Where did the name Francois Lake come from?

We all seem to be looking forward for spring to come. Still lots of snow but it is going.

We all seem to be looking forward for spring to come. Still lots of snow but it is going. Our lakes are very low for this time of year. Francois Lake is the lowest it’s been for many years.

Loved singers

This last week we lost two very popular and loved singers, Rita McNeil and George Beverly Shea. Rita was so very well loved for her really hometown singing. George Beverly Shea was 104 years old when he passed away.

He was so popular in all Billy Graham’s crusades. He really was loved by all who heard his wonderful singing.

We have three of his records and we must have well over 100 long play records. Beautiful music and please what do I do with them. We also have some of Rita McNeil’s songs and they have gone by the wayside.

George Beverly Shea was known all over the world, he was so well know and loved by so many. My dear wife Jo was a music lover and she has such a wonderful collection of long play records. Lots of the singing and music records can never be replaced they are priceless for any music lover.

Who named it?

I have often wondered just how Francois Lake got its name. Some say it was named after a catholic priest called Father Francois. But last week going through some old papers I found how its name really came around.

Francois Lake got its current name by mistake. The Carrier First Nations named the lake Nitapoen Lip Lake because of its shape. The early settlers mistook ‘Nita’ for netowhite man and the lake was named ‘Lac de Francois’ because most of the early settlers at the time were French Canadian voyageur. During the years the name became known as Francois Lake, the local residents pronounce it ‘Francis Lake.’ Now most everyone calls it Francois Lake. Francois Lake is the second longest natural lake in the province.

It is also one of the deepest lakes. It’s as deep as 1000 feet and its altitude is 2346 feet. A beautiful lake and it has been the home of our family for 72 years. No wonder we love every inch of it.

When we first took over the store at Francois Lake our residence was part of the store. mother’s kitchen was by one of the big glass window.

The kitchen table and her cook stove were on the back wall also close to the big window. We were eating lunch at the table, all a sudden there was a crash and a grouse came right through the big window.

Glass all over the table and the grouse was laying dead on the cook stove. All we had to do was skin out the bird and there was dinner. There was a hawk chasing the grouse so its best way out was fly through the window. This was the one and only time this happened. A good thing as it was a $50 window.

A little story

This was early fall and the Jacob Henkel was in service with Captain Mathews as skipper and Ellis Christy as deck hand so my story goes back a long way but I still remember very well.

This happened before the old ferry dock was moved in its present place. It was six o’clock in the morning and I was on my way back to the house after milking the cow and feeding the chickens.

I always milked early as I had to open the store and have breakfast. I stopped to watch the first ferry come in and I noticed a cow moose in the bay. I also noticed there was a big chunk of something hanging down from its lower jaw.

I knew something was wrong. I dropped off the milk at the house and ran down to the lake to see what was going on. Ellis was there already to see what was wrong.

The moose was standing in about five feet of water and as soon as I went down it kept walking up closer, all the time it showed no fear.

What was hanging down was its whole bottom jaw. It has been shot in the base of the bottom jaw and that was what was hanging down.

We both saw that the moose was in trouble and in pain so we just had to shoot it.

All I had at home was a little bay saddle mare and that was about the same as the moose. Anyway I rode her out and she pulled it up on the beach, what a pull. The whole bottom jaw was hanging down on its chest, what suffering the poor thing must have been through.

The main reason I took the saddle horse was I was not in any mode to wade out in that cold water to get a rope around the neck of the moose to drag it out and the pony could take the cold water better than I.

Here I was with a cow moose, out of season and shot in the lake and no license.

But I had to do something so I phoned the game warden. He was very nice as I told him the story. He said he would make a call and in about an hour some guys in a truck came out, thanked me, loaded up the moose and took it home.

As I look back I think that poor moose was looking for help for some one to put it out of its misery.

Animals have feelings too. I heard afterwards the meat was good and well received. I had to give my pony an extra treat as she well deserved it.

As I was going through some old papers the other day I noticed a little story that took my eye so I will pass it on to my readers, it’s kind of nice.

Dreams are never destroyed by circumstances, dreams are born in the heart and mind and only then they can never die. Because while the difficult takes times, the impossible just takes a little longer.

Have a safe week and enjoy the spring, it’s wonderful and always remember God loves you a great deal and so do I.

 

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