WRITTEN BY WILLIAM
(The Blooms settled on a farm
on Long Lake, and Bill’s
stepmother ran a rooming house
for carpenters who built cabins.)
Long Lake, Washburn County,
Memoirs written in the 1960s
about Long Lake in the early years of the century
mid-April [around 1904?]
our family, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Bloom [William Oscar Bloom and Anna
Bloom], myself and daughters, Florence and Eda, moved from Rockford,
and stayed at the Hotel Rockford, [while their home was being
with Mr. and Mrs. A. Curtis as hosts.
home on Long Lake was
being built by a crew of Norwegians, from Nobleton, who were finishing
the building of two-story log houses, one each for Col. A.E. Fisher and
for Mr. Wm. Nelson, both of Rockford. The crew was headed by a Mr.
and his daughter served as cook. I arrived in early May, and I also
at the hotel. We made daily visits to our new home. What a
crew of hardy men – and eaters! Five meals a day! They also
built cabins for Abraham (son), McQueen, Lundberg and the Winnebago
cottages on the lakeshore
were Lindenaugh, owned by Walters, Schwann and Goethals, from Eau
The order of the lake shore was Smith’s cottage on the bend, L. Marsh,
H. Cutting, Tim Tracy, Tip Holland, Bill Buske, and the Rockford
Nelson built a two story frame building, consisting of a store and
above. Next was a small cement shack built by George and Gust
then Harmon’s cottage and store, on up through the Narrows, then the
Club. Across the bay was a colony of Belvidere people – Dysart,
Winne’s and others.
At the head
of the lake was
an Indian settlement, which contained an old Indian cemetery with
covers over the graves. Pipe and tobacco were placed in a hole
the graves for the departed spirits. So the story goes.
head of the lake was
spring-fed, in addition to several small, fast flowing creeks – two at
or near what is now Bobby Schmidt’s resort, and one large waterfall of
fast flowing cold water on the opposite shore. In the spring we
catch black suckers with our hands. The fast flowing creeks had
the dirt from the roots of the trees, and black suckers would come up
spawn. We would salt and smoke them for our winter supply.
The large creek on the upper-south shore had cut away the soil, on one
section of the shoreline – it was one big land slide! We would
to the tops of the pine trees and fish for blue gills. We lost
hooks and lines, but we had fun.
Charley Parsons [buried
in Madge Evergreen Cemetery] had a shack just across the bay from the
Club, and old Indian Joe and his family (of 6 or 7) lived on a flat
the entrance to Mud Lake. A feud developed between Parsons and
Joe over trap lines, I believe. At any rate, first Parsons shack
was blown up and later Indian Joe was burned out. The Indians
moved to Larson’s Point, but where they went from there I do not know.
While I did
not see any of
the logging operations, I was told by my pal Ernie Weideman [from the
farm at the corner of county highways M & B] that logs were brought
to the head of the lake. A log chute was then used to slide the
onto the ice and then formed into a boom of one million scaled feet of
lumber per boom. As the ice melted, booms would then float to the
Narrows, where the boom was opened and logs shunted through the
and another boom formed, and then on down the lake. A steam tug
move the booms out of the bays where they were wind-bound, and start
again on their way down the lake. The tug was head-quarters for
drivers and crew, and Ernie Weideman said he would often ride the
He remembered the cook on the tug baked the best doughnuts and saw to
that the crew was well fed.
Lumber and Knapp-Stout
Lumber Company owned the water rights, and had built a dam at Nobleton,
which they would open to let the logs down the creek. As much as
10 to 12 feet of water would be drawn from the lake level, and I could
walk out to the low level - 10 or 15 feet from the shoreline.
Wisconsin Light &
Power Company somehow acquired the water rights, and would at times
the gates to supply water power for dynamos below the lake.
of Nobleton and others on the lake convinced the State of Wisconsin
control of the water level should rest in the hands of the State.
Since that time the water level has remained nearly constant.
summer of 1905 we
would see a 40 foot steam launch, owned by Ingraham Lumber Company,
our way on its way up the lake with a group of friends, headed for the
head of the lake, where they would be met by some transportation.
Their destination was Lake Sissabagama for muskie fishing.
had it that Mr. Ingraham had that lake cleaned of rough fish and
must be made of the
3000 acre peninsula just across the lake from our home and farm.
It was owned and operated by Mr. Elver, a hotel man from Madison, and
was stocked with Black Angus, able to withstand the hard winters.
Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Weideman [buried in the Madge Evergreen Cemetery]
in charge, and they had 7 or 8 ranch hands. My brother-in-law,
Pedersen, was a member of that crew, along with men from around the
plus a Finn and a Dane. To see them cross the lake on the
ice in the spring was a circus. They carried planks, boards or
small saplings or ladders [to keep them from falling through thin ice].
early years, farmers
would plow around the pine stumps and plant oats, hay, etc. Gus
and Ole, Jr., attended the agricultural short course at the University
of Wisconsin, and shortly afterward new methods of planting were
A person by the name of Ole Holverson (“Dynamite Ole”) and his farmers
were soon blowing up stumps. The farmers were then able to plow
fields. Hybrid corn was planted, milch cows supplanted the beef
and, as I remember, a creamery or cheese factory was considered.
At least there were big changes in the farming methods.
Curtis and Mrs. Oscar
Bloom were prime movers in organizing a Ladies Aid Society in Madge
and with the help of the Aid Society, were able to establish a church
cemetery [the Evergreen church and cemetery].
arrived at the lake
I was using two crutches and a wire shoe extension – an injury having
in a tubercular hip. It was not long after my arrival that I
on the way up with plenty of fresh air, good food and exercise. I
had chores to do, care of a small garden, chickens, pigs and cows to
care of. Very soon I was able to discard one crutch and I gained
pounds and good health.
boyhood friend, Francis
Croon, of Rockford, was sent up to stay with us, his doctor having pronounced his
trouble tuberculosis in the final stages. He spent two winters and one summer with
us at the lake. After the second winter or late spring he returned to Rockford and,
after examination by the family doctor, was pronounced as fully recovered.
In fact, he joined Company K of the National Guard, and was sent
overseas in the First World
War. He was gassed and injured and sent home, but lived until the early 1940s.
closing I thought it
would be of interest to know that Indian Joe’s name, as near as I can
it, was Joe Navioush. The spelling, no doubt, is incorrect, but
like that. And the name of “Little Bear Lake” in Indian, as near
as I can spell it, is “Bunga Maqua Sa-augen.”
The following were Madge Township
neighbors who were most friendly and helpful:
Mr. & Mrs. A. Curtis
Hazel and Ralph
Mr. & Mrs. Bell
George and Eddie
Mr. & Mrs. Ab
Mr. & Mrs. Donaldson
Hazel and other children
Mr. & Mrs. Alva Todd
Mr. & Mrs. Fred Parker
Mr. & Mrs. Monroe
Mr. & Mrs. Parker
Mr. & Mrs. George
Roy and Grace
George & Gust Jorgensen
(“almost part of our family”)
Mr. & Mrs. Henry
Bercia and sister
Mr. & Mrs. Mullin
Addy, Kate and others
Mr. & Mrs. Ole
Ole, Jr., and Gust
Mr. & Mrs. Schulz
Mr. & Mrs. Oscar
Ernie and others
Mr. & Mrs. Batty