Long-time forest friend Lanni Bassett of Jacksonville, Florida sent us the following:
"I am a third generation Cook Forest lover. My grandparents, Carl and Ruth Blumer, used to own one of the cabins that Gateway Lodge now owns (I guess they still own them). I think my first visit to Cook Forest was before I was one year old.
Anyway, my mother Marion B. Bassett passed away last year and when we were cleaning out her house I found an old picture of MacBeth's store - probably from the late 30's / early 40's.
When my grandparents first started going to the forest, they camped down by the river near Johnny MacBeth's cabins. Then they bought the property and built their cabins. My mother told me that the orginal part of the cabin my grandfather built was from a kit. It was very small and when we first started visiting, we would have to sleep in a tent because there wasn't enough room in the cabin for us. One of the things that amazes me is that they used to store their belongings in the bushes during the winter.
We always had a wonderful time at Cook Forest. During the day, we would hang out at the swimming pool - first the old one at Tom's Run - and then the new one by the Saw Mill. In the evening, we would hang out at MacBeth's watching people or Mom and Dottie Cook would take us to one of the ice cream stands around for ice cream.
I wished we lived closer so we could visit more often than ever couple of years."