Monday, 27 July 2009

Trip: Alberta & Saskatchewan Part 6 Leslie

The story of the little town of Leslie is similar to hundreds of little towns across Saskatchewan. They were started in the late 1880's, populated from 1900-1920's when free land was offered to those who promised to develop a farm. By 1930, many of the towns had reached their peak. In the 1950's the younger generation left to seek their fortune elsewhere. Since then, farms have been amalgamated into large holdings to enable the farmers to make a living. The towns ceased development.
This is a pioneer house, I'm guessing from before the turn of the century. Note the Native Indian people in the photo. Relationships were cooperative, with help being given where needed. It looks as if they were fixing the roof. The photos are from a history book written in the 1980's with government grants ... many Saskatchewan communities were able to gather and record their history.Below is the railroad, station and grain elevators from the late 40's. It happens that the town was named after the postmaster who was Mr. Leslie, a grandfather of a friend. This band from the 40-50's shows the community social life. They would be mostly from the surrounding area. Note the Scandinavian names. Whole communities consisting of many sections of land were handed out to immigrants from specific countries and cultures. That made it easier for people who spoke the same language to help their neighbor. Below is an aerial view from 1980. The last time they had a fire, they couldn't get the doors of the fire hall open ... notice the country lock above the doors. The bell needs a little help as well. Wynyard is about 15 minutes away with modern equipment.The community hall is still used. One popular recreation is attending dances to mix & mingle, similar to years ago. People will drive for miles through snow storms to attend!This is what greets you today when you pull off the Yellowhead Hwy. The CO-OP is an 'all purpose' store with post office, coffee shop, car parts, grocery store and the organizing committee for community celebrations. Two sisters and a cousin, are the welcoming committee ... friendly and hardworking folk. The total population is 14. There are several little houses, most with well kept with gardens. Retired farmers live here, along with the few who run the businesses. There were also houses with kids toys strewn around the yard. A young family working in construction can own their own home for about $30,000. The schools and hospital are 15 minutes down the road. This is a place where 'a child can be raised by the village'.

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