Clifford (Cliff) and Margaret (Peg) Anderson first came to Ten Mile in the mid-1960s as guests of Robert and Catherine Crabb. They were good friends from the cities and their son Mark was a friend of the Crabbs’ son, John. A few years later, in about 1968, the Andersons bought the old Murray cabin just at the 90 degree bend in Cass County 6 (Lower Ten Mile) as you come to the lake from Highway 371. They and their 3 children (Mark, Katherine AKA Kate, and Margaret AKA Meg) enjoyed this cabin for many years. In the 60s Margaret was a camper at Hillaway.
This property had been used to lay one of the first telephone cables at Ten Mile back in the 50s. The chief speech writer for President Eisenhower, Malcolm Moos, had a cabin on the north shore of Ten Mile and wanted a telephone. In order to do this they needed to lay a cable on the floor of the lake from the south to north shore. This cable came down Lower Ten Mile Lake Road from 371 and went out through the Murray/Anderson property to the lake and then on the floor of the lake to the north shore. John Crabb remembers seeing it when he and Mark would swim there in the 60s and 70s.
In 1977 Camp Hillaway was sold to Robert Crabb and 5 of his friends including Cliff and Peg Anderson. This included not only the main camp on the south shore but also the beach on the east shore where the girls used to go camping. The new owners divided up the land so each would have a site to build and also keep some land in common and a few lots for future sale. At that time Andersons chose the land on the east side beach. The site needed a road put in through the swamp in back of it. This project was supervised by Mark in the summer of 1978. Mark remembers the building of this road as being done by a man named Mr. Adolphson who had a giant piece of equipment to haul the necessary dirt and gravel. The gravel pit was owned by Albert Thomas who lived just across the way from where the new road was being built. This road, which is the driveway to the Anderson cabin, is now 30+ years old and has never needed any repair nor suffered any degradation.
During this time Mark was very happy to meet this new neighbor, Albert Thomas. He describes Albert as very gracious and friendly and he would invite Mark to his farmhouse. Mark said, “It was fairly rustic I guess you could say. I don’t know that housekeeping was Albert’s first priority. But he took me into the kitchen and offered me some beef to take home and I was…it was a new experience for me. I went into the kitchen and I could see that he was in the midst of butchering the cow in the kitchen and I had never experienced that sort of thing before. There it is ― parts of the cow in various parts of the kitchen. It was a different, new experience. Anyway, I think it would be fair to say Albert lived fairly close to the land, and spoke of butchering and using the meat from a cow as we might talk about going out to the garden and picking a tomato. But he would just…’well, I’m running low on meat so I’ll just have to harvest one of the cows’. My impression was the last thing he would need to do would be to have someone butcher. He would sort of butcher the cow just as we would slice a tomato right there in the kitchen. It was all perfectly natural to him as unfamiliar to it as I was. He was very gracious. I think at the same time he offered me a pie that his sister living in Hackensack had baked for him. So he was an extremely gracious person…very gracious, naturally so and very smart with a lively mind, well informed about current events at that time. He was a fascinating character. You know a person living, at that time, a person living a life somewhat out of time, or out of his time from a period of, even then maybe close to a hundred years before given the style in which he lived. But [he was] a great guy and an endlessly interesting person. As I say, it was a real treat to have known him…a real character in the very best sense of the word.” (There is more information about Albert Thomas and his family in the book TEN MILE LAKE HISTORY: 200 YEARS.)
Anderson’s neighbor to the south of their Hillaway property was the Loufek family until that property was sold in 2002. Mark only met one of the family, Charles, who was one of the 4 children of the couple who bought the property in 1937. Mark told me, “I did not know the Loufek family very well. They were seldom at their property as I remember it. There were stories that I would hear occasionally about one or more members of the family coming up and, given the large piece of property they had, completely wild and undeveloped except for a cabin they had near the point and perhaps an out building as well. They would come up and enjoy, as I remember being told, target practice. So occasionally from my parents cabin on the old Hillaway property just to the north of Loufek’s property we would hear occasional gun shots and so on, and so for us city slickers that was a little bit of a disincentive to rush over through the woods and visit the neighbors not knowing if they would know what it was that was coming toward them through the woods.”
Cliff and Peg are gone now but the property on the east shore is still in the family. We hope it will be used and enjoyed by their children and grandchildren for years to come. The old Murray cabin has recently been sold to Ten Mile newcomers Travis and Kelly LaMar.