Sapawe, Ontario : c.1936 to after 1941.

Many thanks to for these photos. She says in part ". . . . I don't know why my great-uncle Charles Parsons chose Sapawe as the site for his mink farm. My father, John Blair Stone, was at loose ends at that time -- 1940 thereabouts. He would have been 18. I believe that his uncle, Charles Parsons, (his mother's brother) asked him to come up to Sapawe to help out. There was of course a promise of great fortune(!), and I also believe that my great-uncle promised to pay for my father's tuition in an art program at the University of Saskatchewan if he stayed on for a while at Sapawe. Because of the failure of the mink ranch and the beginning of WWII, my father enlisted (about 1942) instead of going to university.

Charles Parsons married the Canadian Olympic swimmer, Judy Moss, and moved out west to Burnaby, B.C. with her. They never had children.

My father, John Blair Stone, was born on April 23, 1922. He passed away on Dec. 30, 1999. Charles Parsons, who began the mink farm was born May 3, 1894 and died Sept. 24, 1959 in Burnaby, BC. "

June 14, 2020 -- on looking through old newspapers on the website, I found that the family of Charles Parsons was established in Sapawe by the summer of 1936 -- established enough to have notices of visitors in the society column of the Winnipeg Free Press. By November, 1937 they were winning prizes for mink (see the image of the news cipping below).

Also seen in a news item in the Winnipeg Free Press, December 3, 1936, Page 13, was mention of the Moss Fur Farm, Sapawe, Ont., which received 4th prize for Eastern Mink. This farm also placed classified ads in many rural newspapers, advertising "Moss 'Quetico' strain mink" for sale to breeders.

There evidently was vigorous competition between the Chapman and Moss families -- the Winnipeg newspapers of the middle-to-late 1930's contain a great many "Social Announcements" about the to-ing and fro-ing of both families, as well as several engagement and wedding announcements. I wonder what the long-time residents of the area thought about Sapawe's social whirl.

clipping from Winnipeg Tribune, Nov. 12, 1937.

C.S. Parsons of Sapawe, took the prize for champion young male mink.

Clipping from the Winnipeg Tribune, November 12, 1937, Page 10 (image via

Charles Parsons, Sapawe Ontario.

Charles Parsons in front of mink pens, Sapawe Ontario, about 1941.

John Stone, Allen Porter, Sapawe Ontario, 1941.

Allen Porter (left) and John Stone in front of mink pens, Sapawe Ontario, January 1941.

John Stone, Sapawe Ontario, 1941.

John Stone, Sapawe Ontario, about 1941.

Charles Parsons, Sapawe Ontario, 1941.

Charles Parsons, Sapawe Ontario, about 1941.

Charles Parsons, Bud & Dot Stone, Sapawe Ontario, 1941.

Charles Parsons, with sisters Dorothy Parsons Cassels (left) & Bud Stone, Sapawe Ontario, about 1941. Bud Stone was Patricia Stone's grandmother.

Gerald & Bud Stone, Sapawe Ontario.

Patricia Stone's grandparents Gerald & Bud Stone. They were visiting Sapawe from Toronto.

Gerald & Bud Stone, Sapawe Ontario.

Bud & Gerald Stone, Dorothy Parsons Cassels, John Stone, Sapawe Ontario.

House in Sapawe Ontario.

Unidentified house in Sapawe Ontario.

Sapawe Ontario.

This seems to be a store in Sapawe Ontario.

Can you provide corrections or comments?