1944 August - This photo was taken in front of Swanson's Lodge. I believe the lady in the print dress is Sybil Swanson. The man with the cap carrying the suitcase is Curly Nelson, a Swede who worked for the Swanson's. James Russell Fink, MD is in the shadows of the entry. I am not able to identify the others in the photo.
1944 - Mr. and Mrs. Eigle (Nonalie) Madsen (in dress clothes) talking to Sybil Swanson before boarding Wilderness Express to begin travel back to Chicago. Most likely, they took the Wilderness Express to Duluth, and then the train from there.
Mr. and Mrs. Eigle (Nonalie) Madsen boarding the Wilderness Express in Swanson Lodge parking lot to begin their trip home to Chicago.
1944 - Swanson's Lodge sign at the corner of what is now Hungry Jack Road and Bunn Trail. Alice Fink, of Chicago, is holding her two year-old son, Richard.
1944 August - J. R. Fink, MD on right with family friend on left. This string of Lake Trout was probably taken from Moss or Arrow Lakes. Dave Clark guided Dad on this trip and those were Dave's favorite lakes. This photo was taken on the dock of Swanson's Lodge.
About 1944 - Float plane arriving at Swanson's Lodge.
About 1944 - Diving board at Swanson's Lodge.
1944 August - Swanson's Lodge This is the guest cabin which my dad, my mother, and I occupied at Swanson's Lodge during our first visit to Hungry Jack Lake in 1944.
1944 August - Mr. and Mrs. Harry Caley. The Caleys were from Chicago, Illinois, where Harry Caley owned a Chevrolet dealership. They had a cabin on Lot 8 in the Hungry Jack Lake Summer Home Group. This cabin was eventually purchased by Neal and Ginny Selvig, and is now owned by their nephew, Robert Wilcox and his wife, Mary.
1940s - Mr. and Mrs. Harry Caley had a beautiful cabin built by Bob Zimmerman on Lot 8 in the Hungry Jack Summer Home Group. It was later owned by Neil and Ginny Selvig. Sometime during the Selvig's ownership a tree adjacent to the cabin was struck by lightening. The wiring from a light fixture mounted on the tree carried the current into the cabin and the entire cabin was immediately on fire. The Selvigs escaped with only their nightclothes that they were wearing. The cabin was subsequently rebuilt by Bob Zimmerman. It is currently owned by the Selvig's nephew and his family.
1944 August - This is a group of unidentified hikers from Swanson's Lodge at the top of Caribou Rock in 1944. It is my understanding that the picnic tables were placed by Gateway Lodge. They were pretty well deteriorated by the 1950s, and were gone completely by the 1960s. There used to be very good Blueberry picking at the top of Caribou Rock, but that is no longer the case.
1945 February - Gateway Lodge on the north side of Hungry Jack Lake. This was the original log main lodge. It was reputed to be the largest log building in Minnesota. Furnishings were all hand made from diamond willow and other local materials. The resort was founded by Jesse Gapen and family in, I believe, about 1924. This building was built in 1932 and burned in the winter of 1972. This resort was eventually purchased in 1958 by the Patrick McDonald Family and later, in 1972, by Jerry Parson. The resort is currently operated by Jerry's son, Forrest Parson.
Paul Ilg - February 1945 or 1946
Paul was the husband of Dorothy Maland who was the daughter of Ruth and Ozzie Maland. The Malands owned the cabin on the south shore of the west end of Hungry Jack Lake. After the deaths of the Malands, the Ilgs owned the cabin. For the past several years it has been owned by their son, Bob Ilg. Paul was fresh out of the Army. The building in the background is the old Gateway Lodge main building. The largest log building in Minnesota at the time, it was destroyed by fire in December 1972.
1945 February - Swanson's Lodge This is the main lodge building, and it looks much the same today as it did then. The only thing absent today is the tepee-like flagpole over the gabled entry. The dining room is at the far left, the office is in the area of the awninged window, and the main sitting area was in the entire right half of the building. There is a large fireplace at the end of the building on the far right.
1945 May - This is another photo which shows the picnic tables which used to be at the top of Caribou Rock. This is a group of Dad's friends who had hiked up there. Looks like a pretty lazy day for these guys. That is West Bearskin Lake in the background, of course.
1945 May - Swanson's Lodge This activity is obviously taking place at the dock. All the boats at that time were wood, and quite heavy. Most of the resorts had boatlines for their guests. One could take one of these boats to a portage where it was left, and then the guests or their guide would carry their motor and gear to the other side of the portage where another boat would be waiting on shore for their use. One could take a boatline all the way to Rose Lake, for example, in this manner. Of course, that was before parts of the route became motorless by law.
The building in the backgound was a lighthouse and a shop with a canoe shed on the water side. The lighthouse contained an old Model A Ford engine, or something similar, which was hooked up to a generator that produced 12-volt DC current for the lodge. The system made use of a large number of wet cell storage batteries. The engines were not necessarily well-muffled and they were often heard putt-putting from out on the lake.
Mr. Jerner - March 1948
I don't know Mr. Jerner's first name. He was a Swede who, I believe, was from Chicago. It is said that he was involved in the construction of Swanson's Lodge. He did construct the guest cabin for the Ebert Family in the Federal Summer Home Group, and he did some additions to the Maland Family cabin on Hungry Jack Lake. This photo is taken at Mt Lemon, near Tucson. At the time, Mr. Jergens was constructing a home for the Malands in the Tucson area.
1950 - The date is an estimate. This is the intersection between the Gunflint Trail, headed west on the far left, and the Hungry Jack road heading west in the center. The smaller of the two mailboxes on the right belonged to Swanson's Lodge, while the larger belonged to Gateway Lodge. The "gated" entry down the road a hundred yards had a carved-in-a-log sign for Gateway on one side and one for Swanson's on the other. This road went on past the north side of Road Lake and then up a hill that was taken down for gravel when the Gunflint Trail was widened and paved. This entry to the Hungry Jack Road was changed to its present location a long time ago, perhaps in the 1960s. If anyone knows the precise date, please comment below.
1951 December - Cutting Ice - The location of this photograph is just to the west of the Gateway Lodge point, as shown on the map. Ice was being cut for the lodge. As soon as the lake froze hard enough to walk on, the planned ice field was shoveled whenever there was fresh snow. This allowed the ice to freeze thick and clear. Two T-handled saws can be seen in the photo. These were used to cut the blocks of ice. The cakes of ice were then pushed through the water with the long-handled pike, seen lying on the ice, to the point where the cakes were pulled out of the water. I am not able to identify the men, but that is me at the far left at age 9.
1951 December - Cutting Ice - Again, I cannot identify these men. They are setting up a gasoline engine powered ice saw. The truck is a Dodge 5-Window Pickup Truck with a long box of a late 1940s or very early 1950s vintage.
1951 December - Cutting Ice - Unidentified man pulling ice with long-handled tongs. Other tools lying on ice are a pike, regular tongs, a shovel , and a pronged spud for breaking blocks of ice apart.
1951 December - Cutting Ice - The men are unidentified. Photo shows the ice field with hand cutting taking place and blocks of ice being moved.
1951 December - Cutting Ice - Men are unidentified. Multiple blocks of ice sitting on ice field. Blow torch sitting on ice at right. Five-Windowed Dodge Pickup Truck and another, unidentified vehicle in background.
About 1952 - Bent Family Cabin Under Construction
In about 1948 a road was extended from near the end of what is now known as Hungry Jack Road. The extension passed across the portage from Hungry Jack Lake to West Bearskin Lake (much to the dismay of my father, James Russell Fink) and on beyond a ways. It is now known as Menogyn Trail. Five additional cabins to the Hungry Jack Summer Home Group were built near the end of this road. One of them was a log cabin built by the Henry Bent Family of Missouri. Henry, with the aid of his two sons, Bob and Henry Jr., built this cabin themselves over a period of several years using logs from a windfall along the Hungry Jack Road just north of the then Gateway, now Hungry Jack Lodge. As kids, my brother, sister, and I would periodically walk down with our father to check on its progress. The Bent Family still occupies this cabin as of this writing in 2012.
About 1952 - The Bent Family Permanent Camp
While the Bent Family was constructing their log cabin, they spent summers in their permanent tent camp a few yards from the construction site. The tent was on a platform and large in size. All cooking was done with wood and baking was accomplished in the keg-sized oven that can be seen here. The children are, in order of age, Richie (me), Carol, and Billy Fink. The woman to the right is Doris Ahlsted, a close friend of our family.
1952 - This photo was taken at the top of what is, today, called Honeymoon Rock at the east end of Hungry Jack Lake. Back then we called it Red Bluff. The rock is certainly red, but I know of no one who spent, or would want to spend, their honeymoon up there. I don't know why the name was changed. This was before the railings were installed to protect us from the effects of gravity. By the way, that is my three year-old brother, Billy, there. It was also before the trail to the top was changed from the south side to the north side of the bluff. That south side trail was steep, and there were no steps as there are now on the north side trail. I don't know, I think maybe we were tougher back then.
1957 - Alice Fink Making Ice Cream at the Fink Cabin
We had a long tradition of making peach ice cream at the Fink cabin. Mom (Alice Fink) would buy peaches in Grand Marais. We kids would take the boat over to Swanson's Lodge to get a large block of ice out of the Lodge ice house. We would then bring the ice back to the cabin, chip it up, and put it and salt in the ice cream maker to chill the ice cream mix that Mom had made. We would all then take turns cranking until the mix had thickened. Here, Mom is removing the paddle from the finished product. Ted Mayer is standing on the porch, along with Carol Fink (in blue) and Cheryl Clauson. Rich Fink is in the plaid shirt, Billy Fink is seen behind the paddle and Uncle Harry Sanders is standing at the right.
About 1957 - Hungry Jack Lake summer residents - (left to right) - Mr. Gustafson (Lot 16, Federal summer home group), Leif Irgens (Lot 18), Gerda O'Conner (Lot 17), Ruth Maland (Southwest Hungry Jack), Carol Fink (Lot 13), James Russell Fink (Lot 13), Billy Fink (child - Lot 13), Anna Irgens (Lot 18), Mr. Eibert (Lots 14 & 15), Richie Fink (Lot 13), Mrs. Eibert (Lots 14 & 15), Mrs. Gustafson (Lot 16), Eleanor Salisbury (Lots 19 &20), Fr. Duncan (Lot 11), Alice Fink (Lot 13). Photograph taken in dining room of Swanson's Lodge.
1958 December - Walter Bunn. This photo was taken in "Snug Haven" which was the name of the cabin Walt built for his mother and him to live in. That is Mother Bunn in the background at the kitchen sink. The Fink Family spend several Christmases at the Hungry Jack Lake Cabin and socialization with the Bunns during those trips was an almost-everyday occurrence.
This is a photo of Swanson's Lodge as it appeared in about 1960. This was used on the Lodge's Christmas Card.
This photo was taken in "Snug Haven," the year-around home of Walter Bunn and his mother, Laura "Mother" Bunn. The year was about 1960 and this photo was in their Christmas Card. The dog is Walter's dog, "Mike," which was a collie mix. Mike had the ability to climb ladders and would often appear on the roof when Walt was up there shoveling snow or repairing leaks. The trouble was that Mike could not get back down, so someone always had to carry him back down the ladder. This was not an easy task due to Mike's size. After Mike died, Walt acquired an Irish Setter named "Kelly." Kelly, fortunately, never learned how to climb ladders.
1961 December - This diminutive lady is Mother Bunn. Few people knew her real name, Laura, but everyone knew her as Mother Bunn. She ran the kitchen and dining room of Swanson's Lodge, which was operated by her son, Walter "Walt" Bunn. Her food was good - good enough to be "Recommended by Duncan Hines," which was a very important credential to have in those days. This photo was taken in the Fink cabin in late December.
1961 - At one time Hungry Jack Lake had some pretty good Lake Trout fishing. Long after everyone else had given them up as gone, Stu Fenton would go out and pull one in. This is a particularly large Lake Trout that he pulled out in 1961. Stu Fenton was part of the Salisbury clan on Lots 20 and 21 in the Summer Home Group.
1961 - Hungry Jack summer residents picnicking at Saganaga Lake. First row, l. to r. - Eleanor Salisbury, Willis Salisbury, Hazel Elliot, Ruth Maland, Anna Irgens, Leif Irgens. Back row, l. to r. - Russell Fink, Ace Elliot, Gerda O'Connor, Oswald (Ozzie) Maland. The Salisburys had the cabins on Lots 20 and 21, the Irgens the cabin on Lot 18, Dr. Fink the cabin on Lot 13, Mrs. O'Connor the cabin on Lot 17, all in the Hungry Jack Summer Home Group. The Malands had the cabins at the southwest part of Hungry Jack Lake (now Ilgs' place), and the Elliots were long-time friends and guests of the Malands.
1964 June - Walter Bunn. Walt owned and operated Swanson's Lodge from about 1950 on. He had purchased it from the original owners, Marvin and Sybil Swanson. I believe that Walt's brother, Renn, may have had a financial interest in it as well. Walt and Dad were the best of friends. Walt lived a good quality of life as a beloved citizen of the Gunflint Trail into his 90s. You can still have a breakfast of Walter's Pancakes, named in his honor, at the Trail Center today. Photo taken of Walt and his Irish Setter, Kelly, on June 13, 1964.
About 1970 - Willis and Eleanor Salisbury in front of their cabin on the point on Lots 20 & 21. Willis was a member of the Salisbury Mattress Family of Minneapolis, Minnesota, the building of which is now part of St Anthony Main (2012). They did a lot of international traveling in their later years and, as a boy, I loved visiting them and hearing their stories about riding elephants and being in jungles.