14 May 1957 Letter William Shepard to Parents

15 May 1957
Dear Dick & Dad:

Lois has probably kept you advised of all the news-
so Ill confine my letter to our plans for this
summer. -Our plans are subject to your
wishes so let us know if anything
conflicts with your schedule.

We will leave here July 5th and drive
directly to Thessalon, taking ten to twelve
days and stopping at Couer d’Lane, Idaho-
Yellowstone Nat Park, Grand Teton Nat Park,
Mt. Rushmore Nat Park and across Wisconsin,
to the straits and to Thessalon. We will
spend the last two weeks in July with
you in Canada & then visit with Lois
folks in Westerville for several weeks, then
go to Montgomery.

I have written Herman & Ruth. I
suggested that they try to be in Canada

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with us if they could. it would be
nice to have the family together again.
There will be no shortage of sleeping space.
we are bringing six sleeping bags and
air matress!

We bought a camping outfit-tent-stove & the works. We plan to camp all the
way aross the U.S. We will carry it
in the boat with Bonnie and the motor.

The way you can tell when we get
there is by the green boat coming across the bay with six dirty characters
in it. We may stop to wash up before
we get there! We plan to arrive in Canada
15 to 17 July.

Please let us know if this is OK. We
look forward to seeing all of you.

Bill

Canada, oh Canada!

That’s a song–right? Nevermind.

The ‘never seems to be ending’ project of scanning my Shepard grandparent’s old family pictures has been fun and interesting, although admittedly sometimes a bit tedious*. But, I am really getting a chance to look them over and put together a picture timeline of their life, and even get ideas for future blog posts. Or, just remember the places that they lived and my own visits there. Some of the pictures are also triggering my research itch, because of questions I have about the time, or place, or who is in them.

I recently scanned more Canada pics from Dick and Dad’s part of the collection, a couple of them, thankfully, have been labeled ‘Cummings Lake.’ If I had the grandparents around to ask, I could find out exactly where this cottage was, (although I do enjoy putting the clues together, and solving the mystery myself). So the location has been narrowed down to Cummings Lake in Thessalon, Canada. Now the question is– where on the lake, exactly. Having the photograph below helps to narrow it down some more:

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Dick and Dad’s view of the dock below the cottage. Taken in 1954. This, by the way is a great picture.

I can narrow the location down because I found the following picture at the Grand Falls Camp website when searching online for information on Cummings Lake:

Grand Falls Camp Cummings Lake Thessalon

The cliff face in the background matches exactly the cliff in the first picture. This location is stated by the website as being between Lakes Tunnel and Cummings. When using Google map’s street view, I find this exact spot on Hwy 129 going North. It is facing Lake Cummings. Which means that the cottage was in the area on the topographic map below. It is difficult to tell where exactly, or even generally, from this view though.

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image
Google street view from highway.

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The arrow is pointing to the cliff area we see in all the pictures.

Looking at a larger overview of the area, I’m thinking that the cottage was, or is, if it is still there, on the big bump out of land above the falls area.

We have lots of photos of the cottage and the area around the lake, so I created an album of just those pictures at my flickr site (well I hope they are all from the cottage and lake area). Seeing the pictures and writing about this topic has given me an urge to drive up there next summer and visit. It is only a 7-8 hour drive, and I have my passport now!

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My grandfather, Bill Shepard, wrote lots of letters mentioning his parents cottage. They usually talked about how envious he was, because he never got to go up and enjoy all that fishing everyone was always going on about. I know an uncle went there at one point when he was a kid. Other than Herman and Ruth, who else made the trip?

 

*I won’t complain too much about all that scanning, as we are fortunate to have so many family pictures that that been passed down. Some folks aren’t so lucky.