I SHOULD like before closing
to say that the Saskatoon of to-day, 1907, is very different from the town
we found in 1904; it has grown in an almost incredible manner, and there are
now some 5,000 inhabitants; there are five churches, the Knox Presbyterian
Church, a Baptist one, St. John's Anglican Church, St. Paul's Roman Catholic
one, a Methodist Church, and the Salvation Army has a corps in which some
seventy members are enrolled.
There are several schools:
the King Edward School, at which both high and public work is done, and
where candidates are in training for examinations as high as first-class
teaching certificates; the Queen Alexandra School, to which only the junior
pupils are admitted, those below the third standard. The Nutana School was
the first established, and later on chose to form a district of its own, and
the river became the dividing line.
There is a small hospital
capable of treating about forty patients. I believe this is in charge of
nuns of the Order of the Sisters of Charity. Unfortunately there is a good
deal of typhoid fever about, not only in the town but on the prairie. People
are not careful enough about the purity of the water they use; slough water
is drunk and becomes an easy source of disease. I am pointing this out as a
warning to those coming out to take up land, to, above all things, first
make sure of a healthy water supply by sinking a well and covering it over.
The conditions of prairie life are so difficult to steer through at first
that it is no wonder that many fail to reach any kind of haven. Examples of
great success have, I know, been brought prominently forward, but by the
side of these how many failures have been passed over in silence? With
ourselves I believe that the worst part of the hardships is a thing of the
past, but no amount of a better state of existence will ever make it 'a
pleasant life for a woman, unless perhaps for one who has been inured to
hard living from her earliest years.
The want of intercourse with
those of her own sex and standing, the impossibility of procuring feminine
help in domestic arrangements, the constantly recurring solitary hours, all
unite in making such a life far from a pleasant one, and, in the long run,
must tell on the strongest nerves.
Our district is, as I have
said before, the Goose Lake one, 45 miles from Saskatoon. It extends over an
indefinite area. The Goose Lake land comprises the Loganton land, the
Delisle land, the Harris land, but the nearest post office to the Lake is at
Tessier, near the home of Doctor Tessier, a most genial kind hearted man.
The nucleus of a town is already formed there and will probably grow in
time, for these towns seem to spring up like mushrooms, and develop in a
very short interval. The crops round Tessier were mostly in stock before the
frost came, although, as with us, some had to be cut on the green side,
lowering the grade somewhat. Dr. Tessier had 60 acres of wheat that averaged
over 20 bushels to the acre; his neighbour went still better, 26 bushels to
the acre, all No. 2 Northern.
The railroads are certainly
trying to see which will get to Goose Lake first, so we farmers ought to
rejoice in the near future, if we are some of us in the dumps just now; at
least I speak of my own experience. My wheat was put in too late and so was
late ripening, and the frost caught it badly. Well, better luck next year.
Asquith, the new town I spoke
of, is located about 27 miles west of Saskatoon, and its future seems
assured, as both the C.P.R. main line to Westaskiwin and the G.T.P. main
line to Edmonton run through the place, the main street of the G.T.P. town
site being a continuance of Asquith main street.
There are two elevators
already up, and two more building; there is also a talk of a flour-mill.
Considering that this town only started sixteen months ago, its progress is
marvellous; it has a bank, a large and handsome hotel, four lumber yards,
three general stores, a drug store, two restaurants, a butcher's shop, three
implement firms, two draying firms, a saddlery, and even a newspaper
Asquith has two churches
already built, a Baptist Church and an Anglican one. I hear that soon a
Presbyterian Church and Manse is to be built also. There is a physician in
the town, a medallist of the Manitoba„ Medical College, and it really looks
as if Asquith might double its population in a very short time. The sudden
shift of the G.T.P. from a more southern route to the location in the
Asquith district gave this part of the country a prominence it would not
have had otherwise. We only hope that the line passing our place soon will
give us a lift up too. The grading of this railroad is done to within 6
miles of our place, and steel will begin to be laid as soon as possible. I
am told that wheat will be bought and hauled on it early next year; this
will be a great help to us all in the Goose Lake neighbourhood. The S--- 's
have sold their place and left yesterday for British Columbia. We hope to
start for home the end of this month. We will wire our arrival at New York,
and by which liner we are sailing.