About

History of Naniboujou Lodge & Restaurant

Naniboujou Lodge (Naniboujou is the Cree god of the outdoors) was first conceived in the 1920’s as an ultra exclusive private club. Babe RuthJack Dempsey and Ring Lardner were among its charter members. A membership of 1,000 was originally sought, but when the stock market crashed on “Black Tuesday” precipitating the 1929 depression, the club began to fail. In the mid 1930’s the club reached a state of financial shambles. The mortgage was foreclosed, and it was sold.

Throughout the succeeding years the Lodge has been owned and operated by various corporations or private individuals and families. Today you will find an exciting revitalized Naniboujou. Still reflecting the aura of the 20’s, Naniboujou is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

The lodge boasts the largest stone fireplace in the state of Minnesota, built with over 200 tons of native Lake Superior rock. Standing some twenty feet high, the fireplace continues to be a showpiece, warming and welcoming the guests of Naniboujou.

Antoine Goufee
Antoine Goufee and his wife

Probably the most memorable aspect of the lodge is the wondrously painted 30 x 80 foot dining room. Antoine Goufee, a French artist, painted Cree Indian designs over the walls and the twenty-foot-high domed ceiling (resembling the shape of a canoe). The almost psychedelic Cree Indian designs covering the walls and ceiling are like a North Woods answer to the Sistine Chapel. This work of art continually amazes and intrigues, echoing the elegance and style of another era.

Guests of today do not come for golf or for a dive into a luxurious swimming pool like they envisioned in the late 1920’s; they return seeking a quiet, peaceful, and natural environment. They come to gather their senses and to replenish both body and spirit in a place called Naniboujou.

To read more about the history of Naniboujou Lodge & Restaurant, click here.

Dearest Guests,

If you were not at Naniboujou Lodge in early March, you missed the spectacle of a lifetime. As a lifelong prankster, I was determined to outdo any of my former tricks. As guests were checking out for our final winter weekend, I had a volunteer bet me that I could not make them disappear. Did I pull it off? Well, yeah, in fact, I outdid myself. I made everyone disappear! The problem is that I never learned the art of making them reappear.

So goes the strangest of days that I’ve many times wished for but never thought possible; to have the world stop. And the fact that it has halted is one thing, but not knowing when it will start up again is another thing. Potential staff were left mid-application. Mothers were left with their Hallmark cards, but no Mother’s Day Brunch!

Opening day has come and gone. Naniboujou’s front doors remain bolted with no unlocking in sight. We have determined that we cannot realistically operate before August 1st, and we’ll have to see if even after that is practical. We will be sending cancellation notices to everyone booked through July. We apologize for any inconvenience. Here at Naniboujou we are about relationships and closeness while maintaining cleanliness. Having to keep our distance and not be allowed to extend a personal touch is not how we operate.

That being said, we will be opening up two cottages for rent this year. They are not a part of Naniboujou Lodge but they are near our house on Lake Superior. You can view the two cottages here on our website. Sobo Cottage, and Presley Cottage.   Because of legalities, unfortunately, we cannot allow anyone in the Lodge at this time.

We miss you all and apologize that we’ve had to shut our doors. We are so sorry for all of the difficulties that each of you have had to navigate. Hope we can get together soon!

 

Love,

 

Tim and Nancy Ramey