By Marnie O. Mamminga
A Chapter A Day selection from Wisconsin Public Radio Read by Susan Sweeney
Listen as Wisconsin Public Radio’s Susan Sweeney shares Marnie O. Mamminga’s story of Northwoods vacations, from the book Return to Wake Robin. In a series of evocative remembrances, Mamminga takes readers to Wake Robin, the cabin her grandparents built in 1929 on Big Spider Lake near Hayward—on land adjacent to Moody’s Camp—the cabin five generations of Mamminga’s family have returned to every summer since.
Bookended by the close of the logging era and the 1970s shift to modern lake homes, condos, and Jet Skis, the decades of the 1920s to the 1960s 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. Return to Wake Robin 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. Tracing the history of one resort and cabin, it recalls a time and experience that will resonate with anyone who spent their summers Up North—or wishes they had.