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Family Tradition keeps over 50 years of Boom Lake Ice DataSubmitted: 04/12/2013
Story By Melissa Constanzer


RHINELANDER - The calendar say it's spring but looking around you may not agree. The latest snowfall means a longer wait for one family's annual tradition. It's a story that begins over 60 years ago on the shores of Rhinelander's Boom Lake

"We came to Rhinelander in 1940 and, at that time, the Lion's Club would put an old, wrecked car off the public landing and people would guess the time the ice would be going out," says Fern Schultz.

Every year, starting in 1939, the Lion's Club hosted a fundraiser. People would guess the date and time, down to the minute, of when the car would sink through.

"The person that guessed closest to the right time that the ice went out would win a boat," said Fern Schultz.

Winning a boat might sound like a great start to getting out on the water. But a sunken car in the lake was not great for the water.

"Environmentally, no one would even think of leaving an old wrecked car right off of the point," said Fern Schultz.

Even though the cars were removed in summer, the Lion's Club stopped the fundraiser in the 60's. So the Schultz's began a new, simpler tradition.

"My husband and I decided that when we moved here, he would write down when the ice went out, when the lake froze up in the fall and it was just kind of a hobby with him, and me. And so that continued right up to the present time actually," says Fern Schultz.

The family records date back to 1966. The Schultz's wrote them on the bottom of an old kitchen drawer. The kitchen has since been redone but the piece of wood still keeps the nearly 50 years of dates.

The earliest ice out date in 47 years of records was March 20 in 2000. The latest ice out was just six years prior on May 10. Last year was the second earliest ice out date and this year could be one of the latest recorded.


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