Our cabin story began when the city of Minneapolis sold small houses that had been used for families of service people in World War II. The houses were in northeast Minneapolis.
We had just been given a plot of land by my husband’s parents in Washington County. The land was on Big Marine Lake. What an opportunity.
Well, there were some miles in between and some issues. After we could buy a house, we had to move it.
That was not too hard to arrange with a moving company. They were doing these things all the time anyway, over highways and dirt roads.
Well, it worked. The house had covered windows, and we anchored things down. The house was 30 by 15 feet, with a living room, small kitchen, bathroom, big closet and two bedrooms.
There were two doors: A front door in the living room, and a back door off the kitchen. We had to make the place comfy, so we put in a wood stove. We hung curtains at the entrances to the bedrooms and bought a used stove from an old farmer who cooked on it but never cleaned it.
We cleaned and painted cupboards, and then we found bathroom equipment and fixtures at a plumbing supply company in north Minneapolis. We needed a floor, too. We tiled it in brown and tan in 10 by 10-inch squares. Looked pretty. We also re-shingled the roof with shakes and painted the clapboard walls.
The house also needed a base on which to stand. My husband made short pillars of concrete blocks. It was basically open underneath, but that made for good storage. He then built cement steps — three at each door. We had a wringer washer outside on a little patio he built, too. At the time, we thought it was all great.
We were almost set, but we needed a telephone. My husband wired one to be used with our three neighbors. His parents had a real line, an old-style party line, so we were connected.
About 20 to 30 feet to the back of the house was pasture for the cows of a nearby farmer. Fun for the kids, and room to plant flowers, too. There also was boating, fishing, swimming, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. We had many good times at our little cabin. It was a joy.
Shirley J. Pratt, St. Paul