Sauvé’s Beaver Meadow and Hill
This beaver meadow is situated on the Mulgrave portion of Highway 315. This landmark was a challenge for the Historical Society. I knew this site by the name of Sophie’s Pond.
My aunt and uncle, Freida and Joe Laforce, lived and worked at Green Lake, currently known as Lac Britanique. They had to drive by the pond and up the hill near it on the way home. When they visited us in the wintertime, if it was snowing, they always left early because they were concerned that they might get stuck on Sophie’s Hill.
Around 1900, there was a family named Sauvé who owned land that included a portion of the beaver meadow. Some members of the Historical Society felt that the pond was probably named after this family and the English pronunciation was skewed from Sauvé to Sophie. However, many people have questioned if we have got it correct?
However, in the historical book “Olden Days” by Alice Biehler Burich, she mentions an old widowed man living on a creek near Jarnac* whose name was John Sophie. Maybe the beaver pond was named after him?
The Historical Society has decided to include both names (Sauvé and Sophie) on the sign posts. If you are driving from the Blanche Lake towards the beaver pond, you will have passed the original Sauvé homestead and see the Sauvé's Beaver Meadow sign. If you are coming from Jarnac towards the pond, you will see the Sophie sign.
This beaver meadow is well established. When the beaver dam broke several years ago, it released a flood of water that washed out the road and culvert, temporarily closing the road. At the time, the beaver dam was holding at least six feet of water. After it drained there remained only a few patches of water. The pond was approximately half a kilometer wide and long. This beaver pond must have existed for at least a hundred years, since there are no dead tree trunks standing in the water.
The beaver dam is built on property that is currently owned by Jim Nicol. The beavers have rebuilt their dam but the level of the water is now being controlled by a special water pipe that goes out into the pond. The input to the pipe is constructed so that the beavers cannot block the entrance to the drainpipe. By raising or lowering the pipe entrance, Jim can control the level of the water in the pond and prevent a large lake from forming.