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The region in western Canada that would become Alberta was the last province to be settled by immigrants because it offered unique challenges of climate and isolation.
When the settlers did arrive they were often not aware of the physical isolation which they would encounter in Alberta, the harsh weather conditions, and the amount of hard work required simply to survive the first few winters. The virtues of the Alberta prairies had been painted in such glowing colours by immigration agents that people were led to believe that. The reality was frequently different, especially for the early German settlers in the southeast corner of the province. In the following four excerpts from the family histories of German-speaking immigrants, the homesteaders raise many issues which can be encountered repeatedly in the local and family histories of Alberta, and which may therefore be considered characteristic of the process of psychological separation from the old country and acculturation to the new.
Among these issues are the following: although many settlers were glad to leave dusty, old Europe behind, there was—mixed with the eager Alberta of a better future—a sense of loss of what had been held dear for many generations.
The immigrants really had no idea where they were going, nor how far removed from the rest of the world this virgin land of milk and honey was going to be. Only after they had arrived on this continent did the realization set in that Canada was indeed a foreign country with a new language and a new set of customs and values to be acquired. Furthermore, not all immigrants were poor: many settlers had left relatively comfortable homes behind in Europe. Small wonder then that some women, upon arriving at their home-to-be, often just sat down and cried.
To be Naked women in Tomahawk, there was ready willingness to change and adapt, but the Naked women in Tomahawk, especially in the far-flung rural settlements, stuck together and were always happy to meet other settlers in the village or the church with whom they could speak German, with whom they could share the stories of their pasts and apprehension about their futures.
These men and women often were people without a country—not yet acculturated to Canada, but unable to return "home. In his reminiscences, Fred Doll, son of a German-speaking old-timer from southern Russia, talks about leaving his farm and coming to Waterhole, a tiny hamlet near Fairview:. It was on a warm day in June in the village of Sebastianfeld in Southern Russia, near the Black Sea, when my father came home from the village office where he served as a councillor. Among the mail he brought home that day was a letter It was from a friend of my parents who had emigrated a few years earlier to America.
My father said to mother, "I think, Maryann, we should emigrate to America. Finally it was decided that the two oldest boys of the family, brother Joseph with his wife Rosa and baby Monica and brother Frank, were to leave for America in the Fall and report home their findings.
Almost a month later the first letter arrived from our world travellers and to our dismay it was all but enthusiastic. In his next letter, brother Joe described their arrival at Estavan [sic], Saskatchewan and their impression of the new country. It was around this time our emigrants made the dismal discovery that in this new land called Canada just about everyone spoke English. Besides our family there was my father's Alberta brother, Uncle Frank and his wife Aunt Thekla with their family of five and their hired man, a Russian by the name of Conrad, were in our party to emigrate to America.
Eventually we arrived in Bremen where we had to stay a few days before boarding the ship A train took us to the dock where the huge steamship S. Kaiser William II was anchored. The brass band on the steamer played the sad wanderer wails as only the Germans can play them:.
Muss i denn, muss i denn zum staedele naus. Must I leave, must I leave my little home town, Little home town, and you, my darling stays here. Now, adieu, my dear homeland, dear homeland, adieu, We are leaving for a far away strange land, Dear homeland, adieu. Everyone was happy when we saw wheat and oats Naked women in Tomahawk cornfields again near Winnipeg.
The scenery was very much the same as the steppes of southern Russia. A short time later a man stepped up on the platform and asked my father if we were the family of Joe Doll. He had been instructed by his brother to meet us when we arrived and direct us to two little houses which he had rented for us. We asked ourselves, "Where is this Peace River country? But as time passed, the newcomers were gradually introduced to Canadian farm life. They met Naked women in Tomahawk people of German origin with whom they became close friends, and going to church they met many people who seemed happy and content with their lot.
The oppressive sense of distance and isolation is evident in another homesteader's recollections who had grown up in Ladysmith, Quebec and would be among the first German women to settle in Alberta:. Everything was new to me, I had not been on a train since the trip from Germany. We had to stop over Sunday in Winnipeg as trains did at that time not run on a Sunday.
We went up to our room in the hotel. I threw myself on the bed and cried as I had never cried before. We left Winnipeg on Monday morning and got to Medicine Hat and from there on, a little narrow gauge called turkey train took us to Lethbridge, and on that train people were on the lookout for a glimpse of the Rocky Mountains. On the same train was a Methodist minister He asked me where I was going. I said Pincher Creek. At Lethbridge my husband's partner or friend was waiting for us with a wagon and four horse team. After making some purchases the next day, we started for the mile drive to Pincher Creek in a lumber wagon.
It was a long lonesome drive and as far as the eye could see it was prairie and nothing but prairie and lovely little creeks and rivers which we had to ford. Fort Macleod was a dry stony little place and looked forlorn enough, and here the wind started to blow. I had hard work hanging on to my hat as it had no elastic, for where I came from, there was no wind Well, we reached home It was a pleasing sight, to be sure. The people who had been keeping house during my husband's absence moved out the next day, and I started to clean up the house and whitewash it.
By the way, the house was the usual one-roomed shack with no stairs to climb and only one door. After I got through with the house it looked a good deal better, and as I had a lot of little nicknacks it began to look quite comfortable. Well, bit by bit, I learned things. I milked the cows, fed the pigs, and we bought some chickens. But it was lonely. If it had not been for the work that I had to do, I think I would have gone crazy.
We came from a fairly large townaccording to Alberta standards, with many fruit bearing trees, beautiful flowers, clean and well-kept houses and yards. I remember well the impression my sister and I had upon arrival at my father's house. Our shock was immense and almost unbearable. As we stood in the yard and observed this vast open prairie, where the naked eye could see for miles in Naked women in Tomahawk direction, we looked at each other and broke down crying for the things we had left behind. They spoke German and were very happy when some of the English speaking neighbors could speak German.
They were all willing to learn the language and customs and adapted readily. This was home now. Determining who is "German", is of "German origin", or has a "German heritage" in a country founded by generations of immigrants from many regions is notoriously difficult for an extended discussion of the difficulties involved defining who or what is "German". The current presentation means any "speaker of German" when it refers to "the Germans," which includes, of course, the Swiss, the Austrians, the Hutterites, the Russian-Germans, and many other groups.
What about persons who had emigrated first to the U. Canadians of "German origin" from, say, 19th century Ontario e. It is obviously indefensible to subsume them under the "German" rubric. At best, one can Alberta that their heritage was rooted in the German ethnic group. Naked women in Tomahawk the following, for example:. In effect, his father was Canada's first Mountie. His father came to Canada in Griesbach's many accomplishments included distinction in military and civilian life and election as mayor of Edmonton in when he was just 28 years old.
He was also commissioned as a lieutenant in the 19th Alberta Dragoons. When the Great War broke out inthe 19th Dragoons volunteered as a unit and Griesbach was among the first to offer his services. He was heavily decorated for his services. Inhe was appointed to the Canadian Senate - a post he held until his death. He died on January 21st, William H. After his retirement he settled in the Pincher Creek area.
Nicholas D. He received his law degree from the University of Toronto.
After moving to Winnipeg in where he practiced law, he entered the Catholic Church, briefly edited the Catholic weekly, the Northwest Reviewand represented St. Boniface on the Senate of the University of Manitoba. In he moved to Calgary, then to Edmonton in Here he became Crown Prosecutor as well as City Solicitor, a position he maintained until his appointment to the bench in From to he also headed the emerging Edmonton Catholic School Board. In he was retained by the Dominion Government to advise on Naked women in Tomahawk Autonomy Bills for Alberta and Saskatchewan, especially the educational clauses.
Beck was Chancellor of the University of Alberta from until his death two years later. Other Canadians with varying degree of German ancestry who lived and worked in Alberta around the turn of the century were: Dr.Naked women in Tomahawk, Alberta
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