Let’s Go Homesteading at Gilpin, Alberta

A fascinating true story of pioneering.

A Picture and 1000 Words

Meadowlark, my favorite song bird, singing, “Laziness will kill you, Laziness will kill you!” in watercolor by Wendy Harty July 2021

These are the words my 58 year old great great grandfather Hiram Gibbs said to his 52 year old wife Mary Elizabeth (Smith). The Dominion Lands Act passed government in Canada in 1872. Canada had become a country in 1867 and expanded westward. In 1869 the government purchased Rupert’s Land and the North-West Territory from the Hudson’s Bay Company. It aimed to encourage the settlement of Canada’s prairie provinces. The Act’s purpose was to encourage settlement by European and American pioneers, as well as settlers from Eastern Canada. The land was surveyed into one-square-mile sections. For $10.00 the Act gave any male farmer who agreed to cultivate at least 40 acres and build a house on it within three years. The $10 was for administrative fees. To “prove” up…

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