The Ukrainian immigrants brought many skills with them to this area. Enticed by the offer of 160 acres for $10, many were attracted by land along creeks, rivers and the lakeshore. Easy access to water for their livestock, gardens and personal use was important.
I remember Grandpa Solomon talking about choosing his homestead along highway number 20 (only a trail to Fork River when he came to Canada) because a creek ran through it and a river was nearby. Trees meant easy access to firewood, logs for building houses, barns, sheds, and fences. The down side was needing to clear enough trees and bush to meet the government requirement of improving 30 acres in 3 years.
These hardy Ukrainian immigrants brought with them their farming skills and their knowledge of ways of using what was available to improve life. Clay ovens meant bread could be baked on the hottest summer days without heating the house! I can imagine how that wonderful smell would beckon the family to come help her!
House and barns with thatched roofs dotted the landscape of rural properties in the early 1900’s. In the museum we have a picture of the Lenuik homestead near Winnipegosis with its two story home and thatched roof. Being able to thatch a roof was an important skill, and the men and women who knew how to do this were kept busy.
– Jo Bunka
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