Saturday 23 October 2021

A Heritage Park Ramble

 As the weather turns cooler and we start to look forward to hanging out by the fire, I thought it might be nice to look back on the first in person ramble we have had since the pandemic started!

It was a hot, smokey day but a lovely flaneury was had by all!
Heritage Park, Calgary, August 14, 2021!

Victorian Society of Alberta

Photos by Kevin Jepson

Monday 18 October 2021

History of Western Settlement

This page has an excellent history of the settlement of Western Canada.
There are great references included for further study as well.
Victorian Society of Alberta

Settling the West: Immigration to the Prairies from 1867 to 1914

by Erica Gagnon, Collections Researcher

From 1867 to 1914, the Canadian West opened for mass settlement, and became home to millions of immigrant settlers seeking a new life. This immigration boom created key industries still important to Canada’s international role – like agriculture, mining, and oil. The Prairie Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta grew rapidly in these years as settlers began to transform the barren prairie flatland and establish unique cultural settlements. Many motivations brought immigrants to Canada: greater economic opportunity and improved quality of life, an escape from oppression and persecution, and opportunities and adventures presented to desirable immigrant groups by Canadian immigration agencies. By examining these motivations, an understanding of Prairie immigration experiences and settlement patterns evolves in interesting ways.

The immigration boom leading up to 1914 was one of the most important periods of Canadian population growth. Significant changes occurred in Canada after 1867 that made the Prairie immigration boom possible: the construction of a transcontinental railroad made transportation and travel accessible; the Dominion Lands Act of 1872 created free and fertile homesteads for settlers; the establishment of the North-West Mounted Police in 1873 guaranteed the safety of Prairie residents; and the creation of the Department of the Interior in 1873 attracted hard-working immigrants to the region.

In 1870, no urban centres existed on the Prairies. By 1911, thirteen cities with populations over 5,000 had been established.[1]

While the period after 1867 saw a rise in international immigration, the movement did not fully take off until 1896. After a tough economic recession from 1873 to 1896, Canada thirsted for settlers. With the help of Sir Clifford Sifton, Minister of the Interior from 1896 to 1905, immigrants began to find their way to the Canadian Prairies. Sifton is known for promoting the immigration of non-traditional immigrants to Canada. Sifton strongly believed that sturdy European immigrants were the best settlers for the challenging Prairies, because of their familiarity with agriculture, rural lifestyles, and harsh climates. He is best known for his statement that “a stalwart peasant in a sheep-skin coat, born on the soil, whose forefathers have been farmers for ten generations, with a stout wife and a half dozen children, is a good quality.”[2] Sifton disliked the idea of urban populations settling the Prairies, for they would congregate in cities, instead of developing Prairie homesteads. Instead, he promoted the immigration of groups like the Ukrainians, Hungarians, and Mennonites over the more ethnically “desirable” British immigrants.

Thanks to intensive advertising and international immigration agencies after 1867, foreign populations began to settle the Prairies. These immigrants fostered distinct ethno-cultural pockets and diverse industries in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. The population in the West exploded; Winnipeg grew from a city of 20,000 in 1886, to 150,000 in 1911.[3]

Saskatchewan’s population grew by 1124.77% between 1891 and 1911.[4]

Thousands of diverse immigrants came to Canada between 1867 and 1914 for different reasons. For the thousands of immigrants who were inspired to emigrate in search of greater economic opportunities and improved quality of life, the Canadian West presented seemingly infinite possibilities. This category of immigrants encompassed populations of Hungarians, French, Icelanders, Romanians, Chinese, and Ukrainians.

Continued at the link.

Monday 11 October 2021

Happy Thanksgiving 2

From all of us to all of you, 

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Contented Pumpkin 

by Emma Garibaldi

The Garden Truck went on a strike
And made an awful racket;
The foolish Cabbage burst her head,
The Onion split his jacket.

The Peppers burned and Beets grew red,
While Kale growled like a sinner.
The Popcorn cried, "I'll never pop
For any creature's dinner."

The jolly Pumpkin laughed aloud,
With voice so rich and mellow,
"Why, that's just what you're planted for,
You foolish, selfish fellow.

"I've gathered all the sun and dew,
To plumpen me and sweeten,
So I can make the nicest pie
That one has ever eaten.

"And when they pass me twice around,
I'll feel I've done my duty,
If father says, 'Ma save them seeds,
That pumpkin was a beauty.' "

Happy Thanksgiving!

 We hope you are all having a great Thanksgiving!

From the 1906 McCall's Magazine, we have found some recipes titled "For the Thanksgiving Turkey" that you might find to be useful for your Thanksgiving dinner this year.

"One of the most appetizing parts of the Thanksgiving turkey is the dressing, and it has a great deal to do with the flavour or lack of it in the whole bird. A badly seasoned or too damp dressing spoils the best turkey that ever was raised, while a stuffing that is just exactly right in every way gives just the finishing touch of deliciousness needed to complete the piece de resistance of the Thanksgiving table.

"Old Fashioned Dressing - Take a stale loaf or two (according to the size of your turkey), pull out all the middle of it close to the crust and put it in your mixing bowl, plicking it into small pieces; add half a cupful of butter and with the palms of the hands rub these together until thouroughly mixed. Season with salt and pepper and some kind of herb, preferably thyme. Add very little cold water, just enough to hold together the bread crumbs, as too much makes a soggy dressing, which is not fit to eat. Some cooks add a very little minced onion, but that is a matter of taste.

"Chicken or Turkey Stuffing - In a saucepan put a tablespoonful of butter and fry in it one minced onion, adding one cupful of breadcrumbs that have been soaked in water and the water pressed out and half cupful of stock. Season with one teaspoonful of salt and half a teaspoonful of pepper and thyme. Cut up some celery in very small pieces and use half a cupful. Stir this until it leaves the sides of the pan. Take this from the pan and add to it one cupful of breadcrumbs that have been moistened with one tablespoonful of melted butter and very highly seasoned.

"Rich Sausage Stuffing - Cook for five minutes in the frying pan half a tablespoonful of finely minced onion and one quarter of a cupful of butter. Add one quarter of a pound of sausage meat and cook two or three minutes longer. Cook and mash some sweet potatoes and add to the above about one and a quarter cupfuls (they should be hot when added). Season with two teaspoonfuls of chopped parley and salt and pepper. Heat all this to the boiling point and add half a cupful of stale breadcrumbs. The cooks of the present day contend that the turkey is juicier and more savory if cooked without stuffing but in that case you must kind of croquette with it, for which these recipes maybe used: Mix together equal parts of mashed potatoes soft breadcrumbs and finely chopped butternuts. Season this with salt, pepper, parsley and a small grated onion. Stir this all together with some butter and the beaten yolks of two eggs. Shape in balls and fry brown in hot fat.

These are but a few of the stuffing recipes that were offered in the magazine. Enjoy!
Victorian Society of Alberta