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Ellinor Close

Although in 1905 Ellinor Close looked for land in Manitoba, it was in New Brunswick that she was able to persuade the provincial government to provide farmland . Her plan was to have 200 acre farms and to create a working environment for 20 -30 boys and girls with the boys farming and the girls doing the domestic chores, dairy and garden work.

In the beginning Mrs. Close’s plans were grandiose, wanting to bring 7,000 very young children to Canada and then returning them to England fully trained. This did not appeal to the government, who wanted older children.

In 1906, at Nauwigewauk near Rothesay, New Brunswick,  Mrs. Close’s farm opened its doors to some children. The intent was still to give the children the option of returning to Great Britain although the Canadian government was not keen on this at the age of sixteen.

Elinor Close’s farms in New Brunswick were meant to alleviate The Children’s Farm Home Association in England, which had upwards of 22,000 children,  half of which were living in a cottage-type system while the others were boarded out.

Not many children arrived through Mrs. Close’s efforts, although highly praised. At the beginning of the First World War, the project ended.