Tuesday, August 10, 2021

1937 Driest Year Of The 1930s

 April 14: Dad sharpening harrow teeth. Bud started plowing today.  (Early)

May 8: A frost froze the crop down. 

May 10: Uncle Horrie went to Lipton with barley. Got soaked coming home. 

May 14: Rained some in the afternoon. 

May 20: Digging a hole in the slough to get drinking water.

June 18: Last night it rained pretty hard. 

June 30: The big slough being practically empty Uncle Horrie, Bud and I started to scrape out a dugout on the edge of the slough using Topsy and Gleam. After dinner Bud brought Bill and Snap as it was too stony to scrape out otherwise. 

July 1: Both uncles, Roy and I working on the dugout using King and Duke for scraping. We were working in water at the finish. 

July 4: Weather very dry and crops burning up. 

July 5: The temperature rose to 104F by 2 PM this afternoon. A dust storm, wind and some rain came along in the afternoon and afterwards the temperature dropped to 57. 

July 11: Between 3 and 4 pm the rain came and it rained for about an hour. The biggest rain we've had for years and when we went out we found the pasture sloughs nearly full of water. It had washed deep furrows out in the summerfallow and must have flowed in a stream 30 yards across down in our valley. Most of our neighbours North and South didn't seem to get much rain. 

July 14: Roy and I cleaned out the drinking water well on the edge of the big slough but it was not a very satisfactory job as the dirt kept caving in under the crib. 

July 25:. Heard that Dick Barton, Philip Lutz and other young fellows have gone to Manitoba to get work harvesting. 

Aug 2: Dad started cutting wheat with the binder today. 

Aug 4-7. We cut and stooked what wheat we have at home. The others are cutting theirs with a mower and stacking it.

Aug 22: A storm came up this evening and made it nearly dark before sunset. 

Aug 23: It rained during the night and made it too wet to thresh. Dust clouds in the sky after dinner.

Aug 26: Our slough is just about dry so I took the tank down to the big slough but could only get 50 pails from the well. 

Aug 27: We finished threshing Dad's wheat today. 25 loads of sheaves is the total. 

Aug. 28: We threshed my wheat today. 6 loads of sheaves giving 60 bushels of wheat. 

Aug 30: Dad helped the others thresh their little bit of wheat. About 6 bushels each. 

Sept 2: Rain for the third night in succession. 

Sept 4: Dad and both uncles went to Lipton to a meeting to discuss the drought and relief. 

Sept 13: Uncle Horrie, Bud and I deepening the well in the big slough this morning. We could not do as much as we wanted as the water came in too fast. 

Sept 18: Dad was helping the uncles to thresh their barley. Uncle Horrie got 16 bushels. Uncle Arthur got 41. 

Sept 21: Uncle Horrie and Bud tried deepening the drinking water well at the big slough but the water to have given out there. We started digging a new well and trying to deepen the stock well simultaneously. Bud was down in the old well but was not able to get on very well. Dad took a tank of water home and the others went to dinner while I stayed on digging. By the time Bud and Dad got back I had dug through to sand and gravel which seemed to be full of water. 

Sept 25: Dad and uncle Horrie went to Lipton to get lumber for a well crib. 

Sept 27: Dad, uncle Horrie and Bud making a crib and putting it in the new well while deepening the well. 

Sept 28: Dad, uncle Horrie and Bud lowering the well a bit more but too much water coming in to do a lot. 

Oct 1: The Millers were boring for water in Bill Miller's big slough. 

Oct 7: Bud was helping Cliff Barton to dig a well.

Oct 26: Geoffrey Barton brought word that a relief car of vegetables is to be distributed in Lipton tomorrow. 

Oct 27: Dad and both uncles went to Lipton and got some potatoes and a mixture of other stuff. 30 pounds was supposed to be allotted each individual. 

Nov 3: Uncle Horrie and I went to Lipton with the wagon today. Another relief car being unloaded and divided up among the farmers. We went to the North Star elevator and got our bags of relief apples and vegetables..

Nov 23: Dad and uncle Arthur went to Lipton and Uncle A got 25 bushels of relief feed oats. 

The Big Slough as it appears in 2021


  1. Hard times are forever only a few droughts away.

  2. Interesting that they did have SOME rain. Wonder what it would have been like with today's farming practices.

    1. Probably better crops but it costs a lot more to produce a crop these days. A poor crop does not cover the cost of growing it.


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