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Tragedy remembered at Kapasiwin

A memorial sign has recently been installed at Kapasiwin to remember a tragedy that occurred in Waskesiu Lake in 1927.


Here is the text from the memorial sign which  explains the story:


Memorial to a Tragedy


This sign marks the area near the memorial tree and the former grave sites of Reuben Dahl, Emile and Mildred Faber, and Joseph Faber who perished in a brief but fierce storm on Waskesiu Lake in the late fall of 1927.


The group was camped on the shore west of the mouth of the Waskesiu River, near the present day marina. They were waiting for freeze-up to transport freight on the ice to Montreal Lake where they were hired to construct cabins for commercial fishing. The day of the storm, it is believed they were paddling across the lake by canoe to what is now Waskesiu townsite for supplies or mail. Some say the sudden storm lasted as little as eight minutes. Three weeks later when it was reported that the foursome hadn’t arrived in Montreal Lake as expected, they were declared missing. In spite of much searching by the families, friends, Park wardens, and the RCMP, their bodies were not recovered until May 1928 with the help of a psychic. The four were buried near here in graves overlooking Waskesiu Lake.


Four simple wooden crosses marked the graves. Jim Manson, Reuben’s brother-in law, planted a small memorial spruce tree near the graves in about 1935. In September 1948 when Kapasiwin Bungalows were developed, the remains were exhumed and moved to Christopher Lake Cemetery. This spruce tree, grown to be the tallest in the area, honours the four who lost their lives so tragically.


More information can be found in Waskesiu Memories Volume III, edited by Dorell Taylor and the article “History Matters: Freak storm on Lake Waskesiu left four dead” by Bill Waiser, published in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, October 11, 2017.


Dedicated by the Waskesiu Foundation and the Waskesiu Heritage Museum, 2018.


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