alixwagonwheelmuseum

Geoffrey C. Bartlett Farming History

In 1930s Depression, McCleish, Pioneer Farming, Pioneer tools & Machinery, Sargent District, Settlers on February 13, 2019 at 8:09 AM

                                 From “The Geoffrey C. Bartlett Story”

                     Pioneers and Progress Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Coming from England in 1924 I landed in Vegreville in August of that year.  The work day was a 14 hour one, with a barn to sleep in and mice to tickle your feet at night.  Many a mosquito enjoyed an Englishman’s blood.  I discovered that skunks were far more generous than the Avon lady of today. [1974]  Leaving Vegreville in 1930 I moved to Dewberry, Alberta, buying a farm from a fellow who said his first machinery was an axe and unlimited ignorance.  The first crop I received 26 cents for wheat, $4.00 for a hog and $9.00 for steers.  This was the dirty thirties when survival was the order of the day.  My mode of travel was a Bennett buggy, no gas, no license, no insurance, only 8 cent oats.  Housing in those days for a bachelor was about a 10 X 12; if he built bigger folks said he was getting married.  Plumbing was officially inspected and passed by Mother Nature.  The school was on the corner of my farm and was used on Sunday for a church and also for community gatherings on the weekends….

In 1939 I sold and bought a farm at Vegreville where I met my pride and joy, an Alberta Maid.  We lived there for seven years.  Ron and Bernice… were born in the Vegreville hospital.

In 1946 we bought the place where we now live [1974] from George Scorah who had bought it from the first owner in 1929.

Mr. Bruce McCleish was the one who owned it.  He came here in 1900 and ran the store and Post Office.

[H]e was also clerk of the Alberta court.  [W]hen we tore down the old house many court cases and history came to light.  In 1909 he left for Edmonton.  In 1910 and 1911 Harry Elliott lived here; Dan Hayes and Smith farmed it till 1915 when Mr. G. Duffy came in 1916 and farmed it till 1929 when it was sold to G. Scorah.  John deJong lived in the house later.

During our lifetime we have seen the passing of the country schools, old Dobbin no longer pulls the plow, and the binder is no more.  As we move up to the jet age let us not forget the pioneer wife and mother of those early days, their love and devotion to a cause they treasured we will never forget.  Also let us have a warm spot for the beast of burden that paved the way to our present way of life.

‘You poor old oxen what brought you here,

You plowed and sowed for many a year;

With kicks and knocks and other abuse

And now you are here in the thresherman’s stew.’

S1/2 5,40-24-4

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