Pages 7 to 15 of the Crandall History Book, 2000.
Born Before 1945
We are survivors! Consider the changes we have witnessed!
We were born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, plastic, contact lenses,
Frisbees and the Pill. Before radar, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams and ballpoint pens.
Before pantyhose, dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners, dripdry
c1othes... and before man walked on the moon.
We got married first then lived together. How quaint can you be! In our time, closets were for
clothes, not for "coming out" of. Bunnies were small rabbits and rabbits were not Volkswagons.
Designer Jeans were scheming girls named Jean, and having a meaningful relationship meant getting
along with our cousins.
We thought fast food was what you ate during Lent, and outer space was the outdoor theatre. We were
before house husbands, "gay rights", computer dating, dual careers and commuter marriages. We were
before daycare centres, group therapy and suntan parlours. We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, VCR's,
electronic typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yogurt and guys wearing earrings.
For us, time-sharing meant togetherness.. .not computers or condominiums. A chip meant a piece
of wood. Hardware meant hammers and nails and software wasn't even a word.
Back then "Made in Japan" meant junk, and the term "making out" referred to how you did on your
exam. Pizzas, McDonalds and instant coffee were unheard of. We hit the scene when there were 5
and 10-cent stores, where you bought things for 5 and 10 cents. The dairy sold ice cream cones
for a nickel or a dime. For one nickel you could ride a streetcar, make a phone call, buy
Orange Crush, or enough stamps to mail one letter and two postcards. You could buy a new Chevy
coupe for $600... but who could afford one? A pity too, because gas was 11 cents a gallon!
In our day, GRASS was mowed, COKE was a cold drink and POT was something you cooked in. ROCK
music was a grandma's lullaby, and AIDS were helpers in the Principal's office. We made do
with what we had. And we were the last generation that was naive enough to think you needed
a husband to have a baby. No wonder our kids don't understand us!
Memories By Ada Fleming
In the thirties and until the mid forties, the families of north Crandall and two or three
families from south of Decker formed a 500 Club. They met every second Friday at the different
homes from November until the end of March, depending when spring came. If there was still snow
in April, they went until maybe mid April. There were seven or eight and some times more tables.
You played four hands, then the winning women moved up and the winning men moved down. The
losers stayed at the same table but changed partners. If you had good cards and good partners,
you moved almost every time, and then there were times when you never moved all night.
These gatherings were well organized with a president and secretary. You kept track of your
scores and handed them to the secretary at the end of each evening, and the president said
who the high and low men and women were, and also decided where the group would meet again.
The women took lunch, so many took sandwiches and the rest took cakes or sweets of some kind.
Of course, in those days you went by horses and doubled up so there weren't too many teams to
put in the barns. In those days every farmer had cattle and horses and they were all kept in
In the summer for a few years, they played ball Monday evenings at Elmer and Lloyd Douglas'.
This was between seeding and haying so it was really for a short period-of time. I suppose they
had lunch, I don't remember that. After the Second WorId War broke out this group broke up
because too many of the younger men left for the war.
After the war broke out, four or five women would meet at different homes and quilt up blocks
that the women had been making in the winter. These were given to the Red Cross.
I often wonder how many remember the Christmas concerts in the old Orange Hall. It really was
quite cold and scary as the steps to the upper part where we changed were on the outside
and seemed so long and sometimes slippery.
I don't remember anyone falling or catching cold, as it was so cold, especially if you were in
a drill and wearing paper costumes. I'm sure it was a real headache for the teachers: so many
excited children taking part and impatiently waiting for Santa's arrival. But it was something
we all looked forward to starting in mid November until the last day of school before Christmas.
Very seldom could you go by car as the roads weren't kept open like they are now. Most people had
vans with a little heater in them to keep you warm. If it was really mild a lot went in open
sleighs. Every town had what they called a livery barn where people could leave their horses.
Can you imagine taking a team and driving to Hamiota, which was usually what happened at least
once in the winter. Although there were good grocery, hardware, blacksmith shops, a post office
and a bank in Crandall, there must have been some business to do in Hamiota. You could drive to
Brandon today in less time than it took to go to Hamiota by horses. In fact, it was an all day
trip; often taking your lunch as it isn't like now where you eat in a cafe or hotel very often.
In the days before we had electricity, people didn't have refrigerators or deep freezes in which
to keep meat in the summer. That was the start of what they called a beef ring. A group of farmers,
maybe twelve or twenty formed their own beef ring. Each farmer took his turn to take a steer to
be butchered at a designated farm. They took them a certain night each week. The next morning it
was cut up, and each family got so many pounds of meat each week. It must
- .~ have worked out very well as the beeef rings lasted until electricity came in. Of course, you
killed your own for winter use and kept it outside in barrels and it stayed frozen. If there was
any left when spring came, the women were busy canning the extra, which was a lot of work but was
very welcome in the summer if you ran short of meat from the beef ring.
Memories of Growing up in the Crandall area by Marion Nolan
I loved going to school in the horse drawn sleigh van driven by my Dad.
I loved having lunch in the van at the livery stable, the baked beans prepared by Dad on
the little stove in the van.. .
I loved lunches at the Men's Bonspiel, Nora Lipscomb's homemade soup was the best...
I loved Christmas concerts put on by all the students and held in the theatre. Santa dressed
in the projectionist room, and then every child received a gift, a Christmas orange and a little
bag of homemade fudge...
I loved walking to church from school for the Remembrance Day service, then to the cenotaph...
I loved my first attempt at making pies for the Veterans lunch. Dad suggested we should keep them at
home! (The dog wasn't fussy about them either!)...
I loved Mother's day at Crandall United Church when everyone wore either a pink or white hand-made crepe
paper carnation in honour of their mother. . .
I loved walking around downtown to Johnson's store, to the post office, browsing around Kitz hardware or
hanging around the pool hall. . .
I loved family skating at the old rink on Boxing Day.. .
I loved hearing stories of the outhouse at the teacherage being tipped over every Halloween until one
principal moved it ahead a few feet before the pranksters arrived...
I loved the gong from the school bell always went missing on Halloween night, but it always returned. . .
I loved having all the High school students or CGIT group out to the farm home for a turkey feast and
roasting marshmallows in the fireplace...
I loved it took up every girl in High School to make up our softball or volleyball teams..
I loved practicing volleyball in the old rink- how many balls did we puncture from the nails in the roof. ..
I loved that same volleyball team going to Provincials in Winnipeg and playing against the "big city" teams...
I loved how proud we were of our new school and having a gymnasium...
I loved Hi-C gatherings with John Suszko and Rev. Christie, school dance and wedding receptions in that
I loved rushing over to Rollie Dickey's at lunchtime to watch the World Series on his T.V.
(one of the first) or being allowed to listen to it on the radio in class.. .
I loved how many got there first barber hair cut by Cliff Lyng, or their cars tuned by Bob Schoch or
I loved when the railway station was a bustling place and the sad day it came down...
I loved Being a part of small town rural pride!
Memories of Crandall By Gerald Shier
The following are a few memories of a few people in Crandall that stick out in my memory. The first
one was Mr. Dibblee, my school principal for my 11 years of learning. Mr. Dibblee was the boss,
also a very fair one. If you behaved yourself and did your work, all was fine, but God help you
if you broke his rules. The only time I received his wrath was in Grade 9. I was always big for my
age and used to sit with my feet in the aisle, as it was more comfortable. A girl in my class, who
shall remain nameless, was going up the aisle and tramped on my foot, which hurt. When she came back,
I tripped her, which Mr. Dibblee saw me do. Also, in Grade 11, I was working quite hard at home,
Playing senior ball, etc., consequently my schoolwork, chemistry, physics, etc., was not up to snuff.
Mr. Dibblee called me into the office one day and all he said was "Are you going to play ball or put
more effort into school work?" That was the end of my schooling, three quarters of the way through
Grade 11. After all was said and done, Mr. Dibblee and I remained staunch friends until his passing.
Another teacher was my Grade 1-2 teacher,
Miss Margaret Kirton, a strikingly beautiful person and teacher. I think the male students,
even at that age, were in love with her. My next
teacher was Miss Mabel McArthur, Grade 3, 4, &5. Both of these women taught us what I call the 3 'R's',
readin', 'ritin', and 'rithmetic. No problem for these teachers to teach up to 35 students in one room
and 2 or 3 grades. Most of my teachers took a lot of interest in our school days and our out-of-school
days. Another man at school was Mr. Harry Collyer, the caretaker, (now they are called custodians) of
the school. He was everybody's friend. The rooms with oiled wooded floors and the wood heaters were
always meticulously clean. Even the outside toilets, boys' and girls', were kept spotless summer and
winter. Also, one thing I remember about Mr. Collyer was the real nice smell of his pipe. I can still
see him cutting the tobacco off a plug of black tobacco, rolling it up in his hands and packing it
into his pipe, striking a wooden match on his pant leg, and lighting his pipe.
Mr. & Mrs. Steve Robus were two more people who were a part of Crandall. Steve was caretaker of the
rink and the cemetery. He drove to Pope with a team of horses in the winter and a car in the summer to
meet the train and pick up the mail and bring it back to Crandall. He also worked in harvest time for
farmers. I remember in 1942, the war years, men weren't available to stook and thresh. Steve worked
for my dad. I was 12 years old and Homer Lelond, Steve and I made up the three-man stook team. One
day it was a little bit colder and Steve had about six different jackets and sweaters tied to his
rack. I said to him, "Why have you brought so many clothes for today?" His answer was, "If Steve
doesn't look after Steve, who will?" Mrs. Robus was a telephone operator and in the winter her passion
was curling. One year after we were married, Nora was maybe 20 or 21 years old, and she was curling
with Mrs. Robus, Dorothy Amy, and Florence Lelond in the Lenore bonspiel, and they got a prize for
being the oldest rink.
Bill Cobum and his mother: Bill was the Esso dealer and McCormick Deering machinery dealer in town.
The thing I remember about Bill was his whist playing. At card parties, he always seemed to win.
Also, at the time, each curler owned his own rocks, and Bill's were about 5 pounds lighter than anybody
I remember his mother standing in the gate of their home, which is now owned by Doug and Darlene Long,
calling Doug Castle home for meals. She would yell, "Dougie, you young booger, get home here right now."
We would maybe be playing at my Grandpa Shier's and Doug would take off as quickly as he could.
Another man I recall is Bill Phillips. He lived in a little house south of the elevator. Bill was a
bachelor and the town cop. He could sure put the run on us rascals. Bill and my dad played thousands
of games of crib in their later years. About the last time I saw Bill was when he was living in Park
Residence in Hamiota. Nora went to visit someone in the hospital and I went and played crib with Bill
and had a visit. Grant White was caretaker of Park at the time, and he had just beaten Bill a couple of
games when I came in. We played maybe three more games, which I won. All of a sudden, Bill stood up,
grabbed the cards, threw them on the floor and exclaimed, "I always did like Nora, but never did have
any use for you. Get the hell out of here." I think he was upset at losing so many games. Bill's birthday
was December 23, which he and several of his cronies always celebrated. After their passing, we
continued the tradition for as long as he lived in Park, and played crib with him, but he never threw
me out again.
Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Lee: Charlie was one of the most devoted community minded people I can remember,
coaching sports, rink, community centre, etc. The thing I remember about Mrs. Lee was in summer and
winter, she always changed her clothes and put on makeup before supper. She had been raised in Swift
Current, Saskatchewan. Charlie's brother, Ced, helped him on the farm, which was right across the road
from ours. I remember Ced rolling cigarettes from orange papers. Jerry Lee and I would pilfer a bit of
Ced's tobacco or my dad's and try to do likewise. It didn't'taste too good to me. Ced had been in wars,
1914-1918 and 1939-1946. In his later years he lived in Crandall and had the poolroom.
Cliff Lyng - B.A. dealer: Cliff sticks out in my mind as being a curler. He was very good at it, and a
great storyteller. One year at the bonspiel in Crandall, I was curling with Cliff,
Grant Hyndman and Jerry Lee. We were in the prizes in the main event and hadn't lost a game. The weather
warmed up and the ice got soft, so we couldn't play till later in the night. Our opponents were four
really old men from Miniota, so we had a few drinks and then had supper and a few more drinks, and it
came time to go to the rink. Well, Cliff said only a couple of us needed to go to curl those old guys.
Well, we all went anyway, and we never got a point and quit after six ends. What a blow to Cliff's ego.
Another thing I remember about Cliff's shop was the big-lighted globes that were on top of the gas bowsers.
Milt McConnell was
running the hardware to the west of Cliff's shop and they lived upstairs. Morris and I had been deer
hunting and he had a new rifle with a scope on it. He couldn't hit anything all day, so we
came home and I went to bed. Later my dad came home from Cliff's and woke me up and told me I wasn't
going hunting with that guy any more; he might shoot me. What happened was, Morris was in his room with
his new gun, which he thought was unloaded. He put it up to his shoulder and aimed at this globe over at
Cliff's. Well, he did this several times, and it seems a bullet was stuck in the magazine. While Cliff
was filling Garnet Johnston's car with gas, Morris shot the globe off the bowser. Pretty good for
shooting through the window in the dark! Cliff's little shop was a gathering place for the men to sit
and gossip, but it emptied out pretty fast that night.
We had a butcher in town by the name of Teddy Bolton. He stands out in my mind because, as kids from the
farm, we always had beef, pork and chicken to eat. On Saturday night, when we went to town, Teddy would
give a kid a slice of bung bologna, which was a real treat, as it was something we didn't have at home.
I still like bologna to this day. Teddy's wife's name was Flo, and I still remember her to this day
because when it was my dad's turn to take a beef in for the beef ring to be killed, she would always
say, "I skins the feet." The beef ring was a kind of co-op. I think there were 16 shares, which meant
16 farmers took an animal to be butchered on Monday night, and on Wednesday morning, people went and picked
up their share in a flour or sugar sack. There was no refrigeration at that time. The meat was kept in the
ice well. After a week, what was left was canned.
Jim Bing had a Chinese cafe and grocery store. He was always good to us kids with treats. In the war
years when food rationing was in effect, Jim always seemed to have a little extra sugar or syrup and
such for his customers.
Roy Brown, the hardware man's son, had a mink ranch on the east side of town, south of the tracks. My
sister, Bev, and I would shoot rabbits on Saturday. Our dad would pick them up on Saturday afternoon
and take them to Roy. Bush rabbits were worth 5 cents and jack rabbits 10 cents. We would have up to
25 or more in an afternoon, and shells were only 25 cents a box, so we made quite a profit.
Joe Lawson looked after the livery barn. How someone never got their brains kicked out,
I'll never know, because of the amount of horses that were crowded in the barn on a Saturday night or
Friday night dance.
J. T. Clark in the corner store also ran the post office. Whitney's were in the hotel; Frank Skorka was
the shoemaker. There are still a lot of lines hanging in our old shop that Frank made for my dad in
about 1942. The reason I remember that is it was the first year I drove a stook team, a team of full
brother Clydes, Prince and Bonnie. They liked to run away. My dad said, "Here's new lines and bridle,
and don't let that team get away on you." But that is another story. Three station agents that I
remember are O'Hara's, Campbell's and Avery's. Manitoba Pool Elevator managers were Bill Murdock,
Lawrence Nelson and Murray Bray. Garage men were Bob Schoch and Jim Walker. Storekeepers were
J. T. Clark, Mr. Todd, Jim Bing, Herald Hall, Morgan Johnston, Reavie, Cadwalador, Sheila and
Neil Wallace, Doug and Darlene Long, Neil and Ruth Greene. Machinery dealers were Bill Coburn,
Milt McConnell, Lorne Johnston and Delymer Johnston.
I think that maybe Nora and I developed our passion for dancing at the Orange Hall in Crandall.
Dances were held here periodically in the winter. Keith Kirk's Uncle Mip would call
the square dances. We also had barn dances in Marks' barn. These were popular in the 40's and 50's.
I could go on and on, but will just mention some of the family names I remember: Cowling, Fleming,
Hunkin, Douglas, Johnston, Long, Dickey, Marks, Nankivell, Kirk, Meyers, Vance and Angus. The Doupes,
Greys, Rudds, Morrisons, Amys, Webbers and Hyndmans. All of these played an important part in the
history of Crandall and contributed to making it a community of which I am proud to be a part.
I apologize if I have left anyone out. These are just some of my memories, but I hope they will spark
someone to remember a bit about some of these colourful people who have shaped our community.
Notes By Brian Johnston
Occupants of SW 12-14-25
1889-1920 - Alfred Dickey
1920-1948 - A.B.C. Dickey
1948-1973 - H.V. Johnston 1973-present - Brian Johnston
The brick house where Aline and I live was built in 1909.
As a boy, my weekly allowance was 25 cents. I would spend 15 cents for the Saturday night movie, and
then spend the remaining 10 cents at Johnson's store.
The first televisions in Crandall were at Kitz's Hardware and Cedric Lee's pool room.
My parents got their first television in 1959.
In the fifties, Bryan "Pork" Smith of Oakner struck me out twice in one inning.
In the sixties, Al Hirst, Skip, Jim Lobban, Wayne VanBuskirk and I cracked an eightender against
Rudy Deutsch of Decker in the Crandall bonspeil.
In the seventies, while golfing with Don and Mardie Lee at Miniota, Don got a hole in one.
In the eighties, Bill Hall, formerly of Decker, his daughter, Kelly, and I canoed the mighty Peace
River in northern Britsh Columbia and Alberta.
In the nineties, I hiked remote alpine trails in Banff National Park.
In 2000, my nephew, Chris Wilson, and I climbed Mount Finlayson on Vancouver Island.
Bob Schoch died in 1981. The garage was closed shortly before that.
May 1973 - The Crandall Pool Room burned down.
The last load of grain was hauled to Crandall's Manitoba Pool Elevator on December 1, 1980. It was
hauled by local board member, Larry Rudd. Shortly thereafter, the railway line through Crandall was
abandoned and the tracks were removed.
In 1993, a building that was a part of Crandall's history was sold and moved out of the area leaving
an empty spot on the knoll east of the church. This building was built in 1912 as the second
Carlingville School, and was situated on NE 9-14-25. The first Carlingville School burned down and
was situated on SW 11-14-25. The second school was moved to Crandall in 1918 as part of the consolidated
school system and became the primary school. In mid-October of 1958, it was vacated and later sold
to Mr. & Mrs. Morgan Johnston and converted to a home east of the church. The last owner of the house
was Mrs. Velma (Lawson) Thornton and last residents were Jack and Trudy (Cable) Alsgard. Some of the
teachers from this area who taught in this school were Margaret (Kirton) Elliot, Velma (Sherritt) Doupe,
Margaret (Skinner) Lawn, and Vera (Johnston) Borland.
In 1935 the average attendance at Crandall church was 59 and at Palmerston, 24.
From the minutes of the annual meeting of Crandall United Church dated Feb. 3, 1943 "religious
education is being carried on in the day school when he (Rev. Bill) delivers talks to the higher
grade pupils on Friday afternoons at the invitation of Mr. Dibblee.
In 1952 Crandall United Church had a total of 107 members of whom 40 were non-resident. In 1952 the
average church attendance was 60. In 1953 Rev. Carruthers had visited more than 70 farm homes, not
counting those in the village of Crandall. In 1954, Mrs. W. Walker retired as caretaker of the church.
She had served in this capacity for 32 years. Mrs. Walker was presented with a torchere lamp
upon her retirement.
In 1956 the Crandall C.G.LT. had 17 members with the executive consisting of
Glenda Smith - President, Florence Blair Secretary and Judy Smith - Treasurer.
In 1956 the Board of Stewards of Crandall United Church were: H.S. Hyndman, C.V. Dickey, H.V. Johnston,
Reg Webber, Stan Doupe, Newton Smith, R.L. Dickey, D.C. Douglas, Larry Hunkin, Nelson Henderson,
W. Rivers and Robert Kitz. All are deceased with the exception of Stan Doupe and Reg Webber, both of
whom live in Hamiota. Stan Doupe remained a member of the Board of Stewards until the church's
closing in 2000.
Notes From R.L. Dickey
At the start of this story, our family, named the Alfred Dickey family, consisted of father, mother,
R.L., aged 7, and Alvy, aged 5 months. Father had, in the year 1888, rented the old Dickey farm. In
the fall of that year, we had a sale, which realized around $500.00. We moved into St. Mary's for a
couple of months, and in January of 1889, father came to Manitoba while Mother, R.L. and Alvy stayed
with Uncle Richard Borland in Pretolia. In March of that year, we came to Manitoba.
Our first few years in Manitoba were anything but pleasant. The weather was bitterly cold and I
remember Alvy and I slept upstairs, and when we got up in the morning, it was just as cold there as
it was outside. We did not have the clothing to combat the extreme weather, and everything that was
done was done the hard way. We were always short of cash as there was very little cash in circulation.
The first couple of years, namely 1890 and 91, father worked on the threshing gang getting a dollar
a day from sunrise to about 9 p.m., and often had to sleep in a hay stack.
The first three or four year's father sowed by hand and we were fortunate to have good crops. Of
course a hailstorm put a crimp on living. As a result of this storm we had to sacrifice most of our
stock, delivering them some five miles west of Miniota. We led the stock in the wagon while I walked
behind. This was the period during which mother was just a slave for work, carrying water for both
washing and drinking from that pond on the Mark farm.
The first year we had a bee and had 14 acres broken. In 1890 we had our first crop and drove it to
Shoal Lake. We took our second crop to Hamiota in 1891.
We had our first team of horses in 1892. We used oxen prior to this. We were hailed out in that year
as well and as a result we almost had to give away our stock.
We bought on time payments the northeast quarter for $750.00 in 1898, the story behind this was we
had some seed, which left father and mother going to Hamiota in a wagon. Father wanted to buy a buggy,
mother wanted a farm. We bought the Kennedy farm on time for $6500.00 in 1904, and rented the Kirk
farm during that year as well. We built the new house and had a well-installed in 1910.
We bought the Crawford Vance three quarters at $40.00 per acre on time and had everything paid for by
1915 and had around $10,000.00 in Canadian bonds.
Our first few years in Manitoba were not easy ones. To help make ends meet, I put on the fires at the
Carlingville School. We, P. Mark and I, received 10 cents a morning and the trustees thought that had
to be liberal and reduced it to 5 cents. I remember one spring mother was poorly and she was unable
to do the housework, and that was saying something. My five dollars went to purchase steam consumption
tonic. To me that was the finest five dollars I ever spent.
We got our water supply from the pond in fresh at the Mark farm, and carried the water from there to
do our washing. At least she did many a time. At harvest time, she stooked and pitched sheaves, and
then would go home to get the meals.
And during the first few years, we walked to church. Just think, after mother being on her feet all
week, to have to walk to church. During this period, they prayed nearly every week. Father being the
choir leader, walked to different places that they practiced.
My job after coming from school was to tend to the cattle. The first years they ran loose, and many a
time it was dark before I could finish. I would walk for miles, then when we had to keep them in, not
having a fence, we staked them out many a time. 1'd have mother watering the stock during the day,
and it was about this time that she tried watering two horses when Meg, a three year old, kicked and
broke her arm, and it was never set correctly.
I think it was 1893 I started to do all the land work. As I said before, I broke all the land on one
quarter. I also broke around 40 acres on the home quarter and about the same on the Kirk half.
I quite well remember the time that father was superintendent of the school. We arranged to go to
Arrow River picnic and mother made a big flag. It must have been an amusing sight, wagon, democrats,
etc. winding the way to Arrow River.
The first drill I remember was a Massey 17 double disk. Our social life at the time was
generally two or more parties over the winter. Church and Sunday school, and prayer meeting on
Wednesday, and choir practice. Mother had a couple of neighbours she would visit, namely Mrs. Tommy?
and Mrs. Robert Flemming, and it was a walk to everything we went to.
Memories of growing up in the Crandall area by John and Anita Dickey
I loved Riding my bicycle 3 miles to Arrow River swimming hole just west of Earl Mark's
where we used to catch Northern Pike while fishing and also went swimming. We would string the
fish over the handlebars and take them home to eat.
I loved The Christmas get togethers at Herb Johnstons and New Years get togethers at
growing up in the by John and Anita Claude Dickeys place
I loved The Friday nights after school when a bunch our age used to go to the dances
either at Kenton or the rink at Oak River.
I loved Going to the picture shows at Crandall and also skating in the winter at the rink
I loved The excitement of having the new rink built at Crandall and skating and curling in the
I loved The great duck hunting we would have in the area during the late 1940' s and early 1950's
I loved The Sunday school picnics the community would take on a day outing at Salt Lake
Actually our childhood days were really all fond memories of which many people have never experienced.
Memories Lynda Long
As the younger generation, my memories of Crandall are different from those of the elder generations.
At Sunday school, I remember making various crafts with Mrs. Delgaty who was the minister's wife as
well as our Sunday school teacher. We went one fall to collect leaves and put them between waxed paper.
We tried our hand at paper mache and ceramics. We would practice a play or skit for the Christmas
Every year at Christmas, the town hall would be the centre of activity with holiday preparations.
People would gather to wait for Santa and the gifts he would bring. There would
be caroling, skits and local talent. Everyone would gather to talk and enjoy the holiday season.
Through the winter months there was very little to do. The skating and curling rink in town were gone.
I would build snowmen, forts or ride my "krazy carpet" down the ten-foot hill at Grandpa Long's house.
I attended school in Hamiota, so I rode the bright yellow school bus, which we nicknamed the yellow
breadbox, every day. On days I knew it was storming outside, I would linger in bed on purpose until
it was almost too late, then my Mom would yell up to me that school was canceled. It didn't take me
long to curl back up into bed.
Through summer vacation, there was more to do, although not much. The Hirst boys and I were pretty
much the only kids in town. We would ride our bikes like motorcycles around town at a rapid speed.
We played chase, hide and seek and tag. The corners all had nicknames, like Deadmans Curve and
Devils Pass. We built forts and rafts, watched T.V., played cards and attempted to learn to skateboard.
This was difficult because the only place we could skate smoothly on was the sidewalk in front of
the Birdtail Office or in Al Hirst's machine shop.
Afternoons I would go to the Birdtail office to have tea with Olive Ann McKeen and "help" out in
the office. Mornings I would rush home from where ever I was playing to have brown sugar and toast
while I watched Mr. Dress-up.
Many days I had to entertain myself. I would read, write, draw, play with my Barbies, or teach my
cabbage patch dolls to play monopoly, at least until they beat me then I'd quit. I was seldom bored,
because I had my imagination to work with.
I was always anxious to help out at any community event, teas, suppers, craft sales, auction sales,
whatever was happening. As I grew older I was able to do more and earned my money by baby-sitting
and mowing the grass at the hall. Although I have moved away I am still willing to help out at any
event in Crandall, recently I helped at the 2000 reunion and am organizing this book.
Although Crandall has changed from the way others remember it, and it may be called a ghost town,
I still call it home and enjoy living here.
To continue the history of the Post Office since the last book, Mrs. Daisy Page retired in 1974
when Darlene Long was appointed postmistress in April, 1974. She continued to operate the Post
Office at the front of her home until the fall of 1975 when they purchased the
General Store and moved the Post Office back there. Then in 1977, the store closed and the Post
Office was again moved back to the Long house. In 1984 the 100th anniversary of postal
service in Crandall was celebrated with an Open House. The anniversary cake was cut by Darlene Long,
Postmistress, Mr. B.K. Lawrence, oldest customer and Jenna Rudd, youngest customer. Cyril Anderson,
Zone Postmaster, and Charlie Mayer, Member of Parliament for the area also attended.
In 1999, the Post
Office was again moved to the present location and attached to the mobile home of Doug and Darlene Long.
The Post Office has the distinction of having the original mailboxes still in use. Many have
been in the family for three generations. A unique feature of these boxes is needing a combination
to open them rather than the customary key.
While many small communities have seen their Post Office close, we are fortunate to maintain our
identity and full postal service.