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Minnesota Resort Industry Oral History Project: Interview with Neva W. Williams
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Neva Williams was born in 1929 near Williams, Iowa. She was the daughter of Howard and Lela Welty and had one brother, Francis. Neva's parents owned and ran the Wigwam Inn Resort on Mille Lacs Lake for about 28 years beginning in 1936. In 1958, Francis Welty took over management and ran the resort for another 28 years. At the time of the interview the resort was owned by the Mille Lacs band of Ojibwe. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: First few years on farm in Iowa; father's experience at working at two resorts before purchasing Wigwam Inn Resort. How knowledge of fishing conditions influenced his choice of location; beginnings of resort, cabins added from Kingfisher Lodge resort. Father's reputation as excellent fishing and hunting guide, built-in clientele - father's friends from Iowa - grain farmers; father's collection of boats. Types of customers - families and fishermen and people from the Twin Cities; when each came; services expected and rendered. Cabin amenities - iceboxes and kerosene stoves. Advertising. Hired help. Francis and Neva's responsibilities when they were children and teenagers. Mille Lacs reputation for great fishing. Advantages of distance from Twin Cities during war years and gas rationing. Disadvantages of placement of the roadway. Description of grocery/bar/lunch counter/gas station. Mother's provisioning savvy and bartering with local Native Americans. Revenue streams - fishing, cabins, groceries, and gambling. Brother's takeover after father disabled in auto accident. Change from cabins to tent and RV camping. Native American relics in the area.
2 hours sound cassette
28 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
120 minutes length
Interviewee: Williams, Neva
Interviewer: Fogerty, James E.
Made in [vicinity]: Onamia, Mille Lacs County, Minnesota, United States
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 79 (Library Call Number)
AV2000.128.8 (Accession Number)
MHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Minnesota Resort Industry Oral History Project'