The Studer Family immigrated from Switzerland to Kansas USA in 1906, then in 1914 heard of homestead land available in Canada and moved north to Loon Lake Saskatchewan. In 1920 Adolph, the youngest brother, married Laura Olivier and had four children, Iona, Vernon, Alma and Louise.

It was in 1923 that Adolph applied to recover placer gold from claims established on the Waterhen River, about 30 miles north of Loon Lake. Very little gold was found and he was forced to abandon the claims, but the desire to prospect was in his veins and continued with the search for minerals.  The next few years were spent in the Mudjatic River area, prospecting the 'harder rock', which they reported were barren.

In the meantime, he was raising his family, and in order to provide for them,  became a successful trapper during the long winter months. He made many friends during the early years, who were impressed no doubt by his sincerity and determination.  Among them being, Dr Mawdsley, Professor of Geology at the University of Saskatchewan. In fact it was Mawdsley's report on the Lac La Ronge area and his personal advice to Studer, that sent him prospecting the Lac La Ronge area in 1932.

In 1934 a X-ray type diamond drill was purchased and work conducted on a small claim near the first cabin on Contact Lake.  Only narrow veins, with little gold was identified at that location, but by 1935 he had discovered high-grade gold veins on the shore of Dog Lake, which he re-named to Sulphide Lake. They then built a new cabin nearby where they would spend the next 10 years raising their family and working on the gold claims. Work consisted of shallow trenching, diamond drilling and also proved his resourcefulness by building a small crusher and mill. The operation was powered with a water-wheel,  hauling ore from high grade gold outcroppings and trenches on the property.  He was assisted in this by his family, who must have inherited their father's energy and persistence. 

As exploration was conducted, several cousins and others arrived to learn the trade. Jobs were available with the drilling companies. Many local natives were employed, which led to long standing relations with them. As the only son, Vernon learned all his skills from his father, uncle and cousins. They were all very talented in design and used books to research aerodynamics, electronics and geology to identify favorable rocks with little tools except shovels, picks and hammers to extract the ore rich rocks.

In 1952, Vernon married Ida Parent and in 1958 would move his family to La Ronge so they could be near the trap-line, cabin and the life he had grown into.  Vernon learned how to handle explosives and he would use that skill several times during his career. When Berry Richards was working on the Rottenstone Mine development, Vernon scouted in the road, with the assistance of Garry Thompson, who would be instrumental in getting Vernon to start flying. To diversify in slow times, Vernon had wild rice leases, tourist camps and commercial fishing operations, but diamond drilling, trenching, staking, line-cutting and prospecting were always what were talked about most.    He spent his entire life in the north, be it flying around to visit with many of his northern friends, or checking his trap-line, or prospecting for valuable minerals. Vernon was a self made bush man, who learned from his co-workers, father and family the ways of the North.

 

Knudsen Family | Klaus Lehnert-Thiel | Andrew Gracie | Robertson Trading Ltd. | Charlie Cook | Vern Studer