by Sanford Trotter
I was with my brother in law, Harold Wilson in a log truck heavily loaded with white pine logs starting out onto Big Serpentine Lake in Anstruther Township. The ice began to crack and bang. When I opened my door to jump out, Harold laughed and said “it’s alright as long as it is making lots of noise”. This was the winter of 1952. The Wilson brothers, Harold and Max were logging for the Peterborough Lumber Company north of Big Serpentine Lake.
In the fall prior to this they had built a road from Highway 28 at Tucker’s Road west to Rock Lake, then they had to build a road by hand from Rock Lake over land south to a beaver pond then west over land onto Anderson Lake. From there over land onto Big Serpentine Lake. Then when the snow and frost came, they levelled these overland roads and iced them. These were their winter haul roads to the mill south of Apsley on Highway 28.
It was a scary ride for me as Harold drove very slow across the lakes, especially coming close to the shore as the water under the ice would be building up ahead of us. He would have to allow it to spread out so it didn’t blow out the road at the shore.The same winter of 1952, two of my brothers George and Albert were working for Art Sanders on the west shore of Eels Lake. They were hauling logs across Eels Lake, through the Narrows to the government landing, then out to Highway 28 and on to a sawmill near the Cardiff Dump.
I have a brother-in-law, Greg Francis, who hauls supplies out of Edmonton up to Norman Wells in the Northwest Territories but I had never had the opportunity to ride with him, too bad!