By MARY HURSH
Ann Garceau, board member of the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum, presented the first summer Centennial Homes talk of the season and featured four speakers from Kale Island.
Back in the late 1860s, the Dillon and Oram families squatted on what we now know as Kale Island. The Dillons squatted in a cabin on the land that is known as Pickwick Park and the Kale brothers squatted on Kale Island.
The log cabin at Pier 723 on Kale Island has been in the Quinn family since 1937. Brad Quinn related his family’s ownership of the cabin over the years. Emma Hayden (1899-1982), Quinn’s grandmother, bought the original log cabin. The cabin passed to Quinn’s mother Wanda Hayden Quinn-Isenbarger (1923-2020) and then to Quinn and his brother at her death.
“The cabin is really old. My grandmother always said it was the sixth cottage on the lake and was probably built in the 1860s,” said Quinn.
The cabin is slated to be moved in late August to the Land Between the Lakes as its permanent site. A new family cottage will be built at Pier 723 once the cabin is moved.
The cabin was built from tamarack trees, which were once plentiful on the swampy grounds of Kale Island. Emma Hayden bought the cabin around 1937 for $3,200. “The average range of prices for homes then was between $2,500 and $7,500,” said Quinn.
Because Hayden’s husband refused to live in an actual log cabin, he had it sided. From 1937 until today, the cottage has not changed. Emma filled the cabin with antiques, quilts, cut glass plates, vases and cruets, green and white wicker and family pictures. The back door leads into a small laundry room, kitchen, living room with fireplace, porch and bedroom with twin beds. Upstairs are two bedrooms and a bath. There is a painting of the cabin by Indiana artist Barbara Fuson on the porch over a pitcher of daisies.
Other guest speakers from Kale Island at the Centennial Homes event included Patrick Appenzeller, who spoke about the 34-year career of his mother, painter Betty Appenzeller. Many in the community took lessons from her in the studio behind the Appenzeller home on Kale Island. Nancy Nelson shared memories of Mamie Long, wife of Syracuse philanthropist W.E. Long, the creator of the Chinese Gardens along Kale Island and Pickwick.
Janet Hays, owner of the Beacon, explained the popularity of the restaurant many enjoyed visiting over the years. The Hays purchased the restaurant in 1976 and sold it in 2005. Shirley Tungren, once a waitress in 1961 at the root beer stand on Kale Island, talked about the many people who visited the stand especially to eat one of the famous tenderloins.
The next Centennial Homes presentation will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, at the community center. The topic will be the Crow’s Nest, the Crow family and the Kroh family.
The program is open to the public and free. Donations are accepted.