Working in Elrose

Farm Life

By Kyle – Grade 5

Edgar lived in Bradford, Ontario where his family owned a farm. The farm he grew up on was 200 acres, and 170 acres were workable to grow a crop. 1951 was a poor harvest year on the farm, so his family ended farming a month early. He had also just finished high school (grade 13), and didn’t have a career. Edgar was looking for an adventure. 

Edgar’s adventure started in Barrie, Ontario where Edgar had an opportunity to go on a steam train to Elrose, Saskatchewan. Elrose is a small town in Saskatchewan, so it’s not on most maps of Canada. The train was 6 to 7 cars long.  At that time it cost $25 to travel from Barrie to Elrose by train. The train station that he went to was called Allandale, and today it wouldn’t be considered to be very big, but it seemed big for back then. Edgar was 18 at the time. There were a lot of other teen boys on the train too. He sat in a passenger car inside the train. Some of the passengers on the train slept with their legs on the people in front of them, which was probably annoying! The entire train ride was 2 days and 2 nights. Edgar had to go through Manitoba to get to Elrose. Edgar got off the train in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and then he took a bus to Elrose. The bus was included with the train so it didn’t cost anything.                          

 When Edgar got to Elrose, he found a job on a farm, and stayed with the owner of the farm and his family. Edgar worked as a trucker. Edgar drove a 1946-1947 Chevrolet pickup truck. It was the first time that he drove a 5 gear truck. The only pick up truck he ever drove before this was a 3 gear truck. The vehicle was red and had two lights at the front, two lights on the top, and two lights at the back. There were around 50,000 trucks in Saskatchewan in 1951, and were used mostly on Saskatchewan farms. Saskatchewan has not changed much, and it is a still a big farming province for wheat. 

Edgar’s job was to get the wheat from the farm then transport it to a grain elevator in Elrose. The wheat would then be taken up on an elevator to a place where it would be sold. The people who worked at the grain elevator would sell the wheat as far off as Vancouver,  where it would be shipped to another country and then to another. It would also go east to Thunder Bay where it would be shipped and stored, until it would be ready to load and then sold to stores. The wheat in 1950 was $54.75 per tonne. A tonne is equal to 1000 kilograms. 

Edgar worked as a trucker for a month.  It was the end of September, and his job was done, so he went to Moose Jaw where he worked as a construction worker. He did not like it in Moose Jaw, so while he was in Moose Jaw he caught a ride with a gentleman who was going to Vancouver. Edgar was ready for his new adventure.