A Bit of a Legend
A Bit of Legend in These Parts: The Life of Betty Berger Lessard
Pilot, trapper, hunting guide, sled-dog racer - Betty Berger Lessard carved an extraordinary life for herself out of the rugged wilderness of the Canadian Shield.
Born in Fort Frances in July 1915, Lessard spent almost all of her 82 years living in a remote log cabin on the pristine shores of Namakan Lake. She survived encounters with bears, wolves and a charging moose while navigating thousands of miles of backwoods and waters. She is credited with having saved at least one man's life.
Lessard charmed many a young man but tragically lost her husband in a boating accident. Lessard, who died in 1997, was a strong-minded woman of independent spirit for whom the convention of male and female roles held little importance. One of her neighbours said of her, "She didn't just survive in the wilderness, she lived in it."
Her improbable story - A Bit of a Legend in These Parts: The Life of Betty Berger Lessard - is told by Neil McQuarrie, a long-time resident of Brandon who grew up in Fort Frances, Ontario.
Published by NJM Enterprises, Brandon, Manitoba