The McGill Family History

Published in Fall, 2007

By Jim and Anne McGill, Northwest Shore, Lundstrom's Bay
November 2006

The McGill family (Bill, Jane, Jim, and Margaret) purchased the old “Lake View School House”, located on the southwest shore, in about 1956 from the Plantz family (Ralph Plantz Cabins). It has been our understanding this was the first property sold by Don Jensen. The old school house had been deserted for quite some time and was in a general state of disrepair.

The school house was one of four one-room school houses in Hiram Township . It was built in the early 1900s and functioned as a school through the height of the logging era.

Some of the Ten Mile residents who attended school there included Sietta Richardson, Rocky Blakeman, and Albert Thomas. According to Albert Thomas, the old school house was also a great place to socialize. Albert had many fond memories of taking a team of horses across the lake to attend dances at the school.

Following its use as a school, the property was owned by the Plantz and Blakeman families. Rumor has it, ownership and access to the property was the source of family and community feuds.

During the mid 50s through the mid 60s, the McGills made bi-weekly treks between Des Moines and Ten Mile from Memorial Day to Labor Day. While the parents modernized (water, septic, electricity, heat, paint, etc.), the lake was the primary source of fun and enjoyment for the kids. Other sources of entertainment included exploring the Bowman Farm and the island. Jim and his friends always looked forward to the Hillaway girls’ arriving next door for their overnight camping adventure. A big night on the town included Bromleys’, or Robys’, or Lou Ell’s and, compliments of the local merchants, a free movie at the drive in (now Frizzell Furniture).

In 1963, the McGills moved to Florida and from the mid 60s through the early 70s, trips to Ten Mile were much less frequent.

In 1972, after graduation from college and their return from East Africa , Anne and Jim moved to Ten Mile. Thanks to their neighbors, the Shonkwilers, they were able to secure employment. Their daughters, Meghan and Cristin, were born here and were baptized on the shores of Ten Mile.

In the late 70s, Bill and Jane retired to Ten Mile but spent winters in Florida . After almost 20 years of “living the good life”, Jane died in 1997. Thereafter, Bill stayed at Ten Mile and experienced several winters and the birth of his great grand daughter, Maddie. Bill passed away in 2003.

Currently, the old school house/family house remains in the family and, hopefully, in keeping with Ten Mile tradition, it will continue to do so.

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