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category: History
published: Apr 2008
publisher: University of Calgary Press

Farmers “Making Good”

The Development of Abernethy District, Saskatchewan, 1880-1920

by Lyle Dick

tagged: post-confederation (1867-), rural, social history


In this newly revised edition of the widely praised original, published in 1989, Lyle Dick revisits the Abernethy district of Saskatchewan and his microhistorical analysis of the development of this prairie community.

Between 1882 and 1920, settlers from Ontario established social and economic structures at Abernethy, Saskatchewan. By virtue of hard work, perseverance, and the critical advantage of having arrived first, they transformed the Pheasant Plains into a prosperous farming community. Using painstakingly collected qualitative and quantitative data, Farmers "Making Good" traces the area's political and economic development, daily life, and social structure and reinterprets the larger history of prairie agricultural settlement in light of Abernethy's remarkable experience.


About the Author
Lyle Dick is the West Coast Historian with Parks Canada in Vancouver, B.C. He has authored sixty-five publications in the fields of Arctic, Canadian, and American history and historiography. His Muskox Land: Ellesmere Island in the Age of Contact was awarded the Harold Adams Innis Prize by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences in 2003 for the best English-language book in the social sciences.
  • Winner, CHA Clio - The Prairies
Editorial Reviews

In many ways, this is an admirable study of economic activity, social relationships, and political developments in one small location over a limited timespan.... Lyle Dick's work of historical reconstruction deserves the attention of all social and economic historians of the Canadian prairies.

?David Collins, British Journal of Canadian Studies

Dick is so well versed in the literature of prairie agriculture that it soon becomes obvious that what he has written is an important community study.


?Joe Cherwinski, Canadian Book Review Annual


Public history at its finest.

—Kenneth E. Koons, Journal of Social History


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