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Friday, January 23, 2009

Diamond Lake Outdoor Fun

Gordon Ray and his dog with pickerel, Diamond Lake, 1916. Gordon Ray Collection, Dunn Museum, 91.17.37

Lifelong Diamond Lake resident, Gordon Ray (1893-1987), wrote in his 1980 autobiography that winters were great fun when he was a kid. "Outside of getting wood, and cutting ice and doing chores there wasn't too much work to worry about. Outdoor activities included skating, coasting on sleds, sleigh riding, rabbit hunting and fishing through the ice."

Gordon Ray's Diamond Lake Grade School friends sledding in 1908. Gordon Ray Collection, Dunn Museum, 91.17.6

In the winter of 1908, Gordon Ray took photographs of his classmates from Diamond Lake Grade School. The boys are sledding during a short break from school.
Diamond Lake Grade School friends. Photo by Gordon Ray, 1908. Gordon Ray Collection, Dunn Museum. 91.17.5
Just two years prior to taking these photographs, a thirteen-year old Gordon Ray spent his savings on a camera. He wrote: "That was a real thrill for a 13 year old boy, and I quickly learned how to take pictures, to develop the films, and to print my own pictures."

The Ray Family had a farm on the east shore of Diamond Lake. From the 1890s to 1946 the Rays were in the resort business. Their first venture was the Lakeside Cottage, an expansion of the family's farmhouse where vacationers boarded and enjoyed Ma Ray's famous chicken dinners. Then Lloyd and Gordon Ray opened the popular Ray Brothers Resort from 1906 to 1946.

Diana Dretske 

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