Back to school time for students

Boy, where did the summer go? It went too fast this year following that long winter we had.

Botha Booster

Boy, where did the summer go? It went too fast this year following that long winter we had. But this coming weekend is the last long weekend before summer comes crashing to a halt with the children heading back to the books again.

On Tuesday, Sept. 2, school opens up its doors again for the 2014-2015 school year with the school bell ringing for its first class at 9 a.m. that morning.

Also this long weekend being Labor Day on Monday, the campgrounds will be closing up until the long weekend in May. So make sure you get out this weekend for your last camp-out and enjoy all the summer fun that goes along with camping.

Boy, even the nights are starting to cool off tremendously now, with the temperatures dropping.

With this upcoming school year, the Botha School will be having some changes, with Mr. Hammond leaving and Mr. Mike Flieger taking over as principal. So Botha would like to welcome him and his wife to our little village.

Bingo night is Tuesday, Sept. 2, taking place at 7:15 p.m., the doors open at 6:30 p.m. So make sure you grab your dobbers and come out for one great evening, who knows, you could be the next big winner.

Jean Jackson had an exciting August so far this month with Cam Kiever and Doris Ferguson visiting from July 31 to Aug. 9. Cam and Doris are from Vancouver B.C. On Saturday, Aug 2, they participated in the 100th anniversary celebration of Big Valley and then on Sunday Aug. 3, they traveled to Delia for a fantastic time having supper there and dancing to the music from the Bad Landers Band.

Don’t forget Sunday Sept. 7 is Grandparents’ Day. So please plan something special for their special day.

Coming up on Monday Sept. 8 will be the first seniors’ monthly meeting for this upcoming year. This meeting will start at 11:30 a.m. and be held at the Botha Seniors’ Center. They would love to see all seniors attend these important meetings. They first start up with a pot luck luncheon, so please make up your special dish and bring it with you. The meeting follows right after the pot luck.

Seeing harvest is now in effect, let’s look back at some of the equipment and hardships that our pioneers had to go through when they first landed here till now.

In 1875, the passing of the wild buffalos came to an end and the prairies of central Alberta were suddenly abandoned. With this, the grass grew taller and thicker and the Indians no longer lit the prairie fires they had found useful to herd their prey with.

The first venturesome white settlers to this area found a literal sea of grass, which was tall and very thick, which they found very deceptive. In 1900, 1901, 1902, and 1904, there was a very high level of rainfall to. This 30-year accumulation of grass, when turned under, was to provide organic matter and soil nutrients for bumper crops, but then resulted to poorer and poorer as time went on. At the turn of the century the land had been surveyed into sections.

Early farmers were dominated by horses for traveling and also a chief source of power for tillage operations. For most farmers from predawn to dawn was time for getting the horses in to feed first thing, and also at the end of the day was the feed time again and putting them out to rest, after their long days in the field. All the farmers operations of plowing, harvesting, dicing, drilling, haying depended on the horses. At the time, a large part of grain, hay and straw produced on the farm would be put back into the horses.

Prior to the coming of the railroad to Stettler in 1905, came one or two steamers which had been driven into the area from Lacombe, purchased only by the pioneers who could afford them. The purpose of these steamers were to pull the large gang plows as they broke the prairies sod and to run the threshers in the fall. By 1910, these steamers were being challenged by kerosene burning behemoths for prairie supremacy.

By 1930, the steamers were no longer used. With World War I and its need for food and manpower, this put the pressure on production again. When horses peaked in numbers in 1918, the “Fordson tractor” replaced both of these items. Horses, however, in the depression years (1930-1935) were put back to work doing the harvest. But in 1927, the first combines were introduced and in 1928, a massive switch was made, when the Massey Harris Harvest brigades completed the switch, so this helped out the horses some. By 1950 the threshing machine became existent.

After World War II, in 1947, with the new introduction of the new technology, the new power electricity was put into the area farms, which helped tremendously. The years between 1947-1949 opened a full new lifestyle with deepfreezes and refrigerators would revolutionize food storage. This is the first time for TVs and radios came into use. These two years were very exciting for everyone.

With electricity now in use, farming too changed tremendously. Besides electrical lightening, the water now was pumped up, also with heat it kept the water from freezing in the winter months and also they were able to dispense it easier. With electricity, mini dairy farms started booming in the years from 1950 through to the late 60s. With electricity in effect they were able to use milking machines and also for feeding their cattle, so this work became much easier.

Farm buildings evolved quickly from this time on with them building their homes first than the barns for horses to rest in and also to be fed there, and then the pioneers started making grain storage places. Grain storage in the days of threshing machines, were portable frame structures holding a thousand bushels or less, but starting in the 50s, circular steel granaries were built, often on permanent concrete foundations. Capacity was around 1200-1500 bushels then. As time went by, steel granaries expanded and they able to hold 10,000 bushels in these bigger granaries, which was great.

So here’s hoping everyone has a great long weekend with lots of fun and relaxation, also hopefully the weather co-operates nicely and don’t forget watch out for children going back to school on Tuesday Sept. 2.

 


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