Five generations of Marnie O. Mamminga s family have been rejuvenated by times together in Wisconsin s Northwoods. In a series of evocative remembrances accompanied by a treasure trove of vintage family photos, Mamminga takes us to Wake Robin, the cabin her grandparents built in 1929 on Big Spider Lake near Hayward, on land adjacent to Moody s Camp.Read more...
Five generations of Marnie O. Mamminga s family have been rejuvenated by times together in Wisconsin s Northwoods. In a series of evocative remembrances accompanied by a treasure trove of vintage family photos, Mamminga takes us to Wake Robin, the cabin her grandparents built in 1929 on Big Spider Lake near Hayward, on land adjacent to Moody s Camp. Along the way she preserves the spirit and cultural heritage of a vanishing era, conveying the heart of a place and the community that gathered there.
Bookended by the close of the logging era and the 1970s shift to modern lake homes, condos, and Jet Skis, the 1920s to 1960s period covered in these essays represents the golden age of Northwoods camps and cabins a time when retreats such as Wake Robin were the essence of simplicity. In "Return to Wake Robin," Mamminga describes the familiar cadre of fishing guides casting their charm, the camaraderie and friendships among resort workers and vacationers, the call of the weekly square dance, the splash announcing a perfectly executed cannonball, the lodge as gathering place. By tracing the history of one resort and cabin, she recalls a time and experience that will resonate with anyone who spent their summers Up North or wishes they had."
- ISBN-13: 9780870204913
- ISBN-10: 0870204912
- Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society Press
- Publish Date: May 2012
- Page Count: 184
- Dimensions: 8.81 x 6.25 x 0.84 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.87 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-02-27
- Reviewer: Staff
With liberal doses of gratitude, humor, and charming period details, Mamminga, a contributor to Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul series, recounts her family’s more than 60-year history vacationing on Big Spider Lake in Wisconsin’s Northwoods region. While her story centers on Wake Robin, their 1929 cabin named after a common area wildflower, much of Mamminga’s story draws on the swirl of activity at Moody’s Camp, a popular resort opened in 1922. Short chapters and black and white photographs provide glimpses of Moody’s founders and subsequent owners and how, through a love of people and generous spirit, they gathered camp guests, employees, fishing guides (the lake’s “Houdinis”), private cabin owners, and townspeople for weekly feasts, square dances, fishing expeditions, picnics, and other adventures. Weaving potent symbols (e.g., a clock with no hands in the lodge dining room) and traditions (preparing a family of five children for the 450-mile drive from Illinois cornfields to Wisconsin forests; bringing future spouses to the lake) into a world view and way of life, she persuasively argues for the restorative benefits of letting time stand still, if only for a few months of the year. While her reports of the inevitable changes brought by modernity and the closing of the camp are disheartening, Mamminga leaves a hopeful message that even in our consumer-driven electronic age, Wake Robin’s old-fashioned routines continue to bring joy to a fifth generation. (May)