Naniboujou Club

Nanijibou, c. 1930s. (Image: Zenith City Press)

Five businessmen from Duluth (including R. D. Handy, a postcard publisher) created the Naniboujou Lodge, a private (and quite grand) sportsman’s getaway fifteen miles northeast of Grand Marais, which opened in 1927. The lodge takes its name from Nanaboozoo (“trembling tail”), a trickster character of Ojibwe legend, a spirit or a half man/half woman archetype who had many misadventures.

Among its more famous members were boxer Jack Dempsey, Babe Ruth, and writer Ring Lardner. The resort is expansive, boasting a half-mile of shoreline on either side of the mouth of the Brule River (site of Devil’s Kettle Falls). When first developed, it encompassed 3,300 acres, much of which is now part of Judge C. R. Magney State Park. It boasted a grand lodge (pictured) and plans were made for tennis courts and other amenities. Unfortunately, the Lodge only drew half of the one thousand members it needed to survive. It was turned over to a hotel chain in the 1930s and still operates as a hotel today.

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