If you go far enough up the old "West Crick" to its headwaters,
you will come to the West Canada Lakes. On North Lake of these West Canadas is a clearing
which has been a stopping place of hunters, trappers, and woodsmen for more than a hundred
years. There, in the 1850s, were signs of rotting logs of an old cabin. So said the
trappers Marinus Lawrence and Burr Sturges of Newton Corners, now Speculator. Soon after
that date, they built a slab shanty against a large rock on the south side of the
In the 1870s, Louis Seymour, a French Canadian, better known as
"French Louie," took over the slab shanty as his own and about ten years later
built a new cabin that could accommodate his "guests," who were many. He lived
at this clearing until he died in 1915.
Louis Seymour was born in Canada about 1830. As a boy, he ran away from
home and came across to the United States where he worked with
circuses and drove mules on the long Erie Canal towpath. It was not until the fall of 1868
that he climbed down from the big-wheeled buckboard stage from North Creek at the small
Adirondack town of Indian Lake. He was stockily built, not tall but deep-chested, with
broad shoulders, very long arms, and strong hands. He had a large head with light brown
curly hair, and
sparkling, blue-black eyes, narrow and smiling.
A man of Louies type blended with the surroundings, yet one native
Indian Lake Village looked curiously at this new Frenchman. Tall and wiry,
Ike Kenwell, just past twenty, and about fifteen years Louies junior, went out of
his way to speak to him.
"Howdy," meeting Louies squinting, friendly eyes.
"Work? Shes plaintee?" Louie asked.
"Griffins hirin men. You want a job?"
"On de lumberwoods. Dees Griffin lumbercamp? Were she be?"
And so Louis Seymour came to the North Woods. He drifted from lumber jobs
to trapping and had a cabin on Lewey Lake. His trapping took him to the Cedar Lakes and to
Pillsbury Lake. From Pillsbury he went out to Newton Corners instead of to Indian Lake
Harvey Dunham spent a great deal of time up
in Louie's neck of the woods and eventually built several camps on the West
Canada Creek north of Route 8.