GenWeb de la Basse Côte-Nord

Quebec Lower North Shore GenWeb


Le GenWeb de la Basse Côte-Nord est une composante du GenWeb du Québec et du Canada GenWeb.

The Lower North Shore GenWeb is part of the Quebec GenWeb and the Canada GenWeb Projects.


The Cross River Farm

By Sharon Chubbs-Ransom

In 1931, William Anderson accepted a proposal, in the form of a Federal Government Grant, to establish an experimental farm on the eastern banks of Cross River. Dr. Harrison F. Lewis, Wildlife Representative of the Ottawa Agricultural Department, advised on the site of the farm. During the fall of that year, Dosh and his sons measured off eight acres of land for fields and began clearing the land. At this time, he also began construction of a house. In May of the following spring of 1932, Dosh and his wife Ester Selina Chislett "Leney" and their family became the first resident settlers.

The government supplied a two hundred-pound plow, a cultivator, a spring-tooth harrow, rakes, shovels and hoes. William Anderson, his sons and nephews did the manual labor. Eight men were required to pull the plow! As well as clearing the land they sowed half an acre of potatoes the first year. In late fall, the "Sable Isle" brought an ox, a cow, two pigs and twelve hens. The Federal Government supplied the livestock, seed to plant and feed for the cattle. In addition they paid "Dosh" a yearly stipend of $200 dollars.

No sooner was the project under way than it was influenced first by the Depression of the 1930s and then by World War II. The greatest amount of stock on the farm at any one time were ten head of cattle:three of them milking cows; six beef cows, and; a bull called "Rubus". There were 30-40 hens with the all familiar rooster, four pigs and 2 oxen of which one was named "Bob". A four crop rotation of hay, potatoes, turnip and fallow ground was carried out. Ester maintained a small garden in the shelter of the woods on the riverbank where she grew most everything in root crops - turnip, carrots, beets - and also cabbage, lettuce and broccoli. The following are two pictures of the farm-hands:

Picture 1 (click here / cliquez ici): Plowing - (left to right) Dosh, Sam, Alf (on Bob) and Reg. Picture from Dr. D. G. Hiodd Collection curtesy of Dan Mauger.

Picture 2 (click here / cliquez ici): Haying - Dosh in the cart, pulled by Bob the Oxen with (left to right) sons Reg and Sam in scow that brought hay across Cross River. Picture from Maud Bobbitt-Anderson, wife of Reg; copied by Sharon Chubbs-Ransom.

Buildings on the farm included the family home, a chicken coop, a shed, a well house, and a barn for animal shelter in winter. The only full time workers were Dosh and his youngest son Alf but the other sons and nephews helped seasonally with haying and harvest. There are many stories from Uncle Sam, Reg. and Alf about trying different methods to get the oxen to work and catching a bull on the rampage! Myrtle Jones one of the grandchildren loved the farm and spent many happy hours up there with her grandparents. There was little profit from the farm, and in fact there was not a sufficient living to support the whole family. The Government withdrew aid after eight years of hard work.

In 1932, the only house in the area was that of William and Ester. However, shortly thereafter a log cabin was built on the Western bank of Cross River. This was to be the vacation home of Doctor Hodd and his family; a nurse at the Grenfell Mission Hospital at Harrington also shared it. In 1934, the first major social event at Cross River was the wedding supper of William's son, Ernest Anderson, and his bride, Grace Thomas. In 1932, Sam Anderson built a winter house just to the west of his father's. Ern built a winter house west of Sam's in 1935. The old log cabin that originally belonged to Dr. Hodd was bought by Reg. Anderson in 1944 and enlarged. When Reg. built his new house in 1957, this log cabin passed to Gus Bobbitt. Ern built a new house in 1959 and Alf started a new one in 1960. The old house that had been lived in by the Anderson family was lived in by Ches Jones and family during the winter of 1962-63 and apart from that it remained in the Anderson family. The farm took up all the land of the present day airport; the family house was close to or on the site of Alf's present house.

As the years passed, many grandchildren were born and brought up at Cross River. In February of 1953, Esther Selina Chislett-Anderson died in the old farmhouse where she had lived for 21 years. Her husband Dosh survived her by only four years. He died down on Fox Island in April 1957. Neither of them survived long enough to see the fourth generation born. By this time, other people had begun to move into the locality. The Anderson children, though continuing to live on the original farmland, became a part of the newer and larger community of present day Chevery.
Date Entered on the Web: 19 October 2002  

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Thank you to the previous coordinators, Sharon Ransom and Marc-André Gosselin, for their excellent work !
We are looking forward to reading your suggestions and comments. / Il nous fera plaisir de lire vos suggestions et commentaires.

Dernière mise à jour: 13/10/2016

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Suzette Leclair, Provincial Coordinator, Quebec GenWeb Project