West Red Lake Mining Museum, created by Enid Carlson

Stories from the West End

During the 1920 and 30's the West End hosted a gold rush.  It was a place of adventure and attracted many characters.  We are collected stories and photos from that time.  The museum changes the display several times a year so please visit.

We hope you will share your stories with us as well.

Arthur Carlson arrives at the West End

taken from Memoirs of Arthur and Florence Carlson written by John Richthammer

Arthur travelled from Sweden to the west end of Red Lake in May 1929.  He came to work on mining claims and set up camp on Trout Bay.

 

One of Arthur's first projects was for Bill Brown, who had been the first postmaster of Red Lake and also justice of the peace for a while. Arthur and Ernie Carlson built the Brown cabin and the family moved to the west edn after Bill fell on hard times.  Brown was from West Hartlepool, England and an educated man.  He had spent time in Sweden and spoke Arthur's language fluently, so Arthur always liked spending time with Bill and speaking Swedish with him.

 

The first couple Arthur met were Charles and Ethel Archer from Hamilton, Ontario.  Charlie was an older man and had chronic emphysema due to being exposed to mustard gas while overseas in the First World War.  Arthur reminisces, "Charlie's lungs were very bad.  He went to the doctor in Hamilton and said, "how long am I going to live'.  The doctor said maybe six months.  Charlie said,"You didn't tell me that!  How can I make it better for myself?'  The doctor said, 'Go up north in the bush country- that would be better.'  So Charlie did and he lived 15 years after that.  Charlie got a $44.10 war pension every month from the army but no other income.  We supplied them with meat."  Arthur described Archers as the "parents of the west end" and a great place to visit.

Note:  John Richthammer spent an hour and some each Tuesday during the winter interviewing Arthur.  Arthur prepared for the visit by sorting through things in his mind and when JJ arrivied he was ready.  The two of them could go "like wildfire" when they came upon a great topic.  Our family is very grateful to JJ for this memoir.