home page for a 
little history.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 televisionLife in the Future: 
(a not too serious look at 
2012 and beyond), new 
developments, dumb 
choices, extending 
human limitations 
through technology.

Life on a Western Canadian Farm

The lifestyle of a family of ten on a prairie farm during the 1920’s.

Part 1 & 2:  A Home

Part 3:  Community Life

Part 4:  Changing Times

You can either experience this account in black and white by using the links on the left, or use the three links above which contain color and music (a 20 or a 51 kb midi file). So, turn on your speakers and enjoy.


photo from about 1940: Jack is branding with his sons  - 26 kb

prepared by Brian M. Brown

Four photographs of interest.

The photograph above, taken about 1940, shows Jack burning their brand onto a calf with the help of two of his sons. Clinton is holding the calf down while Billy holds the rope.

stone boat - 11 kb

This photo was taken of Lyla and Roxie
on a stone boat in about 1929.

When I visited the Zinn farm during the summer of about 1950, Uncle Clinton hitched up a couple of horses (or was it one?) and gave me a ride on a stone boat. We slid over the soft summerfollow for half a mile or so to the dam. After filling a couple of barrels with water, they were hauled back to the farm. It was this kind of experience that helped me gain an appreciation for the unique lifestyle of the people who lived on the bald prairie.

view of the farm from the dam - 19 kb

The view of the farm as seen from the dam which was built in 1933 and later enlarged. This is a more recent 1985 photo.

an outrider tries to hold the horses while waiting for the starting horn.  - 16 kb

This outrider struggles to control four powerful horses; so they will be ready
to run when the horn sounds
to start the race.

Every year, Uncle Clinton went to the Calgary Stampede for his week of holidays. He volunteered to work on the chutes, although one year he talked about being an outrider for a chuckwagon. Chuckwagon racing is known as the original extreme sport. This link will take you to photographs of the chuckwagon races. Unfortunately, in the second paragraph of that file I did add a link to some advertising. I am paid for the link, not the click through rate or the purchases made.


Very little of this file about life on a farm would
have been created without the verbal and written
assistance of my relatives. I gratefully acknowledge
the help provided by Helen Gormley, Ross Zinn,
Peggy Zinn, and my mother Gladys Brown.

copyright©1983 by Brian M. Brown
photos courtesy the Zinn family and the author.
The original copy of the branding photo which is above and near the top, was
given to the author by Ross Zinn. The print, which is 2 1/2" X 4 1/4", appears
professional, but there is no indication of who the photographer was.
Uploaded in November of 1997 to and then
on January 10, 2001, uploaded to http//
Now being maintained from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


to beginning: Finding a Home
in black and white and without music.

first posted January 1, 2001.