At 13, John ran away from Ireland to England. From there he stowed away on a cattle boat to Canada. When he was discovered, he worked to earn his passage until he arrived in Ontario. He soon found work with a stone mason and continued to work in this trade. He married his Mrs. in 1874 and had 4 children. One of their son’s passed away and the tender age of 7. In 1885 the family moved to Peotone, Illinois but came back to Canada in 1887.
John chose this piece of land to settle on and immediately began to build a home using wood hauled from the Turtle Mountains.
While John made money doing masonry work in the area, his son and wife broke 14 acres of land with an ox, horse and walking plow.
In 1897 a prairie wild fire threatened the homestead but Mrs. & her daughter were able to safe the home by dumping water on the grass all around the house. They did lose the barn, a bull, pigs and some chickens. John then built a stone barn with a sod roof.
In 1913 John was killed when he was ran over by a pony on the streets in Waskada, MB. The family moved away from the farm for a couple years while William learned the ins and outs of farming from his uncle. William, his mother and sister, Annie moved back in 1916. In 1935 Mrs. and her daughter Annie moved back to town. There Mrs. spent hours quilting for her grandchildren as well as carding wool and spinning it into yarn to make mitts for her family & friends. Mrs. passed away in 1941 at the young age of 81 years. At that time Annie moved back in with her brother but passed away 13 years later.
The family has said that this was a place where many memories were made. At one time there were 27 people on the farm for a whole week where they slept on the floor and even in the barn loft.
Cade spotted this farmstead on our tour of the far Southwest corner of the province last April. The sky was amazing, the weather was beautiful. These photos were taken from the road and were not on our to see list.