My father was born in Quebec on Lake St. John and they came out west with the C. P. R. He stopped and stayed at most jobs for a year. It took most jobs that time for a homestead and then the gophers in July pushed all his potatoes out of the ground. So he quit the homesteading and went west and worked with the C. P. R. and then he got as far as Golden. There he worked on construction. He was a good axe-man, you know, he was a very good axe-man, he could hew and he could make anything with an axe so he built the counters for some of the saloons in Golden. He cut the first counter in Golden.
From Golden he moved to Kamloops. He started ranching in the Nicola Valley and he also had a roadhouse in the early days. The cowboys and everybody used to congregate there and that’s where I was born. My oldest brother and I were both born there at Mammoth Lake, the railhead of this place. Then in 1898 he got the gold rush idea, so he got in with a bunch of people that was going mining or going to Alaska. They got about 70 horses — pack horses — and they started for Alaska and they got to McLeod Lake. They were told that people were coming back from Alaska so they came out and followed Mr. Dawson’s trail — George Dawson’s trail — into Moberly Lake and there they wintered with their horses on the Indian Reserve north of the Lake. Then in the spring they split up, some went back to Kamloops but my Dad and Mr. Bissette stayed on and worked in the Peace.
They went down the Peace to Dunvegan and I don’t know whether they took up land up there for sure, but they stayed around Dunvegan and Spirit River and Hay Lake, They used to call it Hay Lake [but] I don’t know what they call it now. They stayed there for a few years and travelled from there to Grande Prairie and all around this district and settled here on account of the horses. They used to bring the horses down here to feed in the wintertime in Pouce or outside there. So in 1904-05 they built the cabins down on the river and made that their headquarters from then on. They used to trap up at Chetwynd now and Bissette Creek and down on the Pine to Little Prairie and Rocky Mountain Creek. They trapped all that country in there. They had it pretty well all to themselves because the Indians thought there was a Weentigo [a Cannibal Indian] in there you know; and they didn’t like it in there so they had the whole country to themselves and they used to do very well trapping. From that time on he just trapped in the winter and he used to travel around the country. He made hay at Hay Lake, north of Dunvegan and used to haul it to Spirit River; that’s where they were staying. There were quite a few people there in those days. They had stock at Charlie Bremner’s. He was running a big ranch for Peter Gunn, another old timer, he had come up from the country, but he never stayed. Charlie Bremner was supposed to ranch for him but he never got anything out of the country. He fed most of the Indians on the beef and they didn’t care at all. Charlie Bremner was married to an Indian woman and the whole tribe, the Spirit River bunch, they were living there most of the time. He used to butcher these animals to feed them. When Mr. Gunn used to come up in the fall to look at his stock Bremner would take him out to the backwoods and show him moose tracks and tell him how big the steers were he had and everything like this. But there was nothing and that’s a fact, you know, they often told us about these things.
Dad was just travelling from one place to another. He stayed at Grande Prairie and Bear Lake. He was going to take a homestead there but he didn’t and he gradually worked back up here. He used to come up here every winter anyway to bring his horses and they used to look after the Indian horses too, him and Mr. Bissette. He had a camp out where Angus McDonald’s place is, just over the hump here and he used to trap the wolves and poison them in the wintertime. The winter of 1907, I think, that was the last. There was only about 5 or 6 wolves left in the district. I guess they must have got about 30 or 40 of them because I know after I got back, we often went through there and could see all the forms they had for stretching the wolf hides and things like that, they were right there all in big heaps. They used to make them, split them out of spruce. They cleaned the wolves out pretty well and from then on they never bothered the horses. Before that they were killing them all off, half the horses were chewed up, some of them were hamstrung or big strips of hide were taken off their hocks and things like that. They finally say they got them all — all but 5 or 6. They stayed around here for a few years but they gradually dwindled away. Mr. Tom Baxter, I guess, got the last of them. One of them came back about the winter of 1909-10. It was a pretty severe winter and one of them came up the river from down below.
There were 2 trappers down there and they used to trap mice in their cabin. The mice were thick and they used to poison them. They used strychnine and then they threw the mice out the door. This wolf came up the river and he ate these things because he was so old he could hardly get anything to eat. These sickened him. He came on up the river and lay on our manure pile. He was large, snow white and very thin when we got him. We picked him up and we skinned him. He covered the whole wall; he was that large after the skin was stretched. Off the centre part of the house was a big fireplace and we had one wall where we had it tacked so it would dry. He was there for a full five years, everybody would admire him and look at it and wonder where we got this big wolf. Of course my Dad would tell the story about it.
The winter of 1907 there were 3 men, I don’t know if they were trappers or not, but they came up from the American side and they took a place up at Coleman Creek. They built a cabin there and they used to come down to my Dad’s place and get their grub and everything. My Dad had a little Trading Post then. He used to deal with the Indians and he always used to have quite a bit of stuff on hand so they stayed quite a bit with my Dad and then they went back up in the wintertime. They had their cabin built and I guess they got quarrelling or something and I guess one of them got, I couldn’t say what happened, but anyway they found Mr. Coleman frozen sitting in the fire-place partly burned and they came down and told my Dad about it. He sent an Indian down to Peace River Crossing to get Sgt. Anderson, the only policeman in this district, well practically all the west part of the Peace. They came up and they started out with the body but they couldn’t handle the body because it was frozen in a sitting position with the arms straight out. The Policeman thought maybe if they’d take just the head in it would be all right but when they got to Peace River Crossing they decided they would have to have the whole body. They had to come back and get the body and its arms were frozen sticking out and they had an awful time trying to get it out. They had to go down on the Pouce Coupe River to the Peace and down the Peace with a dog-sled to take him to, well I guess they had to go to Lesser Slave Lake pretty nearly with the dog-sleds and then on they could go by sleighs. They could go down across the lakes and down the Little Slave to the Athabasca and out to Edmonton. So then my Dad had to come out as a witness because he was the one that really found the body after these other fellows had told him about it, but they didn’t want to go back up there. They didn’t want to get blamed for it or something like that. Anyway the Police took them in. They arrested one of them and took him down to Clinton. They had a trial there and that was the year Dad came to get us.
We were in school at Westminster. We had been there from 1904 until 1908 and so he brought us all back to Kamloops and we stayed there until the middle of May and then we went to Edmonton on the C. P. R. We went to Edmonton and there he bought a team of horses, a team of oxen, and 2 wagons and we started for the Peace River. We came up to the Athabasca. We came through the Ukrainian settlement, there were Ukrainian people through there and we had a nice trip out. It was nice weather in the summertime, in the month of June. We took the boat at Athabasca. Mr. Jim Cornwall was there then. He had the Northern Transportation Company and he took us from Athabasca to Laird Landing and from here we portaged 17 miles to Little Slave River and we took another boat there. I don’t know whether it belonged to the Mission or to Cornwall. Anyway they took us to the head of Slave Lake — to Lesser Slave Lake they called it in those days, its Grouard now. When we got to Grouard there were no schools up here. There wasn’t a school on this side of Grouard. There was a school at Peace River Crossing. They left three of us boys at Grouard during the holidays, but my oldest brother, my Mother and my Dad and another fellow, not Joe Bissette, but a Mr. Lalond took the wagons and came here. We stayed in school with the Indians. There were no Indians there during the holidays just us three boys in the whole school. My Mother and Dad came on to Spirit River. He had his pack train there, when he left he got the Indians to bring the horses down from Pouce and they took the pack train from Spirit River to Pouce Coupe. Mother had to ride a horse and she had a cat she had to take along. They took everything but the wagons and the harness and a few other things that were heavy so they left them back in Spirit River. That winter we stayed in Grouard and went to school till the following holidays the next year, 1909, and then Dad sent an Indian down with a Democrat to take us in. We stayed at the mission at Peace River Crossing one night and then the next morning we stopped where Sgt. Anderson was stationed just above the mission and shook hands with him. He introduced himself and we talked quite a bit there. Of course, we were just young fellows then. That was the first and only time I saw Sgt. Anderson.
Then we went on to Spirit River. There my Dad was waiting for us. He had horses and packhorses. They always had a Sport’s Day in July and that was for the whole district — the whole country. Everybody was there for this Sport’s Day. They had races, baseball, and everything just like now. The next day we took the horses to Pouce Coupe. It took us 2 days to come from Spirit River to Pouce Coupe with the packhorses — this would be in 1909.
The summer of 1909 we cut the hay with a scythe and my Dad did the cutting. He’d get up about 4 o’clock in the morning and go out and cut and then we’d get out with the ox and sleigh. We just had sleighs and they made the hay up in my place, it wasn’t very far, just about 3/4 of a mile from the old place up the hill. We would go up there with the oxen and we would pile all the hay. We made it in good stacks right in the weather. There wasn’t enough grain so they made the stack right there. In case of fire they would have some protection and be able to save the hay so we would make a big stack. We were only school kids, we did all we could but we couldn’t do much. We would get up pretty late sometimes in the morning with the oxen and Dad worked early and by the time we would get there he would give us a hand to pile the hay, of course, we couldn’t cut very much in a day. It was all wild rye grass and red top. We didn’t have very many cattle that year. I think we only had one cow. Mother brought the cow through when they came up the year before, but we did have oxen and a team of horses. We had quite a few horses that wintered out and there was a lot of feed for them.
At the end of July, my Dad and I went to get the wagons and his harness from Spirit River. There was no road those days out of Spirit River west. There was a road from Spirit River to Grande Prairie. We went to Spirit River with the packhorses, the harness and 4 horses and took the wagons which we left at Charlie Bremner’s. From there we went to Grande Prairie or Philistine Lake. We stopped there with Mr. Monkman, he used to have a stopping place and we stayed there a couple of days. My Dad and I went to Grande Prairie to see a Priest that was there. He wanted to have the Priest baptize my oldest sister. There wasn’t a building in Grande Prairie. I never saw any — it was just a little log church on one side of Bear Creek just before you come into Grande Prairie. We didn’t get to see the Priest because he had gone to some other place so we went back. From there we went to Lake Saskatoon, in those days it was the only Hudson’s Bay Post that was south of the Peace River. We stayed there for two or three days and then we headed west.
The year before, the “Bull Outfit” had come into the country and they had cut a trail from Lake Saskatoon to Beaverlodge. They settled all around Beaverlodge — between Beaverlodge and Hythe — so we followed their trail until we got to Hythe. From Hythe there was no more road so my Dad got a couple of Indians and they went ahead and I drove the team until we came to Horse Lake. There we had quite a bit of trouble getting through the muskeg because the frost had just gone from under the moss. We had to put skids under the wagon to get the horses across. We had to pull them across with chains when we would dig in. It was big timber country around Horse Lake and pretty hard going. After we left Horse Lake we kept up on the hill, it wasn’t bad then until we got to Swan Lake. There was a man there, who came up from the coast and took a homestead. We stayed there with him for 2 or 3 days. They went out and headed this way and cut the road up through here where I have my cabin today. It was just about 20 feet from where my cabin is now. Then we went west and up by Tate Creek — I don’t know if it’s called that now. There we had to build a bridge across the creek. The water was too deep to get the wagon across. We had some salt, sugar, and flour in the wagon so we had to build a little pole bridge. I had to haul the logs up from the flats, then we put some logs and then cross-logs. It didn’t take very long. Then we went up and around Tom’s Lake, there was one bad spot there, too. We had to go through a kind of muskeg and we had an awful job but we finally made it.
The winter before my Dad took a couple of Indians with him and they came as far as Canyon Creek and they cut the road from Pouce. They used to go home at night and come out again in the morning. When we struck that road we were all right. The Canyon Creek Hill, it was bad, you had to come away north and then turn west and it was straight down. You had to put rough logs on and drag timber — a tree with branches — behind to hold the wagon. It was a little narrow place for the water to run through but it was sharp. We had to fill it full of logs and chunks to get across. From then on the road was made so it didn’t take us long to get home. That was when I first saw my homestead that I took afterwards up on Canyon Creek Hill. I was in that same spot day before yesterday and it reminded me of seeing it for the first time. I didn’t have it for a homestead till a few years later but the picture always stays with me.
That patch of green — that was winter wheat my Dad had sown in 1908. The crop was very thin, it was winter killed and of course it didn’t have a chance because all we had was a plough and a little “A” frame made with a few iron pins and that was the only harrows we had. In the fall when we cut the grain, there wasn’t very much to it. We didn’t have mowers in those days or anything like that and there wasn’t enough to cut with the scythe so my Dad gave each of us a pair of scissors and a single sack and told us to go ahead and cut the grain. We took the sacks and filled them with the heads. We went through the fields and cut all the heads off we saw and put them in the sacks and took them home. We put them on the racks on the sleigh hauled by oxen to the shed. That winter my Dad and I and my oldest brother got some logs out and Dad flattened them with a broad-axe on two faces and we stripped and lined them with charcoal sticks on the logs. My Dad was on top with a whipsaw and we sawed all the lumber for a granary floor. We made them 12 feet long. The floor was 30 feet long and 12 feet wide. In the wintertime we threshed the grain on this floor. We spread the heads on the granary floor and we beat the grain out with flails.
That same fall — 1909 — the government sent us, that is the previous year sent us some samples. They sent a sample of winter wheat along with a sample of barley, oats, and a sample of wheat — Friesian Wheat. They asked us to plant them and keep track when seeded and on what type of land and everything so they would have a record and so my Dad did that. In the fall he cut this grain with a scythe when it was ripe. We put it all into a pile and then we hauled it in. In the winter we had built the granary so we had a big space for piling the grain. During the winter of 1909-10 we threshed it with the flails. We had enough grain from the barley to plant in 1910. We planted it up on the hill towards Pouce Coupe where the old homestead was. We had a field of barley and a field of oats but no wheat. We didn’t plant any more wheat. We cut that with scythes and piled it. We even gleaned it by hand. We raked the fields with small rakes and then we had to go and pick up all the heads that were left. We put them in piles and hauled it down the hill with the sleigh to the granary and threshed it in the winter when it got cold. That year my brother had to go and get some supplies from Edmonton. That fall we made a baler and we baled some hay. We didn’t have any string to tie it with — we just used willow pegs and bored holes and cross members and drove wedges in the ends of the pegs to hold the hay tight. We loaded all we could on the sleighs, the grain we threshed for the horses putting the oats in seamless sacks and loaded all this feed so we would have feed on our way back from Edmonton. I didn’t go but my oldest brother went and a Mr. Ed Laurier went with them. They each took a team and cached the hay on the way down at each stopping place. They put a bale of hay oats so they would have some feed for the horses when they came back. They started out the end of September or beginning of October and they didn’t get back till March. It took all winter to go out to Edmonton and back. They had to go by Lesser Slave Lake, cross the lake there and go down the Little Slave River to Athabasca and then to Edmonton.
In the spring of 1911, the year of the survey they surveyed 6 townships of the block and many settlers came in that year. All that was thrown open was the 6 townships that had been surveyed in 1904 and 1905. There was no other way of getting land — you had to wait till the survey was made. There was quite a bit of activity throughout the country. There were people coming through but nobody could take land. They just looked the country over to find out whether they would settle or file on the land. You couldn’t file a proxy until the land was surveyed.
The Peace River Block was land the government of B. C. paid or had to give the C.P.R. There were 3, 500,000 acres and it was 80 miles west and 80 miles north and this block the government had to give in place of the land the C.P.R. wanted on both sides of the railroad. They didn’t want the land in the mountains — they wanted prairie land like they had in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Instead of the government giving the [CPR the] land they paid the money for the land. They took the money for the land from B.C. $3,500,000. I was confused there between the B.C. and Dominion Government. I should have said Dominion Government instead of the B.C.
* CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE SCRIPTS? * [Note: the proper term was probably ‘scrip’ rather than ‘script’]
Those days they had South African War Scripts, the veterans all had scripts coming to them. We thought we would be able to have scripts in the block too but they didn’t let us have a script here. Then they were going to give us a grant but they changed their minds again and they wouldn’t give us any grant in this district so then we each had to take a quarter section. The boys and my Dad and those that had scripts in Alberta, in Grande Prairie, they were Mr. Roberts of Bear Lake, Mr. Harry Adair, there were quite a few but I don’t remember all their names. Some of them kept them and other sold them for a bottle of whiskey or whatever they could get. They would just sell their scripts and some of the people took advantage of that and got quite a bit of land together. The surveyors, they surveyed the block – that is 6 townships in the block- and in the fall when they left my Dad filed a proxy for me because I wasn’t of age yet. There was land that didn’t get thrown open till Feb. 12, 1912. There was about a half a dozen people staying with us at the old stopping place and they all went down together to file. The land office was in Grande Prairie in those days. There was Mr. Laurier, Mr. Joe DeWetter, Norm Mark, Israel Tremblay and Paul Gauthier — they were the first ones to file in this district, the whole of the block. I didn’t file my proxy until the following July. That summer people started coming and looking for land and I lost track of all the names from then on. A lot of old timers like the Millers, Palmers, Orklands and Pipers. There were many newcomers that year and they practically took all of 2 townships north and south of here. Mr. Soloway was our first Government Agent. He had a place on the Dawson Creek just where the crossing is to Rolla now. He had a little office there in his shack. He just had a little pole shack he built himself and we helped put the roof on the winter before. He got the agency the next summer and everybody used to walk from our place up to Soloways to file on their land because they didn’t have to go to Grande Prairie like they did before. Mr. Solloway took care of all land matters for a couple of years and then they moved the office to Pouce Coupe. I think this happened during the [First World] War or right after, I’m not positive. Mr. Jamieson finally was the Government Agent in Pouce Coupe. Mr. Gordon Duncan was our first policeman. He first came to the country from B.C. They were Provincial Police those days — they weren’t Mounties — and he stayed at Fort St. John, south of the River on the flat there. I don’t know how long he was there but later he moved down to Frank Palmer’s place on Saskatoon Creek and when he left they sent another policeman. They stationed them in Pouce Coupe and that’s where they stayed until I left this district.
The first Post Office was at our place down at the riverbank at the old homestead and Mother was the Postmistress. She looked after all the mails and the mails that were taken down to Grande Prairie. I took it down sometimes. There was no real mailman — anybody would bring the mail up from Grande Prairie. I don’t know when they started to have contracts for the mail. I know we used to haul it and we had quite a few things going that year. Mr. Atkinson and Mr. Haskins, they started the store in 1912 in Pouce Coupe and they got the telegraph line also. That year they built it down towards the old homestead but Mr. Hoskin and Mr. Hasler got the government to leave it at Pouce. That was the year of the election, I think in B.C. and we had Mr. Oliver and Mr. Bowser both on the platform at the same time. There was about 30 or 40 of us around there and we had quite an argument. The B.C. Government had spent $10,000,000 and they were chewing about it between themselves. I’ll never forget that.
*DID YOU HAVE A CHURCH THEN OR A HALL? *
No, there was no church or anything like that. There were Preachers and Priests who used to come through the district. I know they used to stop at our place and we had the ministers and the Catholic priests who had home services in our little old place there. I don’t know just when they started building. They built the church up on my place there on the hill but I don’t recall if it was after the war or just before the end of the war.
I remember the first sawmill that came into our district. Mr. Hunt and Mr. Trelle, Carmen Trelle’s father — the wheat king — he came down to our place and he started a mill there on the river bank. They logged up the river and put all the logs in the water. In the spring of the year he had a boom in but the boom wouldn’t hold the logs. The water was too swift so they lost practically all their logs.
When the war started Mr. Trelle and my Dad used to get the telegraph man to bring the news down every other day or so. Mr. Trelle was German. My Dad would be sitting on one side of the table and Mr. Trelle on the other. Mr. Trelle would say the Germans were pushing the Allies back. Mr. Trelle would say, “You see tomorrow they will be all the way back.” My Dad would answer, “Tomorrow they’ll be all the other way”. They kept that up and they had some awful quarrels about the war, but it was all in fun.
When the logs started down the river he would go to the riverbank and say, “Mein Gott, Mein Gott”. The logs were going under the boom. We were trying to catch them all the time with ropes but the water was pretty swift. Finally we saved enough anyway that he got a sawing of lumber and he built a big place where my Dad was going to have a hotel there on the flat. We kept quite a bit of lumber and I think that is when they got the lumber for the Church on my place. I know we hauled the logs from out west of Dawson from the mill that was started there. It was Hollinger’s Mill but it was in other hands before he had it. I think that the first church was built in either 1914 or 1915. We all got together and hewed the logs and Mr. Pat Knowles, Mr. Marion and Mr. Goshinger — there were quite a few people who helped put it up. We then had a steady Priest. I don’t know too much about the other churches in the district.
*CAN YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST PRIEST’S NAME? *
I think it was Father O’Tennant. I know we had a Priest by the name of Father Josse. He used to come up from Spirit River. He was the one that baptized my sisters.
It was 1912 that most settlers came in around our district when the 6 townships were surveyed the previous year and were thrown open. The settlers came in hordes that year and they took land all over the district but I just don’t know when the rest of the townships were thrown open but I guess it must have been in the mid-summer sometime. There were people waiting all the time for the land and I can’t remember now how these things happened.
*AT THAT TIME DID YOU HAVE THE EDSON TRAIL THROUGH? *
The Edson Trail was opened in the winter of 1912 and 1913. That’s when most of the people came in and they were staying all around the district because there was lots of land and they wanted to get some choice pieces of land. Some had to wait until the balance was open and surveyed before they bought it.
*DID YOU HAVE ANY MACHINERY BY THAT TIME? *
In 1912 we had a binder and a drill brought in from Edson. We sent 2 teams out to Edson to get some machinery and goods and everything. The fellows we sent out when they got to Edson went on a spree and forgot whose money they were spending. They managed to get the binder and the drill, also the sugar, flour, and things we couldn’t get here very handy. They also brought back a big bill which they were a long time paying.
* WERE YOU THRESHING AND SEEDING A LOT OF CROPS BY THEN? *
Well, in 1915 we put in a lot of crop — the acreage that they had to have to prove the land on. A lot of people who settled there were bachelors and they had to go and work to prove their land. They didn’t have any use for grain. You couldn’t sell it so we had quite a few men around our district that didn’t have any work. There was no money to be had so they used to help my Dad and he took to the seeding of these plots of land so the people could prove up and then he would have the grain in the fall. As it happened we had a bumper crop that year. We couldn’t thresh all the oats the first year we had so much. We had to stack everything. We didn’t have enough granaries to hold all the grain because there was very little lumber so we just left the grain in stacks. As it happened in the following year we had a complete freeze out. We didn’t have a bit of grain to thresh so we had last year’s grain to fall back on. We had enough grain to thresh and to feed the stock over the winter. We also sold it to the homesteaders as they came in and those that were here and had stock but didn’t have any grain to feed them. In some cases there was very little grain fed, there was lots of hay. In 1911 my Dad had a mower, a rake and he had a big coulee [?]. We went out from O’Callighan’s Lake, Saskatoon Lake and Normark’s Lake and cut all the hay we could. We had stacks of hay all over the district and when the people came in the winter time they had no feed so we had to feed the stock for them till the spring. We had stacks up at O’Callighan’s Lake on the hill and I think we got 6 or 8 loads out of a big stack. I don’t know how many tons there was in them and the settlers all helped themselves throughout the district. They would come down to our place and my Dad would say it was “O. K.” it’s there we got enough down here. As it happened all the hay we had was the slough grass we put up at Nomark’s Lake. It was all dried out and slough grass made very poor hay. We had quite a few cattle but we lost some of them that winter from a sickness they got from eating this slough grass. All the good hay disappeared.
*WHEN DID YOU HAVE YOUR FIRST THRESHING MACHINE? *
I think it was in 1914 that we got our first threshing machine. Mr. Trelle — Herman Trelle — brought in a threshing machine when he came up to our district from Lake Saskatoon. He brought a sawmill in and a threshing machine. He threshed our grain that year and we had no binder. We didn’t get the binder till that winter that he came in or the drill that came over the Edson Trail in 1912. He threshed the first grain in our district — then we had horsepower, that is he had a steam engine and we threshed the 1915 crop with that horsepower. He threshed the 1914 crop, too, but it was all loose like hay and long. He had an awful job getting it threshed. We made big stacks and I remember one instance where the stack was about 16 feet wide and they built it so you could unload it on one side. If they could have got on both sides of the stack it would have settled down. We all unloaded on one side and after the stack had been built up, it was about 16 or 18 feet high, the stack tipped over and then we had a 30-foot square stack. We piled it, one man handing the grain up to another and it was loose. We built it up to the height of the barn we had built for threshing in. My Dad wouldn’t give him any more to start.
*HOW DID YOU GET YOUR CATTLE TO MARKET? *
There was no such thing as a market. We didn’t get any cattle to market till about 1918. The only ones we sold were to the local people that were coming in. We would sell the cows and calves to them for milk for the families. We sold a lot of cattle that way and a lot of times when the people would get discouraged and want to return to where they came from, my Dad would buy the stock back and sometimes all their equipment. Then he would keep it and sell it to other settlers as they came in. He would keep on trading like this all the time and was doing pretty well at it. He built his herd that way. He didn’t always buy the cows back but would trade with them for things they needed for the trip back. In no time at all he had the herd back up again and the following year was a good year so everything was fine. We didn’t miss the hay and we didn’t miss losing the stock.
Mrs. Stevenson and Mr. Hendricks interviewed Hector Tremblay at his home at Swan Lakes. PLEASE NOTE: The interviewers have not been able to verify the spelling of some of the names. They have been rendered phonetically and are open to correction.