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Memories of Pinecrest Lodge and Lake Kabetogama

As written by Richard Decker, 2010


My family's history at Kabetogama dates back to the days when Pinecrest Lodge was first built by Clarence Olson and his wife. Walter Fromm, millionaire owner of the mink and silver fox fur farms, as well as ginsing grower from Hamburg, Wisconsin, was building properties near Pine Crest and at Moose Bay.

I'm 63 now and have been coming to the lake since I was 5 years old to fish in the summer and hunt in the fall for duck and deer with my parents. My dad, Dr. Charles Edward (Doc) Decker, and mother Louise were from Davenport, Iowa. We stayed at Pinecrest Lodge for many years until Clarence and his wife divorced and the lodge was closed for a while until Frank Youso bought it. It eventually burned down.

One memory that comes to mind is about the old well on the road to Pinecrest, Sandy Point, and the rest. Our father used to frighten us as kids telling us that there was a witch that visited the well at night. We were always leery of the trips to the well as evening approached. At that time the well was our only source of drinking water. I often wonder if it was contaminated then, and they just didn't have sophisticated tests to know this. The good news is we all survived and it was great tasting water!

My father bought our cabin in the mid 1960s from Pete Rohmer, who was one of my father's patients and also lived in Davenport. The cabin sold for $12,000 and included all the furnishings, a log crib dock, boathouse and boats! It's located in the bay between Lang's old cabin and Bob Buntrock's place which is next to Tim Watson's (formerly Fred Gibb's cabin). My father passed away in 1970, and I've maintained the cabin ever since and have completed extensive remodeling.