News and Events
We are exactly 18 days away from Spring! Hurray! Once we change the clocks this Sunday or Saturday night it will all be uphill from there…. Remember it’s Spring forward that means you will lose an hour of sleep but, no matter how you look at we are that closer to spring!
There will be no Potluck Dinner/meeting on Thursday March 12 because we are having a community Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner held on Saturday, March 14 at 4pm. No need to bring anything just come and enjoy……
Now a chapter of Alex Remembers:
It was the last week in July when Alex headed home to Milwaukee to gather his family and head back up north. During the last year they collected a lot of extra furniture for the cabins and the house, extra beds, tables and chairs so much furniture that when they unloaded the truck it filled the cabin right to the door and that meant that they still had no place to live. So, it was decided to build a garage and move some of the furniture to the garage so they could live in the cabin.
Alex was up every day at daylight and worked until dark to get the house ready before the winter. One morning he had to sweep the snow off the roof before he could lay the shingles… It was a hard winter! They were promised electricity in six months now they said another year before it would be put in. I bought a used thirty two volt light plant but, the batteries were old and would not stay charged so the plant had to run when we needed electricity. I bought a motor for an old washing machine which helped a little.
The next spring we had two more cabins built and I started working for the forest service and doing some small carpenter jobs in the area.
Running a resort was a lot more work than we expected. Cleaning the cabins was a big job. Also, the boats had to be checked every day and especially in the evening people would forget to put the anchor out and the wind would carry our boats across the lake.
We opened a recreation room in the basement of the house and sold novelties like candy, pop and beer. This was a gathering place in the evening.
Having to run the light plant whenever we needed the power created an additional problem. On nights when folks from the cabins didn’t come over they usually sat up and played cards and I would have to sit up and wait until all the lights were out and shut the light plant off. This plant ran on kerosene so, it would run out of fuel and quit. This light plant was very tempermental and ran more efficiently in rainy or damp days. When it ran out of fuel it would backfire and make a large bang and wake me up because my bedroom window faced that way. One night it was eleven thirty and I would have to get up and put a cup of kerosene in and then at two a.m. it started all over again.
Life back then was not easy!
Until next time ….be kind….stay warm….THINK SPRING!!
Here's a Snippet from Lynne:
My next couple of snippets will be devoted to the village of West Fork. This was what Clam Lake was known as before 1928. I am also including a photo of the Clam Lake Store from 1939. Notice the lively business The Chippewa Tavern is enjoying. Prohibition was definitely over!
First: The West Fork Company Store.....here's it's tale.
Howard Scotford not only owned the first resort in Clam Lake on Camp Fire Island, he also helped establish the first store. His Journal does not mention the Store, so it was something that came later....most likely in the late teens or early 20's. I think this was probably a venture that began after the big lumber companies had moved out. When the lumber camps were here, the early people of Clam Lake could go there for supplies. Once the camps were gone, I am sure there was a need for a store. Howard Scotford was an entrepreneur, therefore when he saw business need he tried to meet that need.
Until the late 20's, Clam Lake was not called Clam Lake. It officially became Clam Lake in 1928 when the Post Office went in. Until that time it was known as West Fork, standing for “West Fork of the Chippewa River”. So, the first store was called the West Fork Company.
On the back wall of our Post Office there is a framed paper sign. It is a sign for the West Fork Store that reads:
You Are _________ Miles
Store on Upper Clam Lake
Where you can buy
Fresh EATS Priced
Lumber and Building Supplies
West Fork Company Halfmile Off Highway 77
The number of miles is blank. Possibly handwritten and faded away over the years. This sign was found by Ace Giffaw while cleaning out the old Buffalo Lake resort owned by the Zurawskis of Chicago. This resort was on what is now White Bass Lake Road, but, was once Highway M and a main thoroughfare. Possibly this sign was posted somewhere on the old Highway denoting how far one was from the nearest store.
The West Fork Company Store ran into the late 20's and then was dissolved and became the Clam Lake Mercantile run by George Deringer Sr. (whom was Hazel Scotford's uncle*) in conjunction with his store in Glidden. Howard Scotford operated our first Post Office out of the Clam Lake Mercantile until the Edward Hines Lumber Company Office was moved in and used as the Post Office building. The old Post Office building is now the Northern Post Gift Shop.
So, when shopping at the Northern Post Gift Shop you are in what was once the Hines Lumber Company Office and later the first Post Office Building in Clam Lake. You will also see a “Clam Lake Post Office” sign painted by Howard Scotford, displayed on the wall.
So in 2014 one can view a sign for our first Post Office in one of our stores and a sign for our first store in our current Post Office.
The Clam Lake (West Fork Company) Store no longer exists. The building was torn down several years ago. We now have it's modern counterpart – The Clam Lake Junction.
Highway 77 began it's life as the West Fork Road. Howard Scotford was instrumental in the development of that road and turning it into State Highway 77.
* Hazel (Taylor) Scotford's Mother was Katherine (Katie) Deringer, daughter of Louis Deringer Jr., brother to George Deringer Sr.
Community Club Minutes
February 13, 2015
Regular Meeting and Potluck
Meeting called to order by Secretary Bill MacLeod at 5:02 pm with the pledge of allegiance. In attendance: Bud Rubeck Vice President, Patricia Dudley Treasurer, Bill MacLeod Secretary, Julie Rubeck, Andrea Krygoski, Cheryl Cofrin, Jane Eder, Ron Vecchie, Carl and Jean Kubley and Lynne Rice. Potluck: Tom Dezotell, Dave Schershel, Ace and Joan Griffaw, John Cannon, Dan Allen, Colae Vecchie. Bingo: Mark Hoffman, Collin Herman, Alason Vecchie and Beans.
Minutes of the January 8th minutes were read. Moved and seconded by Andrea Krygoski and Cheryl Cofrin.
Checking account balance $ 5,552.13
Donations 210.00 680.00
Bayfield Electric 99.83
Family Dollar (Bingo prizes) 36.49
Dollar Tree (Valentine decoration/candy) 27.38 163.70
Checking account balance $ 6,068.43
Building Fund $ 2,596.17
General Fund $ 3,472.26
The report was move and seconded by Andrea Krygoski and Cheryl Cofrin.
Bill reported note card was finalized and handed them over to Andrea who volunteered to send them out to community when appropriate. They will be personalized by attendees at the regular meetings.
Pat Dudley handed in her resignation of her post as Treasurer. She thanked the club for their support and we thank her for her service. Losing Pat and Andrea has given the club a challenge and we are hopeful new volunteers for club board positions will come forward. In the interim, it was moved Bill MacLeod will fill the treasurers position. Further, he and Bud Rubeck are authorized signatories on the club checking account at the State Bank of Drummond. Moved and seconded by Cheryl Cofrin and Andrea Krygoski.
Bill MacLeod asked if there was interest in a St. Patricks Day dinner and after some discussion it was agreed upon to hold the March meeting on Saturday March 14th at 4:00 pm with dinner to follow. Donations will be accepted. Pat and Bill volunteered to host the event.
Bill asked if there was interest in having a real hog roast in August. Feelers will be put out to see what options there are and if it is financially feasible. Dave Schershel said he would be willing to cook the pig if a roaster could be procured.
Lynne Rice said she has many old pictures of Clam Lake and asked if the club would like to have copies hung in the clubhouse. There was a feeling it would be nice and she said she would organize some and plan to scope out placement in the clubhouse when the weather is warmer.
There being no further business Andrea moved and Cheryl seconded the meeting adjourned at 5:38 pm.
Respectfully submitted by Bill MacLeod Secretary
Interested in renting club premises? Contact any officer for policy
Vice President Bud Rubeck 715-794-2479
Secretary Bill MacLeod 715-794-2578
West Fork Waterway Association Inc.
West Fork Waterway Association Inc. is a a 501(c) 3 not for profit organization of concerned people for the preservation and protection of the historic West Fork Waterway and wildlife area for recreation and public enjoyment of its scenic beauty today and in the future.
WFWA Inc. is on the West Fork of the Chippewa River and includes the area from the Day Lake Dam to the Highway 77 Dam. It is located in the community of Clam Lake, Township Of Gordon Wisconsin and assists the Township of Gordon in funding expenses related to the maintenance of the Highway 77 Dam.
Clam Lake, Wisconsin Area Events
4th of July Fireworks Show - Sat. July 4, 2015
September - Fall Elk Bugling
Elk bugling is a special feature of the fall rut usually starting in late August and running through late September in the Clam Lake, Wisconsin area. As the big bull elk prepare to attract female cows, they let out bellows, which range from deep tones to high-pitch squeals to grunts. On fall nights in the Chequamegon National Forest around Clam Lake, Wisconsin, the distinctive sounds of elk rutting can often be heard. Listen to the remarkable, unforgettable sounds of native, free ranging bull elk bugling in a Northern Wisconsin wilderness. If you've never heard the bugle of the bull elk during the fall rutting period, you are in for an experience that is at once thrilling and haunting. We invite you to join us in Clam Lake during the month of September and experience this unique event! You won't soon forget the sounds of elk bulging as they echo through the forest and across the lakes of Northern Wisconsin!