The History of Big Alum Lake

Chapter 17

Information from Lee Lyman (2015)

Although they have moved away, the Lymans still have a strong connection to the lake and to people there.  Lee shared these stories of the Lyman family's life on Big Alum.

This picture is of our cottage on Big Alum during the late 1900's to 1920's.  The property was bought by my grandfather in the early 1900's and used by the family for summer vacations.  My grandfather was a Baptist minister and around 1938 my father along with his sister and two brothers were asked if anyone would like to buy the lake property.  My father was the only one to step forward to take the offer.  This was just after the 1938 hurricane which pretty much wiped out all of the trees and the cottage.

To the left of the house is a structure that my Dad had built.  It was a swing made of a very long rope and it had a steel ball at the end of the rope.  There was a platform that you would climb up on and then swing out over the lake, where you had better jump off.  If you decided that jumping or diving was not your cup of tea, you would then swing back and crash into the tower.  Yes, according to my Dad, there were a few injuries!  That fun all ended with the '38 storm.

My father told us that when he was growing up at Big Alum, there were very few buildings on the lake.  He said that the property across from us, from the Holden house all the way to the North cove was just woods and that he could have bought it for a few hundred dollars.  The Sera property was a camp and the Cheney property was being used.  Brookfield Road was dirt and my Dad's family had to take the trolley from Springfield to Fiskdale and then a horse drawn wagon to the lake.
My parents moved us into the rebuilt cottage in 1947.  It was never insulated nor did we have storm windows or doors.  Yes, we were roughing it!  I believe we were the first family to live on the lake year round.  We kids loved it but it was tough on my mother.  The greatest part of growing up at Big Alum was the families who were our neighbors.

Introduction, Chapters:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17