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Life as a Pioneer Canadian in the 1860’s
Transcript of Life as a Pioneer Canadian in the 1860’s
I n the 1860’s the people did not always have a good life unless they were royal or had lots of money. I am going to start by explaining how a Canadian Pioneer lived and how they lived then is different from how we live now.
The first settlers had to clear land in order to build their homes and farms. They had to provide their own food and clothing. A family's survival required undertaking a wide range of daily tasks in order to meet their farm and household needs. In order for a family to succeed, it was necessary for each member of the family to contribute. Pioneer life revolved around providing the basic necessities of existence in a northern wilderness - food, shelter, fuel and clothing.
Pioneers faced the difficult task of building homes and communities from the ground up. A settler's first house was typically a one-room structure made of logs, fieldstone, spruce poles or prairie sod. Furniture would often be homemade. Also homemade were the cloth for blankets and clothing; carpets to cover unplanned wood floors; pails and children's toys.
The kitchen with its fireplace was probably the most important room in the house. Often it was the only room in the house The floors were made of dirt.Tables were made from planks and there were benches or stools instead of chairs.
The first settlers ventured on only those areas that were accessible by water and boats. Settlement in much of Canada followed the construction of railway lines. Today we travel with air Planes and cars, but it wasn’t as easy to travel when you were a pioneer in the 1860’s. Railways have always been important in Canada. They were built to open new areas for settlement.
They didn’t have the same jobs in the 1860’ as they do now there were fewer choices of jobs then. I will list some jobs and tell you a little about the job and what it was like.
Farmers-Hay is a mixture of many grasses and other plants. To the farmer, hay is a very important plant. For the most part hay is used for livestock feed. Horses, cattle, hogs and sheep use hay for food. The earliest mower was the horse-rake. It was a toothed sickle, which moved rapidly back and forth on a frame and was pulled by a horse. The revolving horse-rake replaced about six people with hand rakes.
Blacksmith-A blacksmith's most important function was to make tools - for him and other craftsmen. In an age of horse-drawn vehicles he also shod horses and made, fitted and repaired the parts of a wide variety of wagons, carriages, sleighs, and agricultural implements.
Soldier-he life of a soldier in the 1860's was difficult and for the thousands of young Americans who left home to fight for their cause, it was an experience none of them would ever forget. Military service meant many months away from home and loved ones, long hours of drill, often inadequate food or shelter, disease, and many days spent marching on hot, dusty roads or in a driving rainstorm burdened with everything a man needed to be a soldier as well as baggage enough to make his life as comfortable as possible. There were long stretches of boredom in camp interspersed with moments of sheer terror experienced on the battlefield. For these civilians turned soldiers, it was very difficult to get used to the rigors and demands of army life.
In the 1860’s Canadian settlers didn’t have a social life like we do now, they didn’t have computers that they could go and find friends it was different then. They communicated with people by sending mail. Or with a telegraph,
Diet and food:
There were no grocery stores or supermarkets for the pioneers. They had to provide food for themselves. They hunted and trapped animals, caught fish in the rivers and lakes, and gathered herbs, roots and berries from the forest. The rest of the food came from their fields, gardens and farmyards. They grew fruits, vegetables, and grains and raised pigs, cows, chickens, ducks, and goats.
THEY WOULD EAT-
-corn and oat meal
-milk, cheese, and butter
Spring & Summer
-fresh greens such as dandelion leaves
-fish and eels
-fresh vegetables (grown in home gardens)
Fall & Winter
-wild geese, partridge, chicken and turkeys
-preserved meat from livestock ( salt pork, sausages, smoked ham)
-root vegetables (carrots, onions, potatoes - stored in root cellar)