I feel His mercy hath followed me all my life long. I have from a child had to encounter many, yea, very many trials; yet with amazement cannot I see that Divine help hath arisen for my deliverance at various times, making me truly ready to acknowledge the invisible power. When I was about twenty-three years of age I became acquainted with a Friend who kindly interested himself on my account, and wished me to read some tracts. He offered me also books. After this there came a Friend to a place not far from where I lived, who held a public meeting. Although I was quite strange to Friends views then, I very much enjoyed the meeting. Some time about the year 1864 - 65 I saw that I must give up all and follow the pointings of the Heavenly finger and join myself to this despised people. I was singularly led along from step to step, feeling so concerned by inward baptisms, one after another, and enabled to make such sacrifices as my Heavenly Father was pleased to make known to me what He required at my hands, to lose or part with in plainness of speech, behaviour and apparel, and was fully brought to feel in unity with all the principles and practices professed, and help by the ancient Society of Friends and dearly loved to be known and found among them. I felt a strong desire and need to exhibit to the world of taking up my cross and despising the shame that might be thought on that account. For the power was the Lord Jesus and it so accompanied me that the fear of man was taken away, and I being rich in faith was made to rejoice in the hope set before me.”
Thus as years went on she experienced the operations of Divine Love in her soul, and in obedience to the same she believed herself called upon to observe great simplicity in dress and address and in all her steppings, in thought, word and deed, and in such a plain, self-denying manner that nothing in her outward walk might prove a hindrance to her spiritual growth or cause of stumbling to any tender little one, seeking after this Heavenly Treasure.
Our beloved friend was united in marriage to our friend William Cronyn McCheane, of Birmingham, England, on the 24th of 3rd month, 1870. It may truly be said that she was a faithful and devoted wife, a tender and affectionate mother, deeply solicitous that her children should be kept near the truth, and under the guidance of the Heavenly Shepherd. She was a kind neighbour and beloved by all who knew her.
In 1894 she was called upon to bear a severe trial, in the departure from this life of a beloved daughter after a brief illness, though in passing through this affecting dispensation, she had the comforting assurance that her dear one was forever safe in the Everlasting Arms. To this trial she referred in the following words:
“It pleased the Judge of all the earth to visit us in our midst, and with His Grace, He was pleased to give our dear second daughter a very clear and striking testimony to His great and worthy name. She was only poorly about three days and then we reverently believe He took her ransomed spirit to Himself, leaving us to sorrow much our bereavement, in the loss of one so inclined to virtue and truth; our morning is not without hope, we believe the Lord has made her sudden death and happy close a service to many.”
In 1904 the family removed and settled at Halcyonia in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, on which occasion she writes:
“The thought of parting from the friends I have dearly loved, and friends to the very last, bore such kindness as brethren and sisters in the Truth. We left England on 12th of 5th month 1904 and were favoured to reach here (Halcyonia) in safety, which we felt truly a favour not to be forgotten; we can thank and praise our Heavenly Father for such preservation and care.”
She was acknowledged a Minister by Fritchley Monthly Meeting of Friends, Derbyshire, England, though her appearances in public were not frequent, but tendering and acceptable. Being deeply sensible of that self-denying life which leads to that blessing that maketh truly rich and addeth no sorrow, she by her daily walk and her obedience to the manifestations of Heavenly Love in her soul, was truly in her conduct and conversation among men, a preacher of Righteousness.
In the fall of 1909, she was taken ill, which continued till the following summer when she improved for some months. She passed through much suffering at times which was bourne with great patience and uncomplaining sweetness. Her mind in prospect of Eternity seemed or appeared calm and trustful, desiring only that the will of the Heavenly Father might be done. The next winter the malady returned with increased force and though all was done for her that could be, yet she suffered a great deal the last four months of her life, and on the 15th day of 4th month 1911 she passed peacefully away, aged sixty-nine and a half years, and we reverently believe that she has passed into the presence of Him who was redeemed and qualified her to walk before him, sustaining her faith and trust in Him to the last, and in Divine love and unerring wisdom hath received her unto His Kingdom of Everlasting Rest, even that rest that remains for people of God.
8th month, 2nd, 4th day
Edith and Leonard2 arrived in Borden by the morning train. Ruby had been staying with me a fortnight and she stayed two or three weeks after they came. Edith and Leonard were in time for Meeting. Winnie was the only one at the station to meet them, we did not expect them to come by the morning train. Of course we saw them very altered, more grown up, they saw the same changes in us. Edith and Leonard stayed at McCheanes’ to dinner, Ruby and I came home. We drove down again in the afternoon with Jessie in the buggy, the new one which Eddy and I had just upholstered and painted. We all stayed at the McCheanes’ to supper. Edith rode up home in the auto and Ruby and Winnie with me in the buggy. Ruby stayed with me and Edith for a few days, and then she went to help Lydia Crabb. About the 18th of 8th month, Alice Crabb went under the operation in Winnipeg. As soon as she came back she went to David’s for a few weeks and then went back to Radisson again.
We had a very very wet cold summer, good soaking rains with very few bad thunderstorms, but we had one very, very severe storm about the end of 8th month. It started gathering in the afternoon and came all around. By twelve o’clock it was right overhead, the cracking and banging was terrific. There was no rain with it. Victor slept right through.
The harvest was rather late. Moors’ seventy-five acres ran to thirty-five bushels to the acre, and Wensley’s to forty, Rod Wensley’s to thirty and McCheane’s farm to twenty. The wheat was rather poor; Moor’s went three, but Rod Wensley’s and McCheanes’ grade were very poor. The boys batched it while they were seeding on McCheanes’, and I cooked for them, but in the fall Edith was here and I went up there to get the meals. I slept in Hannah Mary’s bedroom. We did not take anything except what we were obliged to. The boys had their beds on hay in the two bedrooms on the south side. I had a trestle bed. There was not much doing in the way of housework, so I helped stook quite a lot. Before I came up I had two teeth taken out that had been aching most of the summer, and one day while I was up at Halcyonia I drove down to Borden with Dad on 7th day; he went back on 1st day evening and on 2nd day morning John drove Edith and me to Radisson in the car. I went to the butcher’s for some meat and then into Dr. Shepley’s and had five teeth out with cocaine. They were pretty sore, especially one of them. John drove me straight along the east grade to Halcyonia and left me at the farm. Edith was home in time to get the boys’ dinner. Victor was not expecting me and so he had the dinner ready. I went stooking for a little while in the afternoon when I took out lunch. Later on in the fall I went to Radisson with Dad and went in to Dr. Robertson, a travelling dentist. Dr. Shepley gave me chloroform and the dentist pulled out thirteen teeth. The Chloroform made me feel very ill. I was semi unconscious for a long while, it was nearly nine when we got home. I felt pretty sick the next day, could not keep anything down at all.
We had a lovely open fall. When the herd law was up we let our horses out, but after a while they took to going over to Seniors’ oats, and there are hundreds of acres of wheat still in stook. We kept them shut in this quarter for a time and then Edith and I undertook to bring them in every night. We managed it but we found it was as much as we could do, but they soon got used to coming in and then we took it in turns to fetch them, and we did enjoy those rides. We kept it up all winter, the snow never got very deep. The horses did very well, they kept mostly on Smitenoff’s quarter.
We had quite a few parties at Lydia’s, McCheanes’ and here. We had Reading Meetings, and painting classes, and quilting bees. The spring broke early, the cattle could eat in the pasture about the middle of 3rd month.
4th month, 1st
Started seeding. We started seeding about the 1st of 4th month. We ran three teams. Victor had Jolly, Mike, Dick and Sultan; Albert had Jim, Prince, Noble and Buckskin; Dad had Jess, Jessie, Polly and Brumingham Bill. We seeded this quarter first, then Moor’s.
4th month, 10th
Dad has bought a Pioneer tractor. Eddy is going to run it with Harry to help; they are ploughing the railway quarter three miles west of here. The horses disked it and seeded it with wheat.
4th month, 15th, 2nd day
Joseph and Martha Hinde, Joseph Edward, Winnie, Harry, Elsie and Daisie arrived on the evening’s train, also G. Carter and his wife and daughter and Joe and Walter Little, Blanche Brunst and Wilfred Brunst. All except the Carters went to McCheanes’ to supper. Winnie, Elsie and Bob slept at our place. Joseph and Martha Hinde, Daisie and Harry at Lydia’s and the rest at Hannah Mary’s. Bob soon got work on the section, and Joseph Hinde took up house painting.
4th month, 25th
McCheanes moved up to the farm and the Hindes had their house. Most of the wheat seeding at Halcyonia is done now. Hannah Mary and Blanche soon papered the room and made the place look very nice. They turned the office into a kitchen and it makes a very nice room. Lydia had Willie until they were straight. Walter Little is staying up at McCheanes’ farm, helping William McCheane in the garden.
5th month, 1st
It was Meeting at our house today. Martha Hinde was kind enough to send Winnie up to help us. Hannah Mary, John and William McCheane came from Halcyonia in the little auto and the Hindes, etc., Edward brought up in the big car. We had two sittings for dinner. In the afternoon the two autos had a race.
5th month, 18th
The Pioneer expert came today to fix the engine up, but the things had not come. Weather keeping cool, not much rain.
5th month, 25th, 7th day
A lovely day, but rather hot. I am lying in the bluff by the well on a rug and pillow. Winnie Hinde is here with me writing her diary. She is staying with me for a few days while Edith is down Borden helping her mother. The boys have taken their dinner with them to Eddy’s quarter, plowing for oats. Ed and Harry have taken the Pioneer to fireguard Eddy’s quarter with the Jumbo scrub plough. This spring Dad traded Lucy’s pony and $75.00 for a bay mare colt, Meg. Two and a half year old Ettie, Dolly and Maude have a colt each. It is 98 in the shade. John is intending coming from Halcyonia tonight. The wheat has come up a pretty good plant.
5th month, 26th, 1st day
We were up fairly early and I got breakfast and the place tidied and dinner on the go. Then I fed and watered my chickens for the day and went with John in the little auto to Halcyonia. We got there just as they had sat down to Meeting. Winnie left here for Borden early. Joshua, Arthur and Archie Parsons (who is working for the Wakes this year) stayed dinner at McCheanes’. Oscar came up after dinner and took his mother up to Saloways’. I went with Hannah Mary and Blanche to look for turkey nests. John took his father to Rands’. When he came back I went a walk with him to see the crop. We took a book and read Ministering Children. John drove me home after supper. We were in time for Meeting. Hannah Mary came with us.
5th month, 27th, 2nd day
Hannah Mary and John left here for Halcyonia at twenty to six. I got them some breakfast. I had quite a bit to do with my chickens. I have fifty-two hatched this year and three more hens sitting, and one hen sitting on ten duck eggs. It soon got very hot, I went into the garden and set several rows of peas and some of corn. Edith and I have put in most of the garden this year. I got some water from Moor’s well for washing. Winnie laid the table for dinner. Leonard came in on the morning train, he is working on a survey for a new railway near Battleford. He has shaved his head clean. Teddy, Jess’s colt who was born last fall, was very sick when he came in from the pasture this morning. We did everything for him we could but he died about half past ten at night. He was such a fine animal. We were sorry to lose him. Winnie and I drove with Creamy to Hoags’ to get some duck eggs. I set them under a hen in the portable hen house which Albert made of McCheanes’ old cutter.
5th month, 28th, 3rd day
The men took their lunch. Winnie is a great help, she is only twelve. We got through with the washing early in the afternoon and then we went out to the new pasture east of this and caught Creamy and Winnie rode him to Borden. Edith and Martha Hinde were busy preparing for Monthly Meeting, fixing up the front room. I baked bread.
5th month, 29th, 4th day
I was busy until Meeting time. My chickens need a lot of attention. John, William and Hannah Mary McCheane, Joshua and Arthur Wake and Walter Little came down in the big car. In second Meeting there was a very nice epistle read from Fritchley Monthly Meeting concerning our dear departed friend Caroline McCheane. I came home after dinner and drove the cattle back to the pasture. I rode Prince, and then I went up to Eddy’s quarter and brought home Jess, Brumingham Bill and Daisy. When I got back, Edie and Edward, Hannah Mary and John were up here. Edith and Edward went off on horseback. I got supper. The party from Halcyonia called on their way to Halcyonia. Edith and I got in the car and tried to make it go. It went fine for a quarter of a mile. When we shut off the gasoline to turn it round it stopped.
5th month, 30th, 5th day
Edward McCheane and Dad brought about half the colts home. We did the ironing in the morning and Edith most of the mending in the afternoon. I cooked a big fruit cake before supper and after supper I made some pies. Daisie was here all day, it was wet and she could not go out. She slept here all night. John Griffin’s two little girls came to bring a strap back. They got very wet.
5th month, 31st, 6th day
Just a lovely day after the rain, everything looking up again. As soon as we had put away the breakfast and cleaned up we drove Dick in the buggy and took Daisie home. Then I rode Brumingham Bill, Dad led the Bronco and I drove the others. When we got to Eddy’s quarter I went and brought the rest out, and we took them all up to Uncle’s quarter. When I got back the boys were having their dinner. John was here, he came over to have a look at the Pioneer. Eddy has been troubled with toothache a lot lately. John is staying over 1st day.
1. The Methodist meeting house became the United Church in Borden in 1927. It is still there.
2. Annie, Ada, Walter and Esau are all children of Esau Saunders who was Nathan Saunders’ brother; therefore they are cousins of Mary’s.
3. Edith and Leonard Hinde, companions of Mary’s in the Fritchley boarding school and fellow Quakers, came to Canada in advance of the rest of the Hinde family. Their passage was paid by Mary’s father Nathan Saunders following upon their commitment to work for two years for Nathan. Mary uses “Edie” and “Edith” interchangeably for her friend.
6th month, 1st, 7th day
Winnie and I were pretty busy. John was here, working with Eddy on the engine. We had a good wash in the afternoon and washed our hair. We had a race round the yard to dry it. We went to Borden in the car. Albert left us today.
6th month, 2nd, 1st day
The Hindes have the front room fixed up nicely for a Meeting room. Joshua and Arthur drove over with Ginger. It was very wet in the afternoon. Arthur drove home but John and Joshua stayed overnight.
6th month, 3rd, 2nd day
A cold wind. John had quite a trouble with the fan belt before he could start. I drove in to Radisson with Dick in the buggy. Eddy went in and had three teeth pulled out. We had a clutch turned in the lathe etc. Eddy’s teeth or gums were very very painful coming home. We left Winnie at her home while we were away. I rode Prince up to Uncle’s quarter after I got back, to see the colts.
6th month, 4th, 3rd day
Pretty busy after being away all day yesterday. Eddy went on down to Reynolds’ with the engine this morning. Edie came home in the afternoon. It was so nice to have her back again, it gave me fresh energy to have her to work with again.
6th month, 5th, 4th day
We went to Meeting. I arranged to meet Dr. Shepley in Borden today and he was to pull out these two stumps for me. We stayed dinner at the Hindes’ and Edie and I stayed and did the ironing. Dr. Shepley did not come.
6th month, 6th, 5th day
We did the work up together and enjoyed doing it as usual
6th month, 7th, 6th day
We did quite a bit of dressmaking today. I am making myself a brown zephyr dress, gored and gathered skirt and jumper top. We have only Dad and Vic here. Eddy and Harry are staying at the Reynolds’ and we cook stuff and send it. Albert has got work in the lumberyard. His idea in leaving was to get his wife out quicker but it has made us short-handed. Edie finished the white waist she is making and it looks very nice on her.
6th month, 8th, 7th day
We did the housework as usual and saw to the chickens. It was a very hot day and neither of us felt in very good form. John and Joshua drove in just as we had done supper. I went with John to Borden and got to bed very late. Edith and I fixed a seat in the bluff today, by the well, to sit and sew on etc., etc., and write.
6th month, 9th, 1st day
I drove the car to Borden. It rained fast and thundered while we were in Meeting. Edith and Edward stayed to dinner. We got rather wet coming home to dinner and we stayed in all the afternoon.
6th month, 10th, 2nd day
John and Joshua went back this morning. We did a big wash, we were thankful with the lovely lot of rain water. We were through by three. I made a meat pie and then we went out in the pasture and caught Jessie and Mable (Eliza’s colt). We took the driving lines with us. I drove them and Edie led Mable. We fed them while we got tidied, then drove them round the yard together and hitched them into the buggy. She went very well. When we got there we found Smiler was outside and had a very nice colt. My poor Dandy looked very sick, he was by himself in a bluff. I gave him a bit of chop I had in my pocket. The mosquitoes were very bad so we decided the only thing we could do was to leave him and go early in the morning.
6th month, 11th, 3rd day
We drove Sultan in the democrat early this morning and brought Dandy home. I was thankful he seemed better. He had a good drink when he got here and some corn. After dinner I gave him some saltpetre and sulfur and put him in the rick yard. He had been lying down ever since, and I am sitting on the rick writing this. I have been reading. Edith had been resting but she is weeding the garden now.
6th month, 12th, 4th day
We went to Meeting and I stayed dinner to see Dr. Shepley. After dinner Martha Hinde went to rest while Winnie and I washed and brushed up, then Martha Hinde came down and started mending and I stitched three rows of tucks in one of Daisie’s frocks. Winnie came home with me and Edith went down. I had not been home long before Dr. Shepley called. He came in and pulled out the two stumps Dr. Robinson left in. He is not sure if one of them is quite out but I hope it is. I have to see him next week. Edith came after I was in bed. I was very glad to see her come in.
6th month, 13th, 5th day
A very hot day. There was thunder about but it did not come to us. Edith did some pies and I made two meat pies. Edith went down to help her mother before dinner. In the afternoon Edith, Edward and Hannah Mary called on their way to Halcyonia. Dandy is slowly improving today. He ate some wheat and got colic but we gave him a dose of colic cure and he got better. I took him with me to Borden for a walk. Ed and Edith went past to Borden in the auto and Edith stayed all night. John came in last and slept with Dad. He came to get his shears sharpened. Jessie and Ida had colts.
6th month, 14th, 6th day
John left early this morning before breakfast. Thunder in the air. Dandy is improving. He has gone very thin. Edith is not very well, work did not go down very well today, it was so close.
6th month, 15th, 7th day
Another close hot day, looks like rain. We got our work done up nicely. In the afternoon Edith and I cultivated the potatoes and some in the garden with Prince. Edie got supper while I collected the eggs, etc. I have about fifty chicks this year. We have had eight colts this year, first Polly, then Ettie, Maud, Buckskin, Smiler, Jolly, Ida and Jessie. Joshua came past while we were doing the garden; he said John would not be down till tomorrow morning.
6th month, 16th, 1st day
The rain seems to have passed off and left the ground thirsty. John and Joshua called and took us to Meeting in the big car. I drove. John, Dad, Eddy and I drove up to dinner in the car - I drove. Victor as usual had the kettle boiling and the potatoes and meat and pudding cooked. There are only Vic and Harry here now besides ourselves. John went down for the others while I washed up. He brought Martha and Joseph Hinde, Winnie and Daisie. We went around by Price’s creek. John drove over the creek, it was very bad crossing and we hit a stone or something on the bottom of the car and broke a casting. John fixed it up and we went on all right. We had a very nice time and stayed supper at McCheanes’. William McCheane is quite sunburnt. Walter Little is staying there helping them with the garden. Blanche Brunst and Oscar drove up to supper. We went home by Wakes’, their place does look nice now. Hannah Mary came home with us. John drove home. I was not feeling very well. John slept here on the sofa.
6th month, 17th, 2nd day
Edith slept at her home, she is not herself yet. I think she is overdone, working at both places. Her mother has not been well and she has tried to help her all she can. I wish I was more inclined to go beyond my strength. I think I lose all energy first. I got up and got breakfast, John helped me, then we walked across the quarter to see the engine, and we went one round. After breakfast we, John and I, went down town. I came across Hannah Mary, Edith and Winnie and we amused ourselves sitting in the auto eating oranges and throwing the peel at John, Joshua, David and Edward, who were fixing a wind shield on. Annie Walker came in to dinner. Edith not much better. In the afternoon we sat on the seat we made in the bluff and Edith read Longfellow while I mended and Annie Walker listened. Later Edith and I went over to Moor’s and I swept and scrubbed the three bedrooms and the parlor. We expect the Cowleys1 to come on 5th day. A hot day.
6th month, 18th, 3rd day
Cleared the food out and stopped the cracks and set three lots of supper going then we went outside and did a big wash and six blankets. Edith drove down late in the afternoon and took the bread and baked it there. I finished the wash, got supper, sprinkled the clothes and then Edith drove the horse back and I walked down with her. We slept in the front bedroom. I led Brumingham Bill and cultivated the potatoes. Dad did a lot of hoeing.
6th month, 19th, 4th day
116 degrees in the sun. Edith and I came up, we got here just as Vic called breakfast. We washed up, Edith minced the meat and made a stew. I made a meat pie and did about an hour’s gardening, then we went to Meeting. Edith was far from well so we persuaded her to rest and Winnie came up with me. We washed the floors over, I led Jolly on the cultivator then we hustled up and I went down to try and see Dr. Shepley, but he evidently had not come in. I wanted him to pull out the piece of tooth he had left in last week. I came back and got supper. It was a very hot day, 116 in the sun at noon. I was overtired when I went to bed and could not rest for some time. I had indigestion.
6th month, 20th, 5th day
I awoke feeling very much better. What a blessing health is! I got all or most of the ironing done before it got hot, and most of the housework and then I peeled the potatoes and cooked some lamb’s quarter,2 and sat reading for about an hour when Edie and Hannah Mary drove up. Hannah Mary came in from Halcyonia last night, they had Captain in the buggy. I was so pleased to see them, we persuaded Edie to go to Halcyonia for the rest of the week. We are expecting Vic and Harry and family on 6th day evening. There are the mother and father and three children, the oldest boy is to work at Walkers’. Late in the afternoon I went with Dad gopher poisoning. We went round Eddy’s quarter and Rod Wensley’s. We drove Brumingham Bill and Prince, they went just fine. It was a treat to me, I did enjoy it. I drove while Dad put the poison. I cooked doughnuts, meat and potatoes for supper. It has been a hot day but I suppose, feeling better in myself, I did not notice it half so much. I do miss Edith when she is not here.
6th month, 21st, 6th day
Another very hot day. In the morning I cooked two fruit cakes and a bucket of apples. I got the buggy round by the door and I loaded it up with bedding and one of the cakes etc., etc. After I had cleaned up after dinner I drove the things round to Moor’s house, which is Cowleys’ house now. I fixed up the beds, cleaned the windows etc., Winnie and Daisie came with me from Borden. Winnie and Daisie picked a bunch of roses and put them on the table. After an early supper, Vic and Harry drove down in the wagon to meet their people. T. Griffin’s pony had been here for some time, so I rode Bruningham Bill and the colt followed. I stayed at Borden and saw the Cowleys in, then I rode on out. Theodore has quite a nice little place. I had a cup of tea with them. The baby girl is six weeks old. They talk of calling her Mabel Ivy. I did enjoy the ride and my visit.
6th month, 22nd, 7th day
When the work was done I took Prince down to the pasture on Moor’s quarter. I went across to the Cowleys’. They like the place but of course find everything strange and inconvenient. I tried to bring Mable back but I could not, I let her get away with her halter on. John and Joshua drove down, John stayed supper. After supper John went with me to take Dandy and Brumingham Bill to the pasture on the railway quarter. After that we went to town. Joshua slept with Eddy and John on the sofa. We were very late going to bed. Mosquitoes very bad.
6th month, 23rd, 1st day
Looks a little like rain but very hot. John and I came straight back from Meeting and got dinner. Vic and Harry were at their home so there were only Dad, Ed, John and I. Joshua took Elsie out with him after dinner to Blanche’s. I drove with John out after an early supper. We did enjoy the ride, it was so cool after the terrible heat of the day. The crops are looking very bad for want of water. Edward and Edie came home and stayed all night, so did Elsie. Their garden does look nice now. Hannah Mary is building a very nice summer arbour big enough to seat six people and a table in the centre. She has put two nice seats up at the top of the garden. John and I went a walk in the evening.
6th month, 24th, 2nd day
I left McCheanes’ about nine o’clock. I drove John and Joshua up to their engine. They are ploughing on Stillwell’s quarter. I came round by the school. I picked Eileen up on her way to school, she is growing a big girl. Emily Baxter is very ill. She has suffered a lot with repeated operations and now she has four more lumps coming and is too weak to undergo another operation. I enjoyed my short visit to Halcyonia very much. A very hot day. After dinner I took a tank of water up to the boys on the engine. They are ploughing fifty acres on the quarter north of this one. While Edith washed up I baked in the afternoon. We both slept at the Hindes’.
6th month, 25th, 3rd day
Ruthie and Norman came to dinner, also Mable and Jim. We had a nice time in the afternoon talking. I went with Ruthie to help her choose a hat. She got a blue felt. Very hot.
6th month, 26th, 4th day
Still very hot, a job to keep awake in Meeting. Edith stayed at home to help her mother. Winnie came up with me. I did quite a bit of sewing to an apron which Edith cut out and started yesterday. In the evening Edward and Edith drove up in the auto and took me down, we slept together in Winnie’s bed. This afternoon Dad and Vic were busy cleaning out Tom’s shed for us girls to sleep in.
6th month, 27th, 5th day
Still very hot. Edward drove us up in the car. We started out washing early because of the heat and got done before dinner. We are beginning to get used to this weather now we find we have to work in it. In the afternoon did some stitching on my apron and sat in the bluff writing. It got more hot and close in the afternoon. After supper, Vic and Harry went home. Ed and Dad went down Borden to a meeting, and Edith went home. As I went to get the cow which is tethered in the slough I noticed a storm coming up from the southwest. I was just starting to milk when such a wind came up, the dust blowing and the clouds overhead made it quite dark. It got worse and worse. I did not know what was coming. I did not attempt to take the milk over to the house, it was a job to get there myself. The milk and the jar of cream had blown over, the cat was howling. I shut the windows, got my jacket and started to town. The wind was right in my face. I had such a job to get along, it was so hard breathing my lungs soon got very sore. The lightning was terrible. It started to rain when I was on the top of the creek. I was wet through before I got to the Hindes’. I had not been there long before the house was struck. It put out the lights3 but did no other damage.
6th month, 28th, 6th day
We took turns with the ironing. We had a lot of starched things, eleven waists.4 I did some cooking in the afternoon. I finished my apron. We slept at the Hindes’.
6th month, 29th, 7th day
Edith stayed at home today and started cutting out and making a dress for Winnie. I cleaned up and cooked, I plucked and dressed a big rooster for tomorrow. We had a heavy storm at night, lots of rain. I expect lots of people will be thankful for the rain, the crops were getting very dry and shriveling up.
6th month, 30th, 1st day
Edith and I rode up to Uncle’s quarter to bring the horses down. We arranged to get them on 7th day night but the storm prevented us. We had a big job, they were mostly yearlings and very unruly. We had a hard ride and it took us much longer than we reckoned. We were late for Meeting. All the McCheanes were late as well. The car stopped at Lawson and they had to borrow his batteries. We took the chicken, some pies and bread down in the afternoon. Alice Caslow and Duncan McPherson came and got their horses. Joshua drove the big car home. John stayed all night. Warm and damp. Everything seems sweating.
1. Cowleys - Harry and Victor -Their story is on the page 78 of Borden History Book.
2. Lamb’s quarter - a wild plant, very nutritious, commonly regarded as a weed.
3. Lights - being in the village the Moor house had electricity.
4. Waists - blouses.
7th month, 1st, 2nd day
Started papering Tom’s house. We intend making it into a bedroom for ourselves. It took quite a lot of clearing out. Drizzling.
7th month, 2nd, 3rd day
Edith stayed and helped her mother wash. I did a bit more papering and cleaned Dad’s bedroom and the shack. Feeling lazy today. Seems rather inclined for rain. My spirits not so high as usual - feel depressed, maybe indigestion. John came down last night in the big car to take us back. They had a job to start it in the morning. Dad drove Creamy and Polly in the surrey. McCheanes had their two buggies and the little auto. There were twenty-four of us to dinner. We all stayed supper.
7th month, 4th, 5th day
We had another good lot of rain. Eddy helped with Tom’s shed. We took everything off the top and took the boards up and put paper over the scantling and then put the boards back.
7th month, 5th, 6th day
We have been going to bed late for the last three nights. Must reform. Busy with Tom’s shed.
7th month, 6th, 7th day
Today the boys were all indoors because of the wet. We had a lot of rain yesterday and in the night it thundered and rained a lot. The thunder came very near this morning. I did the cooking. I was feeling below the mark, I had indigestion and felt depressed. Edith made the curtains for Tom’s house. We have it all papered now, the ceiling was a big job. Edward came up for Edith and they went to Lydia Crabb’s to supper, it was Katie’s birthday. The trails are bad, we have had so much rain. I plucked and dressed a rooster after supper.
7th month, 7th, 1st day
Edith, who has been sleeping at home, did not come up before Meeting. John and Joshua came in the car. We had a shower while we were in Meeting and another in the afternoon. Daisie came up to dinner and supper. Vic and Harry go home for 1st day. We did not get down in time to meet the train but Florrie Middleton and Muriel Brunst, Reggie and Stasha came. They went right up to Lydia’s. Hannah Mary was there, she came on 5th day. We could not go up to see them, it was so wet. John slept with Eddy. Evening Meeting was I believe a favoured time for me, it is nice to gather together with friends.
7th month, 8th, 2nd day
Again this morning we got a good start. I got my work done early and peeled the potatoes for dinner and put the remains of the chicken on to stew. Then I went with John down to Borden. I drove the car. From there we went up to Lydia. It was raining fast but the car had the top on and the wind shield, so we were all right. Muriel looks well and not much the worse for the journey, but Florrie looks frail. We did not leave for a while, then we called at Borden and picked up Joshua and Edith. I walked on with them to ease the car over the creek. They caught us up before we got there. They stayed dinner, and Edith and I rode with them as far as the pasture, to take Dandy a feed. Put washing soaking.
7th month, 9th, 3rd day
We did a big wash, we had thirteen shirts and some of them were VERY dirty, grease from the engine. We had several heavy showers after the things were out. In the afternoon Edith pokered1 a design on a panel for the top of the wardrobe.
7th month, 10th, 4th day
Edie did not come up before Meeting. This morning I did the ironing of the starched things. After dinner we took Ida, Smiler, Jessie and Mable and their colts up to the pasture. Dad drove with Polly in the buggy. He fixed the drinking place a bit. It was quite cool.
7th month, 11th, 5th day
Cool and drizzling. The boys Vic and Harry still plowing on Wensleys’. Edith and I painted door and window of Tom’s shed, which is to be our bedroom. I drove into Radisson with Hannah Mary and brought back my saddle, a present from Dad for my 21st birthday.
7th month, 12th, 6th day
Martha Hinde was not very well this morning so Edith stayed home. We have moved practically everything into the new bedroom now. It was close in the afternoon and came up like a storm in the evening but did not come to much more than a heavy shower.
7th month, 13th, 7th day
Much colder today. Edith did not come up. Eddy and Dad are starting to fence Reynolds’ quarter. Work does not go very well when I am alone. John called for a few minutes in the afternoon, he came for two barrels of gasoline with the auto. The roads are bad, it was raining when he went through. We had quite a bit of rain in the night.
7th month, 14th, 1st day
I was up early, did up well and left for Halcyonia on Creamy. Opposite the Doukhobor village I met John and Joshua, so I rode back with John, and Joshua rode Creamy back. John had Lady in the buggy. There were quite a few to dinner. I felt depressed, though I had a nice visit. It was quite cold. John drove me back with Mora, she came fine. I did enjoy riding behind her. We slept in our bedroom for the first time. Just after we got home, Edie and Edward came back, they had been riding, Edie on Creamy and Edward on Tip. Edie had my new saddle. They had been to the river and crossed some deep water. They were in high spirits, they had enjoyed themselves. Their horses were very lively and they had been racing. We spent a pleasant evening. Muriel was at Meeting. It was eleven o’clock when John and Joshua left here. Mora went home flying but it was late when they got to bed. I felt quite cold today.
7th month, 15th, 2nd day
A lovely day, bright and cool. We were both feeling well. The washing went easily and the things looked very nice. My zephyr dress washed well and so did Edie’s dust coat. In the afternoon we swept and cleaned up. We had our dinner on our seat in the bluff, then lay down and slept for a little time, perhaps half an hour, then I got up and did the chores and walked out to the pasture and caught Daisy. I was thinking of raking the slough but it was so very windy. I decided to see how the horses were in the pasture. I rode Daisy with my new saddle. I did enjoy it, the saddle is a beauty. When I got to the pasture I found Creamy’s two-year-old colt, which Duncan McPherson took home a week yesterday, was back again. She had a rope round her neck and had got her halter off and had been treading on it and pulled it so tight her head was badly swollen. I thought for a time what was the best thing to do. I could not catch her so I decided to go and tell Duncan McPherson and let him have the trouble of catching her as we are very busy; he ought to look after her better. I got Daisy along as far as Uncle Esau’s then I went in and fed my horse and had supper. We had a nice time together. I got off again as soon as I could. My horse was not in good travelling condition though she did her best. I got off and walked for a mile or so which rested her and she trotted on again nicely. I left Uncle Esau’s about eight and got to McCheanes’ about a quarter to nine. It was dark, and John would not hear of my going on round by McPhersons’ and home that night so I stayed and left before five in the morning.
7th month, 16th, 3rd day
I had a pleasant little time there. It was grand riding in the early morning. I went about a mile out of my way to get to Donald’s place; they were just going into the pasture to get their teams. I left my message and trotted on home. I crossed the creek at the steep place by Sutherlands’ and got home before the men left for work. We did the ironing, at least Edie did most of it. I had a message and note from John to Wensley so I took May Cowley on Creamy for a ride and then went to their place and arranged for them to come to our place for supper on 5th day. I got back in time for dinner. After dinner I was out doing the chores and Creamy ran into the pasture out of the yard so I drove them both into the little pasture and shut the gate. I came in and mended three pairs of stockings and Edie did other mending. Vic came home and said the ponies were on the wheat so I went out and caught Daisy and led her and made Floss drive Creamy and I took them into the pasture on the railway quarter. Ed and Dad and Harry fencing on Reynolds’ today. Daisy had a colt today.
7th month, 17th, 4th day
Did not manage to see the doctor yet so my tooth is still not out. It seems like...
“Not by the stacking of a feeble will,
Not by dull langour have our plans been marred.
But where our eager feet were pressing still
We found the pathway barred.”
Almost straight after dinner I went out mowing and I did a nice patch, very good hay though thin. I came in and got supper. Hannah Mary drove Mora down and left her here. After supper I hitched her up and drove down to Borden and we got her things on. Mora is a lovely creature. We were late going to bed. Muriel called while David got some gasoline and went back for the car. Halcyonia picnic.
7th month, 18th, 5th day
An anxious day. The Cowleys are leaving tonight. They had supper here. I walked down with May and saw then off. About half past seven it was seventy degrees and close and looked like thunder, but is much cooler now. Lots and lots of buggies are rattling around tonight. How different to when we lived at Sixteen five years ago. Then we ran to the door with glasses when anything came on the horizon three quarters of a mile off. Now, autos are as common as buggies were then.
7th month, 19th, 6th day
I was outside most of today. I drove Jess and Prince up to Uncle Esau’s before dinner. I had dinner there and came back with a tank and the democrat led behind. Jess and Prince are in fine spirits; they are as fat as pigs. When I got home I went mowing in the big slough on Moor’s. I finished it in good time. It is splendid grass and a good crop. Edith did the housework.
7th month, 20th, 7th day
Drizzling today. The men did not go out with their teams in the morning. We did the baking and cleaning as usual.
7th month, 21st, 1st day
The work seemed to be done very easily this morning. John and Joshua did not come until we were in Meeting. Laddy had got out of the pasture and so Edie and Ed came up to dinner and went out horseback on Prince and Jim and John and I went up to Twenty-Four and round by Quicks’ in the little car, as David had borrowed the big one to take Lydia and etc., up to Halcyonia and Arthur left here pretty late. There was lots of summer lightning before they went but it came nearer with thunder later.
7th month, 22nd, 2nd day
Did our washing in the morning, in the afternoon I raked the hay with the team . I mowed it with Polly and Jolly, they are a splendid team. Annie Pearce called. I had a pleasant time and a nice talk with her. I went to bed and Edith stayed half an hour to finish baking the bread. It looked a lot like thunder when we went to bed we heard a few peals but slept through the worst of it. There was no rain.
7th month, 23rd, 3rd day
We left the breakfast things and tried to hustle the men out to pick up the hay while it was dry. Edith and I went down by ourselves. We had our load nearly on when they came. We got about two loads up when down came the rain. We sat under the wagons until it eased up and then hitched out and took the teams home. Edith, as soon as we had changed and rested, started making a dress for me which she stuck at all the afternoon. After dinner John came. Lady has got a colt and he wanted Dad to go with him to Quick’s to see the horses. They got very wet. They did not decide on anything. We went to Borden in the car in the evening and Edith went with her mother and Edward to Moor’s house. I came back with Eddy and John. John and Dad and I sat in our bedroom-sitting room talking until pretty late.
7th month, 24th, 4th day
John drove us down to Meeting. Edith got my dress nearly finished. In the afternoon we wanted to go out and so as John came through the yard with the auto I put the saddle and some corn in, and Edie rode Prince. I rode with John as far as the pasture , then John went on. He had two barrels of gasoline. We caught Dandy and saddled him and I rode him in. Edie led him from Prince. He trotted along all right, of course he doesn’t know anything about the bit. He is in poor condition, he has not gained flesh at all since his illness.
7th month, 25th, 5th day
Another wet day. The hay I cut and raked in the slough is all under water. The Pioneer expert came and Dad wanted John to see him about a different pump for the engine, to I went up there. I put Dandy and Creamy in and Edith helped and came with me to the pasture. Then we let Dandy go and got Creamy. It rained all the day. Edith went back. My horses went fine, they are both in good shape and lively. When I got there, Lady’s colt was dying. Hannah Mary poured some of its mother’s milk in its mouth. It had been out in a lot of rain ever since it had been born and I guess the wet killed it. I came home soon after supper. It was not raining then but I could see a storm coming up from the west. The trails were swilling in water. John and Joshua had gone to Borden by Schraders’ so I missed them. I changed when I got in then the men came up from Borden and the storm came on. Edie came to bed but I stayed up until it was nearly over, half past eleven. It was very severe. Floss was lying with her nose touching the stove and she got a shock, she yelped and ran under the sofa.
7th month, 26th, 6th day
A lot of rain fell in the night and several showers during the day. Joshua went home with Arthur and Ginger. John and Dad went to Quick’s and bought a team of work horses, big ones, and another big four year old horse. He traded in Zip. John and Ed were with the expert on the engine.
7th month, 27th, 7th day
We did the cleaning and cooking before dinner. After dinner we cleaned up and had a bath. I got tidied after supper. I went with John to Halcyonia, we led the old team behind the buggy. It was chilly before we got there. By the way I felt bad-tempered this afternoon.
7th month, 28th, 1st day
Nice and fine today. Hannah Mary had quite a few to dinner. Hannah Mary, William, John and I left to Petrofka in the big auto. We had a lovely drive. The country is very beautiful, most of the crops look good and everything is so green. We got there in less than two hours, twenty miles. We had supper with Eliza Wood, she made us very welcome. Benjamin Wood is in Pickering and Lotta at Winnipeg. I saw Charlie for the first time. John cut his hand badly when he was cranking up the car. After supper, while we were out for a walk to see the river and Sherbinins’ old place, etc., John’s hand started bleeding again. We went in and Eliza Wood put some turpentine on it. About eight or half past we left for Herman Fast’s. We have to go by graded roads now which makes it about four miles, it used to be two and a half. It was dark when we got to their place. They gave us a hearty welcome. Herman Fast has been to a meeting at a Russian settlement thirty-five miles west of Petrofka. The district, he said, was old timberland and the women and children of the settlement got their living by gathering the seneca root. Hannah Mary and I slept in Marie and Olga’s bedroom. A glorious night.
7th month, 29th, 2nd day