Cabin Country: My Canadian time capsule

  • Article by: SAM GROSS
  • Updated: July 11, 2014 - 7:02 AM
hide

The Gross-Wolfson cabin in 1948. From the sturdy exterior to the clothes in its closets, this Rainy Lake getaway has changed little over the years.

I am a native of Chicago but my Minneapolis roots run deep. My great-grandfather, Alexander Gross, immigrated to Minneapolis in the 1880s and started Gross Bros. Cleaning and Dye House, which became Gross and Kronick, which became G & K Services. His son Samuel, my grandfather, was a big outdoorsman and loved to explore Rainy Lake by houseboat with his dear friend Wilfred Wolfson. In 1947, they bought a small island on Rainy Lake and the following summer built a rustic cabin. It had a galley kitchen, a small dining and living area, and bedroom with four bunks, all anchored by a Charter Oak Franklin stove. The walls were knotty white pine and the ceiling was exposed pine beams milled right from the island. Unfortunately my grandpa Sam did not get much use out of the place because he died suddenly the following December at age 50. His friend Wolfson made a few trips to the island, but lost interest because he could not share it with his lifelong friend Sam. So the cabin sat through 21 dark, cold Canadian winters, without so much as a crack of light penetrating its fortified shutters.

In the summer of 1970, when I was 7 years old, my dad, Howard, who had not been up there since he was a teenager, packed up the car and made a trip to the island. He brushed the pine needles off the porch and turned the key in the lock. Beyond the heavy wooden door was a virtual time capsule. Life magazines from 1950. Sleeping bags, tackle, canned goods, kerosene, even a half-full bottle of Old Overholt Rye. Sam and Wilfred’s wool jackets in their respective closets and my grandma’s chipped dishes in the cupboard. The place was built tight. Not so much as a squirrel had visited in 20 years.

Today, the cabin is a special place for me and my family. I visited nearly every summer growing up, and my dad finally got to take his grandkids up there on his last trip in 2003. I still go up there with my friend Bill Wolfson, grandson of Wilfred. I use the Gross closet, and he uses the Wolfson side.

SAM GROSS, NORTHBOOK, ILL.

 

Tell us about your favorite hideout, be it a lakeside lodge or a primitive fire pit. E-mail your story along with photos to cabins@startribune.com or submit online at www.startribune.com/hideouts. Don’t forget your name, city of residence and the general vicinity of your cabin or campsite.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 6 FINAL
Miami - WP: A. Ramos 9
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 7 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: G. Balfour 4
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Maness 5
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Turner 4
Detroit 5 Bottom 5th Inning
Cleveland 1
Seattle 1 Bottom 6th Inning
Oakland 5
San Francisco - WP: J. Affeldt 4 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Friedrich 2
Arizona 0 Bottom 5th Inning
San Diego 1
San Francisco 0 Top 1st Inning
Colorado 0
Washington - G. Gonzalez 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Texas - C. Lewis 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 10 0:11
Calgary 15
Indiana 67 4th Qtr 2:42
Chicago 65
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close