In 1912, Oliver and Hilah Ayers came to the Wetaskiwin area from Arkansas, Wisconsin in a covered wagon. The couple was only the second family to homestead land in the Mulhurst Bay area, west of Wetaskiwin.
The couple raised eight children on 160 acres of land, which comprised the homestead. After the couple died, the land was passed onto their grandson, Carl Brown, who stayed on the homestead until his death. The property was then handed down to his sister, Margaret Jaksitz, her husband Carl, and their four daughters. "As kids growing up, our family loved to go camping. When our parents took over the Ayers farm, we all came together with a similar goal in mind and shook hands on what we wanted to accomplish, and there began Hilah Ayers Wilderness RV Park," recalled Cindy Servatius, Carl & Margaret's second youngest daughter.
"Some people in our little community didn't think we would be successful in our venture. Some would stop by as we worked outside to tell us we were crazy, and that we would never turn our land into a campground, but they didn't know us as a family; hard-working and determined. We feel we did something in 25 years that most families don't accomplish in a lifetime and we are very proud of that," she continued.
"Being around each other every day, for as long as 12 hours, had its ups and downs. Our husbands would come help out after working full-time hours at their regular jobs, and on weekends too. Our equipment wasn't much to speak of," pointed out Servatius. "An old truck, a couple of axes, and some chainsaws were all we really had. It was tiresome work, but at the end of the day we knew it would all be worth it. Every day was a labor of love and passion."
Margaret and Carl retired in 2007, leaving the campground to be run by their four daughters, Cindy Servatius, Darlene Sticklemeir, Bernice Chapman and Charlene Scherger, which they did so admirably until 2012 when they made the difficult decision to sell the park to Brian Knutson, with a promise from him to preserve the family's legacy while improving the campground for its members and the community to enjoy for years to come. He may not be family, but you'd have a hard time telling anyone that now.