Monday, August 24, 2009

The Cinosam Club

On my way to Job’s Daughters Camp Saturday, I passed the sign shown in the photo on Highway 371 north of Brainerd. I had heard that some Masons had purchased land for summer cottages, and made it available for Masons (and Eastern Star members) for purchase. Thus was the start of the Cinosam Club.

The following is from the Cinosam Club web site. Check out that site for more information.

The Cinosam Club land, though roads were laid out earlier, was formally platted on October 1, 1925, and the tracts were platted on May 28, 1932. Lots on those plats were originally sold only to Masons (hence the name Cinosam - "Masonic" spelled backward) and Eastern Star members in good standing. This began to be relaxed in the 1930s, and is now open to anyone.

In the Club's earlier years, there were two campgrounds for any Mason or Eastern Star who cared to use them. Prospective buyers tried out both campgrounds to get the feel of the area. As one camper put it, "There's a million kinds of bugs here, and they all bite?" The Gull Lake grounds were used only by the most hardy, and not for long. Probably more prospects were driven off than attracted. If the mosquitoes didn't drive them off, the howling of the brush wolves did. The latter were only curious and never troubled anyone.

Several features of the grounds have been obliterated. One was a rifle range; the famed duck pass. Also, the Lily Lake bog paths have rotted into the bogs. The bog was floating, and the trail was a real experience to walk on. One could pick a wild cranberry now and then, observe the muskeg at close range, and generally see a marsh that was unreachable otherwise.

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One cannot mention Cinosam without a reference to the website of that name created and managed by Past Grand Master Neil Neddermeyer. It has a wealth of information for Masons and Lodges, as well as some great stories and PowerPoint presentations. Check it out sometime.