Horse drawn swather - picture from the private collection of Jim Bedson

Our Roots Resources

Barwis, T.S. (1885?). Calgary, Alberta, and the Canadian North-West : valuable information for intending settlers. Arthabaskaville, Quebec?: unknown.

Calgary (Alta) Board of Trade. (1906). The famous Calgary district : the land of golden wheat, fat steers, industrial opportunities and unequalled climate. Calgary, Alberta: Calgary Board of Trade.
This resource has information on the first kinds of wheat seeds grown in this area.

Canadian Pacific Railway. (1908). Settler's guide : a handbook of information from settlers in the Canadian Pacific Railway irrigation block. Calgary, Alberta: Canadian Pacific Railway , Colonization Dept.
This resource talks about the first seed crops and successful trees to grow.

Central Alberta Development League. (1912). Central Alberta : a good country to farm in. Edmonton AB: The Doublas Co. Ltd.
Promotional book describing Alberta as a fantastic place to farm. Chapters on different regions in Alberta and on different types of farming and crops.

Cowie, I. (1901). Grain, grass, and gold fields of south-western Canada : Edmonton, Alberta, Canada : described as a mixed farming and mining country. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Bulman Bros.

DeRyk, Dick. (1991). It was in him : the George Morris story. Yorkton, Sask.: Printers Features Inc.
Page 65 tells story of the Cheny rod weeder to reduce soil erosion. Other inventions. Investigate more.

Donalda Extension of Settlement Club. (1915). Donalda district. Victoria, BC: Provincial Library and Archives
General description of Donalda area. Includes notes from settlers.

Donaldson, Ann. (1985). Homestead memories. Grande Prairie, AB: Focus Publishing Ltd.
Stories of homesteading in the 1950's in the Peace River region.

Children making snowman.  Private collection of Jim Bedson.Holdom, Martin. (1996). A preacher's frontier : the Castor, Alberta letters of Rev. Martin W. Holdom. Calgary, Alberta: Historical Society of Alberta
These are letters written between 1909 and 1912 from a young Anglican priest in Castor, Alberta to his family in England. He includes observations of the settlement of Castor and area and the differences in lifestyle between moderately affluent rural England and the settler's raw existence.

Jones, David C.. (1986). We'll all be buried down here : the Prairie Dryland Disaster, 1917-1926. Edmonton: Alberta Records Publication Board
The most useful part of this book is the direct quotations from people who are trying to find ways to stop the erosion of the soil during dust storms and drought in the 1920's. Possible solutions included switching to other grains like rye, growing fodder crops, alfalfa or grass and changes in farming practice. There are over 80 pages of introduction (very heavy going) but once past that the farmer's voices are strong.

MacGregor, Daisy. (1917). The Alberta club woman's blue book. Calgary: Canadian Woman's Press Club
This resource collects the projects and results of work done by women's groups throughout the provence of Alberta.

Palmer, H. and Palmer, T. (1990). Alberta, a new history. Edmonton, Alberta: Hurtig.

Withrow, W. H. (1889). Our own country, Canada : scenic and descriptive : being an account of the extent, resources, physical aspect, industries, cities and chief towns of the provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, the North-West Territory and British Columbia, with sketches of travel and adventure. Toronto, Ontario: W. Briggs.

Online and Local Resources

Rochester Hatchery
This Alberta hatchery has a list and pictures of many rare breeds of chickens.