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Ernest William Long and
Annabell McKenzie Long

Pinepound Reflections - A History of
Spring Coulee and District pages 274 - 275
by Annabell and Lois Long

Ernest Long - Born December 6, 1899 - Finley, North Dakota.

Moved to Spokane Washington when he was a small boy. H.A. Long (Hort), Ernest's father, had the first Ford dealership in Spokane. In 1918, Hort decided his boys should become farmers, so he moved his family up to Canada and settled in the Cardston area. He then moved to a farm in Spring Coulee, which is now owned by Ruth (Long)Jenson. The original farm buildings were located on the bank of the St. Mary's River, in the park area at the bottom of the St. Mary's Dam. A few trees still remain. The farm was purchased from Congressman Nelson (often called Senator Nelson), who was Mrs. Paul Boettcher's uncle.

When Ernest and Annabell got married, Hort purchased a farm near Woolford, where he lived until he retired and moved to Cardston. Ken started to farm the home place.

Ernest and Annabell first bought a farm across from Steels Crossing with the help of his dad. Hort signed up for irrigation and then sold the farm. Hort purchased another farm known as "Old Sandy", near Raley, and moved the newlyweds there. Here they suffered for 12 long years, barely scraping through. Ernest and his brother Roy would hunt coyotes with their hounds to make extra money to subsidize the farm income.

Ernest got up enough courage in 1938 and bought the present farm. At the time Ernest could not see his way clear to purchase the whole Smith and Over farm, so he asked Jack McKenzie if he would buy half, which was agreed upon. They lived there until he retired in 1956, when they moved to Lethbridge. He continued to farm a small portion of the farm until he was 65.

Ernest was an active member of the Spring Coulee United Church, serving as an Elder, Secretary Treasurer, leader of the adult bible study group, and sang in the choir for many years. At special times, such as Christmas and Easter, the three congregations of Magrath, Spring Coulee and Raymond would put together cantatas, he would always participate. He was also a member of the Sunday Night Club. His brother Ken and he would sing for many special occasions and were requested to sing at most funerals.

He played baseball and basketball in his younger years for Cardston. He played short stop for the Coulee team until he felt the younger men could do a better job. He became catcher when he was approximately 48 years old and caught until he was approximately 52. He umped for another couple of years. He was Secretary Treasurer for the R.E.A. from approximately 1950 to 1980. He was a Mason from 1955 until his passing. At the age of 60, he suffered a serious heart attack, which forced him to slow down and re-adjust his life style. He lived to the ripe old age of 90.

Annabell Long - Nee McKenzie - born May 1 1906 - Badeck, Nova Scotia.

Her parents moved to Diamond City in 1910. Her dad, Duncan, heard of the rich gold strike in B.C.. He went to seek his fortune with several other men. Some time later word was received that he had passed away. Left to mourn him was his wife Sadie, and two children - Annabell and Grant. Sadie cooked for the miners to provide the basics for her family.

She married Charlie Wilson, a machine operator in the mines. Two children were born in this union, Violet and Mildred. Mildred died when she was 6 from Typhoid fever. During the next few years the family moved many times, to Commerce, Coalhurst, Drumheller, one summer to Vancouver and one summer to Naramatta. The family split in 1923.

Annabell was living at Reg and Rose Berth's in Lethbridge going to grade 10. Annabell told her mother she would help the family as much as she could. She went to the unemployment office and got a job working for Mr. & Mrs. George Ross at the Ross ranch at Milk River.

Sadie went to work for Mr. Thies - Woody Anderson's uncle. Mrs Christine Thompson - nee McKenzie - related to Sadie and Johnny Thompson (somehow), owned the hotel in Spring Coulee. At this time the Coulee was the end of the railroad. The hotel was a very busy place. Besides keeping rooms, making meals, they also sold pop, candy and ice cream. Christine rented the hotel to Sadie. Sadie brought her children to live with her in the hotel. Annabell helped her full time while Vi and Grant continued to go to school. From here Sadie moved to Calgary, and then to Vancouver where she resided until she passed away in 1950. Vi became a teacher, married Harry Evans and had 2 children. She passed away in 1976. Grant moved to Vancouver, married and passed away in 1972 leaving no children.

Sadie had a small shed at the back of the property from which she sold pop and chocolate bars to the baseball players and fans whenever there was a game. This is where Annabell met Ernest, while she was looking after business for her mother. They were married March 27 1926.

They bought the farm at Steel's Crossing with the help of Hort Long. A son was born here. Times were tough, the only money they had was what she earned on the cookcar. In spring they were moved to Old Sandy. Years later the decision was made to buy another farm. This was a big step in their lives. In 1938 (tail end of the depression) brought bright and new beginnings. The purchase of a farm, a new car, and a new baby daughter. It was really a miracle for those days.

Annabell participated in the Ladies Aid and the Women's Institute. She taught Sunday School.

During World War Two, she knitted sweaters and socks for the soldiers. In 1955, when Dr. Scott came to the Coulee, as minister of the United Church, he taught the interested ladies how to weave. She became an avid weaver and continued after she moved to Lethbridge. She is an accomplished handy -crafter, and even now she still crochets. At present time she is a member of the Spring Coulee Birthday Club.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup