In the old days, we had Cree names for most of the places in our territory.
We have inhabited this land for a long time.
The Delorme family has had a long and interesting history in the Grande Cache area. They were living in Grande Cache before the Jasper Exodus when the Moberly and Joachim families left Jasper National Park in 1910 to move to Grande Cache. There is some evidence to suggest that the Delorme family may be descended from the Iroquois who came west in the early 1800's to trap for the fur trade companies, probably after the War of 1812. Gordon Delorme states that many years ago, three Delorme brothers left North Dakota and came to the Pincher Creek area of Alberta where they gathered horses. One brother, settled in Eastern Alberta, one went to the Cochin area near North Battleford in Saskatchewan and one came to the Rocky Mountains. In her book The Sun Traveller, Elizabeth Macpherson makes reference to an old Delorme being in the area in 1828. She goes on to say that there was an Augustin Delorme in Jasper in 1846. He married Isabelle Kwarakwante who was born in 1820 and died at Jasper house in 1889. They had two sons; Pierre Riche Delorme, who was born in 1839 and Narcisse who was born in 1841. In 1866, Pierre married Suzanne Joachim, who was born in 1850. They had two sons; Pierre (born in 1881), who went by Peter and Phillip.
Pierre Riche Delorme was six feet eight inches tall and blind. One day he was riding through Rocky Pass, when he fell off his horse and hit his head on a rock. Rocky Pass was named because of the huge rocks that came down off a mountain, much like what happened with the Frank Slide in the town of Frank in Southern Alberta. He was able to ride on a little further, but died at what is now called Big Graves in Willmore Wilderness Park. This took place about 1907. Big Graves is at the base of Sheep Mountain in the middle of a meadow along the Sulphur River. There is a large “spirit house” there, which serves as a grave. A forest ranger named Neil W. W. Gilliat indicated that the Aboriginal people would often place trinkets and tobacco inside the structure at Big Graves in tribute to the man buried there.
Peter and his wife, Filamon Desjarlais, had two children; Louis and a daughter buried at Kvass Flats. Louis was born in 1904 at Grande Cache. His parents died at age sixty when Louis was fourteen years old, during the great flu epidemic of 1918. Peter died at Victor Lake, while Filamon died while visiting McDonald Flats or Susa Creek on the same day as Peter. At that point, Louis was adopted by the famous fur trader, Pierre Grey of Isle Lake, who had lost a daughter to the flu. The Greys adopted Louis because the families were related. We know that Louis lived with the Greys for less than a year, when they perished in the same flu epidemic in 1919. Filamon’s family was originally from the Batoche area in Saskatchewan, where the final battle of the 1885 Riel Rebellion took place.
In 1929, Louis married Flora Joachim (daughter of Adam Joachim) with whom he had fourteen children (Walter, Charlie, Ernie, Gordon, Roland, Ron, Helen, Eileen, Florestien, Bertha, Colin, Gardner, Morris and Delphine). The family lived at Victor Lake. Flora was born on April 17, 1914 at Grande Cache and died on September 23, 1996 at Grande Cache.
Louis is significant for a number of things. In 1935, Louis and Adolphus Moberly had a whipsaw pit to cut lumber. They cut the lumber for the first Roman Catholic Church, which was built at Victor Lake in 1935. In 1947-8, Louis and Mike Moberly transported finished lumber, by horse and sleigh from Muskeg to Victor Lake, to construct a house for the priest to live in when he was at Victor Lake.
In his younger days, Louis liked to participate in rodeos. For example, he won the bare back event at the Hinton Rodeo in 1936. He came second in the Indian Horse Race at the same event, where he was beaten by Frank Joachim, while Henry Joachim came third. At the age of twenty-eight, he won the bare back event at the Rio Grande Rodeo near Grande Prairie. In his later years, he liked to judge rodeo.
Louis was a trapper, who sold his furs at Entrance, Edmonton and Edson. In addition, he was a well-known and respected guide for sixty years. Louis also worked for Inland Cement at Marlboro in 1950. You can still see the smokestack from the ill-fated plant that was supposed to produce bricks from the clay in the lake. In 1955, he worked for Trans-Canada Pipeline in Edson. Later, he worked for Rex Logan of Sundry doing seismic exploration for oil and gas. In addition, Louis raised cattle. Louis even appeared in a Hollywood movie, River of no Return starring Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe and Rory Calhoun, which was filmed in Jasper.
Louis Delorme died on May 22, 1992 at the age of eighty-eight, at Victor Lake, where he is buried. Mount Louis near Grande Cache is named in his honour. Gordon was not sure who named the mountain after Louis, but he thought that it might have been one of the forest rangers; perhaps Shand Harvey, Rex Wynn or a ranger named Chapman, who built the ranger cabin at Big Graves. In any case, the mountain was named to honour the man who spent his life living at its foot and trapping its bounty.