Brainerd, MN, Gull Lake, Island View Lodge #4, ca 1940s
Hello All, I was born just before my parents bought the Lodge(IVL as I still call it when I reminice) 🙂 and have some of the greatest memories of my life! I used to love it when Dad would let Jeff and I ride the tractor lawnmowers and just cut the grass. That hill was awesome but the best overall was definiatly the inboard when people could go water-skiing everyday @ 4pm and Dad would take the inboard out of the boathouse (cool ramp) and take everybody skiing and we were able to put our name on the list too! What a blast when Brett and Mike would straddle me behind the inboard and I would grab onto their shoulders and lift myself up and drop my ski’s and make my way up to their shoulders and we would ski as a tripod triangle around Steamboat bay… I remember Dr. Buyers even checking my head because on that very first trip on the dismount my head hit one of the skis. Ouch, but he said I was gonna be okay and thank God I was and Dad had me go out there again and get up on the skis and we did it all again. There were so many fun times with all of the guests that would return every year they made the memories that got us through the winter months. Too short of a time but happiness that has lasted a lifetime… I remember when Susie Lautorette would play on the beach in between waterskiers… I had a crush on her. I remember Mr. Poppems and Jeff being his driver when he went out troll fishing and Brett when he would water ski and slolemn gliding back and forth with his should even touching the water while making a wake about 30 in the air. Whew that brother could ski! I miss everyone and especially Alices pankakes that fit the whole plate. I did get big and strong! And who could forget Ingrids pastries 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thank you for Blessing my life with neighbors like the Craguns and Mr. Curry letting Dad buy that beautiful house was such a beautiful gift for us becausr the heater in the housr worked so well now that I live in California is heated up like a summer night on those – 32 below 0 degrees nights. God bless each one of you forever and ever, Love Jack Thiel
Nowadays i still write and play Blues, Pop and Rock music with the hopes of being remembered maybe even with some of the greats. One never knows what can happen does one? http://www.soundcloud.com/Ashiel
I loved Island Biew Lodge. Every summer from the early 50’s until 1958 we would sray there. Ben Curry and his gracious wife were such great host/ hostess. Ben used to take me with him early in the morning to pick up fruit and veggies in Brainerd at the wholesale market. He taught me how to waterski and how to ride the wake and ski on one ski. Loved absolutely every summer week we spent there.
Irma’s Kitchen isn’t named after a former employee. It’s named after Irma Cragun, one of the owners. She and Dutch Cragun are very much alive 🙂
My wife and I stayed at island view for our honeymoon in 1982. We were hoping to visit again soon. Is any part of the lodge or cabins left? Thanks.
Lee and Ruth Anderson
Island View Lodge was bought out by Craguns in 1988. Part of it became a restaurant, “The Hungry Gull,” which has become “Irma’s Kitchen” named after a former employee. I assume that the original cabins have been moved or torn down. There is more information on early Island View Lodge in my book, The Early Resorts of Minnesota. Thanks for your interest in early resorts.
The magic is still there. We stayed there every summer when we were kids – from the time I was 3 until the time I was married. We are going to take our own family there this summer and cannot wait to stay right on the lake – in the cabin we shared with my mom and dad. All the cabins have been redone, but most likely they are similar to when you went in 1982. I think Dutch and Irma Cragun have tried to keep IVL (as we called it) special. We saw the same families there every summer – the Leuchtefelds, the Latourettes, the Whitakers, the Thompsons, the Salsas, the Trustys, the Fields, the Andersons, the Thiels (who purchased from the Currys), the Yohos (also owners) and so many more amazing families. Sorry I am sure I missed a few. Some have cabins in other areas of the lake now. I am sad that “The Big Boat” no longer inhabits the boathouse and that the weekly bingo games and trips to town for pizza after (with the winners paying…) are a distant memory, but there are families there who have started their own traditions now. My sisters and I were there staying on Big Gull (as we call it) last summer and we visited IVL. We ate in the lodge and found it delicious…hope you get to go.
My dad, David Trusty, spent his summers there with his family in the 1950s and 1960s. I just found a newspaper clipping with a photo of my dad and his three siblings taken at Island View Lodge in 1956.
(go to this link to view the clipping)
Hi, We too used to stay at Island View Lodge every summer. We used to walk to a nearby attraction of an old west town. I think it may have been at Maddens but I just don’t recall.
My family stayed at IVL for a month every summer from 1971 to 1984. The attraction you are referring to was at Madden’s and was called Lumbertown. As kids we would walk along the shore through Cragun’s to Madden’s to go there. Cragun’s now owns what was IVL and also what was the neighboring resort of Cronable’s. I still go to Gull Lake every summer, but stay further up on the lake. The old lodge at IVL is now a restaurant and bar (just renovated this year).
Stayed at IVL during the 60’s & 70’s. Knew Bill Luechtefeld and his family. A lot of great memories & people as we would all return each summer. His memories concerning Lumbertown are spot on. In addition, the weekly Bingo games were also a big attraction at Island View.
I used to stay at Cronables cabins in the 60s.
Is at now Island View Lodge?
Here’s what I believe may have occurred. According to Cragun’s website below, Island View Lodge (built in 1926) was acquired by Cragun’s Resort in 1988.
According to another website below, Cragun’s also acquired Cronables cabins in 1983, basically merging the resorts. I hope this helps, thanks for your interest in Minnesota’s early resorts. -Ren
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