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cabin on it. He made improvements to the log cabin but then returned to Minnesota to make final preparations for his venturesome undertaking.
L.B. was eighteen and in November, just days prior to his nineteenth birthday, he returned to Canada. His was the first carload of settler's effects to be unloaded at the townsite where now Erickson is situated, five miles from his farm at Danvers. In the carload were two horses, three cows, five sheep, a binder, small machinery and the usual things to help a young homesteader get started. His enthusiasm for the community and the possibilities of a young country resulted finally in all members of the Gusdal family moving north.
In the early days his sister Emma, came to keep house for Ludwig. Eventually, she abandoned her brother for marriage to Theodore Lee.
When Danvers Young People's Society was organized in 1906, he was elected president and at the age of twenty one years, was elected to the first board of trustees of the Bethel Church of which he was a charter member.
In 1913, he shipped a carload of cattle, via rail to Winnipeg and continued purchasing, selling and shipping stock for the next twenty-five years.
On November 18, 1916, Ludwig married Gunilla Erika "Nellie" Hall, daughter of Erick and Elisabet Hall. The first three years after their marriage, they resided in Erickson where Ludwig was an International Harvester Implement dealer and then returned to the homestead, later known as "Viking Valley Farm". The stone gateposts entering the farm west of No. 10 Highway were constructed by his father-in-law, Erik Hall.
In 1917, Ludwig built one of the first cottages on the south shore of Clear Lake, and in 1929 was one of the first cottage owners on the North Shore. The family still own the family cottages.
When there wasn't a telephone nearer than Erickson, the only phone northwest of the Gusdal farm, through to Dauphin was the phone at Viking Valley. Whether it was the doctor, the coroner, the police, people came for many miles.
Ludwig and Nellie were members of the Bethel Lutheran Church where their children Martha, Lenore, Leonard and Delmar were baptised and confirmed. They attended Tales and Erickson High Schools.
For many years Ludwig was engaged in mixed farming but in the late 1930's he began to grow seed grain, and was an active member in the Canadian Seed Growers Association, honours were conferred on him when he received the Robertson Associate Award in 1966.
All his life, Ludwig took an active interest in the community, a charter member of the Erickson Curling Club, a baseball player and in 1910, a ward six councillor of the R.M. of Harrison serving for six years. He also served on the board of directors of the Farmers' Elevator and later the Pool Elevator.
Nellie, a talented soprano, was featured in solos, duets and quartets, her interest in music has thus been passed on to all her children during the years. She was a member of the Riding Mountain National Park Historical Association, the Danvers Community Club, the Bethel Lutheran Society, and always active in her church.
I t was during the summer of 1908 that the first campers
from Erickson district reached the shores of Clear Lake. The party included Ludwig, Oswald and Emma Gusdal, Peter and Ted Lee, and five others. They came in with horses and wagons through the bush and around the lakes and swamps, cutting their way at times as there was scarcely a trail of any kind. Little did the members of the party realize that the shores of Clear Lake, with its crystal clear waters, would one day - and in their lifetime - become one of Canada's most popular playgrounds.
Ludwig and Nellie celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1966. Ludwig passed away January 20, 1967. Nellie continued residing on the farm became a member of the Erickson Lutheran Church, Erickson until her demise, November 20, 1981. They were buried at the Bethel Lutheran Cemetery, Danvers.
The Viking Valley Farm of eighty years is still owned and operated by the Ludwig Gusdal family.
Martha, born 1917, attended the University of Manitoba for two terms, 1935-1937. In July, 1940, Martha and Arthur Neilson were married. (refer to Neilson, Arthur and Martha).
Lenore, born 1923, graduated with a B.A. degree from Brandon College in 1945, where she was elected Lady Stick in her final year.
Nellie and Ludwig Gusdal.