This page is a text version of the Forest to Field History Book. You can purchase a PDF copy of the book in our online store. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the purchased version. The purchased version also includes each image in the original book.

Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One

Previous - Page 265 or Next - Page 267

John and Bertha Anderson.

In 1912, he married Bertha Hall. After obtaining property in what became the village of Erickson he built a cottage type home which was located on the south side of Main Street on the site of the new mini-park beside the Co-op store. However, he sold this house to Hartvig Hanson and erected another one on First Street North which they occupied. He obtained properties through investments and in 1922 they moved to S.E. 22-18-18W, where he removed the timber and had a sawmill as well as breaking the land for cultivation. By this time their four children, Ethel, Bill, Bernice and Allan had arrived.

As a contractor and builder he erected many local buildings. He was one of the carpenters hired for the construction of St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic church at Mountain Road. During the twenties, contracting with Olav Olson they built many of the early cottages at Clear Lake. He then gave up farming and again built a home for his family in Erickson on 2nd. Street S. where they moved at the end of the year 1925. As the National Park was being developed, John was involved in the con­ struction of many of the log buildings which included cottages and government buildings, one of them being the beautifully located golf club house. His last contract was the log theatre. Because of a serious injury to his back incurred while building for the park at Lake Audy, John was hospitalized in Winnipeg and his capable crew took over the contract and completed the construction of the theatre. When beginning his log work John went to Winnipeg to the Swedish import store to purchase tools and materials necessary for this type of construction. While staying at a rooming house called "Norway

266

House" operated by Charlie Hill's sister, he was for­ tunate in meeting many young men newly emigrated from Sweden and Norway, several of whom were skilled as log craftsmen, Now unemployed because of the depression they came to Erickson and became his crew. Some of these were Ole Molin, Axel Nelson, George Bergman, Karl and Arvid Bo, and Ole Nelson. Local men such as Edward Johnson and John's nephews, the Holmberg brothers, also worked for him. John built a fair sized cottage on Orchid Street in Wasagaming and here the crew was housed and fed. During this period Bertha cooked for the men with the help of Tennie (Sundmark) Nelson who now had married one of the crew. Bernice and Allan stayed with their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. E. Hall and attended Tales school.

As John and Bertha were both mild-mannered and even-tempered folk these young immigrants appreciated the way they were accepted into the home and felt as if they were all one family. They organized their own hockey team along with the Neilson brothers and called themselves the Vikings. Many a game was enjoyed against the Erickson team as well as the teams organized in the various relief camps set up in the park. Turk Broda of later national hockey fame, as a young man of eighteen, was goalie of one of these teams. An open air rink was functioning on the ice of Clear Lake.

After several months of pain and a generally worsening condition due to his earlier injury, John entered hospital in Winnipeg in the autumn of 1936. He passed away there in June, 1937. During these months Bertha had a light­ housekeeping room and spent most of each day at his bedside. Bernice, now in high school, and Allan stayed with Elsie Hall in their Erickson home as she was teaching in the Erickson School.

In 1904 Bertha Hall came to Canada with her mother, brothers, and sisters. The excitement of the move, learning a new language in addition to being enrolled in Grade One, after having completed her elementary grades and one year of folk school in Sweden, was a traumatic experience. "Fortunately", she used to say "numbers were the same in any language" .

The Swedish girls in the Scandinavian colony were in great demand as hired help. Bertha worked mainly for the Hans I. Hanson family in Clanwilliam. She and her sister, Emma, spent several winters cooking at their father's sawmill. She was a member of the first con­ firmation class in the Bethel Lutheran Church at Danvers in 1907. She remained a life member and was active in the Mission Society. She was also a member of the Red Cross Society and the Erickson Women's Institute.

Bertha was a charitable person and often was called on to care for others. During the "flu" epidemic of 1918-20 she nursed people who had been stricken. Some people were born givers. If caring for family and friends is wealth then Bertha was a wealthy person. Her last years were spent in the homes of her children. She passed away in January 1968.

John and Bertha are buried in the Bethel Cemetery.

They leave a heritage of lovely memories.

Their children:

Ethel Marie, born 1913. (refer to Neilson, Theodore and Ethel).