homesteading (Pt.1: preparing to move).
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Life on a Homestead

Taken from 1955 memoirs by Violet Brown whose family

homesteaded east of Drumheller, Alberta.


1932 photo of homestead - 92 kb
click to enlarge (92 kb)

Photo of the homestead,
taken around 1932.

most originally published in Alberta History
summer 1985 edition (Volume 33 No.33, pages 9 to 18)
under the title "Over the Red Deer: Life of a Homestead Missionary."
Photos and text originally made available by the children of Violet.

edited by Brian M. Brown
[Violet's grandson]
Originally posted in November 1998 at, then on Jan. 10/01
transfered to
Now maintained from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



Preparing to Move

In the fall of 1907, my husbandís brother Tom and his wife Mary came from Chicago. Tom and my husband took up homesteads and pre-emptions in the area known as "Over the Red Deer". In the spring of 1908 they made a trip in the buggy to look over the land; they had filed on it without seeing it.

When they reached the Red Deer River they could not ford it, as the water was deep, it being spring, but that did not daunt them. They slept the night at the home of Mr. Greentree. He was a rancher whose log house was the only house in what is now Drumheller, and the settlers got food and lodgings there.

[Drumheller is now a tourist centre with a population of 6,600, located in the heart of the Alberta badlands. It is currently becoming known as "The Dinosaur Capital of Canada".]

He owned a row boat, a leaky one to be sure, but he told them that if one of them could row the boat while the other baled the water out of it, they could make it across the river. This they did, then set out on foot for the homestead . . . . My husband and his brother found the homesteads and got back safely to Mr. Greentreeís before dark.

They made a trip with wagons in the spring of 1909, taking lumber, etc., and built shacks and spent most of the summer there.

As Tomís wife and I were both expecting that summer, we did not move to the homesteads till fall. We left Airdrie on Aug. 31, 1909, and arrived on Sept. 4, having travelled nearly a hundred miles.


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