Aerial Farm Field

Just to the right of Big Bass Lake Road and running all the way to Noreika Road was our family farm field. When I think of all the land that my grandfather, Joseph Noreika, had to clear it boggles the imagination. From the end of the farming field at Noreika Road to where the old cabin once stood is at least a good half mile. In those days I wonder how many crops he operated?

As a boy I once envisioned a major league ballpark where the immediate field stood. Just across our gravel driveway was a field with the exact proportions for a major league park. It was at this location where the field opened up with a vastness all the way to the tree lined shore of Big Bass Lake including a one time orchard.  That ball field, though, would never become a reality as our singular tree in the middle of that field would have had to be replaced and its uniqueness would not make that possible.

The only crops I remember were our expansive garden which seemed to have changed locations over the years which would be a form of crop rotation I suppose. At one time it was on the other side of our gravel driveway alongside the chicken coop and then again it was along the gravel road on the side closest to the lake. Finally it seemed to have established itself just outside the new cottage.

At any rate that is one large tract of farm land.

Busy Day on Big Bass Lake

Are my eyes deceiving me  or are those lanes on Big Bass Lake? It could be for some sort of boat race? Here are two boats heading to those lanes right now. That pontoon boat could either be a judge, spectator, or fisherman. Interesting concept. Are their scheduled races on the lake today?  

Aerial Big and Little Bass Lakes

Here is a fine aerial photograph of both Big and Little Bass Lakes. The channel between the two is there but hard to locate on this map. I would be interested to learn where those that are on Big and Little Bass Lake have their cottages located around the lake?

I understand that the noted Big Bass Lake area historian, Anne Louise Chase, has her cottage located quite near the channel between Big and Little Bass Lake and our former cottage was on the southwest corner of Big Bass Lake although our property extended farther up the southwest corner.

The former Richard Benish property was where the public landing now sits. So, how about the rest of you? Leave us a comment and let us know where your cottages are in relation to these two lakes.

Plus all five islands are there for you to see, Haunted Island (Matson’s), The Big Island, Grandma’s Hat, Four Winds, and Turtle.

The North Side of Big Bass Lake

I never spent a whole lot of time on the North side of Big Bass Lake except for an occassional trip to the channel between Big and Little Bass Lake. I also took our motorboat to the north side of the lake a few times but since our property was off the southwest portion of the lake that was my primary range of activities. I also ventured to the southeast part of the lake a lot as that is where the Big Bass Lake store was located.

Camp Martin Johnson would have to be considered on the North side of the lake. Also there is what some refer to as the sunken island. There the lake is only a few feet deep even though it would appear to be in the middle of that portion of the lake. On the shore it would look somewhat peculiar to observe people standing up in the middle of the lake and walking around.

There also used to be a resort on the north side of the lake. Anyone know more about that resort? I think there are four to choose from, Grants, Homestead, Anderson’s, and Dinty Moore. On the south shore there was Peacock’s Resort for a time and I think another one exists yet today. Let us know by way of a comment.


Do you remember this area at Big Bass Lake Road? It was a detour of sorts in the early days up to the early 1960s. It was C-Shaped and went around a portion of the swamp each way. It is still there as evidence today. The road  always has a slight bump in Big Bass Lake Road yet today.
Some say it is leveled annually But only the great Scarecrow would know that? Was the swamp his hideout? More soon.

Aerial Harper Lake

I am pleased to add a new category to Big Bass Lake and Beyond and it is Harper Lake. Harper Lake has a resort on the lake which you can access on our blogroll. This lake has two islands on it. They are in close proximity to each other and one is large and the other quite smaller. From time to time I will be featuring pictures of Harper Lake. Comments are welcome at all times.

An Interesting Big Bass Lake Docking Area


I like the

 design of this landowners docking area. One must walk down a ramp to get to a kind of deck upon Big Bass Lake. It would seem that each homeowner on the lake creates his own unique docking area and this one could be used by several chairs upon it and even an umbrella table. On another post, I highlight a long winding staircase leading to that docking area.

Our pier was much simpler with the only extra being a bench at the end of the dock. We also had a sandy trail with built-in steps leading down to our pier but nothing as extravagant as this particular docking area. Within this site, there are several homes featured with their docking areas. Some are simple and some more elaborate. There is even a floating dock featured on one of our posts. One enormous home has an even simpler dock design than our cottages.

I suppose it all depends on one’s individual tastes as to what design dock they use. Some on Big Bass Lake are very elaborate and give the homeowner credit for their creativity in this regard. Over the course of time, we will be featuring more of these docking areas along with some of the larger homes on the lake.


North of the Bridge to The Big Island

This is a wonderful photograph just past the bridge that leads to the Big Island. It clearly shows the narrow piece of land separated on both sides by Big Bass Lake. To the west of that bridge, which you can see in the upper right side of this picture, is the southwest portion of Big Bass Lake, while just across this narrow strip is the southeast corner of the lake.

The Big Island is the only one of the five islands on the lake that has a bridge connected to it making for easy access in and off the island. It was put in around 1956.

The Big Island has the most homes on it of any island on the lake with Four Winds Island on the north side of the lake second. What I term the Haunted Island now has one home on it. Turtle Island and Grandma’s Hat (Tiny Tim) are too small for any home.

Isn’t this a great photograph of sunset at Big Bass Lake?

Our Entry Port to the Haunted Island

As you can tell by the tree-lined island, what I term the Haunted Island can be most foreboding at night. Our boys club camping trips only visited that island once on each journey and only at the stroke of midnight. In fact, I tried to select the spookiest night when the elements of wind and no moon were in place.

The view you find here is just about where the old pier stands which is about as rickety as you can get. That served as the initial point where the kids imaginations began to take hold of them. After leaving the pier, a trail begins that leads up a short hill and then winds its way to the very haunted house itself. The house is found in a clearing with trees surrounding it. It is a two-story house and about as old as you can get. I’ve never been to the second floor because the staircase looks none to secure.

There was a mud cellar to this house but again the staircase appeared not safe enough. The floors on the first floor were okay to walk upon. A setting such as this, added to by a ghost story, was more than enough for the kids. They were only too eager to return to the boat. On the way back to Indiana, though, they were full of stories about how brave they were on their trip to the Haunted Island and for the majority of kids taken up to our property the trip to the Haunted Island was the chief attraction for them.

Have You Ever Felt At The End Of Your Rope At Big Bass Lake?

Yes, homeowners at Big Bass Lake do have stresses like property taxes and the weather which can cause them to be at the end of their rope. However, the best way to handle that psychologial condition is to be at the end of your rope literally by water skiing this great lake.

After a few rounds around the lake the pressures will literally melt right away from you. Being at the end of your rope is not the end of the world. In fact, being at the end of your rope on Big Bass Lake can be exciting and refreshing if you take a few dunks along the way.

After this exercise you will be able to handle any of the realities that face you as a homeowner. And you’ll know what to do when those feelings crop up again! Yes, being at the end of your rope on Big Bass Lake can be very invigorating!

Play Ball Charlie

Charlie looks ready for action in the cadet softball program at the Hoffman Estates Boys Club. In the event that you don’t know he is wearing the colors of the Baltimore Orioles team. In our league this team was the Orioles. Our Torch Club members served as team managers for our 4 Team league. All of our regular games were played at our small softball field. Charlie’s team went into the championship game against the Brewers and it was played at our large softball field. Hoffman Estates mayor Virginia Hayter was present to throw out the first ball just prior to the National Anthem with a full color guard. Unfortunately Charlie’s team lost this game but he went three-for-three. Oh well, there’s always next year.


No, this isn’t Polar Bear skinny dipping at the Big Bass Lake Public Landing unrehearsed. It’s the ice rescue squad getting in some timely practice. They make our foolishness and carelessness their top priority In what can be catastrophic situations. BE carful on ice or you may well be needing their services.