Part 1Part 3

"Prove-up your land"

(written on back:)
"Loveny Ruttan With John" (ca. 1930s)


- Nostalgia -

1. Ester in the binder.

2. Oscar's throat cut on barbed wire.

3. The neighbor with the knife after Papa.

4. Nero our dog poisoned & stiff but he lived.

5. The cow with the calf half born. It died.

6. The neighbors' accident in the buggy ("Fancy" with top up). found $1.00 bill after.

7. Our Christmas gifts mostly broken. Uncle Benny playing Santa.

8. The gypseys.

9. The Prairie fire.

10. Making skis.

11. " " a cutter to ride in.

12. The threshing crew & steam engine & separator.

13. Leonard Metz with the talking machine.

14. Mr. Gerwyn & his coyote hounds.

15. The badgers in our yard.

16 Haley's comet.

17. When the pig got his leg cut off by the mower.

18. The first barn made from lumber in our district was made different from the way the small houses were made. Most houses were made of sod when we came. The barn had the boards put on up & down by Burghardts.

The northern lights in the sky were spectacular in the winter. -- Saw Haley's comet when I was small. Trip to town - mail & letters from Norway & Apples from Ontario.

berries to pick.

Wood for winter to be cut & hauled from along the Iron Creek.

The rosettes burned on Ester's bottom from backing up against the big heating stove. (It had a flower pattern embossed on its sides).

"Skogheim Kids
our Lambs"

{ Black note book:}

Continued from our farm

Left Minot N. Dakota

1. How we got to our farm (or Homestead) in Alberta. We were living in North Dakota out of Minot near the Missouri river which cut into our land. My father filed on a homestead in U.S.A. where he built a shack for my mother and him to live in. I was born there as well as my brother Finn. Father worked in a store in Minot & also taught mathematics in a school in Minot. Mother was left to manage alone on the homestead. Father came out on Sundays when he could. My father sent money to Norway for Uncle Lawrence to help prove up the home stead in North Dakota.

{ x'ed out} {Comforted in my fear of the unknown badlands to the east. To-wards the west it was all settled by the Hobsons who had a large heard of horses. & Mr. Murray by the creek.

We had oxen but eventually we bought horses (one or two) from the Hobsons}

Some of these horses (the Hobsons' horses) ran wild and pastured where our cows were. One day when I went to get the cows home I was attacked by one, probably a stallion.

[...] best to make up for his faults. Their two sons Fred & George & daughters Pearl lived there but they were not important to me as a child. They were grown up so the only one that had time to be friendly to me was Mrs. Crozier their mother. She loved the wild roses I picked for her. She was always so busy caring for her arthritic husband & cooking for her sons -- she had so little time to get out and enjoy the beauty of nature. I remember how she loved our wild Alberta roses. She gathered rose petals& placed them on dishes in her home so the perfume would fill the room.

It was awful that time when Fred Crozier came down to our place. They were our neighbours to the north. Our fence was their fence & their cows were always coming into our place. Consequently an argument resulted over their cattle breaking down our fence. Fred & George came to our place. They knocked at the door. I felt the fear that seemed to be evident with my father & mother. Even though I was very young -- maybe four or five -- I will never forget the fear. These two big men -- Fred & George Crozier pounding at our door. My father met them in the yard. My mother & I watched through the window. Geo. & Fred attacked my father immediately & before our eyes the blood flowed from my father's face. Fred & Geo fled & our father came into the house with his eye nearly slit open. Fortunately only the eyebrow was cut so that the eye was not damaged. What a terrible thing to happen between neighbours all because Fred & Geo. Crozier would not be responsible for their cattle breaking down our fence. Poor Mrs. Crozier who was the mother of Fred & Geo & a dear friend of my mother's felt so sad about the whole affair but could do nothing to excuse her sons in their attack. She could only say -- poor Fred he doesn't know what he is doing. Geo was not aggressive or difficult.

I wish my memory had not been so keen because it was difficult in later years when in Hardisty I went to school & found I was in the same class as Mabel Hendricks who was the daughter of (Pearl Crozier) Hendricks & remembered that her brother Fred Crozier had tried to kill my father by cutting his face wide open with a knife. My mother said I must not think of it & at that time my Father was in the first World War fighting for our country. I might mention that neither Fred or Geo Crozier fought to help our country. Fred ran a gambling den in the back of the Chinese restaurant (Rock For's) & he also ran a Pon shop for people who couldn't pay their debts.

Geo Crozier farmed and probably lived a more honest life.

Mr. Gunn with his hounds to catch the coyotes

The antelope on our field

The round hill to the west on the edge of our farm with the stones arranged on top -- my mother said it was an Indian grave and we were not allowed to disturb it.

Ever-lasting yeast was used by every one. We would get a little starter & from there it would last for ever. If it froze it was no good after that.

Buck skin was good. It was dough flattened out with sugar & cinnamon put on it and folded over like an envelope & pinched together & cooked in deep hot lard until brown.

My swing

Rabbit snares

The crippled horse by the big slough

1906 -1915 A Remittance Man

The Creaseys --

He lived on the Iron Creek south of us where the small group of evergreens grew. He was a bachelor & had never married & later on; his sister & her daughter Vera came from England to live with him. (Vera's father had died) All went well & they were the gentry or gentle people of our district -- until all of a sudden he the aristocratic Mr. Creasey had to marry Vera his young niece.

He was so old when he married. He was unable to carry on his farming & the dole from his family in England ran out so he had a difficult time financially. This was how we came to have the precious Old coin collection. He gave it to EH Ruttan & Son for groceries to tide him over for several years. (Estimate value of coins was hundreds of dollars)

Extra The Creaseys had a fancy buggy with red painted wheels & a top with a fancy stepping horse to pull it. The top had the look of a folding down effect but I never saw it down. Anyway a gust of wind tipped it over one Sunday outside our gate & after my father helped them get righted & on their way I found a paper dollar bill where they had upset.

Finally his son Martin (named after my father) & his (Martin's) mother Vera were able to continue the farming with aid from the neighbours.

I remember being at their house as a child in the Autumn -- canning season. They (Mr. Creasey's sisters) were cutting up fruit (from the store in Hardisty.). Vera was helping & when she took a bite of a slice of peach her mother scolded her & said she must not eat it now. She said -- one more bite & you will get slapped.

They -- The Creaseys had a fierce sense of pride which kept us all at bay. No experience to know how to manage on a homestead.

Mr. Creasey was well educated & had good books which we borrowed. It is remarkable that my mother & father by that time were able to enjoy reading English books although the only books we had in our home were Norwegian in the original Norske print. How they learned English is a mystery to me.

We talked Norwegian at home but talked English (broken) when visitors came.

Myrtle Murray


She now lives in Australia but during my childhood she lived along the Iron Creek beyond Hobson's on the road to Lougheed. She taught Sunday School & the Edgar children & Willy Lawson & Vera Creasey & I went there every Sunday. (Vera was much older than I was) Their house was a sod place with no floor -- just the ground which was all uneven & smoothed from sweeping.

Myrtle's mother had died with she was very young. Her father had sheep. He & Myrtle came from Australia.

Myrtle eventually helped out at the neighbors during Threshing Time & time of birth in the neighbor families & finally she saved enough money & with the help of the money earned keeping house at the Burghardt family she was able to go to Edm. & train to be a nurse. She nursed in the first World war overseas & married an officer who was her patient in a wheel chair in England. He was Australian & when he recovered they went to Australia to live.

The Hazelwood School was built in 1912 - two & 1/2 miles north of our farm. I started school that Sept.

1st Teacher Mrs. Frazer who stayed till Christmas

2nd Teacher - Mr. Tweedy

3rd Mr. Heaney

4rth Mr. Hawlks

Then we went to Hardisty & father went to war.

Mr. Hawlks my school teacher at Hazelwood School boarded at Carey's place.

Etta Carey and her husband Earl


Earl & Etta Carey came from USA & rented our farm. Etta Carey was the Burghardt's daughter.

(1913) Before that they (the Carey's) had the place one mile north of us which they fenced & farmed for the Burghardts, who came later.

The Carey's, who were American, came to live on the farm just north of our place (one mile). This was before World War One. They never became naturalized Canadians but they reaped the benefits & returned to the U.S.A. Even so, they added to their neighborhood by their kindness & advanced way of farming. Their Mules were quite a novelty. The Burghardt's came later, and they were Mrs. Carey's parents.

The Carey's came from Yakima Washington & the Burghardts came from Nez Perce Idaho. Etta Carey was a Burghardt & her brother Esper came with his father & mother. Strange how they cold get land so close to us homesteaders, but maybe they bought the land from the original homesteaders, or pre-empted it. Any way they didn't rough it. They had money to buy lumber for all their buildings. They had a deep well drilled down to soft water.

The Burghardts had good furniture & a lot of very excellent books -- Shakespeare works, etc. They had the latest in plows & harrows & a good binder with eight mules to do the work. They insisted on a well drilled deep to get soft water which they got after several hundred feet of drilling. They cleared out willow brush & trees to make big fields for crops. They had a gasoline pump to get the water up from their deep well while we & our neighbors pulled up water by a rope & bucket from our hand-dug shallow well.

1934 Dodge in Alberta"

Christmas 1913 or 14

The first popcorn I ever saw in my life was at Careys'. It was in late November of 1913 & we were preparing for the Christmas concert at School. Mr. Hawlks our bachelor teacher boarded at Carey's & this Friday we girls -- Phoebe, Lura & Vera Hobson & I were asked to stop after school at Carey's to string popcorn for Trimming the Christmas Tree. What a beautiful sight all that lovely white popcorn piled on the middle of the dining room table ready for us to string. The smell of freshly popped corn was divine & we all set to stringing the popcorn with needles & thread.

Christmas was beautiful at School. there was trouble getting a Christmas tree so my father made one for the school.

The Christmas Tree

Creeping cedar grew on the sand hills in the badlands around the big slough east of us, so we gathered great (vines or branches) of it off the sandy ground. My father cut a stately poplar tree (from the Iron Creek valley (in the hills) west of our place), trimmed off the excess branches & twigs. On the neat tree we tied the vines of creeping cedar. The result was an ever-green tree so graceful. Real candles were put on it by heating hay-wire pieces & forcing them into the candle base. When cool, the wire was twisted around the end of each branch with a hook formed by the end of the wire to form a place to hang oranges or apples or treats & candy sticks.

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