Joe Beaulac came to Buffalo Narrows from Leask, Saskatchewan in 1928 by himself. He was a French-Canadian. At first, Joe lived with Martial Kiezie. Later, he built his own log cabin. He also built several other houses in town, as he was a carpenter by trade. Joe was joined by his son, Ray, in 1933.
At present, there is not much information available on Joe Beaulac's background, and his stay in the Buffalo Narrows area. In the future, I hope to have more information on Joe to add to this history.
Joe Beaulac (date unknown).
Ray and Elise Beaulac.
According to the book, A History of Buffalo Narrows, Ray Beaulac came to Buffalo Narrows in 1933. Ray trapped and probably commercial fished in the Buffalo Narrows area in the 1930's. In the 1950's, Ray started mink ranching at Deep River not far from Buffalo Narrows. He continued to raise mink at Deep River until 1961, when he decided to leave for the south. Three years later, because of his love for the north, Ray returned to Buffalo Narrows. He then set up another mink ranch, next to the ferry landing in Buffalo Narrows.
Because of poor fur prices, Ray quit mink ranching in 1974 and he and his family left Buffalo Narrows for good. Ray and his wife Elise had three children (Adele (Grieve), Lorraine (Reynolds) and Paul). Ray Beaulac passed away in 1979, his wife Elise is alive and lives in a nursing home in Saskatoon.
Ray Beaulac in Buffalo Narrows in 1934. Eighteen years of age.
Included here are photographs of Ray Beaulac in his early years in the Buffalo Narrows area. They show Ray on his trapline and other interesting scenes of him in the early days, also included are photographs of Ray and his family from their mink ranching days. Some of the people in the photographs are unidentified,if anyone recognizes who they are, I would be most happy to include their names with the pictures. I hope to add more details concerning the Beaulac family's time in the Buffalo Narrows area and of the trapping, fishing and mink ranching period.
Ray Beaulac (right in photograph) and an unidentified person with his
dogteam and timber wolf pelts in the 1930's.
All photographs courtesy of Adele Grieve.
Ray Beaulac and his dogteam in the 1930's.
Ray Beaulac (left), at his trapping cabin.
Note the homemade snowshoes and the fur stretcher.
Photograph (right), of what is presumed to be Ray Beaulac (holding the sweep) in the scow. This photograph may well have been taken at the dam at Crooked River, or at Grand Rapids on the Beaver River. Before the advent of roads, scows were used to haul freight and other supplies from Big River to the northern communities via the Beaver River. In the winter it was hauled by horse and sleigh. The other person in the front of the scow is unidentified. If indeed, this is Grand Rapids on Beaver River, then this is the area where Halvor Ausland began his trapping career in 1920.
Hudson's Bay Company Store in Buffalo Narrows (left).
People standing in front are unidentified. Judging by
the fresh dirt around the base of the building,
the photograph appears to have been taken in 1942, when the first
Hudson's Bay Post was established in Buffalo Narrows.
An unidentified young lady standing beside Ray Beaulac's
truck in Buffalo Narrows 1940's.
Person on the right is unidentified.
Derr Tom's Cafe, Ray and Joe Beaulac built and/or helped build this structure.
Building under construction that may, or may not, be Der Tom's cafe.(right)
Ray and Joe Beaulac were thought to have helped build it.
Elise, Ray and Adele Beaulac, at their mink ranch in Buffalo Narrows in the 1960's.
Ray is holding what appears to be a sapphire mink.
Paul and Lorraine Beaulac, at Ray Beaulac's mink ranch at Deep River in the 1960's.
Mink sheds can be seen in the background.
Photograph (right): Paul Beaulac, with pet squirrels on his jacket under his chin.
Mink sheds in the background.
Lorraine Beaulac, with pet squirrel sitting on top of her head.