|I braved the weather this morning & walked to the Western Development Museum which is about a kilometre away but had to hurry home because rain was threatening & just got back in time. The rain hasn’t been heavy but the sky’s still very dark. At least the wind has dropped but according to the news, there’s the possibility of thunderstorms or even tornados later today. Nothing boring about Saskatchewan’s weather!
According to the local news there were wind gusts of over 100 kph yesterday so I wasn’t exaggerating about how difficult it was to keep the motorhome on the road at times.
The Western Development Museum has 4 branches in different towns & each branch focuses on a different aspect. The museum here at Yorkton presents “The Story of People” & was all about how people got here, where they came from, what they brought with them & why they came.
I had the place to myself for the whole morning, which I always love. Potential settlers were offered 160 acres of land for a registration fee of $10. All they had to do was live on it for 3 years & do the necessary cultivation & the land was theirs. People living on a few acres or in crowded cities jumped at the chance & came from Eastern Canada, the US, Britain & Europe.
Most of them came by ship & then by rail to the West which is the main reason Canada’s first Prime Minister John Macdonald forged the plan to have the railway link the new nation from east to west.
There seems to be a strong Ukrainian influence here in Yorkton but the story of the German settlements is even more interesting. In 1783, Catherine the Great of Russia issued a decree throughout all Europe that immigrants to Russia would be granted free land & exemption from military service. Her offer attracted people from Western Germany & these German Catholic colonies in Russia prospered until the 1870s when the Tsar withdrew these privileges & forced many of them to see Canada as a place to continue farming in peace.
The weather cleared a bit after lunch so I unhooked the motorhome (it took less than 10 minutes) & drove into town. I found a nail salon & was able to get the SNS polish off my nails although it took forever. They don’t seem to have the same system here & she spent about 45 minutes grinding it off.
By the time I’d finished there it was raining again but the motorhome was parked next to a supermarket so I did my shopping anyway. Of course, as soon as I got back here, the rain cleared & it’s been fine ever since but I’ve booked in for another night anyway because there’s still things to see.