The History of Northwoods Hospitality
Nor’wester was a name given the experienced French Voyageur of the past who journeyed these adventurous waterways in search of furs. This historic country is wilderness still — yet is an incomparable year-round vacation land with outdoor adventures and enjoyments for all. Stately pines and scenic white paper birch provide a haven for an abundance of wildlife and will ignite the Voyageur within you.
Carl & Alis Brandt came to the Gunflint Trail in 1931 to start a sawmill. They soon realized that visitors to the area needed a place to stay. So Carl began building cabins while Alis cleaned cabins, washed laundry, and cooked meals for the many fisherman. They named their resort “Balsam Grove,” a name which would stay with the resort through the next 35 years or so.
Built with native spruce and pine logs the lodge still stands today (an addition was later added). Several original diamond willow furniture pieces Carl made are found in the lodge along with furs from many of his trapping and hunting trips.
Today, more than 70 years later, this one-of-a-kind vacation destination on Poplar Lake on the Gunflint Trail remains family owned and operated. In 1966, Carl and Alis´ son, Carl, and his wife, Luana took over the resort, and in 1968 they changed the name to Nor´Wester Lodge & Outfitters. The name may change and the owners may change, but the beatufiul setting and the spirit of Northwoods hospitality endures. Carl and Luana carry forward the family tradition of helping guests enjoy this incomparable wilderness area and its many year-round activities.
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There are memories here just waiting to be made and treasured. Be a part of our history and make us part of yours.