Herb Lake Landing

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Herb Lake Landing Newsletter 2014
Covering the period 2012 to April 2014

Our community is located on the shores of Wekusko Lake in Northern Manitoba. We are under Aboriginal and Northern Affairs (ANA). The Contact Person is Jim Corman, who offers leadership and looks after the day-to-day activities under the guidance of Beverly Shlachetka, Municipal Development Consultant.


1. Herb Lake Memorial Cairn
On July 2, 2012 a Memorial Cairn was dedicated at the Gathering Place in memory of past residents from the area.  A stone was set in cement and family members arranged for small brass plaques to remember their loved ones. A ceremony was held with Al McDougall presiding.  Freda Hiebert laid a wreath and Tim Gaultios, RCMP member, attended from Snow Lake together with local residents and visitors.

2. Pioneer Days 2012 – They were celebrated 3-5 August 2012. Prior to the event, residents had a workbee to make perogies for the potluck. Activities were held throughout the weekend and residents and friends had a good time.

3. Annual Gardening Contest
The 1st place winner of the pumpkin growing contest was Jacquie Phillips, 2nd place was Brad Spencer and the 3rd place Margo and Al McDougall. Judges were Caroline Sanoffsky and Anne McIvor of Wabowden, from the Northern Food Security Partnership Initiatives. http://www.gov.mb.ca/ana/nhfi.html a program to encourage gardening in northern communities.


4. Herb Lake Graveyard Plaque Ceremony
On June 1, 2013 a plaque was unveiled at the Gathering Place to remember the people buried in the abandoned Herb Lake Graveyard.  The graveyard itself is overgrown and is located in a remote location. Our community hopes that friends and relatives of those buried there, will come to our gathering place to remember their loves ones, rather than make the difficult trip to the actual graveyard. 

Niki Ashton, MP attended the ceremony.  Ted Stabback was master of ceremonies. Jim Corman, Contact Person for H.L.L. and Wayne Huculak, Regional Consultant, Norman Region, unveiled the plaque.  Stewart Bridgeman and Buddy Bartlett, both former residents of Herb Lake, laid a wreath. Corporal Jason Schalla from Snow Lake attended along with approximately 100 members of the public.  A luncheon was provided in the community hall by the Snow Lake Legion Ladies Auxiliary.  There was a display of historic Herb Lake photos in the firehall. The granite plaque was made by Hemauer Funeral Home at The Pas, with a substantial amount of the cost donated by them, and the balance paid by the Heritage Grants Program. A book, The Herb Lake Graveyard, researched and written by Linda Butler and Hazel Corman, was available for purchase, and provided information on those buried in the graveyard.

5. Residents Who Passed Away
Two long time residents of Herb Lake Landing passed away and are missed:
Margaret Spencer (Cote) - January 8, 1939 – January 30, 2013
Freda Hiebert (Corman) – November 22, 1934 – June3 24, 2013

6. Pioneer Days 2013
They were held 2-5 August, 2013, celebrating 96 years of existence at the south end of Wekusko Lake. Activities included a treasure hunt, scavenger hunt for 96 items, pancake breakfasts, canoe races, paddleboat races, tug-of-wars, horseshoe tournament, canoe jousting, birthday cake, photo display and a Courage Trail, a mile walk through the bush at midnight with a partner following a rope trail. Approximately 100 people attended the potluck on Sunday night, the windup to the event. Everyone had an enjoyable weekend.

7. Community Hall
A 12’-x16’ (256 sq ft) addition was built onto the community hall for an exercise room.  Thanks to Multicrete Cement Plant for their donation of cement for the floor, and to others who donated material. Labor costs, provided by Jim Corman and Brad Spencer were paid by ANA.

8. Annual Gardening Contest
The contest was for watermelon, but weather conditions were not suitable and there were no winners.

9. Community Maintenance 2012-13
Some of the labor costs for community maintenance were paid by ANA and the balance was volunteer labor.

a. Clearing of Brush and Weeds - This was done by the community buildings and along the roadway. Fred Bridgeman provided labor which was paid through ANA.

b. Solid Waste Site – This was upgraded and signage put up.

c. Cleanup of Roadside Park, Path to Barry’s Beach and Walking Trail from Roadside Park to Barry’s Beach area – The caragana and other weeds in these areas were cleaned by Brad Spencer who was paid by ANA.  He was assisted by volunteers. There is now a view to the water from the roadside park and a small beach directly below the park.  Barry’s Beach is an attractive area for swimmers at this end of the community.

d. Large Stone - This stone, on the corner of the road near the trail to Barry’s Beach was crushed and removed by Dennis Stoltz who used heavy equipment to pound the rock. It was a hazard because it was on the side of the roadway.

e. Parking area across from the Gathering Place – This was enlarged to allow more cars to park.

f. Signage at Community HallNo smoking and exit signs were put up.

g. Air conditioner and a ceiling fan were installed in the addition of the hall.

h. Main Beach Cleanup – Special thanks to Al and Margo McDougall who continue to maintain the main beach area.

i. Culverts – The community replaced the culverts by the fire hall and re-routed the ditch.  Note:  Culverts in the ditches by Phillips, D. Roberts, Dutka and Morrison were installed at their expense.

j. Chairs for Community Hall – We received a donation of 21 office-type chairs which needed recovering.  9 chairs have been recovered so far.

k. Cleanup of Garbage Dump – Volunteers picked up plastic bags and debris that blew from the garbage dump.

l. Burning of Debris at Burning Dump – Volunteers usually burn this material in the fall, before there is a heavy snowfall, but the debris did not get burned in 2013. It is hoped that conditions this spring will be favorable to burn.

SECTION 3 – 2014

10. Kathleen Rice –Mining pioneer, Kathleen Rice was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame on Feb 14.  Congratulations to Clarence Fisher, Mayor of Snow Lake, MaryAnn Mihychuk of the Snow Lake and District Community Development Corp, Bev Erickson, Snow Lake Town Office and to others for promoting her achievements to make this award possible.

11. Community Work Projects

a. Fire Hall Siding – It has been purchased and needs to be installed.

b. Ditch Improvements – A portion of the main road requires better drainage and improved ditches.

c. Interior Painting of the Firehall and Community Hall – to be done this year.

d. Baseboard Heater in Community Hall – Peter Kobar donated funding towards the purchase of a baseboard heater to be installed under the front windows of the community hall. Contract labor and balance of costs will be billed to the ANA trust account.

e. Clearing and levelling for a Storage Shed – We will prepare the ground behind the community buildings to make room for a storage shed. 

f. Storage Shed - We plan to build a storage shed behind the community hall to store benches, chairs and picnic tables. Donations of beams for underneath, rafters, door and some plywood have been donated.

g. Chipper Attachment – If funds become available, we would purchase a chipper attachment for the Kubota backhoe loader. Some of the debris that goes to the burning pit could be chipped and used as landscape mulch to control weeds.

h. Fence repair and clearing of brush at the Garbage Dump/Sanitary Landfill -
It is important to keep the garbage dump maintained and brush and weeds controlled.  The landfill is periodically compacted and covered with dirt.

12. Annual Gardening Contest
Gardeners will grow gourds this year for the contest. Seeds are provided by the community and must be used to be eligible for judging.

13. Pioneer Days will be held on August 1-3, 2014

14. Community Well – As a result of an enquiry at the October 2013 community meeting, ANA Technical and Public Support advised that the department would not construct a well because it would become a public water system and would require a water treatment plant, to be monitored and tested every two weeks, with water samples sent to Winnipeg for analysis. Further, our community is located in a transition area between the Canadian Shield rock and limestone and the water would not be expected to be of good quality. They have no objection if individuals wish to install their own wells.


15. Budget – ANA provides an annual budget for the operation of the community and all bills are submitted to them for payment.  The operating budget is available to residents to review by contacting Jim Corman.

16. Capital Project for 2011- A Kubota BH77 Backhoe Loader with 60 inch bucket was approved and delivered in April 2013 from Lawson’s in Winnipeg.  This equipment may be rented to residents who are trained operators. Rental income will be deposited in our ANA account and used for the purchase of replacement parts.

Ken Markosky, Kenco, Custom Metal Fabricators, has agreed to take the old John Deer community loader (as is, where is) in exchange for fabricating a detachable fork lift and grader plow blade for the Kubota. (value of labor and supplies is $3500.)

17. Five Year Plan

Our five-year capital projects are:
Community Garage (2012-13-14)
Road Upgrade
Sewer Pumper Trailer
Waste Disposal Site Fencing
Community Dock

a. Community Garage – The approval board for capital projects has deferred their decision due to a change in the approval process.  Our application for the community garage will be considered when they meet again.

Our application is for a maintenance building/garage 40x50 with two bays, to hold the Kubota and other equipment and to allow maintenance work to be done on equipment. The lot reservation for a garage has been approved at the end of Russells’ property.  It is on high ground and minimal fill will be required.  There will also be room on this site to stockpile gravel.

b. Clearing of the Community Garage Lot – We will request a quote for the clearing of the lot from Dennis Stoltz who does this type of work in our area. When the lot is cleared, we can stockpile gravel and park equipment there prior to the building construction.

c. Road Upgrade – This is needed, especially along the lakeshore.

d. Sewer Pumper Trailer – This purchase would be of assistance to residents for sewerage disposal.

e. Waste Disposal Site Fencing – Additional fencing at the waste disposal site is needed.

f. Community Dock - A dock is needed in the event of a community evacuation because of a forest fire or other emergency.  There is only one road into our community. In the summer of 2010 we were on evacuation standby because of a nearby forest fire.
Note: If our application for a grant under Community Places North to build a dock is granted, this item will be removed from the five year plan.

18. Hydro Wuskwatim Transmission Line Annual Funding - A grant was received in 2012 and 2013 and cheques were presented to us by Dwayne Hatley, Aboriginal Liaison Officer. The money is held in a separate trust account under ANA.  We appreciate this funding. 

19. Bipole 3 Transmission Line
We had informational meetings with Manitoba Hydro in 2012 to discuss gravesites or historical markings in the Wekusko area.  We contacted David Rainville, whose family were long-time residents of Wekusko for his input. Al and Margo McDougall, Brad Spencer, Margaret Spencer and Hazel Corman toured the area. A relative of Gilbert LeCroix, a former partner of Sophia Ryan, the Diamond Queen, thought that his gravesite was at Wekusko. We searched for this grave but the area is flat limestone and it would not have been possible to dig a grave and there were no markers.

Our community received the first payment from Manitoba Hydro for the Bipole 3 agreement. Additional information is available at: www.hydro.mb.ca/bipole3 Anticipated completion date is 2017.

20. Social Fund – We have a social fund, separate from ANA funds.  Money for this fund comes from donations, sale of beer cans, rental and luncheon at the community hall for Hydro meetings and summer garbage cleanup and burning of brush pile by volunteer labor. 

The money was used for: a wreath for veterans on Remembrance Day in Snow Lake, a fan for the hall, computer scanner for old photos, electric kettle, coffee pot, kitchen supplies for hall, flowers for the funerals of Freda Hiebert and Margaret Spencer, fabric to cover 21 chairs, Pioneer Day supplies and other items.

We continue to apply for grants for various amenities for our community.  Labor for grant applications is volunteer.

21. Partner 4 Growth Program
A grant program has been announced to focus on strengthening and diversifying local economies and creating new jobs. “By taking a regional approach, communities of every size are encouraged to work together, make plans and take action to build economic success, based on their own unique mix of resources, infrastructure and expertise...Grants are cost-shared with the community... All projects must be regionally focused and involve more than one local government to support regional partnerships and broader economic planning.”
“The application deadline is May 31.” The news release is here: http://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?archive=&item=30286
Snow Lake and District Community Development Corp. has invited our community to join with them in a joint application.  Snow Lake is unable to make a grant application alone and they require our support.  Members of our community shop in Snow Lake and it is important to have a strong regional economy.
There will be a Snow Lake Chamber of Commerce meeting on April 15th to discuss this grant and Dawn Roberts will represent us.  Dawn has recreational property at Herb Lake Landing and resides in Snow Lake. She is a boater on Wekusko Lake and is familiar with the area, including the ghost town of Herb Lake and the former community at Wekusko. After Dawn has met with the Chamber of Commerce we will determine if we wish to make a joint application. Residents are encouraged to express their suggestions and ideas to Dawn or to Hazel. 
22. Recycle Everywhere Bins were offered to communities to encourage recycling.  We received two smart bins for indoor use and three – 22 gal. bins for outdoors.

23. WRAPP Program – Waste Reduction and Pollution Prevention. We received a letter in October, 2013, that we are approved for funding to purchase a recycle trailer, Ken Markosky of Kenco Industries, will construct a 16’ x 8’ steel trailer, #6 ply tires, 7000 torkflex axils, electric brakes, light kid led, breakaway, retractable steps both sides.  This trailer will be located at the waste disposal site.  Once full, probably twice a year, the trailer will be taken to The Pas depot to empty.

When we receive the trailer, residents will separate their garbage, which goes into the landfill, from their recyclables.  It is expected that recycling will extend the lifespan of the garbage dump. It is not known at this time if it is necessary to sort the individual recycling items. Until the program starts, residents can continue to take their recyclables to the Snow Lake facility. Please support The Second Glance, the second hand store at Snow Lake, and take used salable items to them as their operation benefits local charities.

24. Community Recreation Wellness Grant – We received funding under this grant to purchase two new portable toilets from Koenders Manufacturing in Saskatchewan.  After this purchase, our community will have four portable toilets which will be useful for gatherings and community events.

25. Community Places North
a. 2013 - We made an application under this program, but were denied.
b. 2014 – We are making an application for a community dock to be situated near the community hall which would be large enough to accommodate pontoon boats.  It would be six feet wide and 128 feet long with a T at the end. This dock would be for the recreational use of our residents and would also serve the community in the event of an emergency evacuation.

26. Heritage Program and Hometown Manitoba - Mural
Our community will be celebrating our 100th anniversary in 2017.  We submitted an application for funding for the painting of a historical mural to be located across the road from the Gathering Place.  It is felt that a mural would show historically what early individuals experienced as they travelled through our community on their way to Herb Lake.  Prospectors, miners and families arrived at the railway station at Wekusko by steam train. They spent a night at Wekusko and the next day travelled to Herb Lake Landing on the “12-mile portage”, as the trail was called then, as it was 12 miles to reach water.  The trail was rough and they travelled in a wagon pulled by a team of horses.  Sections of the roadway were corduroy which consisted of poles and spruce boughs laid over muskeg.  About half way, there was a resting spot near a creek where the horses were fed and watered and passengers made a fire, boiled water for tea and ate lunch.

At The Portage, as Herb Lake Landing was first known, passengers had supper, spent the night in lodgings then departed by steamboat the next day, along with the mail and freight. It took about three hours to reach the town dock at Herb Lake. In the winter months, travellers crossed Wekusko Lake in sleighs pulled with horses over the ice.

The mural would be six panels, 24 feet x 8 feet. Mike O’Toole has done many of the murals in The Pas area and is familiar with the Herb Lake area and has expressed a willingness to take on this project.

Wayne Huculak, Regional Consultant, Norman Region, is knowledgeable about the history of Herb Lake and has offered encouragement and advice on this application. We welcome comments from residents and if you wish to be involved in this project, let us know.  We expect to know shortly if our funding has been approved.

27. Federal Government – Centennial Celebration
We can apply to the federal government for funding for our centennial celebration in 2017.  Applications should be submitted a couple years in advance to allow time for amendments.  Residents should consider what projects or events they would like for this occasion.  Please let us know your suggestions.  One suggestion is a community flag.


28. October 19, 2013 meeting - There was a potluck supper followed by a short community meeting.  In attendance: Al and Margo McDougall, Blaine Spencer and Sharon Boruck, Dave, Dawn and Davy Roberts, Brian and Cindy Shapka, Fred Bridgeman, Ted and Cathy Stabback, Barry and Jacquie Phillips, Greg Carswell, Ken Markosky, Jim and Hazel Corman. Items discussed were recycle trailer, portable toilets, mural, tractor rental fees, 5-year plan, garden contest, town garage, expansion of gathering place, feasibility study for a well, and drainage of ditches.

29. May 24, 2014 - There will be a community meeting and a potluck on Saturday May 24, 2014 at 5:00 pm. This potluck will welcome Al and Margo McDougall to our community as permanent residents.

 Agenda items may be submitted by email to Jim or Hazel Corman with ‘MEETING AGENDA” in the subject line, or they may be hand delivered by May 21st. Agenda items must contain the name of the resident who is making the submission. An agenda will be emailed to residents prior to the meeting so that all residents will be aware of proposed discussions.

Our community relies on volunteers for many of the projects that we undertake.  Special thanks to all the volunteers who assist with our programs and activities.

Our community looks forward to another good year and hope to see many residents, friends and visitors at our functions this summer.


Community: Contact Jim or Hazel Corman, phone: (204) 358-2314 email: hazelcorman "at" hotmail.com (with the usual symbol for "at"). Mailing Address: Herb Lake Landing Community, PO Box 188, Snow Lake MB ROB 1MO

Newsletter:  This newsletter has been prepared by Hazel Corman and Linda Butler. If you wish to have your email address added or removed from our distribution list, please contact Linda at butlerg30 "at" hotmail.com with the usual symbol for "at"

Web Address is: www.herblake.ca Facebook is: herblake100 (historical info)
Blog is: www.herblake100.wordpress.com



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