Thursday, March 10, 2016

Saskatoon in 1946

By the end of April, 1946 we finally moved to Saskatoon.  It had been a long winter with mother and children staying with the grandparents on the farm and Dad staying with his father in the city.  

When we returned to Saskatoon after the war, Dad thought he would be able to get some sort of Veteran's housing since he had a family, but because he had only been to Alaska and not overseas, he was not high on the priority list.  Available houses were almost non existent in Saskatoon and when he did find a house, his hope of moving in soon fell through.  He purchased a tenant occupied house, but when he tried to get them to move out they flatly refused. They had no place to go, so it looked like a lengthy battle with an elderly couple was about to ensue.  Finally my father said they could stay if they bought the house from him and they agreed.  Back to house hunting again.  In April he put an offer in on a house on Main Street, a few blocks from Broadway Avenue and soon we moved into our new home.

My Great Grandma Atkinson in 1946
with Dad, Bill and me

It was a small two storey older house with three bedrooms and bathroom upstairs.  The main floor had a small kitchen with an old fashioned wood burning kitchen range and a refrigerator which my parents had just purchased, a dining room and a living room which had been given many layers of wall paper over the years.  In the basement there was a big coal burning furnace and in the corner, a coal room with a chute leading from the outside for incoming coal. There were two heat vents on the main floor, but only one on the second floor and it was on the floor in the middle of the hall.  Once my father had stoked the furnace and added coal in the morning, there was an ongoing competition by the children  to see who would get to stand on the hot air vent as the warm air rose to the second floor.  We would shove each other around as we tried to gain possession of the valuable territory on the vent and bask in the comfort of the warm air making its way upstairs. 

About a year after we moved in, my parents got rid of the wood burning range and purchased a propane stove.  It was before the days of natural gas so the stove was connected to a large propane tank outside the house.  

For my parents, owning a home was something new, and having delivery of milk and bread to the door was a great convenience.   When he saw us moving in, the milkman from Co-op Dairy stopped by the house, welcomed mother to the neighbourhood and offered her daily milk delivery.  My mother enthusiastically agreed and all was fine.  That is, until a few hours later the nice milkman from Purity Dairies showed up at the door to welcome her and  convinced her that he too would provide great service.  She couldn't resist and said yes to him as well.  Fortunately, when the milkman from Palm Dairy arrived at the house, my father happened to be home and he was able to prevent her agreeing to have three milkmen.  However, we had two milkmen for as long as we lived in the house, they delivered on alternate days and my mother just didn't have the heart to discontinue either one.  I might add that milk in those days was being delivered by horse and wagon so it probably confused the horses who usually knew the route quite well but would stop at our house every day, not realizing it was supposed to be every other day.   In addition to  daily milk deliveries, we also had  bread delivery, also by horse and wagon.  As you can well imagine, the amount of time spent by horses in front of our house was evident by the manure that was accumulating. 

My Great Grandma Atkinson, my father's grandmother lived about two blocks away from us and in those days, kept a few chickens in her backyard. She was a lovely lady and I used to enjoy visiting her.

I noticed by 2015 our old house had been demolished and a new house built in its place.