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Koots Family

Paul and Peter Koots immigrated to Canada from Estonia in 1903. While Peter was single Paul had a family consisting of a wife and three young boys - having very little money he was forced to leave them behind. They arrived at Halifax and traveled to Red Deer, Alberta via train. As there were several Estonian families living in the area Peter and Paul were able to obtain their own homesteads.

Together, they built a modest two-bedroom house on Peter's property. They soon found work laying railroad ties and pouring concrete. The language barrier was the greatest obstacle Paul and Peter faced working in Alberta as they knew very little English. Often, both men yearned to return to their homeland.

Paul's' wife, Alice, and their three sons - Ferdinand, Carl and Woldemar - arrived in Red Deer in the spring of 1905. They were able to afford the trip due in large part to a generous financial contribution from another Estonian family (Teener) who were also making the trip at the same time. Paul soon built a large house to accommodate the arrival of his family. Not long after, twin boys named John and Ludwig were born. Adele would later become the only daughter in the Koots family.

A few acres of land were cleared each year by hand until Peter and Paul could afford to purchase a horse. A barn and granary were soon built demonstrating how the Koots farm was able to expand based solely on hard work and cooperation.

Paul and Alice's son, Ferdinand, found work at the Red Deer Sawmill while Carl worked at the co-op store in Eckville. The Koots family was musically inclined; Carl and Paul played the violin, Ludwig embraced the flute while Woldemar mastered the cello. The Koots family graciously entertained locals at Christmas celebrations and other social events.

Carl's first car. In 1919, the family purchased their first car - a 1917 Maxwell. That same year they purchased a steam engine and a separator for threshing. When Ferdinand died of pneumonia in 1921 Carl and Woldemar enrolled in a steam engineer course so that they could help the family.

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