ISSUED BY DIRECTION OF HON. W. J. ROCHE MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR, OTTAWA, CANADA. 1914
LAND REGULATIONS IN CANADA
ANOTHER GOOD YEAR IN WESTERN CANADA
WHAT WINS IN CENTRAL CANADA
VALUABLE HINTS FOR THE MAN ABOUT TO START
All public lands in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta are controlled and administered by the Dominion Government through the Department of the Interior. The lands disposed of as free homesteads (Government grants) under certain conditions involving residence and improvements, are surveyed into square blocks, six miles long by six miles wide, called townships. When these improvements are completed and duties performed, a patent or crown deed is issued.
THE FOLLOWING IS A PLAN OF A TOWNSHIP
Each township is subdivided into 36 square blocks or sections one mile square and containing 640 acres and numbered from one to thirty-six. Each section is divided into four quarter-sections of 160 acres each.
The four quarters of the section are described, as the northeast, the northwest, the southeast and the southwest quarter.
Who Is Eligible. The sole head of a family or any male eighteen years of age or over, who is a British subject or who declares his intention to become a British subject; a widow having minor children of her own dependent upon her for support.
Acquiring Homestead. To acquire a homestead applicant must make entry in person, either at the Dominion Lands Office for the district in which the land applied for is situate, or at a sub-agency authorized to transact business in such district. At the time of entry a fee of $10 must be paid. The certificate of entry which is then granted the applicant gives him authority to enter upon the land and maintain full possession of it as long as he complies with the homestead requirements.
Cattle Provision to Secure Homestead. With certain restriction, stock may be substituted in lieu of cultivation.
Residence. To earn patent for homestead, a person must reside in a habitable house upon the land for six months during each of three years. Such residence however, need not be commenced before six months after the date on which entry for the land was secured.
Improvement Duties. Before being eligible to apply for patent, a homesteader must break (plough up) thirty acres of the homestead, of which twenty acres must be cropped. It is also required that a reasonable proportion of this cultivation must be done during each homestead year.
Application for Patent. When a homesteader has completed his residence and cultivation duties he makes application for patent before the Agent of Dominion Lands for the district in which the homestead is situate, or before a sub-agent authorized to deal with lands in such district. If the duties have been satisfactorily performed patent issues to the homesteader shortly after without any further action on his part, and the land thus becomes his absolute property.
Timber and Fuel. An occupant of a homestead quarter-section, having no suitable timber of his own, may obtain on payment of a 25-cent fee a permit to cut 3,000 lineal feet of building timber, 400 roof poles, 500 fence posts, 2,000 fence rails. Homesteaders and all bona fide settlers, without timber on their own farms, may also obtain permits to cut dry timber for their own use on their farms for fuel and fencing.
A settler may bring into Canada, free of duty, live stock for the farm on the following basis, if he has actually owned such live stock abroad for at least six months before his removal to Canada, and has brought them into Canada within one year after his first arrival viz: If horses only are brought in, 16 allowed. If cattle are brought in, 16 allowed; if sheep are brought in 160 allowed; if swine are brought in, 160 allowed. If horses, cattle, sheep and swine are brought in together, or part of each, the same proportions as above are to be observed.
Duty is to be paid on live stock in excess of the number above provided for. For customs entry purposes a mare with a colt under six months old is to be reckoned as one animal; a cow with a calf under six months old is also to be reckoned as one animal. Cattle and other live stock imported into Canada are subject to Quarantine Regulations.
The following articles have free entry:
Settler's effects, free viz: Wearing apparel, household furniture, books, implements and tools of trade, occupation, or employment: guns, musical instruments, domestic sewing machines, typewriters, live stock, bicycles, carts, and other vehicles, and agricultural implements in use by the settler for at least six months before his removal to Canada, not to include machinery or articles imported for use in any manufacturing establishment or for sale; also books, pictures, family plate or furniture, personal effects, and heirlooms left by bequest; provided, that any dutiable articles entered as settlers' effects may not be so entered unless brought with the settler on his first arrival, and shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of without payment of duty until after twelve months' actual use in Canada.
The settler will be required to take oath that all of the articles have been owned by himself or herself for at least six months before removal to Canada; and that none have been imported as merchandise, for use in a manufacturing establishment or as a contractor's outfit, or for sale, and that he or she intend becoming a permanent settler within the Dominion of Canada, and that the "Live Stock" enumerated is intended for his or her own use on the farm which he or she is about to occupy (or cultivate), and not for sale or speculative purposes, nor for the use of any other person or persons.
1. Carloads of Settlers' Effects, the property of the settler, may be made up of the following described property for the benefit of actual settlers, viz: Live stock, any number up to but not exceeding ten (10) head, all told, viz: Cattle, calves, sheep, hogs, mules, or horses (the customs will admit free of duty in numbers referred to in Customs paragraph above, but railway regulations only permit ten head in each car); Household Goods and personal property (second-hand); Wagons or other vehicles for personal use (second-hand); Farm Machinery, Implements, and Tools (all second-hand); Soft-wood Lumber (Pine, Hemlock, or Spruce—only) and Shingles, which must not exceed 2,000 feet in all, or the equivalent thereof; or in lieu of, not in addition to the lumber and shingles, a Portable House may be shipped; Seed Grain, small quantity of trees or shrubbery; small lot live poultry or pet animals; and sufficient feed for the live stock while on the journey. Settlers' Effects rates, however, will not apply on shipments of second-hand Wagons, Buggies, Farm Machinery, Implements, or Tools, unless accompanied by Household Goods.
2. Should the allotted number of live stock be exceeded, the additional animals will be charged for at proportionate rates over and above the carload rate for the Settlers' Effects, but the total charge for any one such car will not exceed the regular rate for a straight carload of Live Stock.
3. Passes—One man will be passed free in charge of live stock when forming part of carloads, to feed, water, and care for them in transit. Agents will use the usual form of Live Stock Contract.
4. Less than carloads will be understood to mean only Household Goods (second-hand), Wagons or other vehicles for personal use (second-hand), and (second-hand) Farm Machinery, Implements, and Tools. Less than carload lots must be plainly addressed. Minimum charge on any shipment will be 100 pounds at regular first-class rate.
5. Merchandise, such as groceries, provisions, hardware, etc., also implements, machinery, vehicles, etc., if new, will not be regarded as Settlers' Effects, and, if shipped, will be charged at the regular classified tariff rates. Agents, both at loading and delivering stations, therefore, give attention to the prevention of the loading of the contraband articles and see that the actual weights are way-billed when carloads exceed 24,000 lbs. on lines north of St. Paul.
6. Top Loads.—Agents do not permit, under any circumstances, any article to be loaded on the top of box or stock cars; such manner of loading is dangerous and absolutely forbidden.
7. Settlers' Effects, to be entitled to the carload rates, cannot be stopped at any point short of destination for the purpose of unloading part. The entire carload must go through to the station to which originally consigned.
8. The carload rates on Settlers' Effects apply on any shipment occupying a car weighing 24,000 pounds or less. If the carload weighs over 24,000 lbs. the additional weight will be charged for. North of St. Paul, Minn., 24,000 lbs. constitutes a carload, between Chicago and St. Paul and Kansas City or Omaha and St. Paul a carload is 20,000 lbs. From Chicago and Kansas City north to St. Paul any amount over this will be charged extra. From points South and East of Chicago, only five horses or heads of live stock are allowed in carloads, any over this will be charged extra; carload 12,000 lbs. minimum.
9. Minimum charge on any shipment will be 100 lbs. at first-class rate.
QUARANTINE OF SETTLERS' CATTLE
Settlers' cattle must be inspected at the boundary. Inspectors may subject any cattle showing symptoms of tuberculosis to the tuberculin test before allowing them to enter. Any cattle found tuberculous to be returned to the United States or killed without indemnity. Settlers' horses are admitted on inspection if accompanied by certificate of mallein test signed by a United States Inspector of Bureau of Animal Industries, without which they will be inspected at the boundary free of charge by a Canadian Officer. Settler should apply to Canadian Government Office for name of Inspector nearest him. Certificate of any other Veterinarian will not be accepted. Horses found to be affected with glanders within six months of entry are slaughtered without compensation. Sheep may be admitted subject to inspection at port of entry. If disease is discovered to exist in them, they may be returned or slaughtered. Swine may be admitted, when forming part of Settlers' Effects, but only after a quarantine of thirty days, and when accompanied by a certificate that swine plague or hog cholera has not existed in the district whence they came for six months preceding the date of shipment; when not accompanied by such certificate, they must be subject to inspection at port of entry. If diseased to be slaughtered, without compensation.
UNITED STATES AGENTS.
|M. V. MacINNES, 176 Jefferson Ave., Detroit, Mich.||J. M. MacLACHLAN, Drawer 197, Watertown, S. D.|
|C. A. LAURIER, Marquette, Mich.||W. V. BENNETT, 220 17th St., Room 4, Bee Bldg., Omaha, Neb.|
|J. S. CRAWFORD, 301 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, N. Y.||GEO. A. COOK, 125 W. 9th St., Kansas City, Mo.|
|W. S. NETHERY, Room 82, Interurban Station Bldg., Columbus, Ohio.||BENJ. DAVIES, Boom 6, Dunn Block, Great Falls, Mont.|
|G. W. AIRD, 215 Traction-Terminal Bldg., Indianapolis, Ind.||J. N. GRIEVE, Cor. 1st and Post Sts., Spokane, Wash.|
|C. J. BROUGHTON, Room 412, 112 W. Adams St., Chicago, Ill.||J. E. La FORCE, 29 Weybrosset Street, Providence, R. I.|
|GEORGE A. HALL, 123 Second St., Milwaukee, Wis.||J. B. CARBONNEAU, Jr., Biddeford, Me.|
|R. A. GARRETT, 311 Jackson St., St. Paul, Minn.||MAX A. BOWLBY, 73 Tremont St., Boston, Mass.|
|FRANK H. HEWITT, 5th St., Des Moines, Iowa.||J. A. LAFERRIERE, 1139 Elm St., Manchester, N. H.|
|W. E. BLACK, Clifford Block, Grand Forks, N. D.||F. A. HARRISON, 210 North 3d St., Harrisburg, Pa.|
The present demand for food stuffs and the expense of their production on high-priced lands make it seem that Western Canada, with its opportunity for meeting this demand, came into notice at the crucial period. Its millions of acres of land, easily cultivable, highly productive, accessible to railways, and with unexcelled climatic conditions, offer something too great to be overlooked.
The provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta have the largest area of desirable lands in North America, with but 8 per cent under the plough. Their cultivation has practically just begun. A few years ago the wheat crop amounted to only 71 million bushels. To-day, with only 4 per cent of the available area in wheat, the crop is over 209 million bushels. What, then, will 44 per cent produce?
Then look at immigration. In 1901 it was 49,149, of which 17,000 were from the United States; in 1906 it was 189,064, of which 57,000 were Americans; in 1913 it was about 400,000, about 125,000 being Americans. Why did these Americans go to Canada? Because the American farmer, like his Canadian cousin, is a shrewd business man. When an American can sell his farm at from $100 to $200 per acre and homestead in Canada for himself and for each of his sons who are of age, 160 acres of fertile land, capable of producing several bushels more to the acre than he has ever known, he will be certain to make the change.
And then, following the capital of brawn, muscle, and sinew, comes American capital, keeping in touch with the industrious farmer with whom it has had dealings for many years. These two, with farming experience, are no small factors in a country's upbuilding. Nothing is said of the great mineral and forest wealth, little of which has been touched.
In so short a time, no country in the world's history has attracted to its borders so large a number of settlers prepared to go on the land, or so much wealth, as have the Canadian prairies. Never before has pioneering been accomplished under conditions so favourable as those in Western Canada to-day.
It is not only into the prairie provinces that these people go, but many continue westward to the great trees and mountains, and fertile valleys, the glory of British Columbia, where can be grown agricultural products of almost every kind, and where fruit is of great importance. The vast expanse of the plains attracts hundreds of thousands who at once set to work to cultivate their large holdings. But man's work, even in the cities with their record-breaking building rush, is the smallest part of the great panorama that unfolds on a journey through the country. Nature is still supreme, and man is still the divine pigmy audaciously seeking to impose his will and stamp his mark upon an unconquered half continent.
THE HOMEMAKING SPIRIT.—The most commendable feature in Western development to-day is the "homemaking spirit." The people are finding happiness in planting trees, making gardens, building schools, colleges, and universities, and producing an environment so homelike that the country cannot be regarded as a temporary abode in which to make a "pile" preparatory to returning East.
THOUSANDS OF AVAILABLE HOMESTEADS.—The desire of the American people to procure land is strong. Agricultural lands of proved value have so advanced in price that for the man with moderate means, who wishes to farm, finding a suitable location has become a serious question. Fortunately, in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, there are yet thousands of free homesteads of 160 acres each, which[Pg 2] may be had by the simple means of filing, paying a ten-dollar entrance fee, and living on the land for six months each year for three years. No long, preliminary journey, tedious, expensive, and hazardous, is necessary. This homesteading has been going on in Canada for several years, and hundreds of thousands of claims have been taken up, but much good land still is unoccupied. Many consider the remaining claims among the best. They comprise lands in the park districts of each of the three provinces, where natural groves give a beauty to the landscape. Here wheat, oats, barley, and flax can be grown successfully, and the districts are admirably adapted to mixed farming. Cattle fatten on the nutritious grasses; dairying can be carried on successfully; timber for building is within reach, and water easy to procure.
In addition to the free grant lands, there are lands which may be purchased from railways and private companies and individuals. These lands have not increased in price as their productivity and location might warrant, and may still be had for reasonably low sums and on easy terms.
Nowhere else in the world are there such splendid opportunities for indulgence in the land-passion as in Western Canada. Millions of rich acres beckon for occupation and cultivation. Varying soil and climate are suited to contrary requirements—grazing lands for the stock breeder; deep-tilling soils for the market gardener; rolling, partly wooded districts for the mixed-farming advocate; level prairie for the grain farmer; bench lands and hillsides for the cultivator of fruits.Top
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta Have Splendid Crops.
The grain crop of 1913 was harvested and threshed in perfect condition. Excepting flax, the average yield was excellent; wheat almost universally graded near the top. Wheat from many fields averaged forty bushels per acre, weighing sixty-five pounds to the measured bushel. Oats ran from fifty to one hundred and fifteen bushels to the acre, and barley kept up the reputation of Western Canada as a producer of that cereal. In many sections the yield of flax exceeded earlier expectations, although in places, winds which blew off the boll caused some loss. Hundreds of farmers of small means who have been in the country only three or four years, paid up all their indebtedness out of the crop of 1913 and put aside something for farm and home improvements. Not only for the farmer with limited means and small acreage has the year been prosperous; the man able to conduct farming on a large scale has been equally successful—and for such, Western Canada offers many opportunities.
A farmer in southern Alberta raised 350,000 bushels of grain last year, and made a fortune out of it. In Saskatchewan and in Manitoba is heard the same story of the successful working of large areas.
As was to be expected with its unprecedented development, the financial stress during 1913 was felt as keenly throughout Western Canada as anywhere in the country. The fact is that money could not keep pace with the natural demands of 400,000 new people a year. Towns and cities had to be built, farming operations were extensive, and capitalists had not made sufficient preparation. But last year's crop has restored conditions to a normal state, and natural and reasonable development will continue.
Owing to a wet fall in 1912 and a heavy snowfall the succeeding winter, seeding in some districts was later than usual. But with the favourable weather of May, June, and July, wheat sown in May ripened early in August. Rains came at the right time, and throughout the season the best of weather prevailed.
[Pg 3]The Cities Reflect the Growth of the Country.—Passing through Western Canada from Winnipeg, and observing the cities and towns along the network of railways in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, one feels there must be "something of a country" behind them all. Gaze in any direction and the same view is presented: field after field of waving grain; labourers at work converting the virgin prairie into more fields; wide pasture lands where cattle are fattening on grasses rich in both milk- and beef-producing properties. Here is the wealth that builds the cities.
In thirty years Winnipeg has increased in population from 2,000 to 200,000; and become an important gateway of commerce. The wheat alone grown in the three prairie provinces in 1913 is sufficient to keep a steady stream of 1,000 bushels per minute continuously night and day going to the head of the lakes for three and a half months, and in addition to that, the oats and barley would supply this stream for another four months. The value of the grain crop alone would be sufficient to build any of our great transcontinental railroads and all their equipment, everything connected with them, from ocean to ocean. With only 10 per cent of the arable land under cultivation, what will the possibilities be when 288 million acres of the best land that the sun shines on is brought under the plough? Do you not see the portent of a great, vigorous, populous nation living under those sunny skies north of the 49th parallel?
New Railway Mileage Grows at Rapid Rate.—Every year long stretches of new rails are extended into some hitherto untravelled domain, bringing into subjugation mountain, plain, and forest. Mighty rivers are being bridged, massive mountains are being tunnelled, and real zest is being given this work in the exciting race between the rival companies as they strive to outstrip each other in surmounting Nature's obstacles. During 1913, more than 4,000 miles of new road have been built in Canada, the bulk of this in Western Canada.
The latest reports give the total railway mileage in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta as 12,760 miles, the Canadian Pacific Railway having 5,534; the Canadian Northern, 4,187; the Grand Trunk Pacific, 1,476; the Great Northern Railway, 162. Manitoba has a total mileage of 4,014; Saskatchewan, 5,679; Alberta, 3,073. The gain over 1912 is about 3,400 miles.
Western Canada's Wheat.—The quality of Western Canada wheat is recognized everywhere. Recently a U. S. senator said of the Canadian grain fields: "The wheat that Canada raises is the Northwestern hard spring wheat. The cost of raising is less in Canada than in the States, because the new lands there will produce larger crops than the older land on this side of the line, and the land is cheaper than in the United States."
According to official figures the total estimated wheat production of Western Canada in 1913 was 209,262,000 bushels, an increase of more than 5 million bushels in 1912. Oats show a total yield of more than 242,413,000 bushels, barley more than 30 million bushels, rye more than 2,500,000 bushels, flax more than 14 million bushels, and mixed grains more than 17 million bushels. Wheat, oats, barley, and rye are above the average quality of the last two years, and potatoes and root crops show a good percentage of standard condition during growth. The value of the harvest is approximately 209 million dollars as compared with about 200 million in 1912.
Winnipeg, the grain centre of Western Canada, has received and handled more wheat per day than Chicago, Minneapolis, and Duluth combined.
Approximately 191 million bushels of grain were shipped from the elevators at Fort William and Port Arthur during the season of navigation; from the first of September, 1913, until December 20, 127 million bushels of grain were shipped to the east—52,000,000 bushels more than for the same period last year.
What Farmers Receive.—The amount of grain marketed, and the estimated receipts, based on an average price for September, October, and November, are as follows:
A Splendid Fall.—The fall of 1913 was exceedingly favourable to the farmer of Western Canada. The weather made it possible to harvest and thresh in the minimum of time, and in some cases permitted a start on fall ploughing early in September, in many parts continuing until December 1st. Owners of traction engines took advantage of clear nights to plough, the powerful headlights throwing a brilliant light across the fields. The men worked in relays, and it was frequently midnight before the big outfits quit.
|Beginning a home in the prairie—house and
table "lands" are built on cement foundation.
|Sizing up quantity of hay per acre
he would get from his hayfield.
|Starting from town with loads of
posts for pasture fence.
[Pg 4]Mixed Farming.—Mixed farming is yielding large profits to those who work intelligently along the lines of intensive farming. In addition to wheat, oats, barley, and flax—alfalfa and other fodder crops are grown, and in some places corn.
Every variety of vegetable grows abundantly and sugar beets are a moneymaker. Stock-raising is an important branch of mixed farming, and hogs and sheep are commanding high prices, the demand greatly exceeding the supply.
Sheep.—The sheep industry in Western Canada pays exceedingly well. In the early days—but a few short years ago—a district south of the Canadian Pacific Railway from Swift Current to Maple Creek was stocked with sheep, and several large ranches made money, but with the onrush of settlement these ranches have been vacated and are now given up to successful grain growing. However, the farmers who now cross the boundary to purchase the best Montana breeds and take them to their farms, in every case report a success as great as that in grain growing. Although no country could be better fitted for sheep raising, and numerous successes have been made, Western Canada imports much of its mutton.
Profits in Horse Raising.—The raising of horses is receiving increasing attention. Here also a rare opportunity for profit exists, for the market is woefully unsupplied.
Dairying offers splendid opportunities for profit. In the rapidly growing cities and towns there is a demand for milk, cream, and butter. Creameries and cheese factories are established at accessible points. The feeding of cattle is nominal.
Poultry Products can be readily marketed, and poultry raisers have done remarkably well. No one knows better than the farmer's wife the saving effected by having a flock of hens, some turkeys, geese and ducks, and the cost of feed is not noticed.
Hog Raising.—Hog-raising has equal advantages with grain growing. A large quantity of pork that should be supplied at home is now shipped in. Barley, the best staple for hog raising, is easily grown and yields heavily. Alfalfa can be grown with little trouble, and with two crops in a season, and three tons to the acre to a crop, it will play an important part in the hog industry of the future. The Canadian field pea and the rape, also are good feed and produce the very best of pork.
Chas. Reid, of Swift Current, who sold a thousand dollars' worth of pork last summer, and then had considerable on hand, has demonstrated that hogs pay better than straight grain raising. He has an income from his farm the whole year round.
A farmer near Moose Jaw sold some hogs for $130.00. To the question, "What did they cost?" he answered: "Really nothing. I bought one sow; I have kept two, and I have three to kill for my own use. Of course we had skim milk and buttermilk, and I fed some chop, but what is left is worth all I paid out. I call the $130.00 clear profit."
It is the same story in all parts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. A little attention, plenty of such grain as would go to waste, some shelter, and that's all. Last year many farmers went into hog-raising extensively, and it saved many of them from financial embarrassment; for when money was not obtainable at the banks, farmers having marketable hogs sold them with handsome profit. Several made from $1.00 to $1.20 per bushel for wheat by feeding it to hogs.
Butter and Eggs.—Large sums are spent regularly in United States markets for butter and eggs to supply the cities and towns of Western Canada, and large quantities of butter are imported from New Zealand. Not only is the demand in the towns, but many wheat-raisers purchase these commodities when they might produce them on their own farms at trifling cost.
William Elliott, near Moose Jaw, has eight cows and eighty hens. In less than eight months, his butter and eggs sold for more than $500. All the groceries and the children's clothing and boots, are paid for with butter and egg money.
W. H. Johnston, five miles south of Moose Jaw, has thirty cows and milks an average of twenty-five. His gross receipts last summer were from $600 to $700 per month, of which $300 was profit. He grows his own feed, principally oats and hay, and has no worries over harvesting or grain prices.
Truck Gardening.—Long days of abundant sunshine from May to September, and adequate moisture in the spring and early summer permit of a wide variety of products. The soil is rich and warm, and easily worked. Close attention to cultivation has resulted in record yields of vegetables and small fruits, which bring good prices in the cities.
A farmer within five miles of Moose Jaw, who sold vegetables at the city market last year realized more than $300 between August 1, and October 30. He had half an acre in carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, beans, lettuce and onions, and half an acre in potatoes and turnips. His own table was supplied all summer and enough vegetables were put in the cellar to supply him during the winter and seed potatoes in the spring.
|R. P. O. Uwell's old home, Clover Bar, Alberta.
This old home is now replaced by one
of more modern structure.
|A comfortable modern home in Western
Canada, the old home now used as a granary. William Hamilton—Pioneer.
|Segar Wheeler's residence
"Rosthern," Sask. is a fair type of many homes in the Canadians.
[Pg 5]Corn Can Be Grown on Canadian Prairies.—Manitoba is producing corn, chiefly for feed. On September 28, corn nine feet high had developed to the dough stage, and the crop would easily exceed twenty tons to the acre. There are also scattered fields of corn in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Corn is successfully grown in the northern part of Minnesota in similar soil and under the same climatic condition, and there is no apparent reason why like results should not be secured in Western Canada. Many American farmers of experience believe the corn belt is extending northward.
Alfalfa is an assured crop in many parts of Western Canada and is destined to be the leading forage crop. In a recent competition forty-three entries were made, and every field was one of which farmers of the older alfalfa countries might be proud. In southern Alberta alfalfa is a success; at Edmonton it grows abundantly. Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, Indian Head, Lacombe, Brandon, and in many other districts alfalfa is grown.
Post Offices.—Throughout the settled portions of Western Canada are found post offices at which mails are delivered regularly, thus bringing Eastern friends within a few days' reach of those who have gone forward to make homes under new but favourable conditions on the fertile lands of the West. Last year hundreds of new post offices were established, many of them at points remote from the railway, but all demanded by new settlements made during the year.
Roads and Bridges.—It is said to be the policy of the Canadian Government to do everything possible for the welfare of the settler, whether in accessible new town or remote hamlet. This solicitude is shown in every branch dealing with the organizing of new districts. Bridges have been built, roads constructed, the district policed, and a dozen other conveniences provided. Is it any wonder that with the splendid, high-yielding land, free to the homesteader or open to purchase at reasonable prices from railway and land companies, the Canadian immigration records for 1913 were so high?
Land Laws.—Canada's land laws were formed after the United States had applied its methods to the free lands of the West, and embody the best United States provisions. They are so framed as not to bear heavily on the settler, whose interests are carefully watched, and are liberally administered. After several years' trial they have proved satisfactory.
Titles, or patents, come from the Crown, and on being registered in a Land Titles Office these patents secure a transfer.
Taxes outside of cities, towns, and the larger municipalities, are merely nominal and are devoted entirely to the improvement of roads, to educational purposes, to the payment of salaries, and to the erection of public buildings. At least 50 per cent of these costs, and in small struggling communities, 60 per cent or more, is paid by the Government out of the fund produced by the sale of school lands, one-eighth of the country having been reserved for that purpose.
The Banks of Canada.—The close of 1913 has brought the usual bank statements accompanied by the addresses of the presidents and general managers of these institutions. They deal with economic matters first hand, and show in striking manner the prosperity of the country. Those who know anything of Canadian banking methods know the stability of these institutions, and the high character of the men in charge of them.
Mr. Coulson, of the Canadian Bank of Commerce says:
"We have had a good harvest. The yield has been generally good, and the quality on the average has never been surpassed. This has been especially so in the Western Provinces, and the unusually favourable weather and abundant transportation facilities afforded by the railroads enabled the movement of grain to be made rapidly."
Canada's New Bank Act.—During 1913 the decennial revision of the Bank Act took place. Among important changes were:
The establishment of the Central Gold Reserves. Authority to lend to farmers on their threshed grain.
The provision which enables a bank to lend to a farmer on the security of his threshed grain is extensively utilized. This class of loan is regarded as a moral risk, and banks still depend more upon the character of the borrower than upon the security.
What Bank Managers Have to Say.—Mr. Balfour, manager of the Union Bank of Canada:
"The railway companies have carried out the grain from the Western Provinces this year in a very satisfactory manner."
Mr. John Galt, president of the Union Bank of Canada:
"Speaking generally, the crop results have been satisfactory. In the three great wheat growing provinces this has been a banner year. Not only has the yield been large, but the average quality has never been equalled, and the cost of harvesting has been unusually low, owing to the magnificent weather. This has, to some extent, offset the low prices which prevailed. The railways have done splendid work in handling the crop.
"There is a marked increase in the number of livestock. Farmers are becoming more fully alive to the advantages they derive from this source and are realizing that their borrowing credit is greatly enhanced if they can show a good proportion of cattle in their assets, and banks should look with favour on loans for the purchase and handling of livestock."
Robert Campbell, general manager of the Northern Crown Bank, gives strong testimony of the wealth of Western Canada:
"It is important at a time like the present for every business concern, financial or otherwise, to show by its statement that collections have been good. We may congratulate ourselves upon the showing we have made in this. Notwithstanding that we have made new loans amounting to millions of dollars since the crop was harvested, our old loans have been paid off so rapidly that our liquid assets were not reduced.
"This state of affairs is attributable to the fine weather we have experienced in the West, which enabled the farmers to harvest their grain early and quickly and to the unusual rapidity with which the crop was moved by the railway companies."
PROVINCIAL PREMIERS ARE OPTIMISTIC
Manitoba is Stronger.—Sir Rodmond Roblin has no pessimism regarding the outlook in Manitoba. He says: "The improvements upon farm and field excite the admiration of those interested in agriculture, while our population has been very considerably increased by a healthy, intelligent, and industrious class of new-comers. Manitoba, is much stronger financially, numerically, commercially, industrially and educationally than she was in the year 1912. Her progress and development are rapid, healthy, and permanent."
Hope and Cheer in Saskatchewan.—Hon. Walter Scott: "The sheet anchor of Saskatchewan is its soil, which (excluding, of course, the far north) comprises a larger proportion of land capable of sustaining a farming population than any area of similar vastness on the globe. Nothing but inconceivable recklessness and waste can prevent its remaining for all time a great agricultural province, and nothing can seriously check its steady forward movement."
Alberta on Sound Footing.—Hon. A. L. Sifton: "Alberta was never on a sounder footing than it is to-day. It has reaped the best crop in her history, and stands in line for her share of the millions earned by the farmers of Western Canada for their wheat and other grains. Coarse grains for feeding purposes are beginning to predominate with the advent of mixed farming. A gratifying increase in the number of dairy cows and hogs is reported from every district, indicating a new source of wealth, a more constant revenue for the farmer and a new basis of credit for farming operations."
Splendid Outlook in British Columbia.—Sir Richard McBride says: "That British Columbia, judged by the healthy growth in population and in general industries during the past year, and the splendid outlook, may confidently be expected to have increased prosperity in 1914. Mining will show a larger output for the current year and the same may be said of agriculture and other occupations. Generous and wise expenditure for adding to the already extensive road system, the building of necessary public works, as well as the enormous amount of railway construction all conduce to the opening up and settlement of immense areas, hitherto almost dormant."
PANAMA CANAL AND CANADA
The London Times, speaking of the Panama Canal, says: "Although there is considerable speculation in trade and political circles as to the effect of the opening of the Panama Canal, enthusiasts in the West predict that Western Canada generally will increase in population and wealth to an extent beyond conception. The Canal will have the effect of bringing the outposts of Empire inside the commercial arena. The new water route, combined with improved railway facilities, will certainly improve the position of Western Canada in the battle for the world's markets."
WHAT HAS BEEN SAID ABOUT WESTERN CANADA
Mr. James J. Hill.—"Within a few years the United States will not be exporting any wheat, but it will become a market for the wheat of Canada."
Dr. Wm. Saunders, Director of the Canadian Government Experimental Farm at Ottawa, Canada: "The Canadian Northwest can supply not only sufficient wheat for a local population of thirty millions, but have left over for export three times as much as the total import of the British Isles. One-fourth of its arable land is devoted to wheat."
Professor Shaw.—"The first foot of soil in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta is worth more than all the mines from Alaska to Mexico, and more than all the forests from the boundary to the Arctic ocean. One acre of the average soil in Western Canada is worth more than ten acres of average land in the United States."
Professor Tanner.—"The black earth of Central Russia, the richest soil in the world, has to yield its distinguished position to rich, deep, fertile soil of Western Canada. Here the most fertile soil of the world is to be found. These soils are rich vegetable humus or clay loam with good clay subsoil. To the high percentage of nitrogen is due the high percentage of gluten which gives the 'Canadian No. 1 Hard' the flouring qualities which have spread its fame abroad to the ends of the earth."
St. Paul Farmer.—During a recent trip through Western Canada, the editor of the St. Paul Farmer, in referring to Government forces in agriculture, spoke of the interest that the Dominion and the Provincial Governments took in farming and farm education, as "complete and effective."
The General Manager of a Canadian bank is reported to have said that, "owing to the speedy manner in which grain came forward in the fall of 1913, our farmer customers in the prairie provinces paid off about three million dollars of liabilities between September 20, and October 10."
Hon. W. T. White, speaking at a New York meeting, said: "We used to give you good Canadians but now we are getting back good Americans. Ours came from the east, yours are going into our west. Some of the most practical citizens, the best Canada has to-day, are the Americans. We received last year no less than 140,000. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, three provinces, have each a larger territory than modern Germany, less than ten per cent under cultivation. This year they had a crop of over 200 million bushels of wheat. You cannot get any country where contracts are more faithfully regarded or obligations more carefully safeguarded by law than in Canada."
Sir Thomas Shaughnessy.—"Immigration into Canada cannot cease, for it is due to economic conditions which show no signs of changing."
David R. Forgan.—"Nothing can check a country which can raise the amount of wheat which has been raised in Western Canada this year. Any checks which the country may have had as a result of the world-wide money conditions are entirely beneficial to the country. Numbers of young men, the sons of farmers in the States, are now coming to Canada, and are taking up land much cheaper and equally as good as they could get in the States."
Lord William Percy of England: "The possibilities and opportunities offered by the West are infinitely greater than those which exist in England."
Colonel Donald Walter Cameron of Lochiel, Scotland, Chief of the Cameron Clan: "We cannot blame our people for coming out here, where there are so many opportunities as compared with those afforded in Scotland. I thought possibly a trip through Canada would give us some plan as to how to stop the wholesale emigration from Scotland, but, after seeing this wonderful country and the opportunities on every side, where one man has as good chances as his neighbor, I have come to the conclusion that nothing more can be done."
Speaker Clark.—In commenting on Speaker Clark's remarks expressing regret at the number of Americans who had gone to Canada in one week, the Chicago News says: "The appropriate sentiment for the occasion would seem to be a God-speed to the emigrants. They are acting as the American pioneers did before them, and are taking what appears to them to be the most promising step for improving their fortunes. The bait is wild land, and it is not affected by national boundaries."
Mayor Deacon, Winnipeg: "No man who sets foot in Canada is more entirely and heartily welcome than the agriculturist from the South."
An eminent American writer after a recent visit to the Canadian West in speaking of the American immigration to Canada, says:
"Any country that can draw our citizens to it on such a scale must have about it something above the ordinary, and that Canada has in many ways."
[Pg 7]Dean Curtiss of Ames Agricultural College, Iowa, says:
"We of the United States think we know how to get behind agriculture and push, but the Canadians dare to do even more than we do in some respects. They have wonderful faith in the future: they hesitate at no undertaking that offers prospects of results. More significant still is the wide co-operation for agricultural promotion, including the government, private individuals, and corporations and the railroads.
"Manitoba has in the last two years provided about as much money for the building of an agricultural plant as Iowa has appropriated in half a century. It has given in two years $2,500,000 for buildings and grounds for its agricultural institutions. Saskatchewan is building a plant for its university and agricultural college on a broader and more substantial plan than has been applied to any similar institution in this country. Yet neither province has more than half a million population.
"For public schools equally generous provision is made. They are being built up to give vocational and technical training as well as cultural. They fit the needs of the country excellently and should turn out fine types of boys and girls. They do this with a remarkable faith in the value of right education."
Dean Curtiss was much interested in the many ways the Canadian Government aids agriculture, aside from appropriations for education. It is helping to solve marketing problems; encouraging better breeding of livestock by buying sires and reselling them at cost, and doing many other things of like character. He says:
"I found that the Government is advancing from 50 to 85 per cent of the money necessary to build coöperative creameries and elevators. Where cattle need breeding up, the Government buys bulls of dairy, Shorthorn, or special dairy breeds, and sends them in at cost and long time payments."
The words "Canadian wheat" are familiar to all, but many have not yet participated in the benefits derived by those who, within the past few years, have placed their capital in Canadian wheat lands. They, who, through foresight, so invested, they who broke the first furrow, have reaped bountifully.
The development of the fertile plains and valleys of Western Canada is still in its infancy. The accomplishments of the past few years, while truly wonderful, have but proven the great resources and future capabilities of this vast country.
The growth of to-day will be insignificant compared with the achievements of the next few years.
The homestead shack is now giving place to the comfortable residence, large barns are being erected where the improvised log and mud stable sheltered a few head of cattle, fields are fenced, roads built, and great fields of grain and luxuriant pastures are always in evidence.
The Climate.—Owing to the altitude, Western Canada is one of the finest and most healthful sections in the world. Speaking generally it is at least a thousand feet higher above sea level than the Middle Western States, thus giving a dry, bracing air, much like portions of Colorado. During a large part of the summer the days are hot and sunny, with more than twenty hours of daylight and consequently growing weather, in each day. The nights, however, are always cool and restful and are largely responsible for the splendid vitality of Western men.
The winters are truly splendid. Usually farming operations on the land are stopped by frost from the 12th to the 15th of November although some years they have been continued into December. Usually late in November snow falls, and with the exception of those districts where Chinook winds are frequent, will remain until the following spring, disappearing early in March. During this time there is clear, bright, dry, sunny weather and an intensely invigorating atmosphere. The average winter temperature ranges from zero to twenty-two above zero, according to the district. Occasionally severe cold weather will occur, lasting for two or three days, but this is not unknown in the Middle Western States. One of the greatest advantages is the hard frost, during the winter. This freezes the ground to a depth of several feet. In the spring, thawing naturally commences at the top. As soon as the top soil is sufficiently thawed the land is sown, the cultivation forming a mulch which conserves the moisture in the frozen ground underneath. With the increasing warmth of early summer, the lower frost gradually thaws out and this moisture aids largely in the growth of the young crop.
The heaviest rainfall occurs in June, when it is most needed and does the most good to the growing crops. The rainfall of western Canada varies from 16 to 28 inches. The farmers are usually working upon the land during the first week in April. This gives a long growing season and plenty of time to dispose of the crop and get the land prepared, ready for the next season's operation.
METEOROLOGICAL RECORD FOR JANUARY, 1913
or Station at
|Degrees of Temperature||Precipitation
|Hours of Sunshine|
|Indian Head, Sask||40.0||-45.0||-6.51||.80||266||57.9|
|Indian Head, Sask||39.0||19.0||13.19||1.23||248||53.2|
SWEEPSTAKE UPON SWEEPSTAKE
A Manitoba Steer Carries Off Honors Similar to Those Won by a Half-brother in 1912.
Saskatchewan wins and now owns the Colorado Silver Trophy for best oats in the world.
When Glencarnock I, the Aberdeen-Angus steer, owned by Mr. McGregor of Brandon, Manitoba, carried off the Sweepstakes at the Chicago Live Stock Show in 1912, it was considered a great victory for barley, oats and grass, versus corn. That there might be no doubt as to the superiority of barley feeding, Manitoba climate, and judgment in selecting the animal, in 1913 Mr. McGregor entered another Aberdeen-Angus, a half-brother to the winner of 1912, and secured a second victory. In other classes also Mr. McGregor had excellent winnings. Glencarnock's victory proves not only the superiority of the new feeding, but that the climate of the prairie provinces of Western Canada, in combination with the rich foods possessed by that country, tends to make cattle raising a success at little cost.
Other winnings at the Live Stock Show which placed Western Canada in the class of big victories were: three firsts, seven seconds, and five other prizes in Clydesdales.
Among recent victories won by Western Canada within the past three years:
In February, 1911, Hill & Sons, of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, showed a peck of oats at the National Corn Exposition in Columbus, Ohio, and carried off the Colorado Silver Trophy, valued at $1,500.00. In February, 1913, they had a similar victory at Columbia, N. C., the third and final winning was at Dallas, Texas, on February 17, 1914, when Hill & Son's oats defeated all other entries.
In 1911, Seager Wheeler, of Rosthern, won $1,000 in gold at the New York Land Show for best hundred pounds of wheat.
In 1912, at the Dry Farming Congress, Lethbridge, Mr. Holmes of Cardston won an engine for best wheat in the world.
In 1913, at Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. P. Gerlack, of Allan, Saskatchewan, carried off the honors and a threshing machine for the best bushel of wheat shown in a world competition. It was the Marquis variety and weighed 71 lbs. to the bushel. At this congress, Canada won a majority of the world's honours in individual classes, and seven out of the sixteen sweepstakes.
Other first prizes taken at the same place were:
Barley, Nicholas Tétinger, Claresholm, Alberta. Oats, E. J. Lanigan, Elfross, Saskatchewan. Flax, John Plews, Carnduff, Saskatchewan. Sheaf of barley, A. H. Crossman, Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Sheaf of flax, R. C. West, Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Sheaf of oats, Arthur Perry, Cardston, Alberta. In district exhibits, Swift Current, Saskatchewan, won the Board of Trade Award, with Maple Creek second. Red Fife Spring Wheat, E. A. Fredrick, Maple Creek. Other variety of Hard Spring Wheat, S. Englehart, Abernethy, Saskatchewan. Black Oats, Alex Wooley, Norton, Alberta. Oats, any other variety, Wm. S. Simpson, Pambrun, Saskatchewan. Western Rye Grass, W. S. Creighton, Stalwart, Saskatchewan. Sheaf of Red Fife Wheat, R. H. Carter, Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan. Sheaf of Marquis Wheat, G. H. Carney, Dysart, Saskatchewan. Two-Rowed Barley, R. H. Carter, Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan. Six-Rowed Barley, R. H. Carter, Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan. Western Rye Grass, Arthur Perry, Cardston, Alberta. Alsike Clover, Seager Wheeler, Rosthern, Saskatchewan.
Agricultural Education in Western Canada.—Scientific farming probably can be pursued with more profit and advantage in Western Canada than in any other portion of the continent. What can be achieved may be judged by what has been accomplished by the thousands who with not even a theoretical knowledge have made it a success. The various governments have provided for the development of a class of farmers who, in the possession of the rich soil of the country, with its abundant humus, its phosphates, and large endowment of other properties will make of it the greatest farming region of the known world.
AREAS OF LAND AND WATER
According to the latest measurements the land and water areas of the three provinces, as at the Census of 1911, are as follows:
Note—By the Extension of Boundaries Act, 1912, the area of Manitoba was increased by 113,984,000 acres, bringing the total to 161,172,298 acres, of which 12,739,600 acres are water. The areas of Manitoba in this article relate solely however to the province as constituted before the Act of 1912.
|Provinces||1900||1910||1911||1912||1913||Average for 5 years 1908-1912|
The most easterly of the three Central Provinces—lies in the centre of the North American continent—midway between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, its southern boundary running down to the 49th parallel, which separates it from the United States, its northeasterly boundary being Hudson Bay. It may well be termed one of the Maritime Provinces of Canada. Manitoba is one-fourth larger than Germany, its area covering 252,000 square miles or about 161 million acres. If a family were placed on every half section of the surveyed land in Manitoba, more than 600,000 persons would be actually living in the Province.
Available Homesteads.—One and a half million acres of land are open for free homesteading in Manitoba—east of the Red River, and between lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba, also west of Lake Manitoba and in the newly opened districts along the railway lines. The wooded areas of these districts will make a strong appeal to those who appreciate the picturesque. Where the timber is light scrub, it is easily removed, while the heavy forest richly repays the cost of clearing. Lakes, rivers, and creeks are numerous, and wells of moderate depth furnish water for domestic purposes. Homestead lands are easily reached and the value of land is steadily advancing. Two hundred and thirty-two homesteads were filed in Winnipeg in December, 1913—almost twice the number filed during December, 1912.
Available Farm Lands, apart from homesteads, can be secured at $12 to $15 per acre for raw prairie, while improved farms command $35 to $40.
Improved Farms may be secured in all parts of Manitoba from owners who have grown wealthy and are in a position to retire.
Soil and Surface.—The surface of Manitoba is not a flat, bare stretch, a "bald-headed prairie." A large part of the land, especially in the south, is, indeed, the flat bed of a wide, prehistoric lake; but even in the southwest the land rises into wooded hills, and in the southeast, close to the Lake-of-the-Woods country, there is a genuine forest. In Western Manitoba are forested areas, and timbered districts exist on the Turtle Mountains and the Brandon Hills. The true forest persists in Central Manitoba as far as the Duck Mountains. From all these points quantities of lumber, fence posts, and firewood are sent to the prairie settlers. The rivers and lakes are skirted by a plentiful tree growth. Down through the heart of the Province stretch two great lake chains. Lake Winnipeg and lakes Winnipegosis and Manitoba, which receive the waters of the Saskatchewan and Assiniboine from the west, and discharge through the Nelson River to Hudson Bay. Sloping to the west from the Lake Manitoba plain is a range of gentle hills known as the Duck Mountains, Riding Mountains, and the Porcupine Hills. These hills in no way alter the fact that almost the whole land surface of Central and Southern Manitoba west of its great lakes is ready for cultivation. The northern portion of the Province, though not surveyed, is known to contain a large area of good agricultural land. Manitoba's soil is a deep rich loam, inexhaustible in its productiveness. There are 25½ million acres of land surveyed, about one-fourth of which was under crop in 1913.
Grain Growing.—Manitoba is noted for its wheat crops and has already an established prestige in yields of oats, rye, and flax; in some parts corn is being grown. In certain districts good yields of winter wheat are reported.
The grain statistics for the Province reveal an interesting condition. In 1901 there were 1,965,200 acres of land under wheat, and in 1910 the area had grown to 3,094,833 acres. In 1913, this had increased to 3,141,218 acres. The land under oats, in 1913, amounted to 1,939,723 acres; barley, 1,153,834 acres, and flax, 115,054 acres. The average yield of wheat in 1913 was 20 bushels; oats, 42 bushels.
The total grain crop in the Province for 1913 was 178,775,946 bushels, grown on 6,364,880 acres, compared with 182,357,494 for 1912, the decrease being due to a falling off in oats of nearly 7 million bushels and in flax of more than 1 million bushels. Of the 1913 grain crop spring and fall wheat together occupied an area of 3,141,218 acres and yielded 62,755,455 bushels. Oats occupied an area of 1,939,723 acres and yielded 81,410,174 bushels. Barley occupied an area of 1,153,834 acres and yielded 33,014,693 bushels. Flax, rye, and peas occupied an area of 130,105 acres and yielded 1,595,624 bushels. The above are Provincial Government returns.
Potatoes and Field Roots.—The yield of potatoes for 1913 was 9,977,263 bushels from an area of 55,743 acres, and that of field roots 4,196,612 bushels from an area of 16,275 acres. The average yield of potatoes was about 180 bushels per acre; field roots 257 bushels. Total value, about $2,100,000.
Fodder Crops.—Brome grass contributed 43,432 tons from an area of 24,912 acres. Rye grass 33,907 tons from an area of 21,197 acres. Timothy 181,407 from an area of 118,812 acres. Clover and alfalfa together contributed 20,454 tons from an area of 10,037 acres, and fodder corn 119,764 tons from an area of 20,223 acres. Total value about 2 million dollars. Alfalfa is largely grown at Gilbert Plains, Roblin, Swan River and Grand View. The figures given are from Provincial Government returns.
The Season.—Although spring opened a few days earlier than usual, seeding was quite general on well drained land by April 15th. From that date until the end of the month the weather was exceptionally favourable, and by May 10th, on well prepared land, nearly all the seeding was over.
During the first three weeks of May the weather was quite cool, and growth was slow; but with warmer weather the last week's growth was more rapid. There was an abundance of moisture from the previous fall, and despite the low temperature during May, wheat was well advanced by the end of the month.
For Map of Northern Manitoba see pages 14 and 15
[Pg 12]The early part of June was dry with high temperature; but in the latter part of this month rain was more plentiful, especially in the western part of the Province. The rainfall in July was below the average, and the temperature lower than usual. Harvesting was general by the middle of August.
The excellent condition of the land at seeding time, the favourable weather during germination and growth, and the ideal harvesting and threshing weather, exercised the greatest influence in determining the high grade of all grains as well as materially reducing the cost of harvesting.
Mixed Farming has become quite general in Manitoba, practically every farmer now having his herd of cattle or flock of sheep. His fattened hogs find a steadily increasing market at good prices, while poultry is a source of revenue. The vegetable crop is always a success; wonderful yields of potatoes and roots are regularly recorded. Many portions of the country, partially wooded and somewhat broken, which were formerly overlooked, are now proving desirable for mixed farming. These park districts have sufficient area for growing grain, hay, and grasses.
The poplar groves scattered here afford excellent shelter for cattle and, in many cases, furnish valuable building material. The district lying east and southeast of Winnipeg is rapidly being settled. It is well served by the Canadian Pacific, Canadian Northern, and Grand Trunk Pacific Railways. Rainfall here as elsewhere throughout the Province is adequate, and well water easily secured. Much of this land is available for homesteads, while other portions may be purchased at a low price from the railway and land companies. This applies to Swan River and Dauphin districts.
Hon. George Lawrence, Minister of Agriculture, says: "Conditions in Manitoba are excellent for livestock of all kinds, and the money-making possibilities in producing all manner of food are beyond question.
"The output of the creameries last year was close to 4,000,000 pounds. They cannot, however, begin to meet the demand. It is the same with eggs, poultry, beef, pork, mutton, vegetables, and all foodstuffs. The opportunity for the man who will go in for mixed farming in this Province is consequently obvious."
Dairying yielded about 3½ million dollars in 1913 for butter, and then failed to supply local demand, a quantity of milk, cream, and butter being imported. Winnipeg alone used over three-quarters of a million dollars' worth of milk and cream in 1913. The demand is increasing with the growth of the cities throughout the west, and splendid opportunities exist in this field. Cheese sold in 1913 at 12½ cents per pound, dairy butter at 23.4 cents, and creamery butter at 27.5 cents.
Dairy schools, under control of the Agricultural College are well equipped and under the guidance of professors of high standing.
Businesslike Farming.—Nowhere on the continent more than in Manitoba has farming advanced to the dignity of a thoroughly businesslike occupation. Here the farmer works, not merely for a living, but for a handsome profit. Instances are frequent where large areas under wheat have given a clear profit of over $12 an acre. All the labour of ploughing, seeding, harvesting, and marketing is included at $7.50 per acre with hired help. Even allowing $8, it is a poor year that will not yield a handsome margin.
The greatest monopoly of the future will be land.
Wheat is the greatest food cereal. Lands suitable to the growth of No. 1 hard wheat are extremely limited. While the demand for wheat is increasing, the wheat belt of the United States is decreasing yearly in acreage and yield, with the result that within a few years the United States will have to import and scramble for a lion's share of the wheat crops of the world.
The following tables give the acreage, average and total yield of wheat oats, barley, and flax for the last seven years. Provincial government returns,
Education.—Manitobans expend a greater percentage of public funds for schools than for any other purpose. Private schools, business colleges and public libraries, as numerous and as well equipped as those in similar communities anywhere, are established in all important cities and towns and these with the excellent public schools afford educational facilities equal to those of any country. There are also a number of Catholic parochial schools.
The Dominion Experimental Farm at Brandon is doing much to educate the farming population of the Province. Accurate records of all practical experiments are kept and the information is given to settlers free. Dairy schools, farmers' institutes, livestock, fruit growers, agricultural, and horticultural associations also furnish free instruction as to the most successful methods practised in their callings.
Railways have anticipated the future, so that few farmers are more than eight or ten miles from a railway. Manitoba now has 3,895 miles of railway as compared with 1,470 miles in 1893. The Canadian Pacific has 1,620 miles, Canadian Northern 1,809, and the Grand Trunk 366, and extensions will be made by all lines this year. Railway lines being built to Hudson Bay will make large mineral deposits available. When this territory is surveyed there will be opened up a wonderfully rich area, capable of maintaining an immense population. This added territory gives a port on Hudson Bay, from which vessels can carry the farm produce of the West to old country markets.
Climate.—Unlike some other provinces, Manitoba's climatic conditions are uniform throughout. There is much sunshine the year round. The summer is pleasant, warm, and conducive to rapid and successful growth.
The long autumns are usually agreeable, ploughing weather sometimes extending to the end of November.
The winters rarely last more than three or four months, and because of the dry atmosphere, the low temperature is not as much felt as in countries with more moisture. The snow is never deep, and travel in winter by team or rail is rarely impeded by drifts. The annual precipitation is 21.4 inches.
The crop season in Manitoba extends from April to October, inclusive. Seeding frequently starts early in April, and threshing usually lasts through October. The mean temperature for the period, April 1 to September 30, in 1913 was 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The mean temperature in October was only 34.40 Fahrenheit, but threshing can be done in cold weather as readily as in warm, with no injurious effects. The total precipitation in the Province was smaller than usual—for the growing season 9.67 inches, but rain was well distributed: May 1.04 inches; June 2.34 inches; July 1.70 inches; August 3.56 inches, and September .68 inches. The average sunshine was 7.3 hours daily. The mean temperature of the country is 32.7; January 5.2; July 66.1.
[Pg 13]Picnicing on December 11, 1913.—The mild weather of the past few months has been general throughout the Province of Manitoba. At Melita, on December 11th, the citizens suspended business and had a picnic at River Park on the outskirts of the town, and there was no discomfort from heat or cold.
Fruit.—Small fruits did well in 1913. Apples are not grown extensively, but several orchards in the Province were well laden. The orchard of Mr. Stephenson, near Morden, was the most notable, and produced a crop of several hundred barrels of apples, as well as an abundance of crabs, cherries, and other fruits. At the recent Land and Apple Show in Winnipeg, native apples compared very favourably with those from Provinces which pride themselves on their horticultural possibilities.
Sugar Beets.—In growing sugar beet, Manitoba has had success. Syrup produced from sugar beets grown at Morden was of good consistency and the colour indicated that good sugar could be manufactured from it.
Game and Fish.—Manitoba's fishery output represents an annual value of over one million dollars. There is plenty of good fishing. Wild ducks, geese, and swans haunt the lakes and rivers, while on the prairies are flocks of prairie chicken.
Manitoba Farm Lands Year.—In addition to circumstances which point to next year as an important one to farming interests, there is one great factor which will undoubtedly have much to do with the sale and development of farms. This is the fact that the people of Manitoba realize the necessity for mixed farming. This means the breaking up of large tracts of land into smaller farms and therefore a largely increased population. Even while the present year has been one of some financial stringency the demand for farm lands has steadily increased.
WHAT SOME MANITOBA FARMERS HAVE DONE
Gladstone, Man., reports that the wheat crop of 1913 exceeded all expectations; 30 bushels per acre was the general yield. The grade was never better. One farmer had 400 acres in wheat, which weighed 66 pounds to the bushel.
Portage Plains, Man., showed some remarkable yields. Noah Elgert had 61 bushels of wheat per acre; the government farm, 61 bushels; Geo. E. Stacey, 54; T. J. Hall, John Ross and D. W. McCuaig, 50; W. Richardson, 51; M. Owens, 61½; Anderson and Turnbull, 60; J. Lloyd, 48½; Jas. Bell and Robt. Brown, 48; R. S. Tully, 52; J. Wishart, 49¼; Philip Page, 47; J. Stewart, 45; J. W. Brown, 30; Chester Johnson, 44; E. H. Muir, 42; L. A. Bradley, 43; W. Boddy, 40; Albert Davis, 43; E. McLenaghen, 37. After farming the same land for forty years, J. Wishart secured a crop of 49½ bushels to the acre, the best he ever had. Mr. Bradley's yield was on land plowed this spring.
Marquette, Man., September 21. Splendid weather has enabled the farmers of this section to make good progress with the cutting and harvesting of this season's crop. Wheat is averaging 20 bushels to the acre, with barley 45 and oats going 70. There has been no damage of any description.
Binscarth, Man., says good reports are coming from the machines of high yields and good sample. The elevators are busy shipping cars every day.
Dauphin, Man., September 13. Threshing is general. The grain is in good shape and the weather is ideal. The samples are best ever grown here, grading No. 1 Northern. The returns are larger than expected in nearly every case. E. B. Armstrong's wheat went 34 bushels to the acre; others, 25 to 27.
Balmoral.—John Simpson says: "Very prosperous has been our first year's farming in Canada. Shipped two carloads of wheat that graded No. 1 Northern and sold for eighty-five cents. Weather for the last two weeks was perfect—no snow and just enough frost to keep the roads from getting muddy."
Brandon.—Hard wheats have long been the choice product of Manitoba soil, but nothing more significant is required to announce a new industry in the Province than that Glencarnock Victor, a Manitoba-finished steer, owned by Mr. J. D. McGregor, was last year grand champion of America, and his half-brother from the same stables, won like honours this year. Neither had ever been fed any corn, but fattened on prairie hay, alfalfa, and barley.
CITIES AND TOWNS
Winnipeg, with a population of about 200,000, is a natural distributing point for Western Canada, as well as the shipping point for the wonderful crops from the tributary prairie lands. The prosperity of Western Canada is here reflected in substantial buildings, wide boulevards, quarries, water works, street lighting systems, asphalt plants, and a park system of 29 parks, covering 500 acres. There are 40 modern school buildings with 378 teachers and 21,210 pupils.
Winnipeg has four live daily papers and forty weekly and monthly publications. Twenty-four railway tracks radiate from the city, making Winnipeg the leading grain centre of the world. A photograph taken at any point in the financial centre of the city shows magnificent new buildings under construction, representing immense investment and indicating the confidence felt in the city's future. Municipal improvements are constantly being made. The city now has 466 miles of sidewalk, 112 miles of boulevard and 162 miles of street pavement. There are 115 churches.
St. Boniface, the seat of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of St. Boniface, adjoins and is partly surrounded by the business district: 17,000 population.
Brandon—With 18,000 population is the second city in the Province and is located on the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, with its seven branch railway lines. The Canadian Northern runs through the town and has erected a fine new modern hotel. The Great Northern entering from the south and the Grand Trunk Pacific completed, there is afforded excellent shipping facilities, necessary to the factories, flour mills, machine shops, and wholesale houses established here. There are fourteen branch banks here with clearings totalling $33,000,000. As an educational centre Brandon might be ranked with cities several times larger. The high school would be a credit to any city of first rank. A Dominion Experimental Farm is located here.
Portage la Prairie—Enjoys splendid railway facilities at the junction of four lines of railway. This fortunate situation has brought a number of industries. The city owns its park and has a fine educational system, including a Collegiate Institute. Many churches and fraternal organizations are supported by this city of 7,000 population. Municipal improvements are constantly being made.
Selkirk is a distributing point of supplies for points on Lake Winnipeg.
Carberry and Morden are flourishing railway towns in the heart of fine wheat-growing sections, as are Minnedosa, Neepawa, Dauphin, Carman, Virden, and Souris.
Scores of towns now developing afford openings for those desiring business opportunities; each has its mills and warehouses for wheat. Among these centres may be named Manitou, Birtle, Emerson, Gretna, Wawanesa, Rivers, Somerset, Baldur, Deloraine, Melita, Rapid City, Hamiota, Gladstone, Killarney, Hartney, Stonewall, Boissevain, Elkhorn, Gilbert Plains, Pilot Mound, Winkler and Plum Coulee.
Provincial Government returns.
POPULATION AND LIVESTOCK
|Other horned cattle||147,984||357,988||333,752||397,261||428,274||460,200|
Increase in population in ten years was 78.52 per cent.
The exhibit of grains, grasses, clover, fodder crops, vegetables, and natural products shown at the 1913 United States Land Show spoke well for the soil and climate of Manitoba.
Saskatchewan, the central Prairie Province, is a huge rectangle extending from the 49th to the 60th parallel, with an area as large as France and twice the size of the British Isles.
It comprises 155,092,480 acres, and extends 760 miles north and south and 390 miles east and west at the southern boundary bordering on the United States. The average altitude is about 1,500 feet above sea level.
Saskatchewan claims to be without a rival in North America as a producer of wheat and small grains. Only physical and geographical conditions retard even a more phenomenal agricultural development. Its growth and acquisition of wealth has been phenomenal. There are four distinct zones extending north and south: (a) rolling prairie, (b) prairie and woodland, (c) forest, (d) sparsely timbered belt. All the land is suitable for cultivation and will yield the highest quality of cereals, though less than 13 million acres are now under the plough. The population of approximately 550,000 thriving, vigorous people will eventually be a million. The increase in ten years was 440 per cent.
The Government forces in Saskatchewan are complete and effective. Every branch of agricultural work conducted by the Provincial Government is a part of the Department of Agriculture.
Soil and Surface.—The soil in all of Saskatchewan is a rich loam, running from eight to twenty inches deep over a chocolate clay subsoil. Moisture is evaporated from this subsoil so gradually that the fertility is almost inexhaustible. With few exceptions the southern portion of the Province from a line east and west through Saskatoon is almost flat.
In certain portions the surface is undulating, but in no case so hilly as to preclude ploughing every acre; near some of the rivers in the more hilly sections the soil becomes lighter with some stone and gravel.
Five reasons may be given for the exceptionally favourable conditions awaiting the grower of wheat in Saskatchewan: 1. The soil is of almost inexhaustible fertility. 2. The climate brings the plant to fruition very quickly. 3. The northern latitude gives the wheat more sunshine during the growing period than is had in districts farther south. 4. Rust is of infrequent occurrence. 5. Insect foes are unknown.
Fuel and Water.—The coal areas to the south, and the partially wooded areas in the north, provide an ample supply of fuel, while water can be secured anywhere at a reasonable depth.
The Available Homesteads are principally in the northern portion of Central Saskatchewan which is watered east and west by the main Saskatchewan River and by its chief branch, the North Saskatchewan, a great part of whose navigable length lies within this section. The surface generally is rolling prairie interspersed with wooded bluffs of poplar, spruce, and pine, alternating with intruding portions of the great plain from the south. In soil and climate Central Saskatchewan is well adapted to the raising of cattle, also wheat and other grains. North of township Thirty there is unlimited grazing land, horses, cattle and sheep feeding in the open most of the year. There is the necessary shelter when extreme cold weather sets in and water is plentiful. Sheep do well. Many farmers have from 50 to 100 sheep and lambs. The district also possesses everything required for the growing of crops and there are satisfactory yields of all the smaller grains. The homesteader may add to his holdings by purchasing adjoining land from the Canadian Northern, Canadian Pacific Railway and other corporations. These unimproved lands range from $15 an acre upwards.
Districts recently opened for settlement are Shellbrook, Beaver River, and Green Lake, into which the Canadian Northern Railway is projected. Other new districts are Jack Fish Lake and Turtle Lake, north of Battleford, into which the same road is built. These districts are favourable for grain and cattle raising. North of North Battleford are several townships which will not long be without transportation, and to the east of these there are available homesteads which can be reached through the Prince Albert gateway.
Available Farm Land.—There are but few homesteads available in Southeastern Saskatchewan. The land is occupied by an excellent class of farmers, and values range from $15 per acre to $25 for unimproved prairie, and from $40 to $50 per acre for improved farms. In the neighbourhood of Moose Jaw mixed farming and grain raising are carried on with success. North and northwest, towards the Saskatchewan, are large settlements; but to the south and southwest is a tract of land available for homesteading, and a land office at Moose Jaw makes it easy to inspect the land and secure speedy entry. These lands are easily reached from Moose Jaw, Mortlach, Herbert, Gull Lake, and Swift Current.
Maple Creek district is an important stock centre. Some of the best sheep, cattle, and horses in Canada are raised on the succulent grass here but the wheat grower and mixed farmer are treading on the heels of the ranchman.
West of Swift Current to the Alberta boundary herds of cattle roam and largely find for themselves. Snowfall is light and winters so mild that hardy animals graze through the whole year. The Chinook winds are felt as far east as Swift Current. Grain growing is successful.
Farm land can be purchased from railway and other land companies in Southeastern Saskatchewan, which includes that section between Manitoba on the east and the third meridian on the west, extending some distance north[Pg 17] of the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It has more rainfall than portions farther west and less wood than the portion lying north. In character and productiveness of soil, Southeastern Saskatchewan is a continuation of Manitoba, but contains more prairie area.
Available Homesteads.—Northern Saskatchewan has not yet been opened to any extent for settlement. There are approximately 80 million acres beyond the railway at Prince Albert which time, zeal, and railway enterprise will eventually make accessible. Furs, forest wealth, and fisheries are recognized as a national asset, but thousands of acres of fertile land lie beyond the existing lines of railway awaiting development. Northern Saskatchewan has natural resources sufficient to maintain a population equal to that of any European country in corresponding latitude.
Saskatchewan Crops.—Saskatchewan leads all other provinces in wheat production, though only a comparatively small portion of its tillable area is under cultivation. In 1898 the area under wheat was 276,253 acres; 910,359 acres in 1905; 2,703,563 acres in 1908, and in 1913, five years' time, it had more than doubled, the area being 5,720,000 acres. On this there were grown approximately 121½ million bushels of wheat, an average of about 21¼ bushels to the acre. The farmers realized about 124 million dollars for products apart from field and fodder crops, valued at 5 million dollars.
The following figures are from Provincial Government returns. Saskatchewan has easily 50,000,000 acres of unbroken prairie to grow just such good crops, and another 25,000,000 acres on which to graze live stock.
|Wheat||5,760,249||19.5||112,369,405||At 63c||$ 70,792,725.15|
While the average yield of wheat is shown to be 19.5 bushels per acre, thousands of farmers raised 35 bushels and some more than 40. Considerable was sown on stubble, and there were many low yields occasioned by indifferent farming, and anxiety to secure a crop from late seeding, without which the general average would have exceeded 30 bushels per acre. The same is true of other grains. On the Experimental Farm at Indian Head, Marquis wheat produced 48 bushels to the acre, and Red Fife on the stubble 28 bushels.
Almost the entire wheat crop was within the contract grades, (none less than 3 Northern, the great bulk graded No. 1) and by the end of October 75 per cent of the crop was threshed. In many instances wheat weighed 64 and as high as 66 pounds to the bushel. Mr. Paul Gerlach of Allan, Saskatchewan, had 71 pounds per bushel, and carried off the honours at the International Dry Farming Congress at Tulsa last November.
Mixed Farming is so successful in Saskatchewan that only passing comment is necessary. The Province is famous for its high-class horses, well-bred cattle, sheep, and hogs. At the Live Stock Show in Chicago in 1913, the Province carried off high premiums. The Department of Agriculture secures good breeding stock for the farmers and encourages the preservation of females.
Poultry Raising is so profitable that many Saskatchewan farmers have gone into it extensively. Of 10,000 turkeys marketed at Moose Jaw there was not a single "cull." They brought an average of $2.80 each. Chickens provide a certain profit and constant income.
Dairying is successful. An established market and excellent natural facilities favour this branch of mixed farming. 997,000 pounds of creamery butter yielded $271,185 in 1912 and private dairies realized $189,000 from 700,000 pounds, making a total increase of $177,376.69 over 1911. With the exception of cream delivery, a government superintendent supervises all business transactions of most creameries.
Fodder Corn.—At Prince Albert fodder corn has reached a height of eight feet with not a poor sample in the lot and there are strong indications that before many years corn will be grown here for ensilage with general success. At the Experimental Farm, fodder corn yielded about 18 tons of green fodder per acre, which went into the silo in good condition.
Railways.—About five hundred miles of new road opened in 1912 gives Saskatchewan a total mileage of about 5,000 miles as compared with 1,000 in 1905, of which 1,230 is main line and 3,700 branches. The Province is so well served by the Canadian Pacific, Canadian Northern, and Grand Trunk Pacific that few of the established settlements are more than 10 to 20 miles from transportation; new settlements do not have to wait long for railway advantages. The Hudson Bay Railway will afford a short haul to ocean shipping from Saskatchewan grain fields. One and a half million dollars have been appropriated by the local government for improvements and building highways. From 1905-13 the population has doubled, and whole districts which were practically uninhabited but a short time ago are now filled with farmers.
Rivers.—The chief rivers are the North Saskatchewan, South Saskatchewan, Qu'Appelle, and Carrot. The North and South Saskatchewan rise in the Rockies and have a general easterly trend. The Red Deer flows into the South Saskatchewan, about 150 miles north of the United States boundary. The South Saskatchewan runs east nearly half way across the Province, then turns north and enters the North Saskatchewan a little east of Prince Albert. The South Saskatchewan, with the Qu'Appelle, intersects the Province from east to west. The Carrot rises south of Prince Albert and runs parallel to the North Saskatchewan, into which it flows near "The Pas," and the junction point of the Hudson Bay Railway, now under construction.
Lumbering.—North and east of Prince Albert, the present centre of the lumber industry, lumbering is extensive. In the northern forest the timber is black and white spruce, larch or tamarack, jack pine, aspen or white poplar, balsam or black poplar, and white birch.
Game and Fish.—In the north, furs are secured for the world's markets and fishing is carried on extensively.
Education.—Schools are sustained by provincial aid and local rates. Except in special cases where qualified teachers cannot be obtained, the teacher must hold a certificate from the Department of Education. The university is supported and controlled by the Province, a department of which is a college of agriculture with some of Canada's best educators and agricultural specialists on the faculty. Nowhere do agricultural authorities give greater attention to the welfare and education of the farmer than in the newer districts of this Province.
CITIES AND TOWNS
Regina.—Capital of Saskatchewan, lies in the heart of a splendid agricultural section, and is distributing centre for a large district. With a population of about 45,000 it supports a dozen banks which had clearings of 116 million dollars in 1912. It has good hotels, is noted for its substantial public buildings, wide, well-paved streets, and metropolitan spirit. The Canadian Pacific, Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk Pacific unite to make it an important railway centre. The collegiate institute and provincial normal school add to its educational importance. The Northwest Mounted Police headquarters are located here, also the judiciary of Saskatchewan.
For Map of Central Saskatchewan see pages 22 and 23.
Saskatoon.—The seat of the University of Saskatchewan, is a growing city beautifully situated on the South Saskatchewan River. It is well served[Pg 20] by the Canadian Northern's Regina-Prince Albert line which passes through an extensive and productive farming district to the southwest and joins the main line at Warman, and is also on the route of the Canadian Pacific from Winnipeg to Edmonton. Population about 28,000; in 1903 it was about 100. There are four bridges crossing the South Saskatchewan River, with another in contemplation.
Moose Jaw is a divisional point on the Canadian Pacific, is a terminus of the Soo Line and is also served by the Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk Pacific. Population approximately 23,000. It is noted for its schools and churches. Splendid street car facilities exist here. This district is well settled by progressive farmers. They have brought raw prairie land, which cost from $8 to $10 per acre, to a state of cultivation, that makes their farms worth from $25 to $40 per acre.
Prince Albert is the northern terminus of the Canadian Northern and is delightfully situated on the North Saskatchewan River. It is served by a line of the Grand Trunk Pacific built from the main line at Young. The Canadian Northern Battleford-Prince Albert line will be completed this fall. It has four big sawmills, and several banks, churches, schools, and hotels. Population, 12,000. The three flour mills grind about 400 barrels a day. One mill ships its product largely to Scotland.
Swift Current is a divisional point of the Canadian Pacific Railway and a busy railway centre. It is said to be the largest initial wheat market in America. Population about 2,500. A few years ago the district from a point twelve miles west of Moose Jaw to the western boundary of the Province, and south to the United States boundary was considered fit only for horse ranching, cattle and sheep grazing, but now the land is practically all homesteaded in every direction from Swift Current. Branch lines extended to the northwest and southeast enter fairly well settled districts; other lines are contemplated. It was incorporated as a city.
North Battleford is wonderfully well situated agriculturally and picturesquely. It has a population of over 7,000, and is incorporated as a city. Several important industries and large wholesale places are established. The Canadian Northern Railway passes through the town, having its divisional headquarters here, and during the year will complete its line to Prince Albert. There is excellent passenger and freight service on the same company's line northwest, which is under construction to Athabaska Landing, Alberta. A traffic bridge connects North Battleford with Battleford.
Weyburn is a prosperous city on the "Soo" Line between Moose Jaw and North Portal. Its railway connection with Stoughton furnishes a direct route to the east. The Lethbridge line of the Canadian Pacific starts here and will be completed this year. Building permits, 1912, $760,000.
Yorkton within the last five years has more than doubled its population and ships annually over 2 million bushels of grain. It is an up-to-date town of about 2,500 inhabitants with creditable municipal buildings, eight grain elevators, water works, sewerage system, flour mill, saw mill, cement sidewalks, telephone, and a municipal gas plant.
Battleford.—Population about 3,000. Has one of the most picturesque situations in the west, and was the first capital of the Old Territories. During the past year it has made remarkable growth owing to the agricultural possibilities of the surrounding country. The Grand Trunk Pacific reaches the town from Biggar on the south and is building a line west from Saskatoon. The Canadian Northern has a branch entering the town. The Canadian Pacific is expected to build from Asquith. A number of industries have embraced the encouraging opportunities offered by the town, and large wholesale houses have erected distributing depots.
Rosetown, on the Canadian Northern Saskatoon-Calgary line, is progressive. It is of importance to-day, and marked for a good future. A splendid agricultural district peopled with excellent settlers surrounds it.
Zealandia, on the same line of railway, has wonderful physical advantages. Although of only a few short years' existence, as the centre of a farming country where lands have increased from $8 to $30 per acre, its fame has spread and its citizens are warranted in anticipating a bright future.
Kindersley has been on the map only four or five years. The surrounding fertile land that made the Goose Lake district famous in agriculture so soon after its discovery, gave to Kindersley a large portion of its glory and substance. It is growing rapidly, and confidence in what it will do is well bestowed.
Maple Creek, for many years the centre of a ranching section, has a population of 1,000, and the large surrounding area of free homestead land is rapidly being settled. Excellent crops are reported.
Estevan is noted for its coal mines and has rail connection with Winnipeg.
Rosthern, on the Regina-Prince Albert branch of the Canadian Northern, is in the centre of a good agricultural district.
Wolsely, three hundred miles west of Winnipeg, is the western terminus of the Wolsely-Reston branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Indian Head, the largest incorporated town in Saskatchewan, has more elevators than any other town in the province. For some time it was the largest initial wheat-shipping point in the world. The Dominion Government Experimental Farm is here.
Moosomin, two hundred and twenty miles west of Winnipeg on the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, is a flourishing town surrounded by rolling prairie particularly adapted to mixed farming. Population 1,200. It has good churches, schools, banks, grain elevators and waterworks.
Qu'Appelle and Arcola are enterprising towns. Among the largest incorporated villages are Broadview, a divisional point on the Canadian Pacific Railway main line, Grenfell, Duck Lake, Alameda, Balgonie, Lemberg, Lloydminster, Melfort, Rouleau, and Sintaluta. Portal is the point where the "Soo" Line enters Saskatchewan. Yellow Grass, Milestone and Drinkwater are newer towns—settled within the past few years by progressive farmers from the States. Important and growing towns on the Grand Trunk Pacific, are Melville, Watrous, Scott, Nokomis and Young.
WHAT SASKATCHEWAN FARMERS ARE DOING
Regina.—During the week ending Sept. 21, 5119 cars of No. 1 Northern Hard were shipped out of the Province, as compared with 1,497 cars of No. 2 Northern and 290 cars of No. 3 Northern in 1912. There were, in addition, 111 cars of No. 1 Manitoba Hard shipped during the week.
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Nov. 30.—Since Sept. 1, 19,850,000 bushels of grain have been shipped from the Moose Jaw district, against 32,000,000 for the previous entire crop year. Rouleau heads the list with 1,040,000 bushels, and Milestone comes second with 910,000 bushels. Vanguard, which led last year, is third, with 835,000 bushels.
Rutan.—Arthur Brondson, inexperienced in farming, having lived in London until eight years ago, last year raised 36 acres of Red Fife wheat, of 49 bushels per acre, and 48 acres Marquis wheat, 52 bushels per acre.
Regina.—James Cranston threshed 1,050 bushels oats from ten acres; James Hars's 60 acres yielded 106 bushels; W. J. Crawford's 60 acres produced 43 bushels Preston wheat; other yields of Marquis wheat show 40, 48, 50, and 63 bushels to the acre.
Esterhazy.—Esterhazy shared in the abundant harvest of 1913. A conservative estimate for the yield is from 25 to 30 bushels per acre for wheat, and 40 to 45 for oats. Some fields yielded 40 to 45 bushels per acre in wheat.
Tisdale.—D. McKibbon threshed 38 bushels wheat to the acre off 40 acres.
Wynyard.—Eggert Bjornson threshed 176 acres, averaging 36 bushels No. 1 Northern wheat.
Moose Jaw.—Chas. White's 80 acres wheat yielded 38 bushels to the acre. W. H. Johnston's 90 acres produced 35½ bushels wheat per acre.
[Pg 21]Pasqua.—E. S. Patterson, on 230 acres summer-fallow, threshed 31 acres Marquis, with a yield of 40-2/3 bushels per acre; 199 acres Red Fyfe with a yield of 35½ bushels per acre.
Caron.—Archie Dalrymple, 100 acres, 40½ bushels wheat per acre. Geo. Clemenshaw, 80 acres, 42½ bushels wheat per acre.
Boharm.—Geo. Campbell had 55 acres wheat that yielded 38 bushels per acre, and 100 acres that yielded 36 bushels.
Assiniboia.—E. Lennard threshed 1200 bushels oats, from a ten-acre field. His summer-fallow yielded 40 bushels No. 1 Northern wheat per acre.
Canora.—Mike Gabora had a yield of 120½ bushels oats per acre. C. R. Graham, who has a 3,000 acre farm in this district, for a number of years has grown oats that averaged 60 bushels to the acre, and sometimes yielded 100 bushels: one year the average was 117 bushels.
Arcola.—R. F. Harman, formerly of the County of Cork, Ireland, homesteaded in the North Battleford district in 1903, with $50.00 capital. He now owns 480 acres, clear of encumbrance, raises wheat, oats, barley, hay, and is a firm believer in mixed farming. In ten years his capital has increased from $50.00 to $25,000.
Swift Current.—Ed. K. Leep, of Chicago, homesteaded north of Swift Current. He had 30 acres of land in potatoes in June and lifted new potatoes on August 15. In the Fall little more than half an acre yielded over one hundred bushels. Some had been used in the meantime. Fuel was plentiful 8 miles away and good water was reached at twenty-five feet. The climate was agreeable, and good crops assured.
Nokomis.—J. Keys had oats in 1913 that went 110 bushels to the acre, and wheat, 40 bushels. He has paid off the mortgage on his farm, and now contemplates a trip to his old home in Denmark, to induce more of his people to settle in his neighbourhood.
W. E. Lewis of Dayton, Ohio, went to Saskatchewan seven years ago with $1,800 in money, a carload of household effects and farm implements, four horses and three cows. The first year he got only feed from the crops, but the second year threshed over 2,800 bushels of wheat from 100 acres. He has not had a crop failure and now has 22 horses, 15 cattle, 35 hogs, and owns 1,120 acres of land, all under cultivation. He has been offered $35.00 an acre for his land. Should he care to sell, he could pay all his debts, and have $30,000 to the good, but, he says, "Where could I go to invest my money and get as good returns?"
A. T. Smith of Southern Saskatchewan will grow alfalfa on 3,000 acres of land in 1914.
Mr. S. G. Cowan says: "I usually thresh from 60 to 65 bushels of oats, 30 of wheat, and 60 of barley. Vegetables grow well, and it is no trouble at all to grow potatoes. My farm has been under crop nine years, and has never been frozen, snowed under, or hailed. I have kept 100 cattle and 100 hogs. I usually give them their growth on green feed, wheat, oats, and barley, and fatten them on grain. With a little to start on we have cleared $10,000 in a little over four years."
Chaplin.—J. R. Lowe has matured two crops of fodder corn, and he says there is little difference between it and what he grew in Minnesota.
Industries.—The remarkable growth of the several cities and towns is but one of many evidences of increasing agricultural prosperity. With the coal resources of the southeastern part of the Province utilized, and the opportunities in northern parts for getting cheap water, Saskatchewan's industrial opportunities are many.
There is a great demand for help of all kinds. With seven cities, thirty or more towns, and five hundred villages, many men are constantly required for building trades and municipal work. The 90,000 farmers want help to put in and farm their crops. Boards of Trade in every city and town are ready to give information about openings for investment and assistance in locating men. The experimental stage is passed and people are developing beautiful homes surrounded by fertile fields.
Cost of Farm Implements:
|Disc Drill (single to twenty double)||$ 96.00|
|Twelve in. Gang Plows||82.00|
|Binders, six-foot cut||145.00|
|Binders, seven-foot cut||158.00|
|Binders, eight-foot cut||165.00|
|Gasoline Tractors (Case)||2,480.00|
|Gasoline Tractors (Nicols)||3,665.00|
|Gasoline Tractors (International)||1,800.00|
|Steam Tractors (Case)||2,272.00|
|Steam Tractors (Nicols)||2,895.00|
Agricultural Cooperation.—The Provincial Government has established co-operation in creameries, elevators, telephone, hail insurance, agricultural societies and live stock. Five million dollars have been set aside for road improvements. The new agricultural college, with its 1,300 acre farm, costing one million dollars, is an evidence of public activity. The college has 100 students.
Temperatures and hours' sunshine in Saskatchewan ranged lower, and rainfall during the growing season higher, than the average for several years.
The average temperatures and precipitation for each of the first nine months of 1913:
Interior Storage Elevators.—A great advantage and an immense relief for the hundreds of elevators of from thirty to forty thousand bushels' capacity, will be the two interior storage elevators now under construction at Saskatoon and Moose Jaw, each with a capacity of 3 million bushels.
Farm Help in 1913.—Labourers work by the month, for $32 to $41. Servant girls were paid from $14 to $22 this year as compared with from $10 to $15 in 1907.
Population and Live Stock.—(Dominion Census Bureau):
Surveyed land shown in colour.
For Map of Southern Saskatchewan see pages 18 and 19
Alberta, the most westerly of the three Prairie Provinces, is twice the size of Great Britain and Ireland, much larger than either France or Germany, and has a greater area than the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania combined. The area of arable land alone in Alberta is estimated at 100 million acres, of which less than 3 million acres is under cultivation. This provincial empire, with its great wealth in agricultural lands, mines, forests, and fisheries, has less than 500,000 people.
Alberta is a vast plateau from 2,000 to 3,000 feet above sea-level, hung by its western edge on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It slopes gently toward the east and north. Absolutely level plains form no great proportion of the surface. While open, treeless country characterizes the southern part of the Province, the greater part is undulating, diversified by forest, stream, hill and open country, not unlike Ontario or New York State. Beautiful lakes, fringed with forest and abounding in whitefish are scattered over its central and northern area. Luxuriant grasses cover the open country, which once formed the chief feeding grounds of herds of bison.
The Province naturally falls into three divisions, exhibiting marked distinctions in climate and topography—Southern, Central and Northern Alberta.
Available Homesteads are to be found west and north of Edmonton—territory made accessible by the Grand Trunk Pacific and the Canadian Northern Railways—in an immense stretch of splendid country. Wheat and oats are reliable crops. Rainfall is certain. Mixed farming is highly successful. The wild grasses and pea vine supply ample feed for stock; water is plentiful and easily secured. On into the foothills and the mountains are stretches of prairie land, through which the Grand Trunk Pacific and Canadian Northern Railways are now constructed.
The northern and western portions of Central Alberta have some "brush" land with soil equal to that of the open prairie. The cost of clearing is slight, and there is the advantage of shelter for cattle, and an absolute assurance of splendid water. There is a good market for the fuel and timber obtained in clearing. Practically all of the land between Edmonton and Athabaska Landing—and between Edmonton and Lac la Biche to the northeast has been subdivided for homesteading.
North of the end of steel extends 75 per cent of this rich Province, yet unexploited. When the railways push into the Athabaska and the Peace, it will be realized that Alberta owns an empire north of the Saskatchewan, a country set apart by nature to provide homes for millions of agrarian people.
Southern Alberta is open and rolling, and devoid of timber except along the streams and the Rocky Mountains' foothills. The soil is a fertile loam. The climate is ideal, with pleasing summers and mild winters. Stock pasture in the open air during winter, grazing on the nutritive sun-dried grasses. The absence of timber in Southern Alberta is compensated for by the supply of coal.
Ranching which once was predominant is fast being abandoned and settlers are dividing the limitless acres into small, productive holdings. As a grazing country, Southern Alberta has had few equals, for the hills and valleys, well watered, afford excellent pasturage. Winter wheat sown on new breaking, or summer-fallowed land, from the middle of July to the end of September is ready for harvest from the 1st to the 15th of August in the following year. Climate and soil make this an ideal wheat-growing district. Considerable spring wheat is grown, as well as oats, barley and flax. The production of sugar-beets compares favourably with that of Germany and the world.
The average of winter wheat for the Province in 1913, was 21 bushels an acre. The greater portion was grown around Lethbridge, Taber, Grassy Lake, Cardston, Spring Coulee, Pincher Creek, Macleod, Stavely, Leavitt, Claresholm, Nanton, High River, Okotoks, Carmangay and Calgary.
Water Supply and Irrigation.—Water for domestic and farm purposes is easily obtained at reasonable depth. In certain sections of the Canadian West, as in the American West, the soil is unexcelled for growing cereals, but the geographical location and relative position to the rain avenues is not advantageous, not only the requisite amount of rain but its conservation is essential to the growing of crops, and that is the meaning of "dry farming." This is being successfully followed in the southern portion of Southern Alberta. Some of the district can also be easily and successfully farmed by means of irrigation. Irrigation ditches have been constructed by the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Southern Alberta Land Company.
A most valuable asset to Southern Alberta is the Lethbridge Experimental Station, operated by the Dominion Department of Agriculture. Reports from the farm show that on land broken and backset in 1912, spring wheat sown April 3, 1913, ripened between July 31 and August 17, and yielded from 22 to 41 bushels per acre; oats sown April 13, 1913, ripened from July 31 to August 4, and yielded from 54 to 84 bushels per acre; barley sown April 15, 1913, ripened from July 28 to Aug. 5, and yielded from 28 to 40 bushels per[Pg 25] acre. On irrigated land the yield of spring wheat was from 30 to 54 bushels, and the period of ripening about the same; oats yielded from 102 to 132 bushels per acre, same period for ripening; barley yield on irrigated land was from 65 to 100 bushels per acre, harvested from July 28 to August 11.
Central Alberta extends from the Red Deer River northward to the height of land between the Saskatchewan and the Athabaska. Its great wealth is its deep black humus varying in depth from ten inches to three feet, overlying a warm subsoil.
Mixed Farming.—None of the three central provinces afford greater advantages for mixed farming than Alberta. In the south the great ranges of vacant area affords excellent pasturage. The central portion furnishes pasturage of equal quality, and the groves and park lands provide shelter, making it possible to raise cereals, as well as feed for cattle and hogs. Dairying and poultry raising meet with undoubted success.
Dairy Products have an unlimited market; cattle can be pastured most of the year; every variety of grass including clover and alfalfa thrive; the climate is healthful and water abundant. More than a million head of cattle could have been fed on the wild hay that went to waste last year. Hundreds of thousands of acres are literally overrun with rich wild grasses and pea vine. The dairy yield approximated $1,250,000 in 1913, and 50,000 cows could be added without affecting the price of dairy products. The government operates a travelling dairy to instruct new settlers, and manages permanent creameries which produced over three million pounds of butter last year. Fattening hogs on milk adds to the revenue.
Poultry Raising.—The winter price of fresh eggs ranges from 50 to 60 cents a dozen, the summer prices rarely falling below 25 cents. Extensive developments along this profitable line cannot be long delayed.
Crops of 1913.—With an average rainfall of 10.92 inches during the growing season in that part of the Province including Edmonton and southward, an average daily sunshine record of 10 hours, and a mean temperature of 53 degrees Fahrenheit for the months April to September inclusive, good crops were certain. Spring seeding began early in April. The season was highly favourable and a big crop was harvested in excellent condition. Marquis wheat at one point went as high as 62.5 bushels per acre as a field crop, and oats and barley relatively as high. Yields of all kinds of grain and forage crops have been most excellent.
The census bureau of the Dominion Government give the following returns:
The Provincial Department of Agriculture for Alberta placed the total yield of all grains at 81,500,000 bushels, but as the acreage is less, the average yields are about the same.
The average yield per acre of potatoes from 25,000 acres was about 170 bushels; turnips and other roots about 250 bushels. Alfalfa yielded about 2.77 tons per acre and sugar beets about 9 tons per acre; hay and clover 1.56 tons, with a total value of all these products of $3,700,000.
Government and Other Telephones.—The Government operates the telephone system, including about 7,000 miles of long distance wires, pursues an active policy of stimulating the organization of rural companies by giving as a bonus all poles required. These rural companies are connected with local exchanges and toll offices wherever possible.
Railways.—During 1913 considerable was added to the railway mileage. Besides its main line the Canadian Pacific has two branches from Calgary—one north to Strathcona, the other south to Macleod. Two running eastward diverge at Lacombe and Wetaskiwin, the latter a through line via Saskatoon to Winnipeg. Another leaves the Canadian Pacific near Medicine Hat, passes through Lethbridge and Macleod and crosses the mountains by the Crow's Nest Pass, a branch connecting with the Great Northern at Coutts and extending to Cardston and west. Another branch will connect Lethbridge with Weyburn, on the "Soo" line. Provincial mileage 1,523. Other branches connecting the system are being built; as shown on the maps.
The Canadian Northern enters Alberta from the east at Lloydminster on its way to Edmonton. From Edmonton lines are projected and partially constructed north and west. One starting at Vegreville connects the main line with Calgary, and then extends southeasterly toward Lethbridge and Macleod. From this line a branch is being built into the coal fields west of Lacombe and will form part of the transcontinental line of that system. Its extension from Saskatoon to Calgary is about completed. Mileage 593.
The Grand Trunk Pacific serves the territory lying between the Canadian Northern and the Canadian Pacific, operating trains through productive territory and for some distance into British Columbia. This Company has completed its line south from Tofield to Calgary, a part of the transcontinental line of that system. Through trains now run from Edmonton to Toronto, Provincial mileage, 545.
Another road is now under construction northward from the international boundary through Pincher Creek, with Calgary as a northern terminus.
The Provincial government has outlined a policy of railway development throughout the Province, particularly in the north, opening vast agricultural lands which will attract settlers desirous of taking up free homestead.
Lakes and Rivers.—The Saskatchewan and the Mackenzie rivers rise in the Province. The former is divided into two great arteries, one of which with its tributaries, the Bow, Belly, St. Mary's, Old Man and Red Deer, waters the south, while the north branch, with the Brazeau, Clearwater, Sturgeon, Battle, Blindman and Vermilion as tributaries, waters the great central plains. The Peace and the Athabaska drain the north. Lake Athabaska, 120 miles long, Lesser Slave, 60 miles long, and many smaller bodies of water are chiefly in the northern part.
Mineral Resources.—Alberta has enormous coal and lignite areas. The production of coal in 1913 was over 3½ million tons, valued at over 7½ million dollars. The coal supply is practically inexhaustible, and underlies much of the whole Province in seams from four to twelve feet thick. It is found in all grades, lignite, bituminous and anthracite, on the banks of every stream, and in the shafts from 20 to 150 feet deep. The total formation contains 12,800 square miles; contents 71 billion tons.
Natural gas has been found at Medicine Hat, Tofield, Dunmore Junction, and Bow Island on the South Saskatchewan, and at Pelican Rapids on the Athabaska. Recently considerable interest has been taken in the oil fields south of Calgary and north of Edmonton. Important commercial oil fields will soon be located. There is also petroleum, gypsum, salt and tar sands. Excellent brick and fireclay.
Fish and Furs.—The Great Lakes of the North furnish yearly half a million pounds of incomparable whitefish, while the fur wealth of the north is important.
Lands within irregular line along railway in British Columbia are
administered by the Dominion Government.
Surveyed lands shown in colour.
For Map of Central Alberta see pages 30 and 31
[Pg 28]Education.—The organization of free district schools is optional with settlers, the Government liberally supporting them. An expenditure of about $700,000 a year brings educational advantages within the reach of the most scattered community. One new school a day has been opened in Alberta during the last three or four years, an indication of the settlement that is going on. School population at end of 1912, over 70,000; number of schools 2,029. Two hundred and forty-five school buildings were erected in 1912.
The dissemination of exact scientific knowledge is carried on by farmers' institutes, stock-judging schools, seed fairs and travelling dairies. The raising of pure-bred stock is assisted by Government grants. Experimental and demonstration farms have been established throughout the Province. Agricultural high schools will soon be started, and agriculture form part of the public school curriculum.
A Healthy Product.—The air of Alberta insures the best of health. The whole of Alberta lies above mountain altitude, and the air is extraordinarily clear and bracing. Consequently there is comparatively little cloudy weather on normal days, either in summer or winter. Bright sunshine prevails. Striking testimony as to freedom from consumption is provided by Dr. T. H. Whitelaw of Edmonton, according to whose official report not one case of this disease has originated in Edmonton since the beginning of 1911.
Stock.—Alberta's dry and invigorating atmosphere, short, mild winters, nutritious grasses, and abundant water supply, make it pre-eminently adapted to horse breeding. The Alberta animal is noted for its endurance, lung power, and freedom from hereditary and other diseases. It winters out at a nominal expense and without even hay or grain feeding.
Four-year old steers, which have never been under a roof nor fed a pound of grain and have been given less than a ton of hay, weigh about 1,500 pounds by August 1 and will then gain until October from 2 to 3 pounds a day. Experiments made at the Demonstration Farm at Olds show that 100 steers weighed in November 1, at 127,540 pounds, weighed out May 20, less than 7 months later at 143,412 pounds, showing a net gain of $10.12 per head.
At the Lacombe Experimental Station the gain per day in feeding cattle ranged from 1.8 to 1.72 lbs., showing a net profit when sold of $14.35 to $28.90.
Good Roads in the Province.—One of the most important considerations in a new country is that of roads. The Alberta government has taken up this problem in an intelligent manner, that will eventually greatly enlarge the resources of the Province.
The money expended on ferry service, maintenance of bridges, road construction, construction of bridges, and the construction of trunk roads, was essential to the opening up of vast tracts of fertile land.
As a result, $100,000,000, or more than $200 per capita of the total population of the Province, is the estimated farm value of the 1913 crop in Alberta.
Sugar Beets and Alfalfa.—Operations are now extending north as well as south of Lethbridge, where a large factory has been conducted for some years. An expert from Colorado has taken up irrigated land in the Bassano district to carry on the industry on a large scale. He says: "This is going to be a great beet-raising country. My crop averaged between 16 and 18 per cent sugar, which is a very high grade." He says his new farm produces as much alfalfa per acre as his former more expensive land in Colorado.
Fruit.—It has not yet been demonstrated that the larger fruits, such as apples, can be made commercially attractive in Alberta. All the smaller fruits can be grown with little trouble, at a cost that makes their culture profitable.
WHAT SOME ALBERTA FARMERS ARE DOING
Macleod.—Weather conditions were excellent throughout the season. Ninety per cent of the wheat up to October 1 graded No. 1, the only No. 2 being fall wheat. The yield ranged from 20 to 40 bushels per acre, with an average of 28. Oats yielded well, and barley about 60 bushels.
Inverary is a new district. Wheat graded No. 2 and some of it went 50 bushels to the acre, oats going about 75 bushels.
Monarch.—The yield of wheat on summer-fallow averaged 35 bushels, a large percentage No. 1 Northern.
Milk River.—All spring grains yielded better than expected. A 300-acre field of Marquis wheat gave 41½ bushels.
Experimental farm results on grain sown on irrigated land place "Red Fife" wheat in the banner position, with a yield of 59.40 bushels per acre. Oats yielded 13 bushels to the acre.
Calgary.—The yield of grain was everywhere abnormal, with an increased acreage of about 23 per cent.
Bassano.—September 25. Individual record crops grown in Alberta include a 1,300-acre field of spring wheat, near here, which went 35 bushels to the acre and weighed 66 pounds to the bushel.
Noble.—Mr. C. S. Noble had 350,000 bushels of grain. The cost of production per acre was $9.10 on summer-fallow and the returns were $24.93 per acre. Oats averaged 90 bushels on 2,880 acres, wheat 38 on 300 acres, and barley 61 on 450 acres, all grading top.
Mr. Harris Oium, came from South Dakota twelve years ago and homesteaded the first 160 acres in his township, dividing his land between grain and pasture. He earned sufficient money to buy a quarter section of railway land at $11 an acre. The half section netted proportionate profits and he gradually increased his holdings to 1,920 acres, which are devoted to mixed farming this year. He values his land at $50 an acre. He has 200 hogs, mostly pure bred Poland China, 25 head draft horses and 35 head of pure bred Hereford cattle. Feeding barley to hogs nets him 80 cents a bushel, twice the average market price when delivered to the warehouse. His barley averages 40 bushels to the acre; oats average 80 bushels.
Red Deer.—John Lamont says that a man on a quarter-section, with a few cows, brood sows, and 100 hens, can be as sure of a good living for his family as if he were pensioned by the government. His 20 acres of Alberta red winter wheat yielded 985 bushels. Last year his wheat went a little over 40 bushels per acre, machine measure. He grows alfalfa.
S. D. McConnell has carried on mixed farming for twelve years keeping a few cattle and some hogs; makes a dollar a bushel out of his barley by feeding it. His fall wheat has gone from 30 to 65 bushels to the acre; oats from 40 to 100 bushels, never weighing less than 42 lbs. to the bushel.
H. S. Corrigan has averaged at least 30 bushels of spring wheat per acre, 40 bushels of barley, and 60 bushels of oats. Twenty-one acres of oats ran 90 bushels per acre, and weighed 48 pounds per bushel. Last winter he bought nine head of cattle for $420, fed them six weeks on hay, green feed, and chop and sold them for $579.60. Two steers, 26 months old weighed 2,440 lbs. One sow raised 58 pigs in 2½ years, and when sold, weighed 550 pounds. Two of her pigs, now a year old, are raising 23 pigs. Timothy has yielded a ton and a half on an average, at $15 a ton.
Red Deer.—J. Northrup has not missed a crop in nine years, and says: "This is the best country in the world for small grain, better than Iowa and that is good—I love old Iowa. Winter wheat yields as high as 45 bushels per acre. Potatoes yield 400 bushels per acre at times. Alfalfa is a good crop when the soil is inoculated."
C. A. Sharman has the world's champion Jersey cow. He says: "A quarter section of land and 100 head of stock mean the maximum of growth from every square yard. Any man, woman, or child that uses Alberta rightly will be used rightly by Alberta. Farming in Alberta is no gold brick proposition, but an industry, which is the basis of all wealth."
A. P. Olsen formerly of Minnesota has raised cattle, horses, hogs and also[Pg 29] milked a few cows. His oats yield 45 bushels to the acre, spring wheat, 36 bushels, winter wheat and barley 40 bushels. He won first prize at the Calgary Exhibition for a collection of 32 varieties of grasses found on his own land.
Macleod.—R. McNab has returns which show a yield of 45 bushels of No. 1 Northern wheat to the acre.
Gleichen.—Forty-five bushels of No. 1 Northern wheat per acre was the yield on the Blackfoot Indian reserve in 1913.
Pincher Creek.—Alfred Pelletier had 130 bushels oats per acre.
Cities and Towns.—On the banks of the Saskatchewan and forming the portal alike to the Last West and the New North, the capital city of Edmonton has attractions for the capitalist, the tourist, the manufacturer, and the health seeker. At the centre of two great transcontinental highways, Edmonton will soon be rated among the world's great cities. Traffic from the Pacific to Hudson Bay will go through her portals, the south, north and west will contribute. Possessed of municipally-owned waterworks, electric-lighting and power systems, street railways and telephones, the city is modern, attractive and alive. The number of banks is evidence of prosperity. The coal output of the district is about 3,000 tons daily. Population, about 60,000. In 1901, it was 2,626. In 1911, the assessment was a trifle under 47 million dollars; in 1912, 123½ million dollars. School attendance, 5,114.
Calgary tells its own story in public buildings and in over one hundred wholesale establishments, 300 retail stores, 15 chartered banks, half a hundred manufacturing establishments, and a $150,000 normal school building. The principal streets are paved. There is municipal ownership of sewer system, waterworks and electric light and street railway. Directly bearing upon the future of Calgary is the irrigation project of the Bow River Valley, where 3 million acres are being colonized. One thousand two hundred miles of canals and laterals are completed. Population in 1911 was 43,736; now claimed 75,000. There are 36 schools, 146 teachers, and 7,000 pupils. The Canadian Pacific car shops here employ 3,000 men. It has the Canadian Pacific, Canadian Northern, and Grand Trunk Pacific.
Lethbridge, with a population of about 13,000, the centre of a splendid agricultural district, is also a prosperous coal-mining and commercial city. The output of the mines, which in 1912 was about 4,300 tons daily and necessitated a monthly pay roll of $145,000, finds a ready market in British Columbia, in Montana, and as far east as Winnipeg. A Government Experimental Farm is nearby. The several branches of railway diverging here make it an important railway centre. It will shortly have the Grand Trunk Pacific, and direct Canadian Pacific and Canadian Northern lines eastward. The municipally-owned street car system affords excellent service.
Medicine Hat, in the valley of the South Saskatchewan and the centre of a magnificent ranching and mixed-farming district, is a division point of the Canadian Pacific Railway, with extensive railway shops operated with natural gas for fuel. The light, heat, and power, derived from this gas are sold to manufacturers at 5 cents per thousand cubic feet, and for domestic purposes at 1 cent. The factories and industries now using natural gas pay out about 2½ million dollars annually, which will be considerably augmented by factories in course of construction, and to be erected. When the new flouring mills are completed, Medicine Hat will be the largest milling centre on the continent. Population over 6,000.
Macleod is one of the oldest towns in the Province. With the rapid settlement of the surrounding agricultural land, this town is showing wonderful progress; during 1913 a large amount was spent in new buildings.
Wetaskiwin is a railway division point from which farms stretch in all directions. The city is beautifully located, and owns its electric light plant, waterworks, and sewerage system.
Red Deer is situated on the Canadian Pacific, half way between Calgary and Edmonton. It has a large sawmill, two brick-yards, concrete works, creameries, wheat elevators, and a sash-and-door factory. Coal and wood are plentiful and cheap. The district has never had a crop failure. It showed considerable business activity in 1913. Lines of railway extend westward.
Lacombe, on the direct line between Calgary and Edmonton, has a flour mill, foundry, planing mill, brick-yard, grain elevators, electric lights, and telephones. The surrounding country is noted for its pure-bred cattle and horses, and a Government Experimental Farm adjoins the town.
Raymond enjoys a rapid growth, and has one of the largest sugar factories in the west. Sugar beets are a great success here. Mr. Henry Holmes, who won the big wheat prize at the Dry Farming Congress held at Lethbridge in 1912 resides here.
Other prosperous towns are Claresholm, Didsbury, Fort Saskatchewan, High River, Innisfail, Olds, Okotoks, Pincher Creek, Ponoka, St. Albert, Vermilion, Vegreville, Carmangay, Stettler, Taber, Tofield, Camrose, Castor, Cardston, Bassano, Edson, Coronation, Empress, Magrath, Nanton, Strathmore, Gleichen, Leduc, Hardisty, Walsh, Daysland, Sedgewick, Grassy Lake and Wainwright. Much interest is being taken in Athabaska Landing, owing to its increasing agricultural settlement and the completion of the Canadian Northern.
CONDITIONS IN ALBERTA, 1913
Agricultural Conditions.—From the agricultural standpoint the season of 1913 was perfectly normal. Spring opened favourably for seeding operations and at no time from seeding to threshing did unfavourable conditions threaten a successful harvest. Copious rains in the growing period, and bright dry weather in the cutting and threshing period kept the farmer confident from the beginning. It was a season made, as it were, to the farmers' order. The quality of grain was extra good. Wheat weighed from 61½ to 68 pounds to the bushel, oats 40 to 46, and barley 52 to 58.
Conditions were equally favourable to pasture and hay crops and live stock. The first and second cuttings of alfalfa were especially heavy and timothy made a good average yield. Abundant pasture continued throughout the season making both beef and dairy cattle profitable investments. Live stock, dairy products, poultry and eggs are worth four times the value of grain crops. The value of the former is nearly 120 millions, while the total value of the grain crop is about 30 millions. The income from the former reached 40 million dollars last year, that from the latter about 25 million dollars.
Public Works and Railways.—About 600 miles of steel were laid last year, bringing the railway mileage of the province up to nearly 3,600 miles. Equal activity is assured for 1914. This year the Government made a step to provide transportation facilities for districts sidetracked by the railway companies. The means adopted is guaranteeing the interest on the securities of light railways up to one-half the estimated cost.
Financial.—The income of the farming community exceeds that of all former years. It is estimated that the product of this year that will be converted into cash for the liquidation of debts, is nearly 65 million dollars. The farmer is therefore in a position to pay his machinery debts, store debts, and other obligations. Consequently the farmers are optimistic and are planning extended operations for the coming season.
Measured by every economical standard, Alberta shows sound prosperity and justifies a continuance of the confidence of outside capitalists in her established business, and increased investments in the development of her vast resources of farms, mines and forests.
Population and Live Stock.—(Dominion Census Bureau):
Surveyed lands shown in colour.
For Map of Southern Alberta see pages 26 and 27
Stretching from the Rockies to the sea and from the United States to the 60th parallel, British Columbia is the largest Province in the Dominion. It is big enough to enable one to place in it, side by side at the same time, two Englands, three Irelands, and four Scotlands. Looking across the water to the millions of British subjects in India, in Hong-Kong, in Australia, and the isles of the sea, one catches brief pathetic glimpses of the commercial greatness which the Pacific has begun to waft to these shores. Nature intended British Columbia to develop a great seaward commerce, and substantial trade relations are now established northward to the Yukon and southward to Mexico. Population, June, 1911, 392,480.
British Columbia has natural wealth in her forests and her fish, in her whales and seals and fruit farms. But it is from her mines, more than from aught else, that she will derive her future wealth.
The parallel chains of the Rockies, the Selkirks, and the Coast Ranges are a rich dower. They furnish scenery unrivalled in its majesty; they are nurseries of great rivers which pour tribute into three oceans; and in their rocky embrace they hold a mineral wealth second to none.
British Columbia contains an aggregate of from 16 million to 20 million unoccupied arable acres. Sir William Dawson has estimated that in the British Columbia section of the Peace River Valley alone, the wheat-growing area will amount to 10 million acres. It is a country of big things.
How to get the Land.—Crown lands in British Columbia are laid off and surveyed into townships, containing thirty-six sections of one square mile in each. The head of a family, a widow, or single man over the age of eighteen years, and a British subject (or any alien upon making a declaration of his intention to become a British subject) may for agricultural purposes record any tract of unoccupied and unreserved crown land (not being an Indian settlement), not exceeding 160 acres in extent.
Free homesteads are not granted. The pre-emptor of land must pay $1 an acre for it, live upon it for two years, and improve it to the extent of $2.50 per acre. Particulars regarding crown lands of this Province, their location, and method of pre-emption can be obtained by communicating with the sub-joined government agencies for the respective districts, or from the Secretary, Bureau of Agriculture, Victoria, B. C.:
Alberni, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Golden, Cranbrook, Kaslo, Nelson, Revelstoke, Bakersville, Telegraph Creek, Atlin, Prince Rupert, Hazleton, Kamloops, Nicola, Vernon, Fairview, Clinton, Ashcroft.
Agriculture.—It is not so long ago that agriculture was regarded as a quite secondary consideration in British Columbia. The construction of railroads, and the settlement of the valleys in the wake of the miner and the lumberman, have entirely dissipated that idea. The agricultural possibilities of British Columbia are now fully appreciated locally, and the outside world is also beginning to realize that the Pacific Province has rich assets in its arable and pastoral lands.
Professor Macoun says: "As far north as the fifty-fourth degree it has been practically demonstrated that apples will flourish, while in the southern belt the more delicate fruits, peaches, grapes, and apricots, are an assured crop."
On a trip through the valley one sees apple orchards with the trees fairly groaning under their loads of fruit, and pear, plum, and prune trees in like manner. In many places between the trees there are rows of potatoes, cabbages, and other vegetables, showing that the land is really producing a double crop. Grapes, water melons, and musk melons also thrive in the valley, and large quantities of each are grown. Tomatoes, cherries, and berries of all kinds are grown extensively. Wheat, oats, and corn give excellent yields. As an instance, one man's wheat crop this season averages 48½ bushels to the acre. Of prunes, one orchardist grew a crop of 7,000 boxes. The apples shipped find a ready market in Calgary, Regina, and in the other cities in the prairie provinces. Prices this year are considerably better than they were a year ago. Last year this valley produced 350 carloads of fruit and vegetables, and some of the farmers have made net profits of as high as $250 an acre.
Those who have turned their attention to mixed farming are exceptionally well pleased with the result. A local company is being organized to build a cannery and this will be in operation next year. And besides this one, another cannery is being talked of.
In the valleys, of which there are many, there are tracts of wonderfully rich and, largely of alluvial deposits, that give paying returns.
The Columbia and Kootenay Valleys, comprising the districts of Cranbrook, Nelson, Windermere, Slocan, Golden and Revelstoke are very rich. The eastern portion requires irrigation; they are well suited to fruit farming and all kinds of roots and vegetables. Timber lands are said to be the best, when cleared. In the western portion of these valleys there are considerable areas of fertile land, suitable for fruit growing. The available land is largely held by private individuals.
The valleys of the Okanagan, Nicola, Similkameen, Kettle, North and South Thompson, and the Boundary are immensely rich in possibilities. The[Pg 33] advent of the small farmer and fruit grower has driven the cattle industry northward into the Central district of the Province. The ranges are now divided into small parcels, occupied by fruit growers and small farmers. Irrigation is necessary in most places, but water is easy to acquire.
The Land Recording District of New Westminster is one of the richest agricultural districts of the Province and includes all the fertile valley of the Lower Fraser. The climate is mild, with much rain in winter. The timber is very heavy and the underbrush thick. Heavy crops of hay, grain, and roots are raised, and fruit growing is here brought to perfection. The natural precipitation is sufficient for all purposes.
For about seventy miles along the Fraser River there are farms which yield their owners revenues from $4,000 to $7,000 a year; this land is now worth from $100 to $1,000 an acre. As much as 5 tons of hay, 120 bushels of oats, 20 tons of potatoes, and 50 tons of roots have been raised per acre.
Vancouver Island, with its great wealth of natural resources and its commanding position, is fast becoming one of the richest and most prosperous portions of the Province. Its large area of agricultural land is heavily timbered and costly to clear by individual effort, but the railroad companies are clearing, to encourage agricultural development. Most farmers raise live stock, do some dairying and grow fruit. Grains, grasses, roots, and vegetables grow to perfection and yield heavily. Apples, pears, plums, prunes, and cherries grow luxuriantly, while the more tender fruits—peaches, apricots, nectarines, and grapes attain perfection in the southern districts when carefully cultivated.
F. A. Starkey, Pres. of the Boards of Trade says that a clear profit of 66-2/3 per cent can be made in fruit growing.
Lillooet is well adapted to dairying, cattle raising, and fruit growing.
Central British Columbia, through which the Grand Trunk Pacific is now being constructed, comprises the valleys of the Bulkley, Endako, Nechaco, Fraser, and Stuart, where there is considerable land inviting to the settler. The soil and climate of the valleys extending westward to the Bulkley are adapted to grain growing and cattle raising, while further westward and to within fifty miles of the west coast belt apple culture as well is successful.
Down the Fraser from Fort George there is active development in settlement, and wheat, oats, barley and hay are highly productive; the climate is good. The soil is a brown silt covered by a layer of vegetable mould, and the timber is light and easy to clear.
Along the Nechaco, between Fort George and Fraser Lake, is same character of soil and a similar country, there being large tracts well fitted for general farming. Native grasses yield abundant food; there is ample rainfall, and the winter climate moderates as the coast is approached.
North of Fort Fraser there is good grazing and farming land, somewhat timbered and covered with rich grasses. The prevailing price is $25 an acre; owners are not particularly anxious to sell.
The Bulkley and Endako valleys have a lightly-timbered rich soil, and a well-watered country with mixed farming possibilities. There is no necessity for irrigation. It would be rash for the inexperienced to penetrate this district in search of land before the railway. The difficulties and cost are too great. To the hardy pioneer, who has knowledge of how to select good land in a timbered country, the future is at his feet. Most of the available land within a reasonable distance of the railroad is taken up, and the days of the pre-emptor, except in remoter parts, are past. Land can be secured at a reasonable figure from those who have purchased in large blocks from the Government.
Central British Columbia is lightly timbered from end to end; natural open patches are not frequent, and occur mostly on river banks and at the ends of lakes. While railroad construction is under way and settlement in progress good prices will be obtained for all agricultural products. This portion of the Province can now be reached by way of Prince Rupert, by rail from Edmonton, or by trail from Ashcroft, B. C.
Highways.—One-half million dollars was spent last year in opening up first-class wagon and motor roads throughout the Province.
Education.—The school system is free and non-sectarian; equally as efficient as in any other Province of the Dominion. The Government builds a school-house, makes a grant for incidental expenses, and pays a teacher in every district where twenty children between the ages of six and sixteen can be gathered. High schools are also established in cities, where classics and higher mathematics are taught.
Chief Cities.—Victoria, the capital, about 60,000; Vancouver, the commercial capital, 123,902; New Westminster, 13,199; Nelson, 4,476; Nanaimo, 8,168; Rossland, 2,826; Kamloops, 3,772; Grand Forks, 1,577, Revelstoke, 3,017; Fernie, 3,146; Cranbrook, 3,090; Ladysmith, 3,295; Prince Rupert, 4,184; Fort George and Fort Fraser on the Fraser and Nechaco rivers and Grand Trunk Pacific will be important towns in the near future.
Hon. W. R. Ross, Provincial Minister of Lands, says that there is a total of 93,000,000 acres of land reserved for pre-emption within the confines of the Province at the present time. Of the 250,000,000 acres of ground estimated to be within the Province only 5,000,000 acres, or about 2 per cent, had been sold to date he said, even excluding reserve land, available for settlement. As a matter of fact, during the past few years between 9,000 and 11,000 pre-emptions had been issued by the Government to settlers, and during the last year 3,600 had been issued outside of the railway belt and about 1,200 within the area.
The cities afford a splendid reflex of the trade of the country, and show the development in mining, fishing, lumbering, shipping, manufacturing and agriculture.
Climate.—Near the coast the average number of days in the year below freezing is fifteen; rainfall varies from 40 to 100 inches. Farther inland the average number of days in the year below freezing is sixty-five. The northern districts of Hazleton, Pearl River, Cassiar, and Atlin are somewhat colder.
Ocean currents and moisture laden winds from the Pacific exercise a moderating influence upon the climate of the coast. The westerly winds, arrested in their passage east by the Coast Range, create what is known as the "dry belt" east of the mountains; the higher air currents carry the moisture to the lofty peaks of the Selkirks, and the precipitation in the eastern portion of the Province is greater than in the central district, thus a series of alternate moist and dry belts is formed. The Province offers a choice of a dry or moist climate, an almost total absence of extremes of heat and cold, freedom from malaria, and conditions most favourable.
Mineral Resources.—The precious and useful metals abound in British Columbia, and it was the discovery of placer gold in the Cariboo District that first attracted attention to the Province. Occurrences of copper, gold, silver, and lead ores are widespread, and mining is being carried on in those districts convenient to transportation facilities. Coal is extensively mined in Vancouver Island, in the Crow's Nest Pass district and more recently, in the Nicola Valley region. Miners' wages are high, and there is usually a constant demand for workmen. The value of the mineral production last year was 32 million dollars, of which coal contributed 9 million and copper 8 million dollars.
Much successful prospecting is in progress in the region traversed by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, the completion of which will undoubtedly be followed by important mining development. Already many valuable finds of coal and metal ores have been made. The mineral resources are not confined to any one section, although the principal metalliferous operations have so far been confined to the southern portion of the Province. The various mining camps, employing large numbers of men, who are paid high wages, afford a fine home market for the products of the farms and orchards.
Dominion Electoral Divisions shown in Colour.
Lands in Peace River Block, as well as those along
the Canadian Pacific Railway within shaded line,
are administered by the Dominion Government.
[Pg 36]Timber.—Next in importance, at the present time, are the timber resources. It is admitted that the largest remaining areas of first-class building timbers in the world are in British Columbia. The lumber industry has increased enormously of recent years owing to the demand from the rapidly growing Prairie Provinces. For many years to come it will have to undergo constant expansion to keep pace with the ever-growing needs of the untimbered prairie regions. The principal woods are Douglas fir, cedar, spruce, tamarac, pine and hemlock.
Fisheries.—This Province has risen to the rank of the greatest fish-producing Province in the Dominion. Besides its extensive salmon fisheries, it has, lying within easy distance of the northern part of its coast line, extremely rich halibut grounds, while herring are in great abundance all along its shores. These various branches of the fishing industry are being rapidly developed, but there is yet room for great expansion. The value of the fisheries of the Provinces for 1913 amounted to about 11 million dollars.
What Premier McBride says:
"Millions of British money is finding investment in British Columbia, and there is scope for millions more. One of the advantages of British Columbia is that all of its industrial and other enterprises are of a permanent character. There is room for millions of people. We have the resources, the geographical situation, and the climate that will appeal.
"Our elementary school system is free and compulsory, and one of the most efficient in the world, making ample provision, as it does, for ambitious students to pass on to the universities of Canada, the United States, and England. But we are also to have our own University."
Much attention has been attracted to the result of the opening of the Panama Canal on the shipping future of the ports at the coast.
Lakes and Rivers.—The most important are the Columbia, which has a course of 600 miles in British Columbia; the Fraser, 750 miles long; the Skeena, 300 miles long; the Thompson, the Kootenay, the Stikine, the Liard, and the Peace. These with their tributaries drain an area of one-tenth of the whole of the North American continent. The lake area aggregates 1½ million acres.
On the lakes and rivers first-class steamers give accommodation to the settlements along the banks and in the valleys, and afford excellent transportation for tourists. There are lines of steamers in service between Vancouver, Japan, and China; between Vancouver and Australia; between Vancouver and Mexico, and between Vancouver and England via the Suez Canal. These ocean communications of British Columbia are highly important. Vancouver is the terminus of the shortest route from Liverpool to Yokohama and all important points of the Far East. The Province has a considerable coasting fleet, having direct connection with Yukon and Alaska. There is not as yet a large Pacific marine of Canadian registry. Although in the service of Canadian interests the tonnage is largely British.
A Rich Province.—British Columbia coal measures are sufficient to supply the world for centuries. It possesses the greatest compact area of merchantable timber in the world. The mines are in the early stages of their development, and have already produced about 400 million dollars, of which coal contributed 122 million. The value of the mineral production in 1911 was 30 million dollars. The fisheries return an average annual yield of nearly 10 million dollars. British Columbia's trade, per head of population, is the largest in the world. The chief exports are salmon, coal, gold, silver, copper, lead, timber, masts and spars, furs and skins, whale-oil, sealskins, hops, and fruit.
Railways.—The Canadian Pacific Railway has two main lines and several branches making connection with United States railway systems, as well as operating on Vancouver Island. With the exception of one or two small gaps the Grand Trunk Pacific will have its line completed through Central British Columbia this year. This will open up a very large area for settlement. At the Pacific terminus in Prince Rupert, splendid steamers connect with other portions of the Mainland and with Vancouver Island.
The Canadian Northern has secured low grades across the Rockies and, making its way down the Fraser and North Thompson, finds an easy outlet at Port Mann near Vancouver. The Great Northern enters the Province at points in the boundary. The provincial railway mileage is 1,854 miles with 1,000 miles under construction.
Stock.—Dairying pays handsomely in British Columbia. The local demand for butter is constantly increasing and the prices secured are higher than in Eastern Canada. The Province possesses many elements necessary to constitute it a great dairying country. There are extensive areas of pastoral land in the interior, while increased cultivation in the lower country will form the necessary feeding ground. With a plentiful supply of good water, and luxuriant and nutritious grasses, there is every required facility added. Cattle raising on a large scale was formerly one of the chief industries of the Province, and many of the large ranches are still making money, but the tendency of late has been for smaller herds and the improvement of the stock. Sheep raising is another branch of agriculture capable of great expansion. Hogs, in small farming, are probably the most profitable of live stock, owing to the general demand for pork, bacon, ham, and lard, and much attention is now being given to raising them. Over 1 million dollars of hog products are imported annually, and prices are always high. The demand for good horses, especially heavy draft and working animals, is always increasing, and prices are consequently high.
Dairy Products.—In 1912 this industry reached a valuation of nearly 4 million dollars. Poultry raising is a branch of general farming which is beginning to receive special attention in British Columbia. The home market is nowhere nearly supplied either with eggs or poultry, large quantities being imported from Manitoba, Ontario, California, Washington, and elsewhere. Good prices prevail at all seasons of the year. Every portion of British Columbia is suitable for poultry raising. In the Coast districts, hens, ducks, and geese can be raised to great advantage, and the dry belts and uplands are particularly well adapted to turkeys.
Grain.—Wheat is grown principally in the Fraser, Okanagan, and Spallumcheen Valleys and in the country around Kamloops. Barley of excellent quality is grown in many parts of the Province. Oats are the principal grain crop, the quality and yield being good, and the demand beyond the quantity grown. Potatoes, turnips, carrots, mangolds, and all other roots grow in profusion wherever their cultivation has been attempted. Hop culture is carried on in the Okanagan, Agassiz, and Chilliwak districts. British Columbia hops command a good price in England and recently Eastern Canada and Australia have bid for them. Some attention has been given to the cultivation of sugar-beets, tobacco, and celery, and in each case with the most gratifying results, ensuring an early expansion of operations in all of these lines.
In 1912 there was a total agricultural production in the Province of about 14½ million dollars, but there was imported another 15 million dollars' worth.
British Columbia agriculturists and fruit growers are particularly fortunate in having a splendid home market for their products, and for their surplus there is the enormous present and illimitable future demand of the Prairie Provinces, assuring always good prices and ready sale for everything they produce.
Game.—For big-game hunters there are moose, wapiti, sheep, caribou, goat, deer, grizzly, black, and brown bear, wolves, panthers, lynx, and wild cats; in the way of small game there is the best snipe shooting procurable anywhere, and duck and geese, prairie chicken, grouse, and quail abound. In addition to sport with rifle and shot gun, salmon fishing, unknown elsewhere, trout and grayling fishing, unsurpassed in any other country, may be enjoyed at a minimum of cost and inconvenience.
The adaptable and friendly man going into Canada will find a welcome awaiting him. There is room for everybody. The man already established, the railways, and the Government are equally anxious to secure further immigration of the right kind. The new man is not looked upon as an intruder but as a producer of new wealth, an enricher of the commonwealth. The new man should buy his tools as he needs them. Until he has more than thirty acres under crop he can work with a neighbour, in exchange for the services of a binder. He may not need to build a granary for two or three years. A cow is a good investment, and a vegetable garden easily pays its own way.
A few broad general suggestions might be made to the settlers who come in with varying capital at their command.
The Man Who Has Less Than $300.—This man had better work for wages for the first year. He can either hire out to established farmers or find employment on railway construction work. During the year, opportunity may open up for him to take up his free grant or make the first payment on a quarter-section that he would like to purchase.
The Man Who Has $600.—Get hold of your 160-acre free homestead at once, build your shack, and proceed with your homestead duties. During the six months that you are free to absent yourself from your homestead, hire out to some successful farmer and get enough to tide you over the other half of the year which you must spend in residence upon the land. When you have put in six months' residence during each of these years and have complied with the improvement conditions required by the Land Act, you become the absolute owner.
The Man Who Has $1,000.—Either homestead a farm or purchase one on the installment plan, and get to work at once. A small house and out buildings will be required, with horses or oxen, a plough, a wagon, etc. Working out in the harvest season will be needed to bring in money to tide over the winter and get the crop sown in good condition. As the crop grows, opportunity is given to make the house comfortable, to look around and plan ahead.
What $1,500 Will Buy.—No farmer should come expecting to make a homestead pay its own way the first year. He needs buildings, an equipment, and money for the maintenance of himself and family, until his first harvest can be garnered. After securing his land and putting up his buildings, $1,500 will give him a fairly good equipment to begin with. This will probably be expended as under:
|1||team of good horses||$ 450.00|
|4||milch cows at $65||260.00|
|4||hogs at $25||100.00|
|4||sheep at $8||32.00|
|1||set strong harness||35.00|
|Other smaller tools||40.00|
If the settler locates early in the season he may get in a crop of potatoes or oats in May or early June.
Will a Quarter-Section Pay?—"Will the tilling of a quarter of a section (160 acres) pay?" when asked of those who have tried it provokes the invariable answer that "It will and does pay." "We, or those following us, will make less than that pay," said one who had proved up on a homestead. Another pointed to the fact that many of those who commenced on homesteads are now owners of other quarters—and even larger areas, showing that they have progressed in obtaining more land, while others still have stuck to the homestead quarter and this year are marketing as much as $2,000 worth of grain and often nearer $3,000.
Shall You Buy, Rent or Homestead?—The question is one that Canadian Government officials are frequently asked, especially in the homes of a family of boys who have become interested in Central Canada. If the young man has grit and inexperience let him homestead. Treating this subject in a newspaper article, a correspondent very tersely says, "He will survive the ordeal and gain his experience at less cost."
Another has ample knowledge of farming practice, experience in farm management, but lacks pluck and staying power and the capacity to endure. The food for thought and opportunity for action provided by the management of an improved farm would be just the stimulus required to make him settle into harness and "work out his own salvation in fear and trembling."
Many men make excellent, progressive, broad-gauge farmers, by renting, or buying an improved farm in a settled district and keeping in touch with more advanced thought and methods. Their immediate financial success may not be so great; their ultimate success will be much greater, for they have been saved from narrow-gauge ways and withering at the top.
Let the boy take the route that appeals to him. Don't force him to homestead if he pines to rent. Don't try to keep him at home if homesteading looks good to him. The thing to remember is that success may be achieved by any one of the three routes. If the foundation is all right, hard work the method, and thoroughness the motto, it makes little difference what road is taken—whether homesteading, buying, or renting—Central Canada is big enough, and good farming profitable enough.
Contentment is not necessarily achieved by accomplishments that benefit the world—the world outside the small sphere in which we move; but when accompanied by such accomplishments how the satisfaction broadens! The genius whose inventions have been of service to mankind is in a plane far above that of the simple-minded individual who finds contentment in the little things of life affecting himself alone.
Feeding the world is no mean accomplishment. Nor is it a vain or trifling boast to say that this is what the farmer of Western Canada has started out to do. He is sure to find contentment. Part of his contentment will be the consciousness of doing world-wide good; part of it will be the personal enjoyment of an inspiring liberty and independence. Afield and abroad his friends will learn what he is doing. Soon they too will become partners in a work that not only betters their own condition, but ministers to the needs of the whole world in the raising of products that go to "feed the world."
It is to those who desire this broad contentment that the Canadian Government extends the heartiest welcome, and to such men it offers the vast opportunities of a country richer in possibilities than any other in the present century. To the man on the farm in other regions, whom success has followed with slow tread; to the farmer's son, who has watched with unsatisfied eye the unrequited efforts of his forbears, seeing the life that has made his mother a "drudge," noting the struggle which has stooped his father's shoulders, dimmed his vision, dwarfed his spirit, and returned nothing but existence and a meagre bank account—it is to these men, father and son, that the opportunities of Western Canada are presented. To them an invitation is extended to secure the contentment found in personal progress and world-wide benefaction.
The possibilities of Western Canada are no longer new and untried. Twelve or fifteen years of cultivation have made it a vital, living land, and placed it on the level with the greatest of the food-producing countries. That same redundant energy will shortly make it the richly laden "bread basket" not of England only, but of the entire world.
Here every condition is a health bringer as well as a wealth bringer. A few months in this "New World" to which you are invited and where rejuvenating physical and mental changes are wrought; where before hard work was drudgery, it is now a delight; where nothing but fresh trouble darkened the horizon, the outlook is now a rainbow of promise. Industry is seasoned with the compelling spirit of adventure, and the thought of the coming harvest constantly lightens the burden of labor.
The crowded city dweller, curbing those natural desires for home-building that are as natural as breathing, will find in Western Canada a country where nothing is so plentiful as space. And in building his home here he is surely laying the foundation for a competence, and very often for a fortune. Along with prosperity there is abounding happiness and good fellowship in the farming communities. The homesteader, beginning in a modest way, rears his first habitation with practical and serviceable ends in view. His next-door neighbours are ready and willing to help him put a roof over his head. There is a splendid lend-a-hand sentiment mixed with the vigorous climate. The first harvest, like all succeeding harvests, comes quickly, because the soil is a lightning producer. All summer long the settler has dreamed of nothing but acres of waving grain; with the autumn the sight of hopes fulfilled compensates him for his months of toil. In due time the crop is harvested and marketed, the debts are wiped out, and the settler proudly opens his bank account.
When he has turned the golden grain into the golden coin of the realm he realizes for the first time what it means to be liberally paid for the work of his hand and brain. The reward of the farmer in Western Canada is sure; and as the soil responds faithfully to his husbandry, year after year, he looks back upon the old conditions he has left with devout thankfulness that they are past.
After the bumper harvest the happy young farmer can send for the wife or the bride-to-be whom he has left "back home." A few years ago "down on the farm" was an expression synonymous with isolation, loneliness and primitive living. Not so to-day. Whatever his previous outlook, the settler in Western Canada cannot go on raising large crops and selling his products for high prices without enlarging his view of life in general and bettering his material conditions. He needs to practice no rigid economy. He can afford to supply his wife and children with all the best the markets provide. An up-to-date farm house in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, or Alberta has very much the same conveniences as the average home of the well-to-do in any other part of the world. Nine times out of ten it is because he feels confident he can increase the comfort and happiness of his wife and children that the settler emigrates to Western Canada.
Western Canada is no longer a land calling only to the hardy young adventurer; it calls to the settler and to his wife and children. And with its invitation goes the promise not only of larger financial returns, but of domestic happiness in a pure, wholesome environment.
Railroads bring to the doors of the settler the fruits of all countries and here is to hand the use of every modern idea and invention. The climate is the most health-giving, all-year kind. There is latent riches in the soil, produced by centuries of accumulation of decayed vegetation, and the fat producing qualities of the native grasses are unexcelled in any part of the world.
The soil produces the best qualities of wheat, oats, barley, flax, and all kinds of vegetables and roots in less time than many districts farther south in the states. There are inexhaustible coal deposits and natural gas and oil fields, as yet unknown in extent or production. The Canadian Rockies, forming a western boundary to the great agricultural area, supply the needed mineral and building materials. In the north and west there are immense forests. Lakes and rivers are capable of an enormous development for power purposes, besides supplying an abundance of food and game fishes, and forests and prairies are full of big and small game of all kinds.
But all this is yet undeveloped and unused. All kinds of live stock can be raised here for less money than in the more thickly populated communities.
One Western Canada farmer in 1912 secured a crop of Marquis wheat, yielding 76 bushels per acre. This is spoken of as a record yield, and this is doubtless true, but several cases have been brought to notice where yields almost as large have been produced, and in different parts of the country. During the past year there have been reported many yields of from 35 to 45 bushels of wheat to the acre. Oats, too, were a successful crop and so was the barley and oat crop. Wheat that would yield 40 bushels per acre, would bring on the market 70 cents (a fair figure) per bushel, a gross return of $28 per acre. Allow $12 per acre (an outside figure) there would be a balance of $16 per acre net profit. This figure should satisfy anyone having land that cost less than $100 per acre.Top
Owing to the number of questions asked daily, it has been deemed advisable to put in condensed form, such questions as most naturally occur, giving the answers which experience dictates as appropriate, conveying the information commonly asked for. If the reader does not find here the answer to his particular difficulty, a letter to the Superintendent, or to any Government Agent, will secure full particulars.
1. Where are the lands referred to?
In Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and in British Columbia.
2. What kind of land is it?
The land is mostly prairie (except in British Columbia) and can be secured free from timber and stones, if desired, the soil being the very best alluvial black loam from one to two feet deep, with a clay subsoil. It is just rolling enough to give good drainage, and in places there is plenty of timber, while some is underlaid with good coal.
3. If the land is what you say, why is the Government giving it away?
The Government, knowing that agriculture is the foundation of a progressive country, and that large yields of farm produce insure prosperity in all other branches of business, is doing everything in its power to encourage settlement. It is much better for each man to own his own farm, therefore a free grant of 160 acres is given to every man who will reside upon and cultivate it.
4. Is it timber or prairie land?
The province of Manitoba has considerable open prairie, especially in the southwest; towards the centre it is parklike with some timber belts in parts.
The southern parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta are chiefly open prairie with growths of timber along the streams. As you go north or northwest about 20 per cent of the country may be said to be timbered.
5. Then as to climate?
The summer days are warm and the nights cool. The fall and spring are most delightful, although it may be said that winter breaks almost into summer, and the latter lasts until October. Winters are pleasant and healthful. There are no pulmonary or other endemic complaints. Snow begins to fall about the middle of November and in March there is generally very little. Near the Rockies the snowfall is not as heavy as farther east, and the chinook winds have a tempering influence. The absence of the snowfall would be regretted by the farmer. Nature has generously provided for every mile of the country, and there is really very little choice with the exception that farther west the climate is somewhat milder.
6. Is there sufficient rainfall?
A sufficient supply can be relied upon. The most rain falls in May and June, when most needed.
7. What are the roads like?
Bridges and culverts are built where needed, and roadways are usually graded up; but not gravelled or macadamized. The natural prairie road is superior to most manufactured roads, and afford good travelling in ordinary seasons and every fall and winter.
8. What sort of people are settled there, and is English generally spoken?
Canadians, English, Scotch, Irish, French, and English-speaking Americans (who are going in, in large numbers), with Germans and Scandinavians. English is the language of the country, and is spoken everywhere.
9. Will I have to change my citizenship if I go to Canada?
An alien, before making entry for free homestead land, must declare his intention of becoming a British subject and become naturalized before obtaining patent for his land. In the meanwhile he can hold possession, and exercise right of ownership. If not a British subject he must reside three years to become naturalized. To become a British subject a settler of foreign birth should make application to anyone authorized to administer oaths in a Canadian Court. An alien may purchase land from any of the railway or land companies and hold title deed without changing his citizenship.
10. How about American money?
American money is taken everywhere in Central Canada at its face value.
11. Can a man who has used his homestead right in the United States take a homestead in Canada?
12. If a British subject has taken out "citizen papers" in the United States how does he stand in Canada?
He must be "repatriated," i.e., take out a certificate of naturalization, which can be done after three months' residence in Canada.
13. What grains are raised in Central Canada?
Wheat (winter and spring), oats, barley, flax, speltz, rye and other small grains, and corn is grown chiefly for silo purposes.
14. How long does it take wheat to mature?
The average time is from 100 to 118 days. This short time in accounted for by the long hours of sunlight which during the growing and ripening season, will average 16 hours a day.
15. Can a man raise a crop on the first breaking of his land?
Yes, but it is not well to use the land for any other purpose the first year than for raising garden vegetables, or perhaps a crop of flax, as it is necessarily rough on account of the heavy sod not having had time to rot and become workable. Good yields of oats have been reported on breaking.
16. Is there plenty of hay available?
In many parts there is sufficient wild hay meadow on government or vacant land, which may be rented at a very low rental, if you have not enough on your own farm. Experience has proven that timothy, brome, clover and other cultivated grasses do well. Yields of brome have been reported from two to four tons per acre. Alfalfa under proper cultivation in many places gives successful yields.
17. Do vegetables thrive and what kinds are grown?
Potatoes, turnips, carrots, beets, onions, parsnips, cabbages, peas, beans, celery, pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, melons, etc., are unequalled anywhere.
18. Can fruit be raised and what varieties?
Small fruits grow wild. The cultivated are plums, cranberries, strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, currants. In British Columbia fruit growing of all kinds is carried on very extensively and successfully.
19. About what time does seeding begin?
As a rule farmers begin their seeding from the first to the fifteenth of April, sometimes continuing well into May. The average yield of all grains in Central Canada would be largely increased, did not some farmers unwisely do seeding until the middle of June.
20. How is it for stock raising?
The country has no equal. In many parts cattle and horses are not housed throughout the winter, and so nutritious are the wild grasses that stock is marketed without having been fed any grain.
21. In what way can I secure land in Central Canada?
By homesteading, or purchasing from railway or land companies. The Dominion Government has no land for sale. The British Columbia Government sells land to actual settlers at low figures.
22. Can I get a map or list of lands vacant and open to homestead entry?
It has been found impracticable to keep a publication of that kind up to date, owing to the daily changes. An intending settler on reaching the district he selects should enquire of the Dominion Lands Agent what lands are vacant in that particular locality, finally narrowing down the enquiry to a township or two, diagrams of which, with the vacant lands marked, will be supplied free. A competent land guide can be had.
23. How far are homestead lands from lines of railway?
They vary, but at present the nearest will be from 15 to 20 miles. Railways are being built into the new districts.
24. In which districts are located the most and best available homesteads?
The character of homestead wanted by the settler will decide this. Very few homesteads are vacant in the southern districts; towards the centre and north portions of the provinces, homesteads are plentiful. They comprise a territory in which wood for building purposes and fuel are plentiful.
25. Is there any good land close to the Rocky Mountains?
The nearer you approach the mountains the more hilly it becomes, and the elevation is too great for grain raising. Cattle and horses do well.
26. If a man take his family there before he selects a homestead can he get temporary accommodation?
At the following places the Government maintains Immigration halls with free temporary accommodation for those desiring such and supplying their own provisions. It is always better for the head of the family, or such member of it as may be entitled to homestead, to select and make entry for lands before moving family:
Biggar, Brandon, Calgary, Caster, Cereal, Edmonton, Edson, Emerson, Entwistle, Gravelburg, Herbert, Kerrobert, Lloydminster, Lethbridge, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, North Portal, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Strathcona, South Battleford, Swift Current, Tisdale, Unity, Vegreville, Vermilion, Viking, Virden, Wainwright, Wilkie, Yonkers.
27. Where must I make my homestead entry?
At the Dominion Lands Office for the district.
28. Can homestead lands he reserved for a minor?
An agent of Dominion Lands may reserve a quarter-section for a minor over 17 years of age until he is 18, if his father, or other near relative live upon homestead or upon farming land owned, not less than 80 acres, within nine miles of reserved homestead. The minor must make entry in person within one month after becoming 18 years of age.
29. Can a person borrow money on a homestead before receiving patent?
No; contrary to Dominion Lands Act.
30. Would the time I was away working for a neighbour, or on the railway, or other work count as time on my homestead?
Only actual residence on your homestead will count, and you must reside on homestead six months in each of three years.
31. Is it permissible to reside with brother, who has filed on adjoining land?
A homesteader may reside with father, mother, son, daughter, brother, or sister on farming land owned solely by him or her, not less than 80 acres, or upon homestead entered for by him or her not more than nine miles from entrant's homestead. Fifty acres of homestead must be brought under cultivation, instead of 30 acres, as is the case when there is direct residence.
32. How shall I know what to do or where to go when I reach there?
Make a careful study of this pamphlet and decide in a general way on the district in which you wish to settle. Then put yourself in communication with your nearest Canadian Government Agent, whose name appears on the second page of cover. At Winnipeg, and in the offices of any of the Dominion Lands Agents in Central Canada, are maps showing vacant lands. Having decided on the district where you will make your home, the services of a competent land guide may be secured to assist in locating.
33. What is the best way to get there?
Write your nearest Canadian Government Agent for routes, and settlers' low railway rate certificate good from the Canadian boundary to destination for passengers and freight.
34. How much baggage will I be allowed on the Canadian railways?
150 pounds for each full ticket.
35. Are settlers' effects bonded through to destination, or are they examined at the boundary?
If settler accompanies effects they will be examined at the boundary, without any trouble; if effects are unaccompanied they will go through to the nearest bonding (or customs) point to destination.
36. In case settler's family follow him what about railway rates?
On application to Canadian Government Agent, settlers' low railway rate certificate will be forwarded, and they will be given the settlers' privilege.
37. What is the duty on horses and cattle if a settler should want to take in more than the number allowed free into Canada?
When for the improvement of stock free; otherwise, over one year old, they will be valued at a minimum of $50 per head, and duty will be 25 per cent.
38. How much money must one have to start grain farming and how little can he do with if he goes ranching?
See Chapter "What wins in Central Canada," page 37.
39. How can I procure lands for ranching?
They may be leased from the Government at a low rental. Write for full particulars to Secretary of the Interior, Ottawa, Canada.
40. In those parts which are better for cattle and sheep than for grain, what does a man do if he has only 160 acres?
If a settler should desire to go into stock raising and his quarter-section of 160 acres should not prove sufficient to furnish pasture for his stock, he can make application to the Land Commissioner for a lease for grazing lands for a term of twenty-one years, at a very low cost.
41. Where is information to be had about British Columbia?
Apply to Secretary Provincial Bureau of Information, Victoria, B. C.
42. Is living expensive?
Sugar, granulated, 14 to 18 lbs. for $1, according to fluctuation of market. Tea, 30 to 50 cents a lb.; coffee, 30 to 45 cents a lb.; flour, $2.25 to $3.00 per 98 lbs. Dry goods about Eastern Canada prices. Cotton somewhat dearer than in United States, and woollen goods noticeably cheaper. Stoves and furniture somewhat higher than eastern prices, owing to freight charges.
43. Are the taxes high?
No. Having no expensive system of municipal or county organization, taxes are necessarily low. Each quarter-section of land, consisting of 160 acres, owned or occupied, is taxed very low. The only other taxes are for schools. In the locations where the settlers have formed school districts the total tax for all purposes on a quarter-section amounts to from $10 to $14.50 per annum.
44. Does the Government tax the settler if he lets his cattle run on Government lands? If they fence their land, is he obliged to fence his also?
The settler is not required to pay a tax for allowing his cattle to run on Government land, but it is advisable to lease land from the Government for haying or grazing purposes, when needed. If one fences his land, his adjoining neighbour has to stand a proportionate share of the cost of the fence adjoining his property, or build one-half of it himself.
45. Where can a settler sell what he raises? Is there any competition amongst buyers, or has he got to sell for anything he can get?
A system of elevators is established by railway companies and others throughout the entire West. Grain is bought at these and forwarded to the great markets in other parts of Canada, the United States, and Europe. Canadian[Pg 40] flour mills, oatmeal mills, and breweries use millions of bushels of grain annually. To the west and northwest of Central Canada lie mining regions, which are dependent upon the prairies for supplies and will to a great extent continue to be. Beef is bought on the hoof at the home of the farmer or rancher. Buyers scour the country in quest of this product.
46. Where can material for a house and sheds be procured, and about what would it cost? What about fuel? Do people suffer from the cold?
Though there are large tracts of forest in the Canadian West there are localities where building timber and material is limited, but this has not proven any drawback as the Government has made provision that should a man settle on a quarter-section deprived of timber, he can, by making application to the Dominion Lands Agent, obtain a permit to cut on Government lands free of charge the following, viz.:
1. 3,000 lineal feet of building timber, measuring no more than 12 inches at the butt, or 9,250 feet board measure. 2. 400 roofing poles. 3. 2,000 fencing rails and 500 fence posts, 7 feet long, and not exceeding five (5) inches in diameter at the small end. 4. 30 cords of dry fuel wood for firewood.
The settler has only the expense of the cutting and hauling to his homestead. The principal districts are within easy reach of firewood; the settlers of Alberta and Saskatchewan are particularly favoured, especially along the various streams, from some of which they get all the coal they require, at a trifling cost. No one in the country need suffer from the cold on account of scarcity of fuel.
47. Is it advisable to go into a new country during the winter months with uncertain weather conditions?
A few years ago, when settlement was sparse, settlers were advised to wait until March or April. Now that so many have friends in Western Canada there need be no hesitation when to start. Lines of railway penetrate most of the settled districts, and no one need go far from neighbours already settled. There is no longer the dread of pioneering, and it is robbed of the romance that once surrounded it. With farm already selected, it is perfectly safe, and to the prospective homesteader he can get some sort of occupation until early spring, when he will be on the ground ready for it.
48. What does lumber cost?
Spruce boards and dimensions, about $20 per thousand feet; shiplap, $23 to $28; flooring and siding, $25 up, according to quality; cedar shingles, from $3.50 to $4.25 per thousand. These prices fluctuate.
49. What chance is there for employment when a man first goes there and isn't working on his land?
There are different industries through the country, outside of farming and ranching, such as sawmills, flour mills, brick-yards, railroad building in the summer, and lumbering in the winter. The chances for employment are good as a large percentage of those going in and those already there farm so much that they must have help, and pay good wages. During the past two seasons from twenty to thirty thousand farm labourers have been brought in each year from the eastern Provinces and the United States to assist in caring for the large crops. The capable and willing worker is sure to succeed in Canada.
50. Can I get employment with a farmer so as to become acquainted with local conditions?
This can be done through the Commissioner of Immigration at Winnipeg, who is in a position to offer engagements with well established farmers. Men experienced in agriculture may expect to receive from $25 up per month with board and lodging, engagements, if desired, to extend for twelve months. Summer wages are from $30 to $35 per month; winter wages $10 to $15. During harvest wages are higher than this.
51. If I have had no experience and simply desire to learn farming in Central Canada before starting on my own account?
Young men and others unacquainted with farm life, willing to accept from $8 up per month, including board and lodging, will find positions through the Government officers at Winnipeg. Wages are dependent upon experience and qualification. After working for a year in this way, the knowledge acquired will be sufficient to justify you in securing and farming on your own account.
52. Are there any schools outside the towns?
School districts cannot exceed five miles in length or breadth, and must contain at least four actual residents, and twelve children between the ages of five and sixteen. In almost every locality, where these conditions exist, schools have been established.
53. Are churches numerous?
The various denominations are well represented and churches are being built rapidly even in the most remote districts.
54. Can water be secured at reasonable depth?
In most places it can be had at from fifteen to forty feet, while in other places wells have been sunk to fifty or sixty feet.
55. Where are free homesteads to-day, and how far from railway?
In some well settled districts it may be possible to secure one by cancelling, but such chances are few. Between the lakes in Manitoba as well as north and southeast of Winnipeg. In the central portions of Saskatchewan, Alberta and west of Moose Jaw and Swift Current. A splendid homestead area is that lying north of Battleford, and between Prince Albert and Edmonton north of the Canadian Northern railway. One will have to go at least twelve or fifteen miles from a line of railway at present, but extensions will soon make many homesteads available.Top
The newcomer may start for Western Canada during any month in the year. Railroads carry him to a short distance of his new home, the country roads are good, and there is settlement in all parts, so that shelter is easily reached. Temporary provision is required for the family's arrival, when better may be made. If going in the winter months, it is well to have a pair of good strong sleds. As teams cost $5 a day take along your horses and do your own hauling. As they require care, write ahead to some livery barn for room. In shipping your horses have them loaded by the best shipper in your home town. For feeding on the way, put in two-by-four cleats breast high on the horses, and fix to fit the end of a stout trough which is dropped in, afterwards nailing on a top cleat. If they have been used to corn take along twenty bushels for each horse, if possible, not to feed alone along the way, but to use while breaking them in to an oat diet. You need both hay and oat straw on the cars. The new arrival may have to pay $7 a ton for hay and 40 cents per bushel for oats. Railroad construction consumes lots of both, and not half the farmers take time in the fall to put up plenty of hay. Bring all the horses you can. Five big horses can pull a twelve-inch gang through the sod, but six can do it easier, and you can use five on the harrow. You can hitch a team to a goat or scrubber, as they call them here, and lead them behind the drill, making your ground smooth and packing it lightly, as you put in the seed. If you have been intending to bring eight horses, bring twelve; if you were going to bring twelve, bring sixteen. The first two years on the new land is hard on horses, and you will need plenty. If you have any spare time or can get help, they bring in money. I know two men who cleared over $600 apiece doing outside work this last summer. They worked on the roads, in harvest and threshing, and received $5 per day for man and team. One can get all the outside breaking one's team can do at $4 per acre, so horse power is the main thing.
Take a supply of meat along, also lard, canned goods, and other things for your cellar. One settler took a sugar barrel packed with canned fruit, and had not a single can broken or frozen, wrapping each in a whole newspaper and then packing in between with old rags, worn out underwear, old vests, and such goods as might otherwise be thrown away. Remember there is no old attic or store-room to go to on the new farm. The same settler says: "Cooked goods are also good. In the cold weather we kept and used beef that had been roasted two weeks before, and a bushel of cookies lasted well into the summer, keeping fresh in a tin box. Bring your cows and also your separator. The latter will not sell for much at the sale and is useful here, as you have no place to store quantities of milk. Bring at least your two best cows with you on the journey. We had milk all along the road and furnished the dining car cooks (we had a diner on our freight train) for favors they extended. Then when we landed we found that milk and cream were scarce, and butter of the farm variety out of range.
"We packed two one-gallon jars before we moved and also some to use on the way. This lasted fresh and sweet until it was all used and saved us the trouble of churning or saving cream, hence we lived high on cream for the first few weeks. It came in handy making corn starch, as well as on our fruit and in a dozen other ways. We also had a nice big box of groceries handy and all selected for emergency. Corn starch, tapioca and similar packages are easy to handle while moving, and a big box of such things made cooking easy for the first few weeks.
"Do not sell anything that can be used in your new farming. Old belts, singletrees, doubletrees, and such goods are worth far more away out on the prairies than on the old improved farm, and they will cost more here. We even brought our best big rugs and every carpet, even having more carpets than we had rooms. Your new home may not be as warm as the old one. We laid down a carpet and put a big rug right on top of that on the floor, and then we were comfortable in our rough house. Bring all sorts of tools and wagon gears with you; you will save money by doing so, anvil, drills, old bolts, and screws, etc., come in handy. We brought pieces of hardwood for doubletrees and unexpected uses.
"Bring your stock remedies. You will be far from a veterinarian. Boracic acid comes in handy, so does a medicine cabinet for the household, with carbolic salve, liniments, etc.
"One of the first things you will need is a hayrack, and you will not have time to build one before it is needed, so take the old one or build a new one and take it with you. It can be used for crating and for partitions and other purposes in loading the car. Make the sides of the rack quite close and have a solid bottom.
"Bring along your base-burner. I am writing by a hard coal fire in a round oak stove, and it makes a splendid heat. Better soft coal than you ever burned can be had at $9.50 per ton, and hard coal is $13. Wood is plentiful in the parks, chiefly dry poplar and a species of willow.
"So far from town one needs big supplies of kerosene, so bring a steel barrel that will not become leaky. You can buy oil cheaper by the barrel and it saves trouble. Also bring a good oil stove. It will do the baking and save hauling fuel in the long working season.
"One thing we highly appreciated was a small tank we had made to carry water in the cars for the horses. It was made to hold two barrels, was about three feet in diameter and four high, and had the top soldered on, with a lid just large enough to get in a pail. This was the best arrangement on the train for hauling water. After we landed we had to haul water for our house use and the tank was very useful to draw up a couple of barrels and have a big supply on hand and no slopping when hauling."