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Voices of the Past

Recorded stories about farming, agriculture and rural activities

 In the following audio recordings, listen to what others remember about
living, visiting or working on farms and in rural communities.

Provided by the Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS) - preserving family histories in Greater Victoria, BC, Canada

MARY SCOTT - Putting Food on the Table in the "Dirty 30s"

LOCATION ~ Brookside, Fairmede District, Saskatchewan, Canada
DURATION ~ 3:06 minutes

13 members of the Stutt family in a row
13 Stutts in  a row - lots of mouths to feed

Mary Scott (nee Stutt) talks about her younger years on the family farm in Saskatchewan which places these events prior to 1935 when the farm was sold off and the horses and equipment were auctioned. These were the years of the Great Depression during what was appropriate called the Dirty 30's.

In this story Mary recalls how her mother almost magically kept her home and her 14 children organized. The hardships faced by our ancestors are reflected here as Mary talks about how her father took grain 40 miles by horse and wagon to return home with 12 bags on newly ground flour ... less a bag for a less fortunate family.

In this recorded story, Mary is interviewed her son Merv Scott.

MARY SCOTT - Mother and Father Working the Farm

TIMEFRAME ~ circa 1930
LOCATION ~ Brookside, Fairmede District, Saskatchewan, Canada
DURATION ~ 7:37 minutes

Stutt family farmhouse in Saskatchewan
The Stutt farmhouse, Brookside SK

Before their marriage, Mary's mother trained as a seamstress and her father as a saddler, and both put these skills and others to good use on the farm.  Her mother designed and made dresses for herself and her girls, often reworking used clothing, recycling the fabrics, trim and buttons to good effect.  She taught her children to cook and everyone helped with the house chores.  At harvest time, she even helped out in the fields to get the crops in.  She lost her two oldest boys at ages 17 and 9, and they couldn't afford to hire other men for work.

Mary's father used his skills with leather to repair and resole the family shoes, harnesses and saddles.  He also like to invent tools to help reduce the labour, including a clever wood chipper (manually cranked).  He joined the North West Mounted Police and also fought in the Boar War where his saddler skills would have been appreciated.

On their isolated prairie farm, Mary remembers that everyone was kept busy and she doesn't remember any serious disagreements.  Everyone seemed to love and enjoy each other as friends as well as family.

Links to Other Related Stories

Also check out these additional stories from other theme pages, that also contain aspects of Rural Living:

MARY SCOTT - Christmas on the Farm