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 385 or Next - Page 387

Garry, Ernest, Lillian and Patti-Ann Gusdal, Sheane French.

working in the family business.

In 1946, realizing that the cabin business needed their full attention, Ernest and Lillian sold their store to Joe Tinkler. While in business at Clear Lake they continued to make their home in Erickson, building a house on First Street North in 1949. After the death of his wife in 1971, Ernest sold their home. He has since resided with his daughter and grandson at Clear Lake and Vancouver.

The summer of 1983 was to be Ernest's last season at Clear Lake. He died on Sept. 23, 1983. In July of that summer, during the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Park these words were written in the Wasagaming Guide, a tribute to his life's work, "Ernie Gusdal sitting in the window of his office at Johnson Cabins is so familiar we sometimes wonder if he is not a permanent fixture. He is there when we leave in the fall and when we return in the spring. He accomodates late fall hunters and early spring fishermen and visitors between these two periods. He has provided this kind of dedicated service to our park for over 50 years. Thank you, Ernie for your contribution to the lifestyle of the park. Your con­ tribution has set a target for others to reach".


by Adina Gusda/

Melford Philip was born, in De Graff, Minnesota, on February 22, 1908, to Matthias and Petra Gusdal. He came with his parents and family to Erickson in the spring of 1911, to the south half of 18-18-18W.

As a youth, Philip attended Tales school, completing grades one through eight, and was confirmed in Bethel Lutheran Church, where he remained active throughout his life. During these years he also worked as janitor at both the school and the church.

Due to his father's illness, Philip left school at the age of 14 to help on the family farm, which he later took over and actively farmed until 1956. The farm still remains in the family and his son, Irving, is the third generation owner.


During the depression Philip hauled milk to the relief camp on the north shore of Clear Lake, a journey which in the wintertime was made by horses and sleigh. He was paid four cents to five cents a quart for this service. He continued to deliver milk to the Clear Lake resort in the summers until 1951, supplying both campers and commercial stores and retaurants.

In June, 1934, he married Adina Krantz. Adina was born in Sweden on June 3, 1911, to Anton and Ellen Krantz. She came to Canada with her parents in 1912. They moved into the Scandinavia parsonage, which now stands on the Centennial grounds in Erickson. In 1914, her father rented N.W. 28-18-18W. Adina attended Tales school and Bethel Lutheran Church, where she was confirmed in 1927. The Krantz family moved to the Peace River country where Adina lived for seven years until 1934, when she returned to Erickson to be married to Philip.

Philip was always a strong proponent of free enterprise and the business world, never being content to stick with basic farming. He was always involved in business ventures such as raising skunks, or foxes for the fur industry; importing a carload of wild bronco horses for resale; various trucking ventures in road construction and freighting which culminated in joint ownership of the Erickson Transfer with his brother Ernie, which they sold in 1946 to A.E. Gustafson. In 1951, Philip purchased the Erickson Hardware from Alex Mytruk. The hardware store was the original school building in Erickson and had been converted to a store by Charlie Johnson. Philip operated the Erickson Hardware store as a family business, twice expanding the building to its present size.

In the fall of 1974, Philip and Adina sold the store and retired to enjoy their family and grandchildren. Philip passed away on March 1, 1983, at the age of 75, .having enjoyed the ups and downs of a long, healthy life and successful career, in which his greatest enjoyments were the times he was able to help someone else.

Philip and Adina were blessed with four children.

The Philip Gusda/ family - 1964. Evelyn, Irving, Norma and Karen. Seated: Philip and Adina.