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McKelvey\'s Little Acres

by: Bill McKelvey
In the fall of 1936 Jamie Little (my father-in-law) was in the Sesekinika Lake area searching for lumber strands for his father's (Walter Little) logging operations. He found the present location of Gail and Bill McKelvey's cottage and Annette and Rob McKelvey's home. Jamie instantly fell in love with the area and purchased one lot, dismissing any further ideas of logging in this area. He convinced his uncle Joe Knox ( his mother Hannah's brother) to buy the adjacent lot. In 1937 Jamie built the West Sesekinika Road from the old Ferguson Highway(the present dump road) to the site of their lots. In the fall of 1937 both Jamie and Joe built themselves ice houses to store ice for the summer as electricity was unavailable and everyone used ice boxes. In the winter of 1937-1938 and in subsequent winters Jamie, with the help of men from the logging camps, cut blocks of ice to fill the two ice houses.The ice was packed in sawdust and lasted all summer.The ice houses later became storage sheds in the early 1950's when electricity came to Sesekinika. We had our ice house demolished in 2001 and there was still much evidence of sawdust. In the summer of 1936 both Jamie and Joe cleared their lots and had their cottages built by two Finlanders. The Knox cottage remained in its original design until it was demolished for us by Wayne Conway and Chesty Clowater in 2002. By this time our son Robbie had built a huge log home on the former Knox property and the original cottage was becoming an eye sore. The Little cottage had two bedrooms and a bathroom added on in the 1950's. Upon Jamie's death in 1971, Gail's mother, Mona, gave the McKelveys the Little property. We have, over the years made many renovations to our cottage but never changing the actual size of it. In 1980 when Joe Knox's widow, Mabel passed away we inherited that property which eventually was passed on to Robbie. Our children Tracy and Robbie and our grandson Austin have never missed a summer at Sesekinika. I don't think they ever will. Although Tracy and her husband Todd and Austin live in Barrie, they are always anxious to come to Sesekinika. Gail and I have numerous fond memories of Robbie, Tracy, Kelleen and David Schonfeldt and Tanya and Ericka Whelpdale water skiing in the late 1970's and early 1980's behind our ancient plywood boat powered by a 1957 18 hsp Johnson. Near the end of that notorious boat, the driver had to keep his/her foot on the fibreglass patch to prevent it from popping out. The kids used to go doubles behind this contraption.Attemtps to constuct pyramids were humerous and unsuccessful. We have such fabulous memories of our time spent at Lake Sesekinika. It doesn't take long before the "good life" at "Ses" gets into your blood. Now Gail and I spend between five and six monthes at the cottage. Fortunately for us, the next generation of McKelveys,Rob and Annette and Tracy, Todd and Austin Shuttleworth will continue the Little - McKelvey traditions.

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