In 2016, Mica L. Anders— genealogist, oral historian, and historic placemaker—interviewed 7 families about their summer cabins for the Minnesota Historical Society. All of the people she talked to had two things in common: First, they spent every summer driving to Lake Adney near Brainerd, Minnesota. And second, they were all Black families.
Lake Adney became a destination in the 1920s when a Black man named George Worthington Gamble bought land along its southern shore. Since then, Adney has been a spiritual retreat, a great fishing spot, and a healing place for generations of Minnesotans. Lake Adney’s story isn’t unique. Black families have found community on lakes dotted across the upper Midwest. But, as these families attest, Adney was special. It was theirs. KFAI’s Kira Schukar brings us this story.
William “Bill” Murray Sr. passed away in 2018.
A special thank you to Mica L. Anders for sharing her expertise and conducting the interviews in this podcast. The full oral histories can be found on the Minnesota Historical Society website.
Additional funding for this story was provided by the Minnesota Historical Society and MNHS Image and Duplication Support for Community Projects.