As you drive through the small village of Abernethy, Saskatchewan and onto the gravel road leading to Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site, the open prairie landscape is interrupted by a visual feast: a grand stone house, a commanding barn, flourishing gardens and rows of trees – the leaves trembling in the prairie breeze. Often described as a prairie oasis, Motherwell Homestead stands out from the surrounding fields.
The life of a homesteader was a challenging one! With little more than an ox or work horse, a plough, cart, and one's own hands, homesteaders carved out a living on the open plains. Dust storms, blizzards and grasshoppers all took their toll. Many homesteaders gave up; however, Motherwell and his family persevered.