Lake Kabetogama in the 1960s
Contributed July 26, 2007, by Steve Wigton, seasonal resident since the late 1950s
Since I was lucky enough that my paternal Grandparents and subsequently, my parents, were owners of (and still owners of.) a summer residence, I want to share some memories. The Wigton family has been area homeowner and part of the Kabetogama family since 1950. My family’s history in the area started with camping on the Ash River and staying at Herseth’s resort so, I would say, from the late 40s based on what I was told (and not being a twinkle in anyone’s eyes yet!). While some may think of the early 60s as recent history, it is this time frame that I want to write about. Just some brief highlights without boring everyone with, “What I did on my summer vacation.”
- The Esslingers had sled dogs (or part husky, part wolf as I was told). I remember going up the hill and visiting these dogs. You could also hear them distinctly on summer nights as they all would howl.
- Pop and Mrs. Lewis – Walking the trail through the forest past the Pappentheins’ place to go to the Lewis’ store for candy was a childhood highlight. Pop Lewis would sit in his chair and slide the screen open and shut on a small window where you would do your business. Pop would exchange your money for something tasty. It took me a summer or two before I knew there was a door on the side porch where you could go inside. The building was square shaped and low profile with a deck or “boardwalk” around most of it. The Lewis’ always made you feel at home.
Jeno Paulucci & his yacht
- My sister, brother and I had a few activities we liked to do. One of those was to get the mail. We would go up and down the hill, and then “deliver” the mail to Mr. and Mrs. Buntrock, Mrs Lange, then Mr. and Mrs. Jeter, and then on to our place, and last to Mr. and Mrs. Winberg. I talked to Bob Buntrock about this a while back as I remember walking over the rock from his folks’ place next door to Mrs Lange’s. She always had something baking in the oven and the fresh cookies were our payment.
- I remember shaking hands with Mr. Melheim and remembering how strong his grip was! (click here for more on the Melheims)
- Fishing off of Kettle Falls dam and along the shore by the dam
- Long hours of watching the workers building the “State Dock”. Quite an undertaking and it still stands there today.
- There was a water ski jump out in the bay that was used during 4th of July happenings. I never jumped over it. It was big and similar to a professional ski jump in Florida or wherever.
- Mr. and Mrs. Ellsworth - Grandpa and Grandma Wigton knew many folks, and after evening dinner or early mornings we would get in their Starcraft boat with a 40 horse Johnson and go to the “North Shore” as Grandpa would call it. I was 8 or 9 and remember all the adults sitting enjoying coffee while I would run around Ellsworth’s place. It was always full of flowers and the obvious decorative sculptures. I thought it was like a mini carnival in the middle of nowhere. I mostly remember the flowers, and the Ellsworths always offering my grandparents coffee in elegant looking teacups and saucers. Watching them all drink out of these seemed such a contrast. The memory of those teacups and saucers is has stayed with me for some reason.
- Last, I remember spending many a summer day and night (mostly around supper time) at the Thorpes' house. It was always the command post of the lake neighborhood, with good kid and family things going on. Good friends and folks then as well as now.
Steve Wigton (married to wife Cindy)
Son of Ed & Marjorie Wigton (and mom is still a full time summer resident)
Paternal grandson of M.B. (Maurice) and Mae Wigton (Mae was a long time summer resident, visiting until her 100’s)