The Moos Family Story

From an interview with Grant Moos, August 2, 2011

By Karin Arsan, History Committee
Published Spring, 2013

MALCOLM MOOS WAS BORN in St Paul in 1916 and grew up on Lake Como next door to Ivar Siqveland. Sr. (the grandfather of the Ivar who lives on TML today) and his wife Rose and their only child, Ivar, Jr. Malcolm and Ivar,Jr. were the best of friends and as a child Malcolm came to Ten Mile with the Siqvelands and fell in love with the lake. After WWII he married Tracy Gager and for many summers they rented various places on Ten Mile. Grant was the third of five children born to Malcolm and Tracy. When he was about five his father bought land at the lake. It was several lots of the NORTHWEST SHORES, TEN MILE LAKE area that Fred T Hagen and Al Woock had bought and sub-divided. This land went from what is now the west side of Gainey’s Point to just past the land the Moos family owns near the east end. There were originally 44 lots and Malcolm originally bought six of them: lots 38-43. Each lot had about 100’ of lakeshore except lots 43 and 44 which were larger. Later Malcolm bought lot 37, plus 75 feet of lot 36 from the Cooks after Ned Cook died in 1974.

THE LAND MALCOLM BOUGHT August 25, 1959, had a big hill at the east end which Al Woock leveled to build a family cabin. In going through old boxes in the boathouse Grant says,“we found the plans for this cabin. And its right out of a book…a Weyerhauser kind of cabin book…it’s like a Cheyenne or something like that. So Al Woock built it. It’s very basic…it wasn’t very much money to build. I think it was like $9,000 or something. The carpentry is fabulous that Al Woock is known for…and the fireplace is spectacular.” It has all the best of Al Woock’s work plus a few novel features like a huge stone fireplace that opens on two sides and a wall about 12’ high which is a giant book-case and runs from the living room back to the bedrooms.

Grant says, “I do remember coming up here, I would have been about 5 at the time…in a big black car with my grandfather, my dad’s dad, and we came up here to look at this place before it (the cabin) was here and we got stuck in this car…and there was nobody around…I don’t know how they got the car out but that’s my first memory of this place…so that’s over 50 years ago.” There is still a long dirt driveway going in from Highway 71 and they are at the very end.

Lot 44 is past the Moos place but accessed from Highway 71 directly. This is where John Bryngelson built on the land that later belonged to Paul and Suzanne Larkin.

AND, OF COURSE, THERE WAS THE TELEPHONE CABLE. Malcolm was one of the first people on Ten Mile to have a telephone. A special cable was laid from the south shore near the old Murray cabin right across under the water to the northwest side. You can see a picture of this in our history book, page 9. I remember this was a stunning event at the time as there were no telephone lines around Ten Mile and most of us had never considered the possibility or even desirability of having a telephone.

MALCOLM WAS THE CHIEF SPEECH WRITER for President Eisenhower at the time he bought his Ten Mile land. He wrote the farewell speech that Ike gave in Jan 1961, as he left office, in which he warned Americans, “We must be especially careful to avoid measures which would enable any segment of this vast military-industrial complex to sharpen the focus of its power.” Through scores of revisions, that idea persisted. There were 29 drafts of this speech and Malcolm had given 8 to the Eisenhower library. The other 21 were left in the boathouse with the 6 boxes of Eisenhower papers, undisturbed until a couple years ago when Grant gave them to the Eisenhower library. There’s an article about this in the Dec 20+27, 2010, issue of The New Yorker magazine (and in the Ten Mile Lake Newsletter of Spring, 2011).

EVENTUALLY MALCOLM AND TRACY had 5 children: Malcolm,Jr.(b. 1952) Kathy(b.1954), Grant(b.1955), Ann, and Margie. They spent many happy summers at the lake. They lived not far from the Siqvelands and Ivar, Jr. was Grant’s godfather and Malcolm was godfather to Ivar III.

Ivar, Jr. was a great woodworker (yes, this is the Ivar that built the steamboat that is still seen and heard on Ten Mile) and Grant learned a lot of woodworking from him. Grant told me, “My dad was actually with Ivar when he picked out the tree that became the backbone…the keel for his steamship, the ‘Amy’.

“Backen was the name of the lumber guy out of Walker, and my dad was with him so that tree is there and …this table over here has got the ends of the keel.”

AFTER A FEW YEARS MALCOLM also had a little writing cabin built to the west of the main cabin. This is a beautiful little cabin with one whole wall a huge stone fireplace. He also had a boathouse built to the east. All these buildings are very close to the water. In 1966 he bought a real caboose from the Burlington Northern Railroad and had it hauled from Hackensack on a flatbed and placed back in the woods behind the boathouse. “That’s where I stayed all the time”, says Grant. “I didn’t sleep anywhere else. And then my kids sleep there.” That is a great place for children and a place that Grant remembers using in the winter with his friends Jeff Manlove and Christian Bliska until quite recently.

ONE OF GRANT’S EARLY MEMORIES of Ten Mile took place when he was probably 5-7. “Well you know…we had a bunch of boats and old motors…I remember one time my motor actually blew up on me. It actually caught fire…the motor just caught fire right over here…That was pretty spectacular. So we just had to come in and, you know, I got out of the boat and was towing it in and hollering and screaming and my dad came out and just tipped the boat over and put the fire out.” That motor is still in the boathouse.

UNFORTUNATELY, MALCOLM DIED AT TEN MILE on January 28, 1982. The property passed to his wife and 5 children and in 1991 Ann and Margie sold their shares to their siblings and Tracy gave up her share so that now the property belongs to Malcolm Jr., Grant, and Kathy. Also, in 1991 they sold lot 37 and the part of lot 36 they owned to their good friend, Thomas Moore, and his wife Ingeborg who now live next door to them on the west side and just past Moore’s is Tom’s cousin Nancy Cook Nelson. Only a short way further west is Grant’s good friend, Pete Roberts. Pete’s daughter, Emily, grew up at Ten Mile with Grant’s daughter Hannah.

WHEN GRANT WAS YOUNG Molly Brandt Bliska and her 3 sons, Christian, Tommy, and Jimmy lived on the island which wasn’t far from the NW shore and they were also good friends. Grant says even to this day he and several friends try to plan their time at Ten Mile so they can get together. At the time of the interview Grant and friends had just had breakfast together on a pontoon. Regarding his time at the lake he said, “We had a ton of friends. You know, most of my good friends are from here…Christian (Bliska) is one of my best friends. He’s in St Paul so we see him every couple of weeks or so.”

GRANT HAS BECOME VERY INVOLVED in Ten Mile sailboat racing and is now the Commodore of the Ten Mile Lake Yacht Club. Pete Roberts is also very involved. In addition to the races, the post-race parties are a lot of fun for all sailors past and present. Grant feels it’s a good way to meet people and stay connected.

Malcolm’s wife, Tracy, is still alive and lives with their daughter Kathy in St. Paul.

ALL THE EXTENDED FAMILY use the Ten Mile property. Grant and his wife Susan have 3 children: Megan, Hannah, and Charlie. Megan and Jim Detweiler have a little daughter, Grace. Grant’s sister Kathy has two children: Martha and Oliver Ross. With many family and friends in and out during the summer the cabin is a happy meeting place.

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