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.
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
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: