Now, what is the story about the names? First of all, we didn’t set out to find words that were unpronounceable. Our main interest was to establish a theme that spoke of Wilderness Wind’s philosophy. We are all a part of history. We are benefitted by learning from those who have gone before us, and what we do today has an impact on others in the future as well as the ecosystems that sustain life. We thus chose words used by the different cultures that lived in and migrated to this area. The cabins are listed in chronological order of the people they are associated with.
Wehonnay – Though the Ojibway weren’t the first people to live in this region, they were here when the first Europeans arrived in the late 1600s. As we canoe through the Boundary Waters and the surrounding National Forest, we find little evidence of this peoples’ lifestyles. Wehonnay means little flower, which seems appropriate for our smallest and most charming cabin.
La Vielle – The French voyageurs were the first Europeans to discover the depths of the northern wilderness. Unlike their counterparts in the Midwest, these “discoverers” interacted more favorably with the Native people, intermarrying and trading with fairer practices. They also realized that given the harsh winters, they needed to learn from their neighbors in order to survive. In French, La Vielle literally means old woman; however, the French voyageurs used these words to refer to the very influential wind.
Kalamojakka – The Finnish loggers were the next Europeans to move to this land. With them came the logging industry, which changed the face of the land in many ways. They certainly knew how to work up a good sweat, but they also knew how to wash up and play. The sauna is one of their gifts to this community. The sharp contrast of extreme hot and cold, the interplay of body and earth (or in this case water) and the dovetailing of relaxation, refreshment and shock all make the sauna experience unforgettable. (Is the sauna stove hot yet?) Kalamojakka, however, isn’t a word connected with the sauna. It is actually Finnish for fish chowder, and if you are lucky you might catch a few fish and be able to make some chowder while you are here.
McComber – Miners came to this area about the same time as the Finns. We need to read more about this group of people. We know, however, that they plotted the mining town of McComber to be right where our cabins are located. A miner could purchase a 25 x 100 foot lot for $60 and build his cabin of choice. Apparently a few people did, for those are the cabins we are using. Three of the four cabins date back to the 1920s.
Consider your place in history.