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Michael and Sophie Kaminski

Water Works Wonders
A History of the White, Wilson, McMahon,
River Junction School Districts Pages 352 - 353
by Ted Kaminski

Michael and Sophie Kaminski immigrated to Canada in 1930 bringing their oldest son who was one year old at the time, with them. They, like so many others, came looking for the land of great opportunities, only to find the great depression instead.

Because they were newcomers, they were not entitled to Government Relief, and would have been deported, however due to Mom's (Mrs. Kaminski's) poor health, the doctor felt she would not survive the long boat ride back, and they were allowed to stay.

They settled and resided in Lethbridge till the spring of 1941, when they purchased a forty acre parcel of land one mile west of the White School. By this time, besides the oldest son age eleven, the family had grown by five more.

Farming the forty acres started out with one horse and the help of some neighbours in the beginning, and as time went on, machinery was bought, first a Farmall A tractor with a beet cultivator, etc. Then in 1946, Dad purchased a new 1946 Chev two ton, and in time other farm equipment such as a beet seeder, a horse drawn mowing machine, a grain drill and I believe in 1949, a new Farmall H Tractor. Other equipment was purchased such as a hand-move sprinkler and pump.

The farming consisted of various crops, sugar beets, hay, grain, and some vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, potatoes, and anything else that might make a dollar. The farm also raised hogs, and chickens. We milked cows and shipped cream to the dairies in Lethbridge, feeding the skim milk to baby calves, pigs, or chickens. The old saying about shipping cream to the dairy I quote, "Never be vory, tommoro come cream cheque.

Then in 1949, my parents purchased a quarter section of land in the Iron Springs area. Dad used to spend a lot of time there farming, basically growing sugar beets, grain, and potatoes. He also started a cattle herd. It was in late 1949 that Dad took sick and was diagnosed as having lung cancer, and on May 5, 1950 he passed away at home in the White School (now McNally) district.

After the passing of our Dad, Mom and the family carried on with the farming, etc. A lot of the work was done by hand, such as harvesting sugar beets, picking beans, potatoes, or whatever else was grown. Many sugar beets were loaded by hand, many long hours spent topping sugar beets by kerosene lantern light, (even till three a.m. in the morning), and covering the piles of sugar beets so they wouldn't freeze.

In 1955 a quarter was purchased in the Broxbum area. Mom, and two sons farmed for a number of years.

Mom retired to Lethbridge in 1966 and lived there till her passing in July of 1979.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup