Halvor Ausland emigrated to Canada from Evje, Norway in 1920. After working at odd jobs in the Watrous and Shellbrook, Saskatchewan area, he travelled to northern Saskatchewan to try his hand at trapping.
Halvor Ausland (left) and his brother Knut. Photo was taken when Halvor was about to emigrate to Canada in 1920.
He began his career trapping at Grand Rapids on the Beaver River and then moved further north, trapping at such places as Skeleton Bay on Frobisher Lake and the Mudjatik River, known locally as Deer River, south of Cree Lake, Saskatchewan.
Halvor Ausland in his freighter canoe at Patuanak, Saskatchewan. He was on his way north to his trapline on Little Deer River - 1922. His Evinrude outboard motor was the first one in northern Saskatchewan at that time.
Halvor Ausland on the trapline with dog team, Mudjatik River, northern Saskatchewan, - 1923. Note his camera case hanging on the front of his coat and frost on his whiskers.
In 1925, Halvor Ausland moved to Deep River (MacBeth Channel on the map) where established Deep River Fur Farm. It was located 24 miles west of the village of Ile-a-la-Crosse, and eighteen miles east of Buffalo Narrows on Aubichon Arm on the Churchill River system, known locally as Deep River.
Halvor and Mary Ausland upon their arrival at Deep River by scow - 1925.
Deep River Fur Farm - mid 1950's.
Halvor Ausland with one day's trapping catch of foxes and coyotes. Deep River - early 1940's.
Halvor Ausland's trapping cabin on Heinan Lake, Saskatchewan in the 1930's.
Halvor Ausland's trapping cabin on Little Deer River, also known as Mudjatik River, Saskatchewan in 1920's. Note the timber wolf in the toboggan.
Along with mink and fox ranching, he continued to trap and carry on commercial fishing operations.
From humble beginnings, Deep River Fur Farm was to become one of the largest and most successful fur farms in northern Saskatchewan.
Halvor Ausland was not one to keep success to himself. Over the years, he helped many northerners establish fur farms of their own.
By 1956, there were 30-40, and possibly as many as 55 mink ranches in the Buffalo Narrows, Ile-a-la-Crosse area, the vast majority started with his help.
From a poor Norwegian immigrant, who came to Canada at 17 years of age and unable to speak English, he became a very successful, well known and highly respected businessman.
He accomplished this by sheer will and determination to succeed under the most difficult of circumstances without any help, or handouts from anyone, other than his family and hired help.
Halvor Ausland (center) at the Milwaukee International Mink Show. He purchased the above Sapphire mink at the show and subsequently, was awarded the Grand Champion mink of the Show - 1957.