“…the [rabbit bay] district was a a veritable wilderness, covered with dense forests–possessed of a wild and somber beauty. This old pioneer and his wife exemplify the sturdy, sterling qualities of the early Finns who came to America.” –Helen Torkkola, 1939
On a sunny, calm day in the summer of 1911, a beautiful cabin cruiser appeared from Portage Entry and proceeded past our place and dropped anchor out from Rabbit Bay River about a thousand feet from shore.
They had a small rowboat in tow, and soon some men and women piled in and headed for shore.
In the afternoon a fresh east wind picked up and continued to increase, and by the time they came off the river the lake was rolling quite well. One man ventured out the the craft but came back to the others. They decided to stay on shore and entered the cabin a quarter mild from the river.
During the night a full-fledged east storm and rain developed. When we awoke the next morning no boat was to be seen at anchor; but upon closer looking one could see it beached about a half mile south of the river. The raging seas were pounding the craft, which was no lengthwise on the sand beach.
Emil and Olli Horsma decided to do something about it, so they constructed a Russian winch at the edge of the woods and cut and peeled a couple of slippery balsam poles and forced one under the bow and another under the stern. They threw a rope around the boat and started to heave on the line with the powerful winch. Little by little the boat was wrested from the water so it was not at the mercy of the waves.