Life as a Student: 100 Years Ago
home page for alittlehistory.com1874 The Mounted Police Tame the Wild Westthe Metis half of the 1885 Northwest Rebellionthe Native half of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion1900-05 Diary of a student and young teacher1908-1920 homesteading experiences and lifestyle1920's farm and community lifestyle1954-56 diary of a boy, before the effects of televisionthe future: extending human limitations through technology (eg. computers and inline skating), presenting history with applets, a new family recreation program, etc.


Teaching in Saskatchewan


Violet's diary now describes her life after University.

She is now on an excursion train, headed west

to where her father had moved.


June 30, 1905. We had a rough time of it till we got to Montreal. There was a crowd of men in the upper berths. They sang an Italian song. One of them in getting off the berth gave me a kick on the back of the ear. Of course it did not hurt.

. . . . I have the honor to be the first teacher of the Stockholm School. There is no schoolhouse yet and we must use the church. There are Swedes, Hungarians, Germans, Bohemians and what not to come to school.

The next day being Dominion Day, was a holiday. There was a small hotel in the town where I boarded for the first few weeks. It had a saloon in connection with it. I spent most of the holiday in my room, scared stiff by the celebrations that were going on.

Sometimes when it rained, I would pile my cloths on the bed, and put up my umbrella over them to keep the rain off them, and sometimes I used it to keep the rain off myself.

Earl Gray Saskatchewan in 1907 - 113 kb
click to enlarge (113 kb)

This is another small town in Saskatchewan: Earl Gray in 1907.
This is a postcard photo that Violet
received in the mail.

They were a Galacian family who kept the hotel. They had an organ which I enjoyed playing in my spare time.

Monday, July 3, 1905. Today was the first day of school. There were 11 children present. We had boards supported by boxes for desks....

Wednesday, July 5, 1905.   . . . . Today Reggie Lamont asked to get a drink of water and when he got to the door he went out and got his finger in a gopher trap. I hope that will cure him.

Thursday, August 10, 1905. There was to have been a marriage in Church this morning at 9 A.M. Last evening I swept the church and polished the stove and got the children to clean up around the outside of the church. This morning I went over early and the children carried house plants and got wild flowers and flags and we fixed up as nicely as we could. About 9:30 the bridal party arrived but no clergyman. Mr. McKay appeared about 11 A.M. only to discover that they had no license. They had to go to Dubuc for it, so it was about 3 P.M. when the marriage took place.

Dec. 4, 1905. On Thursday, Nov. 2, after school, the Rev. John Brown came into school and introduced himself to me. On that day I "met my fate," though I did not know it . . . .

On Thursday, November 30, we became engaged. May God bless us, and help me to be a faithful wife. This is very much out of all my plans, but firmly believe it is in Godís plan for us both, and if so, it must be the very best thing for us. I love him more and more every day.

We were married on July 4, 1906 . . . .

wedding photo 37 kb
click to enlarge (37 kb)

John and Violet's wedding portrait.




Her diary ended in late 1905.








to memoirs written
by Violet in 1955: "1910 - Life on a Homestead"
(Also, if you want a more complete story along with more photos, use the links to the Detailed Account in the left column.)


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