W7537 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from William Scott
Lost Mountain Valley,
Strassburg, P.O. Assn.
North West District
Jul 28 1905
To: Calvin McQuesten Gregory, Muskoka
Just a few lines to tell you about the work in Lost Mtn. mission field. It has been rather different but on the whole I have had a very decent time. This Field is situated east and north of Lost Mtn's Assn. Bob D. has the southern part of Jamieson's old field in the other side of the mountain. A fellow by the name of McLean has the northern portion which lies directly west of mine. I have not seen either Bob or this other man since we came up but hope to see them soon.
This is a very new community; it is not more than 15 months since the oldest settler came in and put up his sod shack. Since that time there has been a steady stream of emigration consisting of Canadians, Yankees, Scotch, English, Irish and Swedes. The country is all a rolling prairie with a few bluffs at intervals. The soil is a dark loam and promises to be good for producing wheat. All the crops which have been put in this year look well and if escapes rust and frosts the people will have a good sample of No.1 hard wheat.
Nearly all the homesteads have been filed upon, tho' all the settlers have not yet come in. The odd sections belong to a Company and are sold at $9.10 per acre. No settlers are in these yet but I have heard that a colony from Iowa will come in next summer to take these up. If that is the case this will be practically a settlement of Americans. At present the English predominate in point of numbers but not in ability to farm. They are very slow to adapt to conditions in the west, generally going through their money at the outset without much to show for it. The majority of the settlers are new to farming and like me are having their first experiences with indifferent success. All classes are scattered over this prairie, butchers, bakers, carpenters, engineers, school teachers, bank clerks, merchants, a lace designer, a glove maker etc, etc.
We even have a Scotch artist who has been painting the Indians and bronchos, and evidently does a little farming. He is especially clever at painting horses and can represent the wicked little bronchos in canvas perfectly.
As we have the field organized at present, services are held at three different places, the outlying points some 16 or 17 minutes apart. I hold all three weekly at private homes. There is neither school nor P.O. at present, but the people have been busy organizing se [sic] into municipalities and school districts and hope to have some of these luxuries of civilized life before long. The nearest P.O. is 18 miles away and nearest railway point [ ] has been [ ] 42 miles from present headquarters. The Kinsella[sp?] branch of the C.P.R. is then not far and thrusting on and trains will be running on this line very shortly.
This is undoubtedly one of the best settlements in W. Canada. The people are a affluent class. We have had several picnics in order that people may get acquainted at such times there isn't a trace of rowdyism but perfect order and a good hearty time. We are not without missionaries and consequently great assistance is given to services. I have secured an organist a young fellow who was an organist for a congregation of 200 in London, England. We also have a soloist from a large church in Birmingham and a number of others who know a good deal about music. Will be glad to hear from you before the end of September. Tell me all about your field and Students' Conference.
N. W. D. [North West District]1
1 We have been unable to locate precisely, however there was a Strassburg Post Office in Saskatchewan in 1906, see Census at www.afhs.ab.ca/data/census/1906/ saskatchewan/12/sk_12_32a_all_jensen.pdf -