Photo Friday: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Edith Davidson and her children, Carl and Bernice, use a horse-drawn toboggan to make their way home from Sunday morning worship at the North Star Mission in Saskatchewan. (Courtesy of the Brethren in Christ Historical Library and Archives)

Over the past weekend, Philadelphia got more than a foot of snow — a lot less than other places on the East Coast, but still a substantial dusting.

But this number pales in comparison to what congregants of the Brethren in Christ Church’s North Star Mission had to contend with. As today’s Photo Friday installment shows, residents of central Saskatchewan braved all kinds of inclement weather — including considerable amounts of snow — to make their way to and from church in the 1930s and 1940s.

Here’s a brief history of the mission, courtesy of E. Morris Sider:

[The] Saskatchewan Council in 1929 petitioned the Home Mission Board to provide a suitable worker to open a mission . . . [about] twelve miles northeast of the town of Paddockwood in the Howard Creek district. . . . The Board eventually responded by sending Leroy Yoder to minister from the summer of 1933 to May of the following year; he was followed in turn by Mabel Climenhaga and the Albert Cobers. During their eight year ministry, the Cobers directed the building of a mission home and a church building (completed in 1936 and 1942 respectively) . . .

For more on the mission, see Sider, The Brethren in Christ in Saskatchewan ([Saskatchewan, Canada]: Brethren in Christ Church, Saskatchewan, Canadian Conference), and Sider, The Brethren in Christ in Canada: Two Hundred Years of Tradition and Change (Hamilton, Ont.: Canadian Conference of the Brethren in Christ Church, 1988), 178-184. A complete history of the mission is Earl D. Brechbill, The North Star Story (Shippensburg, Pa.: Beidel Printing House, Inc., 1983).

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About Devin Manzullo-Thomas

Father to Lucas. Husband to Katie. Prof and administrator at Messiah College. PhD student at Temple University. Member of Grantham BIC.
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3 Responses to Photo Friday: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

  1. Harriet Bicksler says:

    This picture looks a lot like some I’ve seen from my parents’ days at North Star Mission back in the 1940s (before my time!). My dad always said he saw enough snow during those years to last a lifetime….

  2. R. Aubrey Hawton says:

    You don’t have to go to northern Saskatchewan to see snow in the Canadian Conference, and you don’t have to go back to the ’30s and ’40s either.

    I remember driving to church as a child at the Stayner BIC congregation, and the snowbanks along the side of the 6th Line (the road the church was on) were considerably higher than the roof of the car. It wouldn’t surprize me if they were at least 10 feet tall in many locations.

    Those were the days!

  3. I remember dad (Leroy Yoder) telling us about needing to walk the twelve miles from one meeting place to another to preach in the middle of the winter of ’33 when the temperature was 40 degrees below zero (F). He told us a few people had cars but because of the shortage of gasoline in the middle of the Depression, they attached a tongue to the front in order to hitch a team of horses to pull them–a case of horseless carriages regaining their horses! Dad lived with an elderly couple in a one room log cabin that winter. One of his chores was to melt snow to supply water.

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