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

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bob Loveless: "thoroughly expert"

Robert F. Loveless, proprietor of Virgin Forest Park on the shores of Alder Lake in the western part of Vilas County, was born at Balsam Lake in Polk County, July 4, 1871. As a young man he took up fishing, hunting and trapping, in which pursuits he became thoroughly expert, and also in guide work.

In 1891 he came to what is now Vilas County, but which was then a part of Oneida, and took a homestead of 91 acres, being a part of the land surveyed by the government on Alder Lake. In this wild country he carried on his occupation of fishing, hunting and trapping, and in 1892 became guide in this region for the Southgate family of the Congress Hotel, Chicago, a position which he held for 30 years, or until the death of the head of the family in 1922. He was also guide for eight years for Marvin Hewett, Jr., vice president of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway.

In the spring of 1923 Mr. Loveless built at his present location a magnificent Park Hall, perhaps the finest in northern Wisconsin, 116x52 feet in dimensions. It is paneled with spruce and birch, the doors being all birch, and the walls are ornamented with 30 deer heads and also a large American eagle shot by himself. The dance hall measures 40x80 feet. Mr. Loveless rents this building to parties for entertainments.

Owning three-quarters of a mile of lake frontage, he also rents sites to campers. He keeps boats for rent, handles cigars, tobacco, candies and ice cream, and his resort is lighted by electricity generated by his own electric light plant. The resort is on a chain of 15 lakes called the Manitowish Waters.

Mr. Loveless has a small portable sawmill with which he cut every piece of timber in his buildings, the latter including four cottages which he rents out. He also has a fine house in which he resides, and plans to build about 40 more cabins in the immediate future.

Mr. Loveless is a hardy, middle-aged man, but is the oldest and most experienced guide in this region, having followed the business, as well as hunting and fishing, for 32 summers and winters. Since coming to live here he has killed about 200 deer. He was married in August, 1903, to Hulda Swain, and he and his wife have been the parents of four children, three daughters and one son, namely, Leona, Ella, Dolly and Lloyd. The only son, Lloyd, died at the age of ten years.

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