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