Vanderhoof, BC Pioneer Letter – P.H. Neufeld, Settler 1918

Early hay operations in Central British Columbia
Early hay operations in Central British Columbia

Vanderhoof, BC Settler, P.H. Neufeld

Mr. P. H. Neufeld, one of many settlers who located in the Nechako Valley, near Vanderhoof during 1918, after observing conditions, is extremely well pleased with the country and its possibilities.

In a letter dated December 17, 1918, Mr. Neufeld gives his impressions, also remarkable figures as to crop he had the same season he located. The letter follows: —

In reply to your letter I will say that I for one cannot say too much for Central British Columbia. It is a country with a brighter future than any of the other provinces in the Dominion.

The climate exceeds the prairies. During the summer it is not so extremely hot and during the winter not so cold, and above this we need not fear big storms in any season.

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On my farm I have cleared this year about fifteen acres — besides this I have built a house and a barn. The year was not very favorable for the crops, but in spite of that I had this first year about fifteen tons of potatoes, twenty-two tons of timothy and fifteen of oat hay. According to present market prices the whole crop would amount to at least one thousand two hundred dollars.

Older settlers have had as high as 75 bushels of wheat to the acre this year and up to 100 bushels of oats. Any person would be able to do better than in the prairies after he has cleared enough to put in the crop.

Clearing is not as difficult as many believe. One person has cleared more than fifty acres this summer with some hired assistance.

As far as I know all settlers in the neighborhood are well content and are looking with confidence to the future.”

From the booklet “Plateau and Valley Lands in Central British Columbia 9th edition”, compiled by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, Industrial and Colonization Department, published in 1920.

Remember – history plays an important role in reconciliation. To build for the future, Canadians must know their history, acknowledge it and learn from it.  Think, how can Vanderhoof history be told differently, to reflect the original land settlers, the Dakelh people? Recognizing that the Nechako Valley was already settled before Europeans arrived is an important step.

What does Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people look and feel like? How does this idea of “Reconciliation” translate into our day to day human relationships?
What does Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people look and feel like? How does this idea of “Reconciliation” translate into our day to day human relationships?

More Vanderhoof, BC and area history!

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