The History of Big Alum Lake
Ruth began coming to Big Alum with her parents at age 15.
1935: They pitched a tent on a relatively flat spot down by the water, a tent large enough for 3 cots. When it rained Mother and I would sit on the cots listening to the water beat on the canvas and gurgle under the tent on its race to the lake.
1936: The second year, we raised a larger unbrella tent on a wooden platform in a different location.
At this time, many cottages were already on the lake, especially on the North and East sides. The South end was dotted with rental fishing shacks. The West side began with Happy Hemlocks and proceded intermittently up the lake.
1937 - 1938: My best friend, Phyllis Whiteoak's family bought a small place in the cove by the island. After that, summers consisted of swimming back and forth, or canoeing back and forth to the Rice property to play tennis with Charlie.
All of this, remember, was done entirely by hand since electricity had not yet been brought in to Big Alum. We used kerosene lamps and stove. I remember heating baby bottles in the middle of the night on a kerosene stove. Even after we had electricity, the power went out with every storm. We still have the old kerosene lamps on the wall.