On August 3, 2013, I enjoyed speaking again at Itasca State Park’s Brower Visitor Center as part of the Presenter Under the Pines Series. My talk included slides of early tourism in and around Itasca Park. I was happy to meet several guests who shared information about early resort experiences. Their recounting touched memories of when I lived with my parents on Little Mantrap Lake.
One couple has been coming to the park since 1959, renting the same Douglas Lodge cabin each year! A special enjoyment that brought them each year was hearing the night calls of the loons on Lake Itasca. I hope to learn more about this special couple’s 54 year milestone.
Another couple, the Reverend Cy Solberg and his wife Betty, have vacationed for 57 years at Little Norway Resort, operated by Chuck and Sissel Brandon on Little Mantrap Lake. This was explained to me by their son and daughter, John Solberg of Mitchell, South Dakota, and Sarah Libbon of Duluth. Their parents were family friends of Lloyd and Ida Thompson, who built Camp Lloyd “from scratch.” It later became Little Norway Resort.
As lake neighbors, our family and the Thompsons became good friends, and when my brother Royce looked for his first summer job during high school, he found it at Camp Lloyd.
Like the amazing couples mentioned above, I am sure there are many vacationers who have formed a bond with a particular resort and who are approaching some kind of longevity milestone. I plan to introduce a “Hall of Fame” feature to recognize these individuals and families who have consistently vacationed at a single resort for 25 years or more. I would like to know their favorite memories and what made them return year after year. If you have someone in mind, click here to let me know!
My thanks to the DNR staff at Itasca State Park, including Connie Cox, Sandra Licter, and Barb Michel, for their assistance in making the Presenter Under the Pines program possible.
UPDATE 10/21/13: The Vacationer Hall of Fame webpage is now started. Click on the “Hall of Fame” tab above, or click here to learn about families and resorts with long traditions.