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Photograph of a group of railway workers. The waterboy is sitting in the front row

Source

Surfacing gang near Battleford, Saskatchewan with waterboy, front row center, 1904 or 1905

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Building a Railway

Workers

I Was There

"Around 1894, when they were building the railroad through here, I got a job as water boy. The railway comin' through was a godsend for a lot of people who came in from all over the countryside off the farms to make a dollar. They worked hard, too, for them dollars. It was all done by hand – no trucks or things like that that they have now to build those grades – just picks, shovels, scrapers, and wheelbarrows. Hard, hard work!"

"Out of the Cedar Shanties", by Thomas Patrick Murray. From the book Voice of the Pioneer, edited by Bill McNeil. Markham, Ont.: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1997, ©1978, p. 145 -146

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