Some of you may remember Gatlin Boat Yard. It was on the Gravois Arm, adjacent to Rocky Comfort Lodge. Both the boat yard and the lodge had been there since the 1930s.

I remember both very well. We stayed there during the decade of the '60s, and my father bought all three of his runabouts there. George Purvis, son-in-law of the Gatlins, owned the boatyard at the time.

These pictures show the gas dock at Gatlin's. It was a simple wooden deck with ten slips and two gas pumps out at the end. George told me that the dock was built in '52; the pictures were taken in '65.

And now I'll let you in on a little secret. One of the very best crappie and bass fishing spots on the entire lake was off the end of that gas dock, at night. George had been throwing dead cedar trees out there for years. Only a few locals and trusted friends knew about the spot, and my father and I were privileged to be amongst them. We fished with crappie jigs--we used to call them "doll flies." We'd tie two on the end of our lines, spaced eighteen inches apart--and we'd catch two fish at a time! The only variable was the color of the doll fly--some nights purple, some nights white, other nights yellow. It was a rare night that we didn't catch our limit.

Those were great days. I'll have more stories about the people I knew and events I saw around Gatlin's in future postings.

Text and photos © 2005 by Michael Gillespie. All rights reserved.