Moose Mountains

Moose Mountains, Kenosee Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada

Roughly in Range 2 and 3, Township 9 and 10, W2.

Now this overall area isn't a Village, Town, etc, which is the normal case for my history pages,
but rather for an area of SE Saskatchewan.

But part of this story below is about the Village of Kenosee

My mother and father bought a lot at Kenosee in the early 1960's, from the Hirtle's, see below,
and moved a trailer on the lot, then expanded with another old building,
that was actually an old granary south of Hirsch.
This was on Spadina St.
We were the last cabin on the left, north end, at that time.
When it was done, my dad named it “Poooped Out”
Everyone, going back to the very beginning named their cottages.
They kept the cabin for around 10 years,
then sold it, and built a cabin at Boundary Dam, south of Estevan, to be a little closer to their home.

2 Left- View of our old cabin with dad's 1958 Austin in the driveway, Right- View of our old driveway to our small cabin, June 2017.
Now this huge new house sits on the lot. Not exactly cabins anymore in there!

My Uncle Ed Gesell owned a cabin, almost across the street, NE corner of Spadina St and Clarke St.
and the Roy Backman family bought the cabin, directly across the street,
SE corner of Spadina St. and Christina St., I think?,
so it was a family reunion, on some weekends.
Other relative,m the Nels Backman family, had a cabin at Carlyle Lake.
Our cabin was on land you could buy, Once you went thru the Park Gate, you could only lease your lot in the park.
We used to walk along the lake shore access rd. to get to the Government Beach, to go swimming.

Access Walking Path- June 2017

The Beach in front of Kenosee Gardens
It was OK for boating, but not that great for swimming.

We bought our groceries at Clarke's Store.

Kenosee Gardens, June 2017

Also went there to play pin ball games. When I was a bit older we went to dances there.
Special occasions we went to the cafe there.

Our bread, cinnamon buns, etc. were bought at Carlyle Bakery, on the way up there.
Still the best bakery anywhere.
In those days it was about an 80 mile drive from Estevan.
We had a 1958 Westminster Austin and a small trailer, and everything used to build the cabin was hauled
On that little trailer Dad built at Utility Coals. Every Friday afternoon, we looked like the Clampits!

Miniature Golf Course used to be down by the lake.
Corner of Lake View St. and Waseca Ave. 2017
My brother, his family, my dad, and myself as a teenager, enjoying a game. ca early 1960's

Kenosee Golf Course Club House, June 2017

Kenosee Lake taken from Kenosee Inn, June 2017

Kenosee Village Business/Waterfront area. - June 2017

The Moose Mountains were very important to the early settlers, and the even earlier Native population,
mainly for it's supply of wood, and animals that claimed that area as their own.

Now even the word “Mountain” in Saskatchewan is rather an uncommon word.
More like Hills, not Mountains, in the area. Approx 200 meters higher than the surrounding area.

An area of about 25 miles by 15 miles.

European Settlers came to the area in 1882.
The Moose Mountain District was crossed by one of the chief cart trails of the Hudson Bay Co.,
from Fort Garry (Winnipeg) to the western posts.

It contains the Moose Mountain Provincial Park today, Kenosee Lake (aka: Fish Lake)
and White Bear Lake (aka: Carlyle Lake) are in this area.

Kenosee is native for Fish. White Birch and Aspen (Poplar) trees are in abundance.
Area is located about 15km North of Carlyle SK.
Kenosee (Fish) Lake is located in Range 3, Township 10, W2.

July 1919 view
taken by my Aunt Rose Gesell

1879, Lindsay Alexander Russell, Surveyor General,
b- Mar 4, 1839, in Quebec
d- Sept 8, 1912 at Arnprior, ON, age 72
buried in Arnprior, Renfrew Co., ON
Russell was picking out the best land, to be surveyed, in this area.
He resigned in 1885.
He was the son of Alexander “Alex” J. Russell, and Isabella S. Syme. (McNutt on death cert?)
1889 Lindsay moved to Kingston ON.
1901 they were living in Arnprior ON
married to Harriet Amelia Russell, nee McLachlin
June 10, 1862 in St. Andrew's Church, Ottawa, ON
b- July 9, 1940 in ON, 1841 on marriage cert.
d- Aug 9, 1924 in Arnprior ON, age 85
buried in Arnprior Cemetery
daughter of Daniel McLachlin and Maria Harrington.
1901 shown as an engineer, Civil Servant, on super annuation
Marriage cert says Lindsay Andrew Russell was his name.
and her surname as McLauchlin.

An article from 1978 states on this site, could be found the oldest astronomical observatory in North America.
An ancient Medicine Wheel existed at that time, on a plateau near the park, on private ranch land.
Age at that time is thought to be 2,000 years ago.

1901 there was a summer log boarding house at Fish Lake owned and operated by the Charles Frederick “Fred” Christopher family.
The Christopher family show up in 1901 in the Glen Adelaide area, east of Fish Lake.
See his Genealogy report below.
The Christopher Trail connected their homestead to Fish Lake.
Christopher family owned 42 acres on north side of Fish Lake, next to the Clarke Property, to the west.
Sold all but 1/2 acre to Henry W. “Hank” Holquist of Regina, who built the We-non-cha resort.
Holquist later sold to Hugh Boileau Clarke.
See link below for map of the area.
Henry William Holquist
d- Aug 20, 1954, age 73
buried in Regina Cemetery
wife- Jessie Holquist, nee Williams
b- Oct 21, 1876, in ON
d- Aug 11, 1950, age 73,
buried in the same place
she was 2nd oldest daughter of an old Regina
Pioneer family, Mr. Richard Henry Williams,
b- June 13, 1853 in Toronto, ON
Founder of Glasgow House, one of the first grocery stores in Regina.
her mother- Mary Susan Reid.
Williams family came west in 1881, and by construction train to Regina, in 1882.
Mr. Williams claimed they completed the journey by Ox Cart to present day Regina.
With Charles Willoughby, a Regina builder, they built the RCMP Barracks.
Aug 5-6, 1933, Mr H. Holquist took the Lieutenant-Governor of SK, H. E. Munroe,
and his family for a boat ride at We-Non-Cha Beach.

1905 Captain “Skipper” Powell was Forest Ranger, and Park Guardian, for the Moose Mountains, and Fish Lake.
David M. T. Powell
David Powell claimed he was a distant relative of Sir Baden-Powell, who was born: Robert Stephenson Smyth Powell, and was the founder of the Boy Scouts.
Robert's father was Baden Powell, a Clergyman. One record says he was his brother, but that is not true.
Captain “Skipper” Powell was known as the First White Man to live at Fish Lake.
He was a member of the Masons, attending meetings in Moosomin.
He claimed he fought in the Zulu War, ca 1879, in Africa.
Supposedly a Captain of a boat running guns to Africa at this time.
Found a Captain D. M. J. Powell who died July 14, 1908 in SK, from the Probate Will below.
I have also seen David D. T. Powell, and David T. M. Powell, as his name.
I believe he was married at one time, and his wife died.
would be nice to find some military record for this guy.
One record says he was sick in Moosomin Hospital ca 1912-13.
But he was deceased by then.
But then I found his will going to probate in 1909, in Arcola, name, David M. T. Powell

1891 Census- shows David Powell
b- 1844 in East Indies, age 47, single
living in Broadview SK.
Father and Mother shown both born in Wales

His real name was:
David Moberly Tucker Powell
b- Aug 3, 1843 in Madras, Madras, India (per birth reg)
Baptized Sept 28, 1843
d- July 12, 1908 in SK (per headstone)
buried in Moosomin Cemetery, Moosomin, SK, placed in memory by Moosomin Lodge No 7.
Headstone says born in 1844 which I believe is an error, also shows David M. T. Powell as his name, middle names reversed

Father- Reverend Walter Posthumus Powell D.C.L.
b- 1805 in Bromsgrove, Worchester, England
d- June 8, 1853, in Madras, India, age 48
buried June 9, 1853, in Madras, India
of the Parish of Bampton, in the County of Oxford, when he was married.
he was a Graduate of Oxford University, BA in 1828, MA in 1831, and B.C.L. and D.C.L. in 1836.
Garrison Chaplain, Fort St. George, Madras India
Listed on a Memorial in St. Mary's Anglican Church, Fort St. George, Chennai, India
mother- Matilda Pecla, Matilda Perla Jones on Marriage record,
b- in Wales possibly, per 1891 SK census
daughter of David Jones of the City of Bristol
parents married June 29, 1830 in Stroud, Gloucester, England

Grandfather- Rev. Walter Powell
Grandmother- Prudence

Nov 5, 1862, certificate for 2nd Mate issued in David's name.
Apr 8, 1867 certificate for 1st Mate issued in David's name.

siblings of David:
Sister- Matilda Prudence Powell
Brother- George Marshall Tayler Powell
Brother- John Powell
Brother- James Howell Brian Powell

Bruce in Calgary sent me a scanned copy of a postcard ca 1907, sent to Weyburn, showing Captain Powell at Fish Lake SK

Postcard Courtesy Bow City Philatelics Ltd., Calgary AB

1905 a new road was in place, to Fish Lake, from Arcola, and tourists were entering the area.
A Mr. Marcy had a Summer Hotel in the area. Can't find a Mr. Marcy in other records.

1906 the lake was 7 miles long, by 5 miles wide.
The Park held Moose, Elk and Red Deer, Wild Ducks, Wild Geese, Partridge, and Prairie Chickens.
Great Bear Lake named after the Great Assiniboia Chieftain.

Numerous beaver in 1908. (Note- 2017 I seen many beaver dams along the highway.)
At that time one of the largest breeding places, of the Blue Heron, existed on an Island
In the middle of one of the lakes in the Forest Reserve. (2017 I seen some on the beach with little ones tagging along)
John Rutherford was the Forest Ranger at the time.
He was married to Anne Jane “Annie” Kennedy,
Mar 21, 1888 in Daly, MB
One record says John was the First Park Ranger.
b- Mar 6, 1862 in Scotland
d- Oct 26, 1937 at his home at Kenosee Lake, age 75
buried in Glen Morris Cemetery.
Came to Canada as a young man, ca 1880
first to Winnipeg MB, then Alexander MB.
ca 1900 he came to the Carlyle District.
Farmed 3 miles north of Carlyle.
He left a widow, a son and 2 daughters

1910- 6 miles of road was built in the reserve. 1911, 8 more miles were added.
20 culverts and 2 bridges were built, which enabled cars from Arcola and Carlyle to get to Fish Lake.
Many native trails existed in the reserve. 21 miles of these trails were cleared in 1912.

In 1912 the Forestry Branch were laying out lots at Fish Lake, on the shore, 50 ft wide, 200 ft deep.
These lots were leased for 10 years. Proper streets were placed, named after trees and animals.

By 1927 Clarke's Hotel was established at Fish Lake.
Ray Boilean Clarke owner.
wife Gertrude Beatrice Page
The Forest Ranger's home was at Sandy Bay
Fish lake at that time was 3 miles long and 2 miles wide.
Fish Lake had 4 distinct beaches.
Clarke's Beach, We-non-cha, Sandy Beach, and Arcola Beach.
60 cottages, and 2 hotels existed at this time as well.
Clarke's Hotel had electric lights, and held about 60 people.
It had a lawn tennis court, boats, Motor boats, tents, cots,
camping equipment, and summer cottages, were available there.
A small grocery store, ice cream parlour, and dance hall, were part of the property.
Marcel's Vagabond Orchestra from Winnipeg, were playing for the summer.
Pickerel and pike fish were abundant.

Ray Boilean Clarke died in 1941

Moose Mountain Park officially opened July 1, 1932 by Premier J. T. M. Anderson at the Chalet.
154 sq miles. approx 100,000 acres.

My Grandmother and cousin on the stone wall at the Chalet, Park headquarters, Kenosee Lake

Stone Chalet was built in 1932,
by Charles John Parker

b- May 12, 1874 in Harvey Township, Peterborough Co., ON
d- 1955 in Wawota SK
1901 census age 26, occupation shown as a Mason.
father- Lewis Edwin “Louis” Parker Sr.
b- Sept 25, 1844 in Romford Reg Dist, Essex, England
d- ?
Immigrated to Canada in 1863.
(shown as 1868 in 1901 census)
His father was also a part time stone mason
building his home from stone, in Bobcaygeon area,
near Peterborough, ON.
Lewis is shown as a farmer in 1901 census.
Mother- Annette “Annie” McDuff Laurie Parker, nee Tassie
b- Sept 15, 1846 in Quebec
daughter of John and Ellen Tassie
Lewis and Annie had 12 children by 1901.
They were married Jan 24, 1868 in Victoria Co., ON
Both living in Harvey Township, when they were married.
Lewis was an Ensign in the Volunteer Bobcaygeon Company,
formed to fend off another Fenian Raid ca 1865.

Grandfather of Charles Parker- Matthew Parker
Grandmother- Laura Elizabeth Boase
b- ca 1807, London England
who were married Oct-Dec 1837 in Falmouth reg dist, Budock, Cornwall England.
Matthew was 25, from Parish of Clerenwell, London,
son of William Parker, Merchant.
Laura was age 30, from Budock
daughter of Henry Boase, Banker
and Anne Craige

One of Charles's brothers, Henry Bertram Parker, from Harvey township,
age 25, mason, married Charity Dewdney, Jan 10, 1903 at Peterborough.
daughter of Arthur Dewdney and Rebecca Wills,
and a sister to Rebecca wife of Charles.

then we find Charles John Parker marries a Dewdney as well.
He married Rebecca Wilce Dewdney, Sept 20, 1905, in Victoria Co., ON
b- Mar 1876 in Harvey Township, Peterborough Co., ON
Charles and Rebecca moved in 1912 to Saskatoon,
then to Carcross, south of Moose Jaw to a farm.
SE Section 2, Tsp 10, Rge 28, W2
ca 1930- The family moved from the farm,
and lived in Kennedy SK., in the Moose Mountain area.
He was an Ontario stonemason and contractor.
4 children I know of:
son- Harold John Parker
b- July 24, 1906 in Bobcaygeon, Victoria Co., ON
He also became a Stone Mason
married Aug 1, 1939 in Sheridan Montana.
daughter- Mabel Parker
b- May 1908 in ON
daughter- Ruby Parker
b- Oct 1910 in ON
daughter- Rebecca Edith Parker
b- Oct 21, 1911, in Bobcaygeon, Victoria, ON

Originally the Chalet was used as a Hotel.
Now the Visitor's Center for the Park.
50 ft x 80 ft., 2 1/2 stories high.
2nd floor contained the dining rooms.
Main floor Lobby, Telephone exchange, men's bathroom, and stairway.
Attic held 4 bedrooms on east end and same on west end.
Oct 1, 1933 it was gutted by fire and rebuilt the next year.

1933- Park Ranger, E. P. Coe

1938- Park Ranger, Mr. Joe Reid
Gardener at the Chalet Mr. Hatfield
Saturday night dances at Kenosee Gardens.

1956- Kenosee Gardens sold to
Lawrence James Albert Hirtle
b- Jan 10, 1911 at Fort William, ON
d- 1999
son of James Albert Hirtle, and Hanna Laura Wallace.
married Olive Shewchuk, Oct 31, 1941, at Winnipeg MB.
b- Apr 15, 1915 at Ashville, MB
d- Nov 8, 2008, age 93
both buried in Glen Morris Cemetery

Early 70's sold to Leipert & Jones.

July 5, 1978 the Village of We-Non-Cha was formed.
Per google maps this is what I refer to as Village of Kenosee.

Village of Kenosee exists today, on what was Clarke, Hirtle property.

Kenosee Park
Post Office History

Federal Electoral District: Moose Mountain (SK)
Office Opened July 17, 1933
Located at the Store
Office Closed- Aug 29, 1969

Office opened for the Summer, on various dates,
Closed for the Winter, Aug 31 each year

Postmaster Information:

Name of Postmaster Date of Birth Date of Appointment Date of Vacancy Cause of Vacancy
Miss Mary Freeburne Apr 23, 1893 1933-07-17 1937-05-21 Resignation
Mrs. Jane Rowbotham 1937-06-21 1938-05-23 Resignation
Miss Dorothy Cunningham 1938-06-20 1940-06-05 Resignation
Lawrence Clayton Christenson 1940-07-18 1941-05-26 Resignation
Mrs. Jean Irene Dodds 1941-06-23 1942-05-27 Resignation
Mrs. Hilda Adeline Connell 1944-08-07 Acting
Mrs. Hilda Adeline Connell 1945-07-06 Change of Postmaster
Hugh Boileau Clarke 1946-07-01 Acting
Hugh Boileau Clarke 1947-06-23 1958-04-12 Resignation
James Albert Hirtle 1958-06-16 Acting
Lawrence James Albert Hirtle 1958-07-31 1969-08-29 Closed

Disclaimer- This reproduction is NOT represented as an official version of the materials reproduced,
nor as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the National Archives of Canada.
The source of the Post Office material above is the National Archives of Canada

Kenosee Lake
Post Office History

Federal Electoral District: Qu'Appelle - Moose Mountain (SK)
Office Opened June 3, 1974

Postmaster Information:

Name of Postmaster Date of Appointment Date of Vacancy Cause of Vacancy
Mrs. K. LaDouceur 1974-06-03 1975-08-16 Resignation
Kenosee Gardens 1975-09-10 1982-08-03 Resignation
Lorne Sproat 1982-08-04 Acting

Disclaimer- This reproduction is NOT represented as an official version of the materials reproduced,
nor as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the National Archives of Canada.
The source of the Post Office material above is the National Archives of Canada

Charles Frederick Augustus “Fred” Christopher (Kristofer)
b- Apr 5, 1845 in Wurttemberg Germany
d- Feb 1918
buried in Wawota North Cemetery
b- Buffalo, NY, USA in marriage record, which isn't true.
living in South Norwich, age 24, married, when married
son of Frederick and Caroline Christopher.
His Will went to probate, 1918 in Arcola
Justice of the Peace in Glen Adelaide.
School Trustee and Secretary, as well.
married to Harriet Bethia Christopher, nee Nunn
Jan 21, 1872, Mount Elgin, Dereham, ON
b- July 6, 1854 in Bayham Co, Elgin Co. ON
daughter of John and Charlotte Nunn
United Empire Loyalists

son- Charles Edwin Christopher
b- 1872
d- 6 days after birth
daughter- Elizabeth “Caroline” “Carrie” Christopher
b- Dec 2, 1873, in Dereham, Oxford, ON
son- Albert Merritt Christopher
b- May 30, 1875, in Dereham, Oxford, ON
May 20, 1875 in 1901 census
daughter- Martha Christopher
b- 1877 in ON
son- Edward Christopher
b- 1878 in ON

son- Dennis Tulley Christopher
b- May 9, 1881 in ON
Dennis Tulley Christopher Bio

son- George Christopher
b- July 24, 1882 in ON
daughter- Mabel Christopher
b- Jan 17, 1884 in ON
son- James “Jim” Christopher
b- Sept 25, 1885 in ON
d- buried in Nipawin
daughter- Annie “Anna” Christopher
b- June 24, 1887 in ON
daughter- Alto “Alta” I. Christopher
b- Apr 24, 1890 in ON
daughter- Florence Christopher
b- May 5, 1891 in ON
Myrtle Evelina Christopher
b- Sept 14, 1893 in NWT
d- spring 1894
daughter- Harriet “Ellen” Christopher
b- Aug 18, 1895 in NWT
son- Elwood Hobson Christopher (Edward?)
b- Oct 19, 1898, NWT
d- age 4 months

In 1849, the Guidzdorfor Family left their home in Wurttemberg, Germany
The family name was changed to Christopher in America
Moved to Canada, got married in Canada,
in 1893 moved to what is today Saskatchewan.
Homesteaded SW 18-10-1 W2
1899 bought Percy Fripp property at Kenosee Lake
7 miles west of their homestead.
1897 started Saints Rest Resort in NE corner of Kenosee Lake.
Tumble Inn built in 1909 by 2 of the Christopher children, Jim and ?.
Sold to Henry Holquist.

Tumble Inn, 1909, sign reads- Kenosee's 1st Dance Hall of 1909, Restored 1991
Located on Waseca Ave 2017
Built by the Christopher Family

External Links- Note- Not my sites

more detailed info here,

Carlyle History book
Prairie Trails to Blacktop Carlyle and District, 1882-1982


More pictures

Postcard, inside Chalet

Kenosee Gardens 1936 postcard


  • Last modified: 2019/10/27 16:54
  • by dlgent