1093  22-3/4 St
Chetek Wisconsin 54728

Shady Grove — A family tradition
From the Chetek Alert July 20, 2000


In the Chetek area it is not unusual to come across a 
family that has been 
vacationing here steadily 
for 15 or 20 years. It is rare, however, to find a family 
like that of the Terrells.
CHETEK VACATIONING LEGACY—Pictured here are the third, fourth and fifth generations of the 70-year vacationing legacy known as the Terrell family. The Terrell’s live in Peoria, Ill., 50 weeks out of each year. Every year since approximately 1930 those remaining two weeks have been spent in Chetek. The Terrell family members, left to right, are Thomas Jr., Thomas III, Gloria, Jacob, Katie, Sue and Nate. Not in the picture are Thomas and Gloria’s son Lonnie and his wife Sally, and their children Chuck and Tom Smith.

In the Chetek area it is not unusual to come across a family that has been vacationing here steadily for 15 or 20 years. It is rare, however, to find a family like that of the Terrells.

Thomas Terrell, Jr. began his yearly Chetek trips around 1930, making the trek with his parents from their home in Peoria, Ill., to Shady Grove Resort in Chetek. The family enjoyed the scenery and the lake, and the chance to be alone with each other.

As time passed many things changed: Europe was wracked with war, twice, rock and roll was born, J.F.K. died, but the Terrell family still spent two weeks of every year in the relative safety and quiet of Chetek.

The family grew, of course, during this time. Thomas met and married Gloria, adding a total of four new vacationers, not only Gloria, but her parents and grandfather as well. The newly-wed couple enjoyed the time they were able to spend with their parents.

The couple has nothing but fond memories of those trips with their parents. They remember fishing in wooden boats, and Thomas’ parents were the only ones with a motor. They would tow Thomas and Gloria out to a fishing spot, and retrieve them on the way back in. And fishing was good back then. Using the five-gallon buckets of worms the Terrelll’s brought with them, the family was known to catch well over 100 bullheads in a single morning.

When asked what has changed since those days, Thomas, with some prodding from Gloria, listed several of the creature comforts that have become considerably more comfortable. In those days, their cabin was without indoor plumbing, so they needed to make trips to the outhouse on the hill; they stored their food in an ice-box and cooked it on a pot-bellied wood stove.

The biggest change since then is probably the fact that Thomas and Gloria are no longer the young newly-weds of the group, but instead the grandparents. They have two sons of their own, Thomas III and Lonnie, who are now raising their own families who also relish the yearly trip to Chetek. And that’s not likely to change anytime soon, as Gloria puts it, “We plan to keep coming as long as we can.”

©The Chetek Alert 2003


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