Brigg-a-lou’s Tick Trail is the name of our cabin deep in the woods of Wisconsin near Stone Lake. The name is a combination of my parents’ last names. In 1902, my great uncle was living in Hayward, Wis. His brother lived in Fairmont, Minn., and was looking for a place to build a cabin. Though the distance to it was great, a piece of land on a small, pristine lake was the start of a family bond that is as strong as ever 112 years later.
The initial “structure” was a shelter built into the side of a hill. It had a single window. By the time I made my first trip at age 3, there was an actual building with no electricity, no running water and an outdoor bathroom we called the “biff.” We spent summer vacations there. There were only a few other dwellings on the lake and only a few boats with motors. I now realize how much the peace and quiet was to be treasured. There was much time fishing out of our row boat, listening to our echoes far across the lake and playing games in the evening. Such family time it was!
Fifty years ago, my father, my great uncle who owned the first piece of land and my dad’s cousin built our cabin. There was no electricity available, meaning no power tools. All the work was done by hand. The cabin stands today with a second bedroom AND a flushing toilet. The cabin is as strong and sturdy as the day it was built.
We all still desire to be there now with a fifth generation (my grandchildren). Of course, our time is spent a little differently than in the past thanks to electricity, cable TV and cellphones. Nevertheless, bonfires, brats and boats represent family fun for at times 12 people, four dogs and one cat. What a wonderful gift for us all. Brigg-a-lou’s Tick Trail is truly our piece of heaven on Earth.
Dianne Nelson, Eden Prairie