Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

May 1997


Published in Great Plains Research 7:1 (Spring 1997). Copyright © 1997 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Farmsteads reflect more than the nature and health of agricultural activity on individual farms and across geographic regions; they provide a reliable record of other aspects of cultural and economic adjustment and change. This paper considers the farmsteads constructed by the Ukrainian immigrants and their descendants who settled in one district of the Canadian prairies beginning in 1896. A field survey of four townships reveals that between the time of initial settlement and the present four distinct generations of farm structures were erected. These generations of buildings-labeled here pioneer, traditional, transitional, and modern provide clear evidence of the economic progress and cultural adjustment made by Ukrainian farm families. More specifically, a parallel set of changes took place in house, barn, and outbuilding design and construction as families became more fully integrated into Anglo dominated Canadian society, giving up their traditional Old World building practices and replacing them with the more standard building forms, materials, and technology of their Anglo-Canadian neighbors.