Short History of Spencer Pond Camps by Anne Howe
Fred Gilbert had his lumber camp in North Inlet, on the East shore. His
wife joined him but she was lonely.
Mose and Lillian always had a cow. Mose would get it in the spring, and Ray O'Donnell who ran a flying service out of Greenville would fly the cow into Spencer Pond for Mose. One time he secured the cow out between his pontoons of the plane, and tied her up safely to the plane. Then he took off. All went well in the 15 minute flight until it came time to land. Evidently bossy had loosened the ropes, and the wind had come up somewhat, so landing was disastrous. Mose and Lillian ate beef that year.
One agreement with Ray O'Donnell, who was the first bush pilot in Greenville, was that as he went over the cabins, he would watch below. If a white sheet was put out on the lawn, it meant trouble, and Ray would land to see what was needed.
In 1942, Ray saw such a signal and when he landed, found that Mose was ill. I've heard two stories, one that he'd cut himself on the leg and it infected, the other was that he had the flu. Whatever, Ray got Mose in the plane and back to Greenville hospital.
Meanwhile, Lillian, who was almost totally blind, caught up a tin cup and tied it to her apron. Then she got the cow they had at the time, and hanging onto it's tail, she walked out of the Camps. There was a trail around the west side of the pond. It forded two streams before it turned south and hit Spencer Stream itself. She crossed that, probably on the dam. Then found the trail that went to Kokad-jo, some 10 miles away. When she was hungry, she would milk the cow for sustenance.
She finally got to Kokad-jo where she left the cow and got a ride with the RFD mail man, to Greenville. It was a long several days, but she made it in time to be with Mose when he died.
For several years, Lillian tried to get back to the Sabotowan, but being blind it was difficult for her. Finally she sold the place to George and Louise Dulac, and Mr. and Mrs. Fred Thompson. The two women were sisters, and were born on the farm next to Mose. It was called the Ronco Farm.
After two years, the Dulac's bought out the Thompson's and made plans to operate a Sporting Camp. The land by now was owned by Oxford Paper Company, but they refused them permission to change the activity of Sabotowan.
Perseverance paid off, however. George and his family moved a garage that Mose had built behind his guest cabin, next to a driveway. They put these 4 walls and a roof up on the lakeshore, beyond the Sabotowan. Then they put in a floor and made a nice little cabin out of it. They called it the "Wee Cabin".
George heard that the William Tell Club was closing and Scott Paper Company planned on putting up a large lumber operation where the Club had been. So George asked if he could take down the buildings and bring them over to the North West shore, so he could do some more building. Permission was granted.
Aside from bits and pieces of things no longer wanted, the wood boards were removed and went into a cabin that was built along the shoreline, beyond the Wee Cabin. It was called "Lunkers" after the fish often caught in the pond.
The present Cricket cabin, was always called the "Sleeping Cabin" for it held the overflow of the Sabotowan. The Dulac's had moved up to the original trappers shack/guest cottage. It was small and fine for the two of them.
Now they had 3 cabins to rent and a sleeping cabin for overflow. The Lumber Company gave in, and in 1948, Spencer Pond Cabins was established as a sporting camp for the first time.
George Dulac developed arthritis in his back after 25 years, and they decided to sell. The Oxford Paper Company, now adjusted to it being a Sporting Camp insisted that it be sold as one, with all of the cabins counted.
In 1969 Anne Howe heard the place was for sale, so she drove to the foot of the pond in the fall. A road had been built by Scott Paper Company that far. She met with the Dulac's but it was their little dog who made friends with Anne to Louise's surprise. Later in the winter, Louise telephoned Anne to say as the dog liked her, she would sell the cabins to Anne and Chick Howe.
In the 25 years the Howe's owned the cabins, they built two more cabins. One, large, called the Moose and another small one called the Skip-Wiley. Then they built additions on all of the other cabins and also outhouses for each cabin, so the guests would have privacy.
Louise often advised Anne to do various things, like build a driveway from the camps to the new Oxford Paper Company road that circled the pond, to the camps. Louise was very farsighted.
After 25 years
of intense building and work, including raising a baby Moose at the camps,
- - Written in 2009 by Anne Howe. Not for reproduction without consent…etc