I encountered this query on the "Missing Links" newsletter from Rootsweb and thought that someone in Ronan might read the Yellowhead County Queries and be able to answer it:
In 1913, Louise VARNEY nee MORAN, a widow, and her young
daughter, Violet, left the east end of London ("Stratford East")for the district around Ronan, Alberta, Canada. All Louise knew about farming was what she had seen in southern England. Her intention was to make a new start for herself and her daughter in a new land of opportunity. She took a piano with her, so she had every intention of staying.
Ronan had a post office that became a lifeline to England for Louise and Violet. Surviving letters show that they approached Ronan from the south, staying one night at a boarding house at Wildwood, then called Junkins. While in Ronan they stayed at Ronan Post Office, apparently in a log cabin in a place where most of the trees had been removed. When they left, Louise gaveher piano to Mr. and Mrs. JENKINS, who ran the post office.
Louise VARNEY had thought she was coming to a home and farm, but her expectations were dashed when it turned out that the principal living was gained by felling trees, the land being poor and the farming very difficult. She had a miserable time and wanted to return home, but Violet wanted to remain, having made contact with prospective husbands, identified in letters as Morris CRULES and Mr. CASPER. These plans did not work out and Louise and Violet began the journey home by the Canadian Pacific Railway via Montreal.
Their difficulties continued and, after a difficult journey to Montreal, in May 1914 both were drowned in the Gulf of St. Lawrence while on the Canadian Pacific liner, the "Empress of Ireland."
I would like to hear from anyone who has information or has
heard talk about an English woman above age 60 and her young daughter, in distressed circumstances about 1913-1914, in the area of Ronan, Alberta, Canada.
Mike Reeve, Harrogate firstname.lastname@example.org
Please reply to Mike rather than to me.