HOMESTEADING IN WESTERN CANADA
HOMESTEADING IN WESTERN CANADA—Has a young man who takes a homestead in Western Canada a chance to make good, if he traps and hunts in addition to cutting timber and working Isis claim? Would you advise him, with a good partner, to undertake it? How much capital would be needed?
Yes, I think the right kind of young man has all kinds of chance to make a good thing of it, but think, unless you have a very good and agreeable friend who is similarly inclined, that it is best to go alone. If you are the right kind of person you will soon make friends there and will be under no obligations to anybody. To get good locations it is usually necessary to go some distance back from a railroad, but that is nothing to worry about, for in a country that is settling up as rapidly as Western Canada the railroads are sure to come soon. I would not place much dependence on hunting and trapping, though you can get both food and money from it. It usually pays best to spend all available time in improvements, if weather permits. In most of the territory that is being settled trapping is only ordinarily good.
The reason many do not make out well is that they are not the right sort of men. They are for the most part a wandering, restless class, who do not make as much of their opportunities as they should. Practically all of those who go and stay, and work as they should, do well. A large capital is not required, but you should have several hundred dollars after landing there. If there is timber on the land the buildings will not cost much except in labor, and a little for team work. You will need enough to see you through for six months, or a year, in food, clothing, etc., for you will not as a rule, have much opportunity to earn money. If I am not mistaken, the government land in Western Canada costs 50 cents an acre to the homesteader, for 160 acre grants. If you have money enough that you can afford to buy a team, so much the better, for horses, as a rule, are scarce among the new settlers, and you can pick up quite a bit of money doing team work. It is lonesome up there and you must be prepared for that, also for disappointments and hardships, but I think that you could do worse things. Would advise though that you make a thorough investigation and get information from all possible sources before going there.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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