Wild blackberries, wild roses, lady slipper orchids, and trillium filled the eyes and senses of 6 year old Adonna Freeman Kennedy when her dad first purchased their lot on Hall’s Lake in 1942. Adonna, her children and grandchildren will be celebrating their seventieth year at Hall’s Lake in 2012. In the interim 70 years the Kennedy family and friends have thoroughly enjoyed what the lake has to offer.
Adonna loved to get in their wooden boat and row around the lake exploring. She went from the southeast corner, where sunken boats provided a place for turtles to bask in the sun, to the northwest corner where a proliferation of cedar waxwings flourished and frolicked.
The Kennedy cottage walls hold pictures from early times in Adonna’s life. Her Dad was an avid fisherman; he used crickets for bait, by the way. One picture shows her Mom in front of the cottage and you can see the shutters that covered the screens in the front porch. Glass windows didn’t arrive until later. Adonna is shown pumping water from the old well in yet another picture.
Over the years, fiberglass boats came into existence and then on to the modern sportsmen’s bass boats, etc. The population of cedar waxwings seems to have been replaced with multitudes of red-winged blackbirds and the lady slippers have disappeared. The number of beaver she experienced in her youth has decreased. She does not recall any coyote or bobcats then. One possible impact of the change would be the addition of cottages around the lake. When Adonna was young, the south side had the only cottages. She watched over the years as other cottages sprang up and more Hall’s Lake lovers became part of the landscape.
The cottages originally had very narrow lots – 30 ft. – and were very modest summer and weekend spots to visit. While the Freeman/Kennedys watched, cottages changed hands and became long-term escapes. The full time houses are relatively more recent. Other names that were associated with early settling at Hall’s Lake were Howards, who had a boat rental for fisherman. Additional early residents were Binkleys and Curtisses. Freeds inhabited the northwest end of the lake.
Adonna’s stories could probably fill a book, just focusing on her adventures alone. But the stories continue to expand as she married and had children. Her children have the next volume of the saga. Kathy, Steve, Dave and Dan held Hall’s Lake high in their list of destinations. In order to expand the weekends in the summer at the lake to a Thursday through Sunday stay, they all even offered to work on the family garden to hurry their departure for the fun to begin.
Adonna attributes the relatively undeveloped nature of Hall’s lake to her love of the area. The peacefulness brings her back again and again. Peacefulness and space are a consistent theme with residents. The current eastern end of Hall’s Lake is totally undeveloped and if residents and the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy have any say, it will remain a haven for both residents and visitors for the surrounding area and beyond.
The Kennedys added the woods behind their cottage to their holdings in the area.
Her grandchildren have become the latest generation to love being at the cottage and explore the lake and woods.