I Forgot to Mention

   Taste of the Gunflint Trail 

     When writing Monday’s blog post about the Annual Picnic Meeting of the Gunflint Trail Historical Society at Chik-Wauk Lodge I should have mentioned something to go along with it.  In case you couldn’t make it to the picnic and meeting you will have another opportunity to visit Chik-Wauk at the end of the Gunflint Trail.  For the second year in a row the Gunflint Trail is hosting,  "A Taste of the Trail." 

     Join us on the Gunflint Trail on Saturday, September 12th from 11am until 5pm.  At Voyageur we’ll have samples of our Voyageur Cookie and Sour Cream and Raisin Pie while it lasts.  The pie recipe can be found in the Gunflint Cookbook.  Purchase a cookbook by calling us or by following this link.

"A Taste of the Gunflint Trail" Offers a Glimpse of History

Discover Gunflint Trail history and enjoy early fall colors
– a fundraiser for Chik-Wauk Museum & Nature Center –

Featured Historic Lodges with historians present:
Rockwood Lodge – 50 Rockwood Road – Poplar Lake
Loon Lake Lodge – Rhubarb Cake & Walter Bunn Bars – 65 Loon Lake Road – Loon Lake
Chik-Wauk Lodge – offering assorted taste treats – approximately 56 miles from Grand Marais on 28 Moose Pond Road (Cook County Road 81, Saganaga Lake), future home of museum and nature center opening July 4, 2010

Tours of historic Gunflint Trail lodges with local taste treats and screenings of the short documentary, "A Taste of the Gunflint Trail."

The following business are participating in the "open house" fundraiser September 12, 2009:
Bearskin Lodge – 124 East Bearskin Road – East Bearskin Lake
Clearwater Lodge – 774 Clearwater Road – Clearwater lake
Poplar Creek Guesthouse & B&B – 11 Poplar Creek Drive
Hungry Jack Outfitters – 318 South Hungry Jack Road – Hungry Jack Lake
Nor’wester Lodge & Outfitters – 7778 Gunflint Trail- Poplar Lake
Rockwood Lodge – 50 Rockwood Road (also featured historic lodge) – Poplar Lake
Loon Lake Lodge – 65 Loon Lake Road (also featured historic lodge)- Loon Lake
Gunflint Lodge – 143 South Gunflint Lake Road – Gunflint Lake
Gunflint Pines – 217 South Gunflint Lake Road – Gunflint Lake
Heston’s – 579 South Gunflint Lake – Gunflint Lake
Chik-Wauk Lodge – 28 Moose Pond Road (also featured historic lodge)- Saganaga Lake
Voyageur Canoe Outfitters – 189 Sag Lake Trail – Saganaga Lake

Event is free of charge: donations accepted and Gunflint Trail Historical Society memberships encouraged.  Watch for the "Taste" signs. The Gunflint Trail (Cook County #12) is a paved road that begins in Grand Marais, Minnesota and traverses 60 miles of forested wilderness to end at Saganaga Lake on the Canadian border.

Get a glimpse of Gunflint Trail history and a taste of good eats during A Taste of the Gunflint Trail on Saturday, September 12 from 1-5 p.m. Three historic lodges will be open for free tours during this benefit for the Gunflint Trail Historical Society, which is raising money for the Chik-Wauk Musem and Nature Center, scheduled to open in 2010.

During "A Taste of the Gunflint," Historical Society volunteers will greet visitors at Rockwood, Loon Lake, and Chik-Wauk Lodges to explain the museum project and talk about Gunflint Trail history. They will also serve goodies from the popular A Taste of the Gunflint Trail cookbook. Lodge visitors also can view a new short film about the Gunflint Trail. The event is free, but memberships and donations to the Society will be accepted. Proceeds from cookbook sales are being donated to the Society as well.

Rockwood Lodge:
Rockwood Lodge was founded in the mid-1920’s by Paul and Jennie Stolz and Wally and Helen Anderson. The lodge and cabins were built of local timber by the two men (with help from their wives and sister Inez Anderson England). All of the work was done by hand except for hauling the logs-horses helped with that. A picture of the lodge under construction shows a snow ramp snug against it to help raise the logs.

The original lodge and two of the original cabins are still in use, updated with bathrooms and full kitchens, of course! The lodge building has changed very little over the years, the front porch was enclosed when the lodge was used as a restaurant and Dave Lobdell and Rick Whitney added a gorgeous antique chandelier. Some of the original handmade chairs grace the main room, which is dominated by a huge stone fireplace.

Rockwood has been owned by the Andersons/Stolz families, Ann and Dave Clark, Loretta and Darwin Noyes, Don Lobdell and Rick Whitney, Dana and Tim Austin, the Roloff family, and currently, Mike and Lin Sherfy.

Loon Lake Lodge:
From Tom Caldwell, "Clara and Jack Dewar built the Lodge in the late 20’s. They built the road and started with cabin 7 and worked their way down, building cabins as they went, finishing with the lodge building. When the building was completed Jack took off and Clara ran the resort until she sold in 1935 to George and Marie Stapleton.

The Stapleton’s added the "Shack" in 1941 and made improvements like running water. Then in 1948 the Johnson brothers, Kermit and Willard, along with a friend Cliff Hammerberg bought the resort. George Stapleton went on to be the Postmaster for the Gunflint Trail.

Changes continued with phone lines and then electrical service. Cliff left in the early 60s and Kermit passed away in 1986. Terry and I joined Willard in 1984. We added kitchens to all of the cabins and did a lot of remodeling. Willard decided in 1999 that after 50 years in the business it was time to retire. In 2007 he moved back to Duluth and passed away in October of 2008 at the age of 95.

So here we are 25 years later just wondering were the time has gone. We have spent most of our time updating the cabins and trying to keep then in good condition, not always easy to do with 80-year-old log buildings."

Chik-Wauk Museum & Nature Center:
The new museum will be housed in the former Chik-Wauk Lodge, a distinctive rock structure built in 1934 and operated as a resort until the business was bought out by the federal government as part of the 1978 Boundary Waters legislation. Because the building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the structural restoration must adhere to strict guidelines. Once the restoration is complete, work will begin on the museum and exhibits. The 50-acre property will be managed as a natural area.

"The Chik-Wauk Museum will represent the history of the Gunflint Trail from the earliest archaeological period through the present," explains local resident Sue Weber. "The main focus will be on the 20th Century and the people who founded the Gunflint resorts that still exist today."

Originating in Grand Marais, Minnesota, the Gunflint Trail is a 60-mile paved road ending at Saganaga Lake on the Canadian border. Bordered by the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the Trail has long attracted canoeists and other lovers of wild country, many of whom stay in family-owned lodges that have been in operation for nearly a century.

The short, documentary video, "A Taste of the Gunflint Trail" takes the name of the historical story collection and cookbook published by the women of the Gunflint Trail in 2005. The book tells the stories of the women resort owners and residents of the Gunflint Trail, and is the basis of 16-minute video. Historic lodges of the Gunflint Trail, including Chik-Wauk, provide the settings for the video, which includes historical photographs and the voices will be actual Gunflint Trail residents. The video entices visitors to the area through interesting "tastes of history."

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