Daniel Coleman has written about a small plot of land sheltered by the Niagara Escarpment near where he works at McMaster University. In his book Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place he works to deal with questions about belonging to a place.
“Belonging comes from having been accepted, not from being in charge. The work of place, the recording of its biography, its life story, then, requires as much listening as it does speaking. Indeed, because of the imbalance of our acquisitive aggressive times, the work of belonging may require more listening than speaking, more contemplation than action, more intuitive immersion than bold assertions.
Coleman, Daniel. Yardwork: a Biography of an Urban Place. JSNB James Street North Books, 2017.
Leith Knight carefully researched and listened, and in her Times-Herald Column called “Historically Speaking” told many stories of the days before Moose Jaw was a town or a city.
“As winter approached family groups moved into the sheltered valleys of prairie streams which could supply water, fodder and sufficient timber for log cabins….There were at least two wintering sites on the Moose Jaw Creek: one where the river meets the Qu’Appelle, another about twelve miles upstream at a big bend, called the Turn by all who travelled the prairies in pre-settlement years. …The latter site, situated in what is now Kingsway Park, had been a campground for nomadic plains dwellers for centuries, and for fur traders and buffalo hunters since the beginning of the 1800s. Not only was it an oasis in the middle of the vast dry prairieland, but the only point on Moose Jaw Creek where Red River carts, loaded with pemmican and furs, could cross the valley with minimum difficulty. The great west trail from Fort Garry utilized this natural ford, bringing to The Turn many colorful figures of the old West to barter for furs and pemmican, peddle whiskey and preach the Gospel.”
Knight, Leith. All the Moose –All the Jaw. Moose Jaw 100, 1982.
The Kingsway Park mentioned by Leith Knight will enter into the stories of more than one of the families who lived at 1037 Clifton Avenue.