From Ireland to Lacombe in 1881

In Alix, Alberta, Railway, Settlers on December 1, 2018 at 9:14 AM

From “Rice Story – Told by Mrs. Hester Rice, on tape to B.P. and A.N. in 1971” part 1

Pioneers and Progress Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974


I came from Ireland in 1903.  I was born in Roscarberry, South Ireland in 1881.  I left Ireland to come to Lacombe to be married on May 8.  I was Hester Ann Young.

The boat, the Corinthian, left from Londonderry.  It was a cattle boat and there were so many immigrants that it was so crowded; five women and one or two children to a bunk.  We were were three weeks coming.  It wasn’t too enjoyable, it was so rough.  Except for the captain we’d never have seen the other side.  He stopped for icebergs, and was very careful.  We were supposed to have the mail back, but it was weeks before we did.  My folks were wondering where I was.  We arrived at Quebec in the morning.  The St. Lawrence was lovely, except for bush fires.  It was exceedingly dry.  In Ireland it rained so much we prayed for the sun, but here they were praying for rain.

We stopped in Montreal for customs.  Everyone went to a hotel, but we didn’t stay too long.  We went on to Winnipeg, and stayed at a hotel there too.  I think we went by C.P.R. railway, colonial cars were awful, plain boards, so hard.  We just had rugs for warmth.  I had brought a heat lamp, but had forgot the metholated spirits, so we tried to heat water on the pipes.  We’d get out and and try to get something at the stations.  We’d put our quarter down and “toot” would go that old whistle, and we’d run without our pie.  I finally told my cousin, “Next time I’ll run with a pie and not leave a quarter,” and I did.


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