Back Row: Dean, Alicia. Front, Wyatt.
I, Alicia Panter am the third youngest child of Doug and Kathy Panter. I attended school in Big River and graduated from the Big River High School in June of 1997. Throughout my school years, I was very involved in many different clubs. I was involved in the SRC, which took me to many different conferences throughout Canada. I played a lot of sports such as volleyball, badminton, and Track and Field.
Growing up in a big family was an experience in itself. When I was younger there was always someone to play with or torment. My brother Clint must have had it pretty rough growing up with five sisters. We are a very close family and we enjoy getting together whenever we can, whether it is at our cabin at the lake in the summer or snowmobiling in the winter. With the seven nieces and nephews running around there is never a dull moment.
After graduation, I attended Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alberta working towards my Animal Health Degree but was unable to attain it. I moved back home and started working at Gould Fuels in Big River. I loved working with the public but thought that something was missing in my life so I moved back to Alberta and took a job with PigPeg Hog Farms as a farrowing technician. On August 9, 2000, the apple of my eye was born. Wyatt James Panter was born in Shellbrook, Saskatchewan. I moved back home and started work at D & D Confectionery for Marlow and Judy Pister, and at the Co-op Gas Station. In February of 2001, I quit D & D and went full time at the Gas Bar. I also worked at George and Arlene Ritchie's looking after their buffalo.
So as you can see I was very busy, caring for a two and a half-year-old, working two jobs, and leading the Big River 4 H Light Horse Club, but I wouldn't of change any of it. Wyatt is a very active and growing big boy. He loves to spend time outside with all his animals, cows, horses, rabbits, donkeys, cats and dogs. He has no fear of anything and everything is his friend. Wyatt can't wait to go to school with his big cousin. He loves to go over to Grandpa Jim's every morning for cookies and apple juice!!!
In January of 2003, I met a wonderful guy Dean Richels, who owns his own trucking company out of Leroy, Saskatchewan.
Panter, Anton (Tony) and Neta
Anton and Neta, 1948
Anton was born in 1885 in Mankota, Minnesota, and immigrated in 1913 to the Medicine Hat area where he was employed in the undertaking business. He worked there for a few years before heading north to the Sturgeon River district. Here he took up homesteader rights and filed on NW 21-52-3-W3' in February, 1915.
Neta Robinson was born in 1898 at Mt. Vernon, Illinois and immigrated to Canada in 1911 with her parents, to the Moose Jaw area. Neta later moved to the Sturgeon River district and met up with Anton. They were married in Prince Albert on March 15, 1917.
Tony and Neta worked in Dundurn for a few years. In 1918, they stayed on their homestead in Sturgeon River.
Their first son, Frank, was born in November 1918. Frank married Audrey Willie and had two children: Dwaen and Cynthia. Frank passed away in 1998.
Their second son George was born in May 1920. George passed away in an accident in the Prince Albert National Park at a young age of 18 years (1938).
Their next son, Jim was born in May of 1922. (See own history)
During a cold February evening, their home was destroyed by fire. For the rest of that cold winter, they stayed at Lois Leterski's and then moved back to their land the following summer and lived in a granary. The following winter they stayed at Short Keebaugh's place as Tony was a cook at Waskesiu and Neta was busy hauling men to fight fire in the Park.
Frank and George attended school in Sturgeon River. They rode horseback along with Bert and Bryon Benjamin and Roy and Walter Johnson.
Tony sold their farm and moved to Shellbrook, Saskatchewan where their oldest daughter Elsie was born in 1930. Elsie married Steve Zaparaniuk and they had two children Rick and Shelley. Elsie passed away in 1997 after a long battle with MS.
Tony later moved his family to the Canwood district in 1931.
Ethel was born in 1932, and she married Cliff Millard and they have two children Joanne and Janet. Cliff and Ethel reside in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Cliff passed away in the summer of 2004.
After settling his family in Canwood, Tony went to Big River and filed on land in the Rapid Bend district. In 1933 he moved his wife and family here. Three more children were born to them, Victor in 1934, Betty Lou in 1937 and Howard in 1940 to complete their family of eight.
Victor had two children: Kathy and Peggy, and he passed away in a tragic accident in 1990.
Betty Lou resides in British Columbia. (See own history), and Howard resides in Hanna, Alberta. After the family had left home, the Panters moved back to the Canwood area. Tony passed away in 1959 in Canwood and is buried in the Big River Cemetery. Neta returned to Big River after her husband passed away, where she resided in a suite in the upstairs at Waite Fisheries. When the senior's complex was built, she then moved into one of them. In later years Grannie, as she was commonly known, loved camping and on numerous occasion, she was camping out at Michels Resort with family and friends. She never turned an offer down. Grannie passed away in 1985 at the age of 87 years and is buried alongside her husband Tony, in the Big River Cemetery.
Panter, Clinton and Nicole
Clint, holding Emma, Niki, holding Ethan.
Clinton James Thomas Panter was the fourth child born to Doug and Kathy Panter. Clint was born in Shellbrook, Saskatchewan, on June 18, 1977, and began his life in the Rapid Bend/Ladder Valley district, east of Big River.
Childhood was always intriguing at the Panter farm. There was always something going on to keep a young boy out of, or in some cases, get him into, trouble. In the fall there was the cattle roundup at the community pasture, and hunting with Grampa around Moonlight, an area just to the north. "Somehow the elk always seemed to know what we were going to do next." In early June the fishing trips to Tie Lake were a treat, especially when the pickerel were biting. Then, of course, there were the year round chores on the farm. From hauling bales to cultivating, to calving . . . . there always seemed to be some sort of jobs waiting to be done. "Looking back now I know I wouldn't change a minute of it."
At the age of five, Clint started school in Big River at the T.D. Michel Elementary School. "One memory I have of my early school years was getting on the bus early in the morning and seeing what seemed like hundreds of rabbits (children exaggerate) running in front of the bus." After elementary school, Clint went on to graduate from Big River High School in 1995.
Like so many other young people of Big River, Clint was introduced to the working side of life by pumping gas.
In August of 1993, Clint started to work for Steve Raymond at the Gas Bar. This lasted for a year until another opportunity arose at Midtown. "It was at Midtown where I developed an affection for the smell of "The Shop". It was also here where I acquired the ability to get dirty and like it. Up until now the jobs that Clint had were necessary to put fuel in the old Ford truck that he always drove away too fast. After a year at Midtown, and due to a growing love of mechanics, Clint got a job at Wallace Wilson Enterprises, where he still works today. After four years of apprenticeship training, Clint received his Heavy Equipment Mechanic Certification from the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology. (SIAST).
In February of 1997, Clint began to exchange "Hellos" with a girl he saw at the post office every day. Finally, thanks to a mutual friend, the introductions were made and six months later Clint moved in with Nicole Mayoh from Debden. Niki had moved to Big River a few months earlier to work at the new Credit Union Branch in Big River.
In 1998, Clint and Niki bought their first house together at 114 7' Avenue South, right across from the High School. On June 5, 1999, Clint and Niki got married at the Mayoh farm south of Debden.
Life was good until the town life started to wear thin for the farm boy from Ladder Valley, and so in 2000 Clint and Niki moved to their present home SW 6-56-6 W3" (formerly owned by Bill Zacharias).
There seemed to be a void that needed to be filled and so on March 5, 2001, Emma Leigh was welcomed into the family. When Emma was two years old she acquired a new playmate. Ethan James was born on June 5, 2003. "At the time it seemed like a very long day, but the result turned out to be an excellent anniversary present." Family life is a humbling experience for both Niki and Clint, but with both sets of parents close by, it somehow makes it easier.
Community involvement has been and continues to be a big part of Clint and Niki's life. Clint is a member of the Big River Fire department, Search and Rescue and the New Hall Committee. Niki and Clint are both members of the Ladder Valley Community Co-op. We both enjoy volunteering our time at community functions such as golf tournaments, community auctions, fish derbies, dances, suppers and any other public function where there is fun to be had.
Panter, Doug and Kathy (Warriner)
Back Row: Becky, Niki, Emma, Clint, Ed, Courtney, Lynne, Amanda, Ron.
Front Row: Alicia, Wyatt, Doug, Maegen, Kathy, Britney, Chelsey, Dylan, 2002.
I, Kathryn Alice Warriner, daughter of Thomas and Barbara Warriner was born on June 16, 1952, and lived in the West Cowan District (SE 15-56-8 W3rd). I received my education at the schools in Big River. Our mode of transportation at that time was by horse and cart or else walk until the bus came to the district in 1959. What a joy it was to ride the bus. You didn't have to worry about walking in bare feet or losing your shoes on your way to school. Of course, it always took a little longer to walk home as it was more fun playing in the water and mud.
After finishing school, I babysat for Art and May Chu and then started working in the restaurant for them while still babysitting. A year later, I moved across the street to the Lakeview Cafe and worked for Vicki Bogner and Ernie Meiklejohn.
I enjoyed living in the country as there were more things to do. We had our little pony named Pumpkin, that I'm sure others will remember too. However, when my dad decided that he needed extra income, he started working for Waite Fisheries Ltd. commuting to Buffalo Narrows. As mom couldn't drive, it was decided to move the family into Big River. So on October 31, 1960, we moved our belongings into the old Anglican Church in town and, yes, it still had the cross on the roof.
This was our first chance to go out trick or treating, (people must have thought the goblins were coming) but we enjoyed every minute of it. I remember the house was really cold and the back bedroom had to be turned into a deep freeze during the winter months, but we managed. We enjoyed our stay there until October 1967 when we moved into our present house on Mill Avenue with our first running water and flush toilets. I have many fond memories of our life on the farm. I remember the fun we had at those Sunday afternoon picnics, which everyone enjoyed. But life has to go on and I managed to manoeuvre into adulthood and took my first steps into a new and challenging life being a farmer's wife, mother and grandmother, when I took my vows and married my soul mate, Doug, on November 4, 1972.
James Douglas is the second son born to Jim and Helen Panter (Gilbert) on February 3, 1949, at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Doug attended school in Big River and after he finished school he worked for numerous bush contractors. He went back to University in 1971, attended the School of Agriculture and received his diploma in 1972 and settled down on the family farm. He still worked in the bush for Norman Thibeault and Earl Meyers driving cat and clearing bush.
Our first daughter, Amanda Dawn, was born on November 18, 1973, and when she was starting kindergarten, Doug started driving the bus for John Kuxhaus. Our first son, Cory Douglas, was born on August 6, 1974, and passed away the same day. Krista Lynne was born on December 19, 1975. Clinton James Thomas born June 18, 1977, Alicia Michelle born February 3, 1979, Rebecca Leigh born January 21, 1983, and Maegen Ashleigh was born May 23, 1984, to complete our family of six children which we are proud of. We also have eight grandchildren which all are a joy to be around.
We took over the family farm (NE 35-56-6 W3rd) from Doug's dad in 1974 and started raising beef cattle and putting a bit of grain in, but due to poor prices, have just gone to straight beef.
Doug started to work at Weyerhaeuser sawmill in 1985 as a weekend watch and was Quality Control Manager until June 2004 at which time he took early retirement. July 5, 2004, he started working for Wallace Wilson Enterprises as Safety Quality Co-ordinator, which he enjoys very much.
Doug is very active in the community of Big River and has helped with many changes over the years. He has served on the R.M. Council for a total of seventeen years and has served on numerous boards through the years. He was instrumental in helping to establish a joint fire agreement between Town and R.M. to supply fire service to the rural people. He is a member of the Volunteer Fire Department, Big River Search and Rescue Team, and is presently taking over the EMO coordinator for the Big River area. These are a few things that he enjoys doing.
Life is what you make and we are proud of the accomplishments over the years. The goals that we were pursuing seemed rugged and hard to climb but we did our best and are proud of them all as we took one day at a time. The future did seem so far away and "round-to-its" was a word you heard lots, but we surmounted the ups and downs and with challenges, we accomplish what we set out to do.
Panter, James (Jim) and
Helen and Jim Panter.
James Burton was born on May 30, 1922, to Anton and Neta Panter. He was third oldest in a family of eight children: Frank, George, Jim, Elsie, Ethel, Victor, Howard, and Betty Lou.
Helen Martha was born on November 29, 1918, to Harry and Augusta Gilbert. She was the third oldest in a family of five children: Guilda, Joe, Helen, Richard and Cuthbert.
Jim served in the Armed Forces in the South Saskatchewan Regiment and Helen served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. They both served overseas during World War II.
They were married on December 21, 1946, in Prince Albert. They moved back to the Panter homestead where Jim still presently lives. Jim and Helen's pride and joy was the first year they went south to a Registered Quarter Horse sale where they used their first gold nugget and bought the first "Nugget". From there it was many sales that they attended and always came home with some colts to add to their herd of horses.
It was during these sales that they met their many friends from the States and Canada who can all share the many wonderful memories of the wonderful years that they had attending these sales. Jim used some of these horses in the community pasture where he was pasture manager for 21 years before he retired to being a grandpa and great-grandpa. As he was getting older, and the horses were becoming too much work, Jim decided to sell his herd of horses, and everyone found it very hard to load this legacy of their life into a trailer to be taken away.
However, whenever the grandkids are riding their horses, their grandpa is always there to give them the lessons they need. Presently, Jim lives on the homestead during the spring, winter and fall, and during the summer, he lives at Hackett Lake. Jim loves to fish, hunt, and snowmobile.
They have four children, all boys. The oldest son, Pat graduated from high school in 1966. From there he pursued a career in banking and was located at several different bank branches throughout Saskatchewan. It was during these years that he met Donna Warriner. They were married on May 15, 1971, and two children were born, Jason and Jana. Pat switched his gears a bit and went into the insurance department and soon realized that Big River was the place to stay. Pat and Donna presently own and operate Panter Agencies and are very active in the community.
Their second oldest son, Doug, finished high school in 1967 and worked on the family farm and in the bush before taking an agriculture course at the U of S, graduating in 1972. His big brother couldn't outdo Doug and his courtship ended when he married Kathy Warriner (Donna's sister) on November 4, 1972. Doug took over the family farm in 1973 and needed all of the workers he could get so he started his family of six children: Amanda, Lynne, Clint, Alicia, Becky and Maegen.
Their third son, Rob graduated in 1971. He joined up with the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool elevators and has since been moving across Saskatchewan. During these years, he met Mary Allen and they were married on August 31, 1974. Rob and Mary have two children: Brandy and Janine. Rob and Mary currently live in Tisdale.
Their fourth son, Larry was born on June 17, 1957. In 1974 he started operating heavy equipment, which he still does at present. He is employed at Wilson Trucking in the logging industry, doing bush work. He has his farm in Ladder Valley and is into raising longhorns.
Helen passed away on August 13, 2002, and Jim resides on the Panter homestead at NE 35-55-6 W3rd.
Back Row: Pat, Jim, Helen, Doug.
Front Row: Larry, Rob, 1998.
I was born November 9, 1976, in Bengough, a little town in southern Saskatchewan. I am the only daughter of Patrick (son of James and Helen Panter) and Donna Panter (daughter of Thomas and Barbara Warriner). I have an older brother Jason.
With my father working at the Canadian Bank of Commerce, we moved around a lot. In 1978, we moved to Regina. Then in 1981, we moved to Loon Lake, where my dad was Branch Manager and what do you think we inherited with the "Bank House", but a cat, as our other cat had disappeared. I thought this was neat, you move in and you get a cat. I was only 3 at the time. The people who had the house previous to us were moving to Regina and did not want to bring the cat to such a large centre. Who knew that Ming would last us through our moves to Regina and Big River 20 some years later.
Loon Lake brings a lot of memories for me. This is where I started kindergarten at Ernie Studer School. I still keep in touch with my kindergarten teacher, Mrs Morton, and she still calls me by my nickname and bugs me about the things I did back then. One story that comes to mind is when I told her that it was my Dad's birthday. She asked, "How old?" and I replied, "100 years old". She then asked, how old my Mom was and I replied, "29". Kids believe everything they are told.
Loon Lake seemed to be the beginning for me. I started going to Brownies. I am still reminded of this, as Mom seems to have kept all of my craft projects to earn various badges. Mrs Simpson was my grade, one teacher. Mom always mentions "Dick and Jane", but to me, it is "Mr Mugs". Other various things I recall are swimming lessons at Jumbo Beach and going camping. Looking back I still cannot believe Loon Lake was one of our two-year stops. I have kept in touch with a few of my friends.
As the school year completed, we made another move to Regina. In the fall of 1983, I started grade two at Dr George Ferguson School. Living in the city was different than in a small town. For one thing, parents had to know where you were at all times. Being a kid, I sometimes forgot to tell Mom where I was going and got "heck" when I got home. Besides school, I still participated in Brownies, where I was a group leader. I also remember our weekly trips to the library and bowling alley. City life was not for us; Dad made a career move partway through grade three (1985) to his and mom's hometown, BIG RIVER. I finished grade three at the T.D. Michel Elementary School. Who would have thought I would stay in one place long enough to graduate from the Big River High School in 1994. This was my fourth different school.
Dad and Mom took over the insurance business from Mac Scriven in 1985. I recall moving to Grandma Barb and Grandpa Tom's house until we found a place to live. We moved into a house located at 205 Pederson Avenue, but as you know in this town addresses don't mean a whole lot. Our house was located next to Jack and Ivy Johnson's and across from Clarence Pederson. You would think this would be our last move as we got settled into a new town. Wrong, in a few months we moved into a mobile home located at 112 2nd Avenue North (Ida Johnson's trailer). This was quite small for a family of four. In July 1987, we moved to 300 1st Avenue North (kiddy corner to where the trailer court is presently). This is where Mom and Dad presently live.
In my school years in Big River, I participated in a variety of different activities. A few that come to mind are choir (both in elementary and high school), figure skating, baseball, candy striping, drama, TNT, and basketball. Homeroom teachers were: Mrs Meada Wilson, Mrs Teri Fichtner, Mrs Merle Swanson and Mrs Otte (grades three-six) and Mrs Cindy Olson, Mr Jack Stefanyk, Mrs Maisie Krienke, Mr Lee Cooper, Mr Grant Wood (grades seven - twelve). I think Mr Wood was the only one who would put up with our class for grades eleven twelve. I can still recall Mr Phil Devonshire saying, "Wakey, Shakey, Daylight in the Swamps". Hope I got that one right. You can always lead Mr D. off track by starting to talk about Hitler. Mrs Vivian Zinovich was our French teacher and also led the choir.
Little towns are usually not full of big events. I recall waking up in the early AM on March 8, 1988, and being told that the high school was on fire. I told Mom, yeah right, and almost went back to bed. She pointed out our living room window. I stood there in disbelief. I was in grade six and was not a student there at the time, but it affected both schools. I can remember since we were the oldest grade of the "little school" that we shared our classroom with the oldest of the "big school". We would go to class in the morning. I can remember thinking, "Who's sitting in my desk?" A table was put at the back of the classroom for those who could not fit in our small desks. Cory Hodgson was a big man back then. After that, I got to experience life in the portables for the first two and a half years of high school.
After graduation, I was undecided on what I wanted to do in life. Instead of going with the flow to University, I remained in Big River and worked for Mom and Dad at their insurance agency, Panter Agencies Ltd.
In 1995, I was accepted into a two-year course at Woodland Institute (SIAST - Prince Albert). I graduated one and a half years later with a Diploma in Business Administration, Manager. Since I finished the course in less than the required time I also received a High Achievement Scholarship. During this time, I also received my insurance licence in 1997. Who would have known that I would be in the family business?
I worked for two short months at Panter Agencies, and it was time to branch off to see the working world. I moved to Saskatoon in mid-1997 and started working at Saskatoon Agencies (another insurance agency). I still cannot believe that I lived in the same apartment for four and a half years for what was going to be "a see what I wanted job". I worked there until late 2001. I have always considered Big River my "hometown" as this was the longest we have ever stayed anywhere. So, in 2001 I moved back home and started working full-time for Panter Agencies. For what was going to be a "temporary" move to put my feet back on the ground, turned into the last three years. I even convinced Dad to get another cat. Her name is Sasha. I am looking at eventually settling down in my own place. For now, I moved temporarily into my Aunt's trailer. Raggy (my new cat) and I have settled in.
I have obtained my Canadian Accredited Insurance Brokers (CAIB) designation. I am also a member of the History Book Committee. Hope you like our book! I enjoy reading in my spare time and have a small library of my own that I am always adding too.
I was born November 30, 1973, in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan to Pat and Donna Panter.
My first move was to Bengough, Saskatchewan, where I started kindergarten. We moved to Regina within the year and I attended Stuart Russell School. We then moved to Loon Lake, Saskatchewan. After only eighteen months there, we moved back to Regina and my schooling was continued at George Ferguson School. It was during this time that my parents decided to change careers and we moved to Big River, Saskatchewan in 1985. I was halfway through grade six. The remainder of my schooling was at the Big River High School.
I moved to Calgary after graduating from High School in 1991. The next three years were spent at DeVry Institute of Technology and after a brief stint in Phoenix, Arizona, I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology in June 1994.
My first real job was in Edmonton, but in June 1995, I decided to look to the "Great White North" to check out a little town called Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. I was initially working for a small computer store called Cascade Computers and the plan was to stick around for a year. Now, nine years later, I'm still here, enjoying the great outdoors as much as possible, climbing through the ranks of the Fort Smith Volunteer Fire Department and working as the Information Services Manager for the Fort Smith Health and Social Services Authority. This is a wonderful little town and I've got a great group of friends that share my love of the outdoors and the small-town life which has held me here for the past nine years.
My name is Maegen Ashleigh Panter. I was born May 23, 1984, the youngest of Doug and Kathy (Warriner) Panter's children. I was born and raised in Big River, Saskatchewan, which is also where I received all of my schoolings.
Throughout high school, I was in the top of my class and on the honour roll. In June of 2002, I graduated from the Big River Community High School with the highest average in my class.
In September of 2002, I set off for the first time on my own. I was off to Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan to take an Office Education course at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) campus. Living in Meadow Lake I met many new people and learned a bit more about the person I am. It was a great experience for me. I completed the Office Education course in June of 2003 and am currently working for the North Battleford Royal Canadian Mounted Police as a steno-clerk and dispatcher, which I am enjoying very much.
I still have many goals left in my life that I wish to pursue; once I get a little more established in my life I would love to have the opportunity to travel around and see new places and meet people. I have a passion for country music and love to perform at benefits and local functions but would love for that to be on a bigger scale. Who knows what is left for me to see and do in my life, all I can do is follow my dreams and hope that they come true.
Panter, Pat and Donna (Warriner)
Pat, Donna, Jana, Jason.
I am the fifth oldest child of Tom and Barbara Warriner, born April 4, 1950, in Big River. We farmed in the West Cowan area until 1960 at which time we moved into town. We lived on 2nd Avenue until 1967 and then moved to Mill Avenue.
All of my school years were in Big River. After high school, I worked at Waite Fisheries until 1971.
Pat is the oldest son of Jim and Helen Panter, born January 24, 1948, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Pat started school at Rapid Bend and then moved to the Big River for the completion of his school years. Pat worked at various jobs until he settled with a career with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. This brought about many moves throughout Saskatchewan.
Pat and Donna were married on May 15, 1971. We lived in Saskatoon for a short period. Our next stop was in Lloydminster where our son Jason Bryce was born on November 30, 1973. Donna was also working for the Bank at that time but had to leave that job because we were on the move to Bengough, just 29 miles north of the United States border. It was here our daughter Jana Barbara arrived on November 9, 1976. The next move was to Regina which was not our choice of a good place to live but we did. We were very pleased when only eighteen months later we moved to Loon Lake, which had been a favourite holiday place for many years previous to moving there. The kids were getting to the point of never being able to settle down in a place long enough to establish long-lasting friendships when we were on the move again. This time back to Regina. After a year in Regina and a good holiday to Nesslin Lake the following summer Pat decided we should look at a change in careers that would keep us in one place for an extended period. It was in the fall of 1984 that we seriously looked and thought of buying the insurance business from Mac Scriven. After Christmas of 1984, the kids were enrolled in the school in Big River and we took over the insurance business on February 1, 1985.
When we moved to Big River we rented a house on Pederson Street, and Panter Agencies operated from Mac's house. We moved the office to the corner of Main Street and 1st Avenue in the spring of that year. We bought a trailer on 2nd Avenue and made that our home. The office was again moved into the spring of 1986 to our present-day location, 103 1st Avenue North. The following year we purchased our home from Sy and Sue Minovitch at 300 1st Avenue North and have resided there since.
We have lived the city life but have enjoyed our many years back in Big River and not looking for any more moves.
Levi and Becky.
I, Rebecca Leigh, was born on January 21, 1983, in the Big River Union Hospital to Doug and Kathy Panter.
I grew up on the family farm and attended school in Big River graduating in 2001. I was involved in school sports, Fly Higher and SADD (Students Against Drinking and Driving) and was a member of the Big River Multiple 4H Club.
After graduating, I decided to take a year off, and so I worked at D & D Confectionery. During this time I became involved as a First Responder for the Big River Ambulance. I was involved with the Big River Volunteer Fire Department and Search and Rescue. This field interested me so much that in the fall of 2002, I took my Primary Care Paramedic, graduating in March of 2003. I started working in La Ronge in August of that same year and in January of 2004, I moved to Carnduff and am working as an EMT and also in the Nursing Home as a Special Care Aide.
I met Levi Myers, shortly after moving down there. Levi is a truck driver and is working form Spearing Service Ltd, hauling everything from freshwater to oil. On August 28, 2004, we got engaged and have set our date for July 30, 2005.
Park, Louella and Leonard
JoAnn, Elaine, Louella, Merlin,
Leonard, sitting, 1996.
I, Louella, am the eldest daughter of Ernest and Cecile Ethier. I was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan on June 4, 1945. I remember, as a young child, growing up at home with three sisters and one brother along with our wonderful parents. We lived in a log house at first, then later moved to a house Dad built. We played house, dolls and cards. We learned to dance with Mom and Dad. We learned to skate on an old pair of skates our parents had and just plain made our own fun.
While I was growing up I spent a lot of time staying with my Aunt Laura and Uncle Billy Wilson. They were special to all of us, but it was me that didn't mind staying at their home. Later, when I had a home of my own I realized the generosity of my parents to share and I thank them for this.
I lived and took my schooling in Big River, Saskatchewan. I married Leonard Park from Park Valley on November 23, 1963. The first winter of our marriage was spent at Sylvan Lake, Alberta where Leonard worked on an oilrig. We came home in March and bought the old section house at Eldred. What a brute to move! We finally got it to our farm NW 5-54-5-W3'.
Our three children came along. Merlin was born Sept 15, 1964; JoAnn was born January 14, 1966; and Elaine was born November 12, 1970.
We did a lot of hard work. Milking the cows and selling the cream put food on the table and bought an odd barrel of gas. We farmed the land growing wheat, oats, and barley. We did a lot of hard work breaking land and picking roots and building farm buildings. Even though we were busy as parents and farmers, we always managed to get involved in the community-helping put on dances, suppers, etc.
In 1978, we moved into a new home. In 1988 we celebrated 25 years of marriage. Our children have been a big inspiration to us and now we have grandchildren, a blessing to our lives.
We still farm and have about 80 cows. In 1995, Leonard had a five-way coronary by-pass and came along with flying colours putting in the crop in spring and has been well ever since. Leonard farmed with his Dad but now all our parents have passed away.
I'm not sure where the years have gone. We've done a bit of travelling, enjoying trips to British Columbia, Black Hills, Yellowstone Park, Alaska and Niagara Falls. We hope to have good health and a fun retirement someday.
Our son, Merlin married a girl from Steinbach, Manitoba (South-East of Winnipeg). They were married April 25, 1987, and have two girls. Katelynn was born January 18, 1989 and Shelby was born February 12, 1993. Merlin works at the Mill and Wilma works at the Big River Health Center. They live at Park Valley.
JoAnn married Wilfred Young on May 18, 1985, and they have three children. Krystal was born June 16, 1986, Janine on October 20, 1988, and Brendan on March 6, 1991. Wilfred works at the mill and JoAnn works at the Big River Health Center and for Homecare. They live on a farm in Ladder Valley.
Elaine married Don Ulriksen and they live in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Elaine works at the Prince Albert Corrections and Don works for Sask Power. They have twin boys Hayden and Chase born May 13, 2003.
Parker, Arthur Henry and
Gladys Lenora and Arthur Henry Parker arrived in Big River on June 4, 1932, from Regina Saskatchewan.
Our Father and Grandpa Archibald shared a boxcar with their livestock, machinery and household effects. Our Mother came with Grandma Florence Archibald on a passenger train to Prince Albert. Here they waited for Dad and Grandpa to arrive. They took the next train to Big River. When arriving in Big River, they had to spend the night there leaving the following morning for Ladder Valley by wagons drawn by horses. Needless to say, the roads were horrible the wagons were dragged down several times in the mud as they came around Ladder Lake. As a result, they didn't arrive at their destination until very late that same night.
Our father being a city man, had never seen so many trees and bush. The next morning he took his new axe and tried to cut down his first tree and promptly broke his brand new axe handle, much to the amusement of our grandfather.
Mother, Father, our grandparents and our Uncle Ash, started to build a house on our grandfather's homestead. Earlier settlers donated a lot of time and labour to this endeavour to help them get their home built. It took three days to build it. Now they all had a roof over their heads. The men then went up to our father's homestead and built a home for Mom and Dad. Our father's brother came to help and it was soon up and ready to move into. This quarter section was NE 1-56-7-W3'.
Also in 1932, Grandma and Grandpa Archibald came to Big River. My father's family came too.
1937, Our parents abandoned this quarter section and filed on the SE 17-55-6-W3'.
1939, Our father enlisted in the third division of the Regina Rifle Regiment and was posted overseas almost immediately and went through the entire war in Europe from Dieppe, D-Day and time in occupied Germany. He returned home in 1945. (His dog tag # L27521).
During the war years, Dad and Mom bought the quarter NW 20-55-6-W3". They then established a home on this land.
1949, They sold this farm and moved into the town of Big River where our father helped build the first government sawmill. Dad also started the first brass band in Big River, which was made up of the young people in the community.
1956, They left Big River and moved to Hinton, Alberta. They resided there until they both passed away.
My mother passed away in May 1960 at the age of 49 years after being involved in a traffic accident. Father passed away in July 1962 at the age of 52 years of a heart attack. Mom and Dad had five children:
1. Rachel Lenora O'Connor - Red Deer, Alberta.
2. Arthur Henry Willis Parker - Deceased
3. Thomas Walter Parker - Deceased
4. Cherry Mae Lynn Parker - Deceased
5. Norma Gladys Louise Zilinski - Deceased
Clarence Parkhurst resided in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan when he applied to purchase the land on the lakeshore of Winter Lake. It appeared that the Land Controller, N.O. Cote, recommended on June 29, 1914, that the application be refused. Mr Parkhurst was situated in the centre of a hay meadow and this was unacceptable.
Mr Parkhurst originally came from North Dakota, U.S.A. with his wife and six children. They had two sons, aged twenty-six years and thirteen years; and one daughter, seventeen years of age. They also had three children under the age of twelve. They resided on their homestead situated on NE 31-54-6 W3rd during 1914 until sometime in the 1920s. They had a log house and barn on this quarter of land.
The Patrick family of eleven children grew up in South Stoney. The eldest was Grace. She married Carl Colby. (See own personal history).
Caroline (Pat) Thomson were married and moved to Meadow Lake. They had three children. When the children were grown up, they moved to Prince George. They are married and have children. After retirement, Pat and Caroline moved to Qualicum Beach in British Columbia. Caroline is now a widow and keeps busy in charitable work.
Jim went to war when he was seventeen years old. He was wounded when he stepped on a mine. When he returned home, he got married and moved to Dawson Creek. They had three children. His son, Ron, took him back to Holland to walk on the soil that once shook with violence threatening his life. Now, it lay silent and green, allowing him to walk in peace among the marked headstones of his fellow soldiers. He is a very strong man with still much to give the world today at seventy-nine.
Gordon married Irene Cramer, a schoolteacher from South Stoney. He lived near Debden where he raised his two sons. They still make their home in the Debden area.
Robert married Catharine Milliken. They moved to Kamloops. They had four children and now have grandchildren.
Robert and Catharine presently reside in Kamloops.
Dorothy married Dick Johnson (see her history).
Hazel married Delbert Sundby and they had four children. They moved to the coast of British Columbia. Later on, they were divorced. Hazel and Dick Remple reside in Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia.
Hope married Gordon McNabb. They moved to Nanaimo, British Columbia. They have a daughter, Cindy, married to Dave Charcuck. Cindy and Dave reside in Kamloops with their children, Lacha and Dave Jr.
Rocky married Liessa Gardner and they now live in Scottsdale, Arizona. They have a son, Hunter and twin girls, Amberly and Brittany.
Todd married Mary Mond. They live in Nanaimo with their children, Chloe Marie and Dalton.
Wilmot moved to Lake Cowichan and married Mary Wright. They later moved to Plamondon, Alberta. They had three children. Mary is now a widow and enjoys her grandchildren.
Gail married Stan Marwood and lives in Lake Cowichan. They had two children, Perry and Tammi. After Stan passed away, she married Gary Johnson. Gail and Stan had a daughter, Lanna. When Gary passed away, Gail moved to Port Alberni. She later married Rudy Lang. They now live in Qualicum Beach.
Winston, the youngest, married Lorrie Blanco from Nanaimo. They have five children. Lorrie, along with her four daughters, still live in Nanaimo.
Winston and Lorrie's only son lives in England with his wife and daughter. Lorrie and Winston divorced. He moved to Alberta and became a farmer. He loved his farm and his new companion.
She became terminally ill. He hovered over her bedside day and night. When no one was watching, sitting at the foot of her bed, in an armchair, he slipped away. "To get things ready," Phyllis said.
His companion followed two weeks later. Their deaths gave me a new understanding of life.
"As we awaited winter, the poplar trees stand naked behind the dense wall of green spruce - a home for the bears and the wild to find shelter. Birds, of many colours, peck for food among the leaves that lay in wait for their next adventure to be carried by the wind or covered by the snow.
The field, too, lies bare. The woodsheds are stacked, ready for the war against the cold.
A time of waiting for the lakes, since the swimmers and canoes have left.
The fish have gone to the deep as the ice makes its first appearance as it clings to the curtains of the shore . . . . waiting for the fall of the temperature to guide it to the centre.
The postmaster's work is heavy as the catalogue orders for the winter boots, underwear, socks and mitts arrive for the fortunate ones who can afford them. The others rely on the goodwill of the people; who, though, with their heads down and backs bent, are stacking their supplies in the cellar . . . . patching, sewing and knitting. They see out of the corner of their eye, where help needs go - no words of "why" are wasted. The sifting and sharing run free."
"Memories" by Hope McNabb
As I remember, coming into Big River from Stoney lake at the south end of Delaronde Lake, there were many families within two or three miles of each other. The trail-like road was about ten miles from Big River. The home stretch called "Sam Lyons corner" gave you a view of the tall burner. It stood like an indestructible iron soldier as one approached town. This was a false illusion as it was torn down and is no more.
Entering Big River from Debden, you came up over the hill and the town lay below. The lake was to the left of the scattered primitive homes and businesses of the families that made Big River. In their struggle to survive, they welded together making the meaning of the words, "Family, Friends, Honor".
Excerpts from Timber Trails, 1979
Mr and Mrs Payne, with daughter Florence, moved to Big River in 1935. Mr Payne had operated a store in Spiritwood before his arrival here. The Anglican Church minister, Reverend Norman Calland, who had been recently transferred from Spiritwood to Big River, wrote to Mr Payne and told him of the possibility of opening a drug store in the community. The Payne family decided to make the move and Mr Payne established and operated a drug store here until 1940 when he joined the army.
The few years the Payne's spent in our community were during the hungry thirties, therefore, money was scarce. Fish, furs and cordwood were common items of exchange at the drug store, plus the slender cash incomes received by those on Government Relief. However, everyone was in the same financial situation, so things were not so noticeable.
Later, Mr Payne discontinued his drug store and started work for OP Godin in his general store. When Mr Godin purchased Mr Joe Friedman's store, located in the hotel building, Mr Payne became manager. Mr Kurt Bengston and Miss Alice Dube assisted him.
The Payne family eventually moved from Big River and is now living in Edmonton.
Ev and Cecil.
Cecil was born in Kinistino, Saskatchewan on August 8, 1939, but grew up and went to school in Big River. He lived in Big River until 1962, then moved to Saskatoon and lived there until 1965.
Cecil worked as an electrical lineman for the Saskatchewan Power Corporation from 1959 to 1965. During this period he worked on construction projects throughout the province of Saskatchewan.
In 1960, he married Evelyn Alger from Meadow Lake. They have two children, both born in Big River, a son Barry in 1961 and a daughter Connie in 1962.
In 1965, they moved their family to Nanaimo, British Columbia, where Cecil continued working as a lineman throughout the province of British Columbia.
Both their children grew up and graduated from High School in Nanaimo. Their son Barry went on to play in the National Hockey League and moved to Boston in 1981. He still lives there with his wife and two children. Their daughter, Connie, works as a Human Resources Manager for Home Depot and lives in Nanaimo with her three children.
Cecil and Evelyn moved to Las Vegas in 1996, and continue to live there as citizens of the United States.
Pederson, Clarence and Elnora
Submitted by Clarice Hunter
Norrie and Clarence.
Clarence was born in Kinistino, Saskatchewan, on May 17, 1910, to Alfred and Mary Pederson. His father was born in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and his mother had emigrated from Norway.
As a youth, he worked with his dad breaking land with a steam engine and moved to Big River in 1932 to work in the tie camps. He fished in La Ronge and Buffalo Narrows, drove cat on fish and freight swings for J.K. Johnson and Len Waite. He held construction jobs with W.C. Wells that included the Cowan Lake Dam and the Saskatoon Airport and he worked at wharf projects in Sylvan Lake and Great Slave Lake. After buying a Kodak camera, he became an avid amateur photographer and has many great old black and white photos of jobs that he worked on over the years. There are pictures of freight swings on the lake, a cat showing through the ice, and sleighs loaded with logs and pulled by horses in the bush north of town.
In 1945, he went into the land clearing business for area farmers and the Local Improvement District. He was sometimes called upon by the Department of Natural Resources to fight fires with his 'Cat'. Even after retiring, he was coaxed out of retirement to drive cat, fighting fires at the age of eighty. One day, he pointed out to one of his sons who was clearing the land with him in Ladder Valley, that over the years he had worked with each one of his sons clearing land on the three other quarters that met at that very intersection where they were now working! Known by all in Big River as a hard worker with huge strong hands, it was recently observed by a family friend, who was piling some 16 foot two by sixes and turned around to walk back and get another one, that Clarence was following behind him with one in each hand, at the age of ninety-three.
He met Elnora Louise Anderson. Clarence and Elnora were married March 3, 1939, and reside in Big River. They have five children: Cecil, born August 8, 1939, Garnet, October 23, 1941, Clarice, March 2, 1946, Harvey, July 13, 1953, and Ken, June 14, 1955.
(See own histories.)
Elnora was born in Dilke, Saskatchewan on July 1, 1920, to Olaf and Pearl Anderson. She worked at the Big River Hospital for twenty-five years, starting as a nurse's aide. She completed her Saskatchewan Grade Twelve equivalency, having achieved her Grade Twelve previously in North Dakota, and took a Medical Records Technicians course, enabling her to then work in hospital administration. She served on Town Council for twelve years and was a member of the Order of the Royal Purple for over fifty years. She belonged to the United Church Women and numerous other committees serving the community during her many years in Big River.
She often collected the admission at the dances that were put on by the band in which one of her sons played, everyone knew that there was no chance of sneaking into the dancehall when Norrie was handling the tickets. No one seemed to think there was anything wrong with that; in fact, on one occasion when someone foolishly attempted to make off with the cash box during the dance, they found the whole crowd rushing to Norrie's defence.
It was impossible to grow up in her household and not achieve some sort of work ethic. Like many families in town, she had a huge garden that kept her family supplied with fresh produce in the summer and plenty of canned goods for the long winter months. Her oldest son still hates potatoes to this day. You couldn't go hungry at Norrie's, the first words spoken to anyone who came into her house was ALWAYS, "Are you hungry, dear?"
She somehow always managed to know what was happening in the local community, like the time her young grandson Jason came roaring into the yard early one morning to say that he had found a small fire burning while driving his quad down the railway tracks. Off they went to inspect, Norrie sitting on the back of the quad with her housecoat flapping wildly in the wind. She was always concerned about the well being of her children. If you were one of them who found yourself walking home early on a Sunday morning, long after you should have been home in bed, you could easily turn the corner at the Rex Cafe and find Norrie headed uptown to find you and drag you home.
She loved to travel, and made her way with friends to stand on the Great Wall of China, crossed the Atlantic by air to look up distant relatives in Norway, cruised the inside passage on a 50th anniversary Alaskan cruise with Clarence, traveled to Nanaimo to visit brothers and sisters on Vancouver Island, flew to Boston for her grandson Barry's wedding, and made many trips to North Dakota to visit family there.
One of her favourite pastimes in retirement was to get together with her friends for card games. Her opinion on anything important to her was given to you whether you wanted it or not, and you would never be left confused as to which side of the fence she was on in regards to any topic being discussed. Pictures of her grandchildren met the eyes of anyone opening her fridge door to claim some of her canned fruits or jams. When she passed away October 4, 2001, she left her husband Clarence, one daughter, four sons, seventeen grandchildren, twenty-two great-grandchildren, three sisters, five brothers and numerous nieces and nephews as well as countless friends to mourn her passing.
Meada and Ed Pederson.
Meada was born in Big River on May 21, 1925, a daughter for Jim and Christie Cowie. She had a sister, Evelyn and a brother, Joe. She worked at the Big River Hotel and then became the telephone operator from 1941-1946. She recalls working with June Vold during this time. In 1946, she married Ed Pederson in Big River. They first lived in Tommy Thibeault's house down by the lake.
Ed Pederson was a son of Henry and Anna Pederson who owned the Lake Four Store. Ed was an elevator agent in Big River from 1949-1953. They had two children while living in Big River on the lot where Ernest Montgrant now resides. Ellen (Dale Haakonson) was born in 1947 and had three children. Wayne was married to Margaret Ottowell and had two children. He later divorced and married Mary Miller and had two children.
Ed and Meada moved to Smeaton where Ed was transferred with the Wheat Pool Elevator during 1952-1953. After developing health problems related to grain dust, Ed and Meada lived in various places in Alberta and British Columbia. While in Camrose and Calgary, Ed owned and operated the Elna Sewing Centre from the late 1950s to 1965. While in White Rock, British Columbia, Ed was a penitentiary guard for thirteen years. He went to auctioneer school and practised auctioneering in Lacombe, Alberta during 1974. Ed is also proud of the six-horse hitch that he had while in the White Rock/Langley British Columbia area. It was his honour to drive Prince Charles and Lady Di around the city of Victoria.
Ed and Maeda's third oldest child, Glenda, was born in Camrose, Alberta in 1958. She married Clarence Hinse and has two children. Their youngest daughter, Sandra, was born in Calgary in 1961. She married Allan Henningson and they have two children.
Ed and Meada moved to Edmonton in 1983 to retire. They visit Big River annually to see relatives and friends.
Ellen and Wayne.
Garnet and Susan.
Garnet was born in Kinistino, Saskatchewan on October 23, 1941, raised in Big River and graduated from high school in 1959.
In 1962, he married and had four children: Darrell, born in Big River, is now a lineman with West Kootney Power in Kelowna, British Columbia. Kim, born in Big River, is now living with her family in Prince George, British Columbia. Kirby, born in Saskatoon, is now working for a power line contractor in Prince George, British Columbia. Cory, born in Surrey, British Columbia, is now a lineman for Pair Electric in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In 1969, he moved to British Columbia where he worked for BC Hydro and various contractors.
In 1986, he returned to Saskatchewan with Susan to work for a contractor from Saskatoon. They were married in 1987 in Hawaii and built "Susan's Place" Restaurant in Big River, which is now Third and Main.
They now have a blended family with his four children and her three children. Rob and Brett both work for a power line contractor from Grand Prairie, Alberta, but live in Fort Nelson, British Columbia. Julia lives with her family in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Together Garnet and Susan have twelve grandchildren.
They returned to British Columbia in 1989 to BC Hydro and now live in Nakusp, British Columbia.
Kathy and Harvey.
Harvey was born July 13, 1953, in Prince Albert, raised in Big River and was active in hockey, school athletics, and army cadets. Growing up right beside Cowan Lake and in the shadow of the town's sawmill offered plenty of opportunity for climbing the burner, swimming from the catwalks, running the log booms, and learning how to sail a small boat. Long before he was old enough for a driver's licence, he could often be found rowing his boat across Cowan Lake, his dog standing at the bow, to hunt squirrels with a .22 (unregistered in those days) that he bought with his money earned on his paper route.
He got a guitar in 1969 and formed a band called "The Crown of Creation", with friends Vince Olson, Bob Gerow, Wally Wilson and Pete Mysko.
As well as holding local dances in the Elks Hall or the Theater, the band also rented halls in Debden,
Canwood, Spiritwood and St. Walburg on weekends over the next two years, earning them $15 to $25 each per dance and providing them with some of the best times of their lives.
Harvey graduated from High School in 1971 and went to British Columbia looking for work, which
started with hot roofing in Nanaimo and then power line construction with BC Hydro in the lower mainland. He returned to Big River in February 1972, and drove cat for his Dad's land clearing business and worked at the Big River Mill which was located at the time where the Ice Arena is now situated.
He went to Prince George, British Columbia in the spring of 1973, working for a short time in a sawmill until eventually getting back on BC Hydro in their powerline materials warehouse. He received an apprenticeship with BC Hydro as an electrician in December 1973, which started at the Bennett Dam in Hudson Hope, British Columbia.
On July 13, 1974, Harvey married Katherine Kohlruss, who had moved to Big River in 1967 from Goodsoil, Saskatchewan, with her family when they purchased land from Charles Scrimshaw.
Serving his apprenticeship required moving around in British Columbia to gain exposure to all of Hydro's operations. He usually found a Senior Hockey team to play on such as the Dawson Creek Canucks, Vanderhoof Flyers, and the New Westminster Steelers. Shonna was born in Surrey, British Columbia on February 28, 1977, joining her brother Jason, born three years earlier on February 2, 1974, in Lloydminster.
In February, 1981, he moved to Lloydminster, Alberta, to help a brother-in-law run his carwash business. When that was sold two years later, he spent a year as an electrician at the Key Lake Uranium mine in Northern Saskatchewan. The shifts were a week, in followed by a week, out and the flights to and from the mine site were out of Saskatoon.
In March 1984, he and Kathy bought a photo-finishing business in Lloydminster. Originally set up in the Lloydmall, they relocated the business in 1990 and expanded into school and sports photography and operated the business until November 2001.
Standing: Ginelle, Jason (holding Kayl).
After selling his motorcycle in 1982, he finally got back into riding them again in 1991 and he and Kathy now spend most holidays touring the back roads of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and South Dakota on their Harley. Their most memorable ride was from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine with 250 other Harley riders on the Harley Owner's Group "Posse Ride" in 1997. The return trip home took them through Boston, New York, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Chicago.
Harvey and Kathy presently reside in Lloydminster, as does Jason. He is now an instrumentation electrician. Shonna manages the lounge in one of Lloydminster's hotels. They have one grandson, Kayl who was born to Jason and Ginelle on June 11, 2001, in Lloydminster and who loves coming over to ride his Harley three-wheeler in "Papa's" backyard.
Pederson, Henry and Hannah
Submitted by Bernice Reimer
Henry and Hannah.
Henry was born in Norway in 1888, and came to Minot, North Dakota, with his parents in 1890.
Hannah was born in Alabama in 1895. They were married in 1910 and came to Readlyn, Saskatchewan in 1911, where they took up a homestead. They farmed there until 1925. By this time they had seven children. In 1925, they moved to the Ormiston, Saskatchewan district and took up ranching and farming. They had a herd of 300 head of cattle and 300 head of sheep, which was quite a chore, shearing, docking the lamb's tails, and putting them all through a dip to kill ticks. They also had 50 to 75 head of broncos, which changed with selling and trading. Also, they had several pigs.
They also ran a butcher shop, using the animals they raised for slaughter. Hannah looked after the butcher shop, a seven-mile drive from home. They made their own bologna and sausage. Henry did a lot of veterinary work in the area. Two more children were born while they lived in Ormiston.
Then came the dried out years when the largest crop was Russian Thistle and a lot of drifting sand. Like snowbanks, one could walk or ride over the fences in places where the sand had drifted.
They decided to move north so that meant driving the sheep, cattle and the horses, thirty miles to Spring Valley, to load them in boxcars on the train. The travelling had to be done at night, as it was too hot in the daytime.
They left the prairies in mid-summer, landing at Cameo, Saskatchewan in 1931. It was a treat to see green grass and gardens. They lived on a neighbour's farm until the following year and took up another homestead. They took out logs to build a house and other buildings. While in Cameo another child was born, bringing the total to ten children.
In 1942, Henry and Hannah, with a couple of their children moved to Lake Four. They bought and operated the Lake Four store and Post Office on SE 34-54-6 W3' from Thompson and Miss Edwards. Most of the time, Hannah took care of the business with the help of a couple of the children, as Henry was travelling and selling Watkins Products. He also bought horses, selling a lot of them to Edwin Olsen for mink feed. For years Hannah hauled the mail and some supplies for the store from Bodmin with the horses. She had a summer caboose to keep out of the sun or rain, and in the winter she had a winter caboose for warmth, as a lot of the time the roads were not fit for cars. They also had a gas pump at the store. When the roads were passable Henry would haul gas with 45-gallon drums to fill the gas pump, as there were no fuel trucks to deliver it.
In 1956, they had a sale and retired and moved to Big River and lived there for a few years. They enjoyed going fishing and camping.
The house they lived in, in Big River is now Beau "Lac" Funeral Home. From Big River, they moved to Shellbrook. Hannah passed away in Shellbrook in 1974. Henry left Shellbrook and moved to British Columbia. He passed away in Walley, British Columbia in 1977.
Jamie, Ken and Cindy.
Ken, Kenny or KP, as he is known in Big River, was born June 1955, to Elnora and Clarence Pederson.
The youngest of three brothers and one sister, he was also the biggest, weighing in at almost 12 pounds when he was born. Harvey, being the older of the two, still reminds Ken that he never did get a new pair of jeans, just the hand-me-downs. Mum said, "When Ken was born she never had to look in the bassinet at the hospital to find him, she only had to look at the end to see his feet sticking out."
Memories of the Big River Sawmill are still vivid whereas children they used to run the log booms, catch monster jackfish, and swim at the "Old Swimming Hole". Many bets were made about who could swim across the lake and back the fastest. Summer holidays were spent packing fish for Bob and Clarice and driving cat for Dad. Ken and Harvey have fond memories of their two horses, Little Red and Duke along with their dogs Butch and Tiger. To this day, Ken still has the love of horses and dogs.
Ken moved to Calgary in 1972, and two years later to Prince George, British Columbia where he began many years of power-line construction taking him to every corner of British Columbia.
On December 7, 1976, Jamie Marie was born. Jamie resides in the Vancouver area with her daughter, Savannah, born September 10, 1997.
While living in Prince George, Ken met Cindy (Chamberlain) from Burns Lake, whose parents owned a hunting and fishing resort on Babine Lake. In 1983, they moved back to Saskatchewan and were married in October 1984 on the farm of Clarice and Larry's.
Ken continued to build power-lines all over Northern Saskatchewan eventually finding permanent employment with Sask-Power. They spent three years in La Ronge and on January 25, 1987, Ashley Noreen was born. They transferred to North Battleford and on February 13, 1992, Travis Clarence was born.
Missing the hunting and fishing, they decided it was time to move a little closer to the things they enjoyed. "A man in his element" describes Ken's love of hunting and fishing. His respect for the bush and the simple lifestyle it brings brought on the move in April 1992 to an acreage near Holbein.
Now with two children and a dog, Cindy decided it was time to stay put. She met a local farmer, bought a cow and there began nine years of ranching and building a small herd.
Cindy worked part-time for the Community College for many years until its closing in 2001. She is now working full-time for an accountant. Busy with driving and supporting the kids in all their sports and activities, free time was spent outdoors, gardening and painting.
The youngest, Travis, nicknamed "The Roadrunner" is in his fourth year of soccer playing on Prince Albert's top team and placed Silver in 2003. He has earned several medals in Track and Field for 60 and 100-meter Triathlon and Long jump competing in Saskatoon and Division Track. Travis enjoys dirt biking, snowmobiling and quading through the biggest mudholes he can find.
Their oldest child, Ashley is in her fifth year of Track and Field, qualifying for the SaskFirst Team to compete provincially and in Alberta. Her Fastball team "Extreme Heat" won 2003 Provincials, she plays "A" Volleyball and holds two Canadian Titles in Kickboxing. Completing her tenth and last year at Camp Tampiwingo on Candle Lake, she plans to do CIT (Counsellor in Training) next summer. In April 2004, Ashley will be travelling to Europe with the School Travel Club visiting Switzerland, Germany and Italy.
As the children have gotten more busy with their lives and events, the farm became impossible to leave even for a small vacation, and Ken working seven days a week to keep up, it was time to sell the cattle and spend more time with the family.
Moving a little closer to his roots, Ken and Cindy bought a cabin west of Big River where some of the family's history has come full circle. It is here the children travel a road their grandpa broke for the settlers of "The Block", it is here they follow the same trail that Ken rode his horse on one of the first Leoville Trail Rides, and it is here where they listen to childhood stories of old friends and stories of Big River. It is here Ken's family will start their own story, remember their childhood memories and become part of the next family history book.
Travis and Ashley.
Pelchat, Louis and Bertha
Submitted by Opal (Pelchat) Rogowski
After selling the store and post office at Cabana, Louis and Bertha Pelchat left with their five children - Ruby, Opal, Ursule, Donald, and Marie for Timberlost in July 1938. There, Dad operated his first store with his brother, Harry Pelchat (who drowned in Ian River, British Columbia in 1944). This building was later used as a teacherage.
Dad later bought Mr A. Thibeault's business (post office and store). Over 30 families received their mail here. Once a week, Dad would have to go to Leoville using horses and wagon (in the winter, the wagon was exchanged for a caboose), to pick up the mail. Road conditions would determine whether or not he would have to stay overnight. Dad once came home with a makeshift travois on the wagon as the back wheel had broken. In later years, he was able to get himself a vehicle to use for these trips. Dad was instrumental in getting the mail service switched to Big River.
Dad also trapped beaver and muskrats. He traded with the natives, buying their furs and Seneca roots. He was involved in getting the nuns from Leoville to teach catechism to the Roman Catholic children during the summer months. The nuns stayed at the teacherage. Mom did the laundry and mended for some of the men teachers.
During our stay at Timberlost, there were additions to our family, Perle, Uric, and Claude. With the increase in family and higher education needed for the children, dad decided to sell. John and Nora Beebe bought the business in 1949.
After we left Timberlost, we lived in Greenmantle, Big River and Churchbridge. Dad and Mom owned a hotel with a cafe in Churchbridge. In 1951, Dad bought a farm in Shell Lake where the family took up farming. Leaving Mom to look after the farm and livestock, Dad went prospecting for uranium in Uranium City. He was also the camp cook when needed. I remember Dad saying how bad the sandflies were when he was out prospecting.
After the prospecting years, Dad finally settled on the farm where he helped his brother, Pete Pelchat with the threshing. He also used his car as a school bus for a year.
Dad passed away in 1958 and Mom in 1998 Dad and Mom had eight children:
>Ruby (Cecil Laxdal) - Churchbridge (passed away 1990)
Opal (Harry Rogowski) - Prince Albert (retired)
Ursule (Ernest Farmer) - Orr Lake, Ontario (widow)
Donald (Valerie Nindel) - Prince George, British Columbia (retired after 35 years working at Carriere Mill)
Marie (Orest Kostuik) - Prince Albert (retired)
Perle (Ralph Stevenson) - Shell Lake (bought the family farm)
Uric (Sarah Impey) - Battleford (24 years as a glass installer and glazer)
Claude (Cathy Nazaruk) - Shell Lake, (killed in an accident while driving a salt truck for the Department of Highways in 1989)
Submitted by Marcella Fonos
Kurt Bengston and Ted
in front of the old tree nursery office
and the nursery jeep. 1950.
My Dad was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1909. In the early 1930s, he and his family moved to Rama in Southern Saskatchewan. My mother, Helen Pelletier (Diakow), was born and raised in Buchanan, Saskatchewan. After applying for and receiving the rights to a homestead in the area known as "The Block", my parents were married and travelled to Timberlost.
They raised nine children there and moved to Big River when the school was closed in 1950. The stories of their life in Timberlost were always interesting. As children, we never realized it was "hard times". We mostly remember the fun we had even with the hard work that had to be done.
In 1950, we moved into the town of Big River. During 1956 my mother and father travelled to Whitehorse, Yukon where they lived until they both passed away.
Our family is now scattered throughout the country. Four of us live in British Columbia; one lives in Skagway, Alaska; one is in Ontario; two are in Saskatchewan and one lives in California.
When any of us return for a holiday, we always make a point of returning to visit our homestead and relive our childhood. We now see a tiny, rotting log house but to us, it still was a large two-storey house.
Peters, Abram and Katharina
Abram and Katharina, known to friends and family as Abe and Tina, lived in the Timberlost area from 1940 until 1956. Abe and Tina homesteaded on the NE 35-55-10-W3' with their six sons and one daughter: John, Peter, Jacob, Abraham, Wilheim, David and Katharina. Abram Peters was born in Blumstein, Manitoba on April 1, 1901, and died in Dalmeny, Saskatchewan on June 22, 1994. Katharina (nee Kasper) was born in Hague, Saskatchewan on February 23, 1904, and died in Rosthern, Saskatchewan on December 28, 1983. They had the privilege of celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary with family and friends.
Abe and Tina were married on December 2, 1923, and lived near Hague, Saskatchewan until 1934 when they moved to Capasin, Saskatchewan with their five sons. They brought all of their belongings on the back of a hayrack and a milk cow to supply milk for the young baby and the rest of the family. Any extra milk was given to a young colt named Sparkplug. When they lived in Timberlost and Sparkplug was grown, he would chase anyone carrying a bucket of milk from the barn to the house. It was quite a sight to behold!
In 1940, Abe and Tina left poor land conditions at Capasin to homestead at Timberlost, at this time with their six sons. They lived in a log house and supported themselves with mixed farming including alfalfa, and by selling cordwood. Later Abe owned a sawmill of his own. As the boys grew up, they worked for farmers, cut wood, cleared land and did other odd jobs to help feed the family. Life in Timberlost was difficult.
Abe, Tina and Ann moved to Warman, Saskatchewan in 1956 where Abe did odd jobs until he reached pension age. He never lost his liking for a day of fishing. Tina took up crafts of various types and loved to play a lively game of Aggravation. They are remembered by neighbors for their supportive friendship and good sense of humor.
Their eldest son, John was born in Hague, Saskatchewan on February 28, 1925 and married Elizabeth Baumgardner on November 28, 1959. They have five children, twelve grandchildren and two great grandchildren. John worked as a Heavy Equipment Operator and is currently retired and living in Martensville, Saskatchewan. Fishing and hunting were favorite pastimes.
Their second son, Peter (Pete) was born in Hague, Saskatchewan on September 18, 1926. He worked as a Papermaker and is currently retired and living in Vancouver, British Columbia. His special interests were competition target shooting and music.
Their third son, Jacob (Jake) was born in Hague, Saskatchewan on July 18, 1929 and married Laura Vander-Krachton July 9, 1955. They have one daughter. He was a Welder by trade and mined gold in the British Columbia mountains for many years. Jake died on March 3, 2001, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Their fourth son, Abraham (Abe) was born in Hague, Saskatchewan on January 16, 1933 and married Irene Eliot on July 11, 1958. They have three daughters and four grandchildren. Abe worked in the pulp and paper industry and is currently retired and living in Gibsons, British Columbia. His special interests were competition target shooting and fishing.
Their fifth son, Wilhelm (Bill) was born in Hague, Saskatchewan on May 14, 1934 and married Beverly Christenson on June 24, 1960. They have one daughter, two sons and five grandchildren. He worked as a forklift operator. Bill died of a massive heart attack on October 7, 1987 during a hunting trip with his brothers at Quesnel, British Columbia. His interests were target shooting and golfing.
Their sixth son David (Dave), was born in Capasin, Saskatchewan on April 10, 1937 and married Edythe Hanson on December 22, 1962. They have one son. Dave was a heavy duty mechanic and is currently retired and living in Prince George, British Columbia. Dave's special interests were competition target shooting and swimming.
Katharina Anna (Ann) was born in Canwood, Saskatchewan on March 13, 1945 and married Frank Penner on August 31, 1963. They have two sons, two daughters and six grandchildren. Ann was a home health aide and homemaker and is currently retired and living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Ann enjoys people and books. Ann's special interests are her grandchildren.
All of the Peters men are avid hunters and fishermen and continue these hobbies into retirement. They pride themselves in being excellent marksmen and have trophies to prove their abilities. Cribbage was a favorite pastime at all get-togethers.