“Your” Memories of Big Bass Lake- Part Six

Oh My Goodness, people! This is fabulous. I have been coming to BBL since I was born in 1952. My grandparents were Jack and Carrie (Matson) Woolsey…so yep, I’m one of those Matson’s…sort of!!! Everything that you’re all talking about ignites a spot in my heart….and I’m looking out at the lake as we speak!!!! It’s cloudy and rainy and we are expecting snow on Sunday!! I am one of the fortunate ones whose dream came true and I live here now all the time.
The roller rink, Mr. Cass, BBL Store (which is still vacant and crumbling) was also owned by my grandma and grandpa for a little while! The Fun Spot. I sure wish it was here now because I bowl with the ladies on Tuesday’s and we have to go all the way to Baldwin.
Grandma and Grandpa Woolsey used to rent cottages on the SE end of the lake. I don’t know the years, only that it was a long time ago. My Mother, Winnifred (Woolsey) Larkin and her sister Suzanne (Woolsey) Aupperlee inherited the cottages. Suzanne is alive and well and lives here full time. She will be 88 in December and still bowling!! My Mom, Winnifred, passed away in 1994 (as did my Dad) and I inherited their place. In 1995, I sold Mother’s place to my cousin, Karen Aupperlee, and we built the little red cottage next door to it. Trying hard to keep it “all in the family”.
I too was broken hearted with the sale of CMJ and the public access coming in. I would still lead a raid to blow it up, if any of you are willing!!!! (Kidding of course.)
The loons are still my favorite thing. We have geese and sand hill cranes too. Can’t forget Henry the blue heron. All such warm spots in my heart from growing up here.
I specifically remember a time when a Matson cousin and I decided to travel the channel to LBL. We had our V-bottom boat and no mosquito spray. (We did have lunch, I think.) It took us ALL day to get over there!!! Then, I remember being freaked out about all the octopus all over the bottom of the shallow part by the opening….of course they were tree stumps, but what did we know?
Does anyone remember when Natalie Cole was a counselor at CMJ and her famous Dad, Nat King Cole visited her? I know that he sang over the PA system, and I thought it was the “Lord’s Prayer,” but I don’t know for sure. I loved listening to taps every night and I loved waving to all the kids on the 7 or 8 busses when they were coming to or going home from camp!!!!
Martin Johnson’s house has been moved to Skinner Park in Irons and is a museum. Talk about memories…we all went into it through the basement and oohed and ahhed over the paintings and taxidermies things. We never ever hurt or took anything, but others did. Almost all if it is gone, but the museum has many articles that are, at least, of the same time period!!!
I have to stop talking! I could go on forever…I have letters that I sent to my folks from a trip out west in 1969 (I was 17). I told them horridly about all that we were doing and seeing, but the last several lines were about BBL. Can we please go up the minute we get back, what boys have stopped over while I’ve been gone, what’s everybody been doing? Mostly…how soon are we going up North after I get home???? It certainly is the most unforgettable place I’ve ever known!!!!  Pisha Larkin Bishop

Thanks Dave! Great pictures! Great memories. !
My aunt & uncles cottage is near the old Peacock Resort. At the time it was run by Lori Wack and her partner Rosie. They had a farm there as well and cared for injured wildlife. My brothers & I were regular visitors over there. We loved hanging around with Lori & Rosie and all of the animals. It is kind of funny. Through all of the posts I have read I haven’t seen any mention of John Ruby. He owned so much of the property up there at the time. The farm across from the Bartletts store belonged to Ruby as well.  Judy Disclafani – Rosenblum

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