The first time I saw the Naniboujou Lodge was just a couple of years ago. Somehow, despite coming to the North Shore of Lake superior my entire life, I’d never heard of this place. It’s not hard to find—if you happen to be in the Boreal forest close to the Canadian border. It sits just off Highway 61 and must be one of the last family owned lodges on the shore. I was super charmed at breakfast to see the owners taking food orders from guests in between helping out in the kitchen and greeting locals who stopped in for coffee and a bite to eat. (Note: the food was amazing. I didn’t have high expectations going in, but everything was so good.)
The building was built in the late 1920s as an exclusive club that counted Babe Ruth as one of its founding members. Despite some unfortunate remodeling in the 1980s, much has been preserved on both the interior and exterior from the original architectural details like the stunning fireplace built by a local Swedish stonemason from 200 tons of native rocks and the 20-foot domed ceiling painted with Cree Indian designs by a French artist named Antoine Goufee. I think I even spied what had to be an original file cabinet in the office.
My only pro tip if you go would be to bring your own booze (it’s a dry establishment) if you think fireplaces and waves crashing outside the window go well with a glass of something nummy.
Photos and text by Rebecca Silus for the Field Office