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Write Down Your Farm’s History

I’m hoping this article will encourage people to record the history of their farms as so much is being lost.

It is estimated Canada is losing 1,000 farmers a year which is causing a serious problem of rural depopulation.

As our son demolished a home from 1918 which sat next to his new home, memories came flooding back. I realized how many farm families we had lost in the Lothair district over the last 40 years.

This morning I phoned Dorothy Hart who had grown up in that house, to ask her if her father had built it. She said he’d moved two houses from Rivers six miles east onto SE 26-12-22 and converted them into a home for his family in 1918. Oliver and Drusy raised six children there and Mr. Harvey built a second storey as his family grew. It was the first home to have plumbing in the area – years before most. Mr. Harvey died suddenly in 1935 at the age of 50. Dorothy and her husband took over the farm after the Second World War.

It was sad to see the house go as we all had many memories related to it. Dorothy was my neighbour for 40 years. Our husbands farmed together until our sons purchased their farm. Since we only lived a quarter-mile apart we’d often walk over to each other’s house to share a new recipe or extra produce from our gardens.

I sat down this morning and added some notes to my history book, so my grandchildren will know the history of their family’s farm.

– Joan Airey writes from Rivers, Manitoba

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