TMLA History Committee Solicits Family, Neighborhood Histories
by Tom Cox, for the History Committee
200 Years are models for a story that you might write. Here are some of the questions you might want to cover in your account:
- When did your family first come to TML?
- How did you happen to come to TML?
- Did you camp, rent, homestead, or purchase?
- What is the history of your lot, cabin or homestead?
- What impact did WWI, the Great Depression and/or WWII have on your Ten Mile experience?
- What significant relationships has your family had with other lake families?
- What has your relationship been to the Ten Mile Lake Association? (Officers, committees, etc.)
- What particularly strong memories do you or other family members have about activities and events on or about the Lake?
- Do you have pictures or clippings the committee can copy and possibly publish?
You may send your family or neighborhood history by mail to the History Committee, C/O Sue Eikenberry, 5811 White Spruce Lane NW, Hackensack, MN 56452 or by e-mail to Sue at email@example.com AND/OR C/O Tom Cox, 5688 Fernhurst Drive NW, Hackensack, MN 56452-2328 or by e-mail to Tom Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your help will be invaluable to the Committee as it seeks to maintain a chronicle that will be of special interest to all Ten Milers.
TEN MILE HISTORY: 200 YEARS
The Ten Mile history book is a wonderful resource for your Ten Mile family. You may still order copies from:
Tom Cox 218-507-0394 or email@example.com
Sue Eikenberry 218-675-6183 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: $25.00 plus $5.00 Shipping or $20.00 for two or more, plus shipping. Please make checks payable to Ten Mile Lake Association, and date them either the 1st or the 15th of the month.
From a conversation with Clinton J. Adams with his children Jack and Bruce Adams and Marna Adams Stevens, written on August 17, 1987. Excerpted by Sue Eikenberry.
Margaret and Clint Adams, from Ames , Iowa , started coming to TML in 1933 for summer vacations at Camp Iowa , on the north shore. Clint was originally not interested in fishing but his interest in the area increased when he was told of a nice nine hole golf course 9 miles away. It had sand greens and a small shack on it and a slot machine.
Hans and Edith Jensen ran Camp Iowa , coming in the summers from Audubon , Iowa to do so. Eventually Hans sold real estate out of Hackensack . Their son Bob would start school in Walker in the fall, to he around to help close up the camp. There were only necessities in the cabins — kerosene lamps for light, an outhouse, and a town pump framed in birch logs where all got their water.
Keith Textor, from Coon Rapids , Iowa , sang "The Lord's Prayer" at Sunday morning church services. He had a beautiful voice and sang with Fred Waring on television and also with a small group called the "Keith Textor Singers."
Hans Jensen is remembered as being a good magician. He would keep everyone spellbound with his coin tricks. He would make things disappear into his elbow and pull things out of the back of his shirt.
Camp Iowa had wooden boats with the ribs that had to be repaired every year. If you rented a motor, usually it was one and a half horse, or a BIG one, which was five horse.
Clint's interest in fishing came along with the help of fishing guide Ralph Plantz who lived at the other end of Ten Mile. He eventually moved to Alaska . The rule of thumb of size of fish to keep in those days was 5-10 pounds. There were 2 or 3 places that Ralph knew to catch walleyes, and they also fished for northerns. Ralph caught one that weighed 24 pounds and took 3rd prize in the whole area. Most of the fish were in Lundstrom's Bay. Trolling was done by rowing. For bait, Ralph would sometimes use frogs, but mostly minnows that he would catch by seining. Clint recalled catching an 11-pound walleye by casting into the weeds toward the shore.
"Grandpa" Bush lived east of the Adams cabin. He had been a railroad man, retired and lived at Ten Mile. He was the father of "Bullet Joe" Bush who was one of the top pitchers for the New York Yankees. Bullet Joe roomed with Babe Ruth. The Bush cabin became a part of Camp Iowa , and the Nels Christensen family stayed there and eventually bought it. It had been built around 1910 by the same person who built the DeLury cabin and the Chase Hotel in Walker .
In 1941, the Adams purchased their cabin, and in 1982, they purchased the DeLury cabin. "Clint's Clan" have a very special gathering place for their families.
by Karen Arsan, based on her interviews with Mark Anderson
Clifford (Cliff) and Margaret (Peg) Anderson first came to Ten Mile in the mid-1960s as guests of Robert and Catherine Crabb. They were good friends from the cities and their son Mark was a friend of the Crabbs’ son, John. A few years later, in about 1968, the Andersons bought the old Murray cabin just at the 90 degree bend in Cass County 6 (Lower Ten Mile) as you come to the lake from Highway 371. They and their 3 children (Mark, Katherine AKA Kate, and Margaret AKA Meg) enjoyed this cabin for many years. In the 60s Margaret was a camper at Hillaway.
This property had been used to lay one of the first telephone cables at Ten Mile back in the 50s. The chief speech writer for President Eisenhower, Malcolm Moos, had a cabin on the north shore of Ten Mile and wanted a telephone. In order to do this they needed to lay a cable on the floor of the lake from the south to north shore. This cable came down Lower Ten Mile Lake Road from 371 and went out through the Murray/Anderson property to the lake and then on the floor of the lake to the north shore. John Crabb remembers seeing it when he and Mark would swim there in the 60s and 70s.
In 1977 Camp Hillaway was sold to Robert Crabb and 5 of his friends including Cliff and Peg Anderson. This included not only the main camp on the south shore but also the beach on the east shore where the girls used to go camping. The new owners divided up the land so each would have a site to build and also keep some land in common and a few lots for future sale. At that time Andersons chose the land on the east side beach. The site needed a road put in through the swamp in back of it. This project was supervised by Mark in the summer of 1978. Mark remembers the building of this road as being done by a man named Mr. Adolphson who had a giant piece of equipment to haul the necessary dirt and gravel. The gravel pit was owned by Albert Thomas who lived just across the way from where the new road was being built. This road, which is the driveway to the Anderson cabin, is now 30+ years old and has never needed any repair nor suffered any degradation.
During this time Mark was very happy to meet this new neighbor, Albert Thomas. He describes Albert as very gracious and friendly and he would invite Mark to his farmhouse. Mark said, “It was fairly rustic I guess you could say. I don’t know that housekeeping was Albert’s first priority. But he took me into the kitchen and offered me some beef to take home and I was…it was a new experience for me. I went into the kitchen and I could see that he was in the midst of butchering the cow in the kitchen and I had never experienced that sort of thing before. There it is ― parts of the cow in various parts of the kitchen. It was a different, new experience. Anyway, I think it would be fair to say Albert lived fairly close to the land, and spoke of butchering and using the meat from a cow as we might talk about going out to the garden and picking a tomato. But he would just…’well, I’m running low on meat so I’ll just have to harvest one of the cows’. My impression was the last thing he would need to do would be to have someone butcher. He would sort of butcher the cow just as we would slice a tomato right there in the kitchen. It was all perfectly natural to him as unfamiliar to it as I was. He was very gracious. I think at the same time he offered me a pie that his sister living in Hackensack had baked for him. So he was an extremely gracious person…very gracious, naturally so and very smart with a lively mind, well informed about current events at that time. He was a fascinating character. You know a person living, at that time, a person living a life somewhat out of time, or out of his time from a period of, even then maybe close to a hundred years before given the style in which he lived. But [he was] a great guy and an endlessly interesting person. As I say, it was a real treat to have known him…a real character in the very best sense of the word.” (There is more information about Albert Thomas and his family in the book TEN MILE LAKE HISTORY: 200 YEARS.)
Anderson’s neighbor to the south of their Hillaway property was the Loufek family until that property was sold in 2002. Mark only met one of the family, Charles, who was one of the 4 children of the couple who bought the property in 1937. Mark told me, “I did not know the Loufek family very well. They were seldom at their property as I remember it. There were stories that I would hear occasionally about one or more members of the family coming up and, given the large piece of property they had, completely wild and undeveloped except for a cabin they had near the point and perhaps an out building as well. They would come up and enjoy, as I remember being told, target practice. So occasionally from my parents cabin on the old Hillaway property just to the north of Loufek’s property we would hear occasional gun shots and so on, and so for us city slickers that was a little bit of a disincentive to rush over through the woods and visit the neighbors not knowing if they would know what it was that was coming toward them through the woods.”
Cliff and Peg are gone now but the property on the east shore is still in the family. We hope it will be used and enjoyed by their children and grandchildren for years to come. The old Murray cabin has recently been sold to Ten Mile newcomers Travis and Kelly LaMar.
by Dr. Stanley Benbrook of Ames, Iowa, and a long time summer resident and History Committee Member
- As we came north by car from Ames each summer in the 20’s and 30’s, we drove into Pine River from the east on the then existing highway. At the junction where we turned north, we were greeted by the presence of a very long warehouse just across the railroad tracks to the west. Upon the facing wall was painted a sign that seemed to extend for hundreds of feet, “WEFFELMEYERS PICKLE WORKS.”
- Our neighbor on the south shore, Don Bagley, with my assistance, was cutting the trunk of a huge Norway pine which had assumed a horizontal position from the shore out over the lake. His chain saw made a peculiar sound for an instant while in the sawing process. At the completion of cutting we found that he had sawed through an embedded bullet located deep within that tree trunk. What were the odds of doing that again and how many years had that bullet been embedded?
- When swimming under the Stange or Garbisch or Brandt diving stands, it was fun as kids to dive a few feet and then try to sing a melody while the other kids guessed the song.
- As high school and young college kids, we drove on many a Saturday night to Kink’s Kasino, a barn just south east of Walker to listen to the schottische and the polka bands and to watch the “well-tanked” dancers trying to perform.
- I remember the bumper crop of blueberries everywhere, even along the south shore of Ten Mile in 1954. We ate them at breakfast on cereal, at lunch in cakes, and at supper in pies!
- What a view after climbing the State Fire Watch Towers (now gone) located about two miles north of Hackensack and at Whipholt.
- I remember a penny slot machine in a store on Main St. in Hackensack in the 1930’s and Jean Stange hitting the jackpot with over 100 pennies spewing across the floor.
Do you “Remember when?”
If you have memories that others may enjoy reading about, we invite you to send them to the History Committee chair, Sue Eikenberry. We may add them to future columns.
Taken from "The Ramblings" by Kathryn Bell Hescher. Excerpted by Sue Eikenberry
There was a multi-stall garage on the north shore east of Kubo's where the Gitchee Gumee Beach residents kept their cars and boated across to their cabins. My father did not own one. He rented one every summer after we moved to Texas in 1923. We did not own a car until then. My parents came to Ten Mile by train from their winter home, getting off at the station near Bromley's [now Arthur's]. They would then be taken by boat to Boone Point. Mr. Long had a launch. We listened for "yoo-hoo" from people wanting to come across from the garage or from Christie's [now Kubo's]. Bill Optiz had a log cabin next to the garage. Generally we knew when someone was to arrive, so we watched through binoculars and listened for the call. If the wind was from the south, it was difficult. People would wave a white handkerchief. Highway 50 was "old 19." It was the only way to get to Walker. My parents told about going to Hackensack through the thoroughfare [Boy River] or by train. It was an all day trip.
No Minnesota county (leaving out Washington and Lincoln) is honored by a more illustrious namesake than our own Cass County . The County name memorializes the distinguished soldier and statesman Lewis Cass. Born in 1782, Lewis Cass was a successful attorney by 1803; Colonel, then Brigadier General during the War of 1812; Governor (1813-1830) of the MichiganTerritory (which included most of present Minnesota and parts of three other states); and negotiator of twenty-two treaties with Indian tribes. He was Secretary of War in President Jackson’s Cabinet 1831-1836; Minister to France , 1836-1842; U.S. Senator 1845-1848 and 1849-1857; and Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President Buchanan, 1857-1860. He also was a presidential candidate in 1848.
Lewis Cass led an expedition into our North Country with experts in topography, mathematics, and medicine, an official recorder, several political figures, and a young mineralogist named Henry Schoolcraft, who was destined to achieve historic fame. The expedition also included ten Native Americans, ten bearers or voyageurs, a squad of seven soldiers, an interpreter, and many assistants. The expedition was neither pleasant nor particularly successful. However, it received great publicity in the East. The name of Upper Red Cedar Lake was changed to Cassina, and later, to Cass Lake . In addition to Minnesota ’s Cass County , city, and lake names, there are Cass counties in Michigan and North Dakota , plus numerous Cass townships and cities in these other states, including cities named Cassopolis, Cass City , Cassville and Casselton.
Lewis Cass could never have dreamed of the many lovely cabins and homes surrounding the lakes of Cass County today.
Photo courtesy of the Chicago Historical Society. Daguerreotype taken c. 1850-1855. From the collection of the Cass County Historical Section, Walker, MN
By Cathy Iversen
Brothers Robert and Daniel DeLury found their way to Walker in about 1895. Daniel set up a law practice and Robert opened a tailor shop. Having come from the lake country in Eastern Ontario, it was natural that they explored the lakes in their new country. They pitched a tent at Lake May where they lived for some time. To reach Ten Mile Lake, they boarded the train in Walker to Long Bay. There Cliff Long would take them in his one cylinder motor boat to their destination. They contracted with a Walker carpenter, Archie Lavigne, to build a cabin.
Reportedly built in 1910, this cabin, which still stands on the Adams property on the north shore, is the oldest on the lake. About ten years later, Archie was the prime contractor on the building project of the Chase Hotel. After the DeLury cabin was built, a friend from Bemidji, Mr. Vanderluis, built his cabin, which was a mirror image. Then their friends, Miss Bicec and Mrs. Ilstead, built on the east side. The big log house was built in the early 20’s and the DeLury resort was established. In addition to the log house there were 5 cabins. A log shed was built to hold ice and an electric plant was added. They thought about adding a sewer system but decided it was not necessary.
In 1925 Robert DeLury took over the management of Douglas Lodge at Itasca State Park and put the resort in the care of Mr. & Mrs. Jensen. After a few years, they built Camp Iowa. In 1930 the DeLurys returned to Ten Mile and operated their resort. Robert DeLury passed away in Baltimore in 1945. Mrs. DeLury continued running the resort for one year and then sold all but the original cabin. In 1946 her grandson, Dan DeLury, visited Ten Mile. Mrs. DeLury asked him if he could install a water system for her. He said he could but there was no galvanized pipe to be had.
However, an old classmate of Dan’s, Orville Liflis, was tearing down the top floors of the old Chase Hotel and he sold Dan enough pipe to do the job. Mrs. DeLury continued to enjoy the cabin at Ten Mile until her death.
From an interview August 5, 2010 by Karin Arsan with Bruce and Joanne Edwards.
Tom and Jo Edwards and their 6 year old son Bruce first arrived at 10 Mile in a blizzard in April 1961. They’d come to see one of the Woock’s cabins. Tom had heard about 10 Mile from Larry Bryngelsonand Elgin Stallard who had called on Tom, then the director of elementary education in Owatonna. Elgin was a school book salesman and Larry sold school supplies. Elgin and Larry both had cabins on 10 Mile not far from the Woock’s cabins and Elgin’s son married Al Woock’s daughter, Norma. Tom asked if they knew any place he could rent for a month in the summer. Of course, they both recommended Woock’s cabins.
Jo says, “We started out from Owatonna and it was snowing so we decided we’d stop and stay in Elk River. Well we got up the next day and it was blizzarding. But we kept going. Stopped in Hackensack. Called Sally and Al. And they said, ‘We can’t believe you drove up here. But we’ll meet you at the cabin.’ So they told us how to get to the store. Well the snow was up above my knees, to walk down to the cabins. So Tom and Al went first ‘cause they had long legs. And we followed in their footsteps. We got there and Bruce said, ‘Well, what is there to do here?’ I said, ‘Well that’s a lake.’”
In spite of their chilly beginning, they agreed to rent cabin number 5 for a month that summer for $50 a week!! So from the summer of 1961 until the present the Edwards have been on 10 Mile almost every summer. The first summer Bruce was 6, Brian was only 2 and Nancy 1.
Tom loved to play tennis and found that Dick Garbisch’s tennis court was almost next door and Tom was a welcome addition to the tennis group. They would wait on the court for him to arrive from Owatonna and he would immediately join them as soon as he drove in. Jo got to unpack the 3 kids, groceries, and gear. Dick’s tennis court was also important to Bruce who learned to play tennis there and played serious tennis all the way through HS and college. Bruce says, “ It was great for me…they would let me play as a young 13-14 year-old guy and didn’t think anything of it; ‘Yuh, come on and play.’ And you’d sit and wait your turn on the bench like everybody else. The fun thing about it…the personalities that showed up there were so diverse yet completely accommodated …Nobody was left out.” Bruce also fondly remembers playing with Tom Belton on Dick’s court. “My dad would call me (in Owatonna) and say Tom Belton’s going to be here and I’d take time off work so I could come up and play with him.” That no doubt helped Bruce become the high school doubles champion.
Edwards had many friends at Woock’s and also had friends in Owatonna who started coming up to Woock’s because of Tom and Jo, including Fred Austin and his family and also Tom McCoy and family. The kids also used to play with the Gainey and Bliska children. Bruce said that he occasionally played with Allan Campbell and his friend, Grant Minor, but they were older and he didn’t see a lot of them. Brian had Allan Richardson in Woock’s cabin number 3 and also saw Randy Robinson whose family lived down towards Hillaway and next to Sam Fahr. Sam was a regular on the Garbisch tennis court and Eddie Robinson would also come down some times.
Edwards stayed at Woock’s through the summer of 1975. In about 1970 they moved to number 6 which had been a little upgraded for Bob and Catherine Crabb, who in 1970 moved to Pleasant Lake. Al and Sally wanted to sell the resort and Tom and a few other men agreed to take a lease for the summer and take care of sub-leases and cleaning etc. Jo and the children spent the entire summer in cabin number 6 and Tom came up on the weekends. They did this for a few years but eventually in 1975 the cabins were put up for sale. This was the same year that Tom had surgery for a brain tumor and later died in 1976.
In 1980 Jo bought the cabin of Beth (Carlson) Zorn Nelson. This cabin had belonged to Beth’s parents who bought the land in 1920 from Bostroms. Jo bought her cabin the same day Molly Bliskabought the cabin just a few doors down that had belonged to the Antonisons. Jo says this was a good day for Don Jensen as he was the real estate agent at that time. Jo owned this cabin until 1997. By that time she had retired and moved to Arizona.
In about 1980 Jo’s daughter Nancy stayed in this cabin through the winter. It was not easy as there was no running water and not much heat. Nancy would haul water from the lake and go to Molly Bliska’s to shower. That winter she met Tony Doughty who with his wife Pat owned Lundrigan’s in Walker. She started working for them. After that Nancy never left the area. She married Jerry Freeman (of Freeman’s Well Drilling) and bought Lundrigan’s and is still here although now they live on Portage Lake just across the road from 10 Mile. Now Nancy has 5 stores: Lundrigan’s in Walker, Crosslake, Nisswa, and Dorset (just opened in 2010) and the General Store in Walker.
Nancy helped raise Jerry’s 2 sons, Tony and Chad, from the time they were 9 and 11. They are both married now and Tony and his wife, Susan, have darling little twins, Elayna and Emilie who are 18 months now. Last year they were frequently in Lundrigan’s as Grandma Nancy was providing day care.
Brian played tennis, was the family fisherman, and sailor. He raced their C class sailboat on Sundays with a crew of Nancy and friends from the beach…all ending up at Garbisch’s for lemonade and cookies. He has many fond memories of “The Lake” including riding his bike to the dump at dawn to shoot crows and hopefully see a bear!! Brian now spends as much time as possible on Ten Mile hunting and snowmobiling in the fall and winter.
Bruce married Susan in 1981 and they had 3 children…Emily b.1985, Kelsey b. 1987, and Blake b.1990. They were living in Ohio and didn’t get up to 10 Mile much at that time although he remembers the Zorn cabin as being a rather rustic and fun cabin. Jo said, “I did love that cabin and I remember the realtor said that when she was on her way home at night if it was sunset time she would stop just off the road, because you could see through that cabin, because it was all windows in back and front. She’d just stop and watch the sunset.”
A few years after Jo sold her cabin, in 2005, her son Bruce bought the one next door that had belonged to Hammonds. Daughter Emily is married to Scott Smith and they stayed here one summer a few years ago and Emily worked for Nancy at Lundrigans and Scott worked for T and C Excavating which is owned by Chad Freeman, Jerry’s son.
Jo spoke of her disappointment at the demise of Arthur’s Restaurant. “When we had company…from out of town it was just a great time to go over in the boat and have dinner. That was special and we had been enjoying that since it was Bromleys Ten Mile Inn.” Bruce added, “I can’t believe how melancholy people are about that. And how…many people came from the south…Pine River, Backus, Longville, even as far as Brainerd people would come to eat at Arthurs.” Bruce is one of the group of 10 Milers trying to save the old Arthur spot in hopes of another restaurant there some day.
In 2010 Bruce and Susan bought Dave and Mary Lee Losby’s cabin which is part of Hillaway. It was originally built by Ken and Amy Knopf in 1979. They are doing work there and have the old Hammond cabin up for sale.
Jo still makes it back to 10 Mile regularly from her home in Friendship Village in Bloomington.
by Warren Goss
The following article comes from the notes made by Warren Goss, based on an interview of Bob Mayer conducted in December, 1973. Bob Mayer was the owner of the Shady Shores resort on Birch Lake, just off Lower Ten Mile Lake Road.
(Bob Mayer) and Al Woock and a few others formed the Birch and Ten Mile Lake Association in 1946. They did a lot of work with the Brainerd and Fish and Game Office (a Mr. Gulbranson, he thought). They grew fingerlings in a number of ponds and build the walleye population up a lot. In 1951 the lakes, particularly TML, were very high, two feet higher than normal. Happiness Lodge cabins were all surrounded by water. Most of the fish in both lakes went downstream then. The Association tried to get a better dam at Hackensack, e.g. a level weir 40 feet long, and also considered an electric device to keep fish from passing. The Army Corps of Engineers and "some politicians" came and looked, but never did anything. The Association then fell apart because it seemed that their work to get a walleye population was benefiting only the downstream lakes, especially Leech Lake.
The Brainerd Fish and Game people made a number of net surveys between 1946 and 1951. In August, 1951 Gulbranson gave a splendid report to the annual meeting of the Birch and Ten Mile Lake Association. They had identified the "ciscoes" as blue fin herring and said that their presence deep in the lake in the summer caused most of the game fish also to be deep and not come up to the shallower water very much because, after getting accustomed to the higher pressures, it would cause pain to come up. The report said the nets located "boatloads" of game fish at 90 feet and hardly any at 30 feet. The report told of the walleyes and northerns following the herring into the shallow water at spawning time. Many of the herring die after spawning. The dying herring are especially attractive to the game fish - they are easy to see and are immobile (I suppose the same as when we use herring to fish for salmon: the salmon "charge into" schools of herring and circle back to grab the wounded ones). Bob Mayer says this report is still available at Brainerd.
In 1937-8, they put 60 muskies 2 feet long into Birch Lake, and there was pretty good muskie fishing in Birch from 1938 to 1951, when the high water ended it. Some of the muskies were reported to have gone into Ten Mile Lake.
The lakes were low from 1928 to 1948. The Boy River didn't flow between TML and Birch Lake during that interval. Pleasant Lake was 17 feet below its present level. TML was 4 feet below present level. The big reef was way out of water and 50 feet wide with bushes and trees on it (a good duck blind!).
At one time there was serious discussion about opening a channel from TML into the ponds and swamps back of where the Moos and Bryngelson cabins are located, so that fingerlings could be grown there and let out into the lake by opening the gate. Bob doesn't know what happened to the proposal or why. The Ten Mile Lake Association came back to life about 1958, without the Birch Lake members.
One of the rearing ponds that TMLA put a lot of work into was "Diamond Lake Pond" where the road to Diamond Lake goes off to the north from the Wood Tick Trail.
By Al Griggs, East Shore, White Pine Beach, August 2006
The Griggs’ family history actually begins in 1920 when Carole’s Grandfather, Karl August Kilander first visited Ten Mile Lake. Work on the Kilander cabin began in 1924. This part of the history is covered in Fritz Kilander’s family history (Carole’s brother). Carole’s first visit to Ten Mile was in 1936 as a three year old child. She says she still remembers how brutally hot that summer was. I first visited Ten Mile in 1967, as Carole’s guest. At this point our relationship became serious and we were married in late 1967. Thereafter, we would make weekend trips to Ten Mile Lake cabin from St Paul , where we both worked. In 1968, Carole’s dad died and her mother entered a nursing home a few years later. When our children, David and Ann arrived, (1970 and 1973) Carole became a full time homemaker and would spend summers at Ten Mile while I would use up my annual vacation on 4-day weekends at the lake.
During the winter of 1974-5 Fritz and his wife Bernadette lived in the cabin while their house was built on the adjacent lot. That winter was exceptionally cold and snowy, and Fritz and Bernadette went to extremes to make the drafty old cabin warm enough to live in. They moved into their new house in 1975, and the old cabin became ours. In 1980, Fritz and Bernadette sold their house and lot to us and moved up the lake to the Boone Point area, where they now live. From that point on, we knew where we would retire, and the only question was when. In fact it would be another twenty years, during which time we kept the house rented out, fortunately to couples who also loved Ten Mile and took good care of the house. Our children both treasure their memories of summers and falls at Ten Mile, and now their children are experiencing the same.
In late 1999, I retired from 3M and we moved to Ten Mile. We had given our renters (the Strandemos) plenty of warning and they were able to purchase a home near Tianna golf course, which is Guy’s passion. Carole and I became acquainted with many of the local residents and became a member of Union Church in Hackensack . Carole has since indulged her culinary passion by cooking at many and varied Church functions. In 2001, I became treasurer of the Ten Mile Lake Association for two years, then vice president under Tom Cox, and now president. These are challenging times for area lake associations. Land values have skyrocketed and many people continue to move into the area. This, my second life career, is proving to be at least as exciting as my first at 3M.
An account taken from an interview of Sam Fahr, July 12, 2000, conducted by Tom Cox for the Mississippi Headwaters Board Oral History Project. Sam Fahr died on August 28, 2004. Excerpted by Mariana Goodwin.
Sam's mother and father came to the Middle West from Pennsylvania in the 1920's. His mother had developed hay fever and asthma and found it necessary to move the family to the shores of Lake Superior near Beaver Bay, about 60 miles north of Duluth. They lived in small cabins with one or two bedrooms and the usual primitive facilities. The beautiful scenery reminded Sam's grandmother of the coast of Maine and her home on Bar Harbor.
Sam worked for a commercial fisherman, August Olson, born in Norway. They went out every day and caught what they called herring. Sam said the herring they caught "magically" turned into walleye by the time they were transported for sale in Minneapolis. Sam loved working for Mr. Olsen for five cents an hour but there wasn't much for the rest of the family to do, so it became imperative to find another place.
His mother heard of Ten Mile Lake through a friend in Minneapolis and in 1931 the family decided to rent a cabin for a season to see how they liked it. Sam didn't like the idea, especially when he found out that the friend had a daughter, Laura Bouraem, who would be there too. At age thirteen, that was not a happy coincidence and so Sam sulked around for a few days.
Then Mrs. Bouraem gave a party for all the young people on the shore and Sam met the three oldest Brandt boys. Suddenly he forgot Lake Superior and Mr. Olson's fishing business and embraced Ten Mile Lake wholeheartedly. There were some girls, too, but they didn't count. Stan Benbrook was also there, and two years later Dick Garbisch arrived with his Chris Craft. It didn't work very well, but that didn't bother him too much because when he was taking a young lady for a ride and the clutch refused to work, it was like running out of gas in a car.
Sam's sister Marnie also found girls to play with: Molly Brandt, Katie Benbrook, and Beth Carlson among them.
Sam's brother George was twelve years younger, and Sam tried to avoid him if possible because that was a lot of difference when one was sixteen and the other four.
There was always something to do. The Brandts had a tennis court with some problems. The court enclosure was chicken wire on some posts close to the sidelines and baseline. If they went for a wide ball they could lose some skin. The surface was just local dirt and hard to line. The lime they tried washed away in the rain so they put down tapes held by staples and sometimes tripped on loose tapes. However, they had a good time because they didn't know they were supposed to be miserable.
There were different kinds of boats on the lake but not like today. A few motor boats with ten horsepower motors were considered large but mostly people had rowboats and canoes and rowed or paddled wherever they wanted to go. Sam's family often rowed to Camp Beach (Hillaway) for picnics, sometimes with the Brandts. They would build fires and roast wieners. Sometimes they went to Batcheller's Bay across the lake.
They had to row if they went fishing along the reefs or in the bays. They caught crappies, much larger than what are caught today. Sam's family had a baby scale: some crappies weighed over two pounds. They could always catch enough for a meal for the family. There were "canvas canoes;" (fiberglass and aluminum were not available then). The Fahrs would canoe over to see friends and sometimes paddle to Long Bay and through the river to Birch Lake, where they would haul out the canoe at Shady Shores and carry it home. (The river was called "The Thoroughfare" then; now it is the "Boy River.")
Life preservers were not common in those days. Children were taught to swim and if a boat capsized, they were expected to hang on to the overturned boat or swim to shore. Parents would deliberately capsize the boat so the children could practice. Sam used the same method on his children when they were four, five, or six. The Brandt boys were excellent swimmers and left Sam way behind.
A rite of passage was to swim across the lake, over to Chariton Beach where Mr. Buck lived. He had a very pretty daughter but she was older than the boys.
Life at the lake was not all fun. The boys had important chores to perform which took up a certain amount of time every day. There was no running water so it had to pumped into pails and put on the porch for cooking and washing. Much of the bathing was done in the lake, and Sam's mother washed out baby George's diapers in the lake. (EPA Alert!) Cooking was by kerosene or wood and heating by wood in the fireplace or from the wood stove. Sam had to cut down the trees, preferably dead ones, saw them up, and split the logs. He had to carry the wood to fill the wood bins before he could go out with his friends, which was okay because they were doing the same chores. Sam learned to watch out for dead branches which were dangerous and not to cut down elm or ironwood trees. Elm won't split and ironwood earns its name.
Eventually Skelgas from the Skelly Oil Company became available, and the Fahrs got a gas range, a gas refrigerator, and gas lights which made reading at night a lot easier. They had to pipe the gas from the tanks into the house, and Al Woock showed Sam how to install the piping. The early cabins were quite small but the families often added rooms or porches. During construction or remodeling it often became evident that the buildings were far from square. When Sam decided to panel the living room he was told by Mr. Green at the hardware store in Hackensack to start in the middle and go to the corners. When he reached the northeast corner the last piece of paneling was about ten inches at the top and two inches at the bottom. Sam then installed some wide molding which hid the difference and looked pretty good. (One family developed an ingenious way of solving the space problem. They slept on mattresses on the floor in the all-purpose room. In the morning they hoisted the mattresses to the ceiling and went about the day's activities.)
School started later in those days, after the middle of September. The Fahrs stayed at the lake until school started. The weather was nice, but chilly, so to make the cabin warmer, the floors were covered with linoleum and ceilings were installed.
During the Depression, no one had much money so improvements were made gradually and much of the work was done by the families themselves. However, Al Woock was always around to give advice and lend a hand when needed. Al also raised some dairy cows on his farm and sold the milk. His cows were tuberculin tested, but the milk was not pasteurized. Sam did not know of anyone getting sick from that milk.
(This interview continues into Sam Fahr's adult life and his career. If you are interested in reading the complete interview, please contact Tom Cox.)
by George Brandt
October 19, 1919 - September 4, 2002
In 1928 I was a young boy summering with my family on the southeast shore of Ten Mile Lake when I first set foot on the Island. My father drove the family across the causeway, wheels partially below the water surface, to a Sunday dinner at Klose to Nature Kamp. A parrot named 'Polly' entertained guests in a birch-decorated lodge warmed by a massive stone fireplace. Little did I realize then how special the Island would become to our family for so many years!
But the Island was also a special place for the three families that preceded us.
Chauncey G. Hasbrouck was about 40 years old when he and his second wife Cora moved from Akeley to the west shore of Ten Mile Lake after his first wife died, leaving him with six young children. To homestead government land at that time one had to apply, improve and live on the site for at least seven years after which the U.S. Department of Interior would issue a "land patent." On August 2, 1915 Chauncey received title to the Island's 19 acres.
Around 1908 Chauncey built a very primitive cabin near the center of the Island, perhaps to satisfy homestead requirements. The remains of a small log cabin and the foundation of what might have been a barn can still be seen today. It is unlikely that he lived in this tiny cabin, for Chauncey eventually had 17 children and most of them lived on the Island from about 1908 to 1916. Visits to the Island from Chauncey's descendants have helped to complete an understanding of the Hasbrouck years. In the late 1970's while walking through the brush behind the Old Fireplace, Chauncey's daughter Minnie identified the foundation of the house she lived in as a child. She recalled some very brutal winters when she and her siblings had to sleep together to stay warm. With no indoor plumbing, someone had to chop a hole in the ice every day to draw drinking water from the lake. She also remembered riding in a sleigh to the one-room schoolhouse just south of the Island where she attended school with Al Woock who later became a prominent builder of cabins and fireplaces around TML.
Chauncey and Cora moved to Hackensack around 1916 after their house burned down. Chauncey and his predecessors may have benefited from logging on the Island, for only two huge White Pines remain from those years. They are about 300 years old. One, with a circumference of more than ten feet, is recorded as the largest tree on Ten Mile Lake.
Sometime around World War I Chauncey sold the Island to A. C. and Anna May "Robin" Robertson who came from Spirit Lake, Iowa.
The Robertsons developed a resort and named it Klose to Nature Kamp. The resort had about ten seasonal cabins for fishing and hunting. Most were one-room cabins that stood in a row along the Island's east bank. Cabin 9 has been preserved and is used today. The resort had a lodge with a public dining room and living quarters above. A second building contained a livery/carriage house, cannery, large sawdust pit for storing chunks of lake ice, and saloon on the second floor. The dining hall, saloon and nightlife at Klose to Nature Kamp attracted both vacationers and local residents.
A. C. Robertson sold his half-interest to Robin in 1921 in a divorce settlement for $1,843. At that time Robin was already the sole builder and proprietor of the resort. Her caring presence adds charm to the Island to this day. She was an avid gardener, planting wild grapes, lilies, and ferns that continue to grow throughout the Island. Her garden on the south side of the lodge provided fresh vegetables for the dining room. Without the benefit of powered cement mixers, she built a large decorative cement pond for fresh game fish and cement/stone steps bordered with decorative rocks and shells leading from the dining hall to the beach.
The resort must have been a lively place. Al Woock remembered attending lawn dances in front of the lodge. There were rumors of nudism on the Island during the Roaring 20's and bootleg liquor during Prohibition.
Robin later married George Bowman who was a butcher and later a cattle buyer in Pine River when the resort was flourishing in the 20's and 30's. He may have met Robin while delivering meats to the resort. With the Great Depression, Klose to Nature Kamp went into decline and was dealt a fatal blow when the lodge burned down in 1932. Only the foundation and majestic stone fireplace survived. The Bowmans soon abandoned the Island and moved to a farmhouse on what is now Lorraine Stromquist's property.
Owen Heusmann and Leonard Mersch, brothers-in-law, returned to St. Paul in the fall of 1945 after service in the Navy during WW II. They attended a career opportunities symposium at the Brown and Bigelow calendar company and were impressed by the "Own a Resort" presentation. Leonard, a policeman in St. Paul, joined Owen in an extensive tour of northern Minnesota in search of a resort. After visiting many sites, they stumbled onto the Island and the remnants of Klose to Nature Kamp. By the end of 1945 they had a contract-for-deed with the Bowmans. They started Wild Acres Resort the next spring. Leonard remained a policeman and Owen and Delores (Mersch) Heusmann attempted to put the new resort into profitable operation. It was a tremendous physical and financial strain. Leonard, who married in 1948, chose to get out of his investment. He sold his half interest to me in 1950 and Owen and Delores followed six months later.
BRANDT FAMILY YEARS
The opportunity to buy the Island was a dream come true. As a young boy summering at TML, I had often visited the abandoned Island, getting there in a homemade sailboat or 10 h.p. motor boat. My musings during those visits included prospective cabin sites and awe of the old fireplace and other relics of previous lives and loves there. In the summer of 1940 I was a sailing and swimming instructor at Camp Hillaway. At that time I tried without success to get the owners of Hillaway to visit the Island with me, establish a boys' camp there, and to hire me forever to be the waterfront director.
My wife Joan and I built a cabin in 1952. Joan and our five children summered on the Island, while I commuted from St. Paul every weekend. In 1953, I invited my brother Chris "Heidi" Brandt to build a cabin on the northwest point of the Island. Our cabins, built by Al Woock, grace the Island today. Heidi and his wife Janie brought their six children from Kansas City, Kansas to TML every summer.
The Island soon became the gathering place for the more than 30 Brandts who were scattered around TML in the 1950's and 1960's. Over the last 50 years many friends from around TML have also enjoyed the Island corn roasts, pig roasts and sing-a-longs at the Old Fireplace on the site of the burned-down lodge. Jazz festivals were annual events for many years. Another summer highlight for decades was the Fourth of July picnic when fireworks displays were launched from the Island to the delight of many friends and family from around the lake. The tradition was actually established by my father in the 1920's on the southeast shore of TML but continued from the Island beginning in the 1950's.
Six generations of Brandts have now enjoyed the Island. Joan and Heidi both died in 1997. Janie, with her grown children and their families, continues the tradition. In 1992, I transferred ownership of the Island to a partnership that includes my children, Marty, Christine, Jon, and Rebecca.
Note: Pictures of the Island from 1925 and other historical images of Ten Mile Lake and Hackensack can be found on the website of the Minnesota Historical Society: www.MNHS.org.
by Lorraine Stromquist
Ten Mile Lake, one of the deepest, cleanest, and clearest in the State of Minnesota, is considered relatively pristine. The lake headwaters the Boy River, which runs through a chain of 15 lakes before emptying into Leech Lake. The origin of Ten Mile Lake can be traced to three different glacial periods that covered the area, the last of which occurred some 10,000 years ago. The lake is thought to be an "ice block" lake, created when a retreating glacier left a huge block of ice in the cavity it had gouged; as the ice melted, the lake was formed.
Native American Settlements
Some of the stories told about the lake say that the Indians of the region refused to settle around the lake or even camp near it because they believed it to be inhabited by a monster or devil, and called it "Devil Lake." (Some residents in this century have claimed to see the monster, most recently Virginia Wagner, when fishing.) In spite of these stories, traces of early Native-American settlements are evident in the region: one between Ten Mile and Gadbolt Lakes, another in the Flower Pot Bay area, and possibly a third off lower Long Bay. The Indians are believed to have fished in the lake, picked berries, and collected maple sap for sugar. Willa Shonkwiler found a unique arrowhead on her land and "Cub" Stromquist found an anchor rock.
About 1990, John Alden found four small mounds on the ridge northwest of Flower Pot Bay. We believe they are burial mounds, and have not disturbed them but reported them to State archaeologists. The site has not been excavated. There may have been a temporary or permanent Native American settlement at Flower Pot, or on the flatland below the ridge; thus a logical burial site would have been the nearby hillside. In the past, archaeologists have checked the lowland going west from Flowerpot Bay and reported they had found evidence of Native American usage.
Near the start of the Boy River is a shallow stretch with a hard sandy bottom; this would be an easy crossing point. In 1975, the owners of a house on the west bank of the river dug under it to make a basement. There they discovered four skeletons, stacked one on another. Sheriff Chalish was notified; pictures and notes were taken, but the information has been lost or misplaced. The skeletons were sent to St. Paul, but no further information has been received.
Logging, Farming, and Tourism
Large-scale logging was underway at the turn of the century. While cutting activities were at their peak, Ten Mile Lake was an important artery for transporting logs to an established rail site.
As the logging faded, individuals seeking good farm land settled in and around the lake in early part of the 20th century. Some established homesteads including one on Angel Island, one just off Lundstrom's Bay, one along the North Shore, one on the South Shore, and one on what became the Albert Thomas farm on lower Long Bay. Other scattered farms existed in the area.
Tourism also became a new business following the waning of logging, as tourists were drawn by the clean and clear water of the lake which teemed with northern pike, bass, and walleyed pike. Resorts were established around the lake and individual summer cabins were built. During the 1930's, the drought and the Great Depression combined to blunt enthusiasm for vacation properties but once World War II ended, buying resumed and gained momentum.
Today, few resorts remain; the number of permanent homes is increasing; the rest of the shoreline is dotted with seasonal residences; and only a scattering of shoreline parcels remain undeveloped.
Early resorts and campgrounds bordering Ten Mile Lake include the island resort, Ya-ma-na-Me-nis-ing. Anna Marie Robertson purchased the island in 1921 and developed it into a resort. Its name was eventually changed to Klose-to-Nature Camp. It was sold in 1947 to Owen and Delores Heusmann and named Wild Acres Resort. In 1951 George Brandt, Jr. bought the island, then named Angel Island (and now called by the family Brandts' Island). Resorts and camps numbered up to twenty, a few of which include Happiness Resort, Hillaway Girls' Camp, Pinewood Resort, and Quietwoods Campground and Resort, each with its own intriguing history, too detailed to include here. (A proposed history book of Ten Mile Lake is to be written in the near future which will describe each one.)
There were four one-room schools for the children of early pioneers who arrived after the lumbermen had logged the area. Lothrup School in Hiram Township opened in 1900, but in 1905 the school was moved to property donated by Anton Linneberg at the south end of the section of Boy River which joins Ten Mile lake to Birch Lake, near the bridge on the east shore of the river on County Road #6, now known as Lower Ten Mile Lake Road NW.
Another school was the Martin School, one mile south of Ten Mile lake, which opened around 1914 and was named for local residents Victor and Tilde Martin. It closed in 1921, but the building was used as the Hiram Township Hall until 1967, when it burned down and all of the township records were lost. The present Hiram Township Hall was rebuilt on the same site.
Lakeview School is the only one-room school in Hiram Township still standing, but it has been incorporated into a larger home owned by W. T. McGill on the southwest corner of Ten Mile Lake on property purchased by the McGills in 1956.
The fourth area school was Shofner School in Shingobee Township, on the west side of Big Bass Lake, near the home of early resident Mitt Shofner. It operated from 1913 to 1918. Mitt's son Basil Shofner, and Basil's nephews Jessie Eckman and the late Jim Petrie, have worked for north shore residents.
Teachers boarded with near-by residents for the school term. They signed contracts stating they would not marry, smoke, or drink. Popular accepted activities were Friday night dances and winter skating parties. At one time, due to reorganization and consolidation of one-room schools, Hackensack's school was much larger than Walker's.
Ten Mile Lake Association, Inc.
In 1946 a homeowners' association was formed which combined both Birch and Ten Mile Lakes. This joint arrangement ended, and in 1958 the Ten Mile Lake Association, Inc., was organized. The Association now has over 680 members, both resident and non-resident. Over the years the Association has worked closely with DNR, studying and improving fishing conditions, launching environmental studies and sponsoring concurrent educational activities on behalf of its members.
The Association has adopted a long-range management plan; primary goals are to protect the lake's water quality, preserve its fish and wildlife habitat, and, if possible, enhance the entire area's natural environment. Ten Mile Lake's development as an area of homes, cabins, and a limited number of resorts and camps strongly affects the Hackensack area. It contributes a diversified group of people who actively participate in social, religious, and business activities of the local community.
Rail Stops - by Sue Eikenberry, Fall 2006
The Cass County Pioneer of March 24,1899 showed these stops on the afternoon schedule of the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway:
Hunters 4:34 (name later changed to Cyphers)
Leech Lake Bridge 4:42
The Lothrop Spur was about nine miles long, running east to Moccasin Lake. Operations continued on it for four years.
Hackensack Post Office - by Sue Eikenberry, Fall 2006 - From an article in the Walker Pilot-Independent, written by editor Paul Nye, in the early 90's:
The Hackensack Post Office was started June 21,1888 and has served the Hackensack area for more than one hundred years with only a brief three-year break in 1896 when the mail went to Lathrop (Lothrop).
Benbrook Time Capsule - by Sue Eikenberry, Summer 2006 - Information provided by Sandra Birkholz
In 1987 in the summer following our purchase of our cabin from the Jameson family, we met a man strolling down the path in front of our cabin. He introduced himself as Stan Benbrook and said he was looking for special landmarks from his childhood on the lake. He told us that in 1933 when our cabin was being built by Al Woock, an aspirin bottle was cemented into the stone foundation with only the metal cap exposed.
We looked among the stones of the foundation, found the gray tin bottle cap, unscrewed it, and then with a tweezers pulled out a tiny piece of paper. A very young Stanley Benbrook had neatly written the following information:
Started - July 17, 1933
Finished - August 10, 1933
Owned by W.H. Jameson
Written by Stanley Benbrook
Dr. Walter T. Walker - by Sue Eikenberry, Spring 2006 - Information from the Walker Pilot-Independent, May 31, 2001
Dr. Walter T. Walker, grandson of lumber baron T.B. Walker, for whom the city of Walker was named, died May 6, 2001, at age 89 at his Minneapolis home. He was a 1935 graduate of Princeton University and a 1940 graduate of Harvard Medical School. He served in the pathology department of the University of Minnesota from 1942-1948, then devoted the rest of his professional career to family business pursuits. He was treasurer and director of the Shasta Forest Co. of Redding, CA.
He was also vice-president of the T.B. Walker Foundation, a director of the Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Foundation (named for his parents), The Walker Arts Center (in which his grandfather invested some of his wealth), the Minneapolis Foundation, Abbot Northwestern Hospital and other charitable causes. T.B. Walker and H.C. Akeley formed the Red River Lumber Co. and operated it in Akeley from 1899 to 1916, when he moved his lumber interests west, founding the town of Westwood, CA.
Minnesota Eats Out - by Sue Eikenberry, Spring 2006
In the book, Minnesota Eats Out, An Illustrated History, by Kathryn and Linda Koutsky, there is a lovely dining room photo on page 102 of the "Klose to Nature Kamp, near Hackensack, 1925." We know this as the "Sunday Dinner" spot and lodge on Angel Island on the north shore of Ten Mile. In other family history accounts it was mentioned as practically a whole day's activity, to row there, eat, and row back to their cabin again. Evidently it was very worth the trip!
From a Conversation with the late Fred Martin - by Murry Towler, Spring 2006
Frank and Ida Frederick owned an 80-acre farm on the southeast shore of Ten Mile Lake. He and Walter Witte hauled gravel across the ice to Kenfield Bay to make a beach in front of Kenfield Bay Lodge.
The Beginnings of the Ten Mile Lake Association - by Sue Eikenberry, History Committee, Fall 2005
The Ten Mile Lake Association was first formed in 1946 by Al Woock, Bob Mayer, and a few others, and included Birch Lake. In 1951, that association fell apart - their work to get a walleye population seemed to be benefiting only downstream lakes. TMLA came back to life about 1958 without the Birch Lake members. Records were kept of the Board meetings, but there were no general newsletters that we can find from that period. The earliest Newsletter in our archives is for March, 1971. If anyone has a newsletter earlier than March, 1971, the History Committee would like very much to see it. Please call Lorraine Stromquist, Chair of the History Committee, 675-6813.
Fish Stocking - excerpted by Sue Eikenberry, Summer 2005
From an October 14, 1971 Board Meeting Report:
2890 stunted walleyes were placed in TML by the fisheries department crew from Walker.
From the August 20, 1971 Board Meeting Report:
It was moved and seconded to continue the rainbow trout stocking program. It was suggested a gate be placed across the Boy River to prevent trout fromgoing downstream into Birch Lake.
From Sylvia Haase in 1997 - excerpted by Sue Eikenberry, Summer 2005 - Her family had a store on the north shore, and she remembers "paying the carpenters $.30 per hour. I remember making homemade ice cream every day. Little Otto (Schneider), who an eighth grader at the time, would crank the ice cream freezer every day, including weekends. We would make three gallons at a time, and sometimes make another three gallons. I remember one summer when a boy and girl who worked for us each gained 25 pounds!"
Boat Parades - by Sue Eikenberry, 2005 - In past years there have been many 4th of July Boat Parades on Ten Mile, especially on the north shore. Why don't you and your family plan to be in one this year, on north or south shore. Decorate your boat with flags and patriotic streamers and join in the fun, around 10 a.m.
Sailing Trophy History - (From "Ten Mile Lake Yacht Club Trophies" by Mimi Garbisch Carlson.)
Sailing "C" Boats began in the early 1930s. The first old silver trophy originally belonged to H. F. "Hub" Garbisch and was a trophy his show chickens won at Madison Square Garden. It is now used as 1st place prize for the entire summer season (which usually consists of three named regattas and one unnamed regatta.)
National Geographic Photo - by Sue Eikenberry, 2005 - The March 1935 National Geographic magazine features an article on "Minnesota, Mother of Lakes and River," by Granville Smith, in which TML is mentioned. We cannot reprint it for you due to copyright considerations but you may research it on your own. There is a photo showing a string of large pike, and one gigantic one, caught on TML, and showing people and a cabin in the background. It would be wonderful if someone could identify the people and cabin and share that information with the History Committee!
The Camp Iowa Store: Provided by Sue Eikenberry, History Committee (From Ella Rasmussen's memories of 1931) - 2004
The store at Camp Iowa was called "The Honor Store." The sales pads were on the counter, and there were no clerks. We went into the store, picked up our groceries, and wrote the items on the pad. Later Edith and Bob Jensen filled in the price3s. When we were ready to leave [the lake], we went to the house and paid for our groceries for the seven, ten, or fourteen days we had been there.
Sand Trout: by Sue Eikenberry, History Committee - 2004
From an account on the Mullendore property written by Cyril Grand Hedderly, who lived there from 1906 to 1923: Cyril reports catching Northerns at that time of 20 to 22 pounds. They called these fish "Sand Trout," and they sliced them like steak.
Memories of 1931 - From Ella Rasmussen
Every Sunday morning at 9 a.m. Rev. Hammond from the Methodist Church of Walker came to lead us in our Sunday School at Camp Iowa. Ethel Jensen led the singing and played the organ. Of course, you might know - no men. They were all out fishing. From Lydia Thomas, wife of Albert Thomas: I remember the year Charles was a baby and how I had to get up during the night with a kerosene lamp and light a fire to warm the milk for him, often with a blanket wrapped around me because of the cold. It was so cold in the house that winter that I had to oil the baby every day for 5 weeks instead of giving him a bath.
By Natalie Holle, September, 2004
OUR INTRODUCTION TO TEN MILE LAKE began with the phone call from old neighbors of St. Louis Park days. "Where are you two? We're all at Ten Mile Lake at a resort which our friends, Joe and Phyllis Bock, just bought. Everyone here is from Iowa. The fishing is great. The beach is perfect. You'll love it!" Right they were! Earl and I and our four children had just returned to Des Moines exhausted from a 4 week camping trip to California. We were ready for a Minnesota cabin. We had heard praises of Ten Mile Lake from Tom Cox's father, Harold Cox, when we lived in the Twin Cities in the 1950's. It was time to see for ourselves. We made our reservation for August 1967 and the rest is history.
IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS we returned several limes a year at different seasons to Bock's Blue Haven on the north shore of Ten Mile Lake. One Christmas a friend gave us a Better Homes and Gardens book entitled Fish and Fishing by Maynard Reese, an award winning wildlife artist-author from Des Moines (Meredith Printing, 1963). This authoritative hook on fresh water angling contained many photographs. Our youngest son was looking at it one day and declared, "There's a picture of our boat and the resort in this book." And there it was: the familiar patio, the blue cabins, and the boat that went with our favorite cabin! In 1972 the Bock's decided to sell four of the cabins. We were happy to purchase our favorite cabin on October 2, 1972. It was a dream come true!
A SEARCH OF OUR ABSTRACT SHOWS Thomas B. Walker acquired the large tract of land which included our property in 1887 from the US Govt. Another familiar name, Healey C. Akeley, appears on the Abstract as his co-partner. The abstract refers to legal struggles of their heirs, a foreclosure, and a sale in 1937 to Andrew and Bessie Christie who farmed the land and cut ice from the lake for sale in the summer; they packed it in straw and stored it underground. Spencer and Alvina Kubo purchased the farm from the Christies in 1947. In 1953 the beach portion was sold to Frederic and Macie Zweifel who developed a small family resort on the beautiful sand beach. After the death of Fred, Macie kept one large lot and sold the resort to Joe and Phyllis Bock in 1966. They called their resort Bock's Blue Haven, which they operated until they retired in October of 1972 when they subdivided it into separate properties.
OURS WAS THE NEWEST of the four cabins, but we are not sure what year it was built. We think it was early in the 1960s. A man appeared at our door one day about 20 years ago and asked if the Zweifels had built our cabin. He and his wife had spent their honeymoon here the year it was built. Unfortunately I didn't write down what year that was.
WE PROBABLY HAD MORE BUILDING PERMITS than anyone on the North Shore because we undertook a project a year for many years. First we added a fireplace surrounded by tiles depicting many of the birds seen here. Next came a utility room for storage. A need for still more storage found us building a garage designed by a friend, Des Moines architect Bill Meehan. It’s a split level design with a sleeping loft and 1/2 bath for family and guests. Ed Ytzen built the garage and also did some of our remodeling. He commented on Fred Zweifel's extensive use of screws in the construction. Macie once told me she and Fred had planned to live in this solidly built cabin.
AS OUR RETIREMENT APPROACHED IN 1980, we became convinced we wanted to retire to Ten Mile despite Des Moines associates who couldn't believe anyone would move north to retire. Both bedrooms were too small, so we added a large addition to one bedroom creating a larger bedroom and a walk-through den and eventually a second bath. The smallest project was a fish cleaning spot which houses an old farm sink from an Iowa farm house. Our largest project was adding a living room with a Hearthstone wood stove. Joe Major helped Earl with the finishing work on that project. The dining room fireplace was later converted to gas and dual fuel electric heat was added to each room. With added insulation, the cabin became a year-round house.
EARLY PHOTOS SHOW A SMALL Little Blue Cabin in a field of tall grass with tiny pine trees we had planted soon after buying the place. The year we bought it, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. That day, when bagging the tall grass we had cut, I lost my diamond ring. We retrieved the bags of grass from the Hackensack dump and looked for it in vain. Earl borrowed a metal detector from Cub Stromquist to try to find it. Suddenly the metal detector started clicking madly. He stopped and dug down and hit metal. It was not my ring but a large metal box with a lid which had been flattened. Certain he had found "buried treasure", Earl pried it open. It was filled with dried horse manure! That was how we discovered the probable location of Christie's barn. My ring was never found.
TEN MILE LAKE IS A WONDERFUL PLACE for retirement. We soon got very involved in wild ricing, tapping maple trees and making syrup, cross-country skiing, the activities of the Union Congregational Church in Hackensack, and the Countryside Co-op which had been started by fellow Ten Miler, George Hoppe. Earl served as Manager and Treasurer for about 20 years. Some people still call him "Mr. Co-op" or the "Earl of Cribbage," titles to which he readily responds with a laugh. (As I write this, he just got his first "29" hand - the highest possible in cribbage. Perhaps he'll now want to be called the "King of Cribbage"!)
THE NORTH TEN MILE SANITARY SEWER PROJECT and the current changes to Hwy 50 have been signs of inevitable changes happening in the area. But Ten Mile Lake remains a very special place for us, our children and our grandchildren.
THE HOUSE AND GARAGE have been painted brown for many years. The neighborhood has seen vast changes. The tiny pines we planted have grown to mature trees. We, too, have aged. Viewing magnificent sunsets from our floor-to-ceiling windows, we truly feel we have been blessed to live On Golden Pond.
 In a note in the fall of 2005, Natalie wrote: “I see I said in the story that we first came in 1967, but I don’t think that is right. I’m pretty sure we went to Chicago to pick up David (who was a junior in high school and had been attending a summer program at the U. of Chicago) and then went on to Door County, Wisconsin for our vacation in 1967.”
by Warren Goss
The last Newsletter told of some mysterious occurrences on Ten Mile Lake . . . . Here is another:
It happened a dozen years ago on an exceptionally warm spring afternoon, so warm, in fact, that I donned my swimming shorts and went about readying the dock for installation as soon as the ice went out. The ice in fact was already moving, propelled by a west wind, and by midafternoon the ice sheet had cleared my shore and the west half of the lake was open.
Temptation moved me to launch my old wooden boat, put on a motor, and go for a joy ride with our puppy, Maggie. I toured the shoreline, and waved occasional greetings here and there to friends I hadn't seen during the winter months. It was exhilarating to be skimming again over the open water.
The circumnavigation ended along the opposite shore when I reached the still retreating ice sheet, so I headed across the lake for home, keeping a respectful distance from the ice field and a sharp lookout for any stray icebergs. The hilarious voyage was interrupted abruptly when I noticed that Maggie was no longer aboard. Gazing astern, I could see her little head bobbing in the waves, so I swung around and returned on a rescue mission.
Then things happened with remarkable suddenness. I was on the ice sheet sliding at full speed. The boat slid and sli.i.i.id and kept right on sliding, finally coasting to a standstill in a vast nowhere, far from any open water. It was like a bad dream. I muttered to myself, "How in the (expletive deleted) did I get HERE? This is ridiculous. No one will ever believe anything this stupid! Now how do I get home?" Upon disembarkation I found the footage chilly and slippery. I pushed and pushed toward some faraway open water, with an occasional dunking at numerous soft spots. To make a dumb story short, eventually I relaunched the boat off the edge of the ice sheet, retrieved one soaked and frigid puppy, and then shivering and with teeth chattering, steered a bee-line for home and a hot shower.
So, in case you did witness someone nearly naked running around barefoot on the ice a mile from shore, now you know the wherefore of another odd-ball occurrence on Ten mile Lake.
by Megan Speers
Raymond G. Johnson was born to immigrant parents in 1908. His parents, Andrew Johnson and Emma Rasmusson, both traveled to the United States from Sweden in the beginning of the twentieth century. He grew up in a farming family but decided to go into business when he was old enough. In 1936 he married my grandmother, Perle Bellig. Eventually, Ray and Perle moved to Lamberton, Minnesota where they had three daughters: Judy, Jane and Jeanne. Ray owned his own farming implement company and Ford dealership.
In the middle 1940's, Raymond G. Johnson first brought his family to Ten Mile Lake for a short summer vacation. The family quickly fell in love with Ten Mile and decided to return every summer. Their decision was helped by the fact that two other Lamberton families, the Kuehls and the Stahlers, also decided to make Ten Mile their summer home. In 1948, Ray purchased 125 feet of lakefront property on Long Beach for $5.00 a foot from Mrs. Siqveland. The lot was originally larger, but some was split off to the Ted Kuehl family (currently the Jim and Anita Thomas' cabin, just south of the Johnson cabin). The Stahler family built a cabin further north on Long Beach, now the Swan cabin. Mrs. Siqveland would not sell the beachfront property without the back ten acres, however, so Ray also purchased that land for $140. Six other families on the beach agreed to split the $140 and leave the land undeveloped, as it remains today.
During the summer of 1948, Ray sketched out a design for the cabin he wanted to build and ordered logs from Washington State. That fall Ray, with the help of a carpenter named Carl Urness and some friends, built the cabin. It took them ten days to build the five-room cabin. There was no running water, and the three girls shared a bedroom with bunkbeds. An outhouse was built and named "Li'l Sweden" by Urness, who wanted to tease Ray and his Swedish father about their heritage.
As the three girls grew up, Perle packed them off each June for the summer at the lake. Ray, back running his farm implement company in Lamberton, would come up every possible weekend and vacation. Sometimes he even chartered a small plane to get him there faster. He would land in Backus and then hitch a ride into Hackensack or to his cabin, delighting his three daughters with the surprise. Judy, Jane and Jeanne made fast friends at the lake, including the Garbisch girls (Marlou, Mimi, and Marcia), Karen Lane, and Janey Anderson, all of whom still have cabins on or visit Ten Mile today. As the girls grew older, they waitressed in town at night, slept late, and skied all afternoon.
Along the way, the cabin experienced changes. In 1951, running water was added to the cabin and the girls original bedroom was changed to a bathroom (although "Li'l Sweden" still stands today!). In 1954, Ray bought a barely used wooden speedboat in Little Falls for $800.00, motor and trailer included. The boat was a fourteen foot Larson Runabout with a Johnson thirty horsepower motor. On its first launch, Raymond was horrified when it sank to the bottom. Fortunately, the boat sank simply because it had been out of the water for too long and the wood had shrunk. Once it was recovered, the boat was fine and Judy, Jane and Jeanne could often be seen in it or behind it on a pair of water skis. In 1973, the guest cabin was built to accommodate the increasing number of grandchildren spending time at Ten Mile Lake during the summer. Also in the 1970s, Ray retired, sold the wooden speedboat, and bought a pontoon for fishing.
Perle died in 1996 and is missed every year. Because of health limitations, in 2001 Ray was not at the cabin for the first time since the 1940's. Judy, Jane and Jeanne and their families hold strong connections to Ten Mile and spend summers there still.
Judy, the oldest daughter, met her first husband Fritz Kilander during summers at Ten Mile. They had two children, Heather and Trip. After their divorce, both Fritz and Judy remarried. Fritz and his current wife Bernadette established a permanent home on Ten Mile Lake and Heather and Trip spent many summers with them growing up. Recently, Heather and her husband Mark Stonacek bought the Hillaway Camp owner's cabin (in the 1990s) and now spend summers there with their sons Raymond and Stuart. They also bought back Ray's original wooden speedboat, now beautifully restored, from the Ten Mile family who had purchased it from Ray. In addition, Trip, his wife Heather, and their children Quad, Cannon and Holly, visit Ten Mile and their extended family a few times each year.
Judy married Forrest Chaffee and they have rented various cabins on Ten Mile for many summers. Forrest's daughter Kris met her husband Jeff Bates at Ten Mile, as Jeff's mother owns a cabin on Ten Mile as well. They, along with their two daughters Sara and Natalie, recently built a permanent home just south of the original Johnson family cabin on Long Beach. Forrest's son John, his wife Tracy and their three children currently live in California but still make it to Ten Mile at least once a year. Judy and Forrest now divide their summers between visits to the Chaffee-Bates home and the Stonacek cabin.
The middle daughter, Jane, bought the Johnson family cabin from Ray and Perle in the early 1980s. (Ray and Perle continued to spend summers there for many more years.) Jane and her husband Ken Odell now live at the cabin each summer, and plan on spending even more time there as they have both recently retired. Jane and Ken have updated the old cabin in many ways and in 1998 replaced the guest cabin with a brand new garage and second cabin, with another kitchen, bathroom and a beautiful deck overlooking the lake. Jane's daughter Becca, along with her husband Lance and children Emma and Andrew, spend a good part of their summer at Ten Mile with the Odells. Jane's younger daughter Megan and her husband Steve also visit regularly and look forward to bringing their new baby Lucy there for the first time in the summer of 2002.
Ray and Perle's youngest daughter Jeanne married Frank Agnello and they currently live in Olympia, WA. Despite the distance, they still travel for a summer vacation in northern Minnesota every year. Jeanne and Frank's daughter Amy, her husband Michael Lowsky, and their daughter Luna also visit Ten Mile from their home in Olympia, Washington. Raymond and Perle Johnson left a legacy when they built their cabin on Ten Mile Lake. Over fifty years later, all of their descendants continue to include Ten Mile as a major part of their lives. The Johnson family children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will all agree that Ten Mile is a very special place.
From an account of the late George Brandt's history of Angel Island, condensed by Sue Eikenberry. (Summer 2006)Anna May Robertson was born in 1876, and lived in the Spirit Lake, Iowa area. She was married to A.C. Robertson at the time they bought the Island on a contract for deed from Chauncey Hasbrouck about 1914. A.C. Robertson sold his undivided half interest to Anna May at the time of their divorce in 1921 for the princely sum of $1843.42.
At that time, Anna May, known to her friends as Robin, was already the sole proprietor and builder of Klose-to-Nature Kamp, the resort she created on the Island . Her sense of beauty and love for the Island is still visible. She was an avid gardener. Now wild grapes and lilies exist willy-nilly throughout the Island . Cement steps leading from near the Lodge to the north beach are bordered with pretty stones and shells, as is a large, square fish pond near the kitchen of the resort. Without the benefit of electricity or power cement mixers, she added TLC to her improvements. Robin’s caring presence endures, and adds charm to the ambiance of the entire Island .
Al Woock, famous fireplace and cabin builder, farmer, and early area resident, told of attending lawn dances near the front of the resort. Sunday dinners were served for area guests in the beautifully decorated dining room. Their parrot, named Polly, survived for 30 years.
George Bowman was a resident, butcher, and later a cattle buyer in Pine River when Klose-to-Nature Kamp was flourishing in the 20’s and 30’s. He and Robin shared birth dates, bonded rapidly and were married in the 30’s, long delayed until religious restraints of divorce were resolved by the death of A.C. Robertson. With the Great Depression and drought starting in 1928, the resort went into a decline, finalized tragically by a fire that destroyed the lodge in 1932. Only the majestic fireplace and chimney remained. The Bowmans soon abandoned the Island and moved to a small house on what is now Lorraine Stromquist’s property. When that house burned down in 1953, the parrot again survived and moved with George and Robin Bowman to Akeley. Robin died in 1957, George 4 years later. They are buried at the Oakdale Cemetery in Akeley.
From Lorraine Stromquist: The Bowmans owned many household antiques and were acquainted with and loved by many in the area. According to Lorraine ’s friend, the late Opal Roby, Robin often painted porcelain dishes and wares and loved horses and horseback riding. She rode extensively on the large fields, hills and valleys on Lorraine ’s property. She continued to ride horses to age 82 until she fell and broke a hip. Again, according to Opal, one of the last statements made by her was “Oh what a beautiful land God has given us.”
by Tom Cox, with assistance from Dave Brandt, Jim Kohl, John Bryngelson and Fritz Kilander
For a number of Ten Mile's long-time south shore residents, many happy memories are of Doug Kohl, who died last October of pancreatic cancer. He was 79. (Doug's obituary can be found here.)
Doug arrived at Ten Mile in 1940 as a teenager when his parents, Wes and Amy Kohl, purchased a cabin at the Shady Shores development just east of the former Camp Hillaway.
It was also in 1940, when I was five, that my family first visited Ten Mile, renting a cabin at Fernhurst, just west of Hillaway. Soon I was old enough to take delighted notice of the little hydroplane - "Bug," Doug called it - that on calm mornings often came zipping by our dock. One day I was thrilled to have the Bug turn my way, buzz in and stop. That was Doug's and my first meeting (he would have been about 20). Hardly had we said hello than he offered me a ride. Of course, I accepted. Off we roared, skimming over the water at what seemed like lightning speed (sans life jacket - no one seemed to worry about them much in those days). So began one of the most influential friendships of my childhood.
As it happened, my parents, Harold and Virginia Cox, were close friends of Larry and June Bryngelson, near neighbors of the Kohls and next-door neighbors to George and Gertrude Brandt, whose son, Dave was a good friend of Doug's. When we visited the Bryngelson's, I often hung around the Brandt boat house watching Dave and Doug work on one of their boat-related projects.
In those days, there was a sign on the outside of the boathouse:
BRANDT-KOHL BOATWORKS C
SPEEDBOAT RIDES, 25 CENTS EACH.
One of Doug's boats was a beautiful wooden 12-foot Larson runabout powered by a "war surplus" 22-horsepower Johnson outboard, the same motor, I believe, that powered Bug I (and its successor, Bug II). I recall thrilling rides in that boat. (I don't recall ever having anteed up the 25 cents.) Doug would drive at speed (probably 21 mph) and then suddenly make a sharp turn, so that the gunnel I was sitting against dipped below the wake. I was thrilled and frightened by those high-speed turns, but Doug assured me that we wouldn't capsize.
Quite a few of us along the south shore learned to water ski behind Doug's runabout. According to Dave, Doug may have had Ten Mile's first water skis. He made them himself by shaping a plain board and then gluing, screwing and bracing a short board on the front to form the tip. The "shoes" were an old pair of moccasins nailed on the boards. They didn't really hold one's feet in very well, but they were safe, because one's feet would slip out quite readily in a fall. Doug could drop one ski and ski on just the other, on which he nailed another moccasin behind the first one. He also built a single ski about 15 inches wide and only 4 feet long with two moccasins side by side. He made the front of the ski by gluing multiple layers of three-quarter inch boards together and then planing them to a nice curve.
I was intensely interested in "Bug I" and "Bug II." When I was about 12, Doug offered to design a "bug" for me. The idea was that I was going to build it myself, but in fact in the summer of '47 or '48 Doug spent a great deal of time under the white pine in front of our cabin with me and my Dad working on that boat. It was really Doug who built it more than we. In later years my sons Geoff and Dave and I went on to build two hydroplanes. But it was Doug who first inspired my interest in boats with his Bug I and Bug II back in the mid-forties.
In time, Doug's interest shifted from power boating to sailing. Dave Brandt recalls that after Doug began to concentrate on catamarans in the early 70's, he never ran his runabout again. He gave his motor to Bill Rumpel, a young neighbor, and helped Bill build a hydroplane for it. Meanwhile, Doug hauled his boat into the woods where it lay for about 20 years. About 10 years ago, Doug let Dave remove some of the hardware. Then Doug took a big saw and cut the boat up into pieces about two feet long and took them to the landfill. "Why he didn't sell the boat in the beginning is a mystery."
Doug's first catamaran, of his own design, was, as Dave describes it, "a heavy old monster made of Masonite." I remember being impressed that he could design and build such a craft, which was stable and swift, and sailed circles around the C boats on the lake. I'll never forget the moonlight cruise on which Doug took me and my wife, Sarah, when we were on our honeymoon at Ten Mile in 1960.
Since his shoreline was rocky and steep, to store his catamaran Doug built a tall wooden A-frame anchored in a concrete foundation at the water's edge. Dave recalls that with a big winch, Doug would swing the A-frame out, hook the catamaran to it and winch up the frame and with it the boat until the frame was vertical. The boat simply hung there in the air, safe from winds and waves.
Doug got rid of his first cat one winter by dragging it out on the ice and setting it on fire (no longer an environmental "best practice"!). Eventually Doug bought commercially made NACRA catamarans, and for those he built a wooden ramp on which to secure them.
Doug's sailing wasn't limited to Ten Mile. According to his son, Jim, "The big deal was the Lake of the Woods International Sailing Regatta. . . . The race would start at Kenora, Canada and last a week with 5 days of racing 20-30 miles per day." In 1967, Doug and his daughter, Nancy, sailed in the Regatta, but the results are unknown. Then, in 1970, Doug and Jim sailed to first place with 69 boats in the race. "The boat was the Bug IV, designating the fourth major incarnation of Doug's always evolving catamaran."
In those "early" days, it wasn't uncommon for the young people to gather for evening parties on the east shore. Though I was ten years his junior, Doug would sometimes offer to pick me up in his runabout. I remember his bringing me back across the water late at night, under a starlit sky, with lightning flashing on the far horizon, and wondering whether I'd arrive home safe and sound. I always did. Doug, following in the footsteps of this educator-musician-father, was also a keyboardist. I remember his wonderful riffs on the Hammond at gatherings in his cabin.
In 1960, John Bryngelson moved from his family's south shore cabin to his own cabin on the north shore. Last fall, John wrote: "My memories of Doug go back to my teenage years at Ten Mile Lake. Doug and his friend, Dave Brandt, taught me how to water ski and gave me many superb rides behind their speedboats. It was always a treat when Doug would come walking down the front path by the lake and could be enticed in to my parents' cabin. He was knowledgeable about so many subjects and conveyed it in such a gentle and kind way."
Later last fall John shared another memory: "...(Doug) was known as the 'Ten Mile Lake Monster' to my kids. When we would come across the lake to visit my parents and slowed down as we approached their dock, if Doug was in the water he would scare my kids by thrashing around in the lake and shouting that he was the Ten Mile Lake Monster. ..."
About Doug's marriage, Dave Brandt recalls that Doug and Marian eloped and were married in Iowa in The Little Brown Church in the Vale, with Dave serving as Doug's best man.
In 1980, Doug met long-time Ten Mile resident Fritz Kilander. Fritz wrote to me in February:
On Ten Mile Lake having fun, out playing with the wind in a Hobie Cat one day in the summer of 1980; when out of nowhere a big white Catamaran flew by me like if I was standing still. It was long and wide with "5.5" on the sides. This was my introduction to Doug Kohl and his sailboat and the start of a one-of-a-kind friendship.
Nineteen years later, in May, 1999, Doug wrote to Fritz:
Hope the winter went well for you. I put my dock in the lake at the end of April thinking that the lake level wouldn't rise until June when we usually have a lot of rain! So, I rushed up there last Thursday and put 100# of weight on the end so the whitecaps from the northwest wind wouldn't damage anything.
I'm writing to you to know if you would like another catamaran to add to your beach! My dermatologist has recommended that I stay out of the sun...that sun block just won't do. So reluctantly, I must give up sailing.
The NACRA 5.5 has seats and is not fitted for trapezes. The trampoline is in good shape. The sail is used, of course, but is in good shape.
If you think you might be interested, go over and take a look. The mast is up and rigged so it is ready to go. Of course, if you want it, we could sail it over to your place. It is designed to be a single handed boat but it works well with two people. I won't set a price; I'd consider it a gift, if you want it. I'd like someone, such as yourself, who likes the thrill of sailing a cat to have the boat.
Then, in July of that same summer, Doug wrote again:
I've enclosed a little history of the 5.5. I borrowed a trailer to haul the boat (in boxes) to Ten Mile and when I returned the trailer the dealer's place was surrounded by police ... they had gone out of business. I almost lost my investment. ... If I had been a day later...
I do have a favor to request from you. A little later in August I'd appreciate you to tow my rowing boat over to your place and let me store it over winter.
I'll get in touch the next time I'm at the cabin.
Doug never again sailed his beloved catamaran; he never retrieved his rowboat, and thus made a gift of it, as well, to Fritz.
I was deeply saddened when Dave Brandt alerted me to Doug's death last fall. For many years Doug and his family were a gracious presence on Ten Mile, and Doug himself was a profound and beloved influence in the lives of many of us now older folks who were fortunate in the "early years" to have summered on the south shore and to have counted Doug Kohl as our neighbor and friend.
Amy’s husband, Kenneth Knopf, was a good friend of Dick Garbisch. They were classmates and friends all the way from kindergarten in Austin, MN, through Carleton College and after. During college they were both involved in sports: Dick was a swimmer and Ken played tennis. Amy and Ken visited Dick at Ten Mile for the first time even before they were married, probably in about 1938. They married in 1940 and after that they continued to visit over the years. Amy remembers meeting Jo Edwards on Dick’s tennis court in the 1960s when the Edwards were renting at Woocks.
Ken and Amy finally bought on the lake in 1977 when Bob Crabb asked them to be one of the partners to buy Camp Hillaway. Bob was the brother of Marge Garbisch, Dick’s wife. When Bob arranged to buy the camp he asked 5 couples to go in with him. They each chose land to build on and held some of the camp land in common and sold a few more building lots. The Knopfs built where the old shower house was located and added on to and renovated that and made it into a guest house and then built a main cabin. Al Hardy was the builder and Burton Woock was the plumber. Their neighbor to the west was Gutman. A few years later his cabin was sold to Eric and Mimi Garbisch Carlson.
Although Ken and Amy have 2 sons, Jim b.1942 and Richard b.1945, by the time they bought at the lake their sons were grown and so didn’t grow up coming to 10 Mile and never spent much time here. Jim Knopf is a landscape architect in Boulder, CO, and has written two books about waterwise gardening: The Xeriscape Flower Gardener: A Waterwise Guide For The Rocky Mountain Region, and Waterwise Landscaping With Trees, Shrubs, And Vines: A Xeriscape Guide For The Rocky Mountain Region, California, And The Desert Southwest. Richard Knopf lives in Wisconsin and has a son, Levon, age 20.
Unfortunately, in 1995 Ken died. Amy came up for 2 more summers in their cabin but found it increasingly difficult. She said there was a bear which used to wander the shore. Mimi Garbisch would call and say, the bear just left here and is headed your way. Then Amy would watch for him and keep her little dog inside until he’d moved on. Then she would call the next neighbor, Barbara Black, and warn her that the bear was on his way. She also had bats and one night had one in her bedroom. She went to the kitchen to get a strainer to catch him with but when she got back he had flown out of the room so she closed the door and went to sleep only to wake in the morning to find the bat hanging on the curtain in her bedroom.
Once when she had just arrived at the cabin she put out a bird feeder in back and then walked around to the front to put out some flowers and then went out to the back again and saw the bear walking off down the driveway with the bird feeder she’d just put out.
By the end of her second summer alone she decided to sell and sold to David and Mary Lee Losby, who sold to Bruce and Susan Edwards in 2010.
In the early years of the Hillaway partnership, all the partners had a wonderful social life together with much tennis (the camp had and still has 2 tennis courts) and many dinners together. Many happy memories were made in those years.
I remember a dinner at Ken and Amy’s cabin in the mid-80s with friends involved in Burma: Eddie Robinson who had been with the US foreign service there, our friend the Rev. Paul Clasper, who had lived there for 20 years as a Baptist missionary running the seminary just outside Rangoon at Insein, and his wife Janet, and Knopf’s friend, Betty Danielson, who was a friend to many Burmese and used to travel there often with things to help them. It was a very memorable dinner.
After selling, Amy rented my cabin for a week each summer for a few summers. She liked to come up in June when people weren’t too busy and she could visit and entertain her 10 Mile friends. Many people I’ve met for the first time tell me they know my cabin because they had dinner there with Amy.
Now Amy is living at Friendship Village in Bloomington, MN. Her friends still ask her to come back but it’s been several years now since she’s done so. My father told me that he has begged her to come stay with them but he doesn’t think she will. Many Ten Mile friends miss her sweet presence. I do too.
From an interview September 16, 2008 by Karin Arsan
Charlie and Joyce Mayer have a very long history of relationship to Ten Mile even though they are our neighbors on Birch Lake. Charlie thinks he built 200-250 cabins and other buildings in this area including many on Ten Mile. Many of us live in his masterpieces and will forever be grateful for our Ten Mile homes.
Charlie’s parents, Robert and Mable Mayer, moved to this area in the fall of 1938 and bought Shady Shores Resort just across from Woock’s store on Lower Ten Mile Lake Road. Charlie was born in 1942. They had one of the very few telephones in the early days (it was a party line with Hillaway and Al Woock) and many of us received messages through them often brought by Charlie as a child. Shady Shores was also the site of the portage from Birch to Ten Mile for canoers who had paddled through the thoroughfare into Hackensack and were on their way home.
Charlie started working as a child helping at the resort and also helping summer people. He remembers that one of the first people he worked for was Alice Fahr. Charlie remembers that when the Fahrs first came up they took the train to Hackensack and canoed across to Shady Shores and walked over to their cabin which was right next to Hillaway.
“One time…she had a bunch of some 3-4 of her friends from the cities up at the cabin and 2 of them were out at the end of the dock and Helen Dalton and Katherine Cram that owned Hillaway had a couple goats and the goats got out on the dock and pushed the women in the lake off the end of the dock and Alice Fahr just went right over to the office at the girl’s camp and said, ‘Do you like goat meat?’ and they said, ‘Why?’ ‘If you don’t keep those darn goats at home you’re going to have a lot of it.’ ”
Charlie did clean up work when he was young and then got into dock building and putting docks in and out. He thinks he built about 5,000 dock sections. Later he had Mayer’s Cabin Service and looked after cabins in the winter time. By the time he was a senior at the high school in Hackensack he had 12 fellows working for him in the summer mowing lawns and putting docks in and out. At the peak he had 476 places he was taking care of.
Later he started doing repairs and additions and then buildings. At times he had 20 men working for him and also others like plumbers and electricians and heating men he would use. In addition to the many cabins he built he also built public buildings including the First National Bank of Walker in Hackensack and Backus, and remodeled the bank in Pine River and built one in Pequot Lakes. He built Jimmy’s Family Restaurant in Walker…(the one that later burned down); the Up North Café which was called Jimmy’s Deli at that time (in Hackensack) and was where Opal Roby’s used to be; the County Attorney’s office in Walker; the 4-plex in Hackensack; the old liquor store; and an extensive remodeling of the Congregational Church. These are only a few of the projects he did in this area. He also built harbors.
Charlie thinks he built about 50 cabins on Ten Mile and also did a lot of remodeling and repair. “There were several places where you started out and then ended up building for the grandchildren. Things have changed now. That’s when a lot of places stayed in the family. But now more and more of them with taxes and maintenance and everything else, more and more you see getting sold.”
Charlie met Joyce at the old Bromley’s Ten Mile Lake Inn and they married in 1969. Charlie built their present house on Birch in 1975-76. Since Charlie very rarely used blueprints for building cabins, he was the architect and Joyce provided the ideas for many details. When Charlie was building for my parents in 1978, Joyce came out to see the progress and advised my mother she would be happier without the kitchen enclosed which advice my mother took and has said so many times how glad she is to have her kitchen open to the living room and dining room.
Occasionally Charlie would get a request to build from blue prints, but this didn’t always make things easier. When he was building for Chinanders there were blue prints but…“the stairway cut right through a main beam and everything and you couldn’t do it…so I ended up putting in a circular stairway.” A good thing Charlie was a master of building without blueprints.
Charlie built cabins and public buildings until he had an aneurism in 1990 and had to slow down. He still helps his friends and has built a wonderful garden around his home.
Charlie went to school in Hackensack and was a classmate of Charlie Thomas of Ten Mile. Many of you will remember Charlie Thomas’ father, Albert. The school bus stop was a long way from the Thomas farm and a very cold walk and wait in winter.
Charlie also told me stories of his pet crows (one could even talk) and I’ll write about that another time.
Did Charlie work for you? Did he build your cabin? I’d love to know. Please send me an e-mail (karin.arsan (at) exceltd.com) or phone 675-6247.
By Jim and Anne McGill, Northwest Shore, Lundstrom's Bay
The McGill family (Bill, Jane, Jim, and Margaret) purchased the old “Lake View School House”, located on the southwest shore, in about 1956 from the Plantz family (Ralph Plantz Cabins). It has been our understanding this was the first property sold by Don Jensen. The old school house had been deserted for quite some time and was in a general state of disrepair.
The school house was one of four one-room school houses in Hiram Township . It was built in the early 1900s and functioned as a school through the height of the logging era.
Some of the Ten Mile residents who attended school there included Sietta Richardson, Rocky Blakeman, and Albert Thomas. According to Albert Thomas, the old school house was also a great place to socialize. Albert had many fond memories of taking a team of horses across the lake to attend dances at the school.
Following its use as a school, the property was owned by the Plantz and Blakeman families. Rumor has it, ownership and access to the property was the source of family and community feuds.
During the mid 50s through the mid 60s, the McGills made bi-weekly treks between Des Moines and Ten Mile from Memorial Day to Labor Day. While the parents modernized (water, septic, electricity, heat, paint, etc.), the lake was the primary source of fun and enjoyment for the kids. Other sources of entertainment included exploring the Bowman Farm and the island. Jim and his friends always looked forward to the Hillaway girls’ arriving next door for their overnight camping adventure. A big night on the town included Bromleys’, or Robys’, or Lou Ell’s and, compliments of the local merchants, a free movie at the drive in (now Frizzell Furniture).
In 1963, the McGills moved to Florida and from the mid 60s through the early 70s, trips to Ten Mile were much less frequent.
In 1972, after graduation from college and their return from East Africa , Anne and Jim moved to Ten Mile. Thanks to their neighbors, the Shonkwilers, they were able to secure employment. Their daughters, Meghan and Cristin, were born here and were baptized on the shores of Ten Mile.
In the late 70s, Bill and Jane retired to Ten Mile but spent winters in Florida . After almost 20 years of “living the good life”, Jane died in 1997. Thereafter, Bill stayed at Ten Mile and experienced several winters and the birth of his great grand daughter, Maddie. Bill passed away in 2003.
Currently, the old school house/family house remains in the family and, hopefully, in keeping with Ten Mile tradition, it will continue to do so.
by Ralph Mendenhall
I didn’t need National Geographic to tell me that Ten Mile is the third most beautiful lake in the world. They were wrong. In my opinion, it is the most beautiful lake in the world. As a young boy, I spent many hours with my parents and six brothers and sisters with my Uncle Andy and Aunt Bess Christie who had a small resort on upper Ten Mile. We spent our mornings weeding the long rows of their gardens, and some afternoons throwing hay in the hay wagon to be put in the barn. This hay was often our bed at night. Sleeping the hay mow and telling stories was as much a treat for us as staying at the Crowne Plaza.
The rows were long, but we were paid two pennies a row. This money, along with our hay money, was well spent in Walker or Hackensack on candy and ice cream. We thought we were rich as we stood in front of the penny candy counter trying to reach a decision.
But our real quality time was spent on the lake fishing, or swimming on the beautiful sandy beach. It was here that we learned to appreciate the beauty of Ten Mile Lake. The clean, pure, spring-fed quality of the water, even at our tender age, was obvious to us. We didn’t have all those fancy gadgets to catch fish. We didn’t need them. With Uncle Andy’s old, flat-bottomed boat and a pair of oars, a cane pole with a worm at the end of the line was all we needed to catch supper. It was a two-way street, but I think we children were on the winning side. I wish Uncle Andy and Aunt Bess were here now so I could thank them again!
Other folks I met in my “Ten Mile Experiences” were the Kubos and their daughter Dorothy. Dorothy still lives on Ten Mile Lake. [Editor’s note: Dorothy Kubo Mills still lived on the lake at the time this was written.] The Rosses come to memory. They were most gracious in renting their cabin to us several times in later years. Our children loved them. They had none of their own, and were more than happy to share their lovely beach with us. The Jensens were very important to us. Their son, Bob (who, with his wife, was later killed in an airplane accident in California) was our age and shared many of our adventures.
Sunday night was special. Aunt Bess prepared five gallons of home-made ice cream, which was gladly shared around the campfire. Along with fish stories, and accounts of life in Minneapolis, and stories of our youth, we were a happy bunch.
There were lots more activities that occupied our time. Bob Jenson, my brother Bob, Jimmy Christie and I went fishing for northerns in nearby Portage Lake. We all played ball in the cow pasture with cow pies for bases. In the winter we snared rabbits and filled the back seat with them. Mom gladly canned rabbit, a delicacy, for our winter meals.
These are a few of my memories of Ten Mile Lake. In later years I have become proud of it as a wonderful neighbor. However it has provided my youth with a lot of precious memories. I’m glad to have added my bit to this wonderful place on earth.
Late in the 1970’s several men on the north shore decided it would be fun to get together on a regular basis to meet for coffee and solve all the world’s problems. According to Al Hoover and Jack Adams, the early movers and shakers included Ross Melgaard, Claude Miller, Don Hall, Ed Ytzen and Ted Rasmussen. The informal gatherings continue to this day. Early coffees included homemade yeast rolls made by Inez Ytzen but in later years donuts from Hackensack Bakery became the official treat. One of the most infamous happenings at a Men’s Coffee was the time that Ruth Hirschfield, wanting to know just went on at these meetings, dressed up as a man complete with mustache and crashed the party. One thing she may have learned is that fish stories about how many and how big were a popular discussion. These days topics include politics, fish stories (still), lake safety, water clarity, milfoil and how to prevent it from invading Ten Mile, and the annual Ice Out Pool. Summer is fast approaching and Men’s Coffees will begin in May. All lake residents and friends are invited to attend each Tuesday at 10 AM. The calendar for sign-ups is on the Ten Mile Lake web site at www.tenmilelake.org. You may volunteer to host a coffee at your cabin by emailing Geoff Cox at email@example.com. Or you may call Tom Cox at (218) 507-0394.
In 1995, Dorothy Mills, Elinor Chase, Gail Becher, and Joan Urbanski were having a cup of coffee together and they decided it was time that the women of Ten Mile Lake stood up for women’s rights everywhere! It was time for us to have our own get-togethers, and so, the TML Women’s Coffee was born. Early on, they met on Tuesdays, too. The first hostess was Joan Urbanski and about 20-25 women attended and had a lovely time. For many years, Marianna Goodwin was the organizer and kept the calendar of sign-ups. When she retired to Arizona, she asked Judy Brown and Cathy Iversen to take over. It’s really an easy job since many women graciously open their homes each week to anywhere from 15 to 30 neighbors. We meet on Wednesdays at 10 AM now and that seems to work out well. Of course, women being a bit more adept at entertaining, we now often have homemade goodies to serve. And in recent years, we have also added a Wine and Cheese Party on one Wednesday evening. Around mid-summer we have an annual Luncheon which often brings ~50 ladies. Our topics of discussion vary from the men’s, but we try to solve all the world’s problems, too. Not so many fish stories, though. Please check the calendar on the Ten Mile Lake web site at www.tenmilelake.org and attend a Women’s Coffee this summer. You may sign up to host a coffee with Cathy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call her at (303) 570-8755.
Men’s Coffee July 26, 2011, Don Willis’ Front Lawn. L to R: Ray Raetz, Mark Putney, Ken Lowery, Don Lundberg, Don Brown, Don Willis, Geoff Cox, Randy Vosbeck, Don Sarles, Richard Zejdlik, Tom Cox, ? , Bill Brandt, Dave Krueger, Jeff Wilke, Bob Iversen, Homer Olsen, ?, Ahmet Arsan, Dave Batman, Paul Edelbrock, Dick Staunton (with apologies to two whose names escape me – TBC). Photo courtesy of Earl Crabb.
From an interview with Grant Moos, August 2, 2011
By Karin Arsan, History Committee
Published Spring, 2013
MALCOLM MOOS WAS BORN in St Paul in 1916 and grew up on Lake Como next door to Ivar Siqveland. Sr. (the grandfather of the Ivar who lives on TML today) and his wife Rose and their only child, Ivar, Jr. Malcolm and Ivar,Jr. were the best of friends and as a child Malcolm came to Ten Mile with the Siqvelands and fell in love with the lake. After WWII he married Tracy Gager and for many summers they rented various places on Ten Mile. Grant was the third of five children born to Malcolm and Tracy. When he was about five his father bought land at the lake. It was several lots of the NORTHWEST SHORES, TEN MILE LAKE area that Fred T Hagen and Al Woock had bought and sub-divided. This land went from what is now the west side of Gainey’s Point to just past the land the Moos family owns near the east end. There were originally 44 lots and Malcolm originally bought six of them: lots 38-43. Each lot had about 100’ of lakeshore except lots 43 and 44 which were larger. Later Malcolm bought lot 37, plus 75 feet of lot 36 from the Cooks after Ned Cook died in 1974.
THE LAND MALCOLM BOUGHT August 25, 1959, had a big hill at the east end which Al Woock leveled to build a family cabin. In going through old boxes in the boathouse Grant says,“we found the plans for this cabin. And its right out of a book…a Weyerhauser kind of cabin book…it’s like a Cheyenne or something like that. So Al Woock built it. It’s very basic…it wasn’t very much money to build. I think it was like $9,000 or something. The carpentry is fabulous that Al Woock is known for…and the fireplace is spectacular.” It has all the best of Al Woock’s work plus a few novel features like a huge stone fireplace that opens on two sides and a wall about 12’ high which is a giant book-case and runs from the living room back to the bedrooms.
Grant says, “I do remember coming up here, I would have been about 5 at the time…in a big black car with my grandfather, my dad’s dad, and we came up here to look at this place before it (the cabin) was here and we got stuck in this car…and there was nobody around…I don’t know how they got the car out but that’s my first memory of this place…so that’s over 50 years ago.” There is still a long dirt driveway going in from Highway 71 and they are at the very end.
Lot 44 is past the Moos place but accessed from Highway 71 directly. This is where John Bryngelson built on the land that later belonged to Paul and Suzanne Larkin.
AND, OF COURSE, THERE WAS THE TELEPHONE CABLE. Malcolm was one of the first people on Ten Mile to have a telephone. A special cable was laid from the south shore near the old Murray cabin right across under the water to the northwest side. You can see a picture of this in our history book, page 9. I remember this was a stunning event at the time as there were no telephone lines around Ten Mile and most of us had never considered the possibility or even desirability of having a telephone.
MALCOLM WAS THE CHIEF SPEECH WRITER for President Eisenhower at the time he bought his Ten Mile land. He wrote the farewell speech that Ike gave in Jan 1961, as he left office, in which he warned Americans, “We must be especially careful to avoid measures which would enable any segment of this vast military-industrial complex to sharpen the focus of its power.” Through scores of revisions, that idea persisted. There were 29 drafts of this speech and Malcolm had given 8 to the Eisenhower library. The other 21 were left in the boathouse with the 6 boxes of Eisenhower papers, undisturbed until a couple years ago when Grant gave them to the Eisenhower library. There’s an article about this in the Dec 20+27, 2010, issue of The New Yorker magazine (and in the Ten Mile Lake Newsletter of Spring, 2011).
EVENTUALLY MALCOLM AND TRACY had 5 children: Malcolm,Jr.(b. 1952) Kathy(b.1954), Grant(b.1955), Ann, and Margie. They spent many happy summers at the lake. They lived not far from the Siqvelands and Ivar, Jr. was Grant’s godfather and Malcolm was godfather to Ivar III.
Ivar, Jr. was a great woodworker (yes, this is the Ivar that built the steamboat that is still seen and heard on Ten Mile) and Grant learned a lot of woodworking from him. Grant told me, “My dad was actually with Ivar when he picked out the tree that became the backbone…the keel for his steamship, the ‘Amy’.
“Backen was the name of the lumber guy out of Walker, and my dad was with him so that tree is there and …this table over here has got the ends of the keel.”
AFTER A FEW YEARS MALCOLM also had a little writing cabin built to the west of the main cabin. This is a beautiful little cabin with one whole wall a huge stone fireplace. He also had a boathouse built to the east. All these buildings are very close to the water. In 1966 he bought a real caboose from the Burlington Northern Railroad and had it hauled from Hackensack on a flatbed and placed back in the woods behind the boathouse. “That’s where I stayed all the time”, says Grant. “I didn’t sleep anywhere else. And then my kids sleep there.” That is a great place for children and a place that Grant remembers using in the winter with his friends Jeff Manlove and Christian Bliska until quite recently.
ONE OF GRANT’S EARLY MEMORIES of Ten Mile took place when he was probably 5-7. “Well you know…we had a bunch of boats and old motors…I remember one time my motor actually blew up on me. It actually caught fire…the motor just caught fire right over here…That was pretty spectacular. So we just had to come in and, you know, I got out of the boat and was towing it in and hollering and screaming and my dad came out and just tipped the boat over and put the fire out.” That motor is still in the boathouse.
UNFORTUNATELY, MALCOLM DIED AT TEN MILE on January 28, 1982. The property passed to his wife and 5 children and in 1991 Ann and Margie sold their shares to their siblings and Tracy gave up her share so that now the property belongs to Malcolm Jr., Grant, and Kathy. Also, in 1991 they sold lot 37 and the part of lot 36 they owned to their good friend, Thomas Moore, and his wife Ingeborg who now live next door to them on the west side and just past Moore’s is Tom’s cousin Nancy Cook Nelson. Only a short way further west is Grant’s good friend, Pete Roberts. Pete’s daughter, Emily, grew up at Ten Mile with Grant’s daughter Hannah.
WHEN GRANT WAS YOUNG Molly Brandt Bliska and her 3 sons, Christian, Tommy, and Jimmy lived on the island which wasn’t far from the NW shore and they were also good friends. Grant says even to this day he and several friends try to plan their time at Ten Mile so they can get together. At the time of the interview Grant and friends had just had breakfast together on a pontoon. Regarding his time at the lake he said, “We had a ton of friends. You know, most of my good friends are from here…Christian (Bliska) is one of my best friends. He’s in St Paul so we see him every couple of weeks or so.”
GRANT HAS BECOME VERY INVOLVED in Ten Mile sailboat racing and is now the Commodore of the Ten Mile Lake Yacht Club. Pete Roberts is also very involved. In addition to the races, the post-race parties are a lot of fun for all sailors past and present. Grant feels it’s a good way to meet people and stay connected.
Malcolm’s wife, Tracy, is still alive and lives with their daughter Kathy in St. Paul.
ALL THE EXTENDED FAMILY use the Ten Mile property. Grant and his wife Susan have 3 children: Megan, Hannah, and Charlie. Megan and Jim Detweiler have a little daughter, Grace. Grant’s sister Kathy has two children: Martha and Oliver Ross. With many family and friends in and out during the summer the cabin is a happy meeting place.
An Account by Cyril Grant Hedderly as recorded by Beverly and Hank Crede.
Dr. T.L. Hedderly purchased 400 acres of land here for $4.00 an acre in 1906. He was to pay 50 cents an acre down and the remainder in 40 years. This land was designated as "school land" - the money from which was used to build schools.
The family of Dr. Hedderly, a dentist, moved into this house in August of 1906, before it was completely finished. In the upstairs bedrooms the parents nailed mosquito netting over the openings to help keep the mosquitoes out of the house. The family consisted of three small boys, parents, and Mrs. Hedderly's father, who fought under General Grant in the Civil War. He hunted, therefore keeping the family in meat such as deer, rabbit and partridge. A fourth son was born in this house, but died of pneumonia at age 1 1/2 . Cyril remembered moving 12 wagon loads of furniture here and it took one wagon alone for his mother's grand piano. The house was heated by wood burning stoves. The nearest neighbor was 6 miles away.
Dr. Hedderly soon realized he was no farmer and that clearing the land was almost impossible, as huge pine stumps 5 to 6 feet in diameter had to be removed. These were left from the days when the T.B. Walker Lumber Company had come through the area and cut all the virgin pine. The family managed to clear about 40 acres but could not grow corn of any size. They did manage hay, clover and timothy enough to try to feed cattle. But the feeding season was too long and the grazing season too short. Dr. Hedderly went broke and his marriage ended in 1914. Mrs. Hedderly became a school teacher to support her family and eventually went to the Dakotas where instead of $40 per month she received $120 per month, as the need for teachers in that area was so great. The property sold in 1923 for $85 an acre for the house and 33 acres of land.
By Clark Pasley, History Committee
Have you ever wondered whether Indians lived on Ten Mile Lake centuries ago, perhaps even near your home?
About 100 feet behind our cabin on Ten Mile’s south shore, the land surface rises sharply 8-10 feet to an ancient shore line and then levels off. 15 years or so ago, I dug up an Indian pottery shard while planting a pine tree on this ridge.
Archaeology is a hobby of mine, and I knew from the markings on the shard that it was roughly 2000 years old. The markings, called cording, are diagnostic of an Indian culture known as “middle woodland”. The woodland periods are thought to represent a transition from hunter/gatherers to peoples living in more permanent settlements. These Indians made pottery, built mounds, and developed the bow and arrow.
While perhaps not as exciting a find as an arrowhead, pottery shards are often preferred by archaeologists, in part because they usually indicate the location of a village. So, finding that shard near our cabin was a thrill for me.
Since that time, my family and I have happily spent hours prospecting for Indian artifacts around our cabin. We have even dug pits and sifted the soil through a screen. [Yes, the neighbors think us strange.] To date, we have found a total of 11 pieces of pottery, a grooved maul, a [possible] chopper/scraper, and an adz.
I would gladly share our findings with those interested and be very happy to learn what artifacts or evidence of Native Americans others have found around our beautiful lake.
by Tom Cox
Last summer our son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Oksana Cox, asked whether their 14-month-old daughter could be baptized in Ten Mile Lake. Of course, Sarah and I agreed, not knowing just exactly what we were in for. Our daughter-in-law, Oksana, who grew up in Slavgorad, in Siberia , was becoming a member of a small Orthodox parish in the Midway neighborhood in Saint Paul . She planned to invite her priest, Father Andrei, and members of the parish to Ten Mile Lake for Tanya’s (and her own) baptism by immersion in the lake.
So it happened that on Sunday afternoon, July 29, 2001 , Fr. Andrei Boroda, his children, and Fr. Andrei’s lay reader, Nikolai Alyonov, and Nikolai’s wife Linda, son Noah, and daughter Nadya (who was to be Tanya’s godmother) arrived and moved into our guest cabin. They had come bearing not only liturgical paraphernalia but also a large cooler and several bags full of hamburgers, buns, salads and desserts, paper plates, etc., for a delicious outdoor picnic supper.
It was a hot, still day, perfect for swimming, and for a baptism. About five in the afternoon, with several other Fernhurst families gathered for the occasion, Fr. Andrei and Nikolai, with the help of a TV tray, arranged a lakeshore altar, complete with candles, icons and scripture. Next to it they raised a stand to hold a silver censer. Father Andrei, in priestly regalia, Nikolai, Tom, Oksana, Tanya and Tanya’s godmother Nadya formed a close circle in the path on the ice berm under the trees in front of the guest cabin, just a few feet from the water’s edge. In a soft voice, Fr. Andrei began to read the Orthodox baptismal service, in English, from a loose leaf notebook. Because Orthodoxy is profoundly Trinitarian, he repeated each part of the service, with only slight variation, three times. Occasionally he lifted his eyes to Tanya and her parents, and once in a while would touch Tanya, and blow gently on her to symbolize the touch of the Holy Spirit.
After what seemed to be an almost interminable reading, Fr. Andrei looked at me and said, “Now we begin the baptism.” What we had heard him read to this point were only the preliminaries! While Nikolai lit the incense in the hanging censer, Fr. Andrei began reading again. At one point he handed his notebook to Nikolai, walked to the water’s edge, knelt down and three times scooped water up in his hands and gently blew on it while he pronounced words of blessing. It was only after another twenty minutes or so that he handed off his notebook, and motioned Oksana toward the lake. Fr. Andrei in his ankle-length black robe and gold and silver embroidered stole, and Oksana in a simple white ankle-length dress holding Tanya (wearing nothing at all) in her arms, stepped down the short sandy path to the water. They walked out along the side of the dock until the water was about waist high. Speaking the baptismal words, Fr. Andre immersed both Tanya and Oksana three times. Remarkably, neither Tanya nor her mother made any complaint, not even as much as a sputter.
The climactic moment having passed, the three returned to the shore. Oksana changed her clothes and dressed Tanya in a beautiful white baptismal dress and bonnet. The small circle of priest and family formed again and Fr. Andrei read the concluding liturgical words. The service had lasted an hour and thirty minutes. What followed, of course, was a feast — hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, coke, etc. — and swimming, picture-taking, opening of baptismal gifts and socializing among the gathered family and neighbors and guest parishioners.
We have never heard of another baptism in Ten Mile Lake, let alone by Orthodox rite. It may be that Tanya’s baptismal immersion, along with the blessing of the Lake , was an historic “first.” If you know of other Ten Mile baptisms, we would love to hear about them.
On July 1, 2009, Tom Meyers and Tom Cox of the Ten Mile Lake Association History Committee sat down with Bea Magnuson, an original owner at Pinewood Resort, to elaborate on the information that was originally provided for the Ten Mile Lake history book about Pinewood Resort.
Summary by Tom Meyers
“Pinewood is magic.” With those words, Bea Magnuson described her feelings about Pinewood Resort and Ten Mile. The Magnusons first heard about TML in 1948, the year they were married, when her husband’s friend at work described a lake where he had been fishing as “paradise.” Mr. Fontaine convinced the Magnusons to visit TML and a lifetime love was born, drawn by the incredible sand beach, the great open space in front of the cabins on the lake as space for kids to play and the beauty of the site on the bay on the southwest corner of the lake.
Bea, now 87 years old, remembers that her husband immediately found the great fishing spots. He was led by Joe Welch, another friend on the lake. “That was before fish finders and fancy rigs,” says Bea. That’s how their days at TML were spent – fishing their favorite spot and enjoying the beauty. They started out with a ten-horse motor, and it would take thirty minutes to get to the fishing spot; eventually, they cut that time down to ten minutes and it was easy to get back and forth.
Herman and Mary Siever owned Pinewood Resort before WW II. They had no children and closed the resort during the war to return to jobs in the shipyards in Bremerton, WA. The Sievers returned after the war and re-opened Pinewood. That’s when the Magnusons came along in 1948 to stay in one of the small cabins at the resort. Bea said there were nine cabins at that time that had been originally used as a lumber camp before the turn of the century, and there was no heat or electricity until about 1952. There were several groves of Jack Pine trees on the resort site, and people would sight on the Jack Pines to find their way back to the cabins when on the lake. Thus, the name Pinewood was born. “You could see billions of stars in those days ― the Milky Way. It was just incredible ― the beauty and tranquility on the lake,” stated Bea. “We visited weekends at first; then, eventually made trips more often after we retired. We always said we would take other vacations when we had time, but the car was always loaded the day after school let out and never went past the front door at Pinewood!” Bea’s mother once said “If you buy that cabin, you will never go anywhere else.” She was right! Originally, an arched sign marked the entrance to Pinewood Resort, set on the stone pillars that are still on the site today.
The Sievers eventually sold the resort to Henry and Janet Heinsch, friends of the Magnusons from St. Paul. The Heinsches sold the resort to the Witham family in 1970. The Withams sub-divided the land and sold individual lots to friends from Iowa. The Magnusons retained their cabin and purchased it in 1976.
Bea says that her gardens keep her motivated during the summer. “I love working in my garden and I love being at Ten Mile Lake” says Bea. She remembers the families that used to come to Pinewood and use the land behind the cabins as a playground. “Today the owners and renters park there but years ago we had a play area set up for all of the children.”
The property managers have been an important part of the history of Pinewood; the current on-site managers, Del and Donna Arbuckle, recently completed their 15th year at Pinewood. “Del and Donna are indispensible” says Bea. “They are always there to help, are friendly and really keep the resort in beautiful condition.” The Pinewood ownership and association is very stable, only 3 cabins were sold in the past ten years. Most of the modern cabins are available for rent from May thru September. There are still four original owners from the 1970’s – Bea, the George and Judy Jorgensen family, the Keith and Jan Rolston family and the Herb and Carol Williams family.
Most cabins have been renovated over the years, but Bea says it’s the charm and beauty of Ten Mile Lake that have been the constant over the sixty one years she has been at the lake. “We had such great luck fishing those early years,” says Bea. “There was one man who came from a small town in Illinois with his friends. He was actually the mayor. They would catch so many fish, they would have enough to take home and feed the entire city at a fish fry!”
“Pinewood is magic.” Those simple words describe a lifetime of joy at Ten Mile. I’m sure we all have our wonderful memories of Ten Mile Lake and Bea Magnuson has 61 years of great memories at Pinewood Resort and Ten Mile.
By Karin Arsan, History Committee
Sandy Beach, a much beloved area of Ten Mile Lake, was for a long time undeveloped and enjoyed by many. Now that Sandy Beach is changing, I look back with happy memories to those times when it was uninhabited and left in its lovely and wild state although privately owned.
During the Civil War, President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act of 1862. This gave up to 160 acres of land free to a head of household who settled on it and farmed it. The original homesteader of Sandy Beach was Robert Thomas who claimed all of lots 1,2,3,and 4 of Section 1 in township 140N of Range 31W of the 5th principal meridian, which was a total of 122 acres. Robert applied for this claim to the Land Office in Duluth Nov 25, 1910, and it was filed Feb 13, 1911. With the certificate they gave him he then applied to the General Land Office and received a ‘patent’ for this land on April 27, 1911, which was filed May 19, 1911.
A land patent is an exclusive land grant made by a sovereign entity with respect to a particular tract of land. To make such a grant ‘patent’, a sovereign (proprietary landowner) must document the land grant, securely sign and seal the document (patent), and openly publish the documents for the public to see. Robert’s patent was signed by President Taft.
Lot 1 was on Long Bay near the beginning of the Boy River and on the west side of the bay. Lot 2 was to the west of that with no lakeshore. Lots 3 and 4 were on the main body of 10 Mile Lake and were what became known as Sandy Beach. Although Robert received his patent in 1911, he had been living on this land since 1902 according to his daughter, Hattie.
Robert had moved his family from Brainerd to Lothrop in 1898 to work as a top loader in the logging business. This was a highly skilled job stacking large timber in place on the RR cars. The top loader stood on top of the already loaded logs to direct the operation. It was the highest paid logging job after the cook and horsemen. At this time the train rails only went to Lothrop where there was a roundhouse and a small town. It was at what is today the junction of Highway 371 and County 50. There were very few buildings but there were 7 or 8 saloons and 2 hotels including the Hotel Lothrop owned and run by Fred D. Long. Later he was a state senator and I would guess he gave his name to Long’s Bay.
The town of Lothrop only existed from 1896 to 1901. “By 1901 the large timber was gone. People took down their houses to ship them by rail to a new location,” according to Hattie Thomas. The town vanished.
Robert had married Johanna (Hannah) Severina Carlson, who was born in Sweden March 29, 1869. When the logging was finished in this area, the Thomas family moved from Lothrop to their homestead on 10 Mile Lake. Robert and Hannah were the parents of Albert Thomas who had been born in Brainerd May 2, 1895. Many of us knew Albert as he lived on 10 Mile until near his death at age 90. He had several brothers and sisters including Hattie who was 3 years older than Albert and also lived in this area all her life. But it was Albert who stayed on the homestead and farmed it. He married Lydia Edna Morehouse Oct 13, 1939, and they had one child, Charles Thomas, born about 1941, who still owns the family place all except for Sandy Beach.
For more information on the Thomas family please see our book, TEN MILE LAKE HISTORY: TWO HUNDRED YEARS pages 370-2.
All of this homestead was passed to Helmar Sundby on May 19, 1911, from Robert and his wife and the same day passed to Hannah from Helmar with a quit claim. I have no idea why. But by these transactions the land ended up in Hannah’s name only and when Robert died March 30, 1933 of exposure and heart failure, the land was already hers.
Lot 4 was sold by Hannah Thomas to Charles W. and Henriette V. Loufek May 29, 1937, (filed June 9, 1937). In addition to a copy of the deed for this land, I have a letter from Charles W Loufek, Jr. to my father dated Sept. 1, 1999, stating that, “The south half of the beach on East Bay has been the ‘Loufek Beach’ for 62 years, since my parents bought the property in 1937”. He also complained about trespassers…as well he might!
From 1937 until into the 21st century, lot 4 was owned by Charles W. Loufek and his wife or their children; they also owned lot 5 which is to the south-west of Sandy Beach. They built a cabin on lot 5, out at the point, but never built on lot 4, Sandy Beach.
Hannah sold the rest of the homestead to Albert Thomas, her son, on Dec. 9, 1937, and filed Dec 7, 1938. He sold it to his sister, Hattie Thomas Dec 9, 1937, but it was not filed until Aug 9, 1940. The filing date is the most important and we have to wonder why there is such a long period between the sale and the filing in this case. And Albert sold lot 3 to George B. Leonard on July 3, 1939, filed the same day. Much later, Nov 4, 1952, there is a quit claim deed from Hattie Thomas to George B Leonard filed Nov 5, 1952, to clarify things.
George Leonard also owned lots 8 and 9 in Shingobee Township just to the north of lot 3, which is in Hiram Township. Part of this land is where I live now and Mr. Leonard owned on up much of the east shore of 10 Mile.
George Leonard was the original founder of the currently largest Minnesota law firm, Leonard, Street, and Deinert. His grand-daughter, Sandra Starr, wrote to me Jan 16, 2012 about her grandfather, “Ironically, he was an ardent Socialist and heavily into liberal causes, one of the early people involved in starting up the ACLU and the Farmer grange movement. He made his money inadvertently by helping Scandinavians secure their land rights and the word spread that he was the go-to guy and the rest is history.”
On Oct. 15, 1952, (filed Oct 22, 1952) George B. Leonard and his wife Elizabeth V. Leonard sold lot 3 to the owners of Camp Hillaway, Catherine Cram and Helen Dalton (AKA Kay and Dalty). It must have been at this time that they realized they needed the quit claim from Hattie!
The beach was used by the girls of Camp Hillaway as a place to camp out and was left undeveloped with no buildings. For more on Hillaway please see our history book pages 171-175.
Aug 25, 1977, Catherine Cram and Helen Dalton sold lot 3 to Robert J. Crabb and Catherine Crabb (husband and wife) along with all the main body of the camp on the south shore of Ten Mile Lake. Aug 26, 1977, Robert J. and Catherine Crabb incorporated the whole camp under the name Hillaway Corp. The whole camp was platted and Lot 3 became known as Hillaway East. At this point 5 partners (in addition to Bob and Catherine and their sons) were sold parts of the camp and also a share in the property held in common. Two partners bought in Hillaway East. My parents, Stuart H. and Virginia Lanebought Lot 1, Block 1…the northern part (Virginia passed away Nov. 28, 2012 and the land now belongs to her husband only) and Clifford and Margaret Anderson bought Outlot B. ...the southern part. On the death of Clifford and Margaret their land passed to their children, Margaret (Meg) and Mark Anderson in 2006. Between the Lane and the Anderson properties there are several hundred feet owned in common by the Hillaway partners who own number 12.
Lot 4 (and lot 5 which is to the south of the beach) remained with the Loufek family until they were sold to John Zacher and his partners on March 1, 2003. Zacher bought out his partners and put the land in a company called Shorequest, LLC. Unfortunately, John was killed when his helicopter crashed into Ten Mile near his cabin Nov. 24, 2011, Thanksgiving evening. Since then Shorequest has been run by Jason Zacher. A great deal of lot 4 (about 700 feet) has been sold and the rest was foreclosed Sept. 11, 2013, and bought by Bank Forward. The bank still owns the southernmost part of the beach, which is about 150 feet and the rocky shoreline to the west of it. The northern 500 feet of lot 4 was bought by Paul and SuzanneLarkin June 4, 2012. They previously had a cabin on the northwest shore of 10 Mile for many years and knew about Sandy Beach. It is their intent to help keep the shore low density, which will be very good for the lake. Next to Larkins, another 200 feet has been privately purchased.
Sandy Beach has always been privately owned ever since Robert Thomas included it in his homestead in 1911, but it is now mostly developed by its owners and only the far southern end held by Bank Forward is still undeveloped and for sale. Thus times have changed for our beloved Sandy Beach.
I thank Renee Geving, director of the Cass County Historical Society and Museum, and Paul Klinger for their help with the research for this article.
by Mariana E. Goodwin
(May Norton was interviewed at her rural home by Ross Melgaard in 1987. She now lives at May Creek Lodge in Walker.)
Mary's family moved to this area near Cyphers in 1912 when Mary was 3 years old. Because of the lack of roads, most children attended small rural schools. Mary started school in Cyphers with other children from Turtle Lake township and some from the Walker school district. There were about 10 students, enough to hire a teacher. (Seven was the minimum.) At one time Cass County had 200 schools in the unorganized school district. The school board consisted of the elected school superintendent, the county treasurer and the chairman of the county board. They were required by law to visit each school twice a year.
When Mary finished eighth grade she went to high school at St. Benedicts near St. Cloud as a boarder. She finished high school in 1927 and then went to Walker for one year of normal training. She boarded with a lady in Walker during the winter months and in the spring and fall drove a Model T. At that time grade school teachers were required to have four years of high school and one year of normal training, which was provided in Walker and in Pine River. With that they received a teaching certificate good for seven years. They could renew the certificate by going back to school for six weeks.
Mary's first job was in a school near Boy River. The custom for boarding of teachers was to look around the community for the poorest family who most needed the extra money. The community also set up rules for the teachers who had to be single and couldn't smoke, drink or dance. Teachers also had extra duties including building a fire in a wood-burning stove each morning before the students arrived. Cass County schools all had "Smith System" stoves, with a cast iron center and a jacket for circulating heat.
At one time Mary taught at the Onigum School which had two teachers, one for the lower grades and one for the upper grades. Mary taught 47 children in the lower grades, plus doing the janitor work and preparing lunch for the children.
Teachers in rural schools were expected to teach as much to all the eight grades in eight months as teachers in town did to one grade in nine months. At the end of eighth grade, students took a state test which determined whether or not they were eligible to go on to high school. The teachers visited families quite often to urge the parents to support their children's learning. Many parents did not have an eighth grade education themselves. In those days most teachers did not stay in one school more than two years. This was so they got to meet different people and didn't get bored.
At one time there was a school on the southwest corner of Ten Mile Lake. The teacher was Helene Montgomery. That school had a small teacherage where she lived during the week. One day near Christmas Mary's oldest brother took Helene home to Portage Lake. After visiting for a while, he headed home, skating across the lake. There was still some open water and he fell in and drowned. His cap was found on the ice. He was 23 years old.
by Virginia Carter Moll
LOOKING BACK OVER the history of Ten Mile Lake, I remember the time when Long Beach, along with a major part of Lower Ten Mile, was savaged by a summer storm, on June 29, 1953.
AT 11:30 A.M., the lake was very calm and the sky black as night. Suddenly the storm hit. I was in our cabin with my two small sons: David, 5, and Dan, 1. The winds and the rain were so powerful that the rain came through the shake siding on the upper part of the cabin and down the inside walls, as well as through cracks in the window frames, etcetera. Large hail pitted the roof (which had to be replaced). My family (the Carters) had recently purchased a new, heavy, metal dock; a new lift; and a new 14-foot Larson fishing boat. At one point in the storm, which lasted approximately a half-hour, I looked out front as the water washed up and over the walk to the cabin, and saw that the dock, lift, and boat had all disappeared.
AFTER THE STORM WAS OVER, a tangle of boat, lift, and dock was found washed in about 50 feet from the former location and onto the Stahler property. The lift was destroyed, the boat had a large puncture in the side, probably from the pounding in the lift, and the dock was in pieces but repairable.
THE DAMAGE ON around the south shore was tremendous as docks and boats were driven onto the rocky shore areas, lists were twisted and bent, and trees were down everywhere, closing roads and tearing down power lines. Don Gray estimated that in our bay, fifteen docks were out, ten boats were damaged or destroyed, and nine lifts were out or damaged. Larson Boat Works in Little Falls sent up several flat bed trucks to take damaged boats back for repair.
IT WAS FRIGHTENING. The storm moved on from Ten Mile, across Birch Lake, and into Hackensack. Electricity was out for several days. Mrs. Poland's switchboard in Hackensack (there were very few telephones on Ten Mile in those days) was flooded as seasonal residents called families to assure them they were safe, let them know how much damage was done, and tell them which insurance company to call.
THE WALKER NEWSPAPER called the storm a 'cyclone.' Residents who were involved felt it was a tornado; other referred to 'straight-line winds.' Whatever it was, it was a very powerful and never-to-be-forgotten storm.
OVER THE YEARS, there have been many bad storms on Ten Mile, but it was not until the summer of 2000 that a similar storm to the one in 1935 came across the lake to the Sand Beach. This time, however, the damage was minimal.
Below is an article from an early Ames IA newspaper sent to the History Committee by Jack Adams. Probable date was 1948 or 1949. Photo and story by Louis Facto. WBG staff members shown are Jack Adams,left, Bill Gaessler, foreground, and Frank Vance, facing camera. You'll note that Ames High's Little Cyclones get summer plugging in Minnesota.
Last weekend, on the north shore of Ten Mile Lake, near Hackensack, Minn., where many Ames residents are vacationing this summer, a new and unique radio station went on the air. It is located at the lake shore cabin of Mr. and Mrs. Clint Adams, and identifies itself with the call letters WBG.
At odd times during the day and evening, especially during bad weather when fishing, swimming, and water skiing is [sic] poor, approximately twenty cabins can receive the broadcasts. The programs are varied and pleasurable. Recorded music is most generally accepted, but in addition to this, interviews with summer residents, original shows, commercials and sports news help conclude the broadcast day.
WBG was first created by Bill Gaessler, Ames, Sr. L.S.C., son of Mr. and Mrs. W.G. Gaessler, and previously was operated at Kemper Military Academy and at his home in Ames. Bill, who is a guest at the Adams cabin, is assisted by a staff comprised of the Adams Children, Marna, Bruce and Jack, 1204 Orchard Drive, Ames; Frank Vance, son of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Vance, 1206 Orchard Drive; and Karel Harper, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harlan H. Harper, 1208 Orchard Drive. Bill, Frank, and Karel are guests this week in the Adams summer home. They all take turns sharing the responsibility of the various tasks included in making a good radio station operate properly.
The transmitter itself has a power of a fraction of a watt. It is only because of this that the station can be operated without a license. It radiates only a few feet. In order to facilitate so many cabins, the radio waves are piped into the lakeshore cabins via the power lines which the small transmitter uses as an aerial.
The real surprise came Monday noon when the familiar voice of Dale Williams was heard reviewing the sports world.
Early in 2009 I was surfing the net and on a whim I typed in “Ten Mile Lake, Minnesota.” Wow! What a lot of hits! I clicked on “Ten Mile Lake Association.” There was the “History” section and “Klose to Nature Kamp” which had been my Grandma Anna May Robertson's resort on Angel Island. I read the section with great interest and amazement. I knew about Grandma's resort and had spent quite a bit of time there as a small child. I looked up the officers of the Ten Mile Lake Association and called board member Sue Eikenberry and we talked about the article. In January of 2010 I discussed with Sue the possibility of a trip to Ten Mile and a tour of the island with my close friend, Lorraine Teslow, while visiting her in Eden Prairie, MN. She said she would arrange that and maybe I could meet the Bowmans. I was astonished and said, “Who are the Bowmans?” I told her I didn't know that George Bowman, who eventually married my grandmother, had any children. Here is what I HAD known:
The summer of 1914 my Grandmother Robertson decided to take my Dad up to Northern Minnesota for a “vacation.” So far as I know, she never returned to Lake Park, Iowa. Grandma started a resort on an island in Ten Mile called “Klose to Nature Kamp.” Dad told me the first indication that something was going on was when she wrote a check on Grandpa Robertson's bank for $5,000 to buy lumber and build cabins on the island. The resort had five or six cabins and there was no modern plumbing. I don't know if there was more than one outhouse, but there must have been one for guests. Somehow Dad acquired a school bell and mounted it on the roof of this outhouse. Most bathrooms at this time had a toilet with a “flush box” mounted above the toilet with a chain with a wooden handle on it to flush the toilet. Dad got one of the chains and ran it to the bell through a hole in the roof. He said you could always tell when there was a new guest in camp, but they only rang the bell once!
There was a lodge that had a dining room that was decorated with all sorts of stuffed animals and birds. It would seem that Grandma would import exotic birds into the sub-arctic climate of Northern Minnesota and when they succumbed to the bitter winter weather she would have them stuffed. According to the photos of the dining room, the local taxidermist could have retired from the work that she brought him.
In the late 20's Dad became engaged to a girl by the name of Ann whose dad was the local banker that held the mortgage on the lodge at Klose to Nature Kamp. That engagement ended, and about this time Grandma was a bit behind on the mortgage payments. The banker had been sympathetic to her payment tardiness while Ann was engaged to Dad, but now he became eager to get the payments current. When Grandma dragged her feet on making the payments and was threatened with foreclosure the lodge mysteriously burned. However, and somehow, a lot of the contents were saved!
Grandma had a pair of diamond earrings about 1 carat each. She had them set in rings and gave one to George and the other to Dad. Dad lost his and one night while she was upset with George and he was asleep, she removed it from his finger. The diamond that was in George's ring ended up in Mother's engagement ring.
Grandpa Robertson died in Iowa in 1944, thirty years after she went up north. The marital status block on his death certificate was marked: married. She never divorced Grandpa because she didn't believe in divorce. After Grandpa died, she and her long-time companion George Bowman got married.
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Meanwhile, Sue had talked to Jim and Janet Bowman on the lake about the possibility of our meeting. So, a few weeks later I had a call from Jim Bowman. I asked him if he was any relation to George Bowman and he said he was George Bowman's grandson! Come to find out, Jim's dad was a child from George's first of three marriages. I was never told about the prior marriages and I have no idea if my father knew or not. So, Jim and I were both grandsons of these early residents and nearly the same age. We had a very cordial conversation and I told him I was planning a trip to Ten Mile in July of 2010 and I would certainly like to meet him. He said that would be great and that he would take me on a tour of the island.
On July 27 Lorraine and I arrived in Hackensack and located Sue Eikenberry. She had everything set up with Jim and Janet Bowman and we all met at the Bowman's residence to take photos and notes. We all had a delightful visit. I had brought some photos that belonged to my father's sister, Ruth, that were taken over the years at “Klose to Nature Kamp” before the lodge burned to the ground, possibly in 1932. Some of the photos were more that just a trip down memory lane! Jim spotted a concrete birdbath in one of the photos that had been in one of Grandma's gardens on the island. The same birdbath was now in the Bowman's flower garden. Also, Jim and Janet saw a “garden ball” in another photo that was now in the yard across the road from them where Grandma Robertson and George had later lived.
Jim drove my friend and me over to the island. We wandered around just looking and trying to find anything about the past. Where the cabins were lined up in a row I spotted some large plinth blocks. Plinth blocks are a pyramid with the top half removed. There were four of them in a pile and what looked like a concrete porch stoop. I told Lorraine that those four plinth blocks were more than likely the piers that held up the four corners of the cabin. About thirty feet from that pile there were three more plinth blocks and a similar concrete stoop.
One of my photos showed a view of the lodge with a grape arbor in front, possibly 30 to 40 feet from the front entrance. That arbor was still standing and there were a few grape vines on it. Not too far from the arbor towards the lake we saw the mostly complete remains of the rock stairs going down to the lake. Of course, the fireplace and chimney, the remaining remnants of the once gorgeous lodge are still standing and may be for many years to come.
The Bowmans took us to the cemetery in Akeley where my Grandmother is buried. A very pleasant and memorable visit was had by all.
(Note from History Chairman, Sue Eikenberry: This has been a very interesting two-year series of phone calls and e-mails leading up to the visit. It just goes to show: History Matters!)
(Editor’s note: Since 1951 Angel Island, aka Brandts’ Island, the site of the Klose to Nature Kamp, has been in the ownership of the George C. Brandt family. Those wishing to visit the island should follow the protocols that are normal when visiting any privately owned property without an invitation.
Those interested in the history of the island will find comprehensive accounts in Ten Mile Lake History: 200 Years, available through the TMLA History Committee. Ten Mile history buffs can also find a link to George Brandt’s history of the island within George’s 2002 obituary.
By Jim and Lisa Tuller, Long's Bay
The Jim and Lisa Tuller family’s ties to Ten Mile Lake began when Lisa was a child vacationing at Happiness Resort on Long Bay . Her parents, Tom and Louise Hay, have included their Ten Mile story in these pages [in the Ten Mile History] as well.
After Lisa graduated from Iowa State University in 1984, she moved to the Twin Cities for the sole purpose of being able to spend weekends at her parents’ cabin. She met Jim, a native of Connecticut transplanted to Minnesota , and the couple was married in 1988. After having 2 children, Beth in 1989 and Scott in 1991, they were feeling a bit crowded in the Hay cabin (Lisa having a brother, Mike, who had 2 children with his wife Tammy; several family dogs made up the rest of the crowd!) Jim and Lisa purchased their own cabin on the narrows of Long Bay, next door to Ruth and Ray Benson, and spent two summers in that cabin. In the fall of 1991, they had an opportunity to purchase Chuck and Deana Bromley’s property next door to Lisa’s parents. That fall, they determined that building a new cabin on the property was the way to go and the old Bromley cabin was lifted from its foundation and moved behind the property to neighbor Howard Thorson’s land. (Howard now uses it as a guest cottage.) The Tullers built a log house and enjoyed that cabin as a summer home for three years.
In 1995, Jim and Lisa had the great fortune to be able to purchase Swanson’s Bait Shop in Hackensack and ditch the corporate life of the Cities for life up north. After 2 winters in a house in Walker , they added on to the Ten Mile cabin and made it their year round home.
As of this writing, Beth and Scott Tuller have attended Walker Hackensack Akeley schools since entering kindergarten and the family still owns the bait shop. After two additions, the business is officially called Swanson’s Bait & Tackle & General Store. They consider themselves incredibly blessed, living next door to Beth and Scott’s grandparents and every day looking out on the beauty of Ten Mile. (Winter is even better than summer!)
by Donald S. Willis and Nancy Rae Willis
In 1951, Mary Lou and Don Willis were vacationing at a resort on Woman Lake. They decided to look around the Hackensack Area for other places to stay. It was a beautiful summer day when they discovered Ten Mile Lake. They walked to the water’s edge near the Jensen cabin and decided that this was the lake on which they wanted to vacation. Later and for several summers they stayed at Fred and Macie’s Resort, on the North Shore. The family has great memories from those days: sailing, skiing, fishing, and walking to the Des Moines Store on the North Shore. Joint vacations were shared with other Des Moines families, the Rutledge Schropps, and the Glen Nielsens. All three families eventually purchased property on Ten Mile Lake.
The Willises purchased a cabin in 1967 from the Murphy family who had owned it for two years. It was built by Don Fleisher and located next door to Jake and Alice Fleisher. (Incidentally, Fred Zweifel, of Fred and Macie’s Resort, had built the Fleisher cabin.) Ted, Sr. and Ruth Mellby of “Mellby’s Green Acres Resort” were located to the west of the new cabin, and were great summer neighbors. The Willis family, consisting of Don and Mary Lou, Jeffrey (17), Nancy (15), and Joe (11), moved into their new summer home in October, 1967, and have summered on the South Shore of Ten Mile Lake ever since. Many fond memories are of sailing the C-Boat, going to the drive-in movie theater on Highway #371, picnicking on Sandy Beach, and riding bikes to Woock’s Store on the South Shore.
Mary Lou passed away in the fall of 1995. Don married Carol Hewitt in the spring of 2001. Don has been active in the Ten Mile lake Association, and has served on various committees throughout the years. He is now serving as President. Meanwhile, a third generation of Willis's is discovering the Lake and its culture. The family likes to quote Stan Skaug, who said “The Lake brings the people and the people bring the people back.” They also have a doormat that borrows from The Prairie Home Companion:
“The Willis Family
Where the women are strong
The men are good looking
And all of the children are above average.”