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History Lives Here Text

Early Days on the Lakeshore (Continued from Page 160)

By DorothyGaresche Holland


Dr. and Mrs.Ralph Kinsells, the daughter, Mary Janet, and sons, Ralph Jr., Edward andPeter, were frequent cottagers and the sons and their families still summer in Douglas. Two families of Halls came for many years, Mr.and Mrs. Louis T. hall and their sons, George, Louis and Phil, who later builta cottage at Pier Cove. The Edward Halls had two daughters, Nonie and Betty,and one son, Eddie. And before ending the account of the Lakeshore cottages,the first one built by Marie Garesche was sold in the 1930's and later to Jimand Georgann Kennedy who spent many summers there with their 10 children andafter her death it was sold to the Kosac-Ginrich families.


For manyyears, almost from those first early days, there were four boarding housesalong the Lakeshore, all on the side across from the lake. Farthest to thenorth was Beachmont, belonging to the William McVeas and close by Homestead owned by MissLizzie McVea and her brother, Sam. Next in line was Tremble's, owned by thelady of that name, the property including the original house now known as"Ballykeyll," owned by the Corlett family, Rosemont belonged to theBryans and was the last of the four to be operated as a boarding or roominghouse. It changed hands several years ago and was elegantly remodeled and nowcalled "Rosemont Inn." Both Beachmont and Homestead were pulled down long ago.


For somereason Trumbull's was the most popular among theSt. Louispeople and often those in cottages would take their meals there. Among theTrumbull regulars were the Michel family of St. Louis, Mrs. Michel, Celeste,Marie and Charlies; the James Tylers and their children, Caroline, Sara Nonieand James; Mrs. Adreon with Clemence, Clark and Josephine; Mrs. Warfield andher daughters, Charlotte and Margaret who would open one of the most celebrateddecorating shops in St. Louis introducing the English style glazed chintz; andDr, and Mrs. Senseny, the sons George and jack, and niece, Janet Phelan. Otherswho stayed there in the very old days were the Price sisters, Miss Sidney, Mrs.Grace Adreon and Mrs. Rogers Scudder and the gorgeous Lil Hattersly, bridgeteacher and daughter of the writer, Kate Chopin, recently accorded her place inAmerican literature at long last. Bobby Hattersly accompanied his mother duringher visits here.

When mybrothers John and Bob were teenagers they had a wonderful crowd and one thingthey all enjoyed was a homemade diving tower built like the skeleton of awigwam with two small platforms. Each year they would all get together, cutdown a small tree, build the platforms and haul the tower out into deep waterand anchor it with stones. A big storm would invariably dislodge it and carryit far down the beach where it would have to be rescued and pulled back. If theboys faltered they would be sternly urged on by Hildegarde Hellmuth, usuallythe instigator of the annual tower building. There were many teenagers aroundin those days of the 20's and 30's. Summer school was not as important as it isnow and summer jobs not as vital in those days of low tuition.


My two youngerbrothers, Phil and Dick, were teenagers in the 30's and early 40's. One of thefeatures of their era was the afternoon baseball game on Trumbull's beach. There were lots of boyshere in those days - Corleys, Kinsellas, Wynnes, Franciscuses, Beckmans,O'Donnels, Tiernays and many others who gathered for a hard fought game cheeredon by an admiring audience of girls. Several ties a month they would play the Douglas team on their field in the village with the sameadmiring audience - plus Mrs. O'Donnel, the most enthusiastic fan, in thebleachers.


Another year or so and the boyswere all scattered, to the Pacific, the Atlantic, to England, France, Italy,India - in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines. All of them, thankGod, carne back and most of them have often visited the Lakeshore since thosedays. And this is a good place to stop the account of Douglasactivities. So much has changed since World War II. Automobile travel is soeasy that people can come for a weekend. No one arrives with several trunks tospend the summer. People carne and went with such facility that no one couldkeep track of who was on the Lakeshore. Even with such changes, much is thesame - the beach, the lake, the quiet road, the atmosphere of peace and thelove we all have for this beautiful place. I know that my father's descendantssend up silent words of thanks to him for our many happy summers in the cottagealthough, as he often told us, he had to borrow his half of the $1500 it costto build it.