Throwback Thursday #2 – Wallish Greenhouses: The Growing Family

Decade 3 & 4 – 1940s & 1950s

In the 1940s and 1950s, we see the family growing up.  The gardening business held its own as the Great Depression set in from 1929 – 1939 and World War 2 erupted from 1939 – 1945.  This German family encountered various difficulties as some shunned them because of their German heritage, while others maintained their friendships with the Wallish family.  This was a difficult time for everyone.

John & Sally owned an acre of land and rented another 10 acres from the city of Edmonton. The gardening was done with a team of horses, and the work was hard.  One thing though, with their fresh vegetable business, is that John & Sally were able to feed their family.  On occasion, people considered the Wallish family wealthy because they had food.

The railways were never were far from both John & Robert’s hearts.  Train tracks passed along the very back of their property.  John had experience as a fireman on steam locomotives in Vienna, Austria and on occasion he would help the CN locomotive engineers when they had difficulty with their steam engines.  There was a time in the 1940s that CN offered John a job with them because all the younger men were off at war and CN was short help.  John declined CN’s offer because he was in his 60s at this time.  Isn’t it interesting that the current Wallish Greenhouse property is right next to the CN tracks now??

Robert, Jean, and Charlie all went to school and finished at various levels.  Robert kept on in the market garden and bedding plants with his father while he also worked as a shipper for Canada Wire & Cable.  Jean did a mixture of things and was a very creative woman.  One of her specialties was playing steel guitar, and she worked as a music teacher in this field.  Charlie left for the Vermillion School of Agriculture in 1949.  Charlie graduated in 1951 and after graduation he worked alongside the family in the business while doing various other jobs that included servicing vehicles for Adbey’s Sand & Gravel, and OK Construction, and hauling freight to Grande Prairie & Peace River for Gray Carriers.

On a familial level, Jean married William (Bill) Dyck in the 1950s and they welcomed their first 2 daughters, Taylor and Sally in this decade.

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