Acres of Dreams was a 2005 exhibit by the Canadian Museum of History. It described the marketing plan used in 1896 to woo settlers to the Canadian prairies and showed both the promise and the hardships of homesteading life.
For ten dollars and a promise to occupy and break land, a homesteader was given 160 acres to own. The marketing plan proposed by Sir Clifford Sifton may have described homesteadng a little on the bright side, omitting the severe cold of the winters, the insects and mosquitoes and the lack of provisions available.
But they came-from Scotland and Ireland, from the Ukraine, from Poland, from America and Eastern Canada and from Germany. They came from across the sea and, arriving in Canada, faced a long rail trip west, with travel by wagon or oxcart from there. They came looking for a new life, for ownership, for religious and economic freedom. Some of them found a new and wonderful life. Some of them found heartbreak. But they populated the farmlands of the prairies and the towns and cities.
They came filled with courage and hope and in doing so changed a nation.
Amongst those who came and homesteaded were my grandparents. I so wish now I had talked to them more-asked questions about their experiences. As children we assume our family sprung whole from the homes we were raised in. We don't envisage their life before we were born.
Acres of Dreams, my romance, takes place in this setting and time frame. Although totally fictional , I have tried to capture some of the romance and adventure these pioneers faced. with a huge dollop of romance thrown in, of course. Stay tuned for my cover release and publication information.