Matsqui - Abbotsford - Sumas: Pioneer Stories, 1890-1950
"Within these accounts lives a record of the vision, values, and courage that shaped our community."
Matsqui Sumas Abbotsford: Pioneer Stories 1890-1950 is an eclectic collection of almost two hundred stories - many told first hand - of those who settled in the region that is now Abbotsford. Among them are accounts of Italian miners toiling in the Kilgard mines, Scandinavians farming in Matsqui, Sikhs working in the mills, Japanese farming berries, Mennonites clearing "stump land" along Huntington Road, and fledgling dairy farmers struggling on the Sumas Prairie. You'll hear from individuals who grew up without electricity or running water, walked miles to a one-room schoolhouse each day, milked cows by hand, helped their fathers dynamite tree stumps, and later ploughed fields with a team of horses. The Depression, the Sumas Prairie flood of 1935, and the Fraser flood of 1948 all come alive in these tales that offer priceless insights into the lives and times of those who came before us.
"This remarkable collection is a celebration of lives lived fully. It is a book built on the generosity of the many contributors who share with us their challenges, disappointments, achievements, and joy. Within these accounts lives a record of the vision, values, and courage that shaped our community. This collection is also an invitation to revisit our own personal histories and to reflect on our responsibility as the next stewards of the legacy of these pioneers."
Mark Evered, President, University of the Fraser Valley