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In Their Own Words

"While in St. Paul and Old Thérien, Dad would go around to the farmers and crush grain and saw fire wood. In winter he would go north to the sawmill. Most of the lumber he made was sold to help with income. Mother was then left to look after us, house chores and all, so in those days we all had our jobs, and chores had to be done before we left for school. .. .In the evenings mother would sit up late sewing clothes for the neighbors around. Though the pay was not high, any amount was a help. She knitted crocheted and made beautiful hooked rugs which she sold . . .Canning and cooking were some of her specialties and no one was ever turned away without a meal. In those days there were a lot of men walking the road looking for work. They were never dangerous, only hungry. Many freighters from St. Paul and South of St. Paul (some friends, others strangers) would make our place the halfway stop on their way to the mill. They would unroll their bedding and sleep on the kitchen floor."

— Margaret Burak

Aruthur and Albert Chapdelaine

"My dad bought a two-wheel cart to go to school and a buckskin horse which didn’t move very fast. Later, we got a white mare. I’m sure the kids I went to school with at the time remember this mare. She was very fast: I averaged a runaway a month. I finished school at the age of 15 and stayed on the farm. One of my first jobs away from home was for Mr. Rocheleau at the sawmill north of Beaver River. At the time we were getting fifty-cents a day. When I wasn’t working out, I would be helping Dad on the farm.”

— Arthur Chapdelaine

"Times were hard when we were raising our family, but so it was for everyone else. Lloyd did a lot of hunting which helped put food on the table. If the hides were good we would tan them. I made breeches for Lloyd and moccasins for the children. I sewed the children’s clothes and we also kept Sheep from which I spun the wool to knit socks, mitts or whatever else was needed . . . During the war years we kept bees, which was a big help. I used the honey for eating, cooking and canning. We sold what we did not use.”

— Lora Emery


  • St. Vincent Historical Society. Souvenirs: Saint Vincent 1906–1981. Reprinted with permission from St. Vincent Historical Society.

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