A View From The Lake

This article submitted by Linda Lorentzen on 8/20/96.

Alfred Christenson and D.M. Olson served refreshments
from their cabin on Little Sandy before 1920.


People have gathered at the lake, often on Sunday afternoons, for social events. On the west end of Lake Koronis is a tiny point called, "Little Sandy." This was one of the early 1900s gathering places.

In approximately 1915 Deodor (D.M.) Olson and Alfred Christenson purchased this tiny peninsula. They built a small cottage and opened it to the community for social gatherings. Refreshments were even sold to the crowd. Olson and Christenson obtained the refreshments from Van's Beach Store across the lake. They crossed to obtain supplies in a boat which was powered by a car engine that had been modified to propel the boat. George Sunde, an auto mechanic, was responsible for developing the advanced mode of transportation, as outboard motors did not exist at that time.

Eventually Olson and Christenson added a porch to the cottage. Although the Sunday crowd's were often large, access to Little Sandy was frequently a problem. In those horse and buggy days, the visitors had to follow a path from the west end bridge that ran near the shoreline. The farmer who owned the land originally agreed this path could be used by the community. Over the years, circumstances changed, the farmer changed his mind, sometimes erecting a fence to block the traffic. Evidentally, the farmer had put out nets for fishing and some of the visitors to Little Sandy cut them. When the farmer put up a fence, the visitors just took part of it down to allow the traffic to enter and exit Little Sandy.

Prior to 1920 D. M. Olson sold his part of the land to John Sunde. Olson married in 1920 and his son Murlin reported that his dad probably needed the money.

In August 1927, several of the young women in the community spent a week at the cottage. Their excursions to the lake were recorded in a diary written by Agnes Anderson. She had spent the summer with her fiance's, Art Christianson, family. Her diary was recently found by her daughter, who in turn gave a copy to her cousin, Kathryn Chesness.

Agnes' diary is full of delightful insights into a past now faded. Several of the local young women went to camp at the Little Sandy cottage. They named their camp, "Limp Inn" after one of the women lost the heel off her shoe after walking the quarter mile to community Park.

"Dancing, playing cards, laughing, doing the Chinese Kiss, etc., lots of etc.," recorded the author. The nights blended into the early mornings, with the women hearing the 3:20 a.m. train passing in the distance.

Agnes wrote, "Awake at 4. Slept between battles with mosquitoes. Helen woke to see Jo clapping her hands together. It looked funny, but it wasn't such a funny matter, was it Jo?"

They slept in the mornings until 10 or 11. "Gee, Johnnie Olsen's phonograph will soon prove that Edison makes good stuff. Gee! it's been run continually. What is camp life without music?"

Bonfires with wieners, visits from the local young men, and midnight motor boat rides on Lake Koronis rounded out the week. "We packed up and came home and we'll never forget ĆLimp Inn' on Lake Koronis nor the keen time we had." Little Sandy, as many points on the lake, was a source for making memories of a view from the lake.

Acknowledgments: Thanks to Dorothy Hendrickson, Murlin and Edna Olson, Clara Borsheim, Henry Sunde, Kathryn Chesness, and Allard Christenson for their assistance in gathering information for this column.

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