Tuesday, February 12, 2008

History Lesson(?)

During the Klondike Gold Rush, prospectors attempting to find an overland route to the Klondike headed out from Edmonton toward Lesser Slave Lake. They crossed the Athabasca River near Ft. Assiniboine and followed an old trail used for many years by the native population. They settled for the winter on the other side of the river, building a camp of sorts. The Bag Lady's knowlege of this is quite sketchy, learned mostly at her father's knee.

Around 1925, the Bag Lady's grandparents decided to move further north from their home in Central Alberta. Their house had burned down one day while they were in town, and they lost almost everything they owned. So they loaded up their meagre belongings and headed out for wilder country around the Athabasca River. They homesteaded at a place north of The Athabasca River on the Klondike Trail.

Not far from their homestead were the ruins of the camp left by those prospectors years before. The Bag Lady's father told her that when he was a child, there were a couple log buildings still standing, and the graves of two children.

To the best of the Bag Lady's knowledge, this is a photo of one of those abandoned buildings, taken around 1930.

This is a photo of the one-room school the Bag Lady's father and brothers attended. (this is included for the benefit of missicat, in honour of her grandmother.)

One of the Bag Lady's uncles told her that when he was a child, the natives still used the trail on their annual pilgrimage to Lac St. Anne. He can remember the natives would walk through the bush, silently appearing, and just as quietly slip away again.

Thus ends the history lesson for today. Sorry for any inaccuracies or blatant lies!


Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, dfBag Lady. Back in Gr. 7 the class walked part of the Klondike Trail. That was 1971. Today the trail is part of Trail Ride for MS.

Is the camp you're talking about Klondike City? Some fella from the East came to the Fort one day and said there was no Klondike City. He didn't last long. On the other hand I get quite a kick out of telling people I spent the first year of my life right across the road from a place that doesn't exist.

I haven't see the Klondike School in ages. Thanks for that.

Scrumpy said...

I have a totally off-topic question for you Lady. Do you have a good recipe for pickled beets? I LOVE pickled beets and have been thinking about making some.

Anonymous said...

Wow - thanks! I really need to track down some of the old photos of my grandmothers. I wish I had listened closer to some of her stories...she had quite a life!

the Bag Lady said...

Leah - yes, that is what they called that camp - Klondike City. I didn't want to get too detailed about it in case someone who knows more about it than I do read it and called me on the mistakes!

SB - I have a fabulous recipe for pickled beets - got it from my mother-in-law, the Queen of Canning, who consistently won the top prize at the local fair with it for many years. Until the year she talked me into learning how to do some canning and entering the fair. Imagine her consternation when my beets beat her beets! I'll come over and post it in your comments section.

Missicat - I know the feeling about wishing I had listened more closely. All those stories are lost now, damn it.

Scrumpy said...

Thanks so much for the recipe! I may try them this weekend. My husband will be out of the house and I think that's probably best. I can only imagine what he would have to say about the whole process. :)

I'm going to have to scour the market looking for a good price on beets.

JavaChick said...

Interesting post. I enjoy hearing these little bits of history!


Emily said...

I feel like I'm back in school...but the pictures are MUCH more interesting!!!

Reb said...

Good post Sis! Glad you paid attention.

the Bag Lady said...

SB - let me know how they turn out!
(and good idea about doing it while hubby's out of the house - it is a little smelly...in a good way)

Javachick - glad to hear you enjoy my little stories!

Emily - sorry about the school-marm thing I've got going. I'll try to post something different soon. Don't know why I've been stuck in the past lately.

Reb - don't know how much attention I was paying, but should have probably listened more closely. Then I wouldn't have to dredge so deeply in my memory!

Hilary said...

History, geography, agriculture, cullinary arts.. we learn so much here! :)

The Merry said...

No, don't stop the history lesson. It's interesting!

I used to think it was so cool that my parents had photographs of the ancestors going back to the 1860s. Then I visited my sister-in-law's father's house. He has family oil paintings going back to the 1660s. Wowza.

the Bag Lady said...

Hilary - The Bag Lady has a well-rounded blog...to go with her well-rounded butt?

Merry - now the Bag Lady is jealous of your sister-in-law's father. The Bag Lady has traced some of her family tree back that far, but the earliest photos she has found are from the 1860's.

Crabby McSlacker said...

I came for the one room schoolhouse but must run away screaming at the mention of pickled beets.

Eww, beets!

You folks are lucky, beets are good for you but they make me gag. (And I came here AFTER I just put up a post on the loathsomeness of beets).

But I love the way blogland is this great big wonderful conversation. From the Klondike Trail to a recipe for pickled beets. Gotta love it.

the Bag Lady said...

Crabby - obviously, you have never had the Bag Lady's pickled beets! They would convert you to a beet lover...
Must go over now and check out your complaint...

Geosomin said...

I saw your post about avacados over in Scrumpy's blog.
Make avacado smoothies (my current addiction), or guacamole. And they're really good just cut up on ryvita with salsa (sounds odd, but really good). I have a killer guacamole recipe I always use...very spicy.

3 ripe avacados, mashed.
1/4 c lime juice
Skoosh together and mix in
1/4 c diced purple onion and tomato (each)
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1/4 c pickled banana peppers diced
1/2 t pepper
2 cloves garlic grushed.

To cut the spice, I leave out the jalapeno or the banana peppers.
It's soooooooo good we often just have it with pita chips for supper.

Hmmm, Now I'm hungry...

the Bag Lady said...

Geosomin - that sounds fabulous - thanks!
The Bag Lady will have to try it. She may have to do a little adapting...or run to town for a few ingredients. That's the problem with living in the country, but it does make for some interesting recipes when she's too lazy to go to town.
She has some dried jalapeno peppers that she grew in her garden, so may use them. She also makes her own hot mixed pickles, and could always use them...hmmm, now you've got her thinking.