In 1895, the Kiezie family became the first family to permanently settle in what was to become known as, the town of Buffalo Narrows. Martial Kiezie (Cree) was from Cold Lake, Alberta, while his wife, Charlotte Harper (Chipewyan), was originally from Fort Resolution in the Northwest Territories. They had met and married in Ile-A-La-Crosse where Charlotte was attending the Roman Catholic Residential School. Martial's brother, Pat, accompanied the newlywed couple to Buffalo Narrows. He built a log cabin on the far side of Pat's Bay. In 1927, Pat moved to Buffalo River, (Dillon). The Keizies were primarily concerned with making a living as trappers. Martial and Charlotte had two sons, Joe and Ambrose. Joe built a two-story frame house near his parents' log cabin, with lumber brought in from Big River, while Ambrose also built a house nearby. In 1937, Martial Kiezie, Buffalo Narrows first pioneer, died. Charlotte died sometime later.
Tom Pederson - (below): (Photograph courtesy of Sask. Archives Board: Star Phoenix Collection), was born on October 26, 1885 in Odda-Hardanger, Norway. He came to Canada as a merchant seaman in 1909. Tom injured his foot and was put ashore in Quebec City. From 1909 to 1913, Tom trapped in the area north of Big River. In about 1918, he came to the Buffalo Narrows region to fish. Tom built a cabin on Deep River where he lived for a while before moving to Mckay Island where he built another cabin. At this time, Tom was in partnership with Eugene Chartier. They were fishing on Big Peter Pond (locally known as Big Buffalo Lake). Tom later moved to the mainland where he cleared the land and built a house (about 1927). In 1929, Tom married Celina LaLiberte from Green Lake. They had twelve children, (John, Mary, Patsy, Thorvald (Skipper), Rose, Einer, Teddy, Peter, Martha, Kenny, Annie and Gerry). Tom ran a stopping place for freighters, from 1927 until the early 1940's, when "Cat trains" began to replace horses on the freight hauls. Tom's barn could hold as many as forty teams of horses. He also provided meals and bunkhouses for the men. During the 1930's, Tom was joined by his brothers Peter and Einer. Tom's other brother, Reider, had come to Buffalo Narrows prior to 1928. Einer drowned in Ile-A-La-Crosse lake in 1936. Pete became the first H.Strong Co. manager in Buffalo Narrows. In the early 1940's, Tom started mink ranching with seven mink that he got from Halvor Ausland (Deep River Fur Farm). Tom's ranch was significant in that it was the first mink ranch located in the town of Buffalo Narrows. In 1944 his log house burned due to defective wiring but the mink ranch was saved. At this point, Tom built a frame house (left) on the same spot as the old log house had been. He continued to raise mink until the early 1960's when he was confined to a wheelchair. Tom also tried his hand at agriculture. He had a large garden just north of the present school site. He grew potatoes and other vegetables. Tom kept about fifty pigs, thirty six goats, two horses, one riding horse, two Shetland ponies and a number of chickens. Tom passed away in 1968.
(L-R) Moses Laliberte, Celina (Laliberte) Pederson
Tom Pedersen's House.
Reider John Pederson - was born March 6, 1897 in Harstad, Norway. He came to Canada in 1916. Reider tried his hand at farming near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, but that did not work out, so he went to Portland, Oregon for six months where he worked as a longshoreman. He first came to Buffalo Narrows in 1916-18, but returned to Norway for a holiday in 1928. In 1928, Reider moved back to Buffalo Narrows where he trapped and fished. In 1930, he married Louis Morin's daughter, Madeline. They had six daughters and three sons (Elsie, Jean, Helen, Irene, Doris, Rita, Richard, Thomas and Freddy). During the depression years, Reider worked on a crew cutting the telegraph line from Ile-A-La-Crosse to Buffalo Narrows. In 1940, he worked as a tower ranger in the Meadow Lake area. After this, he returned to Buffalo Narrows where he fished for a while. In the 1940's, he started mink ranching. He started out with only a few mink but eventually worked his way up to two thousand animals. He died in 1968.
(extreme left in photograph).
Harry McCallum - moved to Buffalo Narrows in 1923. He and his wife Hermaline (Desjarlais) of Ile-A-La-Crosse had nine children (Lena, Henry, Moses, Clara, Alec, Leonora, Norman, Mary and Louis). Harry was a fisherman and trapper. He built a small cabin on Mckay Island when he first came to Buffalo Narrows. He later moved to the mainland.
Celestine McKay - moved to McKay Island in 1923 from Ile-A-La-Crosse to trap. He and his wife Lucia (Aubichon) had five children (Alec, Geordi, Louis, Adelaide and Rosa). Celestine worked as a fur buyer for the Hudson's Bay Company, a Justice of the Peace for twelve years and as a foreman on road construction in 1943.
Celestine McKay and wife
Jeremy Caisse (1890-1960).
Jeremy Caisse - also moved to Buffalo Narrows from Ile-A-La-Crosse in 1923. At first he built a log cabin on McKay Island, but later he moved to the mainland. Jeremy and his wife, Hanna, had seven children Anna, Rosa, Irene, Hermaline, Cecille, Gilbert and Adeline).
Elise Steines - came from Ile-A-La-Crosse with her second husband, J.Strong. Ratt, prior to 1935. J.Strong. was a hunter and fisherman. Shortly after their arrival in Buffalo Narrows, J.Strong. died. Elise later married Bob Steines who did a little trapping. The couple had four children.
Gregoire Young - was married to Germaine Jourdain of Cold Lake, Alberta. Gregoire came to Buffalo Narrows sometime before 1935. He died shortly after his arrival in town. Germaine then married Clement Smith. Gregoire and Germaine had four children (Helen, Emeline, Marie, Helen and Etienne). Clement and Germaine had three children (Mary, Emilia and Rita).
Clement Smith's house (1946).
Celestin Maurice - and his wife Catherine, moved to Buffalo Narrows from Ile-A-La-Crosse sometime before 1935. He was a fur trader for the H.STRONG.Company. and a fisherman. Celestin and Catherine had six children (Frank, Jean-Baptiste, Harry, Rosa, Eleanor and Cecile).
Gene Chartier - resided on the Deep River channel between Buffalo Narrows and Ile-A-La-Crosse, as early as 1923. Gene and his family moved to Buffalo Narrows in 1937, so that his children could attend school. For many years, Eugene had been a fisherman. After he moved to Buffalo Narrows, he opened a small store with a pool table. Shortly after World War two, he started mink ranching. Eugene and his wife Rosa had ten Children (Thomas, Jacques, Pierre, Edward, Edmond, Louis, Clement, Alice, Flora and Margaret).
Early residents of Buffalo Narrows.
L-R) Halvor Ausland (mink rancher and trapper),
Halvor Pederson (trapper),
Ross Cummings - was born in 1888. He originally trapped in the Primrose Lake area of Northern Saskatchewan. He and his wife, Madeline, had four children (Esther, John, Charlie, and Mary Jane). Ross moved to Buffalo Narrows from Niska Lake in 1932, after the government turned his trapping area into an air weapons range. Ross had a small cabin on the near side of Kiezies Channel. He continued to trap until his death in 1980.
Louis Morin - (right in photograph), was born in Green Lake. He married Helen Maurice from Ile-A-La-Crosse. They had four children (Maglaire born in 1910, Marius, Madeleine, and Elizabeth). Louis was a fur trader for the Hudson's Bay Company at Surrey River (near Pinehouse or, as it was once called, Snake Lake), Buffalo River (Dillon) and at Turnor Lake Outpost. In 1928, Louis moved to Buffalo Narrows. At first, Louis bought fish for Clarke's (fish buyer) from Meadow Lake and ran a store for Clarke. Later, he ran a small store for the H.STRONG.C., selling groceries and buying furs. Louis was a well educated man. His wife Helen, acted as a midwife for the town. Louis Morin's son, Maglaire, came with Louis to Buffalo Narrows. He ran the H.STRONG.C. store at Clear Lake for thirteen and a half years starting in the 1950's.
(L-R) Oscar Petit - fish buyer,
Dave Adams - fisherman,
Isadore Morin - (left in photograph), was born in Green Lake. He married Ernestine Malboeuf of Ile-A-La-Crosse. They had ten children (Mervin, Frank, Delphine, Evelyn, Louis, Vital, Julia, Clarice, Cynthia, and Solomon), In the early 1930's, Isadore moved to Buffalo Narrows. Blanche and Kenneth MacDonald stayed in his cabin while they were waiting for their own house to be built in 1937. Isadore died when he was stabbed by a needle bar on his dog sled in 1951.
Isadore (left) (was stabbed and killed by a needlebar on a dogsled in 1951.)
Blanche and Kenneth MacDonald
Blanche and Kenneth MacDonald - moved to Buffalo Narrows in 1937 so that their children could attend the school that was located here. Kenneth had been born and raised in Scotland. He had a University education. In Canada, he was a post inspector for the Revillon Bros. Fur Company. He later transferred to the Hudson's Bay Company. At this time, Kenneth had a fox farm on Frobisher Lake (about 1928). Blanche and Kenneth stayed in Isadore Morin's log cabin until their own log cabin was completed. The Kiezie brothers helped Kenneth to build his cabin. The Kiezies were very good at making squared timber out of logs. Blanche was originally from Fort McMurray. She met and married Kenneth in La Loche. Blanche and Kenneth had five children (Norman, Mabel,Gertie, Florence and Alice). Kenneth worked as a labourer in Buffalo Narrows, until his death in 1939 (heart attack).
The Petit Brothers (Oscar and Joe)
Oscar Petit (left) and Joe Petit - were born in St. Hilaire, Quebec. Joe was born in 1896 and Oscar, in 1897. They came to Buffalo Narrows area in 1918. Oscar married Florence Morin (daughter of Jules Morin and Mary Jane Gardner of Ile-A-La-Crosse). Florence was born in 1914 in Ile-A-La-Crosse. She first visited Buffalo Narrows in 1926, at the age of twelve. She was traveling with her uncle, Louis Morin, who was on his way to Buffalo River (Dillon). Florence lived in Buffalo Narrows from 1926 to 1930 when she married Oscar, at age sixteen. Oscar was a trapper, fisherman, fur buyer, Justice of the Peace and mink rancher. He also ran a stopping place for the freight teams at Clear Lake. Florence and Oscar lived primarily at Clear Lake (although they maintained a cabin in Buffalo Narrows for visits for many years), until 1953 when they moved to Buffalo Narrows, so that their children (Kenny, Frank, Jules, Norman, Alfred, Alice, Jean. Annette and Eileen) could attend the school. Oscar died in 1962.
Joe Petit - (below right): married Josephine Moberly in 1925. They had four children (Antoinette, Catherine, Helen and Frank J). Joe was re-married in 1946, to Claudia Morin. They had five children (Richard, Myles, Michael, Eric and Muriel). In the early days Joe was a trapper and fisherman. In later years, he ran a mink ranch at Petit's Point. Joe passed away in 1969.
Photograph: Joe Petit at Deep River in the 1940's.
Sam Seright - was born in Scotland in 1903. He came to Canada and served as a clerk for the Hudson's Bay Company in La Loche. He also worked as a cook on a steamship on Lake Athabasca, for Waites Fisheries and for the Department of Natural Resources. In later years, Sam met Flora woods, who was separated from her husband Bob Woods, and took up residence at Bull's House (at the mouth of the La Loche River on Big Peter Pond Lake). In 1939, Sam and Flora moved to Buffalo Narrows, so their children, Jessie (Woods), Tom (Woods), Charlie (Woods), Hazel (Woods), Jane, Jimmy, Sadie, Charlie, Gordon, David, and Mabel (adopted) could attend the school. In the early years, Sam worked as a hired man. In the summer he worked on his garden. In later years, he ran a mink ranch. He quit mink ranching in 1953. Sam died in 1972.
(L-R) Flora Seright, Sam Seright
Evan Bakken - was born in Norway in 1903. He first came to Buffalo Narrows in 1937 to work as a fisherman for Tom Pedersen. In 1943, Evan started fishing for himself. In later years, Evan ran a mink ranch on the far side of Pat's Bay. Evan still resides in Buffalo Narrows.
Bill Publicover - was born in Nova Scotia in 1900. He was fishing on the West side of Big Buffalo (Big Peter Pond Lake) as early as 1920. He worked for his uncle at first. When Bill first saw Buffalo Narrows only the Kiezies were living here. Bill moved to the town of Buffalo Narrows in the 1930's to work for Tom Pedersen, and still resides here.
Mink rancher Bill Publicove.
Erik Kreick - came to Buffalo Narrows in 1939 to work as a fisherman for Erik Erickson, for twenty-five dollars a month. In later years, Erik was a mink Rancher, a partner in the Forrest theatre and was active in local Government. He was also a radio operator and Justice of the Peace. In 1978, Erik left Buffalo Narrows for the south.
Joe Fortin - lived in a tent near the ball diamond on Pedersen's Bay with Dollard Gallant in 1938. They were fishing and trapping. Joe was married, but his wife was not with him at the time. In 1938, he either shot himself because he had tuberculosis, or was killed while cleaning his gun. It was never really decided whether it was an accident or suicide.
Cubby Taylor - trapped in the Buffalo Narrows area for many years prior to 1930. He was single and well educated. For many years, he stayed with Harry McCallum. Taylor Lake, north of town, was named after him. He served as Justice of the Peace for a while, and worked in the post office and Hudson Bay Store under Pete Pedersen.
Justice of the Peace, Cuthbert "Cubby" Taylor.
Bjarne Fjelldal - was born in Harstad, Norway. He came to Buffalo Narrows in 1928. Bjarne fished for Len Waite and George Rizer. He Lived with the Reider Pedersen family for many years, at Clear Lake (Churchill Lake) and Buffalo Narrows. He also had a mink ranch on Devil's Island near Petit's Point. In later years, he was in partnership with Tom Der and John Midgett at different times. Bjarne died in Saskatoon in 1969. Bjarne was affectionately known as "Little Deer" because of the size of his ears.
Jacob and Hilda Halversen
Jacob Halvorsen - was born in Harstad, Norway in 1897. His wife Hilda, was born near Harstad in 1902. They were married in Birch Hills, Saskatchewan on September 11, 1929. Jacob first came to Buffalo Narrows in 1928 to work with Tom Pedersen as a fisherman. He worked for Tom until 1930, when he built a house at Moose Point. They lived at Moose Point for nine years while Jacob fished for himself. In 1939, the Halvorsen's moved to town. From 1943 to 1965, they ran a mink ranch in Buffalo Narrows. At first, Jacob was in partnership with Reider Pedersen. Later, Jacob and his son, Jacob, were partners in a mink ranch. From 1956 to 1969 the Halversens ran the North Star store on Kiezie Channel. The Halvorsen's son, Kent, ran the store at first. In later years, Hilda ran the store. Jacob and Hilda Halvorsen had three children (Elsa, Jacob, and Kent). Hilda was the first Norwegian lady to come north to Buffalo Narrows. The Halvorsen's are presently living in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
Ralph Poffenberger - was born in the United States in 1898. He moved to the Buffalo Narrows area in the late 1930's. Ralph married Alice Le Houx from Meadow Lake in 1942 at age forty-four. They had one child, Joe Wayne Rodney. Ralph lived at the site where Wood's Lumber is presently located. He also had a place across Pat's Bay and a caboose near Tom Pedersen's place.
Charles F. Buckley
Charles F. Buckley - was born in 1898. He married Ernestine Sylvestre in 1929. They had eight children (William, Pat, Albert, Florence, James, Glen, Eva, and Larry). The Buckleys lived on the far side of Peter Pond Lake opposite Thompson's Peninsula. Charles was originally a fisherman, who lived at the fishing headquarters on the far side of Big Peter Pond Lake. In later years, the Buckley's had a mink ranch as well. Charles died in 1956.
Bill Buckley and Delia Jacobsen's wedding (front).