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

No comments: