HOMESTEADING

Home / HOMESTEADING - January 27, 2019 , by renee

The RINGS OF TIME series takes place in the Alberta of the early 1900’s. 

In our world of today with building supplies readily available and skilled workers to build our houses, paved roads, hospitals and stores full of food, it is almost too much to contemplate the hardships faced by homesteaders in RINGS OF TIME Alberta. 

Homesteading was a late 19th- and early 20th-century practice in which immigrants were attracted to the Canadian West by government advertisements of “free” land. Under the Dominion Lands Policy, 160 acres cost only $10, but the homesteader had to build a house, often of log or sod, and cultivate a specified area within 3 years. A new homesteader required basic agricultural implements, and since horses were expensive, most used oxen to clear and break the land. A fireguard to protect farm buildings had to be ploughed, and a vegetable garden planted and game hunted to supplement the food supply. If the water was of poor quality, homesteaders had to collect rainwater or melt snow. 

It was a very different time from the Alberta of today. Homesteaders and their families were often separated from friends and relatives, and many suffered years of hardship and loneliness. 

We have much to appreciate from those who broke the land and paved the way.

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“Sometimes in life you must embrace the past to find your future.”

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