Early Years – Memories of David Peabody Guion (8) – 1930 – 1946

After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.

Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings. 

In July of 2004, I sat down with my Uncle Dave and recorded his memories. With the other siblings, the memories were recorded in a somewhat chronological order, but with Dave, after a few early memories, he went right to his Senior year in high school when he made the decision to enlist in the Army. The conversation continued through his service, from Basic Training and his posts in Okinawa and the Philippines until he came home after World War II was over. I then led him back with questions about his childhood. I will present his memories as they were recorded.  

Trumbull House - Blizzard of 1940 - Dave, Mack and Dick shoveling

David Peabody Guion and Richard Peabody Guion with Mack after a big snow storm in 1940

This is a continuation of some of Dave’s memories surrounding sports and the Island.

We had one fellow, of course this was during the war, we had one fellow who usually was the pitcher and he so badly wanted to go into the Air Force.  Whenever a plane flew over, he would stand there holding the ball until the plane got almost out of sight, then he’d resume the game.  It was kind of like commercial breaks, I guess.

Unfortunately, this same fellow – three years before that – was up at the Trumbull Reservoir.  There was a cliff up there and he and a couple of other fellows were at the bottom of this Cliff when some kids from Bridgeport – I say this because kids from Bridgeport were bad – either accidentally or on purpose threw or kicked a rock off the top of the cliff and it hit this kid in the head, so he had a metal plate in his head.  When it came time for him to go into the service, he wanted to fly and of course, they wouldn’t let him.  So he left in the Navy.  I got a letter from him when I was in Okinawa and it had been written maybe two or three days before that, so I said, “My God, he’s got to be here.” As soon I got a chance I went down to the Harbormaster and found out that his ship had just left, so I missed him.

Back to athletics.  In Trumbull, behind McKenzie’s (Drug Store) and a bunch of other stores, there used to be an open lot and we used to play football and baseball there. We had a team called the Trumbull Rangers.  We would play basketball and — I say we — THEY would play basketball, football and baseball. (I believe Dave filled the role of Organizer and Manager) We had a regular club and I was the President.  I wasn’t worth a darn as an athlete so … Besides, we used to meet in the barn at the Big House.  I became the President.  That ran for several years. We played other Trumbull teams, we played Bridgeport teams.  For a lot of years we never got together.  Now, (in 2004) on the first Wednesday of the month, we get together.

One of my earliest memories of the Island was running around naked.  There were no buildings on the Island when we went up there, there was a tent.  We put up a tent and that was it.

(At this point, the Island was owned by Rusty Heurlin’s parents. Rusty was introduced to the family through Fred Stanley, (married and divorced from Grandma Arla’s younger sister, Anne (Peabody) Stanley), who know Rusty from the group of artists who hung out in Westport, Connecticut)

Here’s a couple of little stories.  When I was a kid, I remember it was the first time I was up there (the Island in New Hampshire) – in the first place, it was a two-day trip to get up there – we used to leave, driving up to Rusty’s parent’s house (in Wakefield, Massachusetts), stay overnight, then drive up the rest of the way.  Rusty had a couple of friends who were at the Island one time I was up there.  We had spaghetti for supper that night. About sometime around two or three o’clock I no longer had that spaghetti.  I don’t know what they had put in it, but something made me sick.

Spring Island - Sunset 2007 (Judy)

Red Hill from the Big Flat Rock on the Island

One guy’s name was Eustis and Rusty used to call him Useless.  I don’t remember the other guy’s name. (I told Uncle Dave: His name was Sully and he was called Silly, at least according to Aunt Biss.) (Dave replied:)  Rusty is the last one in the world to call someone else silly.  I remember one time he decided to make himself a meal.  So he got a piece of bread and he proceeded to put anything and everything that was edible on top of that piece of bread and ate the whole thing, stood out on the rock The Big Flat Rock near Bathtub Landing) and belched loud enough so people on Red Hill could hear him, I’m sure.  He was a character, a funny guy.

Tomorrow I will start posting letters written in December 0f 1942.

Judy Guion

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Early Years – Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel (6) – 1922 – 1964

After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.

Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings. 

These are the memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel, Grandma and Grandpa’s fourth child and only daughter.

 

SOL - Very Young Biss with broken arm

Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel at about 5 years old after she broke her arm

I think the second fire happened in the winter and we had one of those oil burners with holes on top to heat the bathroom.  Dick and I were sitting on the radiator in the back of the bathroom, the bathroom in Dave and Ellie’s apartment, and it was so cold, there was frost on the window.  We’d take a piece of our Erector Set, put it in a hole to heat it up and touch the frost on the window.  At one point, I leaned over a little too far, fell down on top of the oil burner and tipped it over.  I had always been taught that if there’s a fire you run out and close the door … which I did.  Dick was still on the radiator in back of the fire, and then the fire started up the curtains.  I screamed for Mother and evidently she heard the panic in my voice and she responded immediately.  As soon as she got upstairs and realized what was happening, she yelled for Lad to bring the fire extinguisher.  As she got to the top of the stairs and started walking towards the bathroom, the door opened and Dick walked out.  I put my hands on my hips and said, “How did you get out of there?”  As if he had a lot of nerve to get out by himself.  He just explained that he crawled between the bathtub and the fire and get out that way and opened the door.  Mother had on a very flimsy gown and that caught on fire and I remember she put it out.  Mother then took the rug from the hallway and threw it on the fire and put the fire out but the door was scorched where the flames had licked at it.

One day, lad had a pump and he put it over a soda bottle, to pump air into the soda bottle to see what would happen.  Naturally, the thing exploded and it cut his artery.  Of course Biss had been playing Doctor or Nurse or something and had taken all the gauze and stuff so there was nothing around for the emergency, so I was in trouble again.  I can remember the blood spurting out, you know, through the thing and they wanted to bandage to keep the blood in a little bit, but there wasn’t any left.

Spring Island - Big Rock above Bathtub Rock

This is only half of the rock Biss is talking about. Bathtub Rock is behind the small rock on the left.

My first recollection of the Island was when I was about twelve or thirteen, somewhere along there.  At that time, Rusty were his family owned the Island.  He took us kids up there and of course, there was nothing on the Island.  I picked a rock to sleep on.  It was probably the big, flat rock near Bathtub Rock.  That was my bed.

One night, Rusty and two guys from around the lake, named Eustis and Sully (we kid’s called them “Useless” and “Silly”) went to a house on the mainland where some Irish policemen were on vacation.  They were going to help them celebrate.  Rusty came back three sheets to the wind, oh, he was really out of it.  He staggered up the point.

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1942. Lad and Dan are in the Army and Ced is still living and working in Anchorage, Alaska.

Judy Guion

“Liquid Heaven” (22) – Special Pictures and Memories – A Different Time (3) – 1945 – 2022

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

1. Dock

2. The Point

3. Bathtub Rock

4. Big Rock

5. Sunset Rock

6. Sandy Beach, Big Flat Rock (to the left, Baby Beach)

7. Toothpaste Landing

8. & 9. – Screen Porch and Cook Cabin

10. Sleeping Cabin

11. Fire Pit and Sheba

I would like to share Special Pictures and the memories that go along with them but are not directly linked to a specific place on the Island.

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

This ring is embedded in a rock on the path down to Bathtub Rock. At one point in the past, one person owned quite a bit of property from his home site to the lake. He was wealthy and decided to build a large stone residence near the top of a hill. It is believed that he used slave labor to construct the residence and that these slaves were brought to the Island at night and attached to this ring. Since they did not know how to swim, it was believed that they could not run away.

I have never looked into the history of this story but I have great difficulty coming up with a more plausible reason for this ring.

This large rock, behind the Sleeping Cabin,  has a split in it.

This is a close-up of the same rock. When I was a child going up to the Island, this split was only about 2 inches wide. Water and freezing snow have been at work for over 75 years.

We were always on the Island for the last two weeks of August. Two of the fourteen children had a birthday while we were there so we always had a Birthday Party. My Mom, Marian, and another mother were kindergarten teachers (and was the parent of one of the Birthday Children). (They established a town-wide kindergarten held at our church. They started with about 20 children in one class. When the town established the public kindergartens in the grammar schools, the Church Kindergarten had 4 classrooms of children and eight teachers.) 

Each summer they created a Scavenger Hunt that all the children could participate in. This split rock was quite often a hiding place for a clue.

This is a naturally flat area behind the Cook Cabin which was used by one of the families (only the adults) who joined us each summer on the Island. It was an ideal tent site.

A very calm morning looking out to the channel from the dock.

The same calm morning (2020) with the view in the opposite direction.

I will leave you with a picture taken the first time I went up to the Island. My twin brother and I were four, my younger brother was three and my little sister was two. This was the first time because my Mom, Marian, refused to go to the Island with a child in diapers.

From the left to the right: me, my younger brother, my twin brother and my sister. That picture was taken so long ago but I have several vivid memories from that trip. We arrived late in the afternoon and Grandpa came with us. The dock on the Island at the time was not located where the dock is now. It was at the end of the Island farthest from Bathtub Rock. It was a long (about 20 feet), narrow (about three feet) dock.

I think my father was between jobs because we stayed there into October. My Dad got a job with a local dairy and drove a delivery truck. Late in the afternoon, Grandpa would put the three older children in the row boat and he would row us across to the public beach. Then we would start walking along the one mile dirt road until we saw my Dad’s car coming home. We would all pile in and he would drive us back to the beach and the boat.

There had been a fire a few years before and I could see the charred stumps of so many trees but I also saw new growth sprouting up.

I hope you have enjoyed this journey down Memory Lane with me as I shared Special Pictures and Memories of “Liquid Heaven”, our Family Island Retreat.

Judy Guion

“Liquid Heaven” (21) – Special Pictures and Memories – A Different Time (2) – 1945 – 2022

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

1. Dock

2. The Point

3. Bathtub Rock

4. Big Rock

5. Sunset Rock

6. Sandy Beach, Big Flat Rock (to the left, Baby Beach)

7. Toothpaste Landing

8. & 9. – Screen Porch and Cook Cabin

10. Sleeping Cabin

11. Fire Pit and Sheba

I would like to share Special Pictures and the memories that go along with them but are not directly linked to a specific place on the Island.

The “older girls” are all dressed up to go into town. My younger brother is taking us to the public beach so we can get to the car. I am sitting in the front of the boat. It was quite an occasion to get to go into town. We always had to stop at the post office and check General Delivery. Believe it or not, mail was rather efficient and many of us wrote to and heard back from our friends while we were there during only two weeks. We usually had to stop at the store to pick up some groceries and then we would go to the Olde Country Store and buy some jewelry, or a dill pickle from a barrel but always some “penny-candy”. It really cost a penny back then and the selection was amazing. My favorites were: cocoanut bacon strips. cocoanut watermelon, Charleston Chews, Dots, Root Beer Barrels and red licorice (sticks or string). 

Spring Island - The kids (I'm the talest one in the back)

These are the children who were usually on the Island with my family each summer during the last two weeks of August. They are from my family and four others. All of the parents were my father’s childhood friends. I am the tallest one in the back row, although there are two others who were older than me. This was the first (and last) time I ever had a permanent. I was twelve at the time.

This summer, the older girls planned and directed a Talent Show for the adults. I do not remember any of the acts except the finale when the little princess (front and center) performed a dance to music from a cassette player. The curtain behind us helped keep the mosquitoes out of the Cook Cabin.

Tomorrow, the final post for this series called “Liquid Heaven” – Special Pictures and Memories – 1945 – 2022.

Judy Guion

“Liquid Heaven” (20) – Special Pictures and Memories – A Different Time (1) – 1945 – 2022

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

1. Dock

2. The Point

3. Bathtub Rock

4. Big Rock

5. Sunset Rock

6. Sandy Beach, Big Flat Rock (to the left, Baby Beach)

7. Toothpaste Landing

8. & 9. – Screen Porch and Cook Cabin

10. Sleeping Cabin

11. Fire Pit and Sheba

I would like to share Special Pictures and the memories that go along with them but are not directly linked to a specific place on the Island.

Spring Island - Water fun - Johnny Hayden, Roy Lenhard and David Lenhard

This picture could have been taken on any given afternoon in the late 1950’s. The Dock is directly to the left. The red board was pulled behind our “speed boat”, a 25′ open boat with a 25 Johnson motor on the back. It was powerful to pull up water skiers or the board for the younger children. Notice the black inner tube from an automobile tire. We had many of these when my family was there with four or five other families. Some of the older women would float around the Island in the late afternoon and some of the younger kids, including me, would swim around the Island. It was a ritual I still continue. I try to float around the Island once a day sitting on a noodle.

Spring Island - Lad Guion, Chet Haydfen, Pete Linsley @ 1960s (Lad)

Lad (my Dad), Chet and Pete, childhood friends who came up with us each year with their families. My Dad very rarely drank but on the Island, he had beer. They are standing next to the Bathtub.

Spring Island - Midnight Fishermen - Chet Hayden and Charlie Hall

Another ritual carried out by some of the men was going out fishing late at night. Chet and Charlie show off one nights bounty. The men would scale and de-bone the fish then put them in the freezer. Every night the frozen fish supply would grow until there were enough fish so that about 20 people could have a  fish-fry for breakfast. This occurred about once a week.

Spring Island - The kids (I'm the talest one in the back)

These are the children who were usually on the Island with my family each summer during the last two weeks of August. They are from my family and four others. All of the parents were my father’s childhood friends. I am the tallest one in the back row, although there are two others who were older than me. This was the first (and last) time I ever had a permanent. I was twelve at the time.

Next weekend will probably be the last posts about “Liquid Heaven”, our Family Island Retreat.

Judy Guion

“Liquid Heaven” (19) – Special Pictures and Memories – Sheba – 1945 – 2022

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

1. Dock

2. The Point

3. Bathtub Rock

4. Big Rock

5. Sunset Rock

6. Sandy Beach, Big Flat Rock (to the left, Baby Beach)

7. Toothpaste Landing

8. & 9. – Screen Porch and Cook Cabin

10. Sleeping Cabin

11. Fire Pit and Sheba

Sheba between the Cook Cabin and the Sleeping Cabin.

Spring Island - Sleeping cabin and firepit (Judy -2007)

The Fire Pit (hidden by the chairs) and Sheba in front of the Sleeping Cabin in 2007.

Sheba, named by my children and maybe not called that by any other members of the family, is a large rock located between the Cook Cabin and the Sleeping Cabin. My daughters wanted to sit on top of the rock but I would not allow them to go up there until they could show me that they could run up the face of the rock and sit down on top all by themselves. I never wanted to place them up there and take the chance that they might fall off.

When I was a child, we had to take the same test and it was one of the first “rites-of-passage”.

Spring Island - Lad with Pete Linsley at the Fire Pit

Lad and Pete Linsley in front of the fire pit, with Sheba to the right, in the late 1950’s.

Fire in the Fire Pit in 2020. The Fire Pit has been enlarged and improved over the years.

Tomorrow, more of “Liquid Heaven”, Special Pictures and Memories.

Judy Guion

“Liquid Heaven (18) – Special Pictures and Memories – Sleeping Cabin (2) – 1945 – 2022

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

1. Dock

2. The Point

3. Bathtub Rock

4. Big Rock

5. Sunset Rock

6. Sandy Beach, Big Flat Rock (to the left, Baby Beach)

7. Toothpaste Landing

8. & 9. – Screen Porch and Cook Cabin

10. Sleeping Cabin

11. Fire Pit and Sheba

Spring Island - Sleeping Cabin entry and stairs to Loft - July, 2020

A close-up of the stairs to the Loft and the Front Door. The doors at the top of the stairs are two 4×6 sheets of plywood that swing out and are held open by hooks.

The addition next to the stairs is a bathroom. Originally it enclosed a Composting toilet but that was deemed unsatisfactory. At present, it is just a storage area. I have dreams of an electric incinerator toilet. There are a few visitors to the Island who do not like to walk to the Outhouse, especially at night in the rain.

Spring Island - Sleeping Cabin Master Bedroom - July, 2022

This is a view of the Master Bedroom in the Sleeping Cabin. The back door leads to Bathtub Rock.

Spring Island - Sleeping Cabin - Master Bedroom window - August, 2022

This is the Master Bedroom taken from the door. The two rooms with out bunkbeds have very appreciated ceiling fans. The walls and ceilings of the Sleeping Cabin are covered by graffiti from all the family and friends who have stayed there. 

Spring Island - Sleeping Cabin room - July, 2022

This is one of the two front rooms, each with four bunkbeds. These have been constructed over the more recent years by our amazing Maintenance Team and their friends.

Spring Island - Finished Window - 10.2019

I do not remember when the original windows were put in the Loft but it was probably only a year or two after construction. A big hole was cut into the wall and  two window screens were mounted horizontally and held in place by bent nails. They were not very tight and did not keep mosquitos out, but they did allow a refreshing breeze to flow through when the doors were open. On the outside were two doors just like the ones at the other end which could be closed during the winter. A few years ago, the Maintenance Team installed new windows. What an improvement. As you can see, the divider has been removed.

Spring Island - View of the window from Bahtub Rock area.

The new windows in the Loft, above the back door, which leads to Bathtub Rock.

Tomorrow I will begin a week of letters written in 1940. Lad is working in Venezuela for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, which eventually became part of Mobil Oil. Ced and Dan are planning on leaving in the beginning of June to try their luck and find better paying jobs in Alaska.

Judy Guion

“Liquid Heaven” (17) – Sleeping Cabin (1) – Special Pictures and Memories – 1945 – 2022

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

1. Dock

2. The Point

3. Bathtub Rock

4. Big Rock

5. Sunset Rock

6. Sandy Beach, Big Flat Rock (to the left, Baby Beach)

7. Toothpaste Landing

8. & 9. – Screen Porch and Cook Cabin

10. Sleeping Cabin

11. Fire Pit and Sheba

In 1955, my family was on the Island with three other families and we were all sleeping in a 20×20 Army Tent. We children had finished our lunch and were in the tent for “quiet Time”, while the grown-ups ate their lunch and had an hour – or more if they could convince us that an hour was not up yet – when they did not have to worry about where the 12 children were or what they were doing. A bad storm came over the surrounding mountains and the wind lifted the corner of the tent closest to Sunset Rock. The rain poured in and it scared us so much that we all ran out of the tent screaming for  our parents.

That winter, the guys met at Pete Linsley’s house and made plans to a 20×24 wooden structure with four bedrooms downstairs, a dog trot between the front door and the back door, and a loft for some of the children to sleep in. As soon as the snow had melted, they were up on the Island building this Sleeping Cabin, which was ready for occupants by July.

 Spring Island - Sleeping cabin - @ 1960s (Lad)

This is probably the earliest picture of the Sleeping Cabin. It is taken from the path leading down to Bathtub Rock. There is no window in the upper section, the Loft.

Notice the unpainted squares? These are the bent nails made by those who helped build it in 1956. I believe the next year, small white life savers were placed around each bent nail and the name of the person responsible was added. My twin brother , ten years old at the time, created one bent nail.

Spring Island - Sleeping Cabin foundation - dated 1956 - September, 2020

This was the foundation of the Sleeping Cabin, 50-gal. drums filled with cement. You can just make out the year 1956 on this one.

Spring Island - Sleeping cabin and firepit (Judy -2007)

This is a side view of the Sleeping Cabin, with the Fire Pit and Sheba in front.

Spring Island - Sleeping cabin from roof of Cook Cabin - (Judy - 2013)

This is a picture of the Sleeping Cabin taken from the roof of the Cook Cabin. I was up there removing moss and had my camera with me. The stairs to the Loft were added many years after it was built. We used a ladder inside the cabin, in the dog trot, to climb up into the Loft. It was determined that it was not the safest way after a few bad falls and a broken arm.

The Loft was divided in half lengthwise and the Big Girls (two 12-year-olds, one 10-year-old (me) and a nine-year old) slept on one side, while the Little Girls (a nine-year-old who was friends with my 8 year-old sister and a 5 year-old), slept on the other.

Tomorrow more of “Liquid Heaven”, the Sleeping Cabin and Special Pictures and Memories.

Judy Guion

“Liquid Heaven” (16) – Special Pictures and Memories – Cook Cabin (2) – 1945 – 2022

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

1. Dock

2. The Point

3. Bathtub Rock

4. Big Rock

5. Sunset Rock

6. Sandy Beach, Big Flat Rock (to the left, Baby Beach)

7. Toothpaste Landing

8. & 9. – Screen Porch and Cook Cabin

10. Sleeping Cabin

11. Fire Pit and Sheba 

When I was young, there was no electricity on the Island. We used flashlights and kerosene lanterns. Only the older children and adults could carry or use the lanterns. We were taught at a very early age to be careful and we never had a fire, even when four families were sleeping in the 20′ x 20′ Army Tent. Electricity arrived at the Island via an underwater line from the mainland in the early 1960’s.

The cooking area of the Cook Cabin. The door is the back door where we children picked up our meals. Just outside, there was a drop-down shelf where the wash and rinse dishpans were. We were expected to wash and dry our own dishes. 

Marian, my Mom, was the General of Organization. Aside from our meal duties, we were also responsible for getting water and gathering firewood and dead branches. Getting water was only done by the older children and it was a privilege. We gathered the containers, 10 gallon Army containers painted Army Green, loaded them into the row boat, rowed over to the mainland, carried the containers uphill to the Spring House, pumped the water and filled the containers and then had to carry them back to the rowboat. Once we were back at the Island, we had to carry them uphill to the back door of the Cook Cabin. A lot of work but we were proud to do it.

This is the eating area which is also used for smaller groups playing cards or doing puzzles. Sheba is outside the right side window and the Fire Pit is outside the two left side windows. The table legs are pieces of the tent poles used to hold up the 20′ x 20′ Army Tent we slept in prior to 1956.

The barrel stools originally contained the nails used to construct the Sleeping Cabin. My Dad designed and constructed the tops and Mom added padding and covered them with vinyl.

The bench seat on the right is as wide as a single bed. It has a large storage area beneath the seat.  It has been used many times, especially if someone comes up in the winter. One night, I was up later than my children and grandchildren, and when I went out to the Sleeping Cabin, the door was locked. One of my daughters thought I was already inside and locked the door. I used the bench to sleep on that night. Needless to say, she was shocked,  quite dismayed and apologetic when she found me in the morning.

Sunset Harbor, the 1000 piece puzzle completed on this table while we were up on the Island in August, 2022

The finished Cook Cabin Porch. The picnic table is 8′ long and can accommodate at least a dozen people, more if there are small children. On the bench closest to the outside, there are two outlines of BIG fish that have been caught by someone. They are not identified and there are no names or dates of the fisherman. 

Spring Island - Cook Cabin addition finished (Judy - 2011)

Here we are playing “Dump on your Neighbor” in 2011

Spring Island - After the storm - 2012 (Judy)

This is what the porch looked like after a strong wind and rain storm in 2012. 

Spring Island - After the storm (2) - 2012 (Judy)

Next weekend I will be sharing pictures and memories of the Sleeping Cabin.

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in July and August of 1942. Dan was inducted into the Army in January and is in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina for further training. Lad went in May and in currently at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland to continue his training.

Judy Guion

“Liquid Heaven” (15) – Cook Cabin (1) – 1945 – 2022

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

1. Dock

2. The Point

3. Bathtub Rock

4. Big Rock

5. Sunset Rock

6. Sandy Beach, Big Flat Rock (to the left, Baby Beach)

7. Toothpaste Landing

8. & 9. – Screen Porch and Cook Cabin

10. Sleeping Cabin

11. Fire Pit and Sheba 

Early picture of the Cook Cabin and picnic table with Rain Fly over it. (Our water and Slalom skis leaning against the outside)

Original Cook Cabin buttoned up for the winter – Pete Linsley on the Island with about 7 other including Lad and Marian

Spring Island - Cook cabin open end @ 1950s (Lad)

The Cook Cabin open for the summer – the door propped up with tent poles and a group of Boy Scouts having lunch on a weekend adventure in the mid-1950’s. Both of my brothers and a cousin are in this picture.

Stage one of the addition. When I was a child, the picnic table was further away from the Cook Cabin and was covered with a Fly. Ten to Fifteen children were gathered around the table after we waited in line to get our meal from the back door. After we had finished eating, we lined up again tp wash our plates, glasses and silverware. We dried them and put them away before we could leave to continue our adventures.

This is the back door to the Cook Cabin. There was a drop-down shelf to the left of the door that held the wash and rinse bowls. This is the original garage that was moved to the Island, piece by piece, and re-built in the late 1940’s.

 Finished Porch addition

Tomorrow, pictures of the interior of the Cook Cabin as we continue “Liquid Heaven” – Special Pictures and Memories.

Judy Guion