Flora (McLean) Grest 1906-1991

Flora McLean was born on the family homestead on June 9, 1906. She moved with her family to the red brick house when she was eight years old.

We know more about Flora because in 1972 she wrote her reminiscences of her life at the Forestry Farm in a document entitled 'This I Remember'  which is in the archives of the Friends of the Forestry Farm House. In this document she describes her life at the nursery station, going to school first in Sutherland and later to Nutana Collegiate. She helped her father in the office at busy times, usually in spring and fall. She describes the process of heeling in the seedlings in fall after they are dug, so that they would be ready for shipping early in spring. She recalls that her father had to go to the bank at the end of each month, because the workers were paid in cash. The correct amount of money was put in envelopes for each worker and the workers would sign for it when they picked it up at the office in the back of the house. Those that could not write would put an 'X' in the signature column.

The document ends with the following paragraphs.

'After high school I attended normal school for 33 weeks to get teacher training. Then since my father offered to send me to university I went and graduated in 1928 with a B.A. degree majoring in English with a minor in economics and home economics. I taught school in Watrous where I met Ed Grest.

We were married April 4, 1931. Ed received his master's degree from the University of Saskatchewan in the spring of 1932.'

The Grest family eventually settled in Virginia. We have a record of Neil McLean visiting his sister there in 1938.

Flora McLean passed away on December 5, 1991 in Alexandria, Virginia, USA.

The Friends of the Forestry Farm House still have occasional contact with Flora's daughter, Barbara Grest Jones, who visited the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo with her family at the occasion of the Centennial celebrations in 2013.

Photo credit: Flora at the piano - Barbara Grest Jones