The Odyssey of Our Ancestors
Emigrants from Eastern Europe (1908)
You disembark at Saint John, New Brunswick, cold and tired and not able to rest. The official does not know how to spell your name so he gives you a new name, Smith. You must board a train heading for the Canadian West. You get off the train in Calgary and are met by your friend and former neighbour. You pay your $10 fee for registering your land, buy some basic supplies and head for your new homestead. Your neighbour and his sons will help you build your first home. Continue
After you land in Saint John, New Brunswick, you are offered a job working for a Jewish family in Montréal, Quebec. You decide to postpone your trip to the West until you can make some extra money. You travel by train to Montréal. When you arrive in Montréal, you start work in a shop that makes ready-to-wear clothing. It is a tiresome job but you will save your money to someday buy a shop of your own. Continue
Fruit will not grow well in this type of soil and climate, so your learn how to grow wheat. There is a huge market for this "prairie gold" and you have just bought two new machines, a binder and a steam thresher, to help you harvest the wheat. You rent out the steam thresher to your neighbours and soon recoup the money you spent on it. You decide to stay on the farm.
Farming on the prairies is hard work. Although the agriculture business is booming, you look for an easier way to make a living. Your family invests in a business that sells steam farm machinery. You move to Toronto, Ontario, where your new business is located.
You prosper in the clothing business. You marry into a Jewish family in Montréal and expand your business. You now have three children. They all have a good education and you are proud of the new life your family has made in Canada.
You prosper but decide it is time to join some friends in a Jewish settlement near Calgary, Alberta. You will start a new business there. You marry in Calgary and start up a new clothing business. People here like ready-made clothing as much as they did in Montréal.