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My name is Don Sipes. I was born at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in 1944. My first home was Boundary Cabin in the Boundary District of Prince Albert National Park (PANP).
My dad, Ed Sipes was appointed to the Canadian National Park Warden Service in 1943. He, my mother Mabel, and my older brother Dick moved to Boundary that same year. Boundary was the most northerly and remote district on the west side of the park. We moved south to Sturgeon Crossing in 1945 where we resided for nine years. We then moved to Silver Grove on the South Side of the park, followed by a move to Waskesiu Townsite in 1959. My parents suffered hard times during the Great Depression and my dad felt privileged to be part of the Warden Service.
The communities bordering the south and west sides of the park are: Cookson (south of Silvergrove) Stump Lakes(south of Rabbit Cabin) Park Valley and Lake Four (west of Sturgeon Crossing) and Ladder Valley (west of Boundary Cabin). Big River is about twenty miles west of Sturgeon Crossing and Boundary.
My Dad loved a good story and loved to tell stories. Most of the stories I relate here are about our lives in the districts of PANP. Some I only remember because I heard them so I can't vouch for their accuracy. Many of the events from which they came were before I was old enough to remember or I was away at school when they took place. I am sure the stories were embellished as they were told and retold. In some cases, I remember the stories but don't remember the principal individuals involved. A few are from personal experience.
In the course of putting these stories together, I was able to reconnect with others I knew from when I lived in the park: Elsie (Jervis) Jefford, Don Dickenson, Cathy Corrigal, and Ron Davies. I’d like to offer a special thanks to Ron for a number of phone calls in which he provided a few of his own stories and his recollections of the very early days of the Park. Special thanks also to Cathy for graciously sharing her father’s notes on early wardens. I hope to do more in the future with the information they provided.
I will do my best to relate these stories as I heard them.
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