Phyllis Gilmore Story

Contributed by:  Phyllis (Willis) Gilmore as told to Judy Schaftenaar
Gilmore Story

Phyllis’s family experience with Hall’s Lake began when she was a young married woman with children.  In 1954, her parents, Olive and Clifford Willis, purchased the cottage on the north side of Hall’s Lake.

Early conditions

Without the 8 ft. added by Phyllis and her husband Bud, the original cottage was separated from the lake by many trees.  Just a narrow path existed from the cottage to the water.

Phyllis loved all the seasons at Hall’s Lake.  She spent summer days at the lake lying in the sun, playing cards and Chinese checkers and sharing wonderful food.  She never enjoyed swimming.  That was left to Olive and Clifford’s grandchildren – belonging to Phyllis and her brothers.

The walk out to swim off shore was always a challenge to those who don’t like putting their feet in the soft silt.  The previous owners had tried to make it better by putting down tar paper covered by fence wire.  Phyllis remembers cleaning tar off children’s skin and swimsuits after every swim.  That “solution” of tar paper and wire was eventually removed.

Boat Adventures

The family didn’t start out with a pontoon boat, which is now a favorite with residents all around the lake.  Most folks had just a row boat.  Olive and Clifford spent most of the summer out fishing every night.  They caught some big fish.  Bud and Phyllis enjoyed fishing, too.  At other times, Phyllis would row her mother around and Olive would use a corn cutter to remove lily pads.  Part of living on a natural lake always includes a battle of swimming beaches and natural water plants like lilies and cattails.

Phyllis’s dad spent hours raking the shallow water to make it inviting for swimmers.

Another innovation was created by the children of Phyllis’s brother.  They put a lawn chair in a canoe and paddled Olive around the lake.

Bud and Phyllis

When Bud and Phyllis owned the cottage, they added on a beautiful front deck.  That allowed for even more fun at reunions and provided very entertaining concerts by their talented children as they grew up.    The Gilmores also enjoyed parties with their church groups at the cottage.  In the winter sledding and skating were a highlight.  Bud, a guy who was always busy, would create a rink on the frozen lake out in front of the cottage for smooth enjoyable games.

Phyllis today

Phyllis loves to remember all of the fun of their years at Hall’s Lake.  She still enjoys the feeling of peace and beauty she experiences sitting on the deck and doing her crossword puzzles.