Peter and Elizabeth Perler

Peter and Elizabeth Perler and their daughter Lydia left Estonia in 1903 and took out a homestead north of Eckville.

After Peter built a shack for his family, he left them to work on the railroad construction in Kananaskis. He had no money to return to Estonia, and very little on which to live. Their food consisted of a few staples such as flour and any wild birds and rabbits they caught. Frequently Indians came to the door asking for food.

L to R: Lydia (Perler) Langer, Erna, Paul Langer (standing), Alfina and Peter Perler. When a school was built, Lydia walked the four miles through the woods to attend. She eventually married Paul Langer. Peter and Elizabeth sold their land to the Moos family and went to live with Lydia and Paul. Elizabeth, who was very unhappy in the bush, died in 1916, and Peter in 1945.

Paul and Lydia were involved in the growing Estonian community. They had four children: Erna, Alfina, Hazel, and Felix.

Paul died in 1928. Lydia sold the farm and home quarter and moved into Eckville, where she died in 1975.

Alberta's Estonian Heritage