This page is a text version of the Forest to Field History Book. You can purchase a PDF copy of the book in our online store. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the purchased version. The purchased version also includes each image in the original book.

Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One

Previous - Page 702 or Next - Page 704

Wildi, and reside at Thompson, Manitoba. They have three children, Christine, Shelly and Lome.

Thorvald, born 1906 in Nova Scotia, passed away in 1914.

Lily and Ann "twins" born 1906 in Nova Scotia, died in infancy.

William, born in Nova Scotia, married Nancy Nystrom. (refer to Wickdahl, William and Nancy).

Alfred, born 1911 in Nova Scotia, died in infancy.


by Wickdahl Family

Gustav was born in Sweden in 1894. In 1904, he came to Canada with his parents and lived in Nova Scotia until 1911. By then, he had heard of the great Canadian Prairies so when the "Harvest Excursion" train headed west with harvest help for the prairies, he was on board. After working the harvest season in the Grandview area he moved to the Erickson area where his parents, Bernt and Gertrude Wickdahl, had moved that fall and bought a farm.

After a few years in the area helping his parents clearing and breaking the land, Gustav left to start working on the railroad with the c.P. Express. By 1919, after four years on the railroad, the lure of the land had drawn him back to the Erickson area. In 1921, he bought the S.W. 14-18-18W which had been homesteaded by J. Sundstrom. Most of the land was covered by trees and scrub. By 1929, he had cleared and broken about twenty­ seven acres. That year he married Ida Hjelmeland and they moved into a new house they built from lumber sawed at J. & A. Wickdahl's sawmill.

As a young couple with a young family they were looking for a bright future in farming. Then the dry years and depression of the 1930's came. In 1932, total income was $200.00 of which $34.65 had to be used to pay the taxes. Since the price of produce was low, to raise the money for the taxes required, the sale of the best cow for $17.00, a steer for $11.00, a calf for $4.00, some cream and a twelve dozen crate of eggs. Grain prices were also low, and when Gustav took a wagon box full of oats to the elevator it only paid for a bag of flour which was $3.89. During the dry years their well would go dry so water was hauled a mile and a half from the river in summer and snow melted in the winter. Winter months were spent cutting wood and logs on the farm or in the park several miles away. The logs were sawen by local mills and provided the lumber for all the farm buildings.

By the 1940's conditions on the farm were improving.

More land had been cleared and prices were better. In 1944, Gustav bought his first tractor, a Rumley 15-25. This was a great improvement in clearing and breaking the land. In 1945, a Model T-Ford touring was bought. A top was made and put on as the original was unusable. This eliminated the need for horses and wagon to go to town or visiting. In 1948, Gustav purchased the N. W. 11- 18-18W from his brother Carl. He also purchased a 40 acre wood lot beside Pacey Lake to provide his wood and log needs for the future. In 1952, the Kerosene and gas lamps were put away as electricity was brought to the

area by the Manitoba Power Commission rural elec­ trification program.

All through these years, Ida had a good garden which along with some chickens, pigs and cows provided good healthy meals for their growing family. Many hours were spent at the spinning wheel making yarn for clothes she later knit.

When their children started school it meant a long bus ride to Erickson. They worked hard along with others in the community to have Otter Lake School built in the area for the many school children of the Community. Gustav was confirmed in the Scandinavia Lutheran Church where he was active in the choir and church events. Ida was confirmed in the Bethel Lutheran Church and following their marriage, both remained active in the church, supporting and serving on committees. Following Gustav's death and the marriage of their youngest son Earl, who farms and lives on the homeplace, Ida moved into the Parkland Home in Erickson where she still resides.

Gust and Ida Wickdahl.

Gustav and Ida had five children;

Henry, born 1931, married Betty Townley from the Whirlpool district in 1957. They live in Winnipeg where Henry works for Manitoba Hydro. They have three boys; David, Stephen and Gordon. David works at the University of Manitoba. He married Lori Graham and they have two children, Barbra and Michael. Stephen is manager of Mothers Records. Gordon has a severe hearing loss and is attending regular classes at Gordon Bell High school. Henry and Betty own the S.W. 16-18- 18W and the S.W. 3-18-18W.

Gladys, born 1932, married Harry Tiller Jr. (refer to Tiller, Paul and Marit).

Robert, born 1934, married Mildred Wolski from Selkirk in 1960. Robert now lives in British Columbia where he works on construction building Hydro transmission lines. He has four children, Bernice, Heather, Norman and Kandra.

Mabel, born 1944, married Donald Brewer. (refer to