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.

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