Saskatchewan Gen Web Project - SASKATCHEWAN AND ITS PEOPLE by JOHN HAWKES Vol 1I 1924

SASKATCHEWAN AND ITS PEOPLE
1924



         

PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE EARLY EUROPEAN IMMIGRANT.

GALICIANS AND BUKOWINANS.
SETTLEMENT EAST OF SALTCOATS.


In the spring of 1897 I received a wire from the Land Department of the Manitoba and North Western Railway re finding suitable land for a large settlement of Central Europeans. I replied that the former big bush country, averaging about twenty-five miles northeast from here, still contained bluffs of useful timber, hay, good soil, with a good many sloughs but much open land, which had been burnt off. A few weeks later several carloads of Galicians and Bukowinans arrived, and a re- quest from the Federal Immigration Commissioner, for me to locate them. My first impressions were that they were an impossible class of settlers and I almost refused. However I thought better of it. I noticed, as soon as the train stopped that the women made a rush for the Lake, with bundles of dirty clothes, and started washing vigorously. A dandified Jew interpreter had been sent along; and I found that he did not realize that these people were now under the protection of the Union Jack, and Was using a whip very freely. Even the big strong men cringed before him and took the lash meekly, although he was a miserable little runt that a good big lad could handle. I cautioned him not to use that whip any more but he said that that was the only way to manage them. I found him striking the women. I kicked him off the platform, and wired to Winnipeg to get him recalled, or I was through with the whole busi- ness. He left on the next train, and we saw no more of him. I then found a Galician German named Ratgibber from Bereseena[sic], east of Salt- coats, who talked pretty good English, and after making the people com- fortable, at the small immigration shed and in some six box cars, I took some delegates from their number out to view the land. They were satis- fied and we then moved them all out of the shed and cars and put them in tents which were supplied by the government. The railway company sent me an old transit as the survey marks had nearly all disappeared and the various sections and quarters could not be distinguished. With the help of this transit I was able to locate them. There were thirty-two heads of families or single men of homestead age (18), and the party great and small numbered about one hundred and twenty-five all told. I found I had to put the Bukowinans and Galicians in two separate groups as they were not friendly with each other. The Galicians numbered eight families. One lot were orthodox Greek Catholics and the other Greek Catholics. I am not sure that I have the distinction right, but any way Bibliography follows:



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THE STORY
OF
SASKATCHEWAN
AND ITS PEOPLE



By JOHN HAWKES
Legislative Librarian



Volume II
Illustrated



CHICAGO - REGINA
THE S.J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY
1924




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