Grandma’s Hat From the Waite Bridge


Off to the left of this photograph, you can make out the smallest island on Big Bass Lake that being Grandma’s Hat. It has also been known as Tiny Tim and even Loon Island. The picture is taken on the Waite Bridge that leads to the Big Island which is right next to the small one. The bridge was built in 1954 and is a one lane bridge set off a dirt road.

The island, as you can tell, is not very big. Yet it has its charms and was once noted as having one great sandy bottom all around the island and many boaters stopped by for a swim. It aslo once held two trees but now seems to be made up of a variety of bushes.

If anyone knows more about this island, please let us know by way of a comment, such as who might currently own it. Our thanks to Mike Elsner for taking this photograph for us.

7 thoughts on “Grandma’s Hat From the Waite Bridge

  1. Is it called the Waite Bridge because it says ‘CD Waite, 1954’ on the side? If so, my grandpa built that bridge, and my grandma knows lots about the island. Feel free to email me 🙂

  2. Yes, I know the name of that bridge. Elsewhere on BBL and Beyond there is a photograph of the foundation of that bridge where that is clearly seen.

  3. Nono, I was asking if that’s why it’s called Waite bridge. I looked around the site trying to find a picture of the actual bridge to see if that was why it was called that before I asked… couldn’t find it though.

    In any case, I’ve been meaning to call my grandma for nearly a year now, so this seems as good a reason as any! She still lives within an hour of the area… at least last time we spoke. She had all sorts of info on the history of the islands there. I don’t remember a whole lot of it (I was 12 when I visited and she showed me the old family haunts, so more than a decade ago), but I distinctly remember the name Loon Island. There is also a graveyard either on one of the islands or visible from one of the islands, where there’s a rather large family plot. When grandpa Waite was buried there, there was an unidentified body found who was reburied nearby and marked as ‘John Doe’

    Anywho, this is a great site! I am so excited to see a bit of my family history as I don’t get to see my father’s side of the family often at all 🙂

  4. If you want to see a photograph of the bridge scroll down the right sidebar to the category “The Big Island” which is Waite Island. There are more articles to come on that island.

  5. Yeah, I remember grandma telling me about the haunted island (the story of John Doe in the family plot was what prompted that), but I mean a regular graveyard. I feel like when we were standing by the bridge, she pointed to the east (or well, to the right while facing the big island from the bridge) and said ‘that’s where the graveyard we just were is’

    I *think* grandma said that grandpa Don (who was also Clyde Waite) had built the bridge, not Clyde Sr. My father was born in 1954 and his initials were also ‘C D Waite’ and grandma said my father had always claimed it was ‘his’ bridge … but it would make more sense if it was Clyde Sr, as grandpa Don would have been pretty young – and a new father – at the time, so I am probably mis-remembering her tale 🙂

  6. The cemetery you are referring to is Lakeview Cemetery and it is east of the little island. But it is NOT on an island. It is pictured under the category Big Bass Lake Area. My aunt is buried there.

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