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Visiting the Janssen's ranch

by: Perry Craenen

I am sure you are all aware of the Homestead ranch/campground on the lake. My parents Gil&Diny Craenen were the first friends that Harry and Johanna Janssen had when they moved to Canada from Holland in the late 1950's. They lived together near Toronto and supported each other in this new land of Canada. In 1965 my parents ended up settling in sw ontario in Strathroy and Harry and Johanna went north to Kirkland lake. In the early 1970's dad informed us that Harry had bought a piece of nice lake front property north of Kirkland Lake. We were excited to learn that we would be visiting them and camping there. We loaded up the big old pontiac with all of our camping supplies and proceeded to drive north to KL which was a 12 hour drive then because of highway #11 only being 2 lanes the majority of the way. I remember dad cursing because he would be stuck behind a convoy of trucks with no where available to pass because of the hills and curves. We finally arrived in Sesekinika and dad was looking for the road to Harry's property. We stopped at the marina and they informed us the road was just past theirs 100 feet on the right. My dad drove along the shoulder and spotted a small sign on the tree that said H.Janssen and an opening into the bush that looked like a loggong path. My dad being the adventurer he was pulled the car into the road and we proceeded to drive this road branches scraping the car and big rocks jutted out from the road everywhere. When we got further along the muffler was ripped off of the car. My dad just kept driving up to the house and later on Tony ,Harry;s son welded up the muffler. This was my first trip to Ses but not my last. I was there this summer and Harry and i had a good laugh about how wild i was as a teenager and how he was the 'Warden" of his kingdom on Lake Seskinika. I will continue to come back as I love going to Sesekinika and escaping the rat race here in the south.


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