In March of 1904 Mr. and Mrs. Sanford (Sam) Carlson came to the new village from Sweden via British Columbia. Sam became the section foreman, so they took up residence in the newly-constructed section house. They were expecting their first baby, and wished to be near the Medicine Hat Hospital. (The hospital in Medicine Hat began in 1885.)
Many a wayfarer spent the night and had meals in their house. There was nowhere else to secure accommodations. Homesteaders looked over their choice of land between trains, and this sometimes took a day or more, and miles of travel. Usually, they took the train back to their homes to collect their families and possessions before coming to homestead.
To satisfy the ever-increasing accommodation and transportation need, in 1909 the Carlsons had a restaurant and rooming house, and livery barn constructed. Clint and Sanford Campbell were the carpenters. What a need these buildings filled! The rooms were barely completed when they were occupied. Food was served at all hours of the day. Horses filled the stable and surrounding corral.
Mr. Carlson ran a taxi service with a horse-drawn buggy, taking people to their landsites before they filed for them. Then he had a horse-drawn dray to move freight from the railway to the stores and places of business, to draw ice from the creek to his icehouse, and haul tanks of water from the town well to village homes. He sold hay and feed. When possible to purchase a car, he bought one to use in his taxi business. He owned a farm and raised horses there. He sold horses to the homesteaders and years later, was known to take train carloads of them to Quebec. He was one of Seven Persons' most important people.
His wife, Marie, prepared meals for travellers for many years. Her immense cooking range seldom cooled down. There was a big kettle of soup, and a coffee pot kept constantly hot, for meals were served at any time that hungry customers arrived. The teachers and sometimes the elevator agents boarded with this couple. Her fine cooking was recalled over many years.
Their two daughters, Annie and Bertha, helped in the restaurant too. The Carlson personality was such that the restaurant became a social centre. "Let's meet at the Carlson's", was a congenial agreement. Many hours of Norwegian whist and other card games were enjoyed with this family.
Names of helpers at the restaurant were: Hanna Jorgenson, who later became Mrs. Gust Carlson, Minnie Biesterfeldt, Annie Boman, Ellen Nesting, Julia Edler, Violet McCormick, Marian Olson, Selma Flexhaug, Agnes Carlson.
Some of the early employees at the livery barn were: Ole Ulness, Lars Rud, Ben Rud, Carl Torgerson, Gust Carlson, Eric Swanson, Gust Boman, John Johnson, H. Felex, A. Strawbo, S. Johnson, Selmer Wenner and Dave Olson.
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