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Quaboag Quacumquasit

QQLA: Quaboag/Quacumquasit Lake Association
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A 1936-46 Photo History from Daniel Dick

You may recall that you printed a piece in an earlier newsletter about my catching a 4 lb. landlocked salmon when I was 12 years old in Lake Quacumquasit. Attached is a photo of me with my catch.

Also attached are some photos of the golden summers I spent from the time I was 12 in 1936 until 1946, with time out for the Navy in WWII.

My father was given a 12 ft. wooden skiff for rowing, sailing, even a small outboard motor. It was indestructible and so flexible for active young teenagers. Then, my father bought a 1.9 hp Evinrude from Varney's Garage in Brookfield for $20. It was all we needed since I doubt there was any OB bigger than 3 or 4 hp on the lake in those days. (I wonder if anything larger is too much for either of these lovely lakes today. Do you?)

We envied Mr. Bigelow and his beautiful sailboat; he also had a wooden singles scull.

The Springer Spaniel shown with me was our constant companion. He and his predecessor would even swim after us if we didn't take either of them with us on one of our boating journeys.

If the OB wouldn't start, we would row to Lake Quaboag and to the Quaboag River or to Ward's or to Camp Day for the weekly evening movie.

Finally, with my bonus $$ from the war, I bought a Dragon/Herreshoff design 16 ft. sailboat built by a Worcester patternmaker. He intended it as one of a class for Webster Lake but our camp was on Quacumquasit. It was a very well built boat that needed the best of care and winter storage. Under a strong wind, it could fly. The builder was right; it belonged on a much larger lake like Webster Lake.

Here are a couple more photos of that noble 12 ft. wooden skiff that was so versatile and served us so well.

I recall my father telling me that his father used to ice fish at Quacumquasit around the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries. He and others would take the trolley from Worcester to whichever Brookfield stop was closer to the lake. One day, my father wondered why his father, who was sitting on the ice, wasn't moving or getting up. Turned out his coat was frozen to the ice ! They had to chop him in his coat out. I never lost my love for wooden boats from 12 to 16 ft long, building five during the past 25 years, and sailing them or riding on them at least once a summer on the QQLA waters. I may be too old to continue this tradition but the memories will always be with me.

Thank you for taking such good care of the QQLA lakes and watershed.

Dan Dick

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