An Edmonton-based author is releasing a book about Canadian homesteaders, including a story in Fort Saskatchewan.

Tales from the Homestead is an upcoming novel from Sandra Rollings-Magnusson. Rollings-Magnusson is an associate professor of sociology at MacEwan University and an antique enthusiast, having studied the homesteaders of western Canada for over 30 years. She's written several academic journals on the topic, as well as two previous books.

The seventh chapter of the book, "Building a Bloc Settlement" features a story from Fort Saskatchewan about a man named Leopold Lippert and his family. Immigrating from Russia in 1894, they were already poor before dealing with illness, hardship, and near starvation.

"Back in the day, the government encouraged immigrants to come to western Canada. They wanted peasant farmers, people who knew how to work the land," Rollings-Magnusson explained.

"They also encouraged Bloc Settlements, where large groups of people would come over into Canada and settle as groups. They would live in the same general area and help each other out."

Sandra uses first-person accounts to form vivid descriptions of the labours and dangers that came with homesteading. These stories add personality to the historical facts that have already been written about this time, with homesteaders of various origins and ethnicities providing their own unique experiences.

"It was a difficult time," Rollings-Magnusson said about the hardships the homesteaders faced. "These were people who had a great amount of perseverance and hopefulness for their own future, and the future of their children."

Other stories from Alberta include the story of Danes travelling from Minnesota to Wetaskiwin, horse thieves at the American border, and a teacher of a one-room schoolhouse in Edmonton.

Tales from the Homestead releases on Tuesday (May. 3) from Heritage House Publishing.