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The Corboulds of Sesekinika

by: Frances Anderson nee Corbould

Our parents, Olive and Ted Corbould, built their cottage "Innwood" on island 2 (#33 lot it is now) back in the early days circa 1927 when there was only one cottage on the island then Dad and Adams from Iroquois Falls built in the same year. They came from Iroquois Falls by train and had Chris Sorensen deliver them over to the cottage where our Dad kept his Peterborough Sponsson canoe row boat, canvas with cork channels, which prevented it from capsizing and/or sinking.

They rowed all over the lake - back and forth to Sesekinika Village where they got groceries and supplies at Ole Olsen’s general store or to make a phone call on the phone attached to the wall which you to crank with the handle at the side to reach an operator to give her the number of whom you wished to reach.

Ole’s store was an interesting mutual meeting place of the cottagers and villagers to meet and have a chat while they purchased everything from vegetables and dry food to saws and nails - fishing lures - minnows. He had a large weigh scale to weigh various quantities of flour, rolled oats, etc. People brought their fish in to be weighed usually if it was a good size. It was a competition among the fishermen of the lake as to whom could land the biggest prize fish. I recall an American fisherman caught a 20 lb pike which was quite an event - word spread over the lake like wildfire. Well just after that event one of the fishermen on the lake caught another large pike but not quite as big so they (he and several of his friends) put a wrench in the fish and took it over to Ole’s to be weighed - of course it weighed well over the 20 lbs. Ole’s comment was "Well, that is a pretty big minnow!"

Downstairs in Ole’s store was the post office and the post mistress was Lillian Ashby who was such a friendly person, always with a beautiful smile. She was a very hardy person. When Ole would cut the ice blocks out of the lake for his ice house which he used for his ice box or to refrigerate food and he also sold ice to customers as well. When the opening in the water was there at the shore, Lillian dove in for a swim. I think Lillian held the record for being the first one in Lake Sesekinika for a swim every year.

Moores, from Cleveland, Ohio, were one of the first cottagers on the lake who had the property on the mainland with the beautiful beach across from our cottage. Old Dad Moore (as we referred to him) and his wife were indeed pioneers of the cottagers as they lived in their very small cottage all one winter with only access to the townsite by water or ice. After they passed on their daughter, Mrs Mitchell and her husband, Dr Mitchell, also from Cleveland, carried on and built the beautiful log cabin - trees taken from their property to build it and it still remains to this day.

Bert and Hildred Elliott later bought the other beautiful beach called Pearl Beach in those days. They built first cottage on the rock overlooking the bay and the beach and they followed with two more on the beach. They were the first cottages in that part of the lake.

Mildred, their daughter, and I were good friends as our parents were. We had rowed over in the sponsson or we might have our five horsepower Johnson motor by then. Anyway Mildred and I were sunning and swimming and Bert comes roaring down to us and says ‘come on girls, get in the boat’ it was painted red and I think a 15 horsepower motor which was fast in those days - Bert called his boat the Red Devil. Anyway he said a plane landed at Caldbeck and Langdons - I want to go over (quite an event to have a plane land on the lake). So before we knew it some of the young people of their family were going in the plane for a flight up around the lake and of course they asked if Mildred and I wanted to go up too - so how exciting can that be for a twelve year old, which was me? We were enthralled our first time flying. Went past our two moms standing on thr rock waving at the cottage - never knowing at the time their daughters were waving back from the plane.

My brother Allen has carried on the wonderful life as a cottager on Lake Sesekinika when he and Peggy bought their cottage. It is great for me to come and visit them from time to time as it keeps me in touch with loved ones and the ageless Lake Sesekinika.

Frances Corbould Anderson


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