The Managers Tale is the story of Hugh Ross, a District Manager for the Hudson Bay's Company. A portion of this book deals with the Ile-A-La-Crosse, Buffalo Narrows, Portage La Loche, Lac La Ronge areas of Northern Saskatchewan. This book, gives a detailed account of a bygone era and tells of many interesting events that took place in Northern Saskatchewan in the 1940's and 1950's. Halvor Ausland, is mentioned in the book, as are many others from that area. These books are now out of print, but the Managers tale may still be purchased from J. Gordon Schillingford Publishers in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The map (upper left), shows the Close Lake area, where Fred Darbyshire and Ed Theriau trapped for so many years. The map on the (upper right), shows Russell Lake, known locally as Poorfish Lake. All of this country was trapped by Fred and Ed and is described in the book Lost Land of the Caribou In the upper portion of Close Lake is Darbyshire Bay, named after Fred Darbyshire, his trapping cabin was located in this area. They would travel north by canoe in the fall and in later years Fred flew into his trapline by aircraft.
On the right, is a map of the Chipewyan village of Patuanak. It is located some 40 miles north of Ile-A-La-Crosse, Saskatchewan. This was the jumping of point for most of the trappers who went north to Cree Lake. The Mudjatik River, joins the Churchill River not far from this village. The Churchill River, was used by all of the fur trading companies to bring in supplies for the local fur posts and to take their furs to market. It was also a major route for the early explorers, such as Alexander MacKenzie, Sir John Franklin, Peter Pond and several others.
The map (above left): shows the Ile-A-La-Crosse area.Deep River Fur Farm, founded by Halvor Ausland, was located approximately 24 miles northwest on Deep River. Photograph (upper right): shows an onionskin drawing of the village of Ile-A-La-Crosse. It was drawn by Louis Riel's sister, Sara Riel, in 1874. She was a member of the Sisters Of Charity and joined the mission in 1871. She served the school and hospital until her death in 1883, at the age of 34. Louis Riel's father, was born in Ile-A-La-Crosse and later moved to Manitoba where young Louis Riel grew up. The old church building stood I believe, until the 1970-80's period and was replaced by a new modern church building. In its history, it saw everything including floods, that had residents tying their canoes to the front of the church, to an incident recalled by Halvor Ausland, a bush pilot named George Greening. One dark snowy night, George flew his aircraft right through the church steeple and crashed on the ice of Ile-A-La-Crosse Lake. Although badly injured, George crawled two miles to the village to get help for his seriously injured passenger. Both men survived and George continued to fly for many more years and became a legend in the north. George was a colorful and happy-go-lucky character and was well liked by everyone. He flew for several years for Waite Fisheries and later, for the Saskatchewan Government Airways.