Interviews With Early “Settlers”


In the spring, summer, and fall of 2006, PLIA member and then website contributor Jeff Gurrier embarked on a project of interviewing long-time home and camp owners on Pawtuckaway Lake in order to capture their stories for posterity.  Some of them provided photographs as well as personal recollections, to illustrate what life was like on the lake in the “old days”.  More recent photos are Jeff’s own.  We are grateful for all the time and energy Jeff put into this project—many of these folks are no longer with us.  (For example, Werner Sachs, pictured above, initiated our Water Testing program in the 1980’s but passed away before he could be interviewed.)

  • Charlie Soroko came to Pawtuckaway Lake every summer starting in 1932. His grandson is now on the Board of the PLIA.  In this interview, Charlie paints a picture of life on Pawtuckaway Lake in the early days:  Charlie Soroko.
  • Dwight Crow’s family bought a camp on Pawtuckaway Lake in 1928. Dwight spent his summers playing on the lake and eventually moved here full time. In this interview, Dwight looks back on his experiences of the lake from the 1930’s:  Dwight Crow
  • Henry Musial bought some shorefront property from Hans Brustle in 1959 in the then newly subdivided Tuckaway Shores development. Henry and his wife Priscilla built a camp and came up on weekends after that for over fifty years. In his interview, Henry shares some memories about his neighbors and provides some history about the area before the State Park was developed:  Henry Musial
  • Phyllis Rehill is the daughter of Webster White, Sr whom White’s Grove is named after. Phyllis and her family have a long history on Pawtuckaway Lake dating back to the 1940’s. In her interview Phyllis speaks about the beginnings of White’s Grove and what life was like in the early years there:  Phyllis Rehill
  • Gladys Whitney is the niece of Hans and Martha Brustle, one of the first residents on the South end of the lake. Gladys first visited her aunt and uncle in the mid 1930’s and continued vacationing on the lake until she moved here full-time in the late 1980’s. In this interview, Gladys recalls a time on Pawtuckaway that very few people experienced or even know about:  Gladys Whitney
  • Joe Boudreau began coming to Pawtuckaway Lake beginning in the 1930’s. He was 92 years old when he was interviewed at his camp “Poppaspryde” on Mooers Road. Joe’s stories paint a picture of camp life the way it used to be on Pawtuckaway Lake:  Joe Boudreau
  • Al and Joan Lukens were longtime residents of Pawtuckaway Lake until they moved closer to their family in New Jersey in October of 2006. They were the first to share their history with all of us:  Al and Joan Lukens
  • William Crompton  – You can read a rather folksy historical account of the lake’s history, and the genesis of our organization, at:  mr-cromptons-historical-commentary  It may contain some inaccuracies, but its colorful character outweighs its research value, we think.