Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sepia Saturday, # 163: A Snowy Day at Jabez B. McPherson's House in Bentley, Alberta



The following photo is a  good choice for this week's prompt, what with snow and the long furry and heavy coats.  The picture was taken in 1908 outside the home of Jabez B. & Zella McPherson in Bentley, Alberta, Canada.  Jabez is the man in the long dark fur coat in front of the horses.  I believe his wife Zella is standing just to the left of the sledge.  At this time, most of Jabez' brothers still lived in Bentley, so the other folks could be his brothers and their wives, or perhaps Bentley friends.

Circa 1908, Jabez and Zella McPherson with Friends and Family,
Bentley, Alberta, Canada
Courtesy of Bentley & District Historical Society and The Bentley Historical Museum

Jabez's father, William Burns McPherson (older brother of my great-grandfather James Burns McPherson) led his family north from Wisconsin when homesteading land opened up in the Alberta territory of Canada.  The McPherson group, which included William B., his sons Willie M, Jamie, Jabez Burns (who was a cousin of  my grandfather Jabez Burns McPherson) Charles, and Victor, arrived in Bentley in 1899.  They built homes, sawmills, a creamery and cheese company in Bentley;  helped build schools and churches as well as participated in the town government.  However by 1925, only the above Jabez Burns McPherson (my 1st cousin, 2x removed) remained in this small Alberta town.  He and his wife Zella had no children and lived out their years in and around Bentley.  Both are buried in the local cemetery.

One of Jabez McPherson's sawmills
Most likely the second, judging by the cars
Courtesy of Bentley, Alberta, Museum's Chronicles of Bentley

To end this collection of snow and Jabez, I have included the above picture of one of his sawmills.  If you liked these pictures, you might be interested in this Jabez post.

This post is part of a series of posts for Sepia Saturday, which provides an opportunity for bloggers to share their history through photographs.  You can view more Sepia Saturday images here.

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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications
 

22 comments:

  1. Did the family stay in Canada or move back to the U.S. They sure made an impact on the community doing all of that building. I guess people worked day and night in those days - no time-consuming blogs to worry about. Wonderful photos.

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    1. By 1924, only Jabez remained in Bentley. William B., his father, went back to the States in 1909, Willie M. was killed in an accident near Bentley, and the rest scattered west and south. Most of the brothers went back to the states, but Canad kept calling to them -- some answered the call -- several times.

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  2. Don't they have wonderful names, Jabez and Zella.

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  3. You get a great feel of space with both these pictures, as though there is a small group of humans surrounded by miles of snow and trees. Great fit for the theme.

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  4. These are wonderful photos, Joan. Thank you.

    Kathy M.

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  5. Sledges are things to play on; it gets serious if you need a horsedrawn one to get around.

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    1. I don't think they did too much playing on the sledges --- though they did spend many cold days skating on the Blindman River.

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  6. Interesting pictures and interesting tidbit about the McPherson family.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading. Glad you liked the pictures.

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  7. That automobile in front of the sawmill! Wish I had one of those (with a hood please). And those fur coats in the first picture. There have been time periods that is was dangerous to wear those here...

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    1. I always figured this picture must have been taken in late winter or early spring -- still snow on the ground but the folks are out in front of the sawmill with no coats. I'll bet they had their coats on when they went ariding in that car.

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  8. I had never heard the word sledge (unless referring to a type of hammer) until this weekend and now I've read it two or three times. Guess it has the same meaning as sled or sleigh. Sounds as though they contributed greatly to the community.

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    1. In the vernacular of my family, a sleigh was a horse-drawn conveyance that had metal runners, and higher off the ground than the sledge. A sledge was lower to the ground with heavier wood or metal runners -- the working conveyance to move hay, cut block so ice from the lakes and ponds. I don't know if this is how most folks use the terms, but what came down to me from letters and stories. --- but sledge is such a dreary word I hesitated to use it.

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  9. I Like The Way The Lorry Has Found A Way To Shelter Under The Roof!

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  10. It is now 34°F in Bentley. That "warm" weather is coming our way, but so is a bunch of snow.

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  11. Wonderful photos and a lovely piece of family history. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. Exciting to see how they lived, strong and determined souls absolutely. Nice photos you have.

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  13. Those furst remind me of some which my gg-grandmother is wearing in a photo taken around that time. They were obviously sent to her by two sons who had emigrated to Canada, and were settled in Saskatchewan.

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  14. They certainly look well protected in those long furry coats!

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  15. Lots of wonderfully warm fur coats -- no one had to worry about animal rights activists throwing fake blood on them, I guess!

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  16. They seemed to be off to a good time,
    contrary to the prompt picture where one man labored shoveling all of that snow. It is remarkable how some individuals/families can mark a place.
    Thanks for sharing!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  17. Your images are just perfect for this theme Joan...they do like they were off on an outing. Either way they were strong characters I reckon. The sawmill is surprising -I'd have imaged it to be larger.

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