My great-grandfather Herman was an attorney in Valley City, N.D. Some time at the end of the 1800s, he was out hunting and saw land for sale. He bought a point of land from Northern Pacific Railway Co. in the Perham, Minn., lakes area, in Otter Tail County.
The family came by horse and buggy, 60 miles, to a farm across a lake, then took a launch to the point. There they camped and soon built a small cabin. Great-grandparents Herman and Emma, with their four daughters and often friends, went there for many summers.
My grandmother was the youngest of the four daughters. When she was 17, her father died of appendicitis, and grandmother Emma sold the place.
A few years had passed when a friend notified my grandmother that the cabin was for sale for back taxes. It turned out that the people who bought the place not only didn’t pay the taxes, they didn’t pay my great-grandma, either.
This was during the Depression, so Grandma formed a hunt club with six couples to buy back the cabin. They spent many fun times having hunt parties.
As a young boy, my father worked at the farm that they drove through to get to the cabin. I remember driving through cow gates and pastures to get there. I also remember kerosene lamps, an outhouse, an open ceiling with sections for rooms, and a wood-burning stove. My grandparents added electricity and plumbing after they retired.
I am now in my 70s, and I’ve brought my children and grandchildren to the cabin for many summers. My uncle’s family and my family formed a limited liability company, or LLC, and many of us enjoy a few weeks each summer.
A sixth generation now is loving this unique spot, too.
Nancy Olmsted, Excelsior