After talking about buying a cabin at Lake Byron for several years we finally made the decision and spent the money to buy a two-room shack on the north side of Lake Byron, north and east of Huron. The cabin was owned by Glen Robeson and he sold it to me in the 1980s.
Our first decision was to contact our son-in-law Larry Houghtaling and have him tell us what kind of shape it was in. He wasn’t very encouraging.
But he did bring some equipment out to the lake and we were able to spend some money in developing a foundation. There were only two rooms in the cabin we bought, but when we sold it in the late 90s we had added more rooms and a bathroom. Actually the place was very comfortable. We got lots of help from our kids in adding to the building and shingling the roof. We also built a shed, and put up a fence on the east and west sides. The bathroom was much needed as we were using an outhouse from the Houghtaling farm, which was not popular with the family.
First we added the bathroom, and then came the screened-in patio. Next came the addition to the living room on the south side, followed by a deck on the east side. My sons shingled the roofs, and we added a swing set for the grandkids and a swimming pool. We also built some steps going down the side of the hill to the water, and a little deck area with a swing that we picked in Wagner.
The cabin was used almost weekly for family’s enjoyment, particularly during holidays. We shot fireworks in the yard and down the hill on the 4th of July, and were always there on Memorial Day weekends. On one occasion during the 4th of July, “The Catfish Bay” ski show was at the lake to perform that evening and I was down by the lake seeing to the performance. When I was summoned to the cabin I didn’t know what was going on, until I got there and was told that someone had started a fire in the tall grass next to our cabin on a hill.
I came to find out it was my grandson, Ryan Kasa, and granddaughter, Bobbi Jo Wolf, who had thrown some smoke bombs and, due to the dryness, they started the grass on fire. I ran to the phone and called the fire department since it was spreading, even though my wife Oralee and daughter Lisa were trying to put it out with the hose that didn’t quite reach, and pails of water the kids were carrying back and forth.
Ed Mathews was with me at the time the fire broke out and he brought me to the house to investigate the damage. That was one 4th of July the Kasa family will never forget!
All the kids have fond memories of the cabin at Lake Byron. The only difficulty that we had was that we spent most of the time cleaning up, mowing the lawn and other chores each time you went out there, so there was little time to really enjoy the cabin. It seems to me that we had to mow the lawn nearly every weekend we came out to the lake. I am not sure if the grass grew faster at the lake versus in town but it sure seemed that way.
We finally made the decision to sell the cabin, which was one of the hardest things I had to do. The whole family enjoyed those days and it was hard to give it up.