Posts Tagged ‘Marie Lake’

Growing the Kinosoo Legend

Written by Harold McNeill on October 13th, 2014. Posted in Adventure


 

Cold Lake Water Catchment

Photo (Web Source) (Headwaters of Martineau River, Northeast Alberta): This photo suggests a time in the past when the Cold Lake area was tropical, a time when the tar sands were being formed and when all manner of pre-histortic fish, animals and birds habitated the area.  Is it possible some species from that pre-historic era can still be found? Could the Big Kinosoo be one of them? If you are from Alberta, particularly from Cold Lake, help is needed in Growing the Kinosoo Legend

Link to Next Post: Origin of the Legend
Link Back to 
Adventures Index
Link to 
Part 4, Otter Down in French Bay

Introduction 

My goal in writing this series is simple – to help that legendary fish, the Big Kinosoo who lives deep in the waters of Cold Lake, Alberta, to grow in stature.  While our very own Kinosoo has not yet reached the mythical proportions of the Lock Ness Monster of the Scottish Highlands, Ogopogo of Okanagan fame, or that famous bushman of the Pacific Northwest, the Sasquatch, working together we can change things for the Kinosoo. While anecdotes abound, they are necessary but not sufficient for that fish to reach iconic status. Like the other Great One of Alberta, we want people to become hushed and bow down whenever they hear the name Big Kinosoo.

To do this we must search out new stories, stories that include scientific fact which points toward existence of historic big fish. It would also help have a government or military cover-up, perhaps one that could turned into a full-blown conspiracy. Conspiracies are, after all, nothing more than a few solid facts mixed with a lot of fiction. While our Kinosoo might never become as big as the cover-ups carried out in Area 51 that abuts the Edwards Air Force in Nevada, with new information recently secured from Guy Venne, a man who grew up in Cold Lake, we can make a good start. To ensure our Great One of is given his fair due, we must blend fact and fiction into a credible story just as the other Great One has done.

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Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada: Estate Property

Written by Harold McNeill on October 1st, 2018. Posted in Guest Posts


Subdividable, Income Producing Property with a
CNLR seven well, Super Pad, Oil Lease

Expressions of Interest are invited for this
94.69 acre parcel of land.

Photo: Looking North along Hwy #897, the property begins on the left at the intersection of
Township Road #640.  The subdividable acreage with seven oil wells is located close to the Municipal Airport and the City of Cold Lake.

(Reference maps and directions to the property are located in the footer)

Primrose Highway Property

Pt SW 1-64-3 W4
Municipal District of Bonnyville #87
Cold Lake,
Alberta, Canada

The property was part of the original McNeill Family Homestead taken over as a tree-farm by our parents, Dave McNeill (1908-1965) and Laura Skarsen (McNeill) (Wheeler) (1918 – 2008), in the early-mid 1900s.

Dave and Laura were among the second wave of homesteaders in the Cold Lake area who helped to settle the land as they raised three children who later graduated from Cold Lake High School in the 1950s and 60s.

Individuals may be attracted to this property because it no only holds considerable wild life, it also has three active and four inactive income producing “in situ” oil wells on the property (leased by Canadian National Resources Limited, CNLR). The four inactive wells await an increase in oil prices.  Over the past decade the property produced $75,000 in lease income.  Property taxes (agricultural land) remain at $35.00 per year and there are no additional maintenance costs.

This acreage is located in one of the finest recreational and economic development areas of Canada’s bustling northwest and just 5 kilometers by modern paved highway from the City of Cold Lake, a rapidly growing community of 15,000 situated on the sandy shores of the deepest and best known lake in Alberta and Saskatchewan (Link Pictures of Cold Lake). Together the two western provinces are the fastest growing and most economically vibrant in Canada notwithstanding the current oil price crunch.

Local Area Map (left): The subject property is designated by the small red dot just South of Ethel Lake and East of Hilda Lake. The City of Cold Lake, which includes the Canadian Forces Base, is designated by the larger red area. Maps #3 and #4 inserted as footers, provide the specific location and travel distances from the City of Cold Lake.

While the area is known worldwide as being the southern heart of the Athabasca and Cold Lake Oil Sands production area, it is equally well known as a pristine wilderness, filled with freshwater lakes, streams and forests teeming with hundreds of species of fish, wildlife and birds. It is also on the northern migration route of one of the largest populations of water foul in North American.

Access to this wilderness area can be found as close as Marie Creek, an easy ten-minute walk (1.5 km) from the property. A short canoe ride down the creek will place the adventurer among colonies of Beaver as they cut trees, build dams and swim among bulrushes filled with hundreds of nesting songbirds and ducks. In the early spring, the creek is teeming with spawning Jackfish and year-round moose, deer, bear and other wildlife can be found in area forests.

Photo: From a family canoe adventure on the flooded Marie Creek. This photo was taken while standing on Highway #897. Link to the full story for a further description of the area.

The City of Cold Lake provides a full range of business and recreational services with two large, modern malls (photo below of the Tri-City Mall) that hold the usual array of national and international retail outlets. As well, numerous boutique speciality stores cater to individuals wishing to escape the mall scene.

The historic Cold Lake Marina (photo in the footer) provides full service for sports fishermen searching for giant trout and walleye and, as well, provides full service to recreational sailors and boaters.

In the winter a variety of sports opportunities is available including ice fishing, hunting, snowmobiling throughout the countryside and at the full-service ski facility at Kinosoo Ridge. The new Cold Lake Energy Centre recreation building provides service and entertainment equal to or better than that found any city across Canada.

The new regional hospital in Cold Lake Hospital is just 10 minutes from the property along the secondary road that runs by the Regional Airport (see maps below). Regular school bus service is provided along Highway #897.

At Canadian Forces, Base Cold Lake, Canada’s largest and busiest military base, military personnel and civilian workers provide year-round training in addition to hosting many NATO countries during the annual spring Maple Flag operation. A small section of CFB Cold Lake is dedicated to a commercial air terminal from which regularly scheduled flights is provided to Edmonton, Calgary and other key points in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The area also hosts world-class oil production facilities that provide heavy demand for high paying professional, skilled and labour services. Rounding off the economy is a strong retail and service industry that feeds the local community. With a number of infrastructure developments both in progress and in the planning stage, it appears area growth will be maintained for many decades into the future.

Today, both the best of the past and present are available as the modern paved roads and two airports provide easy access to Edmonton and Calgary, at which International Airports connect Alberta and Canada with the world. As Cold Lake is at the end of the north-east highway line, one can then enter the Canadian northland which today remains much as it was in centuries past.

Further Property Description

This single parcel of the farm/development land is serviced by a Class 1 paved highway (#897) referred to as the Primrose Highway. It is fifteen minutes from the City Centre, five minutes from the Cold Lake Municipal Airport and ten minutes from the CFB Cold Lake, the largest military training base in Canada (see precise distances under Map #4 in the footer).

Well maintained gravel roads on the South and West boundaries provide ready access to three of the property borders and access to the North Side via the CNRL 20-acre lease. A small part of the property lies West of the North-South portion of Township Road #640.

Power, gas and telephone are easily accessed along the main highway and an extension power line runs along the south boundary road.  See attached maps for property location.

The area along the Primrose Highway is now hosting mixed agricultural operations, hobby farms, country residential and recreational properties (photos in the footer). It is clean, quiet and offers easy access to a number of pristine freshwater lakes and streams such as English Bay, North Bay Recreational areas on Cold Lake, Marie Lake, Marie Creek, Ethel Lake, Hilda Lake, Wolf Lake and numerous others within minutes of the property. Other remote lakes and resorts may are easily accessed by float plane.

Oil Well Lease

The energy firm, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), a major player in the Oil Sands Development, leases the Northeast corner of the property where they have producing wells that are kept in immaculate condition. A 5-acre pad, now referred to as a “super pad” now hosts three producing wells and four further wells that await an increase in oil prices.

The highest and best use of the property would be with single family residences, continued as recreational property or as a hobby farm.  While it is heavily treed (a mix of poplar and spruce) there is also some open pastureland. While the soil classification indicates there are limitations that restrict the capability to produce forage crops, improvement practices are feasible. At the current time Beaver Dams constructed on the property have led to some flooding, however, that would be rectified as soon as the dams were removed.  One area trapper is currently permitted to trap beaver on the property as a means of control.  There are no adverse easements or encroachments.

The potential for sub-division exists as permitted by the Municipal District of Bonnyville (#87) under the Land Use By-Law. Reference Agricultural Land Section #65.4, p. 38ff (LINK). Several small and one larger sub-division have been completed on neighbouring. 3 – 5-acre parcels in the area. These parcels were sold in the $90,000 to $100,000 range in 2010 and since then have increased in value. (reference development map #5).

Lots in the City of Cold Lake range from $150,000 (low end) and for larger area developments, acreages would run from $500,000 upward.

Whether you wish to build a multi-million dollar home or a log cabin retreat, this property provides ample value.

Expressions of Interest

For details on submitting a written Expressions of Interest contact the Executor by email at:   harold@mcneillifestories.com.

Canadian Telephone: 250-889-1033 (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

The Expression of Interest is not a binding agreement on either party and is intended only to open dialogue regarding development opportunities and a possible sale/purchase agreement.

Agent contact is invited, however, there will be an expectation of the Agent having a specific offer against which a suggested finder’s fee for a confirmed sale would be made in a formal Offer to Purchase.

Other options exist.

Harold McNeill
Estate Executor

Below: Maps #1 and #2
Provincial/National Orientation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Below: Map #3
Subject property, named Skarsen L., marked in yellow

 

Below: Map #4
The general area of MD and City of Cold Lake
(travel distances below map)

Directions to property from  the City of Cold Lake

From the intersection of Hwy #28 and #55, travel West for 8.2 km on Hwy #55 to the intersection of Hwy #897 (Primrose Highway). Turn right and travel North on Hwy #897 for 5 km. The property (in yellow) begins at the intersection with the gravel road (Township Road #640) and continues north along the left side of the Hwy #897 to the CNRL lease which marks the NE boundary).

The property is bounded by roads on three sides (Highway #897 (Green) and Gravel Roads (Red))

From the CFB Cold Lake rear gate, travel north for approximately 5 km. on Hwy #897 to Hwy #55, then through the intersection to continue North as noted above.

 A secondary highway (running north of and parallel to Hwy #55, provides access to the Cold Lake Regional Airport (small aeroplane on the map and as footer below). This is the secondary road is also the shortest route to the Regional Hospital, Kinosoo Beach and the north end of the City of Cold Lake.

Aerial View (#5) With sub-divisions and topographical lines superimposed.
(see notes below)

Skarsen L., property begins north of Township Road #640 (under the words). Property sub-divided on the opposite corner includes two 3 acres and one 5 acre parcel. Further east, on the next quarter, is Country Residential (CR2) and north, across the Township Road from that parcel, are two further parcels, zoned CR1 and CR2 as well as one CR2 (not quite visible) in the top right corner of the map.
Sprinkled throughout the area are other 5 and 10 acre parcels.

Property Pictures

Looking across Hwy 897 and down gravel access road. The property begins on
the far right corner.

 Photo:  The south boundary gravel road turns north to run along part of the west boundary. If you look at Map #5 below, you will note a portion of the property has been sectioned off
on the left side of the road (perhaps 5-7 acres).

 Photo: North-east corner of the property along Highway #897, shows the small
portion of land cleared in preparation for the Canadian Natural Resources Limited lease. (Checks are being made with CNLR to see if this access road is available to use for general use to access to the North side of the property)

Neighbourhood Properties in the Million Dollar Range

The Original Family Farm is now sold and a new house built on the property.

(Above Photo)  This was part of the original W & L Skarsen farm where our mother and stepfather lived for nearly thirty years. The original house, built in the 1940’s and moved in the 1970’s, now sits behind this new home at the corner of Highway #55 and Hwy #897.

(Two Photos Below) This property now sits directly across from the property listed for sale. The driveway to the 20-acre CNLR (oil well section) sits directly across from the driveway to this property.

Other neighbouring properties are shown below.

Typical building site on various properties in the area.

Miscellaneous City and Area Photos

Cold Lake Marina

Evening scene looking over Kinosoo Beach

Cold Lake Regional Airport is 5 minutes south property (reference map inserts)

Additional photos in the Photo Album
attached to this post

 

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Marie Lake: Explosion – Chapter 3 of 11

Written by Harold McNeill on August 25th, 2010. Posted in Family 1940 1965


Stove at Marie Lake

Photo (Web).  A wood cookstove that nearly ended our mothers life.

Link to Next Post:  Link to Easy Come, Easy Go
Link to Last Post: Link to Growing Up in the Wilderness
Link to Family Stories Index

July, 1947

It was one of those quiet, lazy July mornings at Marie Lake. The dead calm waters reflected the morning sun and the leaves on the poplar trees, usually twisting and fluttering in the slightest breeze, hung as if frozen in time. The only noise to be heard was the quiet chatter of a few birds and of the laughter of Louise and me as we Mom before firedredged out wet sand to complete our giant sand castle – to be a surprise for mom and dad.

Suddenly, the serenity of the morning was bluntly ended by a loud, deep ‘whooomp’ coming from the direction of the house. A split second later the silence was further pierced by a blood curdling scream that echoed through the trees and down to the water. Louise and I sat there, momentarily frozen.

With the screams rising in intensity, we jumped up and run towards the house. As we topped the small sand bank we saw mom running with flames and smoke rising from her body. We were stricken with fear at a site we couldn’t fully comprehend.

After a short distance, she fell and rolled in the sand, grass and pine needles covering the yard. We stopped dead in our tracks not knowing what to do. At that moment dad came running from the mink pens. He frantically tried to smother the flames with his jacket but it wasn’t large enough to cover her whole body. Each time he moved the jacket, flames would spring to life.  An eternity passed before the flames were finally extinguished. The nauseating smell of burnt cloth, plastic and flesh permeated the air.

Dad hollered: “Harold, Louise, get a sheet off the bed.”

(1625)

Marie Lake: The Mink Pen Adventure – Chapter 1 of 11

Written by Harold McNeill on August 25th, 2010. Posted in Family 1940 1965


Line Squal moving in over water

A line squall moves toward our boat as we crossed Marie Lake.  The high winds and waves placed us in mortal danger.

Link to Next Post:  Link to Growing Up in the Wilderness
Link to Last Post: Link to Near Death on the Dock  (End of Part II)
Link to Family Stories Index

1947 -1949

Marie Lake was suddenly rough, very rough, as the wind stirred up white frothy waves to a height of three or four feet. The ice had been out for no more than a week and small chunks could still be seen floating nearby. We were being drenched by the freezing spray and at this moment were in imminent danger of being thrown into the freezing cold, dark waters.

Aunt Marcia1 reflected upon that hair raising boat trip:

“That crazy uncle of mine was so smart but he had no sense when it came to being cautious. When we left the dock he could see storm clouds on the horizon and the wind was rising. I was only fifteen but even I knew Marie Lake could quickly become rough enough to swamp our small boat.

Now, here we were, spread-eagled on top of a boat covered with stupid mink pens. Mink pens, can you believe it – stinking, dirty mink pens. I suppose we were lucky Uncle Dave had not kept the mink in them. I asked him to wait, but he laughingly chided me – come along or stay by myself. Stupid me, I went along. Now we were in the middle of the lake and things were going from bad to worse.”

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Comments

  • Harold McNeill

    October 18, 2021 |

    This email from Pal Slavid in Norway received October 10

    I simply must tell the following story; before a flight from Aberdeen to Bergen/Norway (it must have been around 2005), I had purchased a couple of “Pilot’s Notes” in a bookshop in Aberdeen. Among these one for the Mosquito. At the flight I was reading some pages in the biography of Douglas Bader (Reach for the Sky), and suddenly this elderly gentleman sitting beside me points to the book and says: “I knew this guy”. This gentleman turned out to be Mr. Bert Ramsden, and I was fortunate enough that he shared some of his story with me on this flight. And when I was able to pick up from my bag, a copy of the Pilot Notes which he had used during his training, we read it more or less together, and he commented with great knowledge. As an WWII aviator geek, this flight became a great memory for me, and I even got his signature on the Pilot Notes.
    With great respect,
    Pål

  • McNeill Life Stories Protecting Canada's Health Care - McNeill Life Stories

    September 20, 2021 |

    […] One of the many defining features of Canada is our Public Health Care system. While the system continues to provide high-quality care to a broad cross-section of Canadians (rich and poor), funding cuts have led to longer wait times and other shortfalls in service. This has become particularly evident during the current pandemic as Covid19 patients fill beds normally be set aside for ongoing treatments. (What is happening in our hospitals) […]

  • Harold McNeill

    July 25, 2021 |

    Glad you enjoyed Craig. It was fun researching and writing that particular post. It seems I was in school many years before you, the 1950s to be more precise. Cheers, Harold

  • Craig Patterson

    July 18, 2021 |

    Thank you for sharing this. I grew up in Cold Lake (former town of Grand Centre) and we’d heard many stories over the years. Today I was talking to my Mom about the Kinosoo and I came to this article when I was searching images of the fish — I recall when I was in school in the 80s where was a photo supposedly taken (I think it’s the one of the ice fisherman above).

  • Harold McNeill

    January 15, 2021 |

    Wow, Graham, I was taken by surprise (but then again that’s not too hard). Having all you fine folks (my children by other fathers and mothers) would have been great. I’m hopeful that sometime in the not too distant future, we can reprise that trip. Perhaps we’ll just set aside a time for someone else’s landmark day, and we can surprise them. Love to you two. Harold

  • Graham and Nazanin

    January 15, 2021 |

    How could we miss this historic event my friend!!!
    Nazy and I were booked for that cruise Harold, we were looking so forward to it.
    We will be together soon! We both wish that continued unconditional love you receive from everyone to continue as you are that special someone that makes a difference in this world.
    Happy birthday sir, cheers!

  • Harold McNeill

    January 7, 2021 |

    Glad you found the site and that Dorthy enjoyed. I’ve added a lot of school photos in other locations linked to the High School Years stories. Cheers, Harold

  • Shelley Hamaliuk

    January 2, 2021 |

    Hi there, I am Dorothy Marshall’s (nee Hartman) daughter. Mom was quite excited when she discovered this site while surfing the net yesterday, so excited that she told me to have a look! She quite enjoyed taking a trip down memory and seeing old pictures of herself.Keep up the great work!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Rick,
    Great to hear from you and trust all is going well. Our family members are all doing well but it must be pretty tough for a lot of people. I had once heard you were going to do some writing but never heard anything further. I would be most interested, but do you think the OB News have archives back to that time. Any link or information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Did you keep copies? Regards, Harold

  • Rick Gonder

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Harold
    About 22 years ago I spent several weeks going through the OBPD archives. I wrote several stories that were published in the OB News. Feel free to use if they are of value to what you are doing.
    Keep this up, I’m enjoying it and it brings back memories.