Dateline Strongfield

It’s not often that I see news headlines from Strongfield, Saskatchewan, so this news article about a Biofuels funding announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper caught my attention.

My mother (born Clara Olson) was originally from the Strongfield area. I have childhood memories of the unbelievably long journey from our bush farm near Shell Lake to Mom’s beloved prairie roots, visiting Olson relatives in the Strongfield and Hawarden area, almost 200 miles away. With the cars my dad could afford to drive, the trip was always perilous. If the radiator didn’t boil over, chances were high that we’d have a tire blow out. The highway from Shell Lake to Blaine Lake hadn’t been built yet, so we would take the grid road by Kilwinning. But I digress.

Cousin Arlin Olson still owns one of the few houses in Strongfield, which he graciously allowed Marv, Mike and me to use on our mule deer hunt last fall.

I don’t know what the population of Strongfield was in the 1920s and 1930s when my mom was a child, but with a large family on almost every quarter-section, I’m sure it was considerably higher than the current population of 42. A biofuel production facility in the area could offer farmers an alternative market for their grain. I don’t anticipate a boom in the Strongfield economy, but it can’t hurt.

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