The water dripped constantly. That’s part of what Murray Mayes remembers of his time living in a leaky sod house in the province’s first black settlement of Eldon.
“It would drip, drip, and mom would take a wash pan and put it under that drip,” he recalled in a recent interview, sitting in his daughter’s kitchen.
Years later, he would shiver every time it rained even when he lived in a shingled house.
Today, the 85-year-old lives in a sod-free home in the town of Elrose, Sask. where life is quiet and he grows strawberries.
His grandparents, Joe and Mattie Mayes, led a group of black families from the U.S. state of Oklahoma who were seeking a better life in the north in 1910.