Norwegian immigrant Clarence Locken, and his wife, Emma Dahl, of Sweden, bought 80 acres of land southeast of Grand Rapids, Minn., in 1910. About 1918, Locken and his Swedish in-laws built a small cabin on Shallow Lake near the city of Warba. Emma and their two boys, Julius, 11, and Lawrence, 1, lived in the cabin from 1918 to 1920. Clarence, a tailor working in Grand Rapids, rode the train each weekend, disembarked about 15 miles away near Warba, then rowed across the lake to be with his family. There was no road along the lake then. Sometimes Emma rowed across the lake, baby Lawrence in a washtub for safety, then walked a mile to Warba to obtain supplies.
The family had moved to Grand Rapids by 1921. In the 1930s, Lawrence, then a teenager waiting to start college, built an addition to the cabin using discarded wooden produce crates acquired while working at a grocery. In the 1960s, Lawrence, then a father of five, rebuilt the addition and added electrical service and a fireplace, while removing the kerosene lamps and pot belly stove. With son Eric, they added a kitchen, bathroom and indoor plumbing in the 1970s. Eric further modernized the cabin, including a deck, between 2012 and 2013. Four generations of descendants of Clarence and Emma over the span of almost 100 years have enjoyed the cabin and fishing, swimming and boating on Shallow Lake.
Tim Locken, Center City