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.
James G. MacGregor, a noted Alberta historian, stated that the Gauthier family was one of the Iroquois families, which came west with the fur trade from Quebec in the late 1700’s or early 1800’s. According to the Macpherson database at the Musee Heritage in St. Albert, the patriarch of the family was Baptiste Michel Gauthier, who married Paulette Collette Kasinote Sekani. They had five children; Joseph (b. 1828 Jasper), Jacques (b. 1831), Charles (b. 1836), Therese (b. 1839) and Michel (b. 1829). It was Michel who pruned the famous lobstick tree in Jasper for Sir Sandford Fleming in 1872. Fleming was working on the CPR survey. A lobstick tree is meant to serve as a marker. MacGregor in his classic Pack Saddles to Tete Jaune Cache, which detailed the life of James Shand Harvey, states that there were Gauthiers living in the Jasper Valley by 1855. We are not sure when they left, but we know that by 1908, they were not living there when the Canadian government bought out the Moberlys, Joachims and Findlays.
The Macpherson database indicates that Michel Gauthier married Marie Karakonti dit Dekara in 1858. Marie was a granddaughter of the original Kwarakwante/Callihoo. They had at least ten children; St. Pierre (b. 1859), Marie (b. 1861), Bernard (b. 1863), Clarisse (b. 1872), Louison (b. 1874), Baptiste (b. 1877), Moise (b. 1865), Martin (b. 1865), Paul (b. 1879) and Albert (b. 1882). Most of the births were registered in Jasper, although that is no guarantee that the family was living right in Jasper.
The local Gauthier family probably came from Kelly Lake in Northern British Columbia although they probably came to the Grande Cache area via McBride in BC. About 1929-30, the local family was living at Red Rock Creek near the Kakwa north of Grande Cache. Sometime in the 1930’s, the family moved to Chase’s Flats, which was then called Gauthier’s Flats on the Berland River. This was before Chase moved there and was probably in the late 1930’s or the early 1940’s. When the Gauthiers lived there, they had two cabins. They raised horses for sale and trapped
From Chase’s Flats, Albert moved to Wanyandie Flats West and had a house located beside what is now the graveyard. In the late 1940’s, Albert had a place near the little graveyard on the hill where the Muskeg crosses Highway 40. According to Joe Karakuntie, Albert married one of Johnny Moyese’s daughters. The government records indicate that Albert was twenty-two years of age, when he married Colette Moise on July 4, 1904 at Lac Ste. Anne. Colette, who went by Victoria locally, was seventeen years of age. They had a number of children including Flora, Clarisse and Alice. Two of the children; Pierre and Sara are buried at Victor Lake, while a boy named Sybyl is buried at the little graveyard on the hill where the Muskeg crosses Highway 40. A daughter named Margaret married Adam Agnes of Grande Cache and is buried at Muskeg. Another daughter married Isaac Plante and lived at Muskeg. After Sybyl died on April 7, 1948, Albert lived at Muskeg permanently. He was a hunter and a trapper. Bob Hallam of Hinton once stated that in the 1950’s when his wife, Donna, was the public health nurse for Muskeg, he met Albert, who was quite old. Whenever Donna would show up to do inoculations of the children at the school, Albert would wander down to the school to observe. Apparently he never said a word; he just kept an eye on the proceedings. He died before the town of Grande Cache was built in 1969 and is buried in Edmonton. His wife is buried at Muskeg.
The government records indicate that Paul Gauthier (b. 1879 at Jasper House) married Adelaide Moberly (1866-1987), who was one of Ewan Moberly’s daughters on May 27, 1903 at Lac Ste. Anne. Paul died at age thirty-two in 1918 during the Spanish Flu Epidemic and is buried at the Fish Lake Cemetery near Jarvis Lake. They had three children; Maggie, Celina and Josephine. Adelaide was married three times and is buried at Victor Lake.
Julian was single and died in jail, while serving time for a crime that local legend says that he did not commit.