‘It brings a tear to my eye’

From our February 2013 issue

By June ChamberlandPrince George, B.C.

My brother and I were so excited to ready the story by Mildred Bruce from Matheson Island, Man., in the July 2012 issue of The Senior Paper.

Her mother and dad, Kathleen and Ingemar Carlson, were neighbours to my mother and dad, Anne and Eugene Anderson. Mr. and Mrs. P.O. Carlson lived kitty-corner to the Lars and Anna Anderson family.

As a kid, my mother, Anne Karlson, went to Fish Lake School as did my dad’s sisters and brother. When my dad and mother got married we later lived on the old Lars Anderson place, dad’s father’s. I was born in 1932, during the Great Depression, and we lived there until 1953.

I remember George and Pete Carlson and their sister Ruth. They were siblings of Ingemar. We also knew the Spurrills, Kathleen’s family. They lived about a mile-and-a-half from our place.

Mom and dad and family moved to Vancouver in 1953 and when dad went to Prince George to look things over, he stopped in at Ben Carlson’s place in Sheridan Lake, B.C. This photo of Kathleen and three of her children was in my grandmother’s album.

Kathleen Carlson (nee Spurrill) and three of her children.

The town of Chatfield is pretty dead now with a population of eight I believe. The old poolroom has been bought by a couple named Gerry and Al Johnson. They turned it into a museum. They also have the old Atamanchuk house fixed up and they have a “hankie” house and the old little tin bulk shed.

In the museum are things which people have donated such as a couple of suitcases, one has my grandpa’s name on it (John Karlson) and the other belonged to Stella Spurrill. They have brought in a school and a little church. In the school there’s a lot of memorabilia of our school days from Fish Lake, Chatfield, Spruce View, and Poplarfield. Part of the old creamery is standing also.

The town looks very nice with a lot of white painted houses and with the cut green grass, is very neat and tidy. My Grandpa and Granny Karlson’s little house, which they moved to town when they retired, is there also. It is a great little place to visit.

I enjoy going to Chatfield and Fish Lake but it is very sad to see all the empty farms with no buildings. A fire went through the area so everything is gone.

All I can do is dream about my happy carefree childhood even though it brings a tear to my eye.