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Island Lake Farmstead

A cache by Grey Wolf and Wild Rice Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 11/9/2006
Difficulty:
1.5 out of 5
Terrain:
2 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:


My Grandfather owned and farmed this land from about 1936 to The mid-60's.  As I was always told, it was a 40 acre site and went from the railroad tracks north to Island Lake Road, and from Island Lake west almost to Lexington Ave.  At that time, Ramsey County had a blacktop plant on the western edge of his property about where the swampy areas end. 
 
In the area where this cache is hidden was once a farm field where he grew hay and oats.  There were no trees here, just tilled farmland. The house and barn were located on the western shore of Island Lake, where the foot path goes through.  The barn was built into the hill right at the lake's present shore.  You could drive right into the top and the lower portion walked right out to the lakeshore.  Although Island lake is quite large today, I have seen photos of when it was just a swamp and my grandfather had a well near what is now the middle of the lake.  The house was about 150 feet off the lakeshore and about 200 feet north of the railroad tracks.  My father told me that the house was constructed by the previous owners and was made out of wood from old boxcars.  He remembered it had no insulation, but was built with double walls.  The former owners were in the business of scrapping boxcars and apparently obtained the wood from there.  There was also an assortment of small garages and grainerys on the site.  I recall that there was an apple orchard close to the railroad tracks....which were a set of two tracks back then....near where the walking path crosses.  Maybe that is where the volunteer crab trees on the site came from.
 
Every 4th of July we always had a family picnic at our grandparent's house.  It was always very memorable because back then there were hydroplane races on the lake.  The current Island Lake Picnic area would be packed with cars.  We always had the best seats to watch the races.  I recall even one year they were televised!  Water skiing was added to the show and the ski jump was stored on the property way back then.
 
My grandfather was mainly a pig farmer in those days in addition to baling hay for nearby farms.  The small pond west of Island Lake was fenced in and there were often hundreds of pigs roving the sloped area.  As we all know what happens when the suburbs expand to a pig farmer's doorsteps, he ended up moving to a remote area near Chisago City to live out his life.  The house burned down shortly after he sold the property and the barn remained for many years.  I do not recall when or how it was destroyed.
 
A couple of other history lessons here......Just east of here Target is....a barn once stood.  East of Flahertey's....a farmhouse stood.  Cub Foods...another farmhouse.  And there was a golf driving range just across County Road E by Snelling Ave.
 
Enjoy the cache, as placing it brought back many childhood memories of my exploration of this land as a kid.  Take some time and explore the areas near the lakeshore.  Maybe you can see where the structures once stood.
 
You are looking for a screw top plastic container.  Should be very easy.  You could park at CUB and access the paved trail, but be careful when crossing Lexington Ave., as there is no crosswalk.  Parking at the YMCA might be best.

This cache was approved by Ramsey County Parks.
 

Grey Wolf's Stamp of Approval.

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265 Logged Visits

Found it 253     Didn't find it 1     Write note 6     Temporarily Disable Listing 1     Enable Listing 1     Publish Listing 1     Owner Maintenance 2     

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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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