History Of Eston submission – by Pearl Sklapsky-Holben

Below is another personal account Pearl Sklapsky-Holben wrote, with forward by her daughter Linda.

I (Pearl’s daughter, Linda) am taking the liberty of including in this book, the tale Mom unfolded for the history of Eston book, where only an edited portion of her tale was included. It is my wish that the reader enjoy this glimpse of her life on the farm.


Jim was raised in the Penkill, Red Rock area and got his education in the Red Rock School. For land, he had gotten the east half of 35-27-20 W 3rd. He had stoned and broken most of it, but he rented it and joined the Air Force and spent most of the time in the Eastern Air Command.

We were married in 1942 in Nova Scotia and lived in Kingston for a while. We next moved to Yorkton, Saskatchewan where Sheridan was born in the Victoria Hospital on August 3. 1944. Jim had applied for and gotten harvest leave, but came home early in August to find most harvesting done. It was a light crop due to such a dry year. He helped Jim Duncan take off his crop. Then because he started to get shuttled back and forth to and from Moose Jaw since the Yorkton Airport was bring closed down, and to Gander Bay Newfoundland, I returned home to Brock with the baby.

My Dad, Frank Sklapsky and my brother Bainard came and helped me crate the furniture and pack and ship it to Brock. Sheridan was only a few months old and I had to hold him all the way as he got car sickness if I laid him on the seat. Infant car seats were not invented or needed back then, I guess with the slow speeds of the vehicles.

Jim was transferred back to Moose Jaw where he obtained his release, though he was kept in Reserve in the Air Force.

Our next step was to set up living accommodations for our family. We bought Peter Duncan’s house which had been built in Alex Duncan’s yard. We also obtained the SW quarter of 29-27-19 W 3rd through the V.L.A.. I had bought a cow and heifer calf from Bill Krepps who had the dairy at Brock. The municipality had dug our basement, and friends, neighbours, and family helped to run the cement for it. We got Wes Fry with the help of the community again to move the house up onto the basement. By this time we had our first daughter, Linda, born in August.

My cow died but gave me another heifer calf. The both calves proved to be good milkers but the oldest heifer was a terror. I don’t think a fence was built that could hold her. I think, in fact, she was a direct descendant of the cow that jumped over the moon.

We had bought a goat from Mrs. Woodfin and she was a good milker also, but could always find the garden. She never destroyed much. In fact you would hardly know she’d been there except for where she’d drug the chain.

We also had bought a milking cow from Hughie Houston but I spoiled her as I would give her potato peelings etc., and she came to look for them. If you stepped out with a dish in your hand, she took it as an invitation and she would be right there to see what you had for her.


  1. To us, Uncle Jim was a giant. I remember mom giving him an apple. One bite and half of it was gone! Another time, he came over and told us about his tractor tipping over; he crawled under it and lifted it upright. He was scolded but said it was easy. Another time, Linda needed a paint brush for school. Uncle Jim asked her to find a stick. He cut a bit of his hair off, attached it to the stick. I don’t remember what he used for metal to hold the hair on to the stick, but Linda was so happy. He was a man of many talents.

  2. I really enjoyed the descriptive writing, thanks for posting this. It brought back memories of our family visit, I think that was in 1973. Dad (Norm Craddock) driving the VW van with us girls sprawled out over the bed in the back (seat belts weren’t required then either), we saw the places that mom (Maddy Sklapsky Craddock) had told so many stories about their growing up there in Brock. I am sure we drove many flat miles and met mom’s Aunt Pearl and Uncle Jim, who were very hospitable to us. Good times! Thanks again, Jo-Anne Kerr

    1. My pleasure. Thanks should also go to Linda for putting it in her book in the first place and now allowing me to post it here.

      I’d love to get more stories like this if you think of someone who may want to share. I find tales of their trials and tribulations fascinating. Did you read the Charles Reeves memoir? He was Grandpa Frank Sklapsky’s father-in-law (Bernice’s dad).

      Pictures would also be welcome…

      Take care

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