Thursday, 30 March 2017

Canadian Story of Peter Deans Rae

Although not a relative, the story of Peter Rae has emerged from a comment on this blog.  On the post from 3 years ago for my grandfather Alexander Simms, I recently received the following comment from Google user Pamaga:
My great uncle Peter Deans Rae had a wheat farm at Oak River, Manitoba. He emigrated from Scotland aged 19 in 1910 and ended up with the farm. He came back to Scotland in the 1960s and lived with my grandparents until his death. Thank you for sharing your photographs. I have only one of Pete in his time there. He is in a farm truck with one of his neighbours. I wonder if he knew your family?
The name rung a bell with me and I went searching through the old pictures that had belonged to my Great Aunt Lizzie Sinclair Morcom and her husband Jack.  My Aunt Dodie had gone through the pictures years ago and wrote names on the back for the people she knew and on this postcard, she had written Pete Rae (r).  The man on the left is unknown.  It appears to be a studio photo in front of a backdrop and this blog says using cars as props was popular in the 1910's - 20's.

In talking to my Dad, he recalled that Pete had a half section farm 1 mile west of Oak River and a half mile north off 24 highway.  He also remembers combining for him a couple of years in the 1950's.  I took a picture of this farm today from the highway (below), the grain bins being put there by subsequent owners, Doyle and Lynda Baily. The view of the old Rae farm from Google Street View from the highway is here at this link. 

Another look through my pictures turned up another neat old postcard of Pete Rae and I am assuming Jim was his brother.  The strange attire they are wearing was answered on Google by researching "vintage wooly chaps". They became popular with cowboys in the late 1800's especially during cold and wet weather. They were made in a wide variety of furs and wool including bear, sheep, cow and buffalo but the most prized was Angora goat fur. These chaps were worn by not only cowboys but Wild West performers who loved how "showy" they were.


A similar log cabin background can be seen online in this postcard that is listed for sale for $20! These would have been souvenir postcards that may have been sent back to family and friends in Scotland and the Morcoms were neighbours and must have been Oak River friends to receive them as well. I imagine that photo studios in cities like Winnipeg and Calgary would have been the setting for these postcards.
Pete's story is continued here:

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