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Vermilion Dam Lodge History

Vermilion Dam Lodge is rich in history and tradition.

It was first homesteaded in 1891 by Adam Pekoski. This was common at the time because the US was still under the homesteading act. In the year 1892, Mr. Pekoski sold the land to two men, Magnus Dahlston and Charles McElroy. While he received $1.00 and 350 shares in the Briar Hill Iron and Coal Company. In that same year, Mr. Dahlston and Mr. McElroy sold it to Briar Hill . The Briar Hill Iron and Coal Company, an Iowa Corporation then sold the land back to Mr. Pekoski in the year 1893. Then from the years 1893 to 1897, the land was bought and sold over 10 times for prices ranging from $1-$500 dollars.

After switching hands a multitude of times, the Howe Lumber Company took control of the land in 1897 and changed it into a logging camp. They operated there from 1897 to 1909. In 1909 they went broke and had to dissolve. In 1911, a representative from Howe sold the land to the Graff Mineral Company. Having not found any minerals in 1912, Graff allowed Clarence Everett to purchase buildings and operate as a lodging business. Although Graff still owned the land and held the rights to mine, Clarence opened a resort. This is an important year since the land is first used as a resort.

At the time, tourism was new to Northern Minnesota and this is one of the first resorts on Lake Vermilion. Clarence named this historic place on Lake Vermilion Hunter's Lodge as most customers were adventurers. Hunter's Lodge offered opportunities to hunt for moose, bear, deer, grouse, and to fish for trophies. In 1913 the unexpected death of Clarence Everett allowed his brother-in-law, Lloyd Shively to take over the resort for the next 32 years. Let's not forget when in 1921, Graff gave up and sold the land to Shively. Mr. Shively helped make great strides to get the resort where it is today. He even offered historic evidence that muskies were indeed native to Lake Vermilion in this undated picture.

In 1945 Lloyd sold the land to Frank Ruzek. Mr. Ruzek operated the resort successfully for 11 years and passed away in 1956. Following his death, Frank's wife ran it for two more years until she sold it to the Maults in 1961. Jay and Joan Mault ran the resort successfully and added many updated cabins that are still part of the resort today.

In 1974 The Maults sold the resort to Dave and Linda Beer. The Beers ran the resort for 19 years, raising their children at the resort. The Beers were successful in making many upgrades to the resort including getting approval from the county to reroute the main county Road around the resort which for many years ran right through the middle of the resort.
In 1993 David Beer sold the resort to Darwin and George Nelson. The Nelsons operated the resort for five years and also contributed many new upgrades including the building of the new six bedroom cabin 'Aerie'. The Nelson's sold the resort in 1998 to the current owners Ed Tausk and George Wronowski. Ed and George have added the cabins Spruce, Aspen, Norway, Fishing Quarters West & East, & Lakeview. They have spent time upgrading many cabins and the main lodge. Ed and George will continue to grow and improve the resort for many years to come.

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