Happy New Year to everyone. I hope everyone had a nice and relaxing new year’s weekend.
Hundreds of snowmobilers were out on the trails this past weekend. My good friend Rob Sparhawk was out for a short period last Sunday and said the trails were beaten up because of the weekend traffic. He feels that we could use a good foot of snow to make for some excellent riding.
Moose Lake Memories, Part 4
The Ralph Pope and Bobby Pope Cabin: Ralph built the home south of the Williams cabin in the 1960s. The kids and the Pope brothers were known as champion ski jumpers in the Eau Claire area. One of their claims to fame was that they often completed diamond-shaped jumps. Four boys at a time with one in front, followed by two more, then Ralph taking up the rear.
As young men, the Popes flew small airplanes up and landed on a grass strip near the junction of Moose Lake Road and Fullington Road. From there they would walk to Moose Lake and row up the West Fork of the Chippewa River to access their small 10-by-12-foot cabin a couple of miles up the river for hunting and fishing. Ralph was a World War II veteran and served in a reconnaissance unit. He was also one of the first Allied soldiers to cross into Germany. Ralph and Bobby’s cabin is currently owned by the Renfro family.
Ken and Louise Peterson Cabins: In the late 1950s, Ken and Loise Peterson purchased much of the land on each side of Fin & Feather Road south of the Pope cabin. Originally, they moved into the small 20-by-20 cabin, which later became known as the Broken Cabin. Later the Peterson family built the last home on the lake side of the paved portion of Fin & Feather Road. Upon completion they moved into that home.
Their original cabin, which they referred to as the little cabin, was sold to the Witt family. Mike and Mary Williams purchased their cabin and in 1990 they began the restoration project. The carpenters started working on it at that time and offered to use a lighted match to modify the cabin, but wiser heads prevailed. During the remodel, Mike’s 5-year-old daughter entered the structure and declared “Daddy, this cabin is broken,” hence the cabin’s second name. The cabin is now owned by Rob Scherer, whose grandfather was the original builder of the Ghost Lake Lodge and resort in the 1920s.
The Bob and Stella Schultz Cottage: The Schultz’s purchased their land in the 1970s from the Petersons and built the home that now can be viewed just south of the Broken Cabin. Jeff and Maj Williams purchased that home in 2003 and have remodeled it extensively.
Fin & Feather Resort: This resort, built in the 1920s, in its heyday offered 15 cabins, as well as a large main lodge. Three of the cabins remain today and can be seen at the locations just a few feet from the lakeshore. The Williams family got to know the son and daughter of the last owner. The kids were 19 and 20 years old, respectively. Unfortunately, the father suffered an untimely death that was written about in True Story magazine. It seems their dad was a bit of a land-owning tycoon and had titles to as much as 3 million acres of property in South America. Somewhere in his dealings, he was accused of a swindle. The accuser shot and killed this fellow in his land office, after the accused brandished an empty gun pointed at the accuser.
Also, before this shooting, the main lodge at Fin & Feather Resort burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances. Many stone remnants of the original buildings can be seen on property currently owned by the Richter family. Ethel Richter will have more information in detail about this resort and several others that were on the lake in the weeks to come. This is sounding like a good mystery. Please stay tuned.
Last Sunday I spoke with Jack Brown from Louie’s Landing. He said snowmobilers were out in big numbers Friday and Saturday, Jan. 1-2. It was the busiest weekend that he has had in a long time. Jack also said some fish are being caught on Moose Lake. The crappies have been biting in about 10 to 12 feet of water. The river channel is the hot spot this week. Also try some of the fish cribs if you can locate them.
Pool League will restart after a couple of weeks off. Jack informed me that pool players should meet at Louie’s this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. If you are interested in playing please arrive a little early so they can draw for teams and start on time.
Many Moose Lakers have asked me when one of their favorite restaurants will be opening back up. The Robins Nest, which has been closed for a couple of months during the holidays, reopened their doors on Jan. 1. They will continue to be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. This coming spring they will extend their hours; we’ll keep you posted.
Birthday greetings this week go out to Noah Richter, who will be celebrating on Jan. 11. And happy anniversary to Tom and Zanna McFerson, who are celebrating on Jan. 10.
That’s it for this week. Mask up and keep your distance, everyone. Stay safe!
Jim Onarheim can be reached at email@example.com or (715) 462-4448.