Memories of Ireland  
HAROLD MORGAN STANLEY - extracts from letters to his father, 
George Wilson Stanley in Ireland from Canada

Fort Saskatchewan - Sunday June 5th 1904

I have not been able to get my letter posted so have opened it and am putting in another. You see we are about 11 miles I think it is from the Fort and we have to wait till someone is going, that is some of our neighbours further north. Mr. Bowsfield will be going some day next week.

Well as you know I came here on Thursday the 2nd. We had 11 miles drive in heavy rain. When we got here we took the horses out and my boxes. Then I went inside and he introduced me to the ladies. There is his wife and five small children, the oldest is about 7 and there is also his mother and aunt, which makes 10 in all living in a house about the size of our dining room in The Rowans but what odds, they are very nice. His mother is about 80 years old, he is about 35 or 40 himself.

I think I am in a better place than if I had gone to Thompson because he is a Canadian and has been a farmer all his life and his father was a farmer so I can learn all I want, especially as he shows me everything and explains everything. He is living on this farm while he breaks his own homestead and builds. I will see how to do it. The first day turned out a wet day so we stopped indoors. He is a great sportsman, so we got out our guns and examined them. He has a shotgun and a rifle with a larger bullet than mine. He says there is plenty of shooting and fishing because the river is about 4 or 500 yards away and he has a boat.

In the afternoon it   cleared off and he went seeding while I sawed some wood and chopped it for the fire. Then in the evening I went with the dog Bell and fetched the four cows. Then I watered the horses and fed them and by the time all was done it was nine o'clock but quite light and warm. Then in the morning I got up about 6 and we went and got the cows up and fed, then had our breakfast. Then he showed me the Canadian way of sowing potatoes and I sowed 3 or 4 bags. A much easier way than the English way.

We had some excitement in the afternoon. Our next neighbor was helping Bowsfield to harrow what he had sown with a four horse team. He is an awfully nice man called White, a fine big man. He is Irish  but born in Canada. One of the four is a wicked one. It took fright and began jumping and kicking. It is a bit of a job to manage four wild horses so Bowsfield and I ran to help him. They had broken all the tackle and White was holding on for dear life. We two caught a horse apiece and after a lot of trouble we got them straight. 

Then Sunday there is no Church so the people have a service every forthnight in one of their houses. There is one this Sunday about a mile off. They have all gone but old Mrs. Bowsfield and Mr B had to go to a farm some miles to get something and my face is in such a state with the mosquitoes.  Will write again when time permits.

Harold

 

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