A pioneer’s ingenuity: getting by during the Depression

Garnet Mclean and his wife moved to their homestead one mile north of Withrow in west-central Alberta in 1909.

The homestead was 160 acres of poplar trees along with the occasional willow bush. It was all cleared by hand with an ax and a grub hoe during the next 30 years.

The family consisted of two boys and a girl, with the older boy joining the Canadian armed forces in 1941.

It was impressive how Mclean improvised while fixing the wheel on his seed drill. Note how he used an old mower wheel, shaped wood around it and wrapped it with wire.

Information for this article came from the Hoof Prints to Highways history book from Leslie Ville, Alta.

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