Things to Consider

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Okay, one last look at the Depression era – after all, we did create a whole exhibit about this a few years ago, so we might as well share more of it with you! Right?

Just like the photos we examined a while ago (check that out here, if you missed it), brief newspaper articles can also give us some clues about bigger events and lead us to many things to think about. Here are a few examples:

Creston Review, 24 August 1933

Even though it describes only one group of people (and they might be the ones shown in the photo at the top of the page, of caravans going through Boswell), this little article creates a lot of images and ideas!

  • Are these travellers rich or poor? How do you know?
  • What was happening in southern Saskatchewan? Why were they leaving it?
  • Why were the cows thin? What does the newspaper mean when it says “the meagre rations they had been accustomed to?”
  • Where does the term “Bennett underwear” come from? What does it mean?
  • Would you want to wear underwear made from flour sacks? why or why not?

And, most of all, why were these people going to Creston, of all the places they could have chosen? Why did they decide to make a journey of hundreds and hundreds of miles in horribly hot, dry weather?

Another little article might give us a little clue:

Creston Review, 17 March 1933

How big a deal was fruit to the Creston Valley? How much of it did we have? Here’s a hint:

Creston Review, 9 November 1934

There was so much fruit being grown in the Creston Valley, farmers were actually giving it away! To be sure, with no money around, people couldn’t afford to buy it, so the farmers probably preferred to send it to Saskatchewan to help people there, rather than have it rot on their trees. But it was carloads of fruit like this one that probably helped that caravan of people in the first article decide to come to Creston.

But let’s go back to the farm-trade article for a minute. It’s easy to see why someone in Saskatchewan would want a farm in Creston. But if you had a fruit farm here, would you be willing to trade it for a farm in Saskatchewan? Why or why not? if you answered no, does that tell you anything about how desperate people were in Saskatchewan?

That’s a bit of a look at the Great Depression in Creston, with a glance at it in Saskatchewan. Where was your family living during the 1930s? What impact did the Depression have on them and their community? Do you have any family stories to share?

Tell us in the comments!