Pinewood, MN, Balm Lake, Balm Lake Resort, ca 1950
I first went to Francis’s Balm Lake Resort in 1968. The fishing was just wonderful. Our family caught over 50 walleyes and maybe that many large, eating size northerns during that week. Most of the fish were released but we kept a few for dinner. I remember Clarence and later there was a gentleman named “Slim” who came over from Delwater Resort to help Francis keep the place going. I remember him telling us that he came up from Indiana one day and fell in love with the area. He just never went back to Indiana. He was a good friend of my brother Paul who lives in Duluth. I hope Francis is in a place that rewards her for providing hundreds of people with a big boat full of wonderful memories.
Hello. My name is myron Lewyckyj, same as my dad. My mother was Eugenia. We were up there every summer for many years in the 70’s and 80’s. My dad once caught a 24lb northern. I remember everything you mentioned. Great memories. Is there anywhere to stay there now?
There is a resort called Garrison’s at the other end of the lake. It used to be the Frontier then it was The Dancing Bear, and now it is owned by the Garrison’s. The cabins are pretty nice now that they have been remodeled. I haven’t been there since they bought the place but I may stop by next summer to fish for a day. By the way, I remember your dad. He used to send Francis a big box of frogs that he used to catch big northerns with. I think you have a younger sister who once fell off the dock at Francis’ resort. My daughter, who couldn’t swim, jumped in to save her. These are some of the memories I have. I may be mistaken about your sister though. Time makes the memories a little hazy but still something to hang onto.
Hey Myron I think I remember your parents, did they used to ride a train up from Chicago My son owns what’s left of the old resort, the old house, and 2 garages and the duplex cabin up on the hill, all the rest has been sold off. The place straight across the lake is Winger’s and he rents 3 or 4 cabins there. We’re heading up in 3 weeks for our annual trip, Ray
My cousin just came back from Winger’s place last week. I think they call it West Alaska now. He is going back next month for his annual Boy’s Weekend. He found out though that next year you cannot rent a cabin for a week, you have to rent it for a whole month. Not good for us guys that just want to stay for a week. They did, however, reserve it for the entire month of June which I’m sure cost a good buck. The bass fishing was great as usual. They have a slot limit that requires that you release any fish between 12 and 20 inches. There are lots of fish in that size range but they are great fun to catch. We all use the Perch color Rapala DT4 in the big bay near public landing.
Spent most of my summers there as a kid, Francis was my great aunt Most of the cabins and her new house were sold off, my son bought the balance of the property prolly 7 years ago We’re heading up in Aug for a week I remember Clarence Nash and the old 53 green Chevy pickup The grandson you’re thinking of was prolly Steve, he worked for her several summers Hey Jimmy, don’t know if you remember me I saw your brothers Dave and Pete, they stopped by and caught me there a few years ago
What a great resort. My family and I camped there with the above, Rick Jablonski and family, many many times during the late 1960’s. We also rented cottages later, taking my wife and son up there, and having a family party with several others from the family joining us, in the 1980’s. What a great find it was for our families, originally. I also remember several other families there on holidays back when I was a kid. McDonough’s, Tomlinson’s, others. I also remember Mrs. Christensen and Clarence very fondly. Rick and I liked helping Clarence do his trash run, on the old green Plymouth pickup. Maybe it was a Dodge and not green, hahah. Later years we used to buy eggs from him when we were there. I have a Nice Northern Pike I caught there mounted up on my wall, along with a much treasured mounted 2 pound Bluegill caught there by my father. I see it everyday, and think of all those great times up there. I remember when we were very young, 8 or 9, Rick and I would try to hike around the loop road, but often got scared of bears we imagined in the woods. I think Mrs. C also had a grandson we palled around with a little bit, Chris maybe? Someday, I will try to go up that way, and see how it looks and feels now. Thanks for some of the best memories of my young life!
I believe the truck was a Chevy. Art, who was Mrs. C’s husband was my Grandma’s uncle. I’m in my 40’s and have been going up there since I was 6. Countless memories up there. I would love to know how big of a Pike you caught. I’ve never caught a truly big one from Balm.
Hey there Mark! My Northern Pike was a ten pounder, not a monster. My mother told me to fish a certain spot that evening, and I caught it there. Great catch, very exciting for me, was my biggest catch at the time. It was in the mid to late 1980’s. Had to have it mounted in honor of the circumstances. I am 60 now, but first went in the 1960’s. Thanks for the reply. Take care.
For many years my parents and my uncle and aunt families would come and camp in I think two spots they talked the owners into renting to them. We had great memories made there, that resorts holds so many happy times.
This was my Grandmothers resort, and we miss her and the resort, great memories were made there.
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