The combination of the fur trade, railroad and offerings of 'Free Land' opened up the Canadian West. I won't go into the fact that it was not actually 'Free Land' as this country was already claimed; I will save that discussion for another post.
From all over the world pioneer women came with their husbands and their fathers and brothers to this country and faced many challenges we can hardly imagine. The indigenous peoples had already been facing these same challenges for centuries, but still I sympathize with these men & women!
My mother tells the story of how in the very early 1900's, my great-grandfather travelled by rail from southern Ontario to survey the 'new frontier', with the hopes of possibly settling there with his new bride. He returned and announced that they would not be relocating to the west, as it was at this point 'no place for a lady'. One hundred years later and I now reside in that once forsaken land!
This cookbook was put out by the Edmonton Historical Society in 1995, and contains a sampler of anecdotes and recipes featuring women (born between 1850-1930) from numerous countries, including Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Poland, Ukraine, Hong Kong and USA. This information has been passed on by their families through daughters and granddaughters, diaries and letters written home.
A total of 112 women are featured; I have posted a sampling of 5 below. There is a They Came part 2 currently in the works. Living the spoiled life I do, with the many conveniences I enjoy & have come to expect, I can't help but have great admiration for these courageous women.
(Click on each photo for the expanded version)