The Great Depression brings a Second Wave of Settlers
A second wave of settlement occurred during the 1930s as the Great Depression and drought in the southern prairies of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta caused many to look for a place to start again. These settlers were not like the many who had come earlier, as they were experienced farmers.
The Peace River did not suffer a drought, and farmers moved north in the largest number from 1929 to 1931. Many of these new arrivals made their claim to land under the Soldier grants.
Once the new settlers arrived many had to accept “white” soil land, because much of the black or rich soil land had been taken. This poor soil produced low quality crops; there were reports of wheat that only grew six inches high.
Experiments proved that the quality of the soil could be improved when sweet clover was grown, which helped restore nitrogen in the soil.
Like other farmers in the Peace River country, many of these settlers had to supplement their incomes with work on the railroad, in mines, logging, and trapping in the winter.