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The Voices of Raymond

After hearing glowing accounts of the rich soil, the abundance of grass and feed for cattle, and the vast prairie land with attractive prices, I talked it over with my family and decided I needed more good farmland. I then decided to sell my property in Lehi, Utah and headed for Canada.

My husband and I spent the summer breaking sod on this land which turned over just like a ribbon, except where buffalo trails left a break which was very rich. These buffalo trails criss-crossed the prairie in all directions. The water from the coulees east of town spread over this land in the early days before it emptied into the Fifteen and Eighteen Mile Lakes.

We think it is a pretty cold climate when one wakes up in the morning to pull the covers over his shoulders and finds the quilts all covered around the top with frost because he breathed on them.

In 1901, ...some young people were going to the first dance held in Raymond and I was asked if I would care to go with them. So we all piled into a bobsled. There wasn't very much snow but with the tall grass we slopped along quite nicely and had a lot of fun.
We finally arrived at the dance which was help upstairs in the Mercantile Store. We danced on the rough board floor until we wore the soles off our shoes. There were only six young girls in Raymond until the next June, so it took all of the married people to help have the dances. There were plenty of men and boys so we were all 'Belles of the Ball.'

How I long for those Canadian mornings. You are certain to succeed because you waste no time in "can't-be-helps" but face the future with a smile. You have no occasion to look backward except for joy and caution. Folly feeds on regrets and failure strikes his most fatal blows with apprehensions of evil. Here are three secrets of purely human success, if such there could be: eat slowly, sleep soundly, and think hopefully.

Excerpts from personal journals courtesy of Evelyn Hendry from the Raymond Museum and Archives.

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            For more on the history of settlement in Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.