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Family Histories, Part 14

Herdman, Gordon and Ann

Submitted by Aileen Daley

Herdman family.
Back Row: Aileen, Doug. Fred, Phyllis.
Front Row: Louise. Ann, Mildred. Insert: May.

Gordon and Ann came to Big River in 1937 from the Wanakena district, east of Debden. The Herdmans lived in town with their seven children. Gordon worked at many jobs. In 1942 he joined the Veterans Guard until June 1945. Being a member of the Veterans Guards meant he had served in World War 1. It was during this war that he was at Vimy Ridge. For this, he received the Military Medal for Bravery. He passed away on October 10, 1945.

Ann Herdman cooked in logging camps, and after her husband's death had the challenge of raising a young family. Ann was an excellent seamstress and sewing was her pastime. She sewed many articles for the Legion Auxiliary and Anglican Church Bazaars. Many people will remember her for her potholders and aprons. During her life, Ann helped those in need in any way she could, from buying groceries to giving money, etc. Ann passed away on November 3, 1992, ten days before her 89 birthday.

Gordon and Ann had seven children: Mildred Howard who is living in Prince Albert, Mae Halliday of Canwood, Louise McBride of Cranbrook, British Columbia, Aileen Daley of Big River, Saskatchewan, Phyllis Brady of Tisdale, Fred who married June Lepage and lives in Prince George, British Columbia, Douglas who married Dorothy Hicks and lives in London, Ontario.

Hiebert, John and Mrs.

Excerpts From Timber Trails, 1979

The Hiebert's arrived in Big River to begin farming about 1947. They came from Borden, Saskatchewan. They bought the Jim Clay homestead in the West Cowan area and lived there until the passing of Mr Hiebert a few years ago. Mrs Hiebert now lives in Prince George, British Columbia.

Hildebrand, George and Carol

George and Carol (Ziegler) Hildebrand, were both born in Big River. We were married on May 28, 1977, and lived in Grande Prairie, Alberta for a few years.

Our first daughter Mandy was born on August 29, 1977, in Grande Prairie. She married Myles Macza in June of 1997. They have two daughters, Harley and Jazmyn, and now live in Red Deer, Alberta.

We moved back to Big River and bought a quarter of land in 1981, and started farming with several rented quarters.

Our second daughter, Josie, was born on May 20, 1981. She married Aaron Dash on May 31, 2003. They also live in Red Deer.

Our son Shaun was born on August 9, 1983. He now lives in Kindersley and works in the oil fields.

Dad (Pete Hildebrand) passed away in 1987, and we bought the family farm. Over the years we have raised rabbit, chickens, ducks, geese, turkey, pigs, wild pigs, sheep, llamas, miniature donkeys, and of course, cattle.

Hildebrand, Peter and Helen

Submitted by Helen Hildebrand
(Helen passed away in Big River in 2003)

Peter and Helen (nee Martens) were both born and raised in the Rosthern area of Saskatchewan. They were married in 1941 and lived on Pete's dad's land for seven years. These were very dry years so the crops and pastures were not very good.

When Pete's sister Annie married Henry Zacharias they went to visit their aunt and uncle in the Lake Four/Park Valley area. They were encouraged to look around and perhaps decided to settle in this part of Saskatchewan. Mr and Mrs Diedrick Bergen took them sightseeing. It was June and everything looked very promising, green fields and lots of water in the pastures. They even found that Hank and Freddie Matz wanted to sell their land.

When Annie and Henry returned to the Rosthern area, they were all aglow with the beauty they had found. A few weeks later Henry Zacharias, his brother Dave, and Pete Hildebrand went to see what Lake Four was like. When they returned a decision was made to buy the Matz quarter between the three of them. The purchase was made and the following month they headed back up to the Lake Four area to put up the winter feed for the livestock. Dave Zacharias and Pete Hildebrand left with some haying equipment (2 hayracks and 4 horses) and Henry and Annie Zacharias left a few days later by car. They returned to Rosthern to finish the harvest there, then Pete Hildebrand loaded a train car with the main necessities and headed north again. The nearest train station to Lake Four was Dumble. Here, Henry Triol's big truck had been hired to move their belongings to Lake Four. Peter Hildebrand and Dave Zacharias, along with two other riders, herded Pete's five cows, two bred heifers, and calves to the farm at Lake Four. They put the youngest calf, along with the sow and chickens, onto the hayrack so the cows would follow.

Three days later, Henry and Annie Zacharias, our two sons Peter (five years) and Isaac (three years), and myself, got into our car (that had been converted into a truck) and set out for Lake Four. We travelled without incident, except for the cat who had been in a box and somehow escaped and went missing. On September 16, 1948, we arrived at our new HOME. Work began quickly, building feeders, and water troughs, building more fences and repairing the barns. That winter, Dave Zacharias and Pete Hildebrand started logging the land to get lumber for future use.

Dave Zacharias, a single man, allowed us to live at the Freddie Matz's place while he lived with his brother, Henry, at the Hank Matz's place. In the spring, Mr Henry Peterson (Lake Four storekeeper) offered Pete his son Elbert's farm. Pete headed back to Rosthern and borrowed $600 from his dad. This money, our "car-truck", and a few other things bought us our very own HOME (NE 31-54-6 W3rd). On May 2, 1949, we moved our few belongings, cattle, horses, pigs, and chickens to our new place. There was ten acres broke, a small log barn with a sod roof, and a bungalow built of logs with a cottage roof of home-made shingles made by Mr John Anderson of Winter Lake. The barn was used for the pigs and chickens and a barbed-wire corral was used to keep the cows and horses in at night. During the day the cows were let to wander until we built more fences. Wander they did - Pete had to fetch them back on horseback.

Mr Otto Hiebert sawed our logs and Peter, along with some neighbours, built a slab barn before winter set in. Pete's dad, Isaac Hildebrand, and brother John came to help once the harvest was complete at Rosthern. Over the next five years, we broke another 50 acres by hand. We also bought another quarter of land from Elbar Peterson in 1951. In 1957, we added Henry Tasse's quarter to our farm. Finally, in 1958, we had the power put in. The first thing we bought was a freezer. In 1960, we added two bedrooms to our home and purchased yet another quarter of land from Fred Amos. In 1964, we bought 60 acres from Bob Mayo. In 1967, Clarence Pederson brush cut 150 acres for us, and then another 80 acres in 1975. Over the years, we have picked a lot of roots and rocks. In 1972, we built a new house- complete with running water and sewer.

We have always milked cows, selling the cream for groceries or whatever was needed. We took milk to the Park Valley Cheese Factory in exchange for cheese. By the mid 50's we were milking more than a dozen cows. In 1962, we built a new big barn and a couple of years later our cream quota was cancelled (and our big barn stood empty). We also had several hundred chickens of which the eggs were exchanged for groceries.

We attended the Mennonite Church, one mile east of Lake Four Store. Mr Isaac Ens (from Laird) came twice a month to do services.

In the busy years to follow, along with our two oldest sons, we were blessed with four more healthy children. Our oldest son, Peter, born March 15, 1943, got diabetes when he was 14 years old. He married Elsie Larsen from Blue Heron, Saskatchewan. They moved around a bit working at Stedmans, Esso, and lastly at the Water Treatment Plant in Valleyview, Alberta. They had two children - a son, Del Peter and a daughter, Jacqueline. After three years of suffering, Peter died of kidney failure on December 25, 1982.

Our second son, Isaac, was born on April 15, 1945. He married Jane Anderson from Blue Heron on July 27, 1968. They lived in Thompson, Manitoba, where Isaac worked in the "Nickel Capital of the North." They bought land in the Park Valley area and settled down to farming. They have four children, Cathalyn, Yvonne, Ian, and Darren.

Our first daughter Margaret was born on September 17, 1949. She married Ernest Anderson on April 26, 1969. They have four children, Laurie, Faron, Melissa, and Vicki.

Frank our third son, was born February 2, 1953. He works for Smokey Lake and has four sons, Ryan, Otis, Quincy, and Mario.

Our fourth son, George was born on December 21, 1956. He has worked at seed cleaning plants in Alberta and now farms the family farm. He and his wife Carol (Ziegler) have three children - Mandy, Josie, and Shaun.

Our second daughter, Elizabeth, was born on May 21, 1959. She married Ronald Pollack of Valleyview, Alberta. They lived in Grande Prairie but settled on an acreage outside of Valleyview where Ronald worked for the town. They now have their own steam-cleaning business. They have three children Myria, Roxy, and Cole.

After Pete went to his final home, I moved into the senior's complex in Big River (still near enough the "farm we loved" to be able to see once in a while).

Hiltz, Jim and Dorothy

Excerpts from Timber Trails, 1979

Jim and Dorothy Hiltz came to the Rapid Bend district from Prince Albert to homestead. Jim had purchased the homestead in 1939, but the Hiltz family did not move north until May 1945.

They made the journey north by team and wagon, with Jim driving one team and Dorothy driving the other. With them was their seven-year-old son, Bob. While travelling to their homestead, they were caught in a spring snowstorm near Debden. The temperature dropped and they needed to stay in Debden for three days. When the weather cleared, they continued travelling. When they reached Bodmin Hill, and Dot saw the fast pace that Jim's team went down the hill she refused to do the same, therefore, Jim had to walk back up the hill and bring the second team down.

They arrived at their homestead along with their possessions. With them, they had brought a Shetland pony, one goat, a total of six chickens and one rooster and a load of grain. The Hiltz's spent their first winter at Dorothy's parents, Mr and Mrs Perry. They lived nearby, which allowed easy access to the homestead. Jim and Dorothy immediately set to work building a log home and clearing some land for a garden. Clearing land was done by hand; Jim would remove the trees while Dot would help by picking roots and stones.

Before moving to the homestead, Dorothy had contacted the Fraser family to inquire about a school; therefore, she knew that Bob would be able to receive his grade school education. Bob would ride the small pony to Ladder Valley School, and when the school became too crowded, he started going to the Rapid Bend School. To receive his high school education, Bob had to go to Big River and since there was no school bus service, he had to board in town.

During the first year, while Jim and Dorothy were on the homestead, they nearly lost their home as a result of a forest fire. As soon as the fire was spotted and was within proximity of the farm, Jim hitched the team up and made several furrows around the buildings. They spent long hours combating the fire to save their home. The horses, frightened by the blaze broke loose, and when Jim finally tracked them down they had gone as far as Park Valley.

Jim and Dorothy purchased some cattle and also had sheep. They would shear the sheep and card the wool, later to be knitted into mitts and socks. Dorothy would can meat and fish, or salt it and store it in the cellar. They also made butter and sold it for twenty cents a pound in Big River. The ladies of the district told Dot that if she put the butter in a box, covered it with a damp tea towel, then rhubarb, it would stay solid during the trip to Big River.

Jim cut cordwood and hauled it to town the first winter. He also worked for one winter in Ben Wall's lumber camp.

Jim and Dorothy remained on the homestead until 1953, during which time they had their second son, Wendell. In 1953, they moved from the homestead to the "Corner", the land across the road from the school. From 1953 to 1960, Jim and Dot would move to Prince Albert in the winter where Jim would work in the Post Office and then return in the summer where he would be employed at the Big River Nursery. Since 1960, they have remained in Ladder Valley permanently. Jim retired from the Nursery in February 1977.

Jim and Dot now live on their original homestead, where Jim continues to farm. Their son Wendell and wife Audrey are also living in Ladder Valley.

Hodgson, Darrin and Charla

Darrin Hodgson.
Clay, Darrin, Charla, Derek.

Darrin is the seventh of nine children born to Melvin and Mabel Hodgson. He was born on November 26, 1960. His siblings are Ken, Sandy, Ron, Terry, Russ, Debra, Greg, and Tammy. His home was in the town of Big River at 600 Main Street.

Charla Hodgson (Michel) is the eighth of eight children born to Thomas and Patricia Michel. She was born on June 5, 1965. Her siblings are Simone, Jeanette, Daniel, Susanne, Rene (November 21, 1959 - February 10, 1979), Edward, and Norman. Charla was raised on the southwest side of Delaronde Lake at the spot that is now called Delaronde Resort.

Darrin and Charla were married on October 6, 1984. They have two sons, Derek April 5, 1986, and Clay January 24, 1989. They reside six kilometres southwest of Big River on Lot 9, Donald Place. They own DC North Contracting Ltd. and have wood harvesting contract under Weyerhaeuser Saskatchewan.

Hodgson, Ken and Sharon

Ken and Sharon Hodgson.
Ken, Sharon Hodgson.

We were married in 1969 and own White Bear Construction which was incorporated in 1980 from a previous company called Ken Hodgson Contracting. Within a year of being married, we were trucking logs to the Big River Sawmill. In the 1980s, logging and log hauling was done only during the winter months. During the summer months, we left Big River to look for work and hauled gravel and asphalt throughout the province. This summer work took us as far south as the United States/Canadian border and as far north as Wollaston Lake. Those were wonderful years, very little money, lot's of hard long hours and great memories.

Within a few years, we were logging as well as trucking and worked together in a partnership with Clarence and Rita Olsen for some time. About this time we started road building during the summer and continued logging in the winter. This was a very busy time as we were raising two boys and our winter and summer work was beginning to overlap.

We decided to sit down and make a decision as to which line of work we wanted to continue. We choose road building and sold the logging business to Ken's brother Ron.

About this time we bought a grading contract from Art Buckingham and again we were busy during the winter months. We also ran crawlers in the bush up until as recently as this past year (2003). In total, our career in the crawler business lasted 30 years.

We loved doing what we were doing, building roads! We would take our family and live in a camp setting during the summer and I would return when school began in September. We were never really far from home as most of our contracts were in nearby rural municipalities. We were also fortunate enough to secure contracts right at home for the Rural Municipality of Big River. During one summer our summer camp was located at the Government Dock on Delaronde Lake. What a great summer!

Another great summer was spent just north of Big River when we secured the contract to build a section of highway #55 just south of the Cowan Lake Dam. Again, lots of hard long days but great memories remain of these summers.

In 1995, we worked on a project with Mystic Management involving a satellite chipping operation in the Meadow Lake area. That was another challenging project for us.

In 1997, we sold our road-building business and our shop area remains pretty much free of equipment for the first time since we built it in 1976.

With too much free time on our hands, we constructed a six-foot-high fence, a barn and handling equipment and bought ten bred elk. Within four years our herd grew to 200. What a change from heavy equipment to an Elk Ranch, another challenge, which we thoroughly enjoy. We joined forces with three other Elk ranchers and formed Northern Wildlife Ventures, a trophy ranch. We operate this ranch with our partners, south-west of Big River, adjacent to Keg Lake. American hunters love the area, the elk and the great Saskatchewan hospitality we offer, another great venture we enjoy immensely.

We raised two boys Cory and Kevin. Cory lives in Big River and runs his own company with his wife Kim (Hiltz) called KCM Motor Sports. They have two children, Caitlin and Michael. Kevin lives in Calgary and works there as well. He has a daughter Brittany.

During our travels, both business and pleasure, we are continually asked why we live in Big River. People wonder why we have never moved and taken our business with us. We ponder this from time to time and sometimes wonder "why" as well.

Our answer is always the same and quite simple. We were both born here, we were married here, began our business here, built our home here and raised our family here. Business was good we enjoyed our life and never had a good reason to leave. Now as we enter a new era in our lives, we think about it often. We love to travel, love the sunshine and someday soon we may leave. However, as many have said before and many will say again, Big River has been great and Big River will always have a piece of our hearts. Big River will always be home.

Hodgson, Mel, Mabel and Family

Mel was the eldest son of Carl and Mabel (Mcnab) Hodgson, born in Cookson November 13, 1921. Mel was involved with the logging business most of his life. Mel first started at Fjerwolds in Cookson. Next Mel moved on to work for Harry Boyd in Big River (Delaronde Lake). After Mel was finished in Big River, he decided to go out to British Columbia and work in Rossland and Trail. He then went out east to Ontario and worked for Abitibi Pulp and Paper. He also spent some time in the army. Then in 1947, Mel decided to come back to Big River to work and he never did leave. He worked for Fred Coates, Spike Dolly, and Andy Sundby. Mel then started his own business in logging, and he worked for Saskatchewan Forest Products. After he was done with the logging industry, Mel went into road construction and built highways all over Saskatchewan, retiring in 1990.

In 1948, he met Mabel Bechmyer of Shellbrook. Mabel was the fifth daughter of George and Sophia Bechmyer. Mel and Mabel were married on June 28, 1949. Mel and Mabel then proceeded to have eleven children and one foster son. They are as follows:

Richard Sullivan (deceased May 1998) and Florence Grimard-Proulx - Nancy and Lori

Kenneth Hodgson and Sharon Scrimshaw - Cory and Kevin

Sandra Hodgson and Sam Hurford - Teian, Raeleen, and Caley

Ronald Hodgson and Debra Olson - Alicha and Kristen

Terry Hodgson and Marg Mellor - Jennifer, Lindsay, Susanne and Mila

Russel Hodgson and Patrica Mappin - Aleia Deborah Hodgson and Kevin Ruetz - Mathew and Nathan

Darrin Hodgson and Charla Michel - Derek and Clay

Gregory Hodgson and Vicki Armstrong (Beeler) - Cale, Darcy, CJ, Tammara and Riley

Tammy Hodgson and Robert Simpson - Adrian and Carissa

May Louise - infant (deceased)

JoAnn Denise - infant (deceased).

Mabel stayed at home with her children until 1970 when she went to work at Waite Fisheries as the Dry Goods Manager. In 1976, she went to work for Wapiti Regional Library, as the Branch librarian until 1993. Mabel also worked as a cook for Mel, Ken, Ron and Darrin in their bush camps. Mabel finally decided it was time to retire in 1999. Mabel has been active in the Royal Purple since 1965. She also is currently active with the local Senior's group in Big River. Mabel has currently taken up a new hobby and that is working at the Golf Course, which is locally owned and operated by Ron and Debbie Hodgson. Mel passed away on July 3, 2000, and Mabel continues to reside in Big River.

Hoehn, Eddie, Michelle and Family

Eddie, the youngest of John and Minnie Hoehn's children, left Big River in 1971 to see what the world had to offer. After working a short time at a sawmill in British Columbia, Eddie returned to what would be his life-long home in Prince Albert. As a youngster, Eddie was gifted in mechanics so it was suited when he decided to pursue a Journeyman's in Mechanics. Eddie raised his daughter Jamie from his first marriage and worked hard in his field for fifteen years, after which he decided to purchase his own business. As an entrepreneur, Eddie was extremely successful, expanding his original automotive repair/car-wash business to two separate businesses, employing twenty-eight people. Eddie elected to retire in May of 2004 to spend more time with his family and to work on the cabin.

Eddie married Michelle Walsh in 1985 and they have four children: Amanda, Craig, Andrew and Richelle. Michelle is a homemaker and did the books for Eddie's business.

Jamie, Eddie's oldest daughter, has two daughters: Danielle, who will be three and Katlyn, who was born in June 2004. Jamie and her common-law husband, Eddie LaValley, currently live in Regina where Jamie has a Party-Light business and Eddie is in the restaurant business.

Amanda, the oldest of Eddie and Michelle's children, is going to the University of Saskatchewan. Craig, their second child, just finished grade eleven. Andrew is in grade seven and Richelle, the youngest is currently in grade five.

Hoehn, John and Minnie

Submitted by Mark Hoehn

John, Minnie.
John, Minnie Hoehn.

The year was 1934, when John Hoehn heard of the many homesteads opening up in Big River. He bought a model T and started for what would be his life-long home, Big River. The journey from Southern Saskatchewan was a long and tiresome one, as the old car had a windshield but no roof (one of the first convertibles!) so each rainfall, the inside of the vehicle would become soaked. John chose a homestead with a creek running through the property; however, that particular spring had been a wet one and it wasn't long before the creek dried up.

The first structure on the property was a lean-to, which John used while constructing his log cabin. The Reeds, John's neighbours, helped skid the logs and also helped build a porch. Originally, John had thought he would follow the farmers in southern Saskatchewan by growing and harvesting spring/summer/fall and do chores on the homestead during the winter. He soon came to realize that the people of Big River fished in camps and logged during the winter. John was no exception. He began what would be his many careers working in the sawmill. He also fought forest fires and hauled freight to the northern camps.

In 1939, John married Wilhelmina (Minnie) Haberstock in Yorkton and they returned to Big River in the snow of October. The windshield wipers were based on the manual labour technology and Minnie wore out her gloves turning them! Their first winter was spent at Dore Lake fishing for Nels Edson. As the years passed, John became tired of being away from his family during the winter months. Their first child, Mark, would hardly recognize his dad after every winter when John would return from freighting.

After a bad year, when the wheat froze so bad that the chickens wouldn't eat it, John decided to sell the farm to Richard Warriner and bought a dray. With a team of horses, a sleigh and a plough, John hauled ice in the winter, ploughed gardens in the summer and hauled freight. John had a stable business with the dray but with the advancement of roads to the community, freight was increasingly hauled by truck instead of rail.

John sold the dray business to Fred Lowe in 1955. John, Minnie and their children: Mark, Marlene and Linda moved to a three-bedroom house (Lot 8, Block 4) where John and Minnie would spend the remainder of their lives. Eddie was the last child to join the Hoehn clan.

Minnie was a homemaker raising four children. For several years, Minnie sold license plates, operator's licenses and was active in the Hospital Auxiliary. She had many friends and loved to entertain at home with her teas, meals, pastries and charm. She enjoyed working in her garden, splitting wood and picking berries.

John's career involved selling insurance. He was secretary of the Hospital, a member of the council and a sub-unit trustee for the Shell Lake School Unit. He was also appointed Justice of the Peace from 1955 to 1976, as well as a Notary Public. In January 1960 John was hired as secretary-treasurer for the village of Big River and town secretary until he retired in 1976. In 1995, Minnie passed away at the age of eighty-one years. John lived to be eighty-nine years old and passed away in 1999.

Hoehn, Mark, Joan, Malcolm
Marcie and Julie

Mark, the eldest of John and Minnie Hoehn's children, decided to pursue a career away from Big River. After taking two winters of Business College and working the summers at the Big River Sawmill, he chose not to pursue an office job.

In the spring of 1964 or 1965, Mark worked for the Department of Natural Resources, Forestry Branch. He started at the Big River office working with Geo Redford, Forestry technician and Hank Randall, Conservation Officer. Mark still remembers the first day with Geo and Hank, as Hank needed him for an important task. Mark had to get supplies and mail to a trapper but to do so he would have to cross Cowan Lake, which due to warm weather had quickly deteriorating ice. Mark started to get ready for this important task when Hank burst out in laughter. How he had sucked Mark in!

Mark then moved on to Meadow Lake for the next couple of years working for a young Forester, Malcolm Broatch. Malcolm was an excellent boss and Mark learned a lot about cruising timber and marking timber cuts. He worked with some excellent timber cruisers and was giving serious consideration to becoming a Conservation Officer. Unfortunately, the Conservation Officer course was available only in Saskatoon, and Mark planned to marry Joan McKay from Dorintosh. Mark told everyone that he would have never guessed that he would find a chick, let alone the love of his life, in the bush while cruising timber!

As fate should have it, Mark had a two-week scaling course, which allowed him to scale timber. In the spring of 1976, Chief Forester, Duane Beach, had joined timber purchasing to supply the Prince Albert Pulp Mill with timber. Duane called Mark, who was fighting a fire near Meadow Lake, to offer him a job at the mill. Mark thought this might be a career to try and after thirty-three years as a respected and accomplished manager, he elected to retire early in 2000.

Mark presently enjoys gardening and running his rotor-tilling business in the summer and does some part-time work in the winter. Mark and Joan have been married and best friends for thirty-seven years. They have been blessed with three children: Malcolm, Marcie and Julie, as well as two grandchildren: Rebecca Hoehn/Bedard and Eric Giles.

Joan was a homemaker until Julie, the youngest child, was in grade one. Joan then opened her home as a day-care for fifteen years. She decided that this was a career that was suited to her so she went back to school and earned her diploma in Early Childhood Development. For approximately twenty years, Joan worked for various day-care centres in Prince Albert. She then was forced into a three- year leave because of health problems but has since returned on a part-time basis for the last two and a half years. Joan finds her part-time work most enjoyable. In addition to being a day-care, it is a centre that helps abused or substance- abuse parents to become better parents, in which Joan has a role in supervising the night programs.

Joan looks forward to retirement, as she loves to spend her free time at their mobile home at Christopher Lake usually with her youngest grandchild, Eric, who keeps her hopping. She also enjoys volunteering at the Presbyterian Church and runs her own small vending machine business.

Malcolm, the oldest of Mark and Joan's children, has worked for Saskatchewan Highways and Transportation for the last fourteen years. For twelve years Malcolm worked as an Equipment Operator with the Pavement Marking Division. For two years he served as the Regional Co-ordinator drafting Ministerial Correspondence and handling vehicle damage claims for the department. From 1997 to 2000, he served as a member of the Public Service Negotiating Committee for SGEU. These last two roles allowed Malcolm to help and work with people, which spurred an interest in him to pursue a career in this line of work. Recently Malcolm has been working towards a Bachelor of Administration Degree at the University of Regina. At this time Malcolm's sole love is his daughter, Rebecca, who will soon be twelve years old. Rebecca has a love of horseback riding, for which she has won several awards and many other interests. She is also an A student in school and is fluent in French.

Marcie, the eldest daughter, was a very successful manager. She managed Mica's, a lounge in Prince Albert, for several years. More recently she has been working as an administrative assistant for Social Services and is contemplating social work as a career. The love of her life is her son, Eric, who will be four. Eric enjoys his mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, his uncles, aunt and just about anyone he has contact with. He has an interest in toy cars and is considering becoming a police officer in future years.

Julie has been happily married to Chris Roy for five years. They both live and work in Saskatoon. Julie just completed her Master's degree in Microbiology at the University of Saskatchewan, specialising in soil microbiology and has recently been employed with Environment Canada located on the university grounds. Chris has a Bachelor of Education degree and has been teaching in Saskatoon for the last two years. Both love sports and the finer things in life.

Hoehn, Marlene and son, Darrel

Marlene, the eldest daughter and second child of John and Minnie Hoehn, left Big River in July 1969 after graduation. Throughout her life, Marlene has worked at a variety of jobs and continued her education in the business field. She is now working in Melfort for an accounting firm. Marlene's love of her life is her son, Darrel, who joined the Navy in March of 2002.

Darrel completed his training in Esquimalt, British Columbia and moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia at the end of June 2004. He is assigned with the HMCS Ville de Quebec. When Darrel learned of his assignment he told his supervisor, "But I don't know how to speak French." The reply was, "Don't worry; you'll be fluent in a year."

Hoffarth, Mike and Dulcie (Young)

Hi, I'm Dulcie fourth child born to Leonard and Kate Young on May 29, 1964, in Big River. I was born and raised in the Valley and in 1983, I moved on to bigger places. When I moved to Regina, I worked at the Beef Stabilization Board in the accounting Department. It was there that I met my husband, Mike Hoffarth, a Dysart boy. We were married in Debden on June 18, 1988, and reside in Regina.

On May 7, 1991, we were blessed with a baby boy, Jordan Thomas and on April 15, 1993, we had another son, Mitchell James. In May 1994 the Beef Board shut down so Mike and I were both unemployed. I took up babysitting out of our home in July of that year and Mike got into flooring installation.

In December of 1995, Mike went to work with Saskatchewan Ag and Food where he is presently employed. After nine years in the childcare business, I made a career change and am now holding down two jobs. One as a resident attendant with Extendicare Canada and one as an Instructional Assistant with the Regina Catholic School Board.

Holmer, Charlie

Charlie Holmer.
Charlie Holmer.

Charlie Holmer still lives in the house he was born in over 70 years ago, on the 135 acres of land which borders the east side of Big River. The old log chicken coop, garage, granary, and Big Rivers first Bank, which is now called the "Sugar Shack", still stands on the property.

Charlie first gained employment with Waite Fisheries in 1949. In 1953, Charlie McKenzie found work for him with Evans Construction, where Charlie stayed for 24 seasons and 16 winters at Waite Fisheries.

In 1977, Charlie left the roadwork and worked one year for Lyle Yurach, five years for George Ritchie and Brian Blampin, and five years at the lumberyard for Mervin Weiss. Then he worked for twelve years at T.D. Michel and Big River High School as a custodian, retiring May 2000 to garden and plant flowers. Charlie has been a member of the Big River Elks for over 40 years and on the Catholic Church Parish Council.

In 2000, a Holmer family reunion was held in Big River, and in all, 22 enjoyed the great bush trails and yard.

Charlie enjoys many visits to Saskatoon where his sister Oma and Joe Kloeble and family live, to Nelson, British Columbia to visit Ursula and John and family, and to Whitehorse, Yukon to visit Ruth and Barry McCauley.

For the past five years, Charlie has spent over a month in Hawaii, each year, with Ruth, Barry, Ursula and John. When he's not helping others, Charlie keeps busy attending his garden and beautiful yard.

Holmer, Rupert and Anna

Holmer family reunion.
Back Row: Shirley, Charlie, Barry K., Barry Mc., Joe, Lisa, Derek, Jason,
Philippe, Glen, Drew, John, Karla, Candice, Joel.
Front Row: Joann, Janet, Oma, Ursula, Ruth, Dawn.

Holmer family.
Back Row: Oma, Anna, Rupert, Rita. Front Row: Ruth, Ursula, Charlie.

Rupert and his cousin, Hans Feldmeir, decided to come to Canada because living conditions and opportunities following World War I were very poor in Germany. They arrived in Big River in the spring of 1926 and stayed at the home of Max Eisman for awhile. They earned their living by cutting cordwood for one dollar per cord and paid thirty-five cents for meals. Rupert remembered the hoards of mosquitoes that swarmed around as they worked in the bush. Fire fighting for the Department of Natural Resources brought two dollars and twenty-five cents a day and Rupert spent some time at this job. Then he worked for John Waite on a farm as well as fishing and freighting. Wages were low but Rupert managed to save enough money for a steamship ticket and his brother Frank sailed over and stayed in Big River about twelve years.

Rupert worked for the I.C. Fish Company in the warehouse. He told of it being so cold that the breath of the workers would cling to the roof forming frost and icicles. He remembered also working with Bill Young, Fred Buckley, Ted Wychodezew, and Bill Kaese, along with many others.

In 1929, Rupert decided to marry a girl from Germany and expressed his wish in a newspaper back home. He said he received several answers, from which he chose his Anna and a very happy choice it was. Having sailed from Straubing, Anna arrived in Saskatoon where Rupert had agreed to meet her. They decided that she would put a red rose on her suitcase so he could recognize her. They were married in Saskatoon, March 1929. They came to Big River and shortly after purchased a quarter section of land from Ingolf Figeland. The road to Delaronde Lake and north ran through the property. Rupert worked for Waite Fisheries hanging nets for some time and then later as a scaler for the Saskatchewan Timber Board before retiring.

In 1930, Rupert and his brother Frank built a house and later cleared 22 acres by hand. They built a barn, chicken coop and granary. Like everyone in those days a big garden, chickens and cows were kept. Anna Holmer always was kept busy putting up 200 quarts of vegetables and fruit. She did a lot of sewing, as she was a seamstress in Germany, plus raised a family of five: Oma, Rita, Charlie, Ruth and Ursula. Anna loved her beautiful yard - she would say how quiet and peaceful it was. She would spend many an hour enjoying the birds, squirrels and other wildlife.

Rupert was always busy with the yard work and in the 1940s was on the school board and secretary for the Big River Elks. Living next to the town of Big River gave easy access to power in 1948, natural gas in the '70s and cable TV, and telephone.

Many people over the years used a trail through the bush to walk to town from Ladder Lake subdivision. They were free to do this as no signs of any kind were ever put up.

In 1956, Anna Holmer and daughter Rita returned to Germany for her only visit. Rupert went back in 1965 and had a great visit with his sister, brothers and friends.

Rupert Holmer passed away December 18, 1983, at the age of 85, and one year later, on December 13, 1984, at the age of 86, Anna Holmer passed away. Anna was a life member of the Big River Royal Purple and a member of the Catholic Women's League.

Oma (Holmer) Kloeble lives in Saskatoon and has four children. Rita Holmer passed away in 1976 and had a daughter, Dawn Seaman of Vancouver. Ruth (Holmer) McCauley lives in Whitehorse, Yukon and has no family. Ursula (Holmer) Casey lives in Nelson, British Columbia and has two boys. Charlie Holmer still lives in Big River on the Holmer place.

Homeniuk Family

Homeniuk family, 1936.
Theodore, Eugenia, Sylvester (1936).

Mr Theodore Homeniuk came to Canada from Ukraine in 1927. He found work in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and 1928, he sent for his wife Eugenia and son Sylvester to join him. In 1929, Theodore bought a quarter section of land in the Ladder Valley area. He built a home there and farmed until 1955 when he became ill with cancer and passed away.

At this time Sylvester and his mother Eugenia took over the farming. In 1960, Sylvester bought another quarter section from Mr Fred Morin. In 1965, Sylvester married Eleanor Laliberte and she joined in the farming and loved it. In 1967, their son Jerry was born and in 1970, their second son, Kevin was born.

A few years later, Sylvester sold the farm to Harold Wilson and moved to Big River where he resided until his death in 2000. In 1930, the Wicinskis stayed with the Homeniuk family until their house was built.

Jerry Drabek.
Jerry Drabik, Sylvester, Eleanor, Jerry, Kevin,1994

Honig, Glenn and Colleen

Glen Honig.
Glenn, Aaron, Michelle, Colleen, Chris.

Glenn Honig moved from Douglas Provincial Park to Big River in May 1988 as a Conservation Officer covering the Dore Lake District. His wife Colleen along with their two children Christopher, age five and Michelle, age three, followed in July 1988. Aaron, a second son, was born two weeks after moving to Big River. The Honigs built and moved into a house at 104 6th Avenue North. Christopher started kindergarten that fall.

Glenn remained in charge of the Dore Lake District until 1996 when it was combined with the Big River District to form one management area. Glenn's work responsibilities included everything from fire control and commercial fishing to forest and lands, and fish and wildlife enforcement. One memorable event that happened while stationed at Dore Lake was during a fire in the spring of 1989. Glenn was talking on the radio when lightning struck the radio tower. The lightning threw the radio receiver across the room while the lightening travelled from the handset into Glenn's hand, through his body and out his foot. That was a truly shocking experience.

Colleen, a registered nurse, was planning to stay home with the children but they needed nurses at Lakewood Lodge so she started casual work in December 1988. In February 1989, she took over the Public Health Nurse position and remains in that position today, job sharing with Jelaine Kennedy. The district that was covered in public health nursing was from Dore Lake to Canwood.

All of the Honig children have been involved in many sports including school sports, hockey, figure skating, skiing and snowboarding. Glenn and Colleen have remained active in the community also. Glenn has been involved in Kinsmen, Scouts, Town Council, United Church board, curling and Ski Timber Ridge. Colleen has been involved in Kinettes, minor sports, figure skating, curling and 4H. Every year the family spends many hours at the Big River Recreation Center or Ski Timber Ridge. Chris spent three years playing with the Braves while in high school and Michelle spent several years instructing for the Big River Skating Club and was the head coach in her grade twelve years. Both Michelle and Chris were ski instructors at Ski Timber Ridge.

During the summer of 1995, the Honigs purchased property north of Big River. Moving to the country enabled the family to acquire more animals. Their golden retriever, Brook, became an important member of the family as well as the family cat's, Smokey and then Ben. Michelle and Aaron purchased horses and became involved in the Big River Riders 4-H Club. Aaron has pursued his interest in horses and is presently training one.

At present, in 2004, Chris and Michelle are pursuing University educations and Aaron is in High School where he is active in sports and the SRC. Originally the Honig's planned to live in Big River for only a few years but it appears that they have set down roots here.

Hughes, Hugh

Submitted by Leonard Young

Hugh Hughes, Christmas, 1967.
Hugh Hughes, Christmas, 1967.

Hugh Hughes was born in Wales in 1876 and at the age of fifteen, he came to the United States. He then returned to Wales after World War I, only for a short while and then he came to Canada. He originally ended up in the Blaine Lake area, but then moved to Foxdale and finally in 1931, he decided to homestead in the Big River area at SW 28-55-6 W3rd (now the Wendell Hiltz home). He lived on the homestead until 1970, then moved into Big River to stay with Frank Woods for a short while. Hugh was then put into the Mount St. Joseph's home in Prince Albert. He lived there until his passing in 1972.

Hunt, Robert and Family

The Hunt family came to Big River in 1932 from the city of Saskatoon. They resided in the town for two months and then moved to their homestead at Bodmin. They lived in a tarpaper shack while the log cabin was being built. Land on the homestead was broken with the assistance of three oxen and an axe. A team of horses and a cow made up the livestock when the Hunt family started farming. Five children were born to this family: Timothy, Arthur, Alfred, George and Allan. Timothy (Mickey) and Alfred (Shorty) still reside in Big River.

Hunter, Clarice Noreen (Pederson)

Clarice Pedersen.

Clarice was born in Prince Albert on March 2, 1946. She has great memories of her childhood such as countless tea parties with her mother as there were few children in the neighbourhood to play with. Converting her dad's bunkhouse to a playhouse was always a challenge, cleaning it than making her furniture out of egg crates and apple boxes. She always had numerous kittens and would dress them up in doll clothes. It was a humorous sight when her old grey tomcat jumped out of the doll carriage and tried to run away in his doll dress and bonnet.

During her school years she was always active in school sports; ball, curling, volleyball and excelling in track and field, where she still held a record in shot-put when her oldest children reached high school. Ted Becker and Clarice were team captains for two years and winning was always exciting. The day ended with a tug-of-war. At the age of sixteen she was Sports Day Queen.

In 1962, she enrolled in Prince Albert Business College. Clarice and Linda Olson shared a room in a big brick house on the east flat for $36.00 per month. On November 9, 1963 she married Robert (Bob) Roy Schneider. Bob was involved with Co-op fisheries buying fish and also ran gravel trucks. Clarice worked as a Nurse's Aide at the Big River Union Hospital for several years and also worked for the Local Improvement District (L.I.D.) under Harry Stobbs. She was also a member of the Order of the Royal Purple #95 for fifteen years and was actively involved with figure skating and winter carnivals.

On February 19, 1965 their first son, Kelly Robert, was born. Bob actively participated as a volunteer coach for all of Kelly's minor hockey years. He also played hockey himself for the Big River Braves for many years. On May 15, 1966 their daughter Kari Dawn was born. For the first few years their life revolved around their kids, rodeos, hockey games, and horse races. They owned and raced thoroughbreds, which they followed frequently on the circuit. Another great pastime was a weekend playing cards with numerous friends where gambling for money was a must! On July 15, 1973 another daughter, Stacey Jay was born.

They spent 1968, 1969 and 1975 for the summer months at Reindeer Lake buying fish for Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation where Clarice cooked for the fish plant crew and also worked in the plant herself.

In 1978, Bob was diagnosed with cancer and fought it for two years until his passing on May 1, 1980. Clarice carried on the fish business alone while her mother helped her care for her children and also with the help of Larry Hunter who was the Zone Manager for Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation. Their friendship grew and on August 8, 1981 Clarice and Larry were married and built a home on an acreage north of town. They expanded the fish business, building a fish plant in Big River in 1983. In 1987 they built the Timberland Motel.

They usually took a winter vacation south. Since Kelly was away playing hockey and Kari away at college, they spent countless weekends following Stacey around with her volleyball team as far away as Chicago and Montreal.

In 1994, Larry was diagnosed with cancer. Having surgery that same year was unsuccessful. They, along with their daughter Kari went to Mexico for alternate medicine. Kari, now a Registered Nurse, was a great help. Spending two weeks in hospital there was very stressful. Only a matter of weeks after returning home, Larry passed away June 10, 1995. In August 1995, Clarice sold the acreage and moved to town on Wilson Crescent, work being closer and easy to manage. With the help of her son, Kelly, she continued the fishing business. She joined the RCMP as an auxiliary member, which she really liked and did for five years. She did some traveling with friends and family. She also took an interest in motorcycles and her brother told her there is only one kind to buy... that was a Harley Davidson. She loved the outdoors such as snowmobiling, quad-running, camping, and downhill skiing.

In 2000, she did an expansion on the motel where she also added on her residence. She moved from her house on Wilson Crescent to the motel in 2001.

2003 being Harley Davidson's 100th anniversary, Clarice, along with several friends traveled to Sturgis, South Dakota on her new Heritage Softail.

Huxted Family

Submitted by Viola Granberg

Tommy Huxted.
Viola, Violet, Tom, Beatrice, Nellie.

My dad, Tom Huxted came to Canada from Kent, England with his parents at the age of four years. They lived at Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. Later, at age 19, Dad went to work in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where he met my mother Nellie Fletcher at the Burns meat plant where Dad worked. They were married July 5, 1927.

In 1930, they left Moose Jaw to homestead in Ladder Valley. When they moved there, they had twin girls age two and half years old. A fellow named Pete Selander came up with them. We lived in a tent until Pete's place was cleared, and his home built, where we lived with him.

In the spring, Dad and Pete cleared Dad's land and built their home. We moved in the fall. The homestead was across the road from Pete's place. They all brought their furniture up and Pete had a horse. Dad had a cow and calf and then got a team of oxen. He later got more cattle and did mixed farming. Later, he bought a team of horses. They sold eggs and cream and Mom made butter to sell too. Dad chopped wheat for flour with his crusher for our use, and also for all the neighbours around. Dad played the violin for dances and called for square dances in the Ladder Valley school. He was also on the school board. I went to school in Ladder Valley until I was thirteen years old.

Mom and Dad had three children, Violet and Viola, born December 13, 1928, and Beaty, born November 4, 1935. Violet passed away on July 7, 1947. Our closest neighbours were Mr and Mrs Walter Archibald, Mr and Mrs Hyatt (Buck Hyatt's folks), and Lena and Alex Doucette.

One time, Mom and Dad had company over and the cows were in the barnyard. So Violet and I milked the cows on the ground, all but one cow that kicked and so then we left her and we went to play. After the company left Dad went to milk the cows and we had forgotten what we'd done until he called us. Then we sure were in trouble, as they needed the cream to sell. We didn't do that again!

Dad sawed firewood for Freddie Coates at the boxcars in Big River alongside the train tracks. While he was there, he got his hand cut badly. After this, he had to quit farming. We then moved to Big River, where our girls went to school. Dad worked for Pete Godin at the power plant. Then he worked for Joe Friedman. He managed Joe's store and bought furs. In 1950, Dad bought his own business, T.E. Huxted, General Merchant. Mom worked in the store with Dad. Later, Beaty quit school to work with them in the store until she married.

Mom and Dad stayed in the store until they retired due to health reasons. They bought their home in Big River where they lived until Mom's passing on October 10, 1972, at the age of 69. Dad stayed with Viola until he passed away in Big River Hospital, August 22, 1975, at the age of 71. Beaty married Bill Chalifour of Debden. They had four children, Heather, Marylin, Toni and Janet. Beaty and Bill live in Victoria British Columbia now. Viola married Chim Chenard and had five children. (See Chim and Viola Chenard.)

Tommy Huxted and family.
Beatrice, Tom. Nellie, Viola.

Hyatt, Mr and Mrs Wilson Milas

Mr and Mrs Hyatt homesteaded in Smiley, Saskatchewan in 1906, and farmed there until they moved north to Ladder Valley in 1937. They resided there until Mr Hyatt passed away in 1951 at the age of eighty-three years. Mrs Hyatt then moved to Kindersley, Saskatchewan, until her passing in 1970 at the age of ninety years.

Three sons were born from this marriage, Embree, Tawny and Alfred.

Alfred resided on the farm in Ladder Valley until his passing in 1985 at the age of seventy-seven years. All are buried in the Big River Cemetery.

Hyllestad, Marlene (Meyers)

Marlene Hyllestad.
Marlene and daughters Lori and Lynn
with their families. Insert Andrew.

Marlene was born May 16, 1945, at Rosthern, Saskatchewan. She is the daughter of Joe and Tena Meyers. She is from a family of nine children. The family moved to Big River after the Second World War. The Meyers family lived in the Lake Four district where Marlene attended school until she completed grade eight. Because there were no school buses at that time, she was not able to continue her education.

In 1963 she married Andrew Hyllestad. They lived and farmed his parents' homestead, all the while adding additional land to their farming operation.

Marlene and Andrew have two daughters, Lynn born in 1967 and Lori born in 1969. Andrew passed away in 1993. Marlene sold the farm and moved into Big River where she still resides. Lynn married Calvin Manson and lives in Prince Albert and has two children, Andrew and Reid. Lori married Fabian Levesque and she lives at Fort McMurray.

Hyllestad, Peter and Goldie (Miller)

My father's father, Thomas Miller, was born in Virginia. My father's mother, Elizabeth Zolman, was also born in Virginia. They had a plantation with slaves. This young couple fled to Iowa and prospered there. They had four daughters and four sons including my father Henry, who was born in April 1869. My mother was born in Pennsylvania in December 1869.

I, Goldie was born in January 1895 in Iowa. I was four years old when my parents homesteaded in Nebraska and began farming. We had cattle, pigs, and horses and grew fruit and cane. When I was 13 years old, I had to board in Bassett, Nebraska to continue into my grade nine school year. (I recall the Wright Brothers demonstrating their flying in Gregory, South Dakota - 40 miles north of us). At the age of sixteen, I taught in a country school for three months. After that experience, I went off by train to Fremont Normal School for six months so I could become a teacher.

On June 23, 1913, I married John Woolhiser in Billings, Montana. World War broke out while we were there. After our son, Denis was born my husband and I started a store and post office. Our second son, Leonard, was born on June 3, 1916. We then sold out and moved back to Mills, Nebraska.

Another son, Willard, was born on April 18, 1918. Opal was born on March 17, 1920. My father offered to pay our fare to Canada so we filed on a homestead near Shellbrook. Thelma was born on August 30, 1922. My husband hated Canada and he left our five children and me in January 1924.

I went to Prince Albert to a lawyer and paid $100.00 for a divorce so I could file on a homestead myself.

On December 18, 1929, I married Peter Hyllestad. (He was born in Bergen, Norway on July 31, 1933). Peter and I had two more sons. Olaf was born on October 20, 1930, and Andrew was born on July 31, 1933. We moved to Big River district on August 1937 into the Lake Four district. Thelma came with us to Big River. Denis remained on the homestead. Leonard, Willard and Opal had gone to Churchbridge, Saskatchewan to work on farms.

Andrew was seventeen and Olaf was twenty when Peter died of cancer on February 7, 1951. I remained on the farm. Olaf left for Saskatoon and Andrew chose to work in the oil rigs during the winter months for extra money to update the farm.

Olaf married Agnes Bickert and bought a farm ten miles north-west of Big River. They had two sons; Vern and Kim. Andrew married Marlene Meyers and remained farming in the Lake Four district. They had two daughters; Lynn and Lori.

I helped on the farm, travelled for some time and eventually pulled my house trailer onto Olaf's farm until March of 1974. I then moved to Big River Senior Citizen's apartment #4. On June 1, 1984, Goldie passed away at the age of 99 years.

Isabelle, Paul and Annie

Submitted by Shirley Yurach

My dad, Joe Isabelle, was born in Quebec and came to Big River in 1911. He worked in the sawmill running a slab re-saw machine. My mother, Rosallea Ethier, was born in Minnesota and came to Big River in 1911. They were married in 1912. In 1913, I was born. We left Big River in 1916 to go farming in the Harris area. In 1932, we moved back to Big River and in 1933 Dad bought land south of Debden, and my parents settled there until they passed away. We lived through the dirty thirties, the dust storms and the grasshoppers.

In 1940, Annie (nee Olson) and I were married and had two children, Shirley and Wayne. Shirley married George Yurach of Big River and raised two girls and a boy. Wayne married Marlene St. Denis from Debden and raised one girl.

In 1969, I had a little accident in which I lost my leg. I got it tangled with a power shaft between the tractor and baler.

In 1974, I got a job as a timekeeper for the DNR at Candle Lake and worked for them for four years. In 1978, at the age of 65, I retired. Paul passed away on November 29, 1995.

"This and that" The first birthday I remember was my fifth. I got a half size fiddle for a present and have been fiddling around ever since.

For my seventh birthday, I got a nice buckskin pony. She lived for twenty-five years.

I quit school in grade eight and the reason I dropped out was that the neighbour was paying five dollars a day to drive horses, haul grain and do the fieldwork. It was a great wage back then.

Isbister, Miles

Excerpts from Timber Trails, 1979

Miles Isbister first came to the Big River area in 1907 when he was twelve years old. He came with a family by the name of William Chaffee from Mont Nebo, and he made several trips back and forth over the old Hudson Bay Trail.

In 1908, he settled at Erinferry were his parents, Mr and Mrs James Isbister, ran a Soup Kitchen, or stopping place, for the freighters who were hauling in the early mill supplies before the arrival of the railroad.

During these years, Miles can remember hauling hay from the big meadows around Bittern Lake to many of the private mill camps around Big River and up Crooked Lake. He can well recall the noise made by the riveters who were busy erecting the burner and how he had to watch his horses so they would not run away from all the noise. He remembers rows of company houses being built at this time and of seeing Mr Ernie Brownfield hauling rocks from Stoney Lake for use in the foundation of the mill.

Miles lost his first wife, Francis Robertson, and a young son, during the 1918 'flu epidemic. An infant baby girl survived and was raised by Miles and his second wife, Eva Ahenakew. Six boys and six girls were born of this marriage, and another son was born of a third marriage to Edna McAdam.

In 1929, the Isbister's filed on a homestead in the Winter Lake district and farmed there until 1954, when they moved to Bodmin. They still reside in the area.

Working as a lumberjack during the Otter lake lumber day, Miles remembers the "mud-hen", a boat used to float the logs down to Cowan. This was around 1913 when Camp Fifteen was the main stopping place for the men.

Like many of the true pioneers of our district, Miles is a man of many talents, turning his hand to various jobs during his colourful past, doing each with the vim and vigour demanded. Sometimes a freighter or fisherman, sometimes a trapper or lumberjack, sometimes a farmer, but always the hearty good-natured type of pioneer that moulded Big River and district and opened up the country to new settlers.

Isbister, Robert Myles

Robert Myles Isbister was born in 1897 and at the age of 42 applied for a patent on the land located on SW 19-54-6 W3rd in the Winter Lake area. He had a house, barn, granary and milk house, all constructed from logs. He also had 12 head of cows and 2 horses.

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"Date Modified: March 28, 2024."

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