Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tonagel's Tourist Cabins

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that at last we have some photos of the tourist cabins that stood out back of the Tonagel family's store.

The bad news is that we probably do not (as I had believed) have a photograph of one of the cabins in the Cozy Camp, with Dacre Nelson lounging in front of it. Turns out that Dacre Nelson was a guest at the Tonagel place, and more likely that's where he was photographed.

So the search for images from the Cozy Camp/Chester's Camp must continue. In the meantime, however, let's get to those cabins out back of Tonagel's.

These first two pictures were taken from the southeast, with the photographer standing in almost the same place for both — but not on the same day. The first photo, undated, shows the cabins looking brand new. In the second, taken on July 5, 1937, the cabins seem to have a little wear on them.

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(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

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I am told that these cabins were not built from scratch, but came pre-manufactured and only required assembly. They appear to be six- or eight-sided; each of those six or eight sides was a separate piece (with a matching separate piece of roof). The owner fastened the pieces together, and voilĂ  ‐ a cabin!

Also taken on July 5, 1937, the next photograph shows The Pantry at left, and from the center toward the right, you can just make out those three cabins, behind the main building and the summer foliage.

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The photographer was standing on (or near) the Lincoln Highway, just east of The Pantry.

If we judge by their chimneys, the cabins had a stove inside. They did not, however, have indoor plumbing. Guests in search of a toilet or a shower had to go to the main building (specifically, its east side, toward the back).

The camera was busy on July 5, 1937. Here's another shot from the same day:

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Per notes on the back, the people are Cecil Tonagel, Esther Fridh, and Janice Fridh. (Esther was the sister of Cecil's wife, Ruby, and the mother of Janice.*)

The last photo from that day was taken from the west. It focuses on a swing in the area between the cabins and the back of The Pantry.

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I suppose the swing could be used by the Tonagel family (who lived behind their store) or the guests in the cabins. The building in the background at right, I am told, is still standing, though remodeled; I would never have recognized it.

*Relationship of Esther to Janice based on 1940 Census. Relationship of Esther to Cecil based on obituary of Ruby (Rosenquist) Tonegal's father, Charles ("Former Chesterton Area Farmer Dies in S.B. Hospital," Vidette-Messenger (Valparaiso) 20 Oct. 1953).

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