Cabin culture: A place at the lake

  • Article by: KIM ODE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 8, 2012 - 8:50 AM

Family cabins, whether on a lake or in the woods, are as much a part of Minnesota culture as the call of a loon, although some skeptics don't understand the allure.

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justaxnspendJul. 7, 12 5:18 PM

I bought my cabin at age 42. I'm 67 now and wouldn't change a thing as I sit here writing this comment looking out the window at a crystal clear spring fed lake full of fish waiting to be caught by me, my grown childern, grandchildern along with their friends. What a great Minnesota story!

Cory089Jul. 7, 12 6:20 PM

The problem with this cabin mystique is that it is becoming ever less realistic for many of us. My wife and I have great jobs, but we couldn't imagine buying a cabin - in large part because they are controlled by families. Those of us who grew up poor or can't split the cost across a large family either can't find a place or are priced out of the market. That's why I expect cabins will become increasingly concentrated in well-to-do families who have had them for generations.

aviendhaJul. 7, 12 6:26 PM

Ahem. WDGY was the country station.

ddellwoJul. 7, 12 6:29 PM

As a native Minnesotan now living in Texas, it wasn't until I left home that I realized what a distinctly Minnesotan concept being "Up North" was. Here in Texas, well-heeled locals often jet off to Colorado or New Mexico for summer getaways, but for those of more typical means, summer entails simply "gutting out" the heat until cooler fall weather prevails. Now, when I head home for the rare trip back to lake country, I suspect this aspect of Minnesota life will soon be lost, as innumerable quaint little cabins are torn down to make way for yet another "Lake McMansion" for some self-absorbed doctor or lawyer from the Twin Cities who uses it as nothing more than another measuring stick to prove how much financial prowess he has attained in his life......:(...

roscoeUJul. 7, 12 6:34 PM

great article, when i was a kid i went to my aunts cabin every summer. I haven't been to the lake in 30 years, been working and raising a family. I have been saving and dreaming. Next year, Next year, my dream comes true!

gregdeereJul. 7, 12 7:01 PM

That's all very nice, but have the cabin people ever considered how they impact the locals ? Minnesota people pour over the border to Wisconsin, crowd our lakes and roads. They loudly party when we have to get early for work. Our quality of life is taken away so they can play. We choose to live her because it rural and is far from the city, the cabin people bring the city out to us.

elmi0001Jul. 7, 12 7:39 PM

Gregdeere c'mon ... what about the economic impact? Minnesotan's crossing the border or venturing up north are the reason half of the stores in these small towns where highways cross exist. Without it the small towns would dry up. Ask southwest MN how their small towns are doing.

skipmachJul. 7, 1210:10 PM

aviendham, I "toured" WDGY as an 8th grader in the early 70's. It was a pop station then and we called it "Weegee". From Wikipedia: "WDGY's longtime Top 40 format came to an end in 1977 when ...they adopted a country music format"

smarterthanuJul. 7, 1210:16 PM

aviendha- Nope. KDWB and WDGY were the top 40 stations.

SammyBoyJul. 7, 1210:17 PM

I know many people who grew up in the north woods of Wisconsin or the Iron Range, and without those "tourists," they wouldn't have had jobs or anything to do in the summer. Towns like Ely and Eagle River thrive off of those lawyers and doctors from the Twin Cities. To say otherwise is to be someone who has their head in the sand. The property taxes could be fairer perhaps, but I have friends who got rather decent public educations because those property taxes were collected from families who didn't send their kids to school there.


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