Anthony and Minnie Fridulin

Anthony (Tony) Fridulin emigrated to Canada with his two brothers, Alexander and John, just before the Japanese-Russian War and settled in Walsh, Alberta.

Tony and Alex set up a blacksmith shop in Walsh. Two years later they moved south to work in railroad towns, in mines near Canmore, and in the CPR tunnels in British Columbia.

In 1906, Tony's brothers returned to Estonia and he took out a homestead ten miles south of Stettler on Lone Pine Lake. He farmed in the summer and worked on the railroad and in construction during the winter. After about two years, he decided to stay on the farm permanently to be part of the thriving Estonian community around Linda Hall. His community involvement included leading an Estonian brass band.

In 1910, Tony married Minnie Tipman, who was also from Estonia. They had seven children: Howard, Frank, Ernest, Alma, Linda, Edna, and Kenneth.

In 1931, Tony and Minnie moved to another farm in the area. Some of their children went out to work but their son Ernie stayed home to work the farm. In 1933, Tony and Minnie moved to Byemoor, where Tony opened a blacksmith and wheelwright shop. At the same time, Ernie moved the farm equipment to a farm just north of Byemoor.

In 1936, Ernie sold the farm equipment and bought the butcher shop in Byemoor. In 1944, he married Ellen Clark of Tessler, Saskatchewan. He continued his butcher business in Byemoor for several years and then bought a farm in the Rumsey area.

Tony continued to work as a blacksmith in Byemoor until he was 84 years old.

Minnie died in 1968 and Tony in the following year.

The Fridulin General Blacksmith Shop and its contents were moved to the Stettler Museum in 1981.

Alberta's Estonian Heritage