If I recall the facts correctly, I was just a toddler when Grandpa Forsyth died. I have no memories of him at all. Neither do I have many memories of Grandpa Forsyth’s farm from this stage of my life; my main images come from the summer visits we made over the years, while the house was still standing.
My brother Jim tells me that he and I ran all over the farmyard, teased the old ram ’til he chased us, or teased the old rooster ’til he was good and mad. He says the yard had a fence dividing the house and garden from the barnyard. So we’d tease these poor creatures, then rush through the gate and slam it behind us just before the ram or rooster caught us.
When he moved to the city Dad sold the farm to their neighbours, the Drury family. (Or perhaps he rented it to them initially?) I can remember being at their home a time or two and their teenage sons who eventually farmed Dad’s land. They left the yard intact for some years and we went back there every now and then. Again my siblings and I would get together and explore the old barn; it had “Thomas Forsyth” and the year it was built painted above the big doors.
Grandpa and Grandma Forsyth –Tom and Margaret (Buchanan)– had made themselves a beautiful garden and orchard on one side of their house. Of course the garden was no more but in my younger years the house, trees, barn, and some sheds were still standing. And the orchard still bore fruit. I remember walking along the rows of currant bushes and crabapple trees when we visited there. Likely they had rhubarb and raspberries, too. We’d go and spend a day at the farm house so Mom and Dad F could gather these fruits and make jam. Mom would can crabapples in syrup just like we do peaches now, leaving the stems on for “handles.” Oh, they were good!
When I was eleven we moved from Saskatoon to Regina, where Dad F had three sisters. this put such a distance between them and the farm that we never went back there. Perhaps after this–when they bought the cafe at Belle Plaine and needed the money– they sold all or the bulk of of the land. I wasn’t privy to all those details; they did as they saw fit without explaining it all.
My husband and I went back through that area on our honeymoon and only the barn was standing in the middle of a sea of wheat. Last time I was back there was nothing to show a home and farm yard had ever been there. I’m not sure if I should label that progress or not.