Among these earliest settlers were Alec Thompson, Jim Young, Ed McBurnie, Pete Petersen, Mike Marshall, Hawthorne Marshall, Pete Jakeyson, Joe Robbins and Gus Alsen. Arriving early in 1929 were Paul Tilton, Eli Tilton, Carl Tilton, Roy McLean, Adolph Daulstrom, Bob Wilson and Roscoe Wadlow.
The first gardens were planted in 1929. These consisted of potatoes, turnips, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, radish, onions, Swiss chard, peas, beets, and cabbage and of course some annual flowers. Mrs. Mike Marshall had brought in some strawberry plants. These were set out along with Rhubarb roots. A caragana hedge was started as well as some perennial flowers including Sweet William and pansies.
The vegetable gardens of today are similar to the earlier gardens except that corn, beans, asparagus, celery, tomatoes and vines are included by some people. They grow some fruit or a large variety – Rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, red-black currants, gooseberries and Saskatoons are favorites. Flowers are also favorites – both annuals and as well as some bulbs, gladiolus, and irises being favoured.
There has always been an abundance of wild fruits – wild strawberries, raspberries, Saskatoons, chokecherries and sand cherries. These are getting harder to find now that the prairie is being cultivated and the rougher land grazed by cattle.
The first ranch was started around 1926 at Wild Horses Lake, on the southern boundary by John Middleton. Loss of the cattle by lack of feed, severe cold and sickness ended this venture. In 1930 both Ernie Peterson and Jim Young began gathering a considerable herd of cattle but neither have a large ranch. The first cattle brought to Rose Prairie were for domestic use in 1928. Ed Morgan, Alex Thompson and Mike Marshall all had cattle and Ed Petersen also has a sizable herd of cattle.
Mrs. Morgan — Ed’s mother, owned the first chickens. In the first winter they roosted on the rafters of the house. These days most people order chickens by the hundreds from the different Hatcheries, but in 1928 chickens were scarce and very precious. Mrs. Morgan also owned the first cat.
Jim Young had the only sheep ranch. He started it in 1928 in the fall and fed sheep on hay that winter. Mr. Pete Jakeyson brought a ram on for Jim Young in a car — first car to be brought into Pose Prairie. They fed the ram snoose and cigarettes to keep him happy.
Pigs came the following year — 1929. Some bought young pigs from neighbouring districts. Mrs. Gray, a widow with 3 children, brought in two of the first. Frank Callison brought in a sow from Red Willow. She got out of her crate and walked all the way behind the covered wagon.
First dugout or dam was made by Joe Robbins in 1928. There were two good beaver dams —one at Alex Thompson’s and the other at Jim Stewart’s. The first picnic was held at Jim Stewart’s in the summer of 1929. All the settlers in the district attended this.
The first seed-drill was brought in by Mike Marshall in 1928 and the first binder by Bob Wilson in 1929. As there were no threshing machines, the grain was fed to pigs and chickens in bundle form. The first real threshing by machine was done from the stacks by Mr. Becher, from Stoddard Creek, in the winter of 1933.
The first grain was hauled to an elevator at Dawson Creek in sleighs by Mike Marshall, who had a grain-truck load of oats, and by Ed McBurnie who had a box of wheat (taking a load for Mike) in Dec. 1934. It was a cold drive of some 90 miles one way. They camped on the Peace River one night and the thermometer went down to 75 degrees below zero.
Rosco Wadlow bought some potatoes to eat on the way past Sexsmith in 1929. He planted some of the skins with eyes in them. They were a good, early red potatoes and are used extensively today.
Carl Tilton hauled the first hogs to Dawson Creek in a rubber-tired wagon. Hogs were fed for years on bundles of grain.
Robert Jamieson and his sons Albert and David owned the first grain-grinder and wood-saw outfit. For power to run the grinder and saw, they jacked up the back of their Model A Ford ‘pickup’ and used its engine.
The first fair – The North Pine Agricultural Fair – was held in Rose Prairie in 1930 or 1931.
Pigs sold for $5.00 – butchered, good shipping pigs – in 1935. Wheat sold for $0.25 a bushel and oats for $0.10. First Brome grass was planted by Jim Young, 1st Alfalfa by Jack Kane and the first Timothy by Bob Wilson in the early ‘30s’.
The first quarter section to be completely broken and cultivated was by Carl Wilson in 1943.