Lower Spunk Lane - Hengel Property, Avon, MN

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Spirit of Lower Spunk

The cabin at 34113 Lower Spunk Lane
Aloys and Rosalia Hengel
Address: 34113 Lower Spunk Lane
Location of Site: Lower Spunk Lake
Avon, Minnesota
Stearns County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year Established: 1951
Founded by: Aloys and Rosalia Hengel
Historic Function: Neighborhood/community
Current Function: Neighborhood/community
Notes: Spirit of Lower Spunk

Avon Stearns

Close your eyes. Can you hear it? The sound of rippling water. The loon singing in the distance. The laughter of children. The clinking of beer bottles. The neighbors bug zapper zapping away. Everyone who has spent time at a lake cabin may be familiar with what I am talking about. This is the story of three lake cabins. I will focus this story on the cabin standing in the middle and the special times our family spent each summer since 1950.

Our special place, the lake cabin, was on Lower Spunk Lake in Avon, Minnesota. At the north edge of town there is a little dead end road that most people never notice. Many Avon residents usually have no idea or have never paid attention to the existence of this road. The road is on highway 9 between that log cabin that has been under construction for over three decades and Lake Ochotto. Take a left and you will feel like you are entering a secret passageway. There are trees all around you, hiding much of the summer sky. There is an impromptu junkyard on the right until you round the corner and you start to see homes. Once in a while, you get a glimpse of sparkling blue water on the other side of the homes. This area is known as the Brix Addition. Mr. George Brix Sr. and his wife, Helen, developed it in 1950. Our family knows this area as Lower Spunk Lane on Lower Spunk Lake.

Our family had a summer cabin on the Lower Spunk and spent many summer nights listening to the ripples of the water and the calls of the loons. We would fire up the grill for dinner while the adults enjoyed a cool refreshment. The kids would continue swimming until, begrudgingly, they were called in to eat. This many sound like a typical summer day in Minnesota for all lake lovers. Our story has a twist. We did not have one lake cabin, we had three, all in a row on Lower Spunk Lake. Ernest “Ernie” and Angeline “Nippy” Hartmann owned lot 10, 11 and the north half of lot 12. Aloys “Al” and Rosalia Hengel owned the south half of lot 12 as well as lot 13. John and Frederica “Freddie” Spoden owned lot 14. How are these people connected? Al and Nippy are siblings. John and Freddie are Rosalia’s parents. Two families joined together with Al and Rosalia connecting everyone in the middle. Each family built a small cabin on their property and enjoyed the ever-lasting summers on the lake. The Hartmann and Spoden locations have been sold a few times throughout their existence but the Hengel cabin is still owned within the family.


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