"[History is] a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man." -Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Brunhilde Ventures North, Hutter History Pt. 2

An aerial view of the resort
Brunhilde, Lydia's niece, had the opportunity to help with the cottages when she was fourteen years old. She came up for two or three summers before getting a job in Chicago. Brun was very happy to get out of the city over the summer -- it was so hot there. After her summers at the resort, she worked at Woolworth's for 28 cents an hour.

When she was up here at age fourteen, Brun met Cal La Porte, as well as Elaine Hanson, John Hanson's sister. They rode up to the town of Manitowish, six miles north, on a gravel road, to get the mail at the post office -- the town of Manitowish Waters did not have postal service back then. The girls rode up once or twice a week. It was a long bike ride. They didn't have access to an automobile, so they had to ride a bike or walk.

For fun, Brunhilde and her brother went to Koerner's Resort on Manitowish and Spider Lake, where they had a big boat house, soda fountain and dance floor. They went dancing there on Friday nights and met other kids. To get there, they followed a deer trail through the woods, at night, and got on Manitowish Road, which led them to Koerner's boat ramp.

When the work was done at Hutter's Resort, Brunhilde used some of her afternoon time to read books. Other fun afternoon hours were spent on a kayak built by her brother -- but paddling it made her aunt worry. They also played croquet. Or they made their own fun. There were few kids to hang out with because everyone was working.

When Lydia got away from work, she taught Brunhilde how to coax a chipmunk to feed from her hand. They also picked many blackberries, blueberries and mushrooms.

Brunhilde and her aunt Lydia worked hard, and there wasn't always time for fun. The cottages were rented for $1.00 a night, so the renters were given the best. New customers always had fresh sheets. They washed the sheets in the lake and hung them out to dry. Once the sheets had dried, Brunhilde and Lydia pressed them with two flat irons, which were heated up on Bunsen burners. Doing these sheets was a hot and sweaty job! Brunhilde still has these very thick sheets -- about 40 of them.

Outhouse duty was another big job. There was a three hole outhouse, which was cleaned every year and all the "stuff" taken to the landfill. At the open pit of the landfill, bears would often be out digging around.

One of Brunhilde's most vivid memories comes from her first summer at the cottages. Sometime in July, there was a big storm. This storm lasted three days straight, thundering and lightning and pouring heavy rain on the tin metal roof. No customers were staying at the time; only Brunhilde, her aunt and her brother were there. Lydia and the brother stayed in bed, too terrified to come out, while Brun did the work of cooking meals. It was all very frightening. Fortunately, the storm did no damage.

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