Family Tradition

In 1925 my grandfather was the first member of Dairymen’s Country Club to catch a Musky in Home Lake (Big Crooked) in Boulder Junction Wisconsin. Since then my extended family has vacationed here for 92 years. As very young children we played here, swam here, hiked in the woods, fished, played bingo, ping pong, pin ball, paddled canoes and basically ran amok over the whole area with our cousins. The adults were usually relaxed in the evenings out on lawn chairs drinking G&T’s. Very relaxed- there wasn’t a thing we could to rile them up and it was heaven! In the 50’s and 60’s the cabins each had an ice chest restocked regularly with large blocks of ice that were cut out of the frozen lake in the winter, stored throughout the summer covered in straw in a large barn on the property. Dairymen’s is currently a 6,000 acre wilderness retreat in northern Wisconsin with seven main lakes. The cabins located on the shores of two of the lakes have evolved over the years although the original rustic feel has been maintained.

Grandpa’s Musky, the first caught by a club member at Dairymen’s in 1925 (since restored).

A plan emerged for a reunion of my immediate family and all their children and their children’s children. It was divine providence that pretty much everyone was able to work it into their schedules – quite challenging since the family is spread across seven states from Vermont to California and Illinois to Texas. For Ann and me it was scheduled at the exact time we planned to be in Indiana, so we lucked out. This was going to be a complete circle of family members at a location that is deeply embedded in the family DNA. The clan included 4 of my siblings and me plus spouses, 15 of our children plus spouses and 10 grandchildren, who were the great grandchildren of my parents and the great great grandchildren of my grandfather – one of the original members of Dairymen’s. That’s 38 family members in all!

Just one branch of the Arthur J Gallagher family tree.

The week was glorious. We put aside old family riffs and intentionally pledged not to ruin the time with political arguments – a promise that we largely kept…mostly. It was a testament to the glue that binds family members together and a reminder that with a little effort we can focus on the ties that bind us rather than the issues that can divide us.

The tranquil “Home Lake”.

The call of the Loon is deeply embedded in our DNA.
The fishing is good.


Bald Eagles live and also fish in the area.
Nothin’s gonna stop us.
A teaching moment
Some of da boys


Older and younger cousins
Another family
Music time


Happy Hour
Picnic time

Cousins with hair

Game on!

White boys

My daughters Rose and Jessica
Playing dunk the tubers.
You can’t dunk us!
When you flip off the captain
The forest primeval
My family portrate

The majority of these photos were taken by my sister-in-law Colleen Gallagher. She’s an outstanding professional photographer. See her work and contact her at



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