Cabin of Finlayson Clan

“Cabin of Finlayson Clan. Built in the early part of the Twentieth Century. 1924. May she stand forever.”
— J. Finlayson (click for a few more)

“We’ve owned this beach for 80 years and we know about riparian rights!” I once said to a drunk, rather misogynistic ATV driver from the Canadian side. He had somehow found his way down the Armstrong-Faunt Wetlands Drainage Ditch onto our beach and was looking for some “ashphalt” so he could get outta there. He peered at me in amazement. You could tell he was thinking, “80 years? You are obviously an old bag (grok grok, she sure is! grok grok) but I don’t think you have been around quite that long?!?”

No, I haven’t, but my grandaddy and two of his buddies were and they bought this beach back in the 1920s. They built Birch Point Road, now a wide, paved county road, and they each built a log cabin. My grandaddy used to take the train out from Sault Ste. Siberia to the cabin and he would get off at a little stop called Gladys and walk the rest of the way. I’ve been to Gladys but I don’t think I would recognize it without Jack to point it out. Radical Betty and Jack, their siblings, and the McNaughton kids used to play rum-runner and coast guard on the beach.

Up until I was six years old, we spent summers in the old cabin. I can remember sleeping on the front porch with all my cousins. Jim (2 years) used to caw at the crows early in the morning. There was a person named Elizabeth, our great-aunt, who would tell us to just growl right back when it thundered in the middle of the night. There was a wood cooking stove in the kitchen that I can remember my Grandma using to bake pies. Sometimes with blueberries that came from out in the front yard. And when there was a big old northwest wind, there would be a roaring fire in that huge fireplace and we would stand in front of it forever after we went swimming.

I guess to finish this off, I could write some sappy stuff about how all the families that used to stay together at the old cabin loved each other very much but space is space and they ended up with their own cabins. But today is the day we *finally* did Grandroobly’s funeral home visitation and I am tired and out of words, not to mention editing steam. When Karen and I arrived home at the cabin tonight, we got out of the car and a lake freighter blew a master salute. How appropriate can it get?

P. S. I won’t even pretend to be an expert about riparian rights but I do know where to look that kind of stuff up.

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