History greets you at every turn. Use the guide to see our Heritage Moments.
Manville’s or Baker's Store, now called The Waskesiu Market or The Market, has always been marvelous to visit. As well as housing the registration office for the cabins, there once was a full service restaurant. The lunch counter offered a quick bite to eat too. The coolers offered dozens of flavours of ice cream and staff waited patiently to hear young customers’ choices. The grocery store managed to carry all the necessities for any taste, from baking ingredients to BBQ supplies and fresh fruit to bakery bread. The hardware section contained items to fix plumbing or electrical problems in both cottages and holiday trailers. The camping gear and beach toy section was fascinating. Parents could spend time browsing in the fishing gear while children perused the candy section. At one time, part of the building housed The Sandbox, a popular clothing store. A variety of souvenirs were available along with a selection of newspapers, magazines, and pocket novels too. The store was a one-stop shopping experience for the whole family.
Scott Matheson shares these two humorous stories in the second volume of Waskesiu Memories:
Mysterious charges for Cheezies on the grocery tab:
“[Our Davies family] cabin faced Manville cabins and Manville’s store was just a short walk away. Grandpa had a charge account set up at the store so whenever groceries were needed, the family would just go over and sign for them. One August, he went over to square up with Manville for the groceries and he found a large number of bags of Cheesies[sic] on the tab.
"When he questioned his family about the Cheesies they all denied buying them, until the clerk informed him that it was the Davies’ dog that was charging the bags. My uncle Dave’s dog would sit by the door patiently waiting for someone to enter the store. He would then walk in and grab the Cheesies off the shelf and exit the store; the store clerk would just mark off the bag on the Davies tab.”
Setting your watch by the bears:
“Now this is back when a garbage can was a garbage can and cost $3.00. They weren’t hydraulic or concrete and you could set your watch by what time the bear would knock it over. Dad would turn off the lights at 11:00 p.m. and say, “Time for the bear.” We would sit in the dark and look towards Manville’s, where their laundry facility was located, and watch a couple of garbage cans and a fish-filleting table. We wouldn’t have to wait too long before the bear would come for his regular stop.”
"Today people are lucky to see a bear. Back then they were a fact of life. Bear stories were common. Anyone who grew up at Waskesiu has tons of them.”
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