Historical picnic revives century-old tradition on Sask. homestead
Published Monday, August 5, 2019 5:10PM CST
Last Updated Monday, August 5, 2019 6:28PM CST
A farmyard in Buffalo Pound Provincial Park is being recognized as a piece of Saskatchewan’s history that’s been around for more than a century.
Marjorie Nicolle used to admire the homestead in the 1940s, wondering what it looked like inside.
“About two years later I was on the neighbour’s pond skating at night and I met Chub Nicolle and he was from this house,” she said.
She would go on to marry Chub in 1949. The pair spent several years living on the homestead, which was built by Chub’s grandfather, Charles Nicolle, around the turn of the 19th century. The workmanship has withstood the test of time.
“They pushed [rocks] with the wheelbarrow,” Nicolle said. “My husband said his grandpa told him, pushed rocks up with the wheelbarrow on a plank to make the storeys.”
On Monday, Nicolle returned to the old homestead for the first time in over a decade. Dozens of others also came to recreate a longstanding tradition: the Nicolle family homestead picnic.
“This is where the family would have had their picnics 100 years ago, and this is really where the barn and the home and the horses were,” said Rhett Painter, a park interpreter with Buffalo Pound Provincial Park. “So for one day, it’s kind of where everything comes back to the way it was.”
Horse-drawn wagon rides, old-time ice cream making and a pop-up display from the Western Development Museum all helped to paint a picture of the past.
“To be at a spot like this with the historic significance and have those hands-on things, people can maybe walk a mile in those folk’s shoes from long ago,” Karla Rasmussen with the museum said.
This year’s picnic revived a yearly tradition that began more than 100 years ago. The park hopes the tradition can continue in the years ahead.