Ludlow's Lesson #5: Night Owl
Step 1 - Gather Lumber
Hod ended up living with a Mr. and Mrs. Aiken, and they were each of a mind to build their own cabins. They found a piece of property, Jack Pine Ridge, which had the lumber they wished to acquire. They traded a 22-rifle for the property, an approximately $15 value. Hod gave Glen Aiken $7.50 for his half.
They would park Glen's car on the road and walk a mile into the woods to cut the trees for lumber. They cut the jack pine logs into eight-foot lengths and used Nellie (yes, the same Nellie as from previous lessons) to skid the logs. They rented a sawmill for $10 and hauled it into the woods with Nellie, along with a barrel of gasoline. By cutting the logs to three-quarter inch thick, they were able to get more boards from each tree. They hauled the logs to the lake with Nellie. They would load her up, get into Glen's car and drive to what is now Polley's Resort and wait for her to arrive! They would stack everything in piles to dry. This process took ALL winter!
Step 2 - Build a Foundation
The next summer, Hod dug a trench 3 feet deep and 16 by 24 feet for the foundation for Night Owl. It wasn't until the following summer (approximately 1933 or '34) that Hod started hand mixing cement for the foundation. This he did with sand he dug out from Niles Bay beach, a boatload at a time!
Step 3 - Start Building
At the end of the summer, Hod helped Glen Aiken frame in his cabin, and he in turn helped enclose Night Owl. Mr. Aiken knew how to put up rafters, which helped tremendously. The cabin was originally done in half-log siding, and to Hod's knowledge the knotty-pine paneling interior was the first of its kind in the area. Hod then gathered rocks and built the fireplace, and with that, the first cabin on the island was completed, at a sum of $600.
Next week we introduce Lil and head to Lac LaCroix.