Most of the early pioneers lived in farms that were part of remote communities. Their life was a much simpler way, with little communication with other families in the community. However, because of that, the member of the community felt that they had strong ties with each other to help during a crisis or just for general neighborly help.
One way that neighbors assisted each other was to help when a new barn or home needed to be built. Barn raisings were a special time, and when it was completed, the entire community would get together for a party. They would dance, eat, and sing. Another way for the women to gather was in knitting or quilting bees. They would all share their work so that everyone had the ability to have completed projects. This was also a way for women to share the news with each other. If the community had a school, the children would often put on special programs for the Christmas holiday. They might make costumes, sing, or recite poems.
The church in the community played a major part in gathering people together. The church offered the usual services and special studies for children, and during the week, they might have Bible study. This was an important aspect of pioneer life as the church was often also the main meeting place in case of an emergency.
Pioneers across the country faced attacks by Native Americans that were upset that they had invaded their living area. The settlers had to rely on each other to help with a threat of attack.
During the harvest time, people would help each other by going from one farm to the next to help bring the crops. This was especially important if the winter weather came early. When harvest season was done, they often held a celebration barn dance. But families in the community also had fun during the summer months. They might have picnics and fairs, especially during holidays. Winter months would bring sledding, playing in the snow, and ice skating.
Many of the pioneers were immigrants from other countries, and they brought with them some of the traditions of their culture. Some specialized in specific trades such as blacksmithing or caring for animals. As pioneer communities grew, people settled into their own specialized talents. Many opened shops in town to sell the necessities that the pioneers required, and the little stores eventually included a few luxury items.
Most of the women still made clothes for their families. It might be hard to believe that they made everything from underwear to special Sunday clothes. The women also supplied the home with the quilts and bedding and made sure that everything was kept clean.
As the railway system across the country was completed, the supplies and products became more plentiful. This stimulated the pioneer economies so that the small towns grew. New communities were added along the train route. The trains also brought newer farming technologies so that the farmers could now bring in better crops more quickly. The trains also gave farmers and ranchers the ability to send their crops and livestock across the country and get things they needed.
While many still lived in log cabins, they built nicer homes that included glass for windows and replaced dirt floors with wood.
Quilting or knitting bees
How did the pioneers help each other with building?
They all showed up to build new homes or barns for each other
How did the early pioneers get new clothes?
The women made them all
What technology brought benefits and growth to the pioneer communities?
Where did the pioneers gather as a central place to be with each other?
What benefits did the railroads bring to the pioneer communities?
The ability to get and send products and livestock more quickly as well as receive items that they needed to live