So, you want to be a pioneer?

By Sandra L. Brown

August 16, 2017 3:23 PM

Could you let horses set the tempo for your life?  Stopping when they need to rest makes for a natural break in the daily routine for a pioneer. 
Underneath the warm sun, the fuzzy tops of prairie grass wave gently in the warm breeze.
This deception of a gentle pioneer life on the western Prairies creates an illusion as carving an existence out of the untamed land was anything but gentle. 
There was a fragile innocence seen in the Prairie land with its promises of bountiful harvests. 
It was a challenge which most of the early pioneers relentlessly stood up to. 
We can learn a lot from their example; these folks who left a rich legacy while “rising up to the challenge” in the early 1900s.
The Barr Colonists left England behind with promises of “wheat as high as a man” and “an agreeable climate” echoing in their hopeful ears. 
Traditions were not left behind and became a vital part of their new life as they set down Prairie roots. 
Their stories exemplify true British spirit; a fine example for future generations to build on.
Would you be able to rise early with the sun or at times before it appeared in the ebony sky to tend to livestock and other morning chores? 
Folks regularly went to bed early perhaps after reading by the soft glow of an oil lamp or gazing at the distant stars while listening to the sounds of nature settling in for the night. 
Nature provided its own form of entertainment with its colorful sunsets, haunting howls of coyotes calling to one another and the rustling sounds of creatures moving under the protection of nightfall.
How would you feel about the astonishing introduction of automobiles powered by gasoline? 
Do you think you would have been one of the first farmers in the Lloydminster area to purchase a tractor to plow your fields and increase production? 
When the “iron horse” arrived on the newly laid rails in 1905 bringing with it lower prices on merchandise for the general store, an increase in settlers with its flourish of rising steam; would you have been excited and wear your Sunday outfit to greet the arrival of the first train long before it was expected?
Could you have succeeded in your chosen profession and not only live in an early settlement but also contribute greatly to its growth? 
The early settlers gave us folks a myriad of examples to learn from.
Perseverance of character came from their strong faith and church fellowship. 
The Barr Colony Log Church, built by their own hands with families donating logs for its construction in 1904 still proudly stands. 
Though somewhat aged and in need of conservation, this structure is compelling proof of the Barr Colonists’ vision for a long lasting community.
Our pioneers stood together as a resilient community with a shared purpose. 
There was and still is strength in leaning on each other.  Building on each other’s strengths, they exemplified a willingness to learn from one another. 
Sharing in the good times, as well as lending a neighborly hand through hardship built an overall integrity for our spirited community. 
Folks saw the positive benefits of recreation; allowing for leisure time including sports and social activities. 
Would you have the courage and conviction to question how things were done and lead by example? 
Often written about in the Lloydminster Times newspaper, petitions presented to town council were popular in the Lloydminster settlement to encourage change. 
Naturally, they weren’t always successful in bringing about change but got the majority of folks talking about specific topics which led to a better understanding and appreciation of each other’s diverse opinions.
Simple rhythms of pioneer life with dreams of the old country remain but a memory. 
There is something intriguing about Lloydminster’s history which lends itself to be renewed. 
We can experience a glimpse of what their life was like by visiting the local museum with its pioneer artifacts and learning first-hand how they lived. 
I feel it is an important tribute to walk in their tracks and a genuine mark of community respect. 
And yes, I would have made a great pioneer!

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