Diedrick Primus by Alma Primus

In Alix, Alberta on December 12, 2016 at 1:21 PM

From “Diedrick Primus – By Alma Primus written at 92 years

On July 24th [1902] we moved to our homestead.  First thing we did was to set up the tent, then made a little yard to put our chickens in, a pen for our pig, and a corral for the cows.  At night the coyotes howled, just seemed to be right behind the tent.  The mosquitoes sure knew how to sting, but Mr. Buckley said “They do that just to get acquainted.  After that they are not so bad.”

One day when Dad went to Lacombe, a great big bull came along and stuck his head into the hay stack and was tearing it all up.  I told the children to get into the tent, then took a pitchfork and got after him, driving him away.  When we were in the States the ladies said it was slang to say “Bull”.  That same afternoon a man on a horse came along and asked whether we saw any cattle, so I said, “There was a big man cow came and tore they hay stack all to pieces”, when I should have said ‘gentleman cow’.

After we had our hay put up we started to build our shack.  We never saw anything built with logs before so had quite a time of it.

We made butter and salted it down in butter tubs shaped like a pail but made of wood.  They were filled with butter, salted and covered with cheese cloth and salted again.  These were taken to Lacombe every two months.  Also the eggs we had were traded for flour, sugar and groceries; and for clothes if any money was left.  We picked berries.  There were lots of gooseberries and raspberries to can.  We had lard from pigs and lots of milk and butter.  We ate rabbits, prairie chicken, ducks and lots of fish from Buffalo Lake.  Clothing was mostly made over, and moccasins were worn.  A bachelor told us, “You buy a bushel of potatoes; you plant the eyes and eat the rest; that will give you a start.”  We picked feathers off the ducks and made pillows and mattresses.  Mr. Neis from Buffalo Lake threshed our first grain with horse power.

This article is excerpted from Pioneers & Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974


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