Sunday, May 24, 2009


We've had a special request from John and Phyllis Krueger. They have a flat-bottomed skiff that's pointed at both ends and was last used on Opening Day of fishing. Today they noticed that it wasn't there and wondered if some high winds we had may have blown it across the lake somewhere. If you have an extra boat that's blown ashore that matches this description, perhaps you could give them a call at 369-2661, they would appreciate it. Thanks.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Another Excerpt and Photo from Lake Thompson Stories

Simply click on photo or writing to enlarge.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Where exactly is Feldman's Point?

52 Years and Counting

When I was 14 years old, my parents, Lester and Marguerite Schalk, purchased our cabin from Roy Feldman who at the time also owned all of the land at “Feldman’s Point”. It was the summer of 1957 and my dad had been looking for a place in the Northwoods that had an open wooded area with a cabin not too close to the lake. This place fit that description perfectly and my dad instantly fell in love with it. After seeing the inside of the cabin my parents talked with Roy and purchased the property.

The cabin is located just north of “Feldman’s Point” in the northwest corner of the bay. Roy built the cabin himself in 1956 with the same wood he cut to clear out an open area that starts in front of the cabin and continues all the way down to the lake. The interior of the cabin is the same wood Roy used from the land to build the cabin. He stained and oiled the wood to make each room appear a different color. When the cabin was purchased there was no inside plumbing and a hand pump was at the kitchen sink to get water from the well.

While Roy built another cabin just south of the one my parents bought, my parents let him stay in our cabin until his new cabin was finished in 1958. Roy lived in that new cabin until he passed away.

In the summer of 1958, my parents and I started vacationing at the cabin. We had no TV back then, and spent most of our evening’s playing cards, games, or reading while listening to the radio. We didn’t even have a telephone. What peaceful vacations we had back then.

When we were at the cabin, Roy would visit us and give us fresh vegetables from his garden. Many times he would come for supper and spend the evening with us. He had very interesting stories to tell about his life on Lake Thompson, and how he trapped animals and logged the land in the winter. We always enjoyed his company.

I also remember for many years the Boy Scouts would camp on the big island. We would hear them laughing and shouting as they had fun. And at night we could see the smoke from their campfires.

In 1964, my parents had a bathroom built and plumbing installed for running water. We also had our first telephone installed. We even had a TV up there, a 12 inch black and white one. It was better than nothing, back then.

In the mid 1980’s my parents gave the cabin to myself, my first husband and our two sons. We spent all of our summer vacations going up to the cabin on Lake Thompson. My sons would also bring friends along and they would have fun fishing and just being boys. In fact, all of us actually enjoyed fishing. We fished for Walleyes, Crappies, Perch, Bass, and Bluegills. Every once in awhile my sons, or husband, would get lucky and catch a nice big Northern. My sons and I also remember sitting down by the lake and seeing the seaplane take off, fly around the lake, and then return again. We have often wondered why the seaplane rides stopped. My son Brian remembers he would be fishing on the pier when Edgar, a very nice elderly gentleman from across the lake, would pull up to the pier in his boat and they would talk about which fish were biting, where they were, and what they were biting on. Soon after Edgar would leave, Brian would be out in the little 12 foot row boat looking for those fish. Sometimes he would find them and sometimes he didn’t.

My parents and first husband died in the late 80’s and early 90’s, so my sons and their friends would come up to the cabin with me. In 1992, I met my second husband, Herb. He was a great outdoors person and loved to fish and hunt. So, coming to the cabin with me was very special for him. He had children and grandchildren and they enjoyed spending time with us at the cabin. My son Brian and step-son Herby love to fish and spend most of their time on the lake when they are up there. In fact, every year they enter the Hodag Musky Challenge and have always fished it on Lake Thompson. Herby has even won the tournament once while fishing Lake Thompson. They usually will catch at least one musky, but sometimes struggle to catch more than that in the tournament. They also enjoy coming up for the bow hunting season, and Brian comes up for duck hunting too.

In 1996, Herb died, so again, I was coming up to the cabin with my sons and grandchildren. They love to go fishing, tubing on the lake, going for walks in the woods, and sitting around the campfire at night making S’mores. One year, when Halloween was close, we took the grandkids on a hayride at the Holiday Stables. Boy, did they have fun, and they even got frightened a couple of times.

My son Brian now owns the place because I wanted it to stay in the family. He is married and he and his wife, Lisa, are expecting their first child this fall, so another generation will have years of fun at Lake Thompson.

Over the 50 years I have seen many changes. Sadly, people I used to see and visit with on the lake have passed away. Pinewood Lodge, where we had many delicious dinners, is no longer a restaurant. We now have a larger screen color TV in our cabin, and the family members bring their cell phones, computers, and PSP’s amongst other electronic devices when on vacation. There are a lot more year round homes and traffic on the lake. It can be fun just sitting on the pier watching all the boaters, water skiers, and jet skiers but, my sons don’t particularly like them when they are trying to fish. Unfortunately, some of the water skiers and jet skiers don’t always respect the other boaters and fishermen on lake.

I have so many wonderful memories of times spent with family and friends at our cabin. The family cabin has changed names 4 times--------my parents (Schalk), my first husband (Kolacki), my second husband (Timm), and now my son with his wife and future child (Kolacki). So, there will be many years of continued memories being made at the cabin on Lake Thompson.

Memories written by Janet Timm

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Here's an old picture of a cabin at Breezy Point Resort, an example for the upcoming book.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another Story....

Memories of Lake Thompson Written in 1996 by Margaret Lacy Herbst

My memories of Lake Thompson date back to 1936 when I was six years old. (so obviously I am now 66) They started at Pinewood Lodge when my Mother and my Aunt took their girls to be at a place that was about halfway between where their boys were in camp at Minoqua and Antigo. Pinewood at that time was owned and run by Sam Johnson and was the #1 Resort in the area - or perhaps second to Blaesings?? It was truly a family resort with a main lodge and dining room where each family had their designated table for the length of their stay. At each mealtime, a large bell in front of the Lodge was rung to summon all to the dining room. We stayed in Cottage #5 which was the farthest East of all the Pinewood cottages. I can’t tell by the Association map who owns that now. I believe it was purchased just last summer or the summer before. There were two or three cottages to the West, up to where the Scott Best cottage is. Sam Johnson was a wonderful old Swede with a heavy accent. Pinewood had a building out over the Water at that time called “the Ship”. Half of it was a bar and seating area with slot machines and the other half tables, pinball machines and a pop and candy counter. Anytime a kid came in for pop and candy Sam’s famous line with a twinkle in his eye would be- “Do you want a Coca Cola or would you rather have a Shorty??”” (A Shorty being a short squatty bottle of Rhinelander beer), then he would chuckle. One needed to hear it in his heavy accent to appreciate it. My family came up the following year to vacation in Pinewood, then I believe the following three years we rented Mabel and Art Hanson’s cottage. (Mabel was Sam’s daughter). That place is now owned by Charles and Nancy Heydon. My parents by that time had fallen in love with the area and my Dad began making property search by ROWING around the shoreline. He was attracted to the property where our cottage now stands (4195 Birch Lane) by three very tall pine trees that stood up above all the rest on top of the hill. He pulled into shore and climbed the hill to find a perfect open spot for a building. ( My Dad hated to cut a live tree) . Upon inquiry he found that the lot belonged to Nelda Johnson, Sam’s youngest daughter. He had given a lot to each of his children. He also owned the adjacent property. It took some fast talking on my Father’s part to convince Nelda to sell the lot, but she finally did. He bought hers and the lots either side of it. In later years he bought one more lot to the East and two across the road to the North that were adjacent to the property his Sister owned. Dad bought the first lots in 1940 with the idea of SOMEDAY building a cottage up here. We spent our first summer in the “SOMEDAY” cottage in 1941 moving in on top of the carpenters. In thinking about going through 60 years of memories, I realize that this could gone on forever and could get repetitious with information that you already have. Perhaps it would be better - if you wish - for you to “pick my brain”?? I would be happy to visit with you anytime.I don’t know if anyone has mentioned in their memoirs that Lake Thompson had one drowning in the 1940’, and to my knowledge that has been the only drowning in this lake. It happened out in front of Pinewood and the man - Mr. DeQuaker, was from the Chicago area. I can remember my Sister picking up our phone, as we needed to in those days, before ““cranking” for the operator, to see if any of the 4 or 5 people on your line were using it - and hearing frantic voices calling in the emergency of Mr. DeQuaker’s drowning. Naturally, one of my fondest memories of Lake Thompson is having met the man I married when he and a friend were vacationing at Pinewood Lodge after being locked out of their hotel in Minoqua. That was in 1951, and we were married in the Fall of 1952,I have already gone on longer than I intended, so if, like I said, you would like to pick my brain, feel free to call.SincerelyMargaret Lacy Herbst

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I decided that it might be a good idea to entice those of you who hadn't sent in your memories, stories, or pictures of your time on Lake Thompson to do so. Frosty sent me a few pieces that he's already received so we could give you a preview. Enjoy and try to get him any info you have by the Annual Dinner Meeting on June 19th. The following piece is from Jim and Sue Auchter. I'll be adding more, so stay tuned.

Having had our cottage on Lake Thompson for just 13 summers, our family is a relative newcomer. We purchased our vacation cottage from the estate of Raeburn Reardon, daughter of a Rhinelander druggist. It didn’t appear a gem from the outside, but the interior with its hardwood floors, ceramic baths, large fireplace and many built-ins charmed us. Upon clearing the knee-high grass, piles of wood and general clean-up, we even discovered cement stairs to the Lake!
With our four sons, we have always loved the “Up North” experience as we vacationed often in Vilas County. Now they enjoy Lake Thompson with their families. The announcement of our 1st grandchild was made by our oldest son John on a boat ride. We now have 7 grandchildren and they in turn have taken to Lake Thompson, learning to water ski, paddle a canoe, row a boat, skate on the ice, pick berries, hook worms, and of course fish. Our youngest son Mike caught his first legal musky on the lake; he was also the first from our family to catch a walleye on Lake Thompson that first year.
The islands have provided places for our family to picnic and fish the rocks. Our fire pit is the evening gathering place after long days of fun in the sun. Having split the wood from over a dozen mature trees, our sons love to see the fruit of those labors go up in smoke while roasting marshmallows for s’mores or roasting corn.
All our adult sons, John, Marty, Steve, Mike, and their families, contribute to making our lives on Lake Thompson so enjoyable. They bring their boats, their skills, their fabulous cooking, their improvements to the property, and most of all themselves. The holidays may find as many as 16 of us sleeping overnight. There’s lots of room! We love eating as many meals as possible outdoors—on the dock, on lawn chairs, and our 50+ year old picnic table.
Wildlife has been plentiful on our small property, from wayward owl babies, a lost porcupine, a scavenging mama bear and her babies to almost daily deer sightings.
We enjoy grouse hunting in the fall, watching the beautiful changing of colors, experiencing the Northern Lights, and even “closing up,” though we are a year-round home. The saying “If winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” keeps us looking forward to the next season.
JIM and SUE AUCHTERApril, 2009