Sunday, September 30, 2007

One Thousand Dollars and a Tractor

The depression of the 1930's was worldwide but in the midwestern parts of Canada and the States, the depression was even more devastating. Drought, dust storms, infestations of locusts, poverty and despair were common. When I spoke to people who had lived through that time in history I expected grim tales. My first conversation surprised me. The 1930's seemed to bring back happy memories. One 93 year old woman was married in 1937. Her wedding was complete with "store bought" wine and a $10 wedding dress. It was a big wedding at a time when wages could average $30 a month. But imagine, the only car at the wedding was the groom's father's. Everyone else arrived by horse drawn sleigh.
When the young couple finally bought their own farm, they got four sections of land which originally cost $3,000 a section. But after a $1,000 deposit the seller tried to swindle them by telling them the title was clear. It wasn't, a loan for a new tractor was now a lien on the property. So, the deal was $1,000 and the tractor for four sections of prime farm land. Not bad, even in Saskatchewan in 1939.

“We’re going to be okay Maggie girl. You wait and see.”
Eva Edwards - "From the Dust"

Safe travels



Kathy said...

Wonderful "trip" back in time. This is such a fascinating place and period in our history. How far away our children are from these "do without" days. How far away we are. Keep the stories coming!

Marcia Colette said...

Yeah, but too bad it they didn't pay $1000 and a tractor for land that might have been the future Disney World. Their family would still be raking in the cash today. :)