Thursday, July 01, 2010

Good Times at Green Lake

The Hoekstra Family at Green Lake, Allegan Co., Michigan. 28 Aug 1937. Original photograph privately held by Miriam Robbins Midkiff, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Spokane, Washington. 2010.

Don't they look like they're having the time of their life? It's the Hoekstra Family, August 1937, at Green Lake in Allegan County, Michigan. When I first saw this photo about a year ago in an album that belonged to my maternal grandmother, Ruth Lillian HOEKSTRA, I immediately knew what I was going to submit for the next Swimsuit Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy!

Those hot, muggy Western Michigan summers in the days before the working man (or woman) had central air conditioning could only be relieved by going out to the local lake. All the young--and middle aged--people are dressed in swimwear, while Grandpa (standing in the back row) and Grandma (sitting on the far right) are more suitably dressed for their generation, despite the heat. Grandpa and Grandma are my 2nd-great-grandparents, Martin and Jennie (TON) HOEKSTRA, both first-generation Americans, and are making their online photo debut! Their son, John Martin HOEKSTRA, is my great-grandfather, and he is the man in the front peeking through the inner tube. His sister, Grace, is sitting on the far left. Her husband, Adrian KLAP, is kneeling on her left behind her. Between Grace and John are four girl cousins, left to right: Ruth HOEKSTRA (my grandmother, age 18), Esther KLAP (unknown age, probably 10-12), Marian KLAP (age 14), and Mary Louise HOEKSTRA (age 14). The tall girl standing in the back is Hope Mildred HOEKSTRA (age 16). My great-grandmother, Lillian Fern (STRONG) HOEKSTRA probably took this photo. Grace and Adrian's eldest two children, John and Dorothy, do not appear. They were in their 20s and probably had their own families by this time.

I don't know if this cabin was rented or owned by any of the HOEKSTRA family. But it's obvious that they were there for at least the day, enjoying themselves, swimming, boating, and probably picnicking. I can almost hear that old tune, "In the good old summertime..." playing in the background!

Written for the 95th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: The Annual Swimsuit Edition


Raven said...

What a wonderful family photo, I love it! It is such a wonderful example of old fashioned family summer fun. What a treasure.

Miriam said...

Thank you, Raven! I agree: the photo--and the album--are indeed a treasure!

Nancy said...

This is such a great family photo. I imagine they had a fun time with so many youth close to the same age.

Nolichucky Roots said...

Such a wonderful photo - and so evocative. We spent many years living in West Michigan and continue to spend time there each summer. Hoekstras galore there, and all lovely, lovely people. Thanks for sharing this.

Miriam said...

Hi, Nancy, my grandmother and her two younger sisters were very lucky: they had lots of girl cousins their ages on both their dad's (Hoekstra) and mother's (Strong) side. The photo album is full of pictures of family and friends...such a treasure!

Thanks for dropping by!

Miriam said...

Hi, there, Nolichucky Roots!

Thank you for your kind words. Hoekstra is a very common surname in Western Michigan, but my Hoekstras were a small clan and not related to the many others.

What a small world it is...that you also have that Western Michigan connection!

Thanks for dropping by!

Dorene from Ohio said...

Just a wonderful photo! It looks like great memories were made as well.

Miriam said...

Thanks, Dorene!