Ootsa Lake Odyssey by Jay Sherwood


Written by Jay Sherwood, this softcover book tells the story of George and Else Seel’s pioneering life on the headwaters of the Nechako Watershed.

From the 1920s to 1952, George and Else Seel lived about 60 km south of Burns Lake near the small farming settlement of Wisteria on the northern shore of Ootsa Lake. Like many early twentieth-century settlers who migrated to BCs central interior, the Seels came in search of opportunity and prosperity, but the harsh environment posed challenges they could not have imagined. The community was remote and the winters were long, but eventually, along with their fellow settlers, they learned how to live and thrive in this new world.

The couple and their family lived at Ootsa lake through the prosperity of the late 1920s; subsisted during the Depression of the 1930s; and experienced a rejuvenation during World War II and its aftermath. George died in 1950, but Else remained until late 1951 when their property was purchased and ready to be flooded as part of the Alcan project. Else was uprooted, like many of the Ootsa Lake settlers and Cheslatta First Nations people.