My family built the cabin when I was in the Army in the summer of 1961. The cabin was in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on Sand Point Lake, a stone’s throw from Canada. My mother and father had a 99-year lease with the federal government. However, the feds recanted, and the last year they had the property was 1987. The land was returned to a wilderness area that is now Voyageurs National Park.

The cabin was built on a solid boulder base and was 24-by-28 feet. The exterior siding had a log cabin look and there were large windows all across the front, facing the lake. There were two bedrooms in the back half of the cabin, and a kitchen-living room area in the front. There was no running water, so anything for cooking and drinking was brought by boat in containers. The cabin was only accessible by a 30-minute boat ride from the mainland. It was rustic. There were always plenty of seagulls, chipmunks and loons, with their distinctively forlorn calls.

There was an outhouse in the back. My mother had drawn cartoon characters on walls, and others added humorous wall hangings. There was a shed for storing extra outboard motor gas, rods, reels, fish nets, minnow buckets and life jackets. Years later, my father built a solar shower in the back of the shed, using lake water. Dad also had rigged an old washing machine to a one-horsepower gas engine that didn’t have a muffler. Neighbors near and far knew when laundry was being done.

There was no TV, telephone or newspaper. A shortwave radio for weather forecasts was it.

Our families enjoyed our cabin trips, and love to share our memories.

Nathan Johnson, Watertown