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Earl Barnes Story

In Coal & wood heating, Farming, freighting, Nebraska District, Pioneer Farming, Pioneer tools & Machinery, Settlers, World War I on December 5, 2020 at 9:45 AM

From “The Earl Barnes Story”(from a story by Earl Barnes)

Pioneers and Progress, Alix-Clive Historical Club, 1974

I was born in Muskoka county, Ontario in 1895.  Dad kept sheep and did butchering for nearby hotels.  There were lots of tourists even then. In winter he worked in the bush, and he and his brothers were guides for hunters….

We then moved to North Bay where my Dad worked in the bush again. 

The last winter we were there Dad hired 19 men and with mother doing the cooking, they got big sleighs, one with a sprinkler on it, and made ice roads to haul the heavy loads.

…[w]hen we landed at Lacombe Dad had $40 left.

We lived 4 miles west of Lacombe in a house of Mr. Draders, all the kids got measles and Dad got pneumonia.  Dad got better and bought a team of oxen and went to work.  We then moved north of Bentley.  Dad bought a 22 rifle and about 6 shells and told me to keep meat on the table.  I went into the woods to get a partridge and shot off all my shells and every one hit a willow bush.  On the way home I saw something that stopped me in my tracks it was a lynx, and the longer I looked at it the bigger it got.  I guess I was the scaredest boy that ever lived.  Dad finally rescued me and by next spring I was out shooting by myself. We lived in a shack about 12 x 16 feet.  We had one little stove and since we did not have coal oil for a lamp, we used to leave the stove door open for light in the evening. Mother and us kids never saw Dad until he came home in the spring.  In 1909 Dad got a job in Lacombe and worked for Carl Nelson in a harness and shoe repair shop.  This man had SW1/4-41-24 W4 in the Nebraska district and somehow, they made a trade and we moved out in 1910.  It was closer to school.  In 1915 Dad joined the army and went to England and France.  I went in 1918 but only got to Sarcee camp in Calgary.

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