Sunday, April 1, 2012

Postcards: Lakes in Wisconsin and Vermont, and a river in England

There will be no foolishness or pranks1 today on the blog. Instead, here is a trio of old postcards in which the common theme is that they contain dihydrogen monoxide.

Grindstone Lake in Hayward, Wisconsin

The scratched-in caption at the bottom of this black-and-white postcard has this information:
The postcard was produced by The L.L. Cook Co. of Milwaukee. According to this University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee website: "From the late 19th century to the 1960s, there were numerous postcard publishers active in Milwaukee. The two largest, the L. L. Cook Co. and the E. C. Kropp Co., produced thousands of cards on every imaginable subject. Most cards have images of parks, buildings, street scenes, churches, hotels and restaurants, making them invaluable as a resource on historic Milwaukee."

Grindstone Lake2 is a 3,100-acre freshwater lake located in northwestern Wisconsin. Various portions of its approximately 10 miles of shoreline include Lac Courte Oreilles Indian Reservation; an unincorporated community called Northwoods Beach; seasonal cabins; public boat landings; and a commercial cranberry bog.3

The largest city near Grindstone Lake -- and the one noted on this postcard -- is Hayward, Wisconsin. Hayward is, famously, home to the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, which includes a 143-foot fiberglass muskie.4

This is the only one of today's three postcards that was used. In August 1952, someone mailed it -- using two one-cent stamps -- from Hayward to my great-grandmother, Greta, in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Here's an excerpt from the message on the back of the card:
Aug. 6, 1952
Dear Greta,
This is the most beautiful spot and Bonnie has the ideal summer home. I am enjoying everything so much.

Church of the Holy Trinity upon the River Avon

Up next is another "Chic" Series postcard that features artwork by Elmer Keene, whose work was previously featured in this Papergreat post about Canterbury Cathedral.

This moonlit landscape by Keene is looking across the River Avon at Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.5

Church of the Holy Trinity, portions of which date to 1210, has the official title of The Collegiate Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, but is more commonly known as Shakespeare's Church.

The church, a major tourist attraction, is the location of William Shakespeare's baptism (in 1564) and burial (in 1616). Shakespeare's funerary monument is located within the church.

Shakespeare is buried next to his wife, Anne Hathaway.

Lake Fairlee in Ely, Vermont

Finally, here's an undated postcard with the caption "Idlepine, Lake Fairlee, Ely, Vermont."6

Ely is a village within the tiny town of Fairlee, Vermont. Lake Fairlee is west of the village and southwest of the slightly larger Lake Morey, which is named after inventor Samuel Morey.

There is a blog for the Lake Fairlee Association. A primary focus of the blog is the battle against the non-native Eurasian Milfoil that is endangering the lake.

The blog also contains some neat history of The Betty-Anne Inn and Camp Passumpsic for Boys along Lake Fairlee.

But what was Idlepine? (And was it one word or two?)

Some clues:
  • According to this website, which hasn't been updated in six or seven years, Idle Pine Camp offered rental cabins and communal dining on the shore of Lake Fairlee from the 1940s through 1960s. The website documents the transformation of the location into a family's vacation property.
  • A 1956 volume of The Atlantic Monthly references "the menu of our Sunday dinner at Idlepine ... on the veranda overlooking Lake Fairlee."
  • The 1959 book "Adventures in Good Eating" by the Duncan Hines Institute has the following listing: "Idlepine Lodge. Lake Fairlee. June 25 to Aug. 25, 8 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. Spec.: Good home cooking, fresh thick country cream, good sweet corn and vegetables, fresh fruits served all season. Don't forget the fried chicken. B., $1.50; L., $2.50; D., $3.00. Tel. FE 3-6041."
  • Finally, this Stimson Family Reunion website contains neat old group photos that were taken at Idlepine Lodge in July 1929 and July 1931. So clearly the lodge dates to at least the 1920s.
Anyone have any Idlepine memories or information to share?

1. Here's a nice article with a rundown this year's lineup of April 1 Google gags and hoaxes, which includes Google 8-Bit Maps for NES and a self-driving NASCAR car. Back in 2009, I was fooled temporarily by one of Google's annual pranks -- the announcement about CADIE (Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity).
2. According to the online Dictionary of Wisconsin History, the origin of the lake's name is the English translation of the Chippewa word, Ga-jigwanabikokag, meaning "a grindstone." (Wikipedia, meanwhile, spells the Chippewa word this way: Gaa-zhiigwanaabikokaag)
3. Also, the Grindstone Lake Association has its own blog.
4. According to Wikipedia: "One can climb up into the mouth of the fish, and look over the town, as well as Lake Hayward. During the Christmas season, Santa Claus can often be found peering over the town from the musky's mouth."
5. The tiny caption in the lower-right corner of this postcard states: "The Church, Stratford-on-Avon."
6. The postcard was produced by the Portland Lithograph Co., 252 Spring St., in Portland, Maine.

1 comment:

  1. Idlepine was where my grandparents and mother always stayed when they came up to visit my brother and I when were were at camp. The building you see in the photo is the main lodge which was the dining room (Duncan Hines was right, the food was excellent), kitchen, library and game room. The rest of the property had cabins, some singles, some twins which were very basic. Beds and a bathroom with a sink, commode, and a big old clawfoot tub. Each room had a small woodstove which you really needed to light a fire in in the mornings because it could be COLD! All the cabins were nestled in the pine woods and had screened porches. It was quiet and lovely. There were many camps on Lake Fairlee, some of which are still there today. My brother and I spent years as campers and then counselors at Camp Norway (boy's camp, now gone) and Lochearn Camp (girl's - still thriving today).