Old Homestead Records: McNaught Homestead History
Barns of the West County:
The McNaught Barn
Story/Photos by David McGregor — The Beaverlodge West County News & Advertiser
Published August 13, 2015
Old homestead records indicate that the McNaught Family traces back to Scotland and from there some of that family immigrated to Canada.
They settled in Ontario in the Glenmorris area. This area was a Scottish settlement along the Grand River called Dumfries. This family of five included Samuel McNaught, who, according to old homestead records, married and farmed near Brantford, Ontario.
In Samuel's family were Samuel, Charles, Robert and Jane. Robert was killed in a driving accident, Samuel went west and eventually took a homestead in the Beaverlodge, Alberta area and brought his family there in 1910.
Charles married and stayed to farm and raise his family near Glenmorris. He and Eliza took a trip west to visit his brother and family in 1911. They fell in love with the country and filed on a Homestead and bought a South African Script. In 1912 they returned via the Edson Trail and stayed the rest of their lives.
The McNaught family would become known for their hospitality, their adventurous spirit and a strong sense of community and family. The daughters Marion, Margaret, Isobel and Euphemia all became teachers, as did elder brother John. They hosted the first I.O.D.E. Strawberry tea at their farm in 1920.
Euphemia became one of the earliest women in the west to attend the Ontario College of Art in the late 1920s. This influence led to them initiating Gymkhanas and a Musical Ride as Euphemia's experiences in the Toronto area led her to many events of this sort.
The family fondness for horses and other animals meant they were always part of McNaught life. Their Aunt Jane came west and lived out her remaining life with the two McNaught families.
Athletically, they were involved in basketball and badminton games and played all over the region. They made trips into the wilderness, both south to the Nose Mountain area and west into the Monkman Pass.
Their cousin Crosbie was President and their brother John was Secretary of the Monkman Pass Association, which was founded to establish an outlet to connect the Peace Country to coast outlets for their agricultural products. The Second World War halted this project, as all resources and men were directed to the war effort.
They were doers and thinkers. They were widely read and lively discussions on a range of topics were part of any social gathering with them. They shared the jobs of caring for their parents, the farming chores and the housekeeping. They took turns teaching so one of them could be home to care for the parents in later years.
Isobel became a young widow with a young daughter and taught during the week, but spent weekends with the family. John, who had been gassed in World War One, took over the farming as he could no longer teach.
Marion and her family often spent their summers on the Homestead with the family. Charles and Sam, always very close, died within six months of each other in the late 1930s. The McNaught widows, Eliza and Lizzie lived well into the 1950s.
To have tea or be invited to the McNaught's was a privilege, as they were very sociable and entertaining was a source of great enjoyment for them.
The Homestead and its treasure trove of old homestead records serves as a vivid reminder of those like the McNaught family, who sought new adventure and made this country richer for their contributions. We honor their memory by continuing to develop the site for the enjoyment and enrichment of many others.
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