Friday, July 22, 2005

History of Gunflint Lodge

Mrs. Doris (Dora) Blankenburg and her son, Russell started Gunflint Lodge in 1925. The Blankenburgs were originally from Chicago and owned a resort called Light House Lodge in northern Wisconsin. One summer some of the guests commented that the next summer they would be going up to a new area just opening up in northern Minnesota. The name of the area was the Gunflint Trail.

Russell decided to come to the Gunflint Trail area and look around. As a result of this trip, he urged his mother to buy a piece of land on Gunflint Lake, which was the end of the Gunflint Trail at that time.

After a couple of years of operation, Mrs. Blankenburg felt that operating two resorts in two states stretched her too thin. She put Gunflint Lodge up for sale. One of Mrs. Blankenburg's friends from Illinois was Mrs. Mae Spunner. Her husband, George, had given the Blankenburgs advice on the purchase of their Wisconsin resort. When Gunflint Lodge was put on the market, Mrs. Spunner expressed interest in purchasing it.

Mae Spunner brought her daughter, Justine, up with her to discuss the purchase of the resort with Dora Blankenburg. While the two women finalized the purchase of the resort, Justine took her first canoe trip with a college friend and a guide. The trip was down the Granite River to Saganaga Lake. At the time Justine had just finished her undergraduate work at Northwestern University and hoped to become a physician. While in school, Justine had agreed to come up during the summers and help her mother run the resort.
For complete history go to Gunflint Lodge History.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

History of Hungry Jack Lodge

Unusual and unforgettable is the history of Hungry Jack Lodge to those who have had a part in building it and to those who have visited it.

Hungry Jack Lake received its name in 1884 when U.S. Government surveyors were plotting the land and charting and naming the lakes. The surveyors had hired
Andrew Jackson Scott Sr. (Jack Scott) (1843-1930) a noted guide, hunter and trapper, to guide them through the country that he knew so well. It was late fall when they reached the shores of what is now named Hungry Jack Lake and set up a winter camp. When they ran low on food supplies, the surveyors decided to snowshoe 32 miles into Grand Marais for the necessary provisions. When they arrived, a blowing snowstorm hit. This storm plus holiday celebrations in town prevented the surveyors from returning to camp for two weeks. When they finally returned, poor jack who was nearly starved to death heard them approach and ran from the shack. One surveyor yelled "Hey are you hungry Jack?" Jack replied "Am I hungry Jack! I'm nearly starved to death!" And from that day on, the lake has been named Hungry Jack.
In 1923 the Gunflint Trail from Grand Marais was extended to Hungry Jack Lake as a forest fire prevention and fighting trail because of its central and key location to the canoe routes through Superior National Forest. For complete History go to Hungry Jack History.