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

[ Pioneer Home ] School ] Saw Mill ] Grist Mill ] Blacksmith Shop ] General Store ] Doctor's Office ] Church ]
Back to the Village

Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum
larger image

A pioneer's first home was usually made from logs.

Did you know?


The kitchen with its fireplace was probably the most important room in the house.  Often it was the only room in the house!


The floors were made of dirt.


Tables were made from planks and there were benches or stools instead of chairs.


Sometimes the room was so crowded, the children had to stand while they ate.


Bigger and better homes were made from planks of wood after a saw mill was built. There might even be one bedroom for all the children to share! 


Click HERE for more details about the log cabin and the later plank home.


      Pioneer Family Chores     

Young Boys

-feeding livestock
-gathering firewood


Older Boys and Men

-making furniture
-building fences
-cutting down trees for lumber and clearing fields
-removing stones from fields
-sheep shearing
-fishing (at night for larger catches like muskellunge and eel)
-hunting (all seasons)
-harvesting crops
-digging water well
-barn-raising and house building
-slaughtering livestock

Young Girls

-feeding chickens
-washing dishes
-setting the table
-gathering greens (summer)


Older Girls and Women

-salting meat
-making candles
-drying apples
-preparing and cooking food
-gathering eggs
-carding and spinning wool
"From Wool to Yarn"
-making butter and cheese
-making ticks and mattresses for beds
-making blankets, quilts, and warm woollen clothes


  What did the pioneers eat?

     There were no grocery stores or supermarkets for the pioneers.  They had to provide food for themselves.  They hunted and trapped animals, caught fish in the rivers and lakes, and gathered herbs, roots and berries from the forest.  The rest of the food came from their fields, gardens and farmyards.  They grew fruits, vegetables, and grains and raised pigs, cows, chickens, ducks, and goats.

Year round

-salt pork
-corn and oat meal
-milk, cheese, and butter

Spring & Summer

-fresh greens such as dandelion leaves
-maple syrup
-fish and eels
-fresh vegetables (grown in home gardens)

Fall & Winter

-wild geese, partridge, chicken and turkeys
-preserved meat from livestock ( salt pork, sausages, smoked ham)
-dried apples
-root vegetables (carrots, onions, potatoes - stored in root cellar)

Source; Markham Museum and Historic Village

Back to the Village
[ Pioneer Home ] School ] Saw Mill ] Grist Mill ] Blacksmith Shop ] General Store ] Doctor's Office ] Church ]