These photos are from the Robida Collection, found in a box in storage at the Courthouse, marked only with the name “Exilda Robida”. Exilda was a teacher before she got married and her father was a cook on a wanigan (a floating cook shack that followed the log drives down the river to the sawmills). Her mother had a pump organ and we have stories of her playing the organ at mealtimes for the “river rats” who herded the logs downstream. This organ, and Exilda’s mother, were regular features on Sunday picnics out to Eagle Lake in the very early days of Eagle River.
This next photo, “tentcamp2” shows how a resort owner would guide his guests on fishing and hunting trips, before the days of DNR regulation. The man reclining on the ground was Fred Morey, with his wife, Mae sitting behind him. While two of the men hold guns, there’s a half-eaten musky hanging from the tree on the right. Fred Morey originally started a resort on the peninsula between Catfish and Cranberry Lakes, but sold it soon after starting it in 1897(?) to Edward Everett. Everett created the Everett Resort, one of the Midwest's finest and largest resorts.
This is an example of what the fishing was like back then. Nice sized fish, for sure. But notice how the men were dressed; three piece suits with hat and tie, probably made of wool. And it might be 80 – 85 degrees outside! I think you’d have wanted to stand upwind in the days before antiperspirants.
The boathouse and casino at the Everett Resort in the old days. In those old days, parties, gambling and a considerable amount of consuming alcoholic beverages went on at this spot. Now known as the Marina Bar at a very recently renovated and remodeled Everett’s Resort, the Marina Bar is a great place to sit on the screened-in porch and enjoy the relaxing view of Catfish Lake.
“Crystal Springs” built by Alfred Bredel early in Eagle River’s history included the large boathouse at the right. The original resort lodge to the left of the boathouse had to be moved up the bank because the pilings it was built on were rotting out. Crystal Springs is no longer a spot for visitors to stay during the summer; it has been in private hands for several generations.