Lloydminster began, suddenly, as one of the largest (and most publicized) group settlement schemes in Canadian history. Rev. Isaac Barr originated the idea of promoting an all British settlement in the heart of the Western Canadian prairies. Barr's hope for a few hundred was overwhelmed by several thousand inquiries. He responded to these with pamphlets extolling the advantages and opportunities for British folk, including the contribution to building the British Empire. Soon joined by Rev. George Lloyd, the two, despite an increasingly tense personal relationship, succeeded in shepherding almost 3,000 settlers within the first year to "Britannia Colony" centered around Lloydminster (a combined recognition of Lloyd and his founding church, St. John's Minster (mother church). Isaac Barr had thought the central town might be called "Barrville".
For photos and information about Barr and his family -click here
Left - right: Unknown, George Flamank, George Lloyd, and Isaac Barr
Transcription of Post card note sent back to Britain (above):
"Dear Siss / This is the cook tent. Note / the dining table & Walter stood / at the door & that's Brock stood up against the saw block. I'll / send some more photos soon."
[Photo and postcard courtesy of Marjorie Brooks.]
Left - a Bain Wagon
Similar to those purchased by the Barr Colonists to haul their copious belongings from Saskatoon to their new lands near Lloydminster.
[Of course, it had a pole on in front, to which one hitched oxen or horses. In recreations it is common to mount a canvas top and have a “covered wagon”. Pioneers quickly learned that a canvas top easily became a sail and would be torn off in any amount of wind. The smarter ones took the canvass top down and only used it while camped or more as a tarpaulin to protect their perishables.
“Barr Colonists” were notorious for bringing large quantities of baggage with them; including things that experienced settlers regarded as impractical, such as: pianos, household furniture, silverware, china dishes, fancy dress clothes, framed paintings, etc. Once they arrived at Saskatoon, they purchased farm machinery and livestock. Then with all this loaded (or over-loaded) on their wagons they set off for westward, to new beginnings.
(Right) Three young men: George Brooks, William Kenyon, and Sidney Shaw pose in this tattered photo that somehow survived in the Kenyon family. The brick building with the glass paned window behind them would not have been in Lloydminster in 1903. Location unknown.
(Left) Not all colonists came up the wagon trail from Saskatoon. As shown here, some travelled down the North Saskatchewan River to landings north of Lloydminster. As we see, they too brought lots of stuff. The rafts or skows they floated in were broken up to supply lumber for building homes.