The History behind Lakewood Lodge
Serving vacationers for 100 years.…
In late 1906 William Schultz acquired 240 acres around Sand Lake and Portage Lake through a grant offer. (This encompassed all of the Lakewood Bay and the South and South West land surrounding Portage Lake) During the winter of 1906/1907 he built a two-room homestead cabin near the Bay of Big Sand Lake. (Lakewood Bay) His wife Mary then brought their children through logging roads and across the frozen lakes to settle with her husband. In 1907 William and his wife Mary had 3 children and William could get a teacher to come to Sand Lake only if there were seven children enrolled in the school. He was able to enroll 4 Native American children along with his 3. The teacher lived with the Schultz family and taught school in their cabin. Due to increased enrollment Schultz built a small log cabin close to their home and it was the first Inger School.
William and Mary had 5 more children after moving to Sand Lake, including a set of twins that died on the day they were born.
William and his sons built Lakewood Lodge during the years of 1917-1919. This large log building was built where the resort is located now on Sand Lake. The largest cabin in Itasca County at the time which consisted of a lobby, six sleeping rooms over the lobby, a dining room, kitchen and two screened porches. All the furniture was home made except the springs and mattresses.
According to the guest register, vacationers came from Chicago, Ohio and the Twin Cities to stay at Lakewood Lodge (usually for 2 weeks or longer) and they traveled by train to Deer River where William met them with horse and buggy for the 2 day trip to Lakewood Lodge along the logging roads.
Three of William and Mary son’s Herman, William Jr., and Henry were hunting and fishing guides. They caught minnows for bait and rowed the boats two miles up the lake to the “narrows” which let them into the big part of Sand Lake. At the end of the day the boys would row back to the Lodge to clean the day’s catch which Mary would then cook for their guests.
In the 1920’s the first “cabin” was built. This cabin remained a part of Lakewood Lodge until 2005 and is still standing on private property along County Road 35. This cabin rented for $5 a week. The cabin at the time did not have running water or electricity and an out house was used (which can still be seen on the adjoining property)
After 31 years as residents on Sand Lake William and Mary sold Lakewood Lodge in 1938 and purchased a home in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Many of the Schultz’s descendants still live in the area.
Lakewood Lodge has had a total of 8 owners since 1906. William and Mary sold Lakewood Lodge to the Siefert’s who in 1950 tore the log lodge down and built the house and lodge that was used until the fall of 2006. Prior to removing the original log lodge the Siefert’s had built cabins 7 and 8 in which to live in while their new home and lodge were being constructed.
After the Siefert’s decided to sell Lakewood Lodge they stayed close by keeping some of the land near the resort. Some of the family is still enjoys their summer cabin today.
Siefert’s sold to Paneka’s and the Paneka’s sold to Don and Terry Cook who moved North from a resort they had owned on Leech Lake. Don and Terry raised their boy’s here while making many improvements to the resort. When they decided to retire from resort life they purchased land on the west side of Portage Lake where they lived until Terry passed away the winter of 2004. Don then sold his home but still resides in the area.
The Cooks sold Lakewood Lodge to the Naylor’s. Roger Naylor was a teacher for the Deer River Schools and is an author who wrote several books one of which is titled Black Rock Bay and depicts Lakewood Lodge resort and area in a fictional setting. I personally have read his book and enjoyed visualizing my resort in that setting.
Naylor’s then sold to the Beahn family from Las Vegas who continued improvements to the resort and still vacation with fellow resort owners from their time in the area.
In the 1990’s cabin 2 and 3 were built by the Beahn’s and in 2005 these two cabins were completely remodeled by the Casselman’s.
The Beahn’s then sold to the Nelson’s who owned and operated Lakewood Lodge for 9 seasons while making many improvements to the resort until 2001 when Steve and Danielle Casselman and their 2 boys purchased Lakewood Lodge and moved from Nebraska to enjoy the resort life of Northern Minnesota. The Nelson’s kept adjoining land to spend their summers at.
The Casselman’s have continued to make many improvements to Lakewood Lodge including in 2004 building cabin 9, in 2005 removing cabin 6 and replacing it with cabin 1 along with completely remodeling cabins 2 and 3. In 2006 they purchased the 11 acres the Nelson’s had kept and removed cabins 3, 4, 5 and the lodge/home Siefert’s built. With the purchase of the land they were able to build 8 cabins, a new lodge and 2 new fish cleaning houses. We are proud to carry on the tradition of one of the oldest resorts in the area by providing vacations to guests from all over the United States and as far as Puerto Rico.
We invite you to become part of Lakewood Lodge’s history and family and part of the 100 years of serving vacationers.
A lot of changes have been made to Lakewood Lodge through the years but it still continues its proud tradition on of providing a true “Northwood’s” vacation for all of its guests.