Our Newest Board Members

The Lake Belle Taine Association is fortunate enough to have gained four new individuals who care enough about the lake to want to serve on the Board of Directors.

They are:

Phil Krahn

John Maczko

Tim O'Neill

Mike Stevens

 

I asked each of them to share some biographical information on their families and their history with the lake as well as to share why they agreed to serve on the board. Here are their responses:

Phil Krahn -

My wife's name is Lynn.  We have 3 daughters and 3 grandsons.  We spent 1-2 weeks at Camper's Paradise from 1993 to 2003 and bought our cabin in 2003.  We are both retired so we are spend all summer at the lake and the winter at our home in Wyoming, MN, although we do come up to the cabin in the winter periodically and also do some traveling.  I was with Polaris Industries for 23 years and was an IT Director.  Lynn worked for the Chisago School District as a Secretary.

I agreed to be on the Board because my entire family has been enjoying this lake for 27 years and I want to do everything I can to make sure it remains as pristine and enjoyable as it has always been for my kids and grand-kids. 

John Maczko -

Family:

Wife (Lynne') married 38 years,3 married daughters with 7 grandchildren

 

When did you (or your parents or family) start spending time at Lake Belle Taine? 

I started coming to BelleTaine in 1972 (Wade's Resort) with my parents and 7 brothers and sisters.  We were hooked - When Wade's closed my parents loved the lake, and area so much we started camping at Camper's Paradise and in 1982 my wife and I honeymooned there and she became hooked as well.

 

When did you buy or build on Belle Taine? 

We purchased a lake home that we outgrew in 2001 and were fortunate to be able to purchase the home that my father always dreamed of on the lake.

 

Do you live up here full-time?

Yes and no.  We split our time between here and the Twin Cities (close to grandkids).  Though, his year we have been here pretty much full time since mid-March. We do come up year round however as we enjoy the winters as well - even if it is just the solitude, 

 

Are you working or retired? What do you do (or did you do) for a vocation?

I am semi retired as is Lynne'.  I am a licensed Civil Engineer and retired from the City of Saint Paul after 33 years of service having the privilege of serving 13 years as the City Engineer.  I also had the honor of serving my home community of Mendota Heights for 39 years as a paid on-call firefighter (33 years as the Fire Chief)  I currently work part time for SRF Consulting Group.

 

What do you hope to contribute in your role on the Board?

I was honored to be asked.  I am a person that is wiling to get involved in things that mean allot to me to help give back.  Lake Belle Taine has given me and my  family a lot of joy and memories over the last 48 years.  I want to see the lake remain the quality lake it has been for me and help assure that it will remain that way for generations to come creating great memories for my great grandchildren and their great grandchildren.

Tim O'Neill -

Tim and his wife Annie live in Minneapolis with their four young kids and have had their lake home on Belle Taine since 2007, just across from the little island in front of Pine Beach Resort. Annie’s family (Kathy and Mike Vogel) grew up spending every summer on the lake for the past 40 years at the cabin next door that her family still owns. The O'Neills spend most of the summer on Belle Taine and come to enjoy everything the lake offers during the fall and winter too.

 

Tim is a full-time musician with his brother Ryan. They both play the piano as “The O’Neill Brothers” and have recorded a wide variety of piano music. Tim is looking forward to serving on the board, as Belle Taine has been such a special part of their family now for almost 50 years. He looks forward to coming up with new ideas on how to grow membership and involvement by more people that live on the lake to help keep Lake Belle Taine the place that we all know and love for decades to come.

Mike Stevens -

Our cabin was built in 1915. My great-grandfather, DH Parsons, purchased our cabin at 21353 Eden Dr. in 1938 for $300. They lived in Kansas City, MO and he loved to fish. He and others would come up to this area to fish, so he fell in love with the area.

My dad talked about riding up from KC to visit in a vehicle with wood bench seats. It took a couple of days to get here. He said that during the drought years that there was very little water in the West Bay.

DH and his wife Belle (fitting to land at Lake Belle Taine) had 3 daughters. One of them, Katherine, was married to Russell Stevens (my grandfather). They both loved to fish and became very attached to the lake. The other 2 sisters didn’t care much for it. DH died in 1947 and Belle in 1949.

After their retirement, Russell and Katherine would stay at the cabin for the whole summer. I remember coming up most summers for 2-week vacations. I have been up every year since I was 5-weeks old. Back then there was no plumbing, just an outhouse and pump for water. We had a wood burning stove for cooking and wood heater.

Our access road was called Recreation Lane, due to a railroad owned resort at the West end, called Camp Recreation. When the E911 system was implemented, the name was changed to Eden Dr. Many maps still show it as Recreation LN. The original lane was closer to the lake, where you can still see it behind our place. A local farmer, Bud Wetherbee, would keep me busy during my 2-week stays, letting me help milk his cows or bale hay. As a city boy, also growing up in the KC area, I loved being a farm hand.

Russell died in 1971 (?) and Katherine in 1973. Dad and his younger brother Dave purchased the cabin from the estate in 1975. Dave and his family also came to stay at the cabin every year. I always enjoyed going out for breakfast in Dorset with Uncle Dave.

When I got married to my wife Beth (a real Minnesotan from Spring Grove) we came to the cabin for our honeymoon in 1977. We never got to spend long amounts of time at the lake due to jobs, but we still found a way to visit a couple of times a year.

Uncle Dave died in 1983 and mom & dad purchased the cabin from his family in 1992. When dad was retiring in 1996 they remodeled the cabin to install water & sewer, maintaining some of the old log structure. I kind of miss the old outhouse and pump, but not much. Taking baths in the lake could be really cold at times.

After the cabin remodel was finished, mom & dad would spend most of the summer up here. I always enjoyed coming up to help him open and close. Quite often the closing would occur on the same weekend that I would bicycle the Headwaters 100 bike race out of Park Rapids, near the end of September. As dad got older, more of the maintenance fell on me, but my wife, Beth, and I loved to come up here several times a year, even though it was about an 8-hour drive from Iowa.

We have 3 children who also got to come up for regular vacations. The oldest has since married and took a job in Minneapolis. They are able to come up for several weekends a year. They have 2 children, who are the sixth generation from our family to use the cabin.

I retired in 2015, but don’t really have a desire to stay up here for the summer. We do make it up quite a few times each year, and finally got to see the ice go out in April, last year. Since our place isn’t fit for winter use it is closed up each Fall. I have come up a couple of times in February to spend a night (the electric heaters did get the inside up to 60 degrees), and cross country ski.

My fond memories include stopping by the various resorts for food and drink, like Paradise Cove and Beauty Bay. We became friends with the Roehls and quite often would meet them for breakfast in Dorset.

Dad passed away in 2015, which made it really hard to come up to the cabin and not have him there to work on things. Mom is still with us but is no longer able to make the trip. We intend to keep our cabin in the family as long as we can. It has been interesting to see the lake going from old cabins and resorts to the lake homes and condos that are replacing them.

I have attached a couple pictures that we have of the area. The first one is of the Parsons & Stevens in Dorset and the second is of the main street in Nevis at the time it was taken.

©2020 by Lake Belle Taine Association.