Sunday, 8 November 2015

Widow Mary Henry's Homestead

Mary and William Henry came from Scotland in 1858 when they were 22 and 29 years old respectively with their two year old daughter Elizabeth, my great grandmother.  They had been married in 1856 in Troqueer, Kirkdudbrightshire in Scotland and joined his brothers John and Edward on their adventure to the new world.  Mary and William worked hard on their land near Perth, Ontario for the next 20 years and 11 children were born to them there.  With their growing family, there was less opportunity for land of their own in the east and the western migration was underway.  About this same time, Mary was widowed by the tragic death of William at the age of 42.
William and Mary Henry - about 1860
His brother John staked out his homestead in Manitoba in 1878 and his wife Janet and their own 11 children left for Manitoba in 1879. Two years later, Mary and her family followed them west. They took the route to the west by railway through the US then made their way to Brandon, where the railway ended. They stayed with John and Jessie that first year -  25 Henrys under one roof!  Her children and their ages were: 
Alexander 10, 

Since her eldest three children were girls, they were not entitled to apply for homesteads but Mary did and she entered for the South West quarter of 6-14-21 on June 18 of 1882. The Inspector's report from November 21, 1893 states they occupied a residence on the quarter as of October 1, 1882. It was described as a log house with half stone valued at $200.  The frame stable, granary and the wire fence around 15 acres was valued at $420.  The Inspector relates the quarter is composed of sandy loam soil with clay subsoil and it is cut up by a large ravine.  I think it reads that the family have 30 acres of hayland and 70 cropped but it is hard to make out .

The Manitoba Archives in Winnipeg contains a few documents about this quarter as well as the Northwest one of the same section including the letter written by Mary herself on September 7 of 1899 below:

Department of Interior. Sir , find enclosed statement for homestead.This is a second homestead and I was to get the patent by cultivating 40 acres in three years and living on my first homestead.We put down the buildings that are on the first homestead.I hope you will grant the patent this way.Mrs. Mary Henry
The accompanying documents state that the NW homestead was entered on June 25, 1895 and they commenced breaking 2 days later.  She has a family of three boys and one girl living with her and she writes she has resided continuously on her first homestead from the date of entry until the present time.  In 1895, 12 acres were broken and cropped the next year when they broke a further 23 acres. By 1899, 37 acres on that section were in crop and Mary and her family had 70 head of cattle, 7 horses and 20 pigs along with a half mile of wire fence, a 18 X 20 house, three stables and a granary.
Neighbour Louis Boniface of 22-14-21 wrote a statement of support for her patent and it was granted on March 21 of 1900.

Her sons also took out homesteads or purchased nearby land according to the local history books:
NE 1-14-22 1898 - John Henry
NE 6-14-21- 1883 - Charles Henry
SE 6-14-21 - 1883 - William Henry
NE 31-13-21- 1895 - Edward Henry
NE 32-13-21 - 1895 - Edward Henry
SW 32-13-21 - 1898 - Edward Henry
SE 32-13-21 - 1893 - Edward Henry
These quarters may have their own documents in the Archives.  There's always more stories to uncover!

Friday, 30 October 2015

Scrapbooks from Reston Library

This summer I discovered a gold mine of local history at the Reston Library.  A collection of scrapbooks had been contributed by the family of Fred Bowering.  He was born and raised in the Kirkella, MB area and served with the RCAF and later farmed west of Elkhorn.   He clipped and pasted items from old newspapers into scrapbooks after he retired to Virden in 2001.  His family explained that Fred enjoyed sharing his scrapbooks with family and friends and they wanted to continue the tradition by placing them in the library.  I was fortunate to find a few clippings with a connection to my family tree.

The first is about a cousin of my Grandma Simms, Jessie daughter of William and Joanna Braid.  The same picture is found in the Whitebank Lea History booklet where the boys are identified as her cousins Homer and Orville Henry.
1923- The Versatile Ford
Miss Jessie Braid taking her calf to the boys' and girls' fair at Cardale, Man.  The calf won second prize , had a ride in an automobile and had his picture taken all in one day; a big day certainly for the calf.  Miss Jessie is the young lady in the picture.  She lives in Blanshard Municipality, Manitoba.

The next is an equipment photo from the same year Online research seems to show this was a 15-30 McCormick Deering tractor that was so named because it had 15 horsepower drawbar and 30 horsepower brake, which means nothing to me so follow the link here.  The owners of the machine, Few & Henry, would be Jack Few and my great uncle James Henry.
A 15-20 engine and a 24-inch scrub breaking plow at work on the farm of John Sparrow, five miles north of Oak River, Man.  The outfit is owned by Few & Henry of Oak River and is operated by William Barr.  It turns down trees from eight to twelve feet high and turns them under with hardly a twig showing.  The right hand rear wheel of the plow has a ten-inch extension, so that it packs each furrow. When the plowing is finished, the land is almost as level as a tennis court.
The Sparrow farm was at 22-14-22.  According to the 1970 Blanshard History Book, Edward and his sister Lillian came from Bolton, Ontario in 1910.  Lillian passed away in 1920 and according to the above book:
Edward was a frequent visitor at the neighbors especially at Mr Jas. Sinclair's and Mrs. W. J. I. Morcom's, where politics and current events were freely discussed.  Edward's last years were spent in Brandon where he had a livery business.  In 1929 he passed away and was buried in Brandon where his sister Lillian had been laid to rest before him.  
An entire quarter-section in stooks was photographed from the top of a barn six miles north of Oak River in 1938.
Although not specific to its location, it would be in the vicinity of my Grandfather Alex Simms, Great Uncle Bill Sinclair and Great Uncle Jack Morcom and possibly even their crop.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

My Rubbermaid Archives

After researching in the Winnipeg Archives this summer,  I decided I should go through my own archives in the basement in Rubbermaid tubs.  There I found some things that had come from my Grandma Kinnaird that I forgot I had! The first postcard below must be from 1968 and the second could be from the same trip although it seems more postage was required for it so may have been later.  She would have been visiting her brothers John and Jim Milne and their families. 

Frances (Milne) Kinnaird in Christmas 1965 holding her granddaughter Sharon (me!) Also in the back Judy and Barry Kinnaird and in front Rea Kinnaird, Donna Simms and Lyle Kinnaird

Penticton, B.C., Canada
Main business section of Penticton overlooking the Okanagan lake
 Mar 28
Having a lovely time driving around came to Jim's today till weekend then start home about Wed. or Thurs.  Very cool here.  Went to Van. Mon. & Tues.  Drove for miles out to English Coast saw boats going out & in.  Other place saw boats loading grain at Alberta terminals, flowers starting to bloom, some fruit trees out.  I was out to see H. Hamilton (?) at Burnaby.
Just heard today C. Kerr had passed away.  Sorry to miss the funeral.
Love to all
Highway snow sheds in the Roger's Pass Section of the Trans-Canada Highway.  At this section, the highway passes through the Heaviest snowfall area of the Rockies.  Photo by J.H. Bell  
Sat 4:30 M.S.T.
Hi Sharon & Donna & all
Just got back from a drive around Princeton, mountains on all sides, been having a wonderful time.  wish you were all here.  grass is just beginning to get green, a few early flowers out.  We are going to Penticton tomorrow & Mon to Vancouver for the day.  Had a lovely train trip  stayed in Kamloops till Thurs. noon.  Have not missed any sleep yet.
Be seeing you before long.
Love to all

The things in the photo below were also in the tub, wrapped up in old newspaper.  I remember choosing these things to keep after Grandma died in 1974.  I think I recall them being on the dresser in her bedroom and the two on the left appear to be souvenirs from her trip west or perhaps gifts from her brothers out there.

The handcrafted piece below with the typewritten label "Made in British Columbia"  was always my favourite.  

The definition of a "keepsake" is something that one keeps because of the memories it calls to mind.  These keepsakes will go back to the Rubbermaid tub but the memories remain.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Whose Homestead Is It Anyway?

 A trip to the Manitoba Archives in Winnipeg this past summer turned up some fascinating documents about the homestead of my great grandfather James Sinclair.  He arrived in Canada  from Orkney, Scotland in 1883, following his Uncle James Garrioch (Garrick) to Blanshard Municipality.  He had worked in Winnipeg for a time until deciding to try his hand at farming.  In 1890, James married Elizabeth Henry and made a home for her son James and their own seven children who were born between 1891 and 1900. My grandmother Mary was the eldest of their children.

Uncle James Garrick had acquired 16-14-22- in 1877 from the Dominion Land Grants and it was later purchased by the nephew James.  The Oak River passes through this section and apparently was thought only suitable for stock so he looked nearby for crop land.  James Sinclair made homestead entry on the NW1/4 of 22-14-22 on October 11, 1887.  The next June he started to break the land and got logs for the house and stable.  On June 7, 1889, he built the house and stable and started to live there.  These specific details come from a letter found at the archives from an Edward Hunter written in January of 1893.  Hunter wrote this letter to Thomas Daly, Minister of the Interior in Ottawa, because of a disagreement over the Homestead Rights to this piece of land that seems to have begun with some wayward horses late in 1892.
Thomas Mayne Daly - photo from Wikipedia
According to Hunter, Sinclair came upon some horses in his stacks in the fall of 1892 and put them in "The Pound". Some of these animals belonged to a neighbour, John Hall Stewart who had to pay $24 in damages to Sinclair.  Stewart went on to sue Sinclair for $80 damages for impounding his stock illegally and when the suit was unsuccessful, he threatened to have the Sinclair homestead cancelled.  A letter was sent on December 14,1892 by John C. Reid, James McCance, Robert C. Stewart and R. Elliott to say Sinclair's homestead entry should be cancelled since he had never lived on the land nor was there even a residence there.   It was witnessed by the local Justice of the Peace, John Hall Stewart.  John Burr was granted homestead entry in early 1893 for NW 22-14-22 for $175.00 as the value of improvements assessed to the property was $130.00 with $40 in fees.  Some men claim in their affidavits that Stewart put Burr up to taking over this property as revenge over the quarrel.
John Hall Stewart - from Blanshard History Book 1959
A letter dated January 6, 1893 was written by Secretary-Treasurer of the Municipality, William Miller to Hon. T.M. Daly that includes the following evidence:
William Miller and his wife Mary from Blanshard History book 1959
There is a monstrous piece of injustice being perpetrated here just now.  A man by name of James Sinclair living on and owning the NW16-14-22 homesteaded the NW22-14-22 in the year 1887 four years ago has built a log house 14x17 and a stable 15x17 has under cultivation 51 acres and has lived on it  every season whilst making improvement harvesting the crop each succeeding  year leaving his house on the Monday morning and remaining until Saturday night before going home...the trouble is he impounded some horses belonging to one John Hall Stewart... Now Tom, I will take it as a particular favour if you will be so good as to see into the matter and not allow this injustice to take place and there can be a number of witnesses got to prove the truth of what I have said...
The archives file about NW 22-14-22 includes several letters including from Malcolm Turriff Real Estate and Insurance Agents from Rapid City (and James' brother-in-law), Alexander Peelar who swears to have plastered the Sinclair shanty in 1889 and again in 1891 and neighbours James Cleaver and John Carey who vouch for Sinclair.
James Little - Blanshard History Book 1959

James Little, Postmaster at Oak River also wrote a letter of support:
His improvements are house 15x17 feet, stable 15x17 feet and 51 acres broke and under cultivation, and all was in crop last season only 14 acres he summerfallowed.  Mr. Sinclair has lived 4 years on the said land, he has put in six months on it every year for 4 years past, which i can certify to myself being true and correct...
and ended it saying:
 Must say that it can be Moses that thus said Justice took false oaths.
The most amazing piece found in Winnipeg was a seven page handwritten letter from James Sinclair himself and the text is transcribed below.  If it is he who wrote it, he had beautiful handwriting but hardly a punctuation mark so I've added them to make it easier to read!

Oak River
May 30, 1893
To the Honorable TM Daly.
Dear Sir, The homestead Inspector has returned back the second time and after him telling me he has enough affidavits to satisfy him the first time I have now gave him eight more that has solemnly swore I lived on and slept on the homestead while doing my homestead duties.  The Inspector when he was round here the first time told me in my own house that he never cancelled nor valued the homestead so Burr could not have entry for it and now he acknowledges that he both valued and cancelled the place through the advise of J.H. Stewart when he was first here.  I have two witnesses to prove that he said he never cancelled it and now on his return I have two more witnesses to which he says he did cancel it and he says he could not see the summer fallow when he was there in the fall he just saw the stubble which is very strange thing to the as the land is all in a block and scarcely any snow lying on the ploughed land and how he missed seeing it if he was over.  There must be some under handed work going on between the Inspector and J.H. Stewart as it was in his house that he cancelled the place for there was lots of settlers nearer hand that this Inspector could have asked just as well as going about 5 miles from my homestead to J.H. Stewart for the information as that is where he cancelled the place by what Stewart told him.  Now Stewart threatened on the homestead when I impounded his horses last fall that he would make me sorry for that as he would take that place away from me that when he signed his name J.P. it went a long way with the Government. Now the Inspector has been told by all the people for 50 (?) miles around here that Stewart word is no good and his answer to thou that tell him is that is what every bods says. When I went to Minnedosa and put in my affidavits against the cancellation the Government agent told me in Minnedosa right in his own office that I have done my duties and my place could not be cancelled that I had possession and to keep possession. Those affidavits which I am now going to send in will correspond with what Mr. Hilliard said the affidavits which the Inspector says he could not get one of them first time he was here against me.  That was J.J. Elliott, Frank Stevens, W. Allen and the Inspector told me here on Saturday that he crossed out F. Stevens affidavit as he found out he was a noted liar.  Now J.J. Elliott got the straw off 50 acres of crop from me and because I refused to give him any more he turned round and swore against me him and I have not been good friends for several years he one time time sued me for a dollar and then his cattle got in my grain and I made him pay for it and he always keeps spite at me ever since and the affidavits that is going in will show W. Allen's cause.  Mr. C. Reid's cause for swearing against me is that I impounded his horses along with Stewart's and he wanted me to give the money back to him that I got from the pound keeper which I refused to do as his colts did as much damage as Stewart's according to the amount that he had.  As for Burr and his family they know nothing about the place for they are only about a year in the country.  This cancellation has put me to a great deal of expense and loss by hunting up witnesses and having to rent land off McFerguson at three dollars and acre with all my land lying idle now.

I can find plenty more affidavits which I could send but they are so far away men that had been working for me.  Now I will have to draw this to a close hoping you will give this a favourable consideration and grant me my land if it is your pleasure.
Yours truly,
J. Sinclair 
A final verdict is included in the file dated July 1893 to indicate Sinclair's claim was reinstated and his Homestead was again his own. the opinion of the Commissioner, the weight of the evidence lately obtained by Homestead Inspector de Balinhard, as well as previously on file, tends to show that Sinclair's entry was cancelled without sufficient cause and it is quite clear he should be reinstated.  
The paperwork was underway to have James Sinclair granted the Certificate of Recommendation for his Homestead by November of 1893 and it was farmed by descendants for the next 116 years.  I was glad to discover that the men buried the hatchet in later years.  In James' obituary in 1935, John Hall Stewart was named as one of his pallbearers.  

Now the only thing this story needs is a great ending and it has just that.  A great grandson of James Sinclair sold NW 22-14-22 to desendants John Hall Stewart in 2009.  How's that for a twist of irony?

Monday, 7 September 2015

The Mystery Family Photo

Milne Cousin Greg and his wife Donna Marie recently sent me a copy of an old photo that his sister's daughter had passed on to them.  It is one of those photos that has a familiar feel about it - they must be ancestors!  Six children - 4 girls and 2 boys presumably with their parents.  A great mystery to unravel!

Drawn to the boy standing between the adults, I see a resemblance to the picture below of my great grandfather, Alex Mi┼éne, taken on his wedding day in late 1897.  The Milne family would have been living In North-East Scotland at this time. 

Knowing what I think I do about his siblings from family records, census and ships records, my best guess is that this family group photo was taken in the summer of 1886.   The 1881 census finds them in Elgin and by 1891 they are in Botriphnie at the Moss of Newburgh.  

Far left - Margaret Edward "Maggie" Milne (later Chisholm) age 8
Mother - Ann Robertson Milne age 33
Tall girl in the back - Ann Milne (later Pirie) age 12
In front of her -  Alex age 10 (my great grandfather)
In front of him -  John Robertson Milne age 4
Father - John Milne age 32
Baby on his knee - Helen "Nellie" Milne (later Connon) born April 1885
Far right - Mary Jane "Mamie" Milne (later Duguid) - age 6

There are a couple of possible problems with these assumptions:

  1. Maggie is two years younger than Alex but appears taller in this photo.  Girls do grow faster than boys and she may have been standing on a hill?
  2. John Milne seems rather aged for 32 years old.  The beard and receding hairline make this man seem older than 32, at least by today's standards.
As Donna Marie said, the mystery may be solved by someone who sees this post having the same photo and knowing who is in it.  Please contact me with any ideas or theories!  

Family of William Simms and Agnes McAllister

In August of 2015, I made a  trip to the Ottawa area to visit my sister Janice and continue to gather information for the blog and the family tree. Both my grandfathers came west to Manitoba from the same small area of Ontario and this gave me the chance to visit the towns I've been writing about and appreciate just how close together these men, Alex Simms and Frank Kinnaird, lived at the turn of the century.  

We decided to retrace our steps from 23 years ago to the South Gower Cemetery.  Jan and I took a lot of steps before we found the stone of our Simms great grandparents this time, after walking right to it in 1992!
We were also warmly welcomed into the home of our second cousin David and his wife Carol.  Another second cousin Carol was there as well to share what she knew about the family.  We were fortunate to see the farm and home of William and Agnes Simms nearby. 

 I have now completed a blog post for all of my Grandpa Simms' siblings.  Links to their posts are below but more information and pictures on these ancestors are always welcome!
Family of William Simms and Agnes McAllister:
  • William Henry (1880 - 1945) married Mae Millar and had 5 children. He moved just across the U.S. border to Oswegatchie, New York and farmed there.
  • Mary Agnes (1884-1948) married Ezra Bryan and had 6 children.  They lived and farmed in the Mountain, ON area and many of their descendants remain there.
  • Alexander (1885-1941) , my grandfather, married Mary Sinclair after moving to Oak River, Manitoba  to farm and they had 6 children.
  • Jennie "Jean" (1887-1968) married a Swedish immigrant, Gustaf Rensta, and was a nurse in WW1.  They lived in Montreal in the 40's but died and are buried in Kelowna, BC.
  • Edith (1890-1930) married Erroll Murdock and had 5 children.  They lived in the Mountain area as well.
  • Ethel Martha (1893-1934) married James Edgar Scott and had one son.  They also lived near Mountain.
  • Eleda May (1895-1973)  did not marry but lived in the Ottawa area suburb Carp in 1945.  She came to Manitoba in the late 1950's to help when her sister-in-law Mary Simms was ill.
  • Cecil (1902-1975) lived at home and did not marry.

Cecil Earnest Simms (1902 - 1975)

The youngest member of the Simms family and brother to my grandfather Alexander was born on September 9th in 1902.  My grandfather was 20 years older than Cecil and he left for the west the year after Cecil was born.
The form below was downloaded from Family Search and seems to be a declaration made in 1930 by Agnes rather than a birth certificate.  It seems to have been filled in and signed by Robert Bryan, Justice of the Peace. Her first name is written with two s's and I have never seen it spelled that way.  I believe her maiden name is McAllister not McCallister as it's written here.
Regardless, Cecil Earnest Simms was the youngest son of William and Agnes.  His father died when he was 16 years old and although he had two older brothers, both were gone to find their own fortune and the home farm near Mountain would have been his responsibility.

It seems he was not successful at farming and the property and home was taken over by others.  A grandson of his sister Mary Simms Bryan is the present owner and took me to see the property and home.  Although it now has white siding and has had additions, the original red brick home is still standing where Cecil and his siblings were born and raised.  

Cecil remained a bachelor and died in 1975.  He is buried at South Gower Cemetery with his parents and sister Eleda.

Cecil Simms obit

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Mon, May 26, 1975 – Page 30

Eleda May Simms (1895 - 1973)

Eleda May Simms was the second youngest of eight children born to Irish immigrants William Simms and Agnes McAllister on January 25, 1895.   Her birth certificate online at Family Search indicates her given name was Lydia May but she known as Eleda.

I have not found evidence of her being trained as a nurse but I do know she was the family caretaker of her mother Agnes and others.
The only photo I have of her is on the far right in the above photo.  She seems to be in mid bite of a picnic sandwich.  Her nieces Doris and Gwen were visiting Ontario for the first and only time.  At this time, family records indicate she lived at Carp, Ontario which is west of Ottawa and home of the "Diefenbunker".  

The letter below was written by Eleda in 1941 to Mary upon the death of Mary's husband Alexander, Eleda's older brother.

Kemptville, Ont
Dec 15/41
Dear Mary & all
Received your telegram on Wednesday of Alex's death and was very sorry indeed.  We were waiting for better news but when one is called they must go.  You have our deepest sympathy and trust in God that you may be spared for many years to carry on and look after the family.  What was his trouble had be been sick very long  He will be where there is no suffering or pain.  We were shocked to hear of it so suddenly as Mother is not very strong.  She would have liked very much to have gone out and see you all but Mother was not strong enough to travel so far.  We have not even been to Montreal.  I wrote to them all and told them about Alex's death.
There is a great deal of sickness down here both young and old being called away very suddenly.  Was Doris teaching school.  I thought she told me Robert was called for 4 months training.  You will need him on the farm, he will be a great help.   Well please try and write and let us know all about him and take good care of yourself and God will look after you all.
Mother and Eleda
Eleda came to Manitoba to help with the house when my grandmother, Mary Sinclair Simms, was ill.  Aunt Dodie's diary from May 14, 1959 says:
Got telegram from Aunt Eleda and met her at the 12:15 train in Rivers.
Seven months later the December 17, 1959 entry:
Don and I took Aunt Eleda to meet train at Brandon.  Left at 8:28 am. 
Eleda died in 1973 at age 78. She is buried with her parents and younger brother Cecil in the South Gower Cemetery.

Ethel Martha Simms Scott (1893 - 1934)

Ethel was the sixth child and fourth daughter born to William Simms and Agnes McAllister.  She came into the world on July 15, 1893.

On June 30, 1915 Ethel married James Edgar Scott (1893-1942).  He was a 21 years old farmer and she was 22.  The marriage was performed at Saint Andrew Manse in Mountain by H.W. Clitte.  The above record was found in a book of transcribed records in Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.

The congregation of St. Andrew's Presbyterian South Mountain was dissolved in 1997.

The 1921 Canadian census showed Ethel with her husband James and one year old son Donnie as farmers in Mountain Township who own their own six room wood house.  Presbyterian is their declared religion.  Her brother-in-law Erroll Murdock is the enumerator on this document.

Ethel Scott died in 1934 and James in 1942.  Any further information or pictures about Ethel and her family would be most welcome!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

100 Years Ago Today

July 28, 1915

  • It was a Wednesday and the weather forecast for Winnipeg was fair and warm.
  • World War One had been raging for exactly one year and the Manitoba Free Press and Tribune listed on their front page the many local boys who were casualties, wounded or missing in action.
  • Other Headlines - Railways Prepare to Move Big Crops; Successful Fair at Regina is Promised; Portage Greets Premier Norris with Enthusiasm; Women's Reserve Corps is Formed
  • Advertisements from the Winnipeg Free Press:
Electric Fan Ad from July 28, 1915

Grafonola Ad - July 28, 1915

Eaton's Overseas Chocolates Ad from Jul;y 28, 1915

In my family, this day in history was the wedding day of my paternal grandparents, Alexander Simms and Mary Tait Sinclair.

The 1911 Census shows Alex working on the Sinclair farm north of Oak River.  The next year he took up farming himself south of the village on 10-13-22. Then on July 28 of 1915, they were married in Blanshard, likely at the home of her parents James and Elizabeth Sinclair.   There are no photos of the couple that I have seen except the one below, taken of them with their family on their 25th anniversary in 1940. 
Back row - Bob, Mary and Alex.  Middle - Doris and Gwennie  Front - Donald and Dorothy

Their legacy continues with grandchildren and great grandchildren carrying their genes and making their own contributions to the world.  

Monday, 27 July 2015

Road Trip - July 20, 2015

My cousin Rea took a group of us on a recent tour of some of the places important to our ancestors around Hargrave and Virden.  It was wonderful to see the places I've heard and wrote about during my research.

My grandparents, Frank and Frances Kinnaird lived in this home north of Hargrave.  It now sits near Lenore, facing south as it did on the farm.  It was moved several years ago and was added onto to make the beautiful farm home of the Hunter family.  Aunt Marge grew up here and recalls living in the downstairs portion of the house in the thirties and not using the second story, likely due to winter weather.  She slept in what we called the piano room at the west end with her parents and Uncle Keith was on a couch in the living room.  The window above the front door was originally coloured glass and Karen recalls a trunk with a plant on it always sat under that window.

This is the lone pine tree that marks the former farm yard of John and Christina Carruthers O'Neil, south of Hargrave.  The photo below is likely from the forties on this farm. The back of the original photo identifies May Kelly (a Carruthers connection) on top of the combine, John O'Neil with George and Ivans Reddons who were neighbours across the road.

 The O'Neil stone house is pictured above with J.J. and Christina and Frank Kinnaird to their left.

The pictures above are from a yard where my great grandparents Alexander and Jeannie Milne lived north of Hargrave. More pictures including how it looked in an aerial photo from 1959, are on a blog post about Jim Milne. The bottom left picture shows the two rows of trees that mark the location of the original lane up to the house.  Aunt Marge recalled the hollyhocks that used to grow and bloom in this yard, in the black and white photo above.

Hargrave School was the educational institution for 3 generations of the Kinnaird family along with many of their family and neighbours.  It was built in 1909 and remained in use until 1969.

The grounds are beautifully mowed and kept up as is the former stables for the school.
The bell is still in place.  Next was the short trip south to the Kinnaird farm.  I remember visiting my Grandma there in the 60's and early 70's but it seems so much bigger now. The aerial photo below dates from 1968.

Rea showed us the grain scoop that Grandpa Kinnaird would have used to move the grain before augers. He commented that it makes his back hurt just to think of all that labour to move grain from the cart to the granary.  Cousin Karen enjoyed the trip down memory lane too, recalling where Grandma lit smudges for the milk cows to keep the mosquitoes and black flies from biting.  
This is the lane looking west where the photo on the right may have been taken about 77 years later.

We had a look in Uncle Keith and Aunt Aida's former home in the farm yard.  It contains many treasures and wonderful memories!
Next on the tour was the farm home of cousin Lyle and his family, north in the Montgomery district.   This home was where Alex and Jeannie Milne lived when the 1921 census was taken.  It was later occupied by family friends Charlie and Bella Gardner and their daughter Violet, who was a special friend of Aunt Marge.  Below she is pictured on the right with Marjorie and little Margaret Kinnaird.

Rea had one more special stop to end the tour.  As we were driving along I commented about the neat hilly country ahead and his daughter Chelsey (who was in charge of the maps as our navigator) said, that's where we were going!  It was a beautiful piece of land that they call "28".  My Mom recalls going there to pick saskatoons but now there's a clearing on top of the hill that used to be a farmyard.
An old stone barn with one wall and window remaining.

A wonderful farm home on "28".  Rea told us there were 3 chimneys since each room upstairs had its own wood stove for heat.  An interesting thing about this yard is that it has no road or lane leading to it.  It's all cross country to get there.  The view from the yard is spectacular!

We left with a final look at some Kinnaird cows, who were looking for a treat.  Sorry girls!