Archive for Sunday, September 20, 1998


September 20, 1998


The trend in these north woods is for the old-fashioned and rustic fishing resorts to be razed. Then the land on which the modest and quaint cabins sit are sold to wealthy urbanites who build lavish vacation houses.

By doing this, a resort owner can garner an astonishing wad of money, and it is much more money than can be acquired by selling the resort to a new proprietor.

Fortunately, for the frugal fishermen who are perennial customers at Twin Points, the Robinsons don't have any imminent plansto sell their provincial resort on the shores of Lake Ossawinnamakee.

This is the 20th summer the Robinsons have provided a refuge for anglers like Milford Nelson of Austin, Minn., and Pete Semotink of St. Paul. Before the Robinsons, five other proprietors gave shelter to generations of anglers and their families since the last days of World War II.

The Robinsons' tenure began when Tom was 36 years old. Through those years, Tom has watched the wooded shoreline and the lake's crystalline water become cluttered with docks, septic tanks and luxurious homes.

Nowadays the grand solitude of the lake and surrounding woods virtually disappears on summer weekends and becomes awash with noise and clutter from the marauding inhabitants of the Twin Cities who invade with jet skis and assorted recreational apparatuses.

These changes cause Tom to shake his head in disgust, lamenting the frantic and conspicuous plight of the folks who are chained to the mad dog of consumption.

Still, these north woods of majestic Norway pines, elegant birches, hardwoods and wildflowers emit a pastoral aura. And despite the weekend clamor and refuse, the lake is clear as air, remaining replete with lush aquatic vegetation and full of medium-size bass and northern pike.

What's more, every summer osprey, hawks, eagles, loons, ducks, geese, crows, owls and a guidebook full of songbirds grace the sky, water and trees.

The Robinsons' summers, however, are filled with chores galore. Besides tending to anglers' whims, there is washing, cleaning, emergency repairs and grass to mow, leaving the Robinsons with little time for fishing, or merely enjoying the resort's setting.

It is not until September that Ossawinnamakee returns to the way it was 19 years ago, when the Robinsons became Twin Points' stewards. Then the weekenders are gone, the docks that mar the shores are removed and the extravagant dwellings are shut tight in anticipation of winter's rage.

Only then do the lake and surrounding woods turn placid and nearly pristine.

Except for the chores of preparing the resort for winter's onslaught, this is Tom's favorite season. He finally has a bit of time to cast a line in the lake's deep, clear waters for bass.

If he is not chasing bass, he might be in the Farmers Bay probing the weeds in 17 feet of water for crappie or trolling the weed bars in Wolfern's Bay for northern pike.

Tom suspects, however, that this autumn's respite from the summer's racket won't be as refreshing as in times past. That's because the din of the urbanites dimmed well before autumn approached. The lake was even quiet in the heat of the summer, and several of the manors stood vacant for long spells.

Why is hard to say. Perhaps the return to a saner style of life at Ossawinnamakee was based on a fear that unstable world economics will eventually afflict our consumer-mad economy.

Whatever, it was a blessing for folks who enjoy the simpler tastes of unpretentious resorts like Twin Points.

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