Pioneer Life in Upper Canada
Land
La vie de pionnier dans le Haut-Canada

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For the pioneers, wood was everywhere!


A newly cleared farm by Riverside, Upper Canada, 1791, with stumps left to rot for later removal and rough rail fences.
Credit: McIntyre/National Archives of Canada/C-1529

Before they could begin to farm, pioneers had to cut down many trees and remove the stumps so they could plant crops.

It was very hard work to clear the land, but the wood was useful in many ways.

How Pioneers Used Wood

log cabins

Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum 
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kitchen utensils

wooden bowl, 
rolling pins
Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum
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fences
barrels and pails

Markham Museum and Historic Village
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furniture

child's bed
Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum 
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yokes for oxen

Markham Museum and Historic Village
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farming tools

hay rake and pitch fork                cradle scythe         
     
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Markham Museum and Historic Village
toys

checker game
Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum  
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mallet

Markham Museum and Historic Village
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miller pail

This is the pail the grist miller would use to take his fee of one tenth of the grain that he ground.
Markham Museum and Historic Village
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grain shovel

Markham Museum and Historic Village
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The Land Fed the Pioneers

            Pioneer Farming Facts

Sometimes a crop had to be planted before the land was completely cleared so seeds were planted around tree stumps and stones.

The pioneers brought their own seeds for the first planting. 
They saved seeds of the best plants from their first crop to use the next year.

 

They grew grains such as corn, wheat,  rye and oats, as well as vegetables and fruits.

Herbs such as thyme, sage and dill were grown in the garden.

Pigs were common farm animals because they needed very little care and would eat almost anything!

Oxen or horses were used to pull ploughs and wagons.

Sheep were raised for their wool.

 

Ducks and chickens might also be on a pioneer farm.

   Do you think you could match farm animals with their uses? Click on the barn to try!

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