Manitoba Morning Free Press
Thursday, July 8, 1897
The New Arrivals Located In the Sliding Hills District Public Works For Their Benefit
Originally from the July 3 Yorkton Association Enterprise
The sharp toot from the engine of a special train on Monday drew all the citizens from their avocations to go and see a fresh contingent of Galicians arrive. Eight densely loaded coaches drew up alongside of the platform, and immediately some 500 future Yorkton settlers at last realized a faint idea of what their future home and future market town was like. The town and the general aspect of the country was not very entrancing just then, mud and wet everywhere. However the new arrivals deposited themselves and their belongings on the platform, some being lodged in trie immigration shed, some in the aeromotor building, and the rest in a large marquee. Five coaches containing 127 were left at Saltcoats.
Immigration commissioner Speers was in charge of the party. On the night of their arrival the Galician’s were fed potatoes and flour from the warehouse of Thos. Meredith. After getting his charges fed and settled for the night, Mr. Speers attended a meeting of the board of trade, at which were present Messrs. Crerar, chairman, F.W. Bull, Simpson, J.L. Magrath, Beck, Dunlop, Kilborn, Patrick and Peaker.
It was explained to Mr. Speers that the board were desirous of settling these Galiciana to the North of Yorkton rather than the west. From information in possession of the board, 100 miles to the north, timber limits were about to be opened up, from which 67,000,000 feet of lumber were to be cut, at the rate of 5,000,000 feet per year. To these limits a road was to be constructed by the northwest assembly, and upon this public work the Galicians could be employed. The road runs from Yorkton to Pollock’s saw mill, and thence in a direct line to the Red Deer River. The object of opening this road is that the supplies of oats, flour, pork, bacon, etc., may be transported there from Yorkton, the nearest point to the lumber camps.
Mr. Speers approved of the suggestion and thought it more probable that the Dominion government would be easily persuaded to survey the road and assist in the building of it. This Locality had been ignored, and now that he had seen for himself what the Yorkton country was, it was his intention to send every man seeking a home up here, no matter what country he was from. The contingent of Galicians was the best which had yet arrived in the west. They had come through Hamburg without being picked and culled. Those people had been consigned to Edmonton, but he had their attention to Yorkton. One man had $1,200.00, another $800.00 and most of them had smaller capital. He would be glad to receive suggestions from the board, and he would see that these suggestions reached the right authorities.
The government were going to give the Galicians a fair start, and spend judiciously what money was spent on them. Before the inclement weather set in a man would go from house to house, and see that every settler was made comfortable as regards house and other wants. He was impressed that these Galicians would be an important colony, and he had put himself out of the way to get them up here.
It was moved by J.L. Magrath and seconded by Dr. Patrick that the board recommended the Sliding Hills district to Mr. Speers as one favourable for the settlement of a Galician colony, end that Mr. Crerar accompany him on the visit. Carried.