Old Blue

Our family had a store in Snow Lake from approx 1950 to 1965.  Georgette and Stan Major were family friends who lived near Wekusko Falls and they supplied the lumber to build our store in Snow Lake.

By Linda C Butler
Told by Georgette Major

In the late 1940s, Snow Lake was under construction and there was a demand for lumber from our sawmill at Tramping Lake for the building boom.

Stan cut trees in the winter months and then used Old Blue, our horse, to manoeuvre the logs through the bush to the lakeshore, where they were piled until spring, and then floated to the mill in a log boom.

In the summer months we cut the logs into lumber, but there was no work for Old Blue, and he roamed the area feeding on the wild grasses.  Usually he did not stray far from the Wekusko Falls area, where we lived, but one day he followed to road to Snow Lake, a distance of ten miles.

Old Blue arrived in Snow Lake early in the morning and trotted to the lakeshore for a drink.  There were already some homes in the townsite and he was attracted to the new growth and bright flowers of the newly planted gardens, which he sampled. The new residents of Snow Lake had hauled soil from the surrounding area to build their small gardens and they were not pleased to have a horse tramping through their yards and tasting their vegetables and flowers.

Snow Lake is a mining town and there were no nearby farms and very few horses in the area and Old Blue was recognized as belonging to the sawmill. We had no telephone, but an urgent message reached us that our horse was wandering through the town and we must come and retrieve him.  Old Blue was the first horse to visit Snow Lake and he was not welcome.

(published simultaneously on the blog HerbLake100.wordpress.com)

About Linda C Butler

I write pioneer stories from the Herb Lake Ghost Town in Manitoba. Please do not re-blog this material or re-publish without my permission.
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2 Responses to Old Blue

  1. janice anderson says:

    linda, I sure do remember the store so well, part of my childhood memories playing with you and brian there. I remember your mom giving me free stuff, mostly candy and whatnot. as a kid I thot that was just top drawer! I remember one summer in particular we were hiking through the woods somewhere and got lost I think, you, me, your mom, my mom and grace if I remember right. For some reason, you guys lowered me down onto a ledge to see if I could see something, a way out maybe, I was just a kid, maybe 10 or so. as we often recalled many times and years later, how dangerous that was, I could have fallen but I guess I was the smallest and lightest at the time to lower down. I don’t know if you remember that or not but it does often come to mind when I read your stories. what an experience that was.

    • The rock ledge was on the limestone cliffs close to where we had our cabin, but I’ve forgotten this incident. Obviously you must have found the way home. The cliff front faces the water, so once we saw the lake we’d know where we were. We climbed the cliffs all the time but we must have wandered away from the front area to get turned around. No idea. Today the trees have grown up in that area so there is no longer the great view from the cliffs that there was when you were there.

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